A quote from a recent conversation with guy who doesn’t understand blogging.
Guy: I just don’t understand why blogs are suddenly so important. I read them, and it’s all crap. It’s all personal stuff about people’s lives, and I just don’t care. People say that there are good blogs out there, but I can’t find any. Who’s got all that time? Who’s going to sort through all of that stuff? And the comments are so mean-spirited. Who cares what those people think?
Actually, this is one quote, but I’ve had the conversation a hundred times. It’s voiced in different ways, but it’s usually the same stream of questions. It feels like they are asking, “Why would I care about your life? How can anything substantial regarding ecclesiology come from people who do not have the proper credentials, who are self-publishing? Why would I want to read material that has not gone through the rigors of selection and editing?”
So, what would you say to them?
It seems like there is a shift happening here. Maybe I have too much time on my hands, or maybe I just watch less television, but I’m often sorting through blogs. Visiting my favorite ones and discovering new ones. I like the fact that they seem kind of raw and unedited. I like the mundanity. I like reading the rants that would have no life left in them after they went through the sterilizing editing process, or if the author put more time and thought into them. I like being able to talk back and question the writers and readers. I love the feeling of building a relationship with someone that I’ve never met.
But what about those questions? Are some of them valid? If church leaders are going to be expected to blog (and I think they will), isn’t that just another layer of hassle on top of our already too busy lives? How do you find blogs that are interesting? Do you think that anything important is happening here? Why do you read, write, and comment on them?
And while I’m on this barrage of questions… is there a blogging etiquette? If there is, what does it include? Personally, these are the formerly unwritten rules that I abide by:
If I write a blog, I should read blogs. I don’t know why. It just feels like someone is too big for the genre if they’re not willing to show up on someone else’s site a little bit. Plus, it’s about the conversation and not the dissemination of information.
If someone comments on my site, then I usually visit their site. Again, it just feels like a common courtesy.
I try not to post a comment that’s longer than the original post. Although I’m not always able to do it, and I love reading comments that are longer than my post, I know that it annoys other bloggers.
I try to always remember that it’s a hobby. I love taglines that proclaim how the author is changing the face of Christianity with his blog, or other such grandiose idea. But I realize I’m just banging out my thoughts. Reflecting on everyday life. And, you know, if it’s no longer fun, then I’ll walk away.
So what would you add?
photo’s by MrLomo