July 13, 2005

A Good Question!

How we can, as Christian bloggers, begin to influence the wider culture rather than simply passing links around among the 4500 who are part of the Blogdom of God?
I'm getting a lot of good posting fodder by reading Tim Challies' blog. How can we influence the wider blogosphere? How do we get out of the Christian ghetto? I think we've been asking this question for a LONG time, and there aren't any easy answers.

I think the first thing we need to do is to get out there and interact with others. NOT just the atheist, anti-Christian blogs (though that's a good idea), but the normal, regular blogs. We DO have interests outside of religion, don't we? Whether it's webcomics, or surfing, or science fiction, or basket weaving -- there are blogs out there where these things are discussed. Get involved in the discussion, and talk about these things on our blogs. Even if you have a blog devoted to theology, you can inject some of your own personality into it as well.

Get involved in carnivals. Not just the Christian carnival (though it's a great one!), but the Bonfire of the Vanities, the Best of Me Symphony, etc. Even the Carnival of Recipes and the Carnival of Kids. Get involved and gain exposure -- but make sure you have something to say.

Blogexplosion. I know a lot of you are laughing at this one, but I have gained a few readers from this -- and have had some great discussions with people who would never have visited the blog otherwise.

In short, we need to be visible, and visible in places where people are looking for blogs to read. Most blog search engines divide blogs into categories -- get yourself listed in a couple different catefories. Sports, education, politics, etc. We don't do this enough.

And we need to have something worth reading when they get here. I've seen blogs that have all the buttons, are in all the directories and search engines, and have nothing to say. There is a potential audience out there, but they won't stay if we bore them to tears. Blogs are built on content (like you haven't figured THAT out yet), so give them content that will make them come back.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 03:28 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 As a person who struggles with faith, attending church and believing in God, I think you are right on target. I visit your site on a regular basis to keep up with how you are doing, but also because your writing about your faith is straight forward. When I read your post about your goals for this blog, I realized why I keep coming back. Your comments on logic made sense. I think many people are turned off by preachy blogs. If religion is part of your every day life it will come out in your blog and people understand that and will be interested in hearing about it. And may even be influence by it. Warren, I think you are on the right track and I know I will keep coming back.

Posted by: Amy at July 13, 2005 09:05 PM (tPzR0)

2 hmmm I'm a wonderer and found your blog interesting...don't know if I would want that much traffic on my site but then again I don't think I have more then 3 people who regularly read my blog...but I like reading other's blogs..I'll keep yours in my read folder...you make some pretty good points.

Posted by: dora at July 14, 2005 10:17 AM (ryx/4)

3 I appreciate both of these comments. I try to have something of interest for everyone who reads the site -- when I stop doing that, people stop reading, and then there's no point. But I also want to say something that has some meaning.

Posted by: Warren at July 14, 2005 12:06 PM (iJfPJ)

4 I guess I don't see the need to use blogs to reach the world. The blogs I read tend to be rather cerebral and it's unrealistic to expect a non-Christian to be able to understand what is written there. Kudos to the person who finds a way to make blogging an evangelistic tool, but doing so will destroy the purpose Christian blogs now serve.

Posted by: Ryan DeBarr at July 14, 2005 03:42 PM (sru5H)

5 Hmmmm. Good point, Ryan. I think we need to realize that there are Christian blogs that serve more as edification/education. I think that as the Christian portion of the blogosphere grows, we're going to find that individual blogs are going to serve different roles (kinda like individuals serve different roles in the church). I DO think that evangelism is best done one-on-one. But I think that blogs can go a long way in making people more receptive to the gospel, just by what we say and how we say it. Hope you're feeling better, BTW. My prayers are with you.

Posted by: Warren at July 14, 2005 08:21 PM (iJfPJ)

6 I don't blog as an evangelical tool. I blog because I need to write. Sometimes it helps me get my sermon thoughts together. Sometimes it helps me get things off my chest. Sometimes I blog simply to let the creative juices flow or other such hyperbole. Although I believe a blog can be evangelical in nature, I think such a blog would have to be designed and kept especially for that purpose. If someone gets something from my blog, I hope it is an appreciation of the struggles of a life lived to please Christ and the failures along the way. Every blog has it's purpose.

Posted by: rev-ed at July 14, 2005 10:51 PM (JDySz)

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