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I have something to say, but I'm not Wal-Mart

This was one of the best articles I have read about bloggling lately, "The Present and Future of Christian Blogging."

The author says this:

If we think of the Christian blogosphere like an industry, with individual, personal blogs as small businesses, then the ministry blogs are the Wal-Marts and Speedways and shopping malls; they exist, in a sense, to get as big as possible and (in the process) put the other guys out of business.

I think the author has hit on the real "problem" with Christian blogging: it is increasingly seen as an "industry." That is why big name blogs have more influence. They have funds to create a big platform. Smaller bloggers don't have the resources to do so. 

Further in the article, he alludes to the fact that big organizations like TGC become our spiritual authorities. Red Flag. Is that a healthy situation? It not only means people aren't looking to their local churches for authority, but their failure to do so takes the pastor off the hook to be that authority. How many pastors now direct people to articles on TGC for help? I have a lot of respect for that organization, but I'm not going to give it my ultimate allegiance. And here's another thought: how many pastors take their lead from TGC? From men (and occasionally, a woman) they don't know?

It seems to me that this is an Occam's Razor situation. People stop blogging because other matters have taken over their lives. We need to remember that life should not be lived online. There are other (and  many better) venues for writing. Personally, I have benefitted more from submitting my writing to a professor for evaluation than the unnamed masses who may or may not know much about me or my topic. How about the fact that people don't want to spend a lot of time online? How about the fact that the person who blogged daily ten years ago is now caring for an elderly parent and chooses not to use that as fodder for a blog?

I have been blogging for a long time, and I often have ideas about things. But I am not Wal-Mart, so I am a voice speaking into the wind. The only way for me to gain any kind of audience is to be put on sale by one of the blogging Wal-Marts. And that means my product has to withstand the judgment of that vendor. But I don't want to tailor my writing in order to get a mention from some big blogger. That feels like "selling out" in some way.

In the real world, the prevalence of Wal-Mart and big-box stores means very valuable small businesses get knocked aside. That analogy in the blogging world is apt.

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