Late last month, on the TechRhet discussion list, I responded to a question as regarding whether or not blogs should be considered a genre or not. It's a question we often seem to grapple with when thinking about digital technologies such email, Web pages, blogs, etc. All too often, I think, people are willing to say yes when the technology is new or when they're new to the technology. In part, I wrote:
"I've come to balk at when we talk about digital writing technologies as genres. It's just never panned out. Email isn't a single genre. Email is a delivery system that is put to many rhetorical purposes. The codex/book isn't a genre, it's a delivery system. Likewise, blogging software isn't a genre, it's a delivery system. Genre is a rhetorical function, not a technological one. Technologies can favor particular genres or generic functions, or rhetorical purposes, but technologies don't define them. We, the users of the technologies, do that."
Professional-Lurker blogged my response at http://www.professional-lurker.com/archives/000223.html.