Voice is the value-add of blogging

I was reading Tim Bednar of e-church’s paper on blogging and religion, “We Know More Than Our Pastors,” (highly recommended, btw), when I ran into this quotation. I call it out since I think it resonates with what I fumblingly tried to say yesterday. If you are looking at the PDF draft of the paper, the quote is on page 10 (emphasis and hyperlinks added):

Steve Collins explains that his blog is “not spiritual, except that everything human is.” Andrew Careaga reinforces this idea; “I try to consider most of the conscious activities as spiritual activities, even if not exactly religious.”

This passion to live incarnationally unites these bloggers. Jordon Cooper writes about his blog and describes what I mean:

Many of the sites 20,000 monthly visitors can’t seem to get their head around how a site that has so much about postmodern thought and the church can also have links to the Calgary Flames and the Saskatchewan Roughriders […] I started to get e-mail back saying, “wait a minute, it is knowing about you that gives the site some character and credibility.” […] People went on to say that without the personal stuff, the site just became a collection of links posted by someone they don’t know. My stories about my life gave it some context and something to judge it by for good or bad.

This holistic engagement between author and audience is what makes blogging unique and compelling. In this respect, these “Christian bloggers” are no different than all the other opinionated bloggers except that they intentionally bring their faith in Christ to bare [sic] on everything that interests them: hockey, Microsoft, George W. Bush, Jennifer Lopez or Strongbad.

Without the personal stuff, this site is a collection of links posted by someone they don’t know. I don’t know if anyone has articulated it this way before, but I think it points to something important that I’ve discussed before: personal voice. Specifically, personal voice isn’t just a defining characteristic of blogging, it’s the whole value proposition.

Electric Blogaloo

This weekend is the second BloggerCon. Unfortunately, no such fortunate confluence of events as last time will allow me to attend. It’s a shame; between no paid panelists, lots of interesting discussion groups including one on religion and blogs, and a really good group of attendees, it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Congrats to Dave and the gang on putting on another show; I look forward to following the proceedings from here. I hope someone will archive the IRC backchannel; last time that was one of the most interesting parts of the proceedings.

Oh, and if I’m the only one to reference my favorite movie sequel title, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, in conjunction with BloggerCon II, I will be sorely disappointed. Or relieved. Or something. (Of course, that film DID feature both Ice-T and Martika, so it couldn’t have been ALL bad, right?)

A donation to Cathy is a donation to send Greg to DC

Tired of hearing the GOP leadership rail against MoveOn for violating soft money bans (as though independent groups couldn’t voice an opinion about the president)? Wondering whether there will ever be another Internet savvy candidate again after Dean’s disappearance? Wondering which candidate you should support for a seat in the US House of Representatives with good old fashioned hard money?

Well, wonder no more, bunky. Following up my coverage of the campaign two weeks ago, I wanted to point to the latest Cathy Woolard development. Greg Greene, blogger extraordinaire, press secretary and research director for Cathy Woolard’s campaign, and my former college roommate, has mounted an appeal for funds on his blog. Benefits: help elect Georgia’s first gay congressperson, ensure that an experienced, fiscally moderate, socially progressive voice gets its place in the House, deny the GOP a seat in the House, and help send Greg with his boss to DC. Contribute on Cathy’s official site, and give an amount ending in $.07 so that the campaign will know it came from Greg’s blog. I’ve given; won’t you?

Now, about that beer, Greg…