Thinking Out Loud

May 10, 2011

Jared Wilson on Getting to Know your Blog Readers

Filed under: blogging — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:24 am

If you spend a lot of time in the Christian blogosphere — and why you’d need to read anything else after reading Thinking out Loud, I’m not sure — you’ll recognize the ‘types’ that Jared describes.  Again, in an ideal world, you would simply follow the link to The Thinklings blog, but knowing many don’t I’ve taken the liberty of re-posting here.   (I kept this one in a smaller typeface, it IS easier to read at source.)

I’ve been blogging eight years, beginning with the launch of the Thinklings. In that time, I have come to identify certain blog community types. Gone is the heyday of scintillating conversation and good ol’ fashioned scrums in blog comment threads, but these folks are still around in some forms and fashions. Here are the people you meet when you’re walking down the street of the Christian blogosphere:

The Ironic Policeman
This is the guy who tells you you should have been out street evangelizing or working the food shelf instead of pontificating in your blog post. It is somehow lost on him that he could be doing those things instead of commenting on it.

The Yes-Man
This dude loves everything you write. He loves you. He’s probably watching you through the window right now.

The Debbie Downer
This guy or gal sees the world through poop-covered glasses. Sure, Jesus is risen, but everything’s going to hell in a handbasket anyway. And have you seen the price of handbaskets lately? How can a decent man cut it in this terrible economy? One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy, of course, but this person is overfertilizing to grow it. There’s no blog post you can write for which they cannot devise a “yes, but” and thereafter vomit their angst upon you.

The Loyal Opposition
The opposite of the yes-man, and closely related to a Debbie Downer also, this person lives to critique, challenge, yes-but, and contradict. You’re wrong about everything, and he’s going to let you know. He starts comments with the world “actually” a lot.

The Drive-By Bible Shooter
He’s got a lot of verses. Now you do too in your comment thread.

The Tail-Eating Snake
This is the guy who strongly criticizes you for strongly criticizing someone. Because strongly criticizing is wrong. Unless you’re strongly criticizing strong criticism. Wait. What?

The Hipster Hypocrite
This person is very offended by John Piper, Pat Robertson, Mark Driscoll, and anybody that could be construed as fundamentalist or conservative, but loves all the disrespectful, crude Christian satire blogs. It is not Christlike to criticize Rob Bell or Don Miller, but it’s awesome to make fun of unhip Christians like Jerry Falwell and Southern Gospel singers.

Heart-on-the-Shirtsleeves Guy
There is nothing you can say to this person that will not offend or hurt them. Alternately sad and angry, they are at the center of their own universe, and you mustn’t poke them. They don’t like that. They will hate you forever.

The Anonymous Character Assassin
This guy writes under an assumed name so he can smear you and all kinds of other people. Also known as the Cowardly Lyin’.

The Human Spammer
This dude or dudette finds a way in every comment to point back to something he’s posted. “This reminds me,” he’ll get around to saying. “I wrote something just like this…” He doesn’t understand that a good track record of insightful comments will get people to click over to his blog of their own interest and that consistently linking to his own stuff is a great way to kill that interest. He’s not so much interested in contributing to a conversation as he is in treating the conversation like a progressive dinner, with his house being the next stop. Except nobody wants to go there.

The Bleeding Heart
This person cannot stand to see any kind of disagreement or debate. “Can’t we all just get along,” they think. They would love to say that conflict isn’t Christlike but there’s all those mean things Jesus said to people in the Bible.

The Zealous Fanboy

Not to be confused with the yes-man, this is a commenter who is obsessed with someone else and wants to always quote, recommend, and refer to that person. The Johns MacArthur or Piper are typical objects of obsession. He won’t tell you what he thinks, but he will tell you what John MacArthur thinks. And so that’s what he thinks too. It will blow this guy’s mind when you disagree with something his idol says.

October 9, 2010

What’s Missing in the Christian Blogosphere?

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so I thought I’d take it easy today and throw out a question:  What do you feel is lacking these days in the Christian blogosphere?   What topics aren’t being covered?   What needs aren’t being met?  How can the long-form of blog posts be more effective and fruitful in a world of 140-character tweets and one-sentence status updates?

Or feel free to suggest some area where you feel Christians could make better use of the internet in general.   Or celebrate some who already are.

Update:  Although this is an older blog post; if you find yourself here, feel free to continue to leave a comment.

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