Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Hungry Web

Although this sounds like the name of a Doctor Who episode, I am really thinking about the Internet’s voracious appetite for content.  With every organization seeking an online identity, web sites have proliferated at a rapid rate.  The challenge is to find material for those web sites.

One of the reasons that AOL spent $315 million for The Huffington Post this week was to acquire the content.  The deal will allow AOL to greatly expand its news gathering and original content creation and attempt to reverse a decade-long decline,” according to AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong.

I have been providing web content for almost five years through The Barnabas File. No one has offered to buy my content but I have been fortunate to have my material picked up by, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Christian Coaches Network, and Baptist Women in Ministry.  Central has recently upgraded their web site and added a place for blog contributions.  I was pleased that they asked me to be a regular contributor.

I follow a number of blogs, but I am constantly reminded of the need to be discerning about the information I find there, as I must about most web content.  My impression is that most blogs are meant to inform, inspire, and/or aggravate.

Of those that seek to inform, a number are well researched like the blog that David May writes related to New Testament studies.  Because his blogs are so carefully constructed, Dr. May does not post often, but what he does provide is always useful.  A number of blogs are inspirational in nature.  One example is Keeper of the Fire written by Eileen Campbell-Reed.  Dr. Campbell-Reed’s site shares her own experiences of growth in life, spirituality, and ministry and encourages others in their growth.  I tend not to follow blogs that aggravate, but Tony Jones’ Theoblogy sometimes moves beyond information and inspiration to aggravation.  When Tony is aggravated, I do enjoy seeing how his mind works!

Whatever you read on the web, remember to be a bit skeptical, even of what I write.  I have followed some blogs for awhile and then dropped them either because they were repetitive or the material that the writer was delivering was misleading, shallow, or useless.  Over a period of time, you will find those sites that you can trust and that will provide new insights for your own life. I hope my writing will have those qualities.

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