Is Blogging a Revolution?

Welcome back.

One hundred thousand blogs are added to the blogosphere per day, according to the home page of the “blogon 2005 Social Media Summit.”

Yahoo Inc. announced on Monday, the 10th of October, that “it will begin featuring the work of self published bloggers side by side with the work of professional journalists, leveling the distinction between the two.”

Blogging is beginning to enter the consciousness of mainstream America, but can we be so enthused as to call blogging a revolution? Probably not. While Blogging is not a revolution, it is becoming another tool, a means, towards a greater end — human connection and conversation on a global scale.

For me, this kind of connectivity and conversation provides another place for telling the greatest of all human stories: how and where the story of Jesus intersects with the story of us. Moreover, the blogosphere also provides an unprecedented opportunity for discovering, developing and deploying leaders to lead in the conversation of “what it means to be human” throughout the western world and beyond.

While blogging is not the revolution blogs can certainly be use by revolutionaries compelled to advance humanity. In the same way, though not everyone will blog, blogging is an emerging 21st century tool with potential we musn’t ignore.

What do you think?

into the mystic…

Alex McManus

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23 thoughts on “Is Blogging a Revolution?

  1. I’m definitly with you, Alex. God has laid so heavily on my heart the desire to be and grow more aware of the movement of the Spirit among his people on a national and global scale. Blogging and the connection that it brings is such a tool for that. There is nothing that compares to knowing that we are not alone in what we are living for, and that the things that we are becoming so aware of and moved to are being laid on others so far away. Seemingliy, it feels as though by chance that the relation is there. But then I realize that the same great Spirit that is here in me is in so many others and the truths and callings are the same. The Mystic Warriors unite. And it happens through the Spirit. Blogging has been a way to increase that awareness and it is empowering more than we know! We are moving in presence. Nate

  2. I avoided blogging for quite some time. And you are correct. I too have found blogging to be that…tool.

    It’s an newly-tapped potential for finding and communicating between other undercover agents.

  3. Alex

    I love reading how God is moving in the lives of people all across the world. I must say that I really think that blogging will revolutionize the way many people connect. I feel connected with many people who I have not met yet and who I might only meet in person after this life, but through blogging, I get to know them.

    Many of my friends in SA read our blog, and start asking questions that lead to great conversation about spirituality and Jesus. Blogging is a great tools and must be used to advance the Kingdom.

  4. Yeah, I definitely feel like it’s no accident that I’ve entered the world of blogging – particuarly in light of our working towards “posting a thread” next year. (Speaking of that, some non Christian friends of ours were saying that they’d like to help us get it started!) There are already a whole host of people who have been a real encouragement, sharpened our thinking etc, simply through the global connection that blogging brings.

  5. Blogging is quite an intriguing thing. As I read the posts of others, I discover writers that OUGHT to be writing for major publications due to their style and thought process. The only thing I caution against is getting absorbed in this “mystical” network to the point that we miss out on real life around us. Sure blogging is great as is sharing ideas and dreams, but if those ideas and dreams aren’t being made a reality, then all these letters and posts are for nothing. As we follow Christ’s example, we know He not only talked about big things, but DID big things. So, as we share triumphs, struggles, ideas, and dreams, let us not get so caught up in the World Wide Web that we miss the World Wide Mission around us. Grace and peace to you all, and keep on living and dreaming the image of a great and indescribable God!!

  6. The hardest part of all, with all the great blogs out there… is trying to decide who to read!

    I personally enjoy the God stories that you find on many blogs. That place where the blog isn’t just the place to post your ideas and dreams but to actually read the stories of them happening.

  7. Is blogging really distinct from “real life”? For those of us who grew up in the Internet age, it is an integral part of our lives. It’s not something we can turn off or turn on. It is the medium through which we interface with the rest of the world.

    We should not blog in order to escape reality. We blog because we want to engage reality. The blogosphere is just another realm of human reality that the Church needs to be a part of.

  8. I agree with that 100% that followers of Christ should make Him known even across the internet, but I also know there are dozens of face to face opportunities that await us at work, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop, etc. I’m saying that we need to be careful that our online endeavours don’t cause us to miss the opportunity to meet someone’s need that is DIRECTLY in front of us. I just know how easy it is to read other people’s accounts of Christ’s working; you could surf the internet all day and do that, meanwhile face to face encouters await. Even though people’s lives can be changed through the internet, how much more impacting is a physically tangible representation of Christ through YOUR life affecting anothers. That’s all I’m saying, so please try not to read too much into it. My heart’s desire is to see Christ made famous among the nations, that includes the internet, but it more importantly includes the lost that are, literally, everywhere I turn.

