Thinking Out Loud

April 23, 2010

Surfing the Christianity/Faith Blogs

Filed under: blogging — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:37 am

I thought it might be helpful to elaborate about the dozen or so links that appear in the blogroll here under the category “links.”

The ALLTOP links take you to the three related pages directly.   Church and Christianity have a great deal of overlap, while Religion is a grab bag of bloggers of various faiths, including some Christian blogs not listed in the other two categories.

The TRAKKRZ links are somewhat based on the Alltop bloggers and actually aren’t working as I type this.

Some of the other ones linked there are self explanatory.   The first one ever to appear there, SITES UNSEEN is sadly in need of an overhaul, and still refuses to list this blog after many e-mails and many promises.

It’s the WORDPRESS links I want to discuss.   The thing I like about these is the opportunity to interact with blogs just seconds after something has been posted.    If you click on the Christianity link, you’ll see all the posts in recent minutes (or hours as you scroll back) from Christian blogs.

But you can also type the word Christianity into the search field.   It will give you blogs that have simply used the word from a variety of perspectives.   However the first screen you see that way is somewhat useless, you want to click on the link that says “Show the most recent.”  (WordPress distinguishes between relevant and recent in all its searches.)

Now you’re cooking!   You’ll see every WordPress blog that is using the word Christianity.    Read the screen.   Now refresh the page.   Chances are that in the minute it took you to scan the screen, a number of other bloggers posted.

It’s mind-boggling (or should that be mind-blogging?) how many words, sentences and paragraphs are being committed to the blogosphere every second.   Is that a good thing? You can click further back to see other pages, but remember that after many minutes what you knew as page one, may now be page four or page seven, or whatever.

You can also pursue different words:  faith, God, Jesus, religion, doctrine; or you can get a lot more specific than that.   I just typed Arminian and there have only been four posts today as opposed to 20 for Calvinist, including a few where the bloggers are already on the next day’s dating.   Then again Wesleyans and Pentecostals don’t blog as much as their Reformed counterparts.   (As an added feature, WordPress will tell you its most active tags overall; just now it was Music, followed by News, Politics and Life.)

Remember that the links I’ve posted will only give results for blog which have a general theme overview.    For a specific word, you need to type it in AND click on “Show the Most Recent.”   (I forgot two days ago and got caught up in a September, 2009 discussion, posting a comment that probably no one will ever see.)

It’s also a great way to interact with people who are hostile to Christianity, since they’ll be using the word in their post.   It’s a good idea to read back through a blog’s history before you think about leaving comments.

WordPress needs to lose the “most relevant” criteria.   Blogging is all about interacting with issues in something close to real time, and being directed to September, 2009 posts just isn’t helpful no matter how good they were.

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