The Bloggernacle in a New Decade

January 21, 2011 | 50 comments
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To me, ldsblogs.org is the bloggernacle. When I have a spare minute, I usually head over there to see what’s new at FPR, FMH, Keepa, The Exponent, or any of my other favorite Mormon blog spots. I know a lot of your names, and though I haven’t met any of my fellow bloggernaclers in person, I feel comfortable here with you.

It’s that comfortableness that got me thinking about how the bloggernacle has grown and developed, and what it’s future trajectory is. I’m comfortable here because I know the people here, and whenever I get comfortable I have to ask, “Is growth still happening?”

As far as I can tell, the bloggernacle serves five great purposes:

  • Social connections for church members who don’t feel connected to the members in their own branch or ward (and even for the members who do feel connected locally).
  • Amazing articles that offer quality insights on interesting gospel topics that aren’t often discussed in church.
  • A place where alternative-yet-faithful voices in the church can express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Shared trials, where church members going through hard times can help and be helped by others with similar experiences.
  • Laughs :)

So how are we doing? Are we still seeing new names and faces here? Or have we matured as a community, with the next generation of Mormon bloggers moving elsewhere to start their own bloggernacle? What keeps you coming, and, incidentally, how do you keep up on your favorite bloggernacle sites? Do you just visit ldsblogs.org like I do, or are there other “front doors” out there that I don’t know about?

50 Responses to The Bloggernacle in a New Decade

  1. Gdub on January 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Perhaps the highlight of every morning is when I ease into my first quick break of the day, sip on my maté, and catch up on Mormon blogs. I’m grateful for everyone who writes, though I may not agree with them, it’s useful to be aware of other points of view.

    That being said, I’m far less interested in the “alternative-yet-faithful” voices, or (more than that) the critical ones. I’m much more interested in figuring out how *I* can be a better disciple. To that end, I use nothingwavering.org as my go-to portal. I’m working hard at getting the small blog I write amongst those excellent productions.

  2. Dane on January 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Interesting, I hadn’t seen Nothing Wavering before. I’m starting to suspect that there’s a whole meta-bloggernacle out there that I’m not aware of — the various aggregators that define what the bloggernacle is.

  3. Bill of Wasilla on January 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Dane, thanks for reminding me about lds.blogs. For more than two decades, after we buried my brother in 1887, I simply pretty much had no contact or very little contact with evolving, contemporary church thought but it is important to me that I get some kind of any idea what is going on and what people are thinking these days.

    Someday, I must find the way to make it, but right now I do not have the time to delve into a lot of writings and, until I do, I have kind of made Times and Seasons into my tenuous link to my heritage, upbringing and formation. I can’t read everything that is posted here and some of what I do read just loses me.

    But I will try to drop in on ldsblogs now and then – at least enough to keep it in my mind that it is there.

    I always think it would be fun if I could get a link here and there, but of course I know that I can’t. There is just too much coffee in my blog. My blog is most certainly among those that Gdub appears to express far, far less interest in, but, trust me folks – when one is brought into this world as a direct descendent of pals and cohorts of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and is raised in such an intense, fundamental Mormon manner as I was, the Church always remains a huge part of your life and while few, if any, think of me as a Mormon writer and photographer, ultimately, that is what I am.

    And you bloggers here provide me with at least some kind of link until I can try to figure out what all this has ultimately meant to me.

  4. Gdub on January 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Bill,

    that’s an excellent point. While my interest is less in that direction, I don’t exclude that view or put blinders on. I think it’s valuable and enriching to have that discourse. I suppose it’s just a matter of priorities. Anyhow, I think it’s pretty rad that you find a way to keep connected.

  5. Dan on January 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Dane,

    When was the last time LDSBlogs website had increased in size to expand the Mormon Bloggernaccle reach?Or will it always remain an elitist clique?

  6. Jeremy on January 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    My feeling is rather opposite that of Gbud. I feel very strongly about the enormous importance of having fora in which members can openly discuss problematic aspects of Church history, Mormon culture, or difficulties applying the general principles of the gospel to the particular challenges of their lives. To me it in incredibly faith-affirming to witness and occasionally participate in a community that addresses these issues–indeed, that treats the act of addressing these issues as something spiritually enlarging rather than testimony-weakening. I can honestly say that these kinds of interactions have made me a spiritually stronger person and have encouraged me to work harder in my callings and be a better, more faithful Mormon.

