Monday, June 14, 2010

Blogging to the Choir?

I'm insecure about my blog traffic, I admit. Frequently I consider hanging it all up, logging off, and not returning. I can't keep up with Twitter traffic, nor can I take the time to read every other Christian blog I've found that I'm interested in. And I know that successfully doing both would increase interest and traffic on my blog.

I also question the value. Is there anyone really listening? I'm a sports junkie and I see this on message boards as well. Someone will pontificate on a point about fan behavior, or attendance, or a blown call a ref made. For the most part, everyone agrees. In those forums, you're essentially preaching to the choir. Christian blogging isn't much different. It's unlikely non-believers are reading my blog; though I suppose they could be, I know they don't comment. Followers and commenters are like-minded. I read their blogs, they read mine, and we both nod our heads in agreement. Don't get me wrong, I come away after reading about others' convictions with new convictions of my own. And that's the hope I have with this blog. But I wonder...

So what difference does this all make? Will I transform the church with my words? Will these thoughts lead anyone to Christ? Is this even the correct medium for this message? Of course there are others who have this nailed. They know how to increase traffic, know how to appropriately respond when traffic is down, and sincerely believe in the medium (and these were all just from Saturday!). But I'm not so easily convinced.

Then last week something strange happened. A blogger, with the power of the pen (or pixel), disrupted the plans for expansion of an NCAA Division-1 FBS (don't ask) conference, called a bluff on a state legislature, and likely single-handedly changed the landscape of college football. And he's not done. If you don't follow college football and the BCS, I'm talking about Chip Brown and the drama that ensued last week as the Big 12 effectively dissolved, the PAC 10 added Colorado, and the Mountain West took a week to announce they were adding Boise State. And like I said, by the time you read this, there will likely be more changes announced. Granted, Chip Brown is no ordinary blogger, he worked for the Dallas Morning News for 10 years, but there was a lot of power in his words as he turned the rumor mill.

I'm reminded that our words have power, even if they are electronic rather than spoken. An encouraging word still has the power to encourage a reader. And a convicting scripture will still convict.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

"As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
(Isaiah 55:10-11)

So my questions to you Christian bloggers out there:

Who is your audience and what is the goal of your blog? (be sure to link your blog too!)

5 comments:

JC Dude said...

I started my blog (soulfari.blogspot.com/) about a year ago and have thought about "why" almost everyday.

My traffic has grown slowly and I do have a small group of people who daily read my blog, some who leave comments online and others who tell me in person. The goal was really to journal my life as man trying to follow Christ, as a father, husband and brother. Of course I hope that readers find me amusing, insightful and my thoughts worth coming back for...but there is more. I pray that my simple view into the Kingdom will encourage those who wander by and maybe they will catch a glimpse into the Father's love for them.

Thanks for allowing us to share bro'...keep blogging for Him!

Jay

Duane Scott said...

I started my blog, http://duane-scott.net/ primarily for my family members and to put my devotional thoughts on paper.

It was only 2 days and a few friends that I had told about my writing said, "You gotta take the privacy off your blog. I want to share these with my friends." Honestly, that was the first time I'd thought of it.

I still don't know how to check my blog traffic. I still don't worry about the numbers. I still don't write unless I feel like it. I guess my blog is still my personal space, and if people want to peek in on me once in a while, that's fine.

I guess my advice to you.... let go. Are you doing it as a chore? That doesn't sound like fun! But if you have this incredible need to write, by all means continue. I think you write awesome. Very few bloggers have the flow that you do with words.

I appreciate you stopping by my blog, and although I don't always comment, I am subscribed to your feed and read every post. :) Thanks for the friendship!

Glynn said...

I started blogging in March 2009, to start a conversation about faith and fiction. There were already a bazillion sites on "Christian fiction" -- I was reaching for something broader than a specific publishing genre.I didn't go into it with the expectation I would change the world, but I know I didn't go into it with the expectation that it would change me. Which it has.

bondChristian said...

I'm going to change the world. I've also been told I'm over-confident at times. :>)

Seriously, though, I think blogs by themselves are on the decline. There's so much info out there, that simply putting up more info isn't that amazing anymore.

But I do see blogging as a small part in a bigger opportunity to connect with a ton of people. No one's going to read everything I write, even now that I slowed up a bit and only post two or three times per week.

However, it is a good home base. I can always share posts with people in the future, and I can re-purpose what I've written for when I speak or just share personally with others.

And frankly, when it comes down to it, if I can help influence even one person to start serving others better through my blog, then that's one more than I otherwise would have influenced. That, combined with how much I learn from this experience is worth it for me.

On another note, there's an interesting space out there for Christian bloggers who don't write for Christians. I've not seen that done too much (and admittedly, I'm not even trying for that audience), but it might be something that develops more in the future. I'm looking forward to watching that.

-Marshall Jones Jr.

Fatha Frank said...

Thasnks guys for all your feedback! Besides my personal lament, I am interested in hearing why you blog. I've been swamped by the "blog to get your name out if you want to be an author!" mentality (following a writer's conference) so I needed a fresh perspective.

We're all doing it for Him and I'm grateful for your blogs helping me to grow deeper.

As for me, my blog (you're on it), I started it for two reasons. One, I was tired of seeing my faith being co-opted by consumer Christianity and politics and wanted to share a more personal and public Biblical worldview. And two, I saw my fellowship of churches isolate themselves on a spiritual island that ignored what was happening in Christianity at-large.

Because of this, I want my words to have impact. But I can't let it drive me. I need the constant reminder that it's not all about me and that I don't have all the answers.