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…