I have read posts on an awful lot of blogs. When I first found the bloggernacle I read everything that came up on the Mormon Archipelago. I still put in a LOT more time reading other people’s stuff than I spend in preparing and writing my own…..I probably shouldn’t have said that. You can tell can’t you?
Anyway, I have started to form an opinion about LDS blogs in general. I do not say these things to flatter or insult anyone. I am not going to mention any names or blogs in this. Just make some general observations. And what I have been thinking about lately, is that size matters when it comes to blogs. And it matters differently depending on what you want out of your LDS blogging experience. For purposes of presenting my thoughts I would like to suggest some categories, and make an assumption.
The assumption that I will make is that the reader is a member of the church, and is fairly strong and solid in the faith. I say this because I often feel there is an element in the bloggernacle of seeking for ‘dirt’ on the church at some level. If that is what you want, you will have some company and some sites that will be glad to fill you needs. I won’t be giving any assistance, or any thoughts in this area for now.
One of the categories I will suggest will involve what those faithful folks might be seeking in participating on the bloggernacle as a reader and commentator on blogs. The categories are:
1. Quality of content.
2. Social interaction.
The other categories has to do with blog size, or type. The categories I will choose are:
1. Solo blogs
2. Small Group Blogs.
3. Large Group Blogs.
Again, I am not trying to anger anyone in this, and will not mention any blogs by name. So, now for my thoughts.
Quality of Content. Solo blogs are all over the map here. Some are fantastic, some are not. Many are inconsistent. If you are searching solo blogs for quality content you may have to do your homework. There is getting to be an ocean of solo LDS blogs out there. Finding a solo blog that you like can be quite a find.
Social Interaction. In most cases this interaction can be somewhat – dare I say – intimate in comparison. When someone comes by my blog I feel almost like they have stopped by my house. I feel like having them sit down and offering a glass of lemonade. I have also been made to feel that way when visiting solo blogs. For a chance of social interaction that may even feel like a type of friendship, it seems hard to beat visiting a solo blog.
Small Group Blogs
Quality of Content. Small group blogs seem more consistent in their content than the solo blogs. There are a lot fewer small group blogs, so finding some that you like will be easier than with solo blogs. Most small group blogs have contributors that are very similar to each other, and are kind of a tight group. If you get into some debate on a small group blog, you will likely deal with the whole group instead of an individual. Small group blogs seem like a ‘team’ in a very real way. Authors on these blogs probably feel a responsibility to keep the content quality fairly high because it reflects on the group.
Social Interaction. This is an area where small group blogs have a lot of potential. There often appears to be a meaningful friendship amongst the group which can be felt by visitors to the site. This friendship may well be extended to others. Some small group blogs actually want to be big group blogs someday, so not only will they be glad for your traffic, they may even invite you to participate with them if you make yourself known by your comments.
Large Group Blogs
Quality of Content. Large group blogs have a potential advantage here. They are well established with lots of contributors. Individuals can take their time in making posts because there are so many other contributors keeping things going. Because of all this expectations – I imagine are quite high. Large group blogs are large and popular for a reason. In general their contributors are quite good at what they provide. There are very few large blogs as far as I know. Checking them out and finding those you like is easy to do.
Social Interaction. This seems to be something lacking on Large group blogs. These are well established authors with a fairly large following. They don’t really need you, and often will not have much time for you. It’s hard to feel really welcomed when you are comment # 127. In fact, that sometimes feels like what you are – a number – comment #127. Visiting these blogs for the first few times can seem like going to a new high school, and showing up on prom night, with no date, and inappropriately dressed.
So there you have it. My general view of LDS blogs. Now, I have only been around for about 7 or 8 months, but it feels like much longer. Has your experience been different? What have I missed?