I think the Quaker blogosphere is getting kind of overwhelming.
I remember when I started, there were about a dozen or so of us (Martin, Rich, Amanda, Rob, Lorcan, beppe, Pam, Liz, etc.), and we mostly all were familiar with each other, and it was possible to keep up on everyone’s blogs. Now, I think there’s thirty or forty and counting. Which might not sound like a lot, but it’s more than anyone can reasonably keep up with.
- What gets posted does not always seem “well seasoned”. Of course, this isn’t meeting for worship, so we should feel free to relax – and “half-baked” is practically the norm in the blog genre anyway. But I think we might benefit from holding our tongue a little bit more often, and asking whether we are adding to the Quaker conversation or creating noise and distraction. I probably do the latter as much as anyone else. Along roughly similar lines, I’m reminded of what Martin said on a beppepodcast once about how if he were following normal blog conventions he’d have several posts about Cheney’s hunting accident up already, but that he doesn’t feel truly led when he does that sort of thing.
- The blog format lends itself to individualism, if not narcissism. Perhaps there’s a bit of irony in the fact that the “Quaker blogfather” goes by the alias “Quaker Ranter.” (I’m in no way suggesting, BTW, that Martin’s blog itself is particularly affected by this tendency.) How might we counter this? By collaborating into group blogs? By starting an old-fashioned forum? I have a domain now at which I am happy to host new projects of this sort.
I have begun to feel more in unity with the spirit of Lorcan’s suggestion a month or so ago for a blogging Faith & Practice, though I was very against it the first time I heard it – not a real F&P, as if blogging was a replacement for real world meeting, but some sort of ‘online gospel order’ to help us navigate this new territory as Friends, and not just follow the conventions already set by the non-Quaker online world. Maybe some queries, on the various pitfalls and joys of Quaker bloggery, might scratch all these itches at once?