A few weeks ago, Eddie Arthur tagged me with a meme on how blogging has changed my life. This is the first meme I’ve been tagged with in my ten months of blogging, so for some reason I’m not as quick to dismiss it as I always thought I would be. I never have anything profound to say, and this time is no exception, so I’ve sat on this post for a couple of weeks now.
Let me begin with a quote from my wife, Christi:
If you journal in a notebook with pen and paper, everyone commends you for being spiritual. If instead, you blog in a more communal way, you are wasting time. 🙂
Has having a blog changed my life? :
- Like many others, I have “met” some great people in the blogosphere. Then again, I was already following most of their blogs. The only post-blogging difference is that now my name might sound vaguely familiar to some of them. On the other hand, there are some wonderful people I’ve met only through comments they’ve left on the blog or e-mails they have sent me personally.
- After reading the blog, a few people have looked me up here in Kenya. Since they already “know” me through the blog, I haven’t had to give my background story; we can cut right to my “interview” of them – far more interesting.
- The blog has provided a venue for some of my friend’s ideas and experiences to be enjoyed by a wider audience – by far my best posts (for example):
- Why missionaries quit: Intro 1) finances 2) interpersonal issues 3) marriage 4) culture shock (Patrick)
- Culture Shock: 1) Intro, 2) responses; 3) indicators, 4) stages, 5) what to do (Joyce)
- African ancestors Part 1 & Part 2 (Andy)
- Stories: How can you possible study when . . . ? (Phoebe), A midnight rescue (Richard), Locked up in a Kenyan jail (Samy)
- During our recent stay at Tyndale House, my friends enjoyed telling me what to blog about (see the month of September), and laughing about things they hoped wouldn’t appear in the blog (you’ll never know 😉
- Blogging has helped me find my voice. (Or have I simply become more obnoxious?) I’m a lot more willing to put my unformed ideas out there more quickly (see below), and I haven’t hidden my own views as much as I originally expected.
- Blogging has probably helped me think about what might be my niche. If I’m not mistaken, people most appreciate when I try to bridge Western and African theologies and worldviews. Am I right here? This is what I enjoy, and it is likely to be where I my post-doctoral career takes me.
- Blogging has helped me with some of my perfectionist tendencies. Some things you just have to get out there. (In the blogging world, timing can be everything.) Sure, the post would have been a whole lot better with a few hours more editing, but . . .
- Blogging has helped me track how quickly my tastes and interests can change.
- I’ve been surprised at some of the places people visit from – e.g. Egypt, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Kuwait, Yemen, and India.
- Blogging has shown me that blog statistics are meaningless. My most popular posts statistically are more or less meaningless: snow in Kenya, an out-of-character sarcastic rant on an article by a certain seminary president, and Kenyan cartoons about Obama.
- Blogging has spared the inbox of many a friend. They can read my family updates if they want to, not because an unwanted e-mail showed up in their inbox.
- Blogging has been fun.
- I’m most happy when someone says, “I found X on your blog, and I [enjoyed it, it helped me with . . ., it made me think about, it led me to . . . ]
- Blogging makes me wish I didn’t have writing deadlines and had a lot more time.
Speaking of blogging, sometimes I leave a tab open in my browser for days – through several cycles of laptop sleep – hoping that I will eventually get a down moment to simply enjoy it at my leisure. Recently, Ben Myers (Faith and Theology) rewarded this practice and put a smile on my face. (I was riding the bus to Heathrow airport, when I finally got around to reading it.)
. . . 5. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the Holy Scriptures. No one cares whether you’re infallible and inerrant. You can change your mind as often as you like – sometimes, you can change it two or three times in a single post. . .
. . . 8. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a university. No one expects your posts to be the product of years of careful reflection. The purpose of blogging is to express hasty, half-formed opinions, and to eliminate the customary time lapse between thinking and publishing. . .
Thanks Ben. Read the rest of his (non) commandments at The (new) ten commandments for bloggers:
I tag – all people I’ve “met” through their blogs.
- Jim West, because he loves memes (likens them to satanic torture), and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make him jump with glee. It might also have the therapeutic effect of taking his mind off politics, the election, the economic crisis, and the other forms of human depravities he tends to obsess about. I love to see him rant about how he totally ignores memes. ;-).
- David Ker (Lingamish), because I was surprised that he hadn’t posted any results from yet, and I don’t want him to feel left out – especially since he loves to blog about blogging so much (despite rule #3). Also, it might give him an opportunity to say something of substance instead of posting about the latest wiz-bang gadget to impress us with – (or disimpress us like tutus). [UPDATE: see comment below. I tried to be mean, I really did.]
- Brad Wright – because he is one of the greatest guys I’ve met in the blogosphere.
- Celucien Joseph Christ, My Righteousness – because he seems like another really great guy, and I’m guessing that he might say something profound.
- What an African woman thinks – because I’d love to goad her into blogging more. (Believe it or not, I once sat in the same room with her long before I knew she had a blog.)
- Wow, that actually makes 5, so let me add any of you who have blogs are reading this, and think it would be interesting to reflect on how blogging has changed you.
Here are the “anti-rules”, which you are welcome to break – see rule 5.
- Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
- link back to the person who tagged you (Skip it: I read all your posts anyway, and I could care less about my Technorati rating).
- link back to this parent post (L.L. Barkat is not so much interested in generating links as in tracking the meme so she can do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries. UPDATE: I’ve procrastinated long enough that the results are now at: blogging good for the heart, brain and pocket book.)
- tag a few friends or five, or none at all (only if you feel like it)
- post these rules— or just have fun breaking them