… in a post-blogging world.
They dawned with the turn of the century: web-logs, or blogs as we know them. Within the first few years, everyone with anything to say had one. For me it all started with our 2005 trip to Namibia. Anyone remember this blog? (Caution, if you watch any of the videos you may need tissues.) I was amazed at how our team’s experience on the other side of the world could be communicated in real time with our loved ones at home, and that they could comment and communicate back to us. When I returned home and saw the effect it had on those here who were literally staying up around the clock to see our posts, I was sold on blogging.
Interactive Sermon was born. It started off very simple, sort of like the pastor’s journal for everyone to read–a glimpse into the world inside my head. It migrated a few times over the next several years, from platform to platform, receiving a handful of facelifts and tweaks with each one. In its heyday, I was very proud of the conversation. I refer to it that way for a reason–it was a dialogue, both online and off. Thousands of posts, hundreds of thousands of views and then one day it dried up. Well, not it really, but me. Blogging, in general. It had become a post-blogging world.
Oh sure, blogs still exist. But the sort of dialogue they once were has morphed into more of a micro-blogging form. Those who blogged in the early days and still blog today realize the shift. The biggest change took place in the conversational part. Because bloggers had begun linking their posts from social media platforms, much of the commenting and back-and-forth moved ‘off site.’ Instead of commenting on the blog, folks began to comment via Facebook or Twitter. Great. But it diminished the dialogue–the thousands who frequented the blog weren’t all connected via FB and Twitter. Social media and micro-platforms have made the bloggings of old a much narrower media for sure. But that just means that those who blog today need to be more sharply focused.
When I put Interactive Sermon to rest eighteen months ago it was the right thing for me to do. I moved my digital communication efforts into micro-format, and now enjoy great digi-dialogue there. But of late I’ve been craving a broader page. Should I return to blogging? If so, I’d need to sharpen the focus. And I’d also need to be aware that the Interactive Sermon community and conversation has disbanded. Truth be told, that conversation had ended for me. Interactive Sermon had more to do with my ‘day job’ as a pastor. A new community and conversation I am a part of has to do with my ‘after hours’ life, where I am a writer. Sure, I write as a part of my pastoral ministry, but understand what I’m saying: my return to blogging is more about my writing life than my pastoral ministry.
I imagine some of my old Interactive Sermon community will come back around. These are my dear friends and family members who love me enough to join me in anything I’m up to. Others of that community may look in and see that this is a different conversation and move on. Thank you. I appreciate your having shared the I.S. journey with me. I’ll hope to see you again up the road. But I expect that those who will subscribe and or otherwise regularly check in here will appreciate the new flavor. If that includes you, WELCOME! And thank you.
I once again hope to share a glimpse of the world inside my head–this time where writing is concerned. I hope to pass on some thought provocation and resources for writers and dreamers. I plan to indulge myself by suffering you through excerpts and gleanings of my writing. And I hope to eventually share some of your writing, here, too. Oh, you might catch a sniff of a sermon every now and then, as some of my writing is of the non-fiction (read: Have you met Jesus?) genre. But you’ll also meet an interesting cast of characters here, most the likes of whom you won’t meet in church on Sundays.
So the hiatus is over. I’m wading back in. Who’s with me?
Do you still blog? Tell me about your blog experience over the years? Has it changed for you? Have you changed?