GodBloggers’ publish or perish

With 10 minutes and counting before they start boarding my flight back cross-country, and enjoying the free WiFi here at Long Beach Airport, I had flirted with the idea of upgrading my WordPress to 1.5.2 (still running But not a good idea to risk my website going down, amidst a short-lived web traffic spike from GodBlogCon attention. GodBlogCon is getting news media buzz, 163 sources at the moment, according to news.google.com, mostly from the AP Wire piece.

A few other thoughts perculating, now that a few more hours and a good night’s sleep has past after GodBlogCon. I’ll share one: it seems to me that most of the attendees I heard in conversations at GodBlogCon see blogging as a publishing tool. So with a purpose to publish in mind, the gravity of inquiry pointed to how to form the message, how to shape culture, how to influence, how to make money, how to defend apologetically, how to develop a niche, how to grow readership.

Many voices in the world, the society, the New England elite, and even among Christians and most of the GodBloggers at GodBlogCon, place a lot of value on leadership and accomplishments and success and purpose. The subtext seems to be this: a disdaining of the unambitious and unfocused. You have to publish, or perish. Fits with a traditional institutional or organizational approach to seeing life, and the role of individuals in that framework. It comes with teeth, as if driving an agenda. It can be easily perceived as a battle of right and wrong.

For others in the blogosphere, blogging can be purposeless, distinguished from meaningless. It’s a place for dialogue, exploration, expression, learning, and growing in understanding. Instead of having an answer to dispense and entice others to buy-in through persuasion, blogging is conducive for sharing thoughts and feelings and ideas, questions and doubts and notions that are not yet well-formed and well-defined. This tone fits some emerging church bloggers much better, at least for me. Takes a little more faith, that if we as followers of Christ, would just be, and share our humanity transparently and vulnerably, that normal people can see how Jesus makes a difference in the way we live and behave, without having to always dispense answers. 1 Peter 3:15 is so often misread – the sequence is supposed to be this: if & when they ask, then we can give answers.

I think here’s the opportunity post-GodBlogCon, in the blogosphere, to explore other ways of blogging, beyond the pressures of publish or perish.

And, great to hang out with Bumble of i12know last night, and enjoyed some Vietnamese pho and warm hospitality. (an idea bookmark here to say more about that; [update: Bumble described the encounter here]) Now boarding flight 307 at Gate 2A…

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  1. the bloke says:

    When I first read SmartChristian’s description of the “two types of bloggers” I was curious what you meant by “purposeful” and “purposeless”. Now that I have read your post, it makes sense. I wish I had caught up with you this time around. My schedule just did not permit me to get out to the event. For instance, I was travelling back down from NorCal on Thursday and then I had an engagement on Friday evening, and again on Saturday. Looks like I might not have missed much though except for the interaction with other “like-minded” bloggers…

  2. anita says:

    why does everything have to have “purpose?” i just started blogging because i have read some wonderful, some maddening, some hilarious, some deeply moving blogs over the last year…and they make me want to respond and write my heart. i don’t have hardly any answers, i have lots of questions. i guess i thought, i want to participate, i want to be in on the discussion, i want to hear what you, and you, and you, have to say; and maybe somewhere i’ll hear God speaking. that’s it.

  3. Alex Jordan says:

    Hi DJ:

    It was nice meeting you at the GodBlogCon05, and I really appreciate the encouraging comment you left over at my blog. I have to admit that I’ve had some reservations about the Emerging Church movement, but at the same time, I do very much appreciate the idea you’re expressing here–that we as Christians don’t have to live under the pressure of constantly giving unsolicited answers, or feel that we must have the answers for everything.

    The Christian life is a race, but it’s not against each other, right? We’re all running our own race, and if I see someone stumble and fall down next to me I shouldn’t be so intent on winning that I don’t stop to help them out.

    May the Lord use you and keep you close to Him,


    P.S. Will post on GodBlogCon very soon!

  4. Hannah Im says:

    I know exactly what you mean by the two types of bloggers. My personality is very type-A, so I could easily fall into the trap of being a driven blogger. But God has given me an extremely active 16 month old boy plus the challenge of living in Korea as a foreign resident. I’m now lucky if I can crank out one mediocre post a week and even luckier if I can spell check before I publish–no grand schemes to take over the ‘sphere for me now. And I think that’s good for me. Some people might need to be more purposeful. Others (me) need to learn to be more relational.

    BTW, I’ve never seen John Hannah and Brian McLaren in the same sentence before. 🙂 Makes me chuckle.