This thing that we do, that we call 'Blog' is something of a slippery fish. It seems to defy definition, although some authorities are seizing the salmon and applying some typologies into the art.
This interests me, because I find myself affected by the blogs of others now that I am something of a practitioner in my own right. Clearly, I am more interested in Christian blogs and will one day write a dissertation on these and other such phenomena as Twitter and the like. In the evangelistic sense, there must be an effect in these things. I have yet to formulate a view in any serious way, but part of my formulation yielded the vehicle of the spiritual me - Flight Diaries. I think I am finding that the various facets of a personality cannot always comfortably sit alongside one another meaningfully.
Anyway, I am going to plonk down the things I have noticed about them, and in terms of things I have heard said by the mad ol' eejits who regularly read Us!
1. They do have specific characteristics.
- Some really are the sordid fruit of the 'Mimi' - that is to say, a narcissism, a vanity. Perhaps they all are - this one certainly shows signs and is in treatment as we speak. Some go so far that their frequency increases when reader numbers do - there is something narcotic about it all too.
- Subtle plagiarism exists in the art, brothers and sisters. The Blog is very often simply a re-distribution device for the ideas of others - and this isn't wholly wrong. After all, newspapers make a living at it.
2. Blogs I like
- I love blogs that take something original, in all that that can mean. I love daft blogs, but I also love blogs that attend purely to The Other and wrestle with the inaccessibility of it all. I am sensing that the best and most popular blogs are novels, not newspapers - first edition not re-print. Sermon blogs are such things, ironic blogs, tongue-in-cheekers - they all work from originality.
- I love blogs that attend to a specialism - one such blog is that of my friend who has a love for and expertise in church art etc. He tells me things I don't know about the sort of buildings I love.
3. Blogs that I don't like
- Ones that attend to the 'I' too much.
- Monochrome blogs (unless written as a specialism) - I like blogs that are like good magazines - different things for different days. If a magazine only wrote about women's giblets and Katie Price I doubt I'd be interested for long (for example)
- 'A day in my family's life' blogs - though I recognise that such things are probably only for the family concerned.
As an evangelistic tool, I see bloggies becoming more and more valuable. The tripe that I expound here is read far more than my tripe that I expound from the pulpit. It tickles me to observe that more people follow this earwash than use my Parish website, and that does ok in its own right - but what an opportunity for a Christian with a mission-focussed heart. I believe, increasingly, that with anything like this, those who are not blessed with a skill for it should withdraw - as not everyone is called or gifted to be a preacher, for example. I have yet to establish finally my place in that scale, but you already know my thoughts on that. So, the Blog as part of the great Missio Dei - it is an idea that has to have legs, or else they are simply the work of a damaged psychology!
I will revisit this again - as today I have waffled!