Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reflections on 10 years of blogging: Networking

Once I started blogging, it was not very long before I discovered that writing a weblog was a wonderful tool for networking. In early 2005, MySpace was just getting off of the ground, Facebook would not launch publicly for another two years, and Twitter was a glimmer in some techie's eye.

Networking happened in a number of ways for me in my blogging journey:

Professional Networking

One of the things I discovered through my blog is that I could connect to a number of ministry leaders and colleagues that also had blogs. We could have dialogue on certain issues about important matters. It was wonderful to have personal access to people with whom I might have never been able to have a conversation with otherwise. Authors personally asked me to review their books.

Also, there were influential community thought leaders throughout Colorado Springs that I was also able to connect with through my blog. This led to some interesting conversations with folks that I would have never had a chance to talk about my faith with otherwise. It also led to some stellar social invitations.

Social Networking

In my early blogging days, social networking happened in a couple of ways. One way to social network was through what I would call "blog-surfing". By this I mean that one could press a "next-blog" button on the top of one's blog, and surf from blog to blog all over the world. If a person had similar or shared interests, or said something interesting, you just left a comment on their blog and invited them to visit yours if they wished.

Also, once I started blogging, I had several friends, acquaintances, and friends of friends that began to blog. I met some neat people this way. For instance, I met Robin Moser, who turned me on to Red Dirt Country music, which I still enjoy. I also, through a happy accident, met someone who turned out to be related to some good friends of mine through Sterling, KS.

Some people from these blogs I keep track of  through Social Facebook today. Folks such as an artist/author in Austin, a stay at home mom that moved to Las Vegas, A businessman and thinker from Auckland, a working mother from El Paso, and a pet owner from Southern California, and a musician that now lives up in the Northwest.

The blog allowed me to talk about my ideas, my life, and my faith with seminarians and atheists, Muslims from Pakistan and missionaries in Africa. It was a great time for diverse conversations with Northern European fundamentalist Christians, African_American women from the South, homosexuals and homophobes, bestselling authors and people were afraid to get out of the house.
It was the hey-day of blogging as far as I was concerned.

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