    During grad school I encountered some pretty spiritually challenging patches–not arising from crises of faith, but from the seeming inability of my faith to help me through personal, financial, and existential struggles in the ways I thought it should (based on years and years of transactional, blessings-for-obedience Sunday School discussions). This was just at the time that the Bloggernacle was emerging–and thank Heaven it did.

    Another thing that has been very gratifying for me is that I’ve sensed a shift in how the bloggernacle is perceived within the Church–as a legitimate part of the Church constituency, rather than as a quasi-apostate fringe. This has contributed, I think, to a much more transparent attitude about the Church’s institutional operations and history, and to an attitude that such openness is not so threatening. And I think it’s faith affirming when as an institution we have an attitude of confidence towards truth.

  7. Dane Laverty on January 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Bill, I think you worry about your coffee more than the rest of us do :)

    Dan, I don’t think it’s elitist so much as that it’s managed by busy people who don’t have a lot of time to keeping it updated. But that’s just my sense of things.

    Jeremy, that’s what originally drew me to the bloggernacle — I found people asking the same questions I had been asking for years…and they were actually coming up with some pretty interesting answers! I came in here thinking I knew pretty much everything that was important to know about God, the church, and doctrine. Spending time in the bloggernacle has been a humbling experience for me.

  8. Ardis E. Parshall on January 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Dan, I frequently discover new blogs listed at ldsblogs.org, always in the lower boxes, of course, but that’s to be expected for new and/or smaller blogs. The page may not expand by adding “isle” boxes, but the lists of blogs in the sidebars have grown a little longer since I’ve been watching, and even when blogs die or are dropped for other reasons, the lists never seem to shorten. Anyway, I’ve started visiting several blogs in the past few months that I was introduced to by that aggregator.

  9. Chris H. on January 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    “Or will it always remain an elitist clique?”

    Only box 1 is truly elitist. The rest are something below.

  10. Syphax on January 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    ldsblogs is my one-stop shop for the Bloggernacle. There are really only a few headlines that catch my attention enough to click on a link, but it gives me something to do during my free time on the Internet. I am a big fan of that site, and I am also very thankful that they listed Linescratchers on there a few months ago. It has opened up the world of LDS musicians to the wider Bloggernacle.

    I think there will definitely be a place for the Bloggernacle in the future. With so many anti-Mormon and ex-Mormon sites out there, Latter-day Saints will increasingly be exposed to the “dark side” of some Mormon teachings. On the other hand, the official LDS websites will only offer the faith-building resources they already do, but generally ignore the tough questions that have been troubling quite a bit of my generation. The Bloggernacle offers a faithful middle-way of people who are aware of the issues of the Church and still have testimonies (like Ardis who recently bore a wonderful testimony on Church history and her own faith). It’s not generally apologetic, it’s just faithful Latter-day Saints being intellectually honest and trying their best. Such a resource will be invaluable over the next 50 years, as long as the Bloggernacle can continue to evolve with the younger generations.

  11. Dane on January 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks, Chris :)

    I also just discovered http://mormonblogs.org/ . Do any of you use that as your front door?

  12. Andrew S. on January 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I don’t personally use an aggregator as my portal/front door in Mormon blogging. I instead, try to hand-pick blogs that I like to read, and personally subscribe (either via email or RSS). That being said, if I had to say which aggregator most of my read blogs would probably be on, it would be either Mormon Blogs/Blogregate, Mormon Blogosphere (since I do read a lot of solo blogs) or (well poisoning complete in 3…2…) Outer Blogness.

  13. Dan on January 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Dane,

    Mormonblogs.org is a better aggregate. But I say this as one who of late only uses ldsblogs.org. It’s more that I’ve become tired of searching out the new.

  14. Mark B. on January 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    It’s like the Grand Hotel. People come. People go. But nothing ever happens.

  15. Bill of Wasilla on January 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Dane:

    “Bill, I think you worry about your coffee more than the rest of us do :)”

    That’s kind of the funny thing – coffee now plays a big part in my social life and on my blog and, used in moderation, I have come to the conclusion that in my life coffee is a good thing, but I often worry about how all those people from my past life – including the mission field and the little Fort Apache Branch on my wife’s homeland that we used to attend before we relocated to Alaska 30 years ago – and how they might react when they come to my blog and see all this coffee.

