How blogging has tweaked my life?

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? :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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):
  4. 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 😉
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 . . .
  8. Blogging has helped me track how quickly my tastes and interests can change.
  9. I’ve been surprised at some of the places people visit from – e.g. Egypt, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Kuwait, Yemen, and India.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Blogging has been fun.
  13. 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 . . . ]
  14. 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.)

The (new) ten commandments for bloggers:

. . . 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.

  1. 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. ;-).
  2. 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.]
  3. Brad Wright – because he is one of the greatest guys I’ve met in the blogosphere.
  4. Celucien Joseph Christ, My Righteousness – because he seems like another really great guy, and I’m guessing that he might say something profound.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.

  1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.)
  4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all (only if you feel like it)
  5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them
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12 thoughts on “How blogging has tweaked my life?

  1. David Ker says:

    Well, if I were one of the greatest guys you’d met through blogging I might reply…

  2. Jim says:

    i almost feel bad for david. what a slight. what an insult. how can he go on….

    😉

  3. David Ker says:

    BTW the despair.com site is wickedly funny.

  4. L.L. Barkat says:

    Oh! I love that quote from your wife. And I’ll say, the article on blogging “being good for the brain” has something to say about the communal aspect of blogging.

    You made me smile with a lot of these observations, so I’m glad you played along. Even at this late hour. (And that was never against the rules. : )

  5. David Ker says:

    And yes you’re right on #6 and your wife is right on journaling. Same thing with TV if you stare at TV for hours you’re normal, but if you stare at your laptop for hours you’re a deviant.

  6. Ben says:

    OK, OK, I recant. As much as I try to be mean as a way of throwing a few extra silly looks David’s way, the better part of my conscience eventually gets the better of me. While I admit that I did hesitate for a few months to add silly Lingamish to my blogroll (David does have other more “serious” blogs), our geographical proximity is only the first sign that we share a lot more commonalities than I’m sure he’d ever care to admit.

  7. Ben says:

    LL, thanks for starting this in the spirit that you did. You (and Eddie) gave me a good excuse to actually work through some thoughts that had been rumbling around in my head for a while.

  8. David Ker says:

    You hesitated for months!??!? I put you on the first time I read a single phrase of your carefully crafted prose. Hmmm… I better go see if you’re still on there…

  9. R says:

    Oh my. We did? Sit in the same room once? Did I behave? Was I good?

    This is an interesting meme. I’ll think about it and post something.

    And, I think I’m back to blogging. I really do.

  10. R says:

    Scratch that. I just caught up on your blog and got a clue. I now know when.

    How interesting.

    How itsy bitsy is the world, in the end.

  11. Ben says:

    David, the writing was beautiful; the guy was great, but . . . I was young, nervous, and . . . confused about the genre. If it’s any consolation, I hesitated a long time on West and Tilling too – even though they are clearly advertised as biblical studies blogs, which I thought that was going to be my focus.

  12. Ben says:

    R, I’m glad to hear you are back to blogging. When you are gone, you are missed by many.

    BTW, Jackie’s the one that blew your cover.

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