Over the past few days I’ve been blessed by the comments generated by my appeal for help in preparing my presentation on Blogging for the NACC.
Here are a few:
I’m an atheist, raised in an independent Christian church, so I subscribed to your blog because I like to receive a diversity of opinions in my bloglines feeder. I currently subscribe to 292 blogs which cover a variety of topics. I’d say that I feel a sense of community with two of the blogs I subscribe to. The community comes about because the bloggers respond to us directly, and we respond to each other. Two out of 292. Blogs and blogging make me happy. They expose me to a variety of opinions, and I feel that I’m on the cutting edge in many different fields (which also makes me happy). I used to separate out work-related blogs from my favorite blogs, but I no longer do that because it was too much work to check two readers each day. So they’re carefully organized by category. I currently subscribe to 5 atheist blogs and 4 religious blogs, so maybe I’ll pick up another one from the suggestions in the comments. I do think that an online community is possible, but only if the blogger keeps things positive. For example, since you moderate your blog, you can choose to not accept this comment if you think it would be divisive, or to cut off incipient flame wars and arguments between commenters. Those are the happiest blogs.
I don’t know about life change or community. For me it’s about hearing the thoughts and virtually “sitting at the feet” of people I already admire or whose thoughts I find helpful/funny. I rarely comment on any of these blogs and only occasionally read others’ comments. (If I wanted to know what Bob in Dallas had to say, I’d be reading HIS blog.)
The worst thing about blogs is the speed of the communication. If bloggers don’t publish SOMETHING regularly, they lose readers. This often leads to bloggers putting out garbage. There is also pressure on those who comment to get in early. Chet said, “blogging is a good method of quickly sharing a thought on an issue.” I’m not convinced this quickness is a good thing. James said, “let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” I don’t know that the pace of most blogs allows us to be “slow to speak” or gives us the time to think through what we say/write.
A servant wrote:
When it comes to theological blogs, I find that it can provide a useful arena for the exchange of ideas, devotional thoughts, and research. I subscribe to nearly 80 blogs and I find it helps me not only understand the different discussions taking place in Christianity but also even in the world in general. The key to any of these more discussion type blogs is that participants have to participate beyond just reading. This may be one of the harder aspects to the success of a blog “community.”
Click here to read all of the comments and for links to some really good blogs: My Lord and My Blog: I need your input . . . please 🙂