The Blog Leagues
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been cleaning up my bloglinks and RSS feeds. I’ve added a lot of blogs, over 150 and cut a few as well (about 40-50). About half the new blogs are directly related to religion, with very few of those being emerging church blogs. Most of the new blogs are […]
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been cleaning up my bloglinks and RSS feeds. I’ve added a lot of blogs, over 150 and cut a few as well (about 40-50). About half the new blogs are directly related to religion, with very few of those being emerging church blogs. Most of the new blogs are related to media, art and music. Of the blogs cut, almost all are religious, mainly focussed on political issues, and yes, the emerging church. Typically these blogs were low volume, but a few are A-list.
Does this mark a change in direction? Not really. I have more time these days (not having to fix generators, broken water and telephone lines and travel two hours to buy bread makes a difference) and so my focus is moving from essential reading, to something broader. But, having developed some frustrations with the blogospher, so I’m becoming a little more demanding as well.
My solution is to have three lists, with a fair bit of promotion and relegation within each one. The blog premiership get read most days, the third division, when I have time – you get the picture.
So, what do I look for in a blog?
Generosity – I like blogs that share the love. Blogs that help out new blogs, that share media content (papers, music, images, video), with lots of links (not just in the blogroll, but also in the posts). Blogs with few active outgoing links seldom make it into my ‚Äúblog premier league‚Äù and never manage to stay there if they do.
Hospitality – Good blogs welcome you. I‚Äôm put off by blogs with solid content but no space for comment (or blogs that treat commentators dismissively). Sometimes a blogger‚Äôs response to comments says a lot more about them than their main-posts.
Creativity – Not just in content, but in presentation and language. You don‚Äôt have to be Shakespeare, but you‚Äôll win me over if you show even a little flair.
Honesty – Want to tell me how perfect and above reproach your church, or group or strategy is? Good for you – but I won‚Äôt buy it and I will probably tune out of your blog very soon.
Substantiality – To paraphrase Hugh McLeod, ‚Äúgive me content baby!‚Äù Say something and then explore that in some depth. I don‚Äôt expect an essay everyday (and don‚Äôt have that much time), but I appreciate that saying some things takes time.
Sustainability – Has the blog got legs? One thing I ask myself is, does this blog look like it could still keep my interest in a year or two? For me to ‚Äúsubscribe‚Äù to a blog, I have to feel like it will pay off, that means something in the content has to stand out, it means there has to be enough breadth, not just depth.
Non-Circularity – OK, I‚Äôm running out of words ending in -y! I get bored with parasitic blogs (just quoting other blogs and other news-sources), or blogs that go around and around the same topic. That‚Äôs part of my beef with some emerging church blogs. Too many blogs commenting on other blogs comments on what some other blogger said about what someone said about some emerging church leader‚Äôs response to another emerging church leader.
Of course, there are lots of blogs that don’t make those marks for me, but still have good posts and ideas (you have seen them linked here and will continue to do so). But if, like me, you are thinking about how to improve or re-work your blog, I hope those thoughts are at least a little helpful.
As always, I would love to hear what you look for in a blog (and maybe why you bother to read this one).