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It's interesting to reflect on what posts or topics catch people's interest enough to spur a conversation and discussion. The simple post on The Good Old Days got 29 comments--people found it very interesting. The short piece on Krakauer got 18 comments.

On the other hand, the posts on Mormon doctrine got relatively few comments--Triage got 5 comments and Curriculum got 4. The lesson might be that everyone has talked about the navel-gazing doctrinal issues more than enough, but an outside event or article brings a fresh look at things that people find interesting. So look for interesting new stuff out there to blog about (what's new under the sun?) rather than write a brilliant (and generally too lengthy!) analysis of the same old doctrinal issues which have been talked to death by now.

That's probably apt Dave. Most of the mailing lists or forums I was on in the past I left simply because the same old topics and discussions kept coming around. There was little fresh in it all.

It's sort of like Sunday School. I love the topic but often hate the presentation because I've seen it presented that exact same way dozens of times in the past.

I think you're right about people not wanting to rehash a lot of the same doctrinal points, at least not from the same old perspective. In my experience, the most interesting and popular posts (at least on BCC -- EVERYTHING's popular on T&S) are the ones that have a sensationalist edge, or at the very least, link to a real-world event with some emotional impact.

I hate to think that we're 'done' with certain topics, but frankly LDS doctrine is a pretty limited sphere for discussion, and it doesn't take long to make the rounds.

Steve, you're joking, right?

I think the problem is not that doctrinal questions aren't interesting, but that they're ill-suited to this medium. Take Dave's "Triage" post, for instance. That is a really interesting way to look at doctrinal issues, but it's hard to come up with some zingy quick response. It's the kind of discussion that needs to start slowly, with some heuristic first attempts and some give and take, a little brainstorming. It would be a great discussion in my living room, but it's really hard to get it going online--after all, who wants to make the stupid but useful first comments? Cultural/political questions are easier--you can look clever, get in a couple of one-liners, be smart and a little zany without seeming too unorthodox. Doctrinal questions aren't as sexy, and the risk of having your Mormonness or personal righteousness questioned is higher.

I disagree that they are ill suited to the blog medium - speaking as one spends a lot of his time blogging speaking on doctrinal matters. I think there's a lot that can be said about doctrinal matters. Indeed blogging is useful for finding new perspectives on the old questions so as to bring greater fulness to ones perspectives. (Not that you necessarily know more, but your ignorance is perhaps more robust...)

Kristine, I'm mostly kidding. Not everything is popular at T&S...

But look at the most popular entries at T&S, and it's not the heavy doctrinal battles, but policy-oriented debates.

I find the heavy doctrinal stuff interesting. But, as a teacher and grad student I get to do heavy thinking all day and sometimes all night and all weekends. So when I'm blogging late at night, I'm usually trying to unwind from all the intellectual work. That's why I don't comment much on the involved and probably important topics over there at those group blogs.

I welcome the opportunity to talk with LdS about things other than Mormon Stuff. Some members of the Disaffected Mormon Underground have a discussion board where we just talk, and discussion of "The C" is Not Allowed.

We are multi-dimensional beings, with a variety of interests. Kristine's post on BCC about the skating rink was a joy to read. I'm delighted that she chose to share it, because how else would I have heard such a terrific story?

Mormonism and excellent writing are two things that interest me, but excellent writing leaves Mormonism in the dust. It's wonderful to have so many good writers to read. I like it when they diversify the subject matter.

I suppose some people hesitate to comment on doctrinal themes, but almost everyone feels comfortable commenting on politics, social issues, or news.

Or maybe people are just mostly simple and shallow. Remember--Chicken Marsala got 53 comments over at T&S!


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