"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
July 19, 2006

This Is Not An Influential Emerging Church Blog

According to this list of the Top 50 emerging church blogs, this blog is just not influential. Based on their method, this page should have been clinging to the bottom of the list. More amazing still (or just plain amazing), Urban Onramps doesn’t make the list at all. I’m sure you can think of a […]

According to this list of the Top 50 emerging church blogs, this blog is just not influential. Based on their method, this page should have been clinging to the bottom of the list. More amazing still (or just plain amazing), Urban Onramps doesn’t make the list at all. I’m sure you can think of a few emerging church blogs that influence you, but have failed to make the list.

So why point it out? Well it isn’t to complain about not making the list, I’m not much into lists and infact think it is a little worrying when church bloggers obsess about them. The thing a number of A-Listers won’t admit is that a bit of their linkeage comes from people desperate to generate traffic for their own blogs.

That said, measuring influence in a meaningful way is interesting. Measuring by linkeage is one way, but not a good one when you look at the shopping list linkages on many blogs (inactive, assumed and vanity links). If you can tap into RSS reads and hits, that would be better. It’s active traffic that counts. But the real measure of influence is, ummm, influence. Which blogs are introducing new ideas (ideas with legs), new words new concepts? Which blogs are changing the discourse, uncovering the hidden and so on? That’s real influence. To measure that we need more than lists and quantitative measures, we need to read and interpret, to pick out trends and flows of ideas. Asumming of course that content, rather than just numbers, is what matters.

Sometimes we bloggers link to the good posts we read and sometimes we don’t. That skews the linkeage to influence relationship. But perhaps more importantly, there are lots of blog-readers who are not bloggers (it would be interesting to see someone research that number). Linkeage doesn’t seem a good way to measure influence there, either.

[tags] A-List [/tags]

Tagged , ,
4
Responses

fernando – you will always be an influential blogger to me, despite what techorati says

there are many ways of measuring effectiveness. permanent links is only one.

bill 16 years ago

Do you get the idea that “popularity” is still equated with “influential”? A more interesting research topic to me would be: why do bloggers link and why do they choose the tags they choose?

Three years ago we left an imploding church that is still shrinking from a high of 900 to about 130 today. After almost constant turmoil from bad decisions, that leadership still goes with the opinion of the largest contributors even though they lose more total income when large numbers of average contributors leave, than what they’d lose if a few old folks with nothing but money to give, left. Furthermore, the families that are leaving are those with children. The leadership sold the congregation’s future for temporary peace. From what I’ve found on forums and blogs, this is fairly common. And this is some of what people who are bailing out of church run away from.

So, let’s do some research to find out who’s most popular and make future decisions based on the findings. What’s new about that? James spoke against this a very long time ago. Why does DA Carson’s or John MacArthor’s opinion count? Because the current leadership listens to them. Well, some of us don’t give a flip what the current leadership thinks because we’re tired of their stupid decisions that tear up churches and families in the name of orthodoxy. They show us by their fruit what they really are.

Why is this important? Because links and tags lead to the same traps that money, titles and degrees, and number books published do. An increasing number of people are too smart for this. But what do they do. Look to something new, like Emergeing Church, that’s what. But what if EC turns out to be no different than the old Robber’s Den of a church they left. Now what?

That’s the most interesting question.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Andrew, thanks for the comment, thank you.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Bill, that is a heck of a comment and you are more than right. It is troubling to see the same failed patterns from the physical mainstream church being replicated in the emerging church and it’s virtual discussions. The celebrity talking head model of church influence has already had more than enough time to measured, as an experiment, and the results don’t look great.

You are right that the temptation to equate popularity with influence and by extension to grant authority to those who are popular is dangerous and if I may draw it out further, sub-Christian. I think it also defeats the purpose of blogging, which in part is to give voice to those who have little or no audience in the existing structures. What I long for on the blogosphere is not the opportunity to hear from people who I can already encounter in books, conferences and what-have-you, I long to hear those voices I would otherwise not encounter. If not, then the blogosphere is a bit of a waste of time.

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