    So I believe what you say here for you, but not for them.

    But it is the honest truth and so I blog about it.

  16. nat kelly on January 22, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Ooh, I’d never seen mormonblogs.org before. I like that its grouped by topic there. The different boxes on ldsblogs.org just never really made sense to me, and I could never find what I was looking for.

    I’ve only been a bloggernacle diehard for about 2 1/2 years, but already I’ve seen huge amounts of change in the population reading and participating. I think it serves as a temporary stopping point for a lot of people. They have different ideas, or they are looking for a different community, and the bloggernacle gives them a home for a while as they sort through things. I think a lot of people “graduate” from the blogs after they feel their issues are resolved.

  17. Brad Dennis on January 22, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I like much of the bloggernacle because it is in many ways a place where more liberal Mormon views can be expressed and accepted. I like it because in some ways it appears to be working to foster more of a liberal Mormon culture coexisting with a conservative Mormon mass. My hope is that the bloggernacle become less diversified and more consolidated, and that some of its emerging stars, (e.g. John Dehlin, Joanna Brooks, Nate Oman, and others) gain more of a prominent voice among Mormons. Perhaps an alternative, or more liberal Mormon magazine could be produced. Something that isn’t quite Sunstone or Dialogue, but at least something to serve as an alternative to the moderately conservative Mormon Times or the ultraconservative Meridian Magazine.

  18. Chris H. on January 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Blogs like BCC are largely made up of bloggers formerly with smaller or solo blogs. Magazines are a dying medium.

  19. Brad Dennis on January 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Chris H. (#18) Online magazines remain a much stronger medium than blogs, because they tend to be peer-reviewed and edited. BCC and T&S are in between blogs and magazines because they have a limited number of invited writers (including some relatively well-known academics in the LDS community), but no editing or funding structure. I would like to see T&S or BCC or other Mormon blogs move in that direction. They would just need some sponsors/donors, a bit more centralization in editing, regularity of publications, etc. The result could be the emergence of a more mainstream Mormon voice. I see the blogosphere as flailing. Too many bloggers who garner too little attention.

  20. Scott B. on January 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Brad Dennis,
    Magazines cost a lot of money. Adding another journal to the currently existing ones just divides the small pool of funds available by one more mouth, and decreases the viability of all others. IMO.

  21. Scott B. on January 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I’m also relieved to see that Dane doesn’t visit BCC. Like Camelot, it is a silly place.

  22. Andrew S. on January 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Call me a technocrat, but I think that the internet is the present and the future.

    Mormon blogs don’t need sponsors/donors, and centralized editing (heaven forbid). They don’t need institutionalization that sorts out what is “good” to be written and what is not. The mainstream Mormon voice emerges precisely because there is a chaotic, unbridled flowering of voices, and some stick, and others don’t.

    Considering newspapers and magazines and things like this are in a downswing, and blogs are in the upswing (with traditional media tying to get into the latter’s game), I find it curious to say the blogosphere (in general) is flailing.

  23. Bill of Wasilla on January 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Dane – The links here have led me to the podcast interview that you did with John Dehlin. I have listened to part of it and will finish as time allows.

    Fascinating stuff and I find very interesting how the type of information set you and I off on two very different courses. I am going to put you on the list of Mormons that I hope to one day meet, photograph, and interview myself. This is one of those projects that I have yet to start, but have firmly riveted in my head as part of this photographer’s “search for community, home, and family.”

  24. Dane on January 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    That’s good, because if I ever make it to Alaska I was planning to drop by and visit you there.

  25. Brad Dennis on January 22, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    #20 and #22 I am not saying that Mormon blogs should cease to exist. My claim is that the sheer number of Mormon blogs makes it so that few if any blogs have all that much influence on Mormon thought and culture. However, some blogs, such as T&S, have a great degree more influence/popularity than others. This is largely because T&S does have some sort of centralized control over its products. It has select authors who are allowed to publish posts, and occasional guest bloggers. Most of the authors tend liberal, or are at least aware of the relatively small, yet growing (I like to think), liberal Mormon audience. Many readers of T&S, such as myself, enjoy the liberal views expressed. My hope is that maybe somehow and someway that the liberal Mormon voice will become increasingly accepted and represented within the church. But the bloggernacle is still too chaotic and random to be able to promote and give widespread acceptance to a liberal Mormon identity. So my hope then is that a more influential and well-harnessed liberal Mormon collective publication, such as a newspaper or magazine could emerge. And it would seem most to likely to emerge from the bloggernacle. Mormons’ views don’t exist in a vacuum. They are shaped and contoured according to the predominant voices around them.

