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Interesting. I guess I'm on the periphery of the "bloggernacle," because I know of several solo / couple bloggers who are LDS, but who are pretty much unaware of the bloggernacle. Most of these are just isolated bloggers who blog for friends, but would probably be open to having a wider audience. Maybe the problem isn't so much that more LDS bloggers are going to the group blogs, as it is that the bloggernacle is becoming too exclusive to a certain flavor of LDS bloggers. I've noticed that most of the big blogs that represent the bloggernacle tend to be more academic, and more tailored to the sunstone/dialogue crowd, and don't leave much room for the TBM(true believing Mormon--from the old FAIR boards)/stalwart type. Not that stalwart, true blue types don't feel that they have a place in the bloggernacle, but that there is a tendency in some of the blogs which represent the bloggernacle to have more turnoffs than not for solo LDS bloggers. This is especially true of blogs which talk about faith and Mormon culture issues. Other than that, I think it's that the "bloggernacle" tends to be way more academic than most bloggers, so solo LDS bloggers simply go elsewhere, and don't look to the bloggernacle as a community to which they belong.

I started a solo blog with the intention of becoming a small group blog quickly simply because I knew that I couldn't post more than a few times a week. I knew from my own experience that I didn't visit small blogs because they didn't post often enough to get a conversation going. After about 6 months as a small group blog, we decided to join a name-brand blog to consolidate real estate. We found that we had a lot of affinities with what blogs were doing, so why not join forces, have more people to produce more frequent posts and comments, and mutually increase each others' readership? I hear you that it is a good idea to practice around a bit, but even as a veteran LDS blog-reader, I found that I don't have to time to keep up with the new, so I just stick with the old tried and true.

Dave, in some of the cases I have observed--Sarah included--permabloggers come from the ranks of "frequent commenters." While solo blogging may help a blogger find their voice, I think commenting, to a certain extent, also helps a would-be blogger find their voice.

I let my solo blog waste away simply because I don't have a lot of time to devote to blogging. Perhaps someday when my children are older I might bring back my solo blog.

Dave,

Come back to BCC, man!

As someone who also started small and sold out, what can I say? Being at BCC simply allows me to bask in the glory of all my smart colleagues.

I think the aggregators take the pressure off the small blogs, don't they? I mean, instead of surfing from blog to blog (and learning to ignore those that don't post very often), I simply use the MA as one Big Blog. That is, it's all there in one place, and it doesn't matter if Blog X hasn't posted for a while. If I like the blog and the title, I'll go take a look.

A tangential note: commenters and commenting make the bloggernacle what it is. No other blogs have such polite and sociable commenters.

I've said this before, but someone needs to make an aggregator of the solo/personal blogs.

Maybe I'll do it now that I'm home fulltime.

Dave -- it's true that I have neglected ABEV, initially in favor of participating in group blogs such as BT before it closed shop but elsewhere as well. But ABEV isn't dead! As I was telling Ronan last week, I have a huge stack of blog posts that I am carrying around in my head. I think of a blog post every day. My problem currently is negotiating the time to blog, and this lack of time has meant that I am unfortunately not posting on group blogs much anymore either. I have only recently found enough time to start commenting around the LDS blogs again (likely to many people's ultimate chagrin, I realize).

Another interesting phenomenon I have noticed is a sense of inertia. As I mentioned, I have a large stack of material on a shelf in my head, ideas for posts that I get almost every day and that I put into storage because of lack of time. I could just go into ABEV and blast out one of these ideas as a post, but with my last post being so long ago, inertia seems to prevent a new start.

Hey Dave,

I guess I'm one of those without an apprenticeship.

But really, running your own blog really is taxing. It's a lot of work, and the sole responsibility for posting content rests on you. It's actually kind of nice to know that if I need to take a break for a couple weeks, the others at 9M will still carry on.

I find I blog better without the pressure.

Just so no one thinks I'm chastising those solo bloggers who have let their blogs slide -- I am oh-so-aware of the time-sucking aspect of running a solo blog. As noted by several commenters (and by myself in the final paragraph of the post) moving to a group blog eases that nagging "haven't posted in three days, the blog might die" feeling, while still allowing the permablogger to post to a receptive audience when that germinating blog post finally sprouts into text.

