A LOVE SUPREME

I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Blogoneutics - Consumeristic blogging

Over the course of the last month or so my bbff has asserted various comments regarding the statistics of his blog, i.e. how much traffic is coming through in terms of hits and page loads. Usually these are somehow associated with his perception that my blog is becoming a super blog, on par with Super-Christian-Blogger, Scot McKnight, or that I am in some way stealing his traffic.

I interpret the comments variously, but usually I take them as passive-aggressive manifestations of personal angst. The charges are completely groundless. For one thing, my blog gets enough traffic to make things interesting, but I will never be a Super Blogger, nor would I want to be stuck with such a curse. Imagine leaving a post and then finding within an hour you have a hundred hits: That would suck! How would a blogger ever encourage serious thought and dialog on a post if it becomes a mess of comments like that?

But what has struck me was that my bbff seems to be sliding down the slippery slope of capitalism and slowly descending into the muck and mire of consumerism. Yes, my friends! The blogosphere cannot escape the inevitable fate of consumerism. In fact, it is already all around us. Blogging becomes about generating hits and pageloads and traffic and no more about content or substance: In short it has been turned over the fickle masses.



The "success" of a blog is now dependent upon what you can give to the consumer. Don't want to give the Consumer God her due? Fine. But you'll suffer with low traffic. Muuuuuuhahahaha! (That's code for a sinister laugh, something that comes from deep in the chest finish, rises up in the voice, and finishes back within the chest.)



Thus this post continues my explorations into blogoneutics, and in light of the evils of the religious Consumerism that has taken control of the blogosphere and tainted her pure heart and chaste mind, I suggest the following words of Jesus:

Blog unto others as you would have them blog unto you. (Luke 6:31, Matthew 7:12)

Admittedly, I have taken a bit of liberty in my translation in order to make the verse relevant to our current topic of discussion.

The above "Golden Rule" applied against American culture shames us for our rampant Consumerism, whereby "I" comes before "neighbor." It changes the mindset and flips the paradigm in a culture obsessed with desire.



Yet, bringing things back to the blogosphere, what might it look like to apply the above variation of the Golden rule to blogging? A few suggestions:

Resolved: A blog needs to be more about the dialog that follows a post than about the post itself. On the surface, this may sound like consumerism: That a post is more about generating and stimulating the consumer. But au contraire, my good friends! For a loving blogger must find satisfaction in allowing his or her neighbors to write and interpret, contributing to the over-all growth of the community, rather than becoming obsessed with becoming a Blogging Super Star.

Resolved: Invest as much in the blogs of others as I do in my own. Learning of and from my fellow bloggers to develop a community of care and concern.

Resolved: To never dish out more "fill-in-the-blank" than I can take in return, and to always deconstruct with love.

Perhaps there are more resolutions of a Golden Rule Blogger to be added to the list. These are just the ones that I need to work on so as to be "blameless and pure."

Long live the blogosphere! Death to Consumerism!

15 comments:

Jason Hesiak said...

The Cyber Oracle at Delphi tells me that trouble is on the way.

Melody said...

Good grief - even blogging is about community now? There's a time and a place, Jon. You've taken it too far.

Ok - or I might actually agree with you on this one. I don't like big blogs. There are plenty of books and magazines that one can read if one doesn't want interaction. The comments are what makes blogs interesting.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Melody:
Ok - or I might actually agree with you on this one...The comments are what makes blogs interesting.

There now, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Jonathan Erdman said...

Jason:
The Cyber Oracle at Delphi tells me that trouble is on the way.

Are you getting anything on the 2008 election???

Jason Hesiak said...

Nothing on the election, sorry. It may be saying something about it, but sometimes it kinda mumbles and I can't understand it one way or the other.

dawn said...

"Death to consumerism"? LOL!

Oh wait...you weren't kidding.

ktismatics said...

So how much traffic are you getting on this site? Are trends up, down, or steady? How often would you say you check the numbers on your site? Do you have a sense that when your post stimulates discussion you also get more hits and page views?

Melody said...

Do you have a sense that when your post stimulates discussion you also get more hits and page views?

Yes, are your posts calculated to promote discussion are do you just post whatever you feel like and hope it is found worthy?

samlcarr said...

I guess I should have shut down my blog long ago in abject shame. I rarely check the hit counter as i know that the result will be depressing. I guess that must not be why i blog, unlike the Erdmans and Doyles out there! I wonder why i do blog?

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ktismatics:
So how much traffic are you getting on this site? Are trends up, down, or steady? How often would you say you check the numbers on your site?

My blog has never had a huge spike in numbers since its inception back in November of 2005. Traffic has always very slowly progressed upwards. I try to check my stats at least once a week. I need to make an effort to check more often b/c there are other interesting facts, like where traffic is coming from. It is always interesting to see where people are at, geographically, when they visit the site. (I used to have a lot of hits from France, but that has suddenly fallen off!)

Jonathan Erdman said...

Sam:
I guess I should have shut down my blog long ago in abject shame...I wonder why i do blog?

Don't be absurd! You have an incredible blog that helps bridge the gap between the west and Indian culture. Even though you don't post often, I have learned a lot from your perspective.

Live to serve. Serve to live.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ktismatics:"Do you have a sense that when your post stimulates discussion you also get more hits and page views?"
Melody: "Yes, are your posts calculated to promote discussion are do you just post whatever you feel like and hope it is found worthy?"

Yes to the first question. Stimulating discussion usually means higher hits and more traffic.

To Melody's question, it is something of both. I don't post unless I have some sort of intrigue with the subject matter. And if I am intrigued by the subject matter, then I generally think everyone else should be too! (A bit narcissistic, I know, but then again, didn't we talk about that, too?!?!)

Melody said...

A narcissist who want to foster a sense of community? Sounds a little conflicted to me.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Yes. But I'm conflicted in that cute, cuddly way!

Emily said...

I've never heard anyone equate a source of conflict w/ cuteness/cuddliness. What dictionary are you using? Might want to upgrade.