  26. Chris H. on January 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Brad,

    “My hope is that maybe somehow and someway that the liberal Mormon voice will become increasingly accepted and represented within the church.”

    I am one of the loudest voices of both religious and political liberalism within Mormonism. I would love to see that come about, but I no longer have hope. That there is a Dialogue and By Common Consent is great. I do not see much beyond that. For now, I am content with that.

    I think the closest thing possibly happening like what you envision would be a Huffington Post type operation. To be honest, By Common Consent is pretty close to that already.

  27. Andrew S. on January 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    re 25,

    Brad,

    But again, what if society is moving toward identity being informed and developed online? What if the thing you call a weakness (the bloggernacle “is still too chaotic and random”) is actually the strength that will lead to the liberal Mormon voice becoming increasingly accepted and represented within the church?

    It seems to me that the many of the reasons for the bloggernacle’s arising (or at least, if not the ‘nacle’s arising, then its continued appeal — see what Dane mentioned in the opening post) are responses to a status quo of centralized control. Many members may not feel connected to other members in their wards not because they are alone in their wards, but because there is pressure (informal or formal control) over the content and personality types supported in many wards.

    Certain gospel topics aren’t discussed in the ward environment because correlation (which is centralized control, is it not?) doesn’t find them fit to address.

    Alternate-yet-faithful voices go to the Bloggernacle for a safe and supportive environment because centralized control of content can make other environments not-so-supportive. And so on.

    Consider this…suppose the Bloggernacle becomes the forefront to widespread acceptance of a liberal Mormon identity? Who are the casualties?

    Well then…all we have to ask are people who have been pushed out of the bloggernacle for whatever reason. If we use LDS Blogs as proxy for the bloggernacle, then that will mean we can count *out* people like Nothing Wavering, who consider LDS Blogs “too liberal,” or certain elements of Blogregate at Mormon Blogs, who may be considered by LDS Blogs to be too liberal.

    I don’t want to be “that guy” and cause a lot of drama, but Brad, in your comment #17, you mention John Dehlin as part of your emerging stars. Unfortunately, I feel that if the Bloggernacle became centralized around something like LDS Blogs, then John Dehlin would not fare highly. I am aware that many people would respond by saying, “Well, John Dehlin doesn’t represent me and I don’t want to be associated with him,” and you know…I can see what they mean. But that’s why I think it’s fine that we have decentralization.

  28. Bill of Wasilla on January 23, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Dane – I will look forward to the day that you show up here in Alaska. Be sure to let me know as far in advance as possible as I travel a great deal – especially during the light of summer.

  29. Dave on January 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Nice post, Dane. Yes, the MA portal is a nice guide to some LDS blogs — at least those that fit the MA guidelines of being relatively faith affirming and posting regularly on LDS topics. But there are so many LDS blogs that no aggregator can list them all. Emily Jensen’s feature at the Mormon Times links to and discusses a wide variety of LDS blogs that aren’t in the MA universe.

    http://www.mormontimes.com/voices/Today%20in%20the%20Bloggernacle

    I don’t really know how to discuss the purpose or direction of the Bloggernacle — it is not a managed enterprise. Each solo blogger or group blog kind of has their own ideas and interests.

  30. James on January 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I don’t like ldsblogs.org or mormonblogs.org. The problem with aggregators like ldsblogs.org is (as others have pointed out) that they are inherently elitist (since someone has to choose which blogs get put on the top); if the aggregator just includes everything together, like mormonblogs.org, then they get too big and jumbled, which makes it hard to read and find the important posts.

    I think http://Yourmon.org is a better alternative. It is like Digg.com or Reddit.com — users submit posts and links and then all the other users vote on what links they think are worth reading. Only the highest votes make it to the front page, so it is not jumbled up with too many posts. And there is no elitism, since the users choose what makes it to the front page.

