Monday, October 02, 2006

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

My "Other Blogs" sidebar used to be full of some of the most thought-provoking blogs dealing with religion on the Internet (of course, I'm biased). However, many of them, for various reasons, have all but ceased to operate.

Habakkuk's Watchpost, one the most interesting blog, has not had a "serious" post since the second part of Kyle's August 25 response to this article on homosexuality and the church by UM bishop Timothy W. Whitaker. Tyler Simons, long the most prolific contributor to the Watchpost, hasn't posted anything since this delicious bit of silliness from August 16. He hasn't posted a "serious" piece since this quote from August 15, and he hasn't posted an extended piece since this warning about an impending American theocracy on July 26.

Is it safe to say that the Habakkuk's Watchpost - quite possibly my favorite place on the Web - is dead?

Meanwhile, other blogs have also been drying up. Brian Cubbage's delightful Lost on Twin Earth, for instance, hasn't had a post since August 15, and that single post came after a long period of declared "Blog Silence."

And even here at my Sanctuary, while I've been trucking out some posts, there just haven't been the discussions that I'm used to. I don't know if that is because people aren't reading my work anymore, or just because it takes more time and energy than anyone has left to engage in the kinds of Internet discussions that we used to have.

Simply put, life intervenes, and the blogosphere may not be the best place to find spiritual enrichment in a life which is becoming increasingly taxed for time. I know that I haven't had the time or the energy to pour myself into my posts like I used to. So the question I have, for anyone left reading this, is this: Is it worth it? Is it worth our time and energy to continue writing thought-provoking posts and then discussing them?

Frankly I've been thinking about calling it quits. I doubt that I really would, because I write compulsively, and some of it just demands to be released to the world, whether the world wants it or not. But as I deal with my daily stressors while preparing to hopefully start back to school to pursue a career in academia, it gets harder and harder to come up with interesting things to say here. And without the discussions which fuel my drive to write for this blog, it grows less and less rewarding.

I see other bloggers recognizing the limitations of this format and shifting their efforts to other forms of communication. Especially since I will be preaching twice this month, it is increasingly tempting for me to do the same.


Liam said...

Chris, don't quit! You may have to write less or write shorter posts, but I think you can still provide a lot of thought-provoking ideas to all of us.

We all go through cycles. Sometimes I can't not blog, since I feel the need to get out something that is weighing on me. More often, I don't have time. I do, however, try to keep the flame somewhat alive.

Perhaps you have to redefine your relationship to your blog, but it would be a shame to see it disappear altogether.

Brian Cubbage said...

I second Liam's advice not to quit. My own blog silence has nothing to do with any inherent loss of interest in blogging, and my relative lack of comments here and at other blogs also does not signify a loss of interest. I am quite simply swamped, and I don't envision the situation markedly improving in the near future. I will soon be undertaking a serious academic job search, and anyone who has done one or seen one up close recognizes that it's a major time-eater. I don't really anticipate really being able to do much in the way of blogging until after Christmas.

So to the extent that my absence has contributed to your sense that blogging just ain't what it used to be, I am truly sorry. However, I certainly don't mean for my lower profile to indicate any general call for all of us to desert the blogosphere.

Troy said...


I have felt all that you write here. I haven't been to any blogs, hardly mine, in two weeks, but it's been work, mostly, and family. 'Real life.'

Still, I hope you keep doing something here. Writing and reading matter. And blogs let those of who practice this who are a long way from, if ever, writing a book, maybe teaching college classes in the subjects we blog about. Think of your favorite author. Now imagine if he or she had blogged during the three years (or whatever) it took to write one of the major books. All those ideas bouncing around, shifting and growing. Something happens here, and is archived, which doesn't happen in books as they are finished products, and blog lets anyone play.

Is this deep intimacy? Nope. A classroom kind of energy even? Nope. But it is something. I try to balance it with real life as much as I can. But our friendship, blog-challenged as it is, is built on blog!

I hope you don't quit Chris. I know most of my old friends have 'fallen away' from blogdom, and that used to be a very supportive group.

I'm pretty sure I've come to the place where I don't plan to ever quit. If I go back to grad school, I hope to still blog (even if it's less often; even it it's posting my papers!) If my faith gets weak, or strong, or whatever, I hope I still write about it.

Sorry I haven't been around here (or anywhere blog) much lately. Sometimes I take breaks. But I always come back.

Hope to still see you online. Your output always astounded me. The length and frequency of your posts are can always do less and still find me poking around in here. I'm kinda trying that. Less writing, more time spent on what I do post.

If you miss dialogue, you and I could even do some kind of post/counter post thing. Both write on the same topic at the same time or in response to one another. Who knows. Maybe we could draw in others? Or group blog?

To my wife, all this is work. She says blog looks like busy schoolwork without the credits. Somehow, I still get something special from it. My ideas come here to grow, and more than once I've felt heard at a fundamental level.


Tyler Simons said...

I'm still around. I've actually got a couple things I'm going to post soon. I want to do more church and theology and I really want to be less pissy.

I have really neat vacation bible school pictures!!

I was bothered by some of the tones I took during the General Convention.

I've missed y'all. If I had a more confessional blog, I'd have been talking about the things that stressed me out this summer, but I don't really like the tell-all blogs.

I've passed a kind of theological writer's block for the most part, so hopefully I'll get some constructive things up soon. Look for a response to some of reinhold niebuhr's misguided disses of Buddhism in the near future. Baby steps

That's an awful nice picture of your family in that there sidebar, strapso. You've got a mighty nice looking thing happening.

Amy said...

As someone whose posts have been infrequent from the beginning...
My question for you is whether you still enjoy the process. Are you writing because you're finding words you need to express, figuring out where you stand by articulating it, or are you writing in order to have an audience (or are you somewhere in between?) If it is the process of refining and producing and writing that appeals to you; if it is of value in and of itself; than I wouldn't let a lack of discussion hinder that. However, if you find that the audience is the key for you, than it's value is something only you can assess.
However frequently, or infrequently, you continue, I will be reading (and commenting, on the rare occasion that I feel I have something to add).