My core values of blogging

Blogging ValuesToday I went through my RSS reader and cleaned out a bunch of blogs and sites I no longer read. (I’m under 100 feeds now! Woo hoo!). As I removed many RSS subscriptions I realized that I’ve developed a couple values that determine which ministry blogs I read and which ones I don’t.

I don’t read blogs just because I have nothing better to do with my time. I read because I want to learn from others and be resourced to do what I love — leading students toward Christlikeness.

Updated Consistently
It doesn’t matter to me whether the site is updated once a week or once a day, I just want to see that it’s consistent. Little blogging sprees followed by two weeks of silence lead me to wonder if the author has dropped the blog or not.

Original Material
Unfortunately, a lot of youth ministry blogs seem to be especially prone to copying other people’s material instead of generating their own.

Thought Provoking
When an author gives me their original thoughts, I want it to make me think about what they’ve shared, even if they think I’ll disagree. I want to mull it over, apply it to my personal situation and leave wanting more of the author’s perspective.

I love hearing about the author’s personal life, challenges and success. I can easily identify with an author who is willing to be vulnerable with me and provide a backdrop for the rest of their posts. That author quickly earns my respect.

Unless it’s a personal friend of mine, blogs that talk about everything under the sun lose my attention (i.e. sports, weather, church, friends, last night’s dinner). That’s the difference between a youth ministry blog and a youth pastor’s blog.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that these values have also determined the direction of my own blog. Looking over my archives, I’ve basically built the site that I’d like to read myself if I was a subscriber.

And by the way, if you’re not a subscriber and would like to follow a blog like this, subscribe to my RSS feed or sign up to receive the updates via email.

Posted on September 24, 2007

  • Man, based on that criteria I am pretty sure my feed is going down by one tomorrow. :)

    I find myself reading more and more feeds from sites that aren’t ministry oriented as well. I still like to sneak peak at a lot of feeds and I’ll read through a lot if I’m in an airport or sitting around or something… but the ones I read consistently are more about leadership, innovation, etc than they are about YM.

  • Tim

    Nah, Adam, not to worry! :) I also read a good mix of blogs covering a variety of themes. Youth ministry is the largest category, but I also read several technology sites, marketing blogs, and stuff like that. Unfortunately, a lot of the youth ministry blogs kinda tend to feel the same after a while.

  • not sure that you’ll ever get over to my blog based on your criteria (I’m ADD in my posting) but I must say, I greatly enjoy reading your blog (as well as many others out there!)

    To be completely honest I look for relationship and encouragement from many of the blogs that I read. There is a guy who I read quite a bit and ended up getting to chat
    with him for a while this past summer in Jerusalem of all places. We were both their for our denominational convention and were able to connect for a time after talking back and forth from one side of the country to another.

    In this time in history we are truly blessed to be able to not only learn from one another without having to purchase a plane ticket, but also link together relationally and pray and support one another in our ministry endeavors. (I am still praying that you are able to get more active and enjoy more energy on Mondays)

    Anyway, thanks for your blog Tim. Keep up the great work!

  • Kevin, that’s the amazing thing about blogs. They seem so impersonal, but when you really stick around and when the author really does it well… it forms a community and it leads to “face-time.” I’ve met all sorts of people via my blog and youth ministry exchange. it’s unreal!

  • Great points and help as always Tim.

  • Tim

    @ Kevin: I also value the community aspect of blogs and have plenty of stories myself about relationships I’ve built and people I’ve met because of it. I love the comments here and I also make my contact info readily available to everyone to visits just for that reason. But honestly, with 100 or so blogs in my RSS reader, building relationships with all of them is pretty impossible. I have connected personally with a handful of them and I love it, but relationships aren’t listed here because it’s not a big criteria I use to determine whose blogs I read and don’t read.

  • Tim

    @ Jason: I'm not saying that's how you should run your blog, that's just how I run mine and unconsciously evaluate others. Ultimately, your blog is still your blog.

  • Jason

    Yikes!!! I can honestly say that I am guilty of all of these….Tim, thanks for having high standards for your own blog though. I truly enjoy reading it.

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