Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category
Today is the fifth anniversary of this blog. There have been 600+ posts, over 5,000 comments, 99,472 unique visitors and 169,206 page views. I don’t have exact post and comment numbers because I lost a lot of stuff in the great blog crash of December 2007. Akismet has also stopped 135,348 spam comments from being posted.
At the time I started blogging my objective was simple. I wanted to force myself to articulate in writing what I had learned in my long spiritual journey about who we are called to be. I never really expected anyone to read my posts. The fact is, I was petrified that someone would leave flaming comments pointing out the errors in my theology. I sat fearing the arrival of those first comments.
It never happened. In fact, I soon learned that there was a whole bunch of other people thinking about, struggling with, and conversing on the same questions, concerns, and interests. My understanding has grown so much and been greatly refined from the interaction with this wonderful gracious group of people, for which I’m deeply appreciative and thankful.
And it was also a revelation to discover that this stuff had a name — missional. Call me strange, but for me there was something liberating and comforting in knowing it had a label.
I have to say that the greatest joy of this five year blogging journey has been all the friends and acquaintances I’ve made. You are irreplaceable and my life is so much richer because of you! Thank you all.
110 spam comments yesterday and 79 so far today. Thank God for Akismet. Nothing gets pass this WordPress comment tool.
02-17-2010: 206 spam comments today. I have one popular blog.
It’s good to be back at this blogs keyboard. I’ve missed the interaction, contact and exchange of ideas fostered here. It is also good to see the blog come back to life as demonstrated by unique visits and page views.
I am getting back to my community work also. Just finished a bird inventory for Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services for our property and the neighboring wetlands. Will be discussing some other project later this spring. I’ve been doing some limited volunteer work at the Rogerson Clematis Collection and botanic garden (where I’ve volunteered weekly for over seven years), but will be back on a weekly schedule come March 1st. Not been involved with the homeless since the accident and looking to see how He might move me back into this area. Community garden is on the back burner.
I’ve got a couple of opportunities in our faith community, including some teaching (which excites me), that I’m praying about. Also started two weeks ago helping a twenty-something grow spiritually as he attempts to say clean and sober. He wants to learn how to study the bible, so we are focusing on that topic for now. As soon as the rains lighten up I’ll be back prayer walking the greater neighborhood. Speaking of neighborhood, we are making a renewed effort at getting to know some of our newest neighbors. My wife started it at Christmas by baking a dozen loafs of Banana bread and hand delivering them. It was a big hit.
Looking forward to a productive and stimulating 2010. And as I say now when friends greet me with, “It’s good to see you,” “It’s good to be seen.”
I’ve long wanted to clean up this blog and move towards a minimalist theme. Maybe it’s a reflection of my fondness for Philip Glass (The Photographer is playing in the background as I write this) or just a desire for something simpler. I started to work on a redesign in the weeks leading up to my June accident, but for obvious reasons didn’t get it completed.
So, having time available and as part of my goal to get back to blogging in 2010, I worked the site over today between football games. The biggest challenge was finding an existing free theme that I could work with and would run under the latest version of WordPress. After some searching, I came across one called the Nice Wee Theme. Clean and simple. Then it was just a matter creating graphics using the work of Steve Erspamer, SM, who is a Marianist bother living in St. Louis, Missouri. Tweaking the sidebar was next and took a little code modification.
Got a couple of additional things to address like RSS and Twitter feeds, but all n’ all, I’m liking how it has turned out. Hope you do also.
It all started with Dan Kimball asking a â€œQuestion About Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Mission.â€ He raises an important issue when he queries, â€œSo do the hours we can spend on blogs, twitter, Facebook and even reading about missional thingsÂ on blogs take away too much from the time that we could actually be on mission and spending with people in real life?â€ Dan has a way of getting the blogosphereÂ buzzing doesnâ€™t he.
The discussion was then picked up at Missional Tribe with Raffiâ€™s post â€œDan Kimballâ€™s Question to Missional Tribe.â€ You will find some thoughtful and helpful comments including one from Dan. Go over and join in. It is a discussion worth having.
