Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Trending (but which direction?)

I've been looking at a number of blogs recently, and I'm noticing some trends what have caused me to wonder: "Has blogging hit the wall"? Here (not in order of importance) are some observations in blogdom:

  • Less articles and thought about postmodern ministry, and more on social/political activism (Nothing wrong with that, but it makes me wonder if we are becoming an army of arm-chair critics with blogs? Or now that the "rush" of self-righteous anger at "McChurch" has worn off, the only way to keep the buzz & adrenaline going is by turning to political ranting instead?)
  • An increase in church-bashing and "Modernity" bashing
  • A mystifying worldview assumption (A) that the "Modernistic" church has hopelessly compromised the purity of the Gospel (that's called "generalizing"), but that (B) postmodernist Christians somehow have rescued the Gospel in their house churches and coffeehouses (that's called a "blind spot")
  • If anyone leaves a comment that doesn't agree with the blogger's opinion, they get slammed and ridiculed, or simply ignored, and they stop commenting after awhile
  • If someone posts something encouraging and positive, a few people comment
  • If someone posts something harsh (against "McChurch"), then they get lots of "give 'em hell, Harry!" kinds of comments from approving "insert-pet-peeve-here"-bashers
  • If someone tries to find a middle ground between the extremes, hoping to spark some serious thinking about reaching our society with the Gospel, people stop visiting their site because, like all else in life, controversy gets attention (just ask Janet Jackson) and a conversation about proactive restructuring doesn't allow people to rant and complain, so they go to blogs where they can rant and rave to their hearts' content (except that ranting and raving never makes you "content")
  • A growing tendency for bloggers to simply cut and paste other bloggers' work into their sites, instead of creating original content; it used to be done as an intro to the blogger's thoughts (and I've used some this way myself), but now it seems to be done mostly to give the appearance of consistent blogging without the blogger having to interact even with the post they've pasted from somewhere else
  • "Dialogue" and "conversation" have really diminished in recent months -- it seems to be everyone just ranting their own opinions and not interacting with the other commentators -- more like a collection of monologues
  • I see an increase in advertising (and occasionally get an email) on how to "increase traffic to your blog", and hearing about "getting on the 'A' list of bloggers"

Which prompts me to wonder: -- Why are we blogging anyway? For notoriety? Hoping for invitations to be the new Illuminati? To take pride in how many people link to our blogs?

Either I need some more sleep (which I think is totally true), more coffee, or perhaps a bit of both.

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