Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Are you making the most of your blog?

(*image borrowed from Jollyblogger)

Not long ago, I posted a "Quote o' The Day" from the Evangelical Outpost that really made me stop and think about how I'm using this platform--my blog.

I ended up getting some great comments in response to the quote, and I must admit, they added a new angle to my thoughts on the matter.

Here's the quote:

"Your audience is giving you two of their most precious possessions – their time and their attention. What are you doing with this gift? Are you using it to improve their life, influence their worldview, feed their mind? Or are you wasting it by giving them junk food, blather and trivia which provides a momentary amusement but has only a fleeting impact? What will this person gain in return for loaning you this treasure for 26 hours every year?"--Joe Carter on the 5/150 Principle

I still think it's a great quote. Granted, I don't have the enormous audience that blogs like the Evangelical Outpost, La Shawn Barber's Corner and others command. I occasionally spend a few days as a Large Mammal in the TTLB ecosystem, but I invariably slip back to the Marauding Marsupial category.

Still, if God is going to hold me accountable for the things I say, no doubt that applies to the things I write as well.

Does that mean, however, that every post needs to be laden with gravitas?

I don't think so. I think if I post something that makes you smile or even takes your mind off your problems for a few minutes, I've provided a service.

Katy Raymond is one of the most delightful bloggers I've encountered, but the above quote prompted this comment from her: "I guess I post some of the most trivial stuff anywhere, but I try to intersperse it with the touching and the meaningful. Now I'm worried about all my wonderful readers, though, and the time they're 'wasting' under my 'influence'..."

No, no, no, Katy. A visit to your blog is never wasted. Reading about the funny things that happen to you, or getting a bit of your insight on life, adds a touch of joy to my day.

Rodney is a radio announcer in Australia. His blog, The Journey, touches on a wide range of issues; sometimes serious, sometimes light and quirky.

He has his head on straight about blogging: "Have you ever met one of those people who only talk about 'important' issues? They are convinced that they should thrill you with their immense knowledge. They never give you a chance to really get to know them as distinct from their opinions.

"Some bloggers are like that.

"Most friendships develop out of the kind of small talk that helps you get to know someone. Out of the trivial conversations comes a closeness that gives permission to move on to deeper issues.

"That's the kind of blogger I want to be. I'm not convinced I have the balance right but that's my aim.

"I want people to get to know me. I want them to hear how proud I am of my kids and how wonderful my wife is. I want them to share some of the lighter moments from my day. I want to develop the kind of friendship that allows me to share the deeper things of life when it's appropriate.

"If I was a news service I would need to make sure that everything I posted was important. I would ensure that I was improving lives, influencing worldviews, feeding minds. I'm not a news service. I'm a guy who wants to develop relationship and through that relationship discuss the deeper stuff at the right times."

Good words, Rodney.

I've often been blessed by the writings of Debra. She does feel a sense of urgency at times when blogging: "I feel more than ever we are in the Last Days and I want to make the most of them so I try to make my blog reflect that. It's no big deal if people forget me, but it is a big deal if they forget God."

And the philosophy behind Dee's blog is kind of like mine--a little of anything and everything she's thinking about at the moment: "I think about my audience often before I post, but there are times I use the blog to get some things off my chest, and other times I promote things that no one would have considered like watching Dear Frankie..."

The truth of Joe's quote still stands, and serves as a worthwhile reminder. I don't want my blog to be worthless and inane--and honestly, I regularly tackle serious issues.

But I also reserve the right to post the occasional bit of trivia or humor. In fact, I reserve the right to post whatever I want to post. In the times we live in, being able to relax and enjoy even a few moments in one's day can be a gift.

Phil Johnson has me listed in his blogroll under the category "Convivial." According to the dictionary, that means "fond of...good company; sociable. Merry; festive."

You know what? I like that. There are worse things to be.

And if I happen to bless you, or educate you, edify you, touch you, or shed a ray of light your way? Praise God.

Serious Stuff I've Blogged About

Just to prove I am capable of gravitas, here are some serious things I've blogged about in recent months:

My interview with Joni Eareckson Tada

My interview with Schiavo family attorney David Gibbs III

My interview with John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute

My interview with Noel Piper about "Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God"

Rockford's abortion doctor dies

Worshipping the goddess of anorexia

...and many more that I don't have time to link.

*Note: If you like the "I think, therefore I blog" logo, you'll be happy to know that you can order T-shirts bearing the logo from Jollyblogger. Find out more here.

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