Friday, July 29, 2011

What makes the blog roll?

Since it's summer, I'm reading a few more blogs than usual. And I've noticed something: controversy, it seems, gets the most comments.

People like getting "up in arms" about issues. In fact sometimes I wonder if bloggers look for issues to get people riled about. Sort of like the news on TV which capitalizes on the gruesome and notorious with sound bites to get you hooked in. The full story is seldom quite as interesting... except when it is more interesting and better read as a full story anyway.

But what concerns me as a person of faith is that in the blogging world we have a lot less grace for people or situations than we would in real life. When people make a mistake we're quicker to think about what a great post it would make, than to try and find out what really might be going on. Of course if I point the finger at the blog that pointed me to this thought I'd be succumbing to exactly the kind of problem I'm writing about. So in this unnamed blog, a known person was called out for a mistake. I fully agreed with the blogger's point -- but as the comments played out, I realized the situation wasn't as obvious as the blog suggested.

In the Conversations Project that our church did, we learned to practice interpretive charity which means what it says. We interpret a speaker's meaning with charity, even when our assumptions about what they said might push our buttons. We ask more questions to clarify meaning, and if we disagree, then we can discuss it, always seeking understanding, not reacting out of our own narrow assumptions.

Unfortunately, interpretive charity doesn't always make for titillating blogging.

Then again, neither does whining about your life and beating yourself up over the stupid things you do... which is another unnamed blog I've had too much time to read (in case you're a digger, it's not one of the sites I follow publicly).

But I'm still going to read all these blogs anyway... and keep writing my own occasionally. My friend's blog title says it all best: My Thoughts are So Important I Write them Down. Check him out -- http://iwritethemdown.blogspot​.com -- when he writes, he's funny.


  1. I have been thinking the same thoughts about a few of the blogs that I read as well. It's good to know I'm not the only one.

    I really like the idea of interpretive charity. As a youth leader, that would be great things for my youth to practice. Thanks for the idea.

  2. If you want to know more about the process, we worked with a group called the Public Conversations Project. You can check them out at