Ben Wheatley also steps in with “A Church for Nerds.” A good post where he defends the Nerd.
Finally, Grace has a few words on the subject here.
Downloaded Google Chrome today. This is Google’s new web browser and my first impression is good. Seems faster than Firefox and I like the simple clean approach.
A couple of things I like:
- When you open a new tab, you are presented with your most popular sites (see screen shot below).
- You can drag a tab off the screen and it will open that tab as a new window. Very cool.
And at least one thing I know I don’t like: Underlining of links is enabled and you can’t change it. I don’t like links underlined and it’s annoying that I can’t change that default.
Brother Maynard has a good idea. He is interested in finding under-rated, under-appreciated, or under-valued emerging/missional blogs. He has started a list and asks that we add a couple of names. I’ve picked up the latest list and added the last four names.
- Emerging Grace
- Nathan Colquhoun
- John Smulo
- Todd Hiestand
- Chuck Warnock
- John Lunt
- Webb Kline
- Mark Wilson
- Rick Meigs
- Brother Maynard
- Glenn Hager
- Paul Mayers
- Jamie Swann
- Paul Walker
- Jerry Frear
- Phil Wyman
- Rainer Halonen
- Matt Stone
- Erika Haub
- John Santic
- Colin Lamm
- Julie Clawson
To participate, copy this list into a new post on your own blog, and add the names you have to the bottom of the list, and encourage others to do the same. It could get fairly long, but that’s part of the point — helping us all discover those undervalued blog’s profile. Include these instructions with your post. When you’ve done that, leave a comment at Brother Maynard’s blog so he can keep track of who ends up participating.
JJ has a really nice discussion going on about â€œBlog Rollingâ€ that is about how one decides who gets added to your blogroll.
Rick Warrenâ€™s Ministry Toolbox is doing a short Christian Blogger Survey. The deadline is January 31st if you want to participate.
Andrew Jones (aka Tallskinnykiwi) always has good stuff on blogging including â€œBeware the Blogosphere: Here Be Dragons!â€
About three weeks ago I added the Snap preview tool to the blog. I like it and it seems to be spreading. What it does is pop-up a preview window of a blog or website when you place your cursor over any link. Check it out here.
Finally, here is a pre-meltdown post I did back in November on the “weighty” question of successful blogging.
Donâ€™t ask me why, but the other day I got to thinking about what makes a successful blog. This isnâ€™t the type of stuff I usually let linger, but this time I did. Must have needed a distraction.
As usual with such â€œweighty questions,â€ I did a Google search, this time on â€œsuccessful blog.â€ It took Google 0.11 seconds to return 611,000 results.
Almost all the initial entries contained tips and recommendations on how to get people to read your blog. It was good stuff, but for them, success is about unique visitors and page views. Thatâ€™s not my measure success, so I figured I must be asking the wrong question.
New question: How do I evaluate whether my blogging is successful?
I usually evaluate things like this by asking yes/no questions. As long as I can answer the questions with a yes, I keep moving forward. Once â€œnoâ€ answers begin to appear, it becomes time to reevaluate the enterprise.
Here is the set of questions I just created to help answer my new question. Maybe they will help you also.
- Do I believe I have something worthwhile to contribute or say?
- Do I enjoy the creative process of writing and posting blog entries?
- Do ideas for new blog posts come easily?
- Do I look forward to the dialog with those who comment?
- Am I growing the network of people I can easily send an email to ask a question or discuss a topic?
- Am I learning from others as they respond to the my posts and the comments of others?
- Does the process of writing blog entries and the interaction with those who read the blog drive me to the Word for my understanding?
- Does the Father seem to use the blog posts to encourage and challenge others without creating condemnation?
- Do I write blog entries in such a way that his name would not be dishonored?
- Do I keep the time required to blog in proper balance with my other life joys and duties?
- Do I consider blog journaling an important part of my spiritual journey?
- Am I able to openly share my own faith journey?
What do you think? Got any suggestions, corrections, additions or comments?