Not that I am the world's foremost blogging expert, but I wanted to share a few thoughts on the hazards of blogging, from where I sit. Which is in my office, because the air conditioner is out at my house. And I read James 1:2 this morning about considering it joy when you have trials, and realized that none of James's readers had A/C in the first place, but were facing trials like family abandonment and death. So, lack of A/C is annoying, but it's not really even a trial. Want a trial? Click over to Voice of the Martyrs and pick a prayer request.
The following list is for bloggers like myself, that don't have widespread following or national renown. People like the Teampyro guys, Frank Turk, or other long-term part-time bloggers have different hazards. So do people with big names that have blogs, like Thom Rainer or Al Mohler. But there are hazards for the little people like me. And I want to share them. So, the hazards of blogging? In no particular order:
1. Assuming people actually read your blog. Yep. That's a hazard. Why? Well, I'm pastor of a nice little church here in Monticello, Arkansas. I have 3 messages and 1 lesson to prepare every week, and a church to lead. I also blog. I have, sometimes, blogged about something and then assumed that people in my church were aware of what I had said. Guess what? They weren't. I have found myself assuming people knew what I meant when I referred to my blog. And then I learned something. All those stats that showed visitors with local IP addresses? Not my church members. So, I have learned to put time into most of my blog posts, but that they cannot consume my time. Nor can they be considered equal to my other responsibilities. Blogging makes a great outlet for me to rant about denominational life or political situations, because then I can focus on the Word in church ministry. But, I have to realize I need to say somethings both on the blog and in person. In short, don't assume that people are reading your blog and know what you're talking about. This would even apply to greats of the blog world. Add in that, even as you gain fame on the net, you might not be recognized on sight. Many bloggers use pen names, but they don't introduce themselves by that name. Which is fine, but if you introduce yourself to me as, for example, Jules, I won't automatically know you're from Everyday Mommy.
2. Assuming nobody reads your blog. This also applies to your comments on other people's blogs. I will not forget getting an email from a prominent Arkansas Baptist about my comments on a controversial issue on a blog. I didn't realize my comments were being read or noticed, since nobody really interacted with them. I rarely get comments on my own blog. My stats stay low. But, somebody is going to read it eventually. Really. So, if you're ashamed of it, don't say it. And especially don't link it to Facebook.
3. Spending all your time blogging. Enough said. Unless you're getting paid for it, do your job, love your family. Then blog.
4. Spending no time blogging. Don't run off at the keyboard. Say something. Or leave it alone.
5. Being more firm on your blog than in person. If you are a, for example, a hard-core KJV-only, anti-Rick Warren, Dispensational Fundamentalist that wants to burn Southern Baptists for heresy on your blog, don't be nice to me at lunch.
6. Being squishy on your blog when you're firm in public. Have some integrity. Don't come 'love is everything' the net world, when you're not that way in public.
7. I defended somebody on this from debate blog, but seriously: spell check. And grammar. If you do things like the sentence fragment before, blend them with real sentences. And watch for the run-on sentences. It's not perfect formal writing, but for the love of @Carpe_Comma, get it closer to right. And use a browser with spell-checker, or type it in a word processor first.
8. Sharing inside jokes without explaining them. Just don't. Unless it's a cult film or internet meme. For example, "Inconceivable!" or, as I searched for a bush Saturday, "Ni!" are okay. Some people miss the jokes (Princess Bride, Monty Python), but they'll be alright. On the other hand, if you and 3 people are the only ones that get it, than either parenthetical an explanation or even just (well, me and boB are the only ones who know that).
There's my list for tonight. I need to get to VBS.
Looks like I forgot to post this! Thank you!
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