John F., I hear you! I've had a post or two brewing for days, but because IANAL, I can't write during my "copious free time."

It's also frustrating to be on a group blog where not so many people post. I think that may be one reason the group blogs are adding so many new people - so that there's new stuff coming out regularly. We saw what happened to the now-resurrected VSoM - a post per day with everyone assigned a day of the week just didn't happen. I'm delighted that they're trying again. It'll be interesting to see if it works.

Group bloggers are wimps! I'm glad it's not Dave & Bob & Jim & Moroni & Ammon's Mormon Inquiry!

You don't see much group blogging in the DAMU. Maybe it's because there's so much diversity within the DAMU that there's not just one voice that everyone wants to speak from. Sunstoneblog is probably as close as it gets, but that's another animal.

Well, except for Main Street Plaza, which seems to be generating a steady stream of posts and comments by an assortment of DAMUers. [Might we call them Damites?]

A tangential note: commenters and commenting make the bloggernacle what it is. No other blogs have such polite and sociable commenters.

Ronan, you're forgetting FPR, dude. That's where the eternal flames of hell lick against the faith of the religious right, and where biblical scholars warm their hands upon the fire...

Eep.

I had intended to use my solo blog to do some LDS stuff as well, but I don't have time to even keep up with 'What I've been reading.' (I'm four books behind.) It's not church callings (entirely) -- it's a family with little kids. I agree that a real blogger is someone who lives a portion of their life online, collating and linking. And I agree that is not me. But the fact that I can post less frequently means I can mull over ideas, do a bit of research and redraft a post if I wish. The range of posts is broader as a result.

For me, the 'naccle is about community. I am unable to have conversations about my religious experience with people who really understand it outside of the blogs. Being a reader and commenter has enriched my life. Last night in the temple I found myself reflecting on a couple of posts I had read days and weeks before. I did not aspire to becoming a permie, but I am pleased and honored to be able to contribute to the conversation on a larger scale.

Well said, Norbert. Every group blog needs a Euroblogger. Or two.

If Justin Butterfield was to come back and blog with you again, Dave, there'd be no need for any other blogs. Everything anybody would need to know or talk about would be right here.

I am a solo LDS blogger. I don't blog ,much about religion though. I blog more about politics. I still haven't found my niche and my audience. So far I mainly have young European college students for some reason.

I noticed too that group blogging seems to be the trend among LDS.

Oh, yeah I forgot to mention that I am a housewife with 3 small children. It is difficult to keep a blog, but I think more rewarding.

Just wait until I prod DKL into implementing our secret new feature at MM! It will be the end of solo blogs!

Susan M,

You can configure a login at LDSelect that will only show you solo blogs. Or you can make solo blogs in boxes one and two. Or do whatever you want. It is a pretty flexible aggregator.

I took a slightly different route to blogging. Essentially I started out on a Mormon apologetic board and was mentored along by more experienced writers there. I wrote a lot of "me too" posts, so it wasn't until I became the sole (sometimes) Mormon on a Catholic message board that I found my own voice.

Meanwhile I increasingly paid attention to the LDS blogs, but I have never been a big commenter. I was attracted to the politer atmosphere and increased discussion focus of blogs and the thrill of something like being published.

I then attempted to start a group blog with a successful solo blogger and some message boarders with similar interests I hoped to convert to blogging. I think my blog's focus (exploring interfaith issues between Mormons and Catholics) is much too narrow to attract much sustained discussion. My mind wanders too much. One week I am dabbling in Mormon history, the next I am over my head in apologetics, and I go through spells were I need to get back to writing my dissertation.

I think if I had to do it over again I would start with a solo blog where I blog about whatever I happened to be interested in and gradually build up credibility and acquaintances by being a commenter on other blogs before aiming at a group blog.

I am thankful for DMI's occasional blogging hints posts. I need to adjust to the three paragraphs and the truth rule a little better.

It is still competitive and tough to springboard my level of blogging activities to the next level. I tried to get on with the Bushman summer seminar but didn't make the cut. I may be able to get on a group blog eventually.

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