In chapter one The Story of Blogging is told. Blogging basically got started because of its advantages over websites and emails. Blogging makes publishing simple, free, and accessible to anyone who has a computer and web browser without a ton of spam in you inbox.
Chapter one also documents five critical events that transformed blogging “from an obscure tool of the technologically savvy to a fixture of mainstream life.”
The first catapulting event was the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Major websites such as CNN and the The New York Times, as well as cell phone networks, became ineffective with the flood of traffic. People turned to blogs where bloggers were “posting stunning amateur photos, emotional firsthand accounts, and names of the missing, as well as relaying information that was often unavailable elsewhere.” Blogging was no longer just a hobbie. Blogging was a mighty communication tool to help dig us out of the rubble of 911.
A few short months after 911, Trent Lott spoke some racially offensive remarks at the one-hundredth birthday celebration of the former segregationist Strom Thurmond. Lott wrote a brief apology and all seemed well in the news media. Blogs like Talking Points Memo and InstaPundit, however, would not let the comment go. Fifteen days after Lott spoke those words, he resigned as majority leader of the Republican Party. “For the first time, blogging had moved from commenting on the latest news to influencing and shaping the day’s events.”
Prior to the hiring of blogger Robert Scoble, Microsoft was very successful and viewed very negatively. Robert Scoble continued his blogging “as a one-man public relations team connecting users with employees who could help and passed along ideas and problems to teams inside the company.” The public image of Microsoft slowly improved. Today Microsoft has thousands of bloggers and greatly improved relationship with software developers.
Vermont governor, Howard Dean, was the first presidential candidate to use blogs to energize his campaign. The Dean for America blog allowed comments, was updated regularily through out the day and night, brought ownership to his supporters, and help break fundraising records. Blogging evangelized his cause.
Two months before the 2004 Presidential election, Dan Rather accused Republican Presidential nominee George Bush of not fulfilling National Guard service and receiving special treatment. These accusations were “supported by a nmber of official documents from the president’s file.” “Bloggers began questioning the authenticity of the documents.” Twelve days later CBS News had to recant. Employees were fired, Dan Rather soon announced his early retirement, and George Bush was re-elected.
Blogs, which are engrained in our culture and our church members’ lives, promote communication, honesty, transparency, conversation, and relationships that can add credibity to our church.
About chapter 11, Driscoll writes, “While on the Internet people are primarily looking for content and connection—two specialties of the church. In short, technology gives the church an opportunity to provide gospel content and relational connection to more people than ever before….”
Can you think of some specific ways blogging c0uld help your church? Comment and tell me what you think.