Christian Blogs. Todays subject for my pontification.
I read a lot of blogs by Christians and I know a lot of Christians who blog. As you may or not know some friends and I run the Wibsite, essentially a community of over a hundred bloggers, most from the UK and most would describe themselves as Christian, but not all. We’ll be celebrating our third anniversary of Wiblog blogging this summer, though we’ve been blogging on the Wibsite for a bit longer than that via our ‘this just in’ column. The Wibsite has also made an attempt to encourage Christian bloggers to intermingle via our Greenbelt Bloggers gathering which I hope we can repeat this year.
Often I /we have thought to ourselves “wouldn’t it be great to have a website to bring all the great and marvellous Christian bloggers together”. Well, yes, it would. And so, ages and ages ago we made an ‘aggregator’ site, which brings lots of ‘latest posts’ by bloggers together, not just our Wibloggers but other Christian bloggers as well. For one reason or another this has never been launched publicly, not least because there is a considerable grey area in terms of whether it is right to post other people’s blog headlines / excerpts without their permission.
A small kerfuffle along these lines is breaking out in the Christian blog community as we speak. A list called the Blogdom of God is about to relaunch or somesuch. A blogger called Bene Diction who I’ve read for a few years now isn’t too happy about it, and to be honest I agree. Here’s why:
1. The Blogdom of God is all about getting improved rankings at a list site called ‘The Truth Laid Bear’. The Truth Laid Bear’ is a list which ranks blogs in terms of how many other blogs link to them. It is dominated by male right wing American political bloggers (or those who fall into 3 out of those 4 categories) who all link to each other, and as such is a complete irrelevance to most bloggers I know, especially Christian blogs here in the UK.
1a. It’s about power. Getting higher up the list. Gaining more influence. Unfortunately, it’s when the the church / Christians try to get power and influence that things tend to go horribly wrong. I’m sure we can all think of many examples over the course of history and indeed today. [Aside: this is a totally different thing altogether.]
2. Putting other people’s content on a list without their permission is morally dubious. Adding someone to a list is ok I think as long as that is all it is, a list of links.
3. While I’m on a roll, I really really dislike the term ‘God blog’. It makes us sound wierd, which a lot of Christian bloggers are, but that’s not the point.
4. The whole thing is run by one person, a chap named Adrian who I’m sure is a very nice fellow. But at the end of the day I don’t think that a one man show is the way to go on a ‘Christian bloggers together’ project.
A list or website to link up Christian blogs out there, especially (from my point of view) the ones from the UK is a good idea. But I just don’t think this is the way to do it. It should be collaborative, opt in and unrelated to climbing lists or gaining rankings.