Monday, April 25, 2005

Another Dead Link...

Recently I've gone through a spate of blogs that I follow - in different ways - drop off and die. Either a little red exclamation mark pops up by their blog entry on my RSS reader, or in-activity spells the end, or simply there is nothing left to say.

Sometimes it is connected to a shift I've noticed in blog culture - a shift in emphasis from a blogging for "me" (personal thoughts and reflection) to a more blogging for "you" (an obligation to say something because people visit this site!). With this shift - unless it is particularly resourceful to my context - the blog dies as its intimacy wanes.

As I watch these blogs die I feel a sense of loss. Reading and being stretched by someone's thoughts and reflections sometimes from a completely different angle on life and theology has done me good. Finding people who are stimulating through their outlook on life, their understanding of God and church has encouraged me. When they are no longer there - it seems sad.

As I read their obituaries of why they no longer blog - I remind myself why I blog. I go back to my first blog and remember it is essentially for me, no one else, I write for me. I try not to write in order to influence or to impress. I write because I want to be able to look over my shoulders and look at the footprints of my journey as I reflect on mission. I write to stretch myself through my reflections. I write because I don't want to lose the lessons I am learning. I write to get things off my chest, to vent my feelings. I write for me.

It's great to have made good ' bloggy' friends - to have been challenged and comforted by those who have stumbled into URBANarmy and have taken time to comment. It's good to walk with people and to chat things over! But I blog for me.

Selfish?

But I am sure blogging for others would wear me out, grind me down and would steal the joy I have in keeping the lessons I learn alive.

7 comments:

Captain Andrew Clark said...

True Gordon...when I found that some of my LO's were reading I started to pause and think about what I was saying as opposed to saying what I was really thinking and feeling...but I got over that. I think the realities of ministry is that for us there are raw issues and there are thought processes that have to go throught the mind and I find it incredibily helpful to vent them with that possibility that someone will comment and add a different angle.

My other reason for blogging was also to let people know what was happeneing with us, so there was always that element of 'informatio sharing' in my ideas too. I hope it is not presumptios to presume that people might be blessed hearing f God moving ina different way and a different place through a 'different' kinda person.

It is a shame when people can't keep up the stamina in blogging...its a good discipline to try and make a regular job of it.

Well, thanks for blogging...lets keep hearing the real Gordon ;o)

Kathryn said...

Just to agree, really....I blog for me quite definitely. In some ways, the blog has replaced my year group at vicar school, who were my primary resource for reflection and theological exchange. I'd be much poorer without it, and indeed am currently having to write an essay for the bishop on the first year of curating, and have been startled by just how useful the blog has been along the way.
Hugely value the blog friends I've made and whom I visit most days...yourself among them.

So I Go said...

blog on you selfish Brit.. don't change a thing! i'm glad you do it for yourself. it really has to be that way for us to see Christ magnified through you. it's just the way it's got to be..

blessings from across the Atlantic.

Gordon said...

Kathryn - it has been helpful to me in that way as well. I lecture in mission studies from time to time and the blogging discipline has bailed me out as I try and paint a picture of mission in action.

The whole community feel is great as well making friends through it all has been a benefit I didn't expect.

Andrew - I only have a couple of people from teh church pop by - so I don't get the same issue - I certainly enjoy seeing what you are raving about!! :o)

Jeff - thanks for your encouragement and blessings.

Listeningear said...

Gordon,

I have been very blessed by reading your personal reflections of life in ministry much of it strikes a similar cord and some days it encourages me that others have the same battles and inspirations.

Keep it up and thanks for the blessings.

Glenda

Helen said...

I was hopelessly starting and ending blog after blog until I read this post, which made me see the light.

Thank you!

Gordon said...

Helen - I'm glad it helped