Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's Not About Me

Not long ago I entered a contest that relied on people voting for my blog- whoever got the most votes would win. Well I voted for myself, I think my wife voted for me, and that was probably just about it. I've never been very good at self promotion. There are blogs that specialize on having successful blogs: how to generate traffic, how to encourage return visits, how to write catchy titles, how to maximize SEO, and on and on. I'm sure if I put out the effort, I might actually get good at this thing. But that just isn't my style. That, and I'm a little bit lazy. I admit I check my site visits and feel slightly insecure when I think I write my best post ever and it doesn't take off like I think it should. I get mad at Stumbled Upon when it crashes and my scheduled posts don't go up (like last week). I get frustrated that my work firewall forces this blog to be a habit that I can really only dedicate an hour or two a day towards.

But none of that really matters. When I first started this blog I was motivated by a couple of observations. One, I saw that many in my fellowship of churches had isolated themselves on a spiritual island and two, that mainstream Christianity seemed to be more about politics and consumerism than about Christ. So I set out blogging to address each of these: by sharing to the brothers and sisters in my fellowship what I was reading/learning from mainstream Christianity and sharing my personal studies and convictions to those outside of my personal fellowship. I wasn't expecting to change the world, but I was hoping that I could at least set the bar a little higher for each of us in our walk with Jesus. And even if no one else read a word, it was healthy for me to express the many thoughts in my head and convictions in my heart.

That was six years ago. A year ago things were serendipitous for a big blogiversary bash: five years is a nice round number, I was at roughly 500 posts, and I was just shy of 500 followers on Twitter. But I couldn't shake making it all about me and I ended up doing nothing.

So here I am celebrating six years. Six, in biblical numerology, is less than perfection. I think that's appropriate.

In those six years, I have met some great friends online. Brothers and sisters who have encouraged me, taught me, and humored me. I've also won a lot of swag- books, CDs, virtual conference registrations, and so on. So here's my chance to give back.

A couple of months ago I created a Facebook page for this blog. At the time I wanted it to act like a message board to talk about my blog posts and pretty much whatever else came to mind. More importantly, I wanted to use it as a "portal" so to speak where I (and really anyone else who wanted to) could share news, articles, blogs, prayer requests and so on that encourage each of us to live a life of "Public Christianity". Since then some of my friends have liked that page, but I have only received one like coming directly from my blog.

So here's the deal: between now and Friday, if you like my Facebook page you will be entered into a drawing. (And not to keep out all 11 of you who have liked the page so far, you'll be entered twice!) Because I'm an avid reader, of course I'll be giving away books. I'm also a little bit of a small-group nerd, so there might be some small group material mixed in as well. And these won't just be any books- I have been encouraged to see many of my blogging buddies get published in the past year or so and this is my chance to spread the word.

You don't have to comment. Don't have to tweet. Just like my Facebook page. It's that easy.

And thank you all for six blessed years.

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