Saturday, September 06, 2008

Blogging

I have been blogging for two years now and have posted over 120 blogs, over 40 this year alone. The medium gives me a good opportunity to reflect, organize my thoughts, and seek feedback from anyone who might be interested. Responses come occasionally and often from unexpected places. Recently I was involved in a conversation about blogs with a couple of colleagues. One was talking about how much time it took to do his blog and how he researched it very carefully. The other talked about the way he put his together and the joy he received form doing it. This started me thinking about different kinds of blogs and the approaches that individuals take to their blogs.

First, there are the “rants.” These are written by folks who just want to complain, attack, or get something off their chests. Some of these have been used in church conflict situations to further the cause of one side of the other. I don’t follow any of that type of blog. I can do my own rants!

Second, some blogs are more like journals where people reflect on their experiences and invite feedback. This is what I try to do in Barnabas File. It is not profound or well-researched (although I do try to be accurate in naming names and events), and simply shares my responses to life from my own perspective. Similar blogs are those written by my friends Danny Chisholm (http://dannychisholm.wordpress.com/feed/), Beth Bordeaux (http://gtmeval.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default) and Rodney Wilson (http://feeds.feedburner.com/GetARoom?format=xml). They are a “slice of life” with a personal point of view.

Third, there are the informative blogs where the author shares from his or her expertise. One of the best of these is NTStudies (http://ntstudies.wordpress.com/feed/) written by David May, a professor of New Testament at Central Seminary. David speaks out of his expertise and passion in a particular field. It is well thought out, informative, and useful.

Fourth, there are blogs that are done by a group of people, usually as part of some organization to further the goals of the group. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has a blog called The Fellowship Portal (http://cbfportal.wordpress.com/) that features comments from a number of contributors.

Fifth, there are dialogical blogs where two or more folks are discussing a topic and allow us to listen in on the dialogue. A good example is Mount and Mountain (http://mountandmountain.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default) where Mike Smith, a Baptist pastor, and Rami Shapiro, a Jewish rabbi, are involved in a dialogue on the Ten Commandments and the Sermon the Mount from their respective traditions.

Blogs offer a unique opportunity to connect with people in an interesting and informative way. You may have other examples than the ones I have cited. I would be interested in hearing about them.

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