Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blogging Doldrums

Art and Marty are pretty-much out. I was just over at Nathan Finn's blog, and he has a string of no-comment posts. SBC Outpost just held a poll, and both the number of votes and the number of views suggested not that many readers. I surely haven't blogged much lately, and I have the great blessing of having not the slightest idea how many people are reading. SBC Today continues to generate content, and I have no idea how many readers they are generating. Wade Burleson continues to blog with what are, essentially, the same three blog posts reassembled a little bit and reposted repetitively (right down to the same twenty comment personalities regurgitating the same thing over and over again in response). Southern Baptist blogging isn't over, but it seems to be groping along trying to figure out what is next. So what do you think? What's next?

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a good controversy to stoke the blogging fires....

Bart Barber said...

There's always a good controversy. Controversy is only interesting if there's intrigue.

Shawn Thomas said...

Bart:
I check your blog (along with Wade's for balance) and several others every day.
I rarely post.
I would think there may be thousands of others just like me (at least in this way! :)
Just FYI

Bart Barber said...

Thanks for speaking up, Shawn. Welcome to PGBB.

So what do you think? As a regular reader of various blogs, do you concur that things are pretty quiet right now? Care to offer any observations or predictions?

Wes Kenney said...

Seems I remember a similar lull around this time last year. We had pretty much beat the "Dwight McKissic chapel sermon" story to death, and there just wasn't much going on.

It picked up briefly around IMB meetings and the like, but didn't really get rolling again until after the new year.

I see it as a cyclical thing, and look for it to pick up after the holidays.

peter lumpkins said...

Bart,

I think it is rather blah.

Also, I cannot help but think that as the dissenting blogs such as Enid and Outpost insist on filtering out legitmate criticism of their own positions, fewer readers will show up to follow the discussion.

For example, you cite Wade's blog with the same tired old theme and the same, 'me-too-10' who pop up. If this continues, one could predict a lot more anonymous commenting strangely showing up--a sort of 'marketing-strategy' to hoist the appearance of activity.

Outpost is surely now the official site of Dr. Cole and his never-ending battle for truth, justice and the Pattersonless way.

Grace, Bart. With that, I am...

Peter

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

Glad you're back. I have noticed the same lull too. I believe most folks are tired of the "Paige Patterson debate" on both sides. I also believe most are tired of the "Wade Burleson-rogue trustee" topic as well. I think we've about beaten both of those to death. :)

Although the comments have declined, my blog visitor stats are actually up and seem to be much more varied than previous stats. Go figure.

Les

Bro. Robin said...

Bart

I have given up on commenting on most blogs. I find that on those blogs it is a waste of time, not to mention I have been banned by a couple of them.

John said...

Bart,

Geoff Baggett and the folks at sbc IMPACT! seem to be doing a pretty good job fostering conversation on a regular basis.

Scott Shaffer said...

Bart,

Here is a practical suggestion. How about more posts that deal with Scripture and its application in the church and our lives? I find them more edifying and challenging.

Scott

selahV said...

Bart: so glad to see you back to blogging regularly. ??? is it regular now? :)

I am seeing an upward curve in my blog as I interact with other bloggers. I miss Brad Reynolds immensely and there are very few blogs I go to that comments are engaged when I speak to an issue, so I've pretty well stopped commenting on most. There is the exception of SBCImpact (where I am a contributor a few times a month and where I post a daily devotional at Daily Impact) I have no idea how much traffic I've received, but watching the meter attests to good visit participation even if we don't see comments.

Of course, I still frequent SBC Tomorrow and SBC Today.

I like the interaction on Volfan's blog and the topics he brings up. I enjoy debate between people when it is on topic and is about issues concerning Baptists. I wish we had more posts about first-person experiences of a positive nature wherein folks share their heart and their walk with the Lord. But that is just the fluff-writer I am.

Controversy can be very very interesting as long as the spew, maliciousness, maligning and slander is absent. It is quite disheartening to see a constant barrage of insults and character assassinations among folks who call themselves Christians...but what can we do about that but pray?

I think some of the blogs are going to go the way of Oklahoma wheat chaff on a windy day. Some voices are not taken seriously anymore and that will probably continue as they continue empty rhetoric. So that's my biased opinion. Ain't worth a penny to anyone but me. selahV

Debbie Kaufman said...

This sounds like more a whine/gripe session than simple blahs. Your whining and griping is not going to down the popularity of those blogs you have mentioned I assure you, they generate over 50,000 readers a day. I think they can handle a little slow down without having to "generate marketing ploys."

What you all are saying are the very things I see on some of your own blogs or from your own mouths, but hey keep on talking.

Micah Fries said...

Bart-

In my opinion, after blogging for 3 years now and working with some pretty high trafficked posts, is that blogging rarely drives traffic/comments apart from some sort of "train wreck" post generating the response.

Most of our SBC controversy is simply old news at this point and until there is a new fight, my guess is that the blogging community will continue to stay away.