  31. Chris H. on January 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    We are not elitist…we are just better than you.

  32. Brad Dennis on January 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Chris #26, you may be right that in some ways BCC is somewhat similar to the Huffington Post (sans sponsors and regularity of posting), and that that may be the best liberal Mormons can do for now, but I still think that a little innovation (as I explain in my comments to Andrew S. below) could help one or some of the leading liberal Mormon blogs to take things a step further.

    Andrew S. #27, Once again my idea is not to centralize control over the bloggernacle (since that would be impossible). My idea is for one of the leading Mormon blogs, possibly BCC or T&S, to take things a step further in order to more greatly represent the growing liberal Mormon voice. This may involve appointing authors to write on specific topics of their expertise, creating an editorial board, raising money to pay authors to regularly post, inviting well-known and widely respected Mormon scholars (i.e. Richard Bushman, Teryl Givens, or whoever would be willing to publish) to write articles. This would be in essence something of a cross between a blog and an online newspaper/magazine. My idea is for one of these popular liberal Mormon blogs to become a sort of liberal Meridian magazine.

    Liberal Mormons need to carve their niche in the world of Mormonism. And while the bloggernacle offers some reprieve to liberal Mormons, it doesn’t seem to be promoting a solid version of liberal Mormon identity that would be capable of gaining widespread acceptance in the church. This is primarily because the bloggernacle consists of generally of young non-influential Mormons who publish anything from church-loving but mildly pro-Democratic party posts to open protests of church doctrine and leadership. There is no core for a liberal sympathetic church-loving person to grasp onto. By contrast Meridian magazine remains a highly influential voice in Mormonism because of its centralized editorial board, its acquisition of funds through sponsors and donors, and its success in attracting high-profile authors. It is also highly successful at promoting an ultraconservative and scripturally literalistic version of Mormonism. Why not a more harnessed liberal Mormon publication that is more than just a blog?

  33. Chris H. on January 24, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Well, Brad…get to it. Start lining up donors and ads. You do not seem to understand the world of print, but good luck.

  34. Andrew S. on January 24, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Brad,

    Now wait just a minute…

    Why not have paid clergy too? Why not have clergy who give sermons only on the specific topics of their expertise and theological training? And so on? Would that take Mormonism in general from its niche position to a more harnessed position in the theological market?

    It seems that a critique of these unpaid things in the blogging world is a critique of the way Mormons do things elsewhere.

    I’d say there hasn’t been a more harnessed liberal Mormon publication that is more than just a blog because when these things become more prominent, they become easy targets. “Symposia” are bad, dubious, things that ought not be named because if their name is even spoken, it might make a member combust spontaneously. On the other hand, when they become too narrow in focus (to centralize and distill a core “liberal sympathetic church-loving identity”), they shoot themselves in the foot by alienating some kind of supporter.

    I tell you what: define “liberal Mormon” first. If you can distill what a “liberal Mormon” is, then you’ll see why I disagree with your idea of content centralization (by analyzing all the people who exclude). But if you cannot distill what a “liberal Mormon” is, then you’ll see why I disagree with your idea of monetizing and institutionalizing a liberal Mormon identity.

  35. Brad Dennis on January 24, 2011 at 12:21 am

    OK Chris, thanks for the flippant comment. At least I didn’t compare the BCC to the Huffington Post.

  36. Chris H. on January 24, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Brad,

    You have obviously seen my flippant. This has been a decades long struggle for many of us . Join the good work if you would like. However, I do not think you are aware of what is already being done. Plus, you want your liberal Mormonism…well…correlated for you. Yuck.

  37. Chris H. on January 24, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Not seen, that is. What is your issue with my Huff Post/BCC analogy? Do you also not like NPR because it lacks as many ads as other outlets? Also BCC posts quite a bit with an an active sideblog.

  38. Brad Dennis on January 24, 2011 at 12:54 am

    The point is to effectuate change in church policy and help it skew more liberally. However, shouting at it through blogs is ineffective. Hence the idea for a medium that may be more effective than the bloggernacle (is it having any effect at all?), although perhaps untenable and risky. But I am looking for quality feedback at this point and not defensiveness.

  39. Andrew S. on January 24, 2011 at 12:57 am

    But the fatal flaw is in assuming that magazines would be effective at “effectuating change in church policy” or “helping it skew more liberally”

    rather than having those magazines typecast as (insert pejorative here) at some point.

