Sunday, June 24, 2007

What is a blog?


Why blog?

I'm a little confused.

I recently looked up the Webster's definition of blog, and here's what it said:

The term was coined in 1999, and today Webster’s dictionary defines a blog as a “diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page.” More importantly, it says that blogs are “typically updated daily” and that “blogs often reflect the personality of the author.”

This was what I've always thought blogs were for, exactly as Webster's defines it. Most blogs I read fit this description. They are a diary - sometimes the daily happenings of a person, a pastor chronicling the "story" of their church, and most if not all reflect the unique personality of the writer. Even when a person is giving a devotional, sharing spiritual insight or knowledge from their secular job, they do so with the flair of their personality and give personal illustrations that hook the reader to keep coming back for more. Blogs give you insight about someone and allow you to get to know them better.

There are a few blogs that I read everyday of which I have never met the blogger and probably never will. I have never even commented most of them and am a silent reader. However I feel like I "know" them based on reading what they write each day. I could probably call them on the phone and have an entire conversation about their week or month and totally fit in without skipping a beat because I have been keeping up on their day to day life. I know some people view mine that way too because they email me about what I write, and act as if we are long lost friends! My point is - blogging is something that gives you a sort of "insider track" with where people are at in their life, what they are thinking, where they are headed.

Today I read the blog of someone who has always been described as a very closed person. Not personal at all, not relational, very standoffish, quite frankly. Although not relational, they like to appear trendy and with the latest greatest thing that's going on. Well, we all know, cool people have blogs. :-)

So, they now have a blog. Whippy doo da. They can now also join the ranks of those who have an IPOD, a MySpace, a Facebook, and do yoga. (You know, there's Christian yoga now, although I'm not into it...guess I'm not that cool.) When I read their blog, I had to laugh at the fact that it was completely devoid of anything personal. It is nothing but "information" or rather "bible knowledge" accumulated in study. There was not a smack of anything warm and personal about it other than their photo. The blog gave no insight into their feelings, opinion, what makes them mad, sad, glad or anything else. You sense no personality coming out of this thing, rather simply their subject of study. I thought to myself - if I wanted that, I'd read the encyclopedia, Bible commentaries, a Bible concordance, Sermon Central or Google.

I just found it humorous that while they want to be relevant enough to blog, they continue to live a life with a heart unopened. Theirs has to be a very lonely heart.

I am a "pneuma blogger" which means I'm part of a wonderful group of charasmatic bloggers, brought together online by the honorable Rich Tatum. :-) I think Rich is really cool by the way. Every day I go through a read most of what's written by the pneuma bloggers. I find the majority of it to be really fascinating. They are addicting blogs, or "viral blogs" as they are known. When someone does share great spiritual insight, I am often drawn back to it not because of the depth of bible knowledge they have but rather the illustrations they gave in how the Word has affected them personally, their family, their church. I enjoy getting to know the writer's personality and their loves, their losses, their dreams, hopes, among many other things. I even enjoy hearing about their kid's birthday party or their trip to the beach.

I enjoy reading blogs of tons of people I've never met because the way they communicate is to REAL and INTIMATE. Sometimes those things they share draw me back to hear what God just spoke to them about the book of Isaiah as they were studying it this week. I have caught the 'virus' and find myself going back once more to read about someone's highs or lows, and relate to what they are saying so many times because - it's real life and what I go through too. It's the same reason most people are drawn to the Psalms - because of David's realness, and his godliness at the same time.

I don't know why I'm sharing this other than to say - there are some ministers that are very closed, not just to church people (which to a degree I understand their fear with that) but they seem to be closed to anyone and everyone else, even in giving the slightest tidbit of personal feeling behind what they teach.

All I can think of is..............how sad. Not only are others missing out on getting to know more of the 'real' person behind the teaching, but they are missing out on truly sharing the real them, and their journey with others.

2 comments:

Rich Tatum said...

Hey, Deanna! Thanks so much for calling me both honorable and cool in the same breath! Or, more literally, within the same handful of keystrokes.

I really appreciate it. Thanks for the links, too. I think Pneumabloggers are cool, and I try to link to only the best.

Glad to have you on board!

Rich
BlogRodent

Rich Tatum said...

Oh, by the way, you might enjoy my entry on fellow PneumaBlogger Julie Neidlinger and the art of blogging well:

Why Julie Blogs: On writers, writing, and blogging well

Rich
BlogRodent