I may be wrong, and I know I'm cynical, but that's my opinion.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Sorry, that should be 50,000 hits a month, not a day.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Micah: I would disagree with a "trainwreck" in fact, people are glad that these issues are finally coming to the forefront. A lot of it is relief that someone is finally talking about these things in the open. Yes, it is a trainwreck in that it should not be happening in a Christian organization, but it is. Instead of being overlooked, it should be resolved. Instead of talking about it some action should occur.

As for the Patterson information. This too should be brought out, it's wrong and it needs to be corrected. If people are tired of it, that shows that maybe the church needs to be woke up.

gary l said...

It happens in the dinosaur media also. Of course, we have to cover non-controversial/interesting stuff as well as the more salacious train wrecks.

I also wonder if the recent attention to oratorical demeanor didn't stifle some voices in some communities.

Bart Barber said...

Debbie,

Do you even read my posts before commenting, or is the kneejerk hair-trigger set too loosely to allow for that? "Those blogs [I] have mentioned" includes Nathan Finn, SBC Today, and (for Pete's sake) MY blog as well. I'm sure that my biases show through in the writing of it, but no person in their right mind could construe this as a "right-wing blogs are flourishing while left-wing blogs are fading" post. Such stereotypical reactions must be part of what eventually bores people about our blogging.

Bart Barber said...

Wes says it is cyclical. Maybe so. Maybe I'm just projecting my own sentiments. I was pretty active last year at this time, as well as pretty interested.

Bart Barber said...

Peter,

An interesting scenario you posit. Hmmm.

Bart Barber said...

Les,

Congratulations. I agree—topics grow stale pretty quickly in blogging.

Bart Barber said...

Robin,

You are always welcome here, brother.

Bart Barber said...

John,

SBC Impact has come to fruition while I've been otherwise occupied. I need to stroll over there more regularly.

Bart Barber said...

Scott,

Good suggestion. I suppose that I serve the choicer portions to my congregation, leaving for the blogging crowd mostly non-exegetical posts. I'll take your suggestion under advisement.

Bart Barber said...

SelahV,

Your opinion is worth at least two cents here, dear gracious lady of SBC blogging.

Bart Barber said...

Micah,

I thought you was dead. :-) (A repeated phrase from the John Wayne film "Big Jake")

Thanks for stopping in. You certainly have the credentials to warrant your opinion on the matter being taken seriously.

I agree that controversy drives readership. Yet, at moments along the way, bloggers have seemed to be adept at creating controversy to drive the blogs. Harder to do now? What do you think?

Bart Barber said...

Gary,

Interesting thought. Perhaps that did remove some wind from some sails. As for me, those demeanor-related encyclicals, together with a current exegetical study through Colossians and a survey of those standing around me, have steeled my resolve to blog more circumspectly in the future.

selahV said...

Bart: I've been told some people read more into things than read things. And the same people who tell me that are folks who keep suggesting I say something I don't say while they are capable of discerning everything another person is saying--right down to the tone and motivation. Amazing world the blogosphere!!!! selahV

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan Finn said...

All I can speak for is my own blog, and I think Micah is on to something. 90% of my posts are not widely read--they deal with some aspect of Baptist history or local church issues, and I am pretty sure the same few people read them. I would be surprised if their are 100 people who read my blog as often as a couple of times a week. That said, I have had a handful of posts over the last 18 months that have generated a lot of traffic, but that is because I was blogging about "hot button" stuff, which I almost never do these days.

I agree with the train wreck thesis, which is not an indictment about dissenting blogs--promise. But it is the idea that when there is a bit of carnage on the side of the road--regardless of whose fault the carnage may be--people stop to check it out. My 1.5 cents.

NAF

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bart: I know you realize that I was responding to both comments and your post, my reading comprehension in college was at a high level, I know it hasn't gone down that much.

Selah: Read concerning my reading comprehension.

volfan007 said...

bart,

here i go....i'll get the old blogging world running on all cylinders again....are you ready?

drinking alcohol is a sin against God!

watch out, now, bart!

get ready! all the boozers will be barking loud in a few minutes.

david :)

selahV said...

debbie: huh? selahV

Grosey's Messages said...

Well Bart, Nathan, Peter, Wes, and SelahV, (and Robin in the past) I always read and appreciate your blogs. There is always something significantly instructive there.
And the photo comments are challenging!
Occassionally I venture to glance into the Dark Side (or was that the Far Side) to see what train wrecks are happening, but quickly retreat to more salient and edifying materials.
Oh debbie... before you retaliate.. do you prefer "tripe", or "speak to the hand?"
My father-in-law was a butcher, so I am accustomed to tripe.
Steve

Bart Barber said...

Debbie,

I don't know which comment you were answering. Perhaps we can avoid future misunderstanding if, when you have a comment that you wish to address to someone in specific, you put their name at the top of it.

selahV said...

