Blogs

I wonder what blogs you all read.

I wonder how you read the blogs you read.

I wonder if you are contented with the amount of blogs you read.

I wonder if you are always looking for new and exciting blogs.

I wonder if you think that blogging and reading blogs takes up too much time in your day.

I wonder these things because there is not a day goes by when I don’t find something challenging or useful or interesting or … the list goes on… in the blogs I read.  I find worship resources, sermon ideas, jokes, politics, news, gossip, and a whole lot more in the blogs I read.  People who don’t read blogs are always surprised that I have about 200-400+ readers a day popping in to my blog. They don’t seem to get that blogs can be a mission tool. I can’t tell you how many times someone new pops up at church and tells me that they read my blog.

I read blogs via a blog reader. A blog reader gathers all my favourite blogs in one place and if they have written a new entry it shows it to me. I am now using Google Reader (just google it) where you just ‘add a subscription’ (the URL of the blog you want to read) and then check in every morning. Reading other people’s blogs takes me between 5 and 10 mins each day. I don’t have to bookmark their names. I don’t have to type in long, complicated addresses each day. I don’t have to google ‘rev ruth rantings blog revruth wordpress’ looking for it.  In fact, now that I am using Google Chrome the Reader button is on the home page for me whenever I open it. So easy.  I can go back to it throughout the day if I have time and I can go back to re-read or take notes from something that is useful. Easy.

Some of the blogs I read appear in the sidebar of my blog. Most of them are Piskie bloggers.  But I read so many more and keep meaning to update the list. (I read 60+ at the moment.) Often when I read someone’s blog that I respect and like they will provide a link to something else and often that is how I find other blogs. My latest fun blog to read was found via somebody I can’t remember via Maggi Dawn via Church Mouse.  Churchy folk might appreciate it so I offer a link to it here.

Lots of people read blogs but don’t comment. Well, often they will comment when they meet you face to face, but for some reason don’t like to put finger to keypad.  Someone recently said that it was an effort to make a comment and some blog-hosting companies do indeed make it a bit of a trial. This is usually to stop spam getting through. My last blog company was always getting spammed, most of it pretty rude and not what you want on a priest’s blog. Some bloggers thrive on comments and the banter can go on for days. (Madpriest and Fr Kelvin being two that I can think of.) Others are more reflective and almost journal like (perhaps Kate and Mother Kimberly?) which still merit comments of course but of a different sort.  We all like comments though, provided they are not abusive.  And yes, most of us do get abusive comments from time to time. Often I will publish them and try to respond but sometimes they are so bad that they have to be deleted.  (Can’t do that in real life, of course!)

So there we have it.  Why we read blogs will vary from person to person but the Church is finally recognising that blogging does go on, and that perhaps they don’t need to be as afraid of it as they once were.  Even bishops blog now and we all read them.  Blogging is a mission tool, a spiritual aid, a source of information, a network and community of Christians and others, and much more. For clergy living on their own it is probably a best friend too.  And some churches who can’t afford a website use blogs for that too. Check out St Mark’s or St Mary’s.  (St Mark’s is undergoing some new design work this week so not looking its best!)

So why do you blog, or read blogs?  Which are your favourites?  Any surprises? Do tell…

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11 thoughts on “Blogs

  1. Oooh dear, Ruth, there are days when we are soooo on the same wave-length. I’ve been thinking a lot over the last couple of days as to why I blog… and was going to write a blog about some of my thought processes on that one today. Scary. Think I’ll hold off and go eat some chocolate instead now!
    But certainly there’s a great community aspect to it… love being part of the revgals blog ring – community and resources and fun and shared stories in there that I deeply appreciate. Enjoy hearing your latest news and blog-finds. Love Kate’s reflecting and seriously, you two awesome ones really will have to meet up soon. Think you would both enjoy each other’s company.
    The CofS encourage reflective practice during our training and partly, I thought the blog might aid some aspects of that. I find, however, there are matters that are just ‘unbloggables’ and still wonder how to reflect generally without damaging any confidentiality re. pastoral situations for instance. And so alongside the blog is a separate private journal. Which leaves me at an odd place with regards to the purpose of my blog now. That’s kinda what I was going to blog on.
    Hope things are okay? x

  2. I love blog hopping – I have regular ones I read – mostly the one’s I link to on my blog and sometimes I hop through to other ones. I often wonder why I blog these day… for exactly the same reasons as Nik – the confidentiality issues are tricky especially now I am ordained…I think I was a lot more honest and open about myself when I was studying… now I don’t like to reveal quite so much. I blog as a discipline too… and as a lazy slob that is good for me. And usually when I think about stopping someone tells me how much they enjoy reading… so I keep on keeping on even although I think my blog has become very samely of late.