  9. Yup, I think we’re pretty much in agreement here. I would just be a bit hesitant to have such a strong distinction between “face to face” interactions and blog interactions. I see it more as a both-and type thing.

    For example, I just met someone new at church a few weeks ago and he mentioned he had a blog. I started reading his blog and now I know so much more about him than I would have otherwise. I’m not sure if he’ll ever come back to my church, but I stay connected to him through his blog.

    Or another example is that even when I meet people for the first time online, I think the power in blogging is for it to potentially create community. On Flickr, there are “groups” based on locality so that people in that city can discuss and even talk about getting together to go on photowalks.

    It’s this way that internet social networking (including blogging) can be leveraged for building real community that gets me excited.

  10. Nathan said: “Sure blogging is great as is sharing ideas and dreams, but if those ideas and dreams aren’t being made a reality, then all these letters and posts are for nothing.”

    Amen to that. Blogging stokes the fires, but does so in order to get the engine of change up to full steam. If our firebox is not connected to a boiler and engine, all our blogging (and dreaming and talk etc.) is nothing but burning valuable time, hurling our lives to the fire, moment by moment. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but that image helps me not waste too much time at the keyboard, and keep my “Input” Strength in a productive channel.

    Lawrence said: “Blogging will soon peak. Podcasting will take over.” Yes and no. I don’t think blogging will “peak” anytime soon, as there are still so many people out there who have not heard of it yet, or who are still put off by the unfamiliar lingo etc. There is still huge upside to blogging, and it will morph and mature along the way into different varieties: wiki pages, for instance, are the more-democratic form of blogging, with no central figure who does the main posts to which visitors comment. That will grow as wiki catches on more and more. Other variants will follow, I imagine.

    But yes, I think podcasting will “take over”… as the latest cool internet fad that folks are talking about as cutting edge. It will be a long time before podcasting becomes anything near as easy as blogging, though. I have twice tried to break into it, and the technical and production-quality hurdles (as low as they are already) still have delayed me… so has my perceived lack of audience. To make a podcast worth listening to, and to do it regularly enough that it’s worth subscribing to, takes a very serious commitment of time and energy.

    Podcasting won’t get nearly as huge as blogging unless the fad includes groups of friends producing podcasts— as a social event, like bowling league or starting a band together, podcasting really could become huge, even with minimal improvement in the user interface. (or rather, the creator-interface: user interface is getting better all the time, cf. iPodderX, iTunes etc.)

  11. Hey Alex!

    So great to see you tonight in Orlando – Really enjoyed the message!! Unfortunately (and I REALLY tried to switch some stuff around) I can’t get to the mentoring network tomorrow . . . Are you in Orlando for a few days? If so, are you open for a dinner or coffee as I’d love to chat with you some more while you are here . . ?

    Mark

  12. I agree with the “both-and” comment above. There are some conversations that occur face-to- face and others the really can only occur over a blog.

    Two examples:
    I recently lost touch with an acquantance. I heard he moved to another part of the city. I think he has a blog and I emailed him just tonight and asked about his blog address so I can continue the conversation with him.

    Another friend of mine is gradually breaking into iMosaic through comments. This person would never have met such interesting mystics if they had not met them in the blog world.

    Let’s not think of blogs just as a bunch of intellectual conversation. I see blogs in at least three ways:
    1) We can use blogs to engage many people we would never otherwise have the opportunity to engage.
    2) We can create friendships in the blogosphere that are rich because while we have such diverse locations and life experiences we can have daily contact.
    3) We can have a fun new way to enjoy community with good friends who used to be face-to-face but have moved far away.

  13. Tangent…. if we are using the “posting a thread” lingo, what do call those who aren’t part of a thread yet or who don’t even know threads exist? Has that been decided? Maybe a “fiber”. Any textile people out there with the word we need?

  14. Great discussion. I think that the blogosphere functions in at least two ways for the Church:

    1) It provides a network of peers beyond one’s locality and denominational ties. I have appreciated very much the relationships that I have built and the connections that I have made with likeminded persons throughout the world via blogs. It has been ecumenical in the best sense of the term. Furthermore, my faith has been strengthened by knowing that serious Kingdom advancing ministry is occurring.

    2) The blogosphere opens up new doors for outreach. By moving into new social networks, we have the opportunity to engage in conversation and hopefully bear witness to the good news about Jesus.