  40. Dane Laverty on January 24, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Andrew S., the concerns you express in #34 could apply just as well to the more orthodox/conservative publications (like Meridian that Brad mentioned). I don’t think it’s a liberal/conservative issue as much as an effective communication issue. If I read Brad correctly, he’s saying that there’s a potentially valuable message waiting to be conveyed out of the T&S or BCC or some other bloggernacle site, but that the sites just lack the format for communicating it effectively.

  41. Dane Laverty on January 24, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Scott B., I love BCC :) I had to stop perusing PBR during lectures because I couldn’t keep myself from laughing.

  42. Dave on January 24, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Brad, blogs can develop from solo blog to general group blog (like T&S or BCC) to focused group blog (like FPR or JI or FMH). You can even enhance a group blog with recurring features (BCC”s Dialogue posters or T&S’s 12 Questions). But the leap you are talking about to essentially an online magazine or periodical is not just one more step from a group blog, it is an entirely different publishing model. It is a qualitatively different operation. Bloggers already have day jobs.

    I also sense some confusion between political liberalism and religious liberalism. This confusion plagues LDS discourse on the subject. I don’t think making either BCC or T&S into a soapbox for a progressive political agenda would do anyone any good. They already function well as forums for discussing progressive ideas (and a variety of other ideas — no agenda, just interesting discussions with individual contributors sometimes making particular points they feel strongly about).

  43. Brad Dennis on January 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Valid points raised about the unfeasibleness of creating a sort of online mag from a blog. It was just an idea to help make some voices that are strong in the blogosphere reverberate more in Mormon culture and leadership. But I do get a sense that the bloggernacle tends religiously liberal. I have read such well-penned articles on T&S and BCC and other Mormon blogs that I would like to see them have more persuasive power among the “Mormon mob,” and offer a viable alternative to Deseret Book Mormonism.

  44. KLC on January 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    The OP asks for thoughts on the future of the bloggernacle. Brad throws out a creative and unique idea that I have not seen discussed in the 5 years I’ve been reading LDS blogs. Bloggernacle regulars then nit pick his idea and insult him. The future of the bloggernacle thus appears to be much like its past.

  45. Chris H. on January 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Yes, because magazines and newspapers are unique and creative. As are compact discs and cassettes.

    KLC, thanks for reminding us about the part where somebody come a complains that everyone is being mean. That is one of my favorite parts about the bloggernacle.

  46. Chris H. on January 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    “comes and complains”

  47. Andrew S. on January 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    re 44:

    KLC,

    The OP asks for thoughts on the future of the bloggernacle. Brad throws out an idea that represents past/traditional forms of media and which, in nearly every other media context, these media are trying to move away from to a more internet-aware approach. Bloggernacle regulars then point out this historical trend and raise that *maybe* we ought to consider the disruptive nature of the internet more, not less.

    Seeing as the bloggernacle itself is a departure from past forms of media, EVEN if the bloggernacle “appeared to be much like its past,” its future would be far more future-ready than the various print media that exist.

  48. Brad Dennis on January 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    All popular and influential media of the past and present have funding (public or private), high-level organization, well-coordinated distribution, adept and persuasive writers/communicators, regular themes, and an audience who creates the demand for information (and maybe strong research, although this is not always necessary). To think that the future of successful media will be loosely organized, uncoordinated, random, or unfunded is simply delusional.

  49. Andrew S. on January 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I actually have two words for you:

    Youtube Meme.

    One more word:

    4chan.

    On second thought, I think that 4chan and Youtube (among others) are both delusional. And yet, these are media born of the present and the future. Traditional media struggle to make something that will catch on like a meme; memes don’t attempt to conform to traditional media dictates.

  50. Andrew S. on January 28, 2011 at 2:07 am

    For whatever its worth, have any of you seen John Dehlin’s plans for Mormon Stories (and Mormon Matters) for 2011 and beyond?

    In many ways, this seems to be a visionary way to put alternative voices on the map (although I recognize that some may feel it is “too” alternative, but oh well). I guess I can see, however, how the limitations or bottlenecks to this are things like funding, sponsorship, and so forth.

    So, I dunno. Maybe I’ll have to see what happens. I’m intrigued.