Well thank you, Grosey! You are a sweetheart! Forgive my exclamation points, they are a sign of excitement and gratitude here. :) kinda like a hug on the end of the sentence.
selahV !!!!!!!!

CB Scott said...

Bart, boys and girls,

I have a new post up about the French Foreign Legion, Jerry Corbaley and portraits. Go check it out for something totally new and different if you wish.

Ther is not one word in it about being a Christian man or maybe there is. You tell me.

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Trust me Steve, you really don't want to know the answer to that question.

Luke said...

Bart,
As for as blogs that deal continually with the same specific issue over and over, repacked, reposted, I agree with Les, people are getting tired of the same ole thing. There are blogs I visit but never post on and that typically is in reference to those that are of the more political nature of the SBC. It is getting to the point where I seldom read some of them anymore because there isn't anything of substance there to fill a person with joy rather than bitterness. I agree with Grosey that a retreat to thought provoking blogs is more edifying.

However, I have also noticed a lull in even those blogs that try to address personal edification and the like. Even on my own, I hit a spell here where I've been so consumed by family and church work and working on the church that I have had little time to post a thought with significant diligence and so I refrain until the opportunity avails itself. This will be my first "holiday season" in blogland but I would tend to think that it may droop a little as more time is spent with families towards the end of the year. I'll see.

Maybe then it isn't just one thing. Maybe a lot of factors have all cycled at the same time.

I will say though that anytime you can get Grosey and Debbie together on the same comments, you are sure to see an increase in readership. After all, where there is a train wreck, you can be assured of rubberneckers. But I will plug Grosey's blog as a place where you can get your cup filled(or cleaned) depending on the message.

Glad to see you posting again Bart.

Bart Barber said...

Thanks, Luke.

Hmmm...Luke from Louisiana. Does Grosey's blog ever help you "get your mind right"?

Luke said...

Bart,

I'm sitting here with a really stupid look on my face, :-), and I am totally unprepared to give an answer to your question. I think it is the quotes that throw me off. So please forgive me if I do not answer just yet. I do not think I am in the "right mode of thinking" for answering that one.

Luke said...

Are you taking a swipe at where I'm from? Are you insinuating that there is no help for "Louisianians"? :-)

If that be true, we'll finish this AFTER the Tigers eat the Hogs. I can hear the pig squealin' already!

Anonymous said...

I think Debbie always causes a trainwreck. Her mission seems to be to cause trouble and BLOW BLOW BLOW her own horn, or rather her pastor's horn. I don't think she has one of her own.

Steve G. is one wise man, he just calls it like he sees it. I appreciate him.

Grosey's Messages said...

I guess Lousiana could join the "true South" and guys thanks for your encouragements. They are wonderfully appreciated.
Steve

Bennett Willis said...

There are any number of potential boosters of readership and comments on the horizon. If Missouri Baptist Convention actually enforces its single alignment rule. If the IMB tosses either Wade or Jerry. If Dr. Patterson says anything. If Southwestern either settles/wins/loses with Dr. K.

There are a number of intersting state conventions coming up. All of these things are subject to being interpreted and explained in all directions.

My oft wrong predictions--just to try to stimulate more comments since that is the objective:

IMB won't address the Wade and Jerry story. Jerry leaves in a huff--or maybe he does not. Who can tell about Jerry.

Missouri won't enforce the rule it passed--and used last year to rid itself of 19 "troublesome churches." There were words on the play ground for people like that.

Dr. P will be silent and the case will go to trial. If the initial comments by most of the responsible people are admitted as evidence Dr. K will win--and blogging will pick up for a few weeks. Or maybe the First Church of the Southwest concept will prevail--and blogging will pick up for a few weeks. And Dr. P will start talking again and blogging will pick up again... This really has a lot of up-side for blogging.

It is too early to start declaring that blogging is dead. Just look at this post. You got nearly as many comments as you would have if you had said something about your opinion on women in ministry.

Bennett Willis

Bart Barber said...

Bennett,

I explicitly said that blogging is not dead—but that it is waiting for whatever is next. Maybe new bloggers. Maybe a new phase of this dissenting movement now that the wheels seem to be coming off of Plan A.

Bart Barber said...

Luke,

I was trying to make an apocryphal reference to the movie "Cool Hand Luke." Wasn't that set in Louisiana?

Bennett Willis said...

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/index.html

The 10/27 cartoon (easily accessed from the address above) is one that all bloggers and commenters should try to remember. Perhaps we should even print it and post it on our computer monitors. It might lower our blood pressure--and get us a discount at the medical clinic.

I am consistently amazed at how much higher the quality of both posts and comments are when they agree with my basic prejudices and preferences. Do you notice that, Bart?

Bennett

Bennett Willis said...

http://
www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/index.html

The address got chopped so I divided it. It should all print this time. The "tml" got lost.

Bennett

selahV said...

bennett, that was too funny! I am definitely going to save that little ditty. selahV