Phil Whittall writes in a recent blog post about a caution he received from a friend regarding his blogging.
But sometimes you can get caught up in all, number of readers, number of visits, number of comments or links. Well I can anyway, and it’s easy to play to the gallery.
I know exactly how he feels, I often find myself checking out stats and counting up recent comments on my posts. I have been writing a lot more recently and have enjoyed it, and hopefully some people have found it useful. I need to be on my guard though, because I should not be blogging every thought, and I should not be writing so that people take note of me.
Every now and then I will throw something out about my personal life, but what I really want is to point people towards Jesus.
Thankyou Phil for this gentle reminder to be careful with our words.
Ah the internet, birthplace of international talk like a pirate day, once again you have created something quite special. A day in the year when thousands of bloggers write about the same thing in order to raise awareness. This year I have jumped on the bandwagon, and the topic on the table is climate change.
Climate change is one of those hot topic issues at the moment, lots of important people are making a big fuss over it and raising it’s importance. I don’t really have a problem with this, climate change I’m sure is a really big deal and should be addressed. What I do have a problem with though is peoples approach, and supposed solutions to the problem.
Almost without exception every supposed solution to climate change has one thing in common. They all rely on us. I’ll be honest, I don’t really want to rely on us if there is a global crisis in the making (or already made, depending on your point of view). In my experience people are generally unreliable, and prone to do stuff for selfish reasons.
I’m all for good stewardship of our planet. God commands us to look after where we live, right from the very beginning (Adam) this was our job. I’m certain that a lot of the proposed solutions for climate change are 100% positive things and we should probably all be doing them. However the only person who can really avert a global disaster is God. I will do my utmost to look after this planet I live on, but I pray that I never forget who is really in charge, and who can really affect change in this place.
I follow quite a few blogs and I love the diversity of the blogosphere. Even though the blogs I read are generally written by likeminded people, I still come across a huge spectrum of different opinions and am often pointed towards people I havent heard of.
This was the case recently when I was pointed to a blog post by Brian McLaren about him fasting during Ramadan and his reasons behind doing this. In some comment discussion I was accused of deliberately reading his blog with a negative bias because of who he was, which took me aback somewhat. This comment prompted me to actually look him up and find out who he was, and to my surprise I discovered that he is a prominent figure in the emerging church.
My reading of his blog had nothing to do with that because I had no idea who he was. Not because I hadnt engaged with the emerging church at all, but rather because I try to deal with people as individuals. It would really annoy me if someone lumped me in with everyone else from anew frontiers church and assumed that they understood me and knew my views on various theological issues. Not because they are likely to be wrong (in general I will probably agree with new frontiers church leaders on most issues), but because I am not new frontiers or UCCF or reformed charismaticor any other label you wish to give me, I am Peter. So I try (although I often fail) to keep an open mind about people whatever their background and current allegiances are.
Who is Brian McLaren, well frankly I dont know, but I do know he fasted during Ramadan for the sake of relating to his Muslim friends.
I don’t generally pay much attention to blog stats, but occasionally I will check them out to see interesting things like which websites are linking to me the most, and what people are searching for when they find my site.
I don’t really care that much about readership, but stats intrigue me in general, and often amuse me in particular.
The biggest referrers to my blog are not surprising, they’re the new frontiers and UCCF blog aggregators respectively, and I thank Dave Bish for them, they’re a great idea and make browsing the blogosphere that little bit simpler.
As for search terms, people are generally looking specifically for me using either my name or spiderscripts, I also had a couple of hits from posting the new word alive video. The amusing part though is some of the oddball one off search terms recently. These are genuine things people searched for and somehow arrived at my blog with (my comments in brackets):
- i hate christmas parties (song lyrics)
- the bigist spider in the world (nice spelling there…)
- computers internet blog (goodness me they must have gone through a lot of blogs first to reach mine!)
- the welsh learner’s dictionary (I think this is the result of my amazon widget, not sure though)
- on july a letter was mailed
- ring wrestling (I have no idea…)
- gordons beer (ah yes, my really old beer reviews)
- scotch gordon beer
Blogging (and similarly facebook, twitter, all of that jazz) is by it’s very nature insubstantial. I am constantly being reminded that if I want to grow, if I want to deepen my understanding of a subject, then the solution is to get hold of some decent books and read, and open my Bible up and study. Reading a blog post is good for stirring up thoughts and ideas to be chewed over later, it’s good for bringing a flash of insight into a Bible passage which you can dig into properly next week. It is never sufficient for actually growing in understanding.
A long time ago a friend stopped reading my livejournal (read: blog for angsty teenagers), and the reason she gave was simple “I am tired of reading about peoples emotional issues”. She was pretty wise, and I’m really glad she said that because it made me realise that I had been using a blog as a dumping ground for how bad I was feeling. Every time I felt a bit low, had a tough day or whatever (and I was a teenager so most of the time what I wrote about was pathetic!) it went on the blog and I felt a bit better.
Now I want to scream at myself for being so stupid! Airing a problem on the internet isn’t going to solve anything! Twittering that you just broke up with your boyfriend doesn’t do anything beyong maybe making some people feel sorry for you. Blogging about how tough work was today has no lasting impact beyong you feeling better because now everyone knows how hard your job is. The internet as an emotional dumping ground is completely useless because it gives the illusion of helping without actually changing anything.
We are suppose to work out our problems in relationship and community with the people around us. For this reason the internet is poisonous, because it looks and feels like a community, but it doesn’t actually offer the tangible help that people need. The next time I twitter/facebook/blog about a problem I have, please give me a slap and tell me to go and talk to someone in the real world!