  3. Danny, thank you for stopping by. I see we read some of the same blogs. I love your Day stuff and might pinch it some time.

    Nik, the confidentiality issue is a real one. We too had to be reflective practitioners at Tisec but blogs weren’t around then. Maybe just as well in my case! Getting the balance right is tricky sometimes. do we blog about family, with or without their permission? Church events seem to be okay but our thoughts about them might not be. (As I know to my cost!) We know that our bishop reads the blogs so one must always keep that in mind, quite rightly. Pastoral stuff is the most difficult to judge. And I am still learning, I suspect, about that one.

  4. And in a timely manner I got a really nasty comment yesterday on another post which I have decided not to show. Protestants come in for attack, along with women priests and other vile stuff. Interestingly, I notice that these people never have email addresses which contain their own name. This was one John@Baptist something or other but a herald he ain’t.

  5. I started blogging immediately post ordination, partly because it seemed rude to comment on the blogs of others without offering the same hospitality in return, and partly because as an ENFP I often don’t know what I think til I hear what I “say” and the blog is a good place for thinking aloud. As a vicar I continue blogging, albeit with much reduced frequency,because parish ministry is often isolated and I have “met” the most wonderful community through the blog…Have travelled to America, appeared in print, made friends with people I would never otherwise have encountered.
    It enriches my life in so many ways. I try to station the PCC behind my monitor as I type so that I don’t say anything there that I would not be happy to say to their faces, have the Bishop’s blessing to blog…but still find there are many unbloggables as an incumbent. Still worth it, though 🙂

  6. Kathryn, loved what you had to say about being an ENFP. I am one too (well, sometimes a J) and I know exactly what you mean when you say ‘I often don’t know what I think til I hear what I “say”‘

    And I’d be lost without my blogging pals.

  7. Google Reader as well here.

    Stuff is categorized as:
    “me” (various sources so I know how my sites look to the outside world),
    “photo” (various flickr streams, photo.net forums, friends, a couple of select blogs),
    “geekish” (a couple of Google Android-related feeds, Slashdot, Engadget, El Reg),
    “Basically Saintly” (here, our friends Thurible and Wonderful Exchange, Freda, Bishop Mark, Thinking Anglicans),
    “Jobs” (feel free!) and
    “Real World (allegedly)” where I read a bunch of news sources but *not* the bloomin’ over-touted BBC.

    I have in excess of 1000 unread items in each of 5 feeds and a sizeable smattering elsewhere. Most will never get read. I’m still waiting for a naive-Bayesian approach to feed-aggregation to hit the mainstream.

  8. I like blogs about the person who is writing the blog. I don’t just mean “Went to work. Did the shopping. Cooked spag bol for tea. Watched Top Gear”, but those which tell me about the writer and are not just a random collection of copy and paste items from other sites. My own initially was for keeping in touch with cousins and friends living around the world, and it serves that purpose pretty well. I enjoy reading their blogs too, but since I have made a number of blog friends (including you, Ruth) whose views interest and please me. I also insist on the blogs I read being in proper English with full stops and capital letters, and on the whole correctly spelt (although I know that we all make typos from time to time) – this isn’t so much a matter of being fussy or an intellectual snob, as the fact that I find reading bad or text-style English very tiring.

    Although I use the same blog site you used to I have not suffered from spam although I clearly have one very silly colleague who seems to regard any mention of work – however favourable – as as liable to bring our employer into disrepute, so I make all work related blogs ‘friends only’ nowadays to avoid facing disciplinary action.

  9. It is quite simple for me really: as a retired minister, not in the best of health, I find that reading blogs and joining in helps to give me community. Thanks everyone!

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