  15. Brian,

    I would completely agree with you about opening up a network of peers outside one’s locality. Extremely valuable. In addition, my faith has been strenthened as well by reading of the Kingdom’s advance around the globe.
    I also would agree with you when you say:
    “The blogosphere opens up new doors for outreach. By moving into new social networks, we have the opportunity to engage in conversation and hopefully bear witness to the good news about Jesus. ”

    Yes, absolutely. Words are powerful. Actions, however, are exponentially more so. On the web, we type, discuss, dialogue, etc., but it’s in our daily lives that we can ACT for the Kingdom. Yes, words TELL people what we believe, but actions SHOW people. What changed Zaccheus’ life wasn’t that Jesus SAID “come down from the tree.” What changed his life was the fact that Jesus went to his house, spent time with him, face to face. THAT made the difference, not the fact that Jesus just spoke some words.

    Again, words are fantastic and indespesible. Words can rally people to action, enourage, spread news of mystic migrations, they can even change someone’s life. However, I do think that as we LIVE Christ’s example, touching the needs of those around us, our WORDS will have substance as they take on the shape of Christ’s life.

  16. The Jerusalem church met on the temple porch and in homes because these were places where people gathered. In early 20th century America, people gathered on the front porch. Due to the conveniences of modernity, they had more leisure time, but they did not have air conditioning, television and garage door openers. The porch is where family relationships were strengthened and new relationships were established. Followers of Christ also found opportunities to connect with the curious on the porch. Often a door was opened for more intimate conversation in the parlor, living room, den or kitchen. But it began and returned to the porch. The intimacy that grew inside was taken outside to linger and be open to others who may have gathered on the porch.

    Am I advocating a return to modernity? Absolutely not! But perhaps the internet has become the porch of the 21st century. I know a lot of people who are trying to connect, but can’t find people on their porches and are not finding open doors for intimate conversation. Perhaps cocooning became the trend of the latter half of the 20th century and connecting (on a virtual porch before f2f) will be the trend buster of the 21st century. Who knows? Want to try it? – A mystic warrier

  17. Warrier isn’t a word. It’s Warrior. I have to agree with Nathan. Even though internet and blogging is a great way to meet people, exchange ideas, and share in “mystic migrations.” But studies have shown that visible, tangible, face to face relationships are nearly always more impacting. Jesus exhibited this time after time as he talked about things then went and demonstrated them.
    I think the real point question is this: Are you living the words and ideas you blog about? It is soooo easy to hide behind words, or to talk big. WHen it’s time for the rubber to hit the road, we chicken out because we’re not familiar with this road we constantly talk about, our feet are not used to the feel of it.
    Paul says to the Corinthian church, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.” Paul didn’t leave it up to his letters to do all the talking or “networking” or ministering. He walked the road, sat in the jails, endured the lashings, all for the sake of WALKING the TALK!

    Do not get so caught up in this World Wide Web that you spend all your time TALKING about life and ministry rather than being out there living it. Simply writing words is not enough in this “show me” generation.

  18. Great comment, bobby. So true. Perhaps we shouldl hold each other accountable for hitting the road. The whole idea is connecting in order to connect.

    Do I detect a nasty tone? Or is it that I can’t read your body language? My imperfections show through in this imperfect medium.

  19. some of my thoughts on the blogosphere:

    i’ve been blessed to meet a number of the people that i’d initially met through the blogs. what’s happened when we met f2f? it was like reuniting with old friends. the relationships that were established online were great foundational starts to getting together f2f. no awkward attempts at conversation…only enthusiastic dives into talking about how we’re living ministry (or the mystic nation) beyond the www. very cool to be able to share passions for God’s movement and to help each other realize those passions.

    it’s also been my experience so far that the blogosphere facilitates action. for example, when i’m out and about pursuing my passion for connecting with people, the f2f conversations have been known to take a turn in the direction of the www. this has been amazing in that the f2f conversations that i’m engaged in, continue on the http://www…or at the very least, often gives way to a topic of conversation that is expanded upon in the next f2f.

    for me, it’s about using all of the resources available to me to connect with others so that God can move in a myriad of ways.

  20. As a part of the new species Homo Electronicus Migratus, I see blogging as a natural extension of my spiritual, social and emotional life. My life has been radically and permanently changed by the questions I have faced, the friends I have made, and the opportunities that have been generated by interacting virtually. It has enhanced my f2f interactions, extended my family and given me reason to travel. 🙂

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