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Are these themes supposed to be ones that the blogs currently follow? Or do we simply suggest two themes that people might want to follow?

As I see it, those with what they see as good candidates for new themes propose it here, on this thread: "Mormonism in Canada" or something. Based on feedback and comment, we get some idea whether it's a winner or not--whether that catches the interest of the present Blog Club members so two or three or four would follow the proposer into a new Blog Club with that theme. It's not a forever thing, just a theme to blog around (in a very general way, for a few of one's posts) for a couple of months.

What did you have in mind, Kim?

I second Kim's confusion. Are we splitting the existing group or creating new groups? After all it seemed one of the problems of the prior one was too much diversity. (I certainly had a hard time coming up with comments and I think there were a few that I never commented on)

"What did you have in mind, Kim?"

I didn't.

I just wasn't sure how it worked. I certainly saw no tying theme between current Club blogs than the fact that we are all LDS.

Kim and Clark, I did note that "the theme is rather a loose guide." Too general and it's not a theme. Too narrow and it's . . . well, too narrow.

So "19th Century Mormon History Blog Club" is too narrow. I think "Mormon History Blog Club" is too narrow. "Mormon Blog Club" seemed to work. I suppose "Christian Blog Club" or "Canadian Blog Club" or "West Coast Blog Club" would work. I think you need a theme (at least a general one) just to give some identity to the enterprise, to explain it to potential new blogs. And I think you need a new or modified theme to keep things interesting.

Alternatively, one could simply split the existing club in half without any attempt to define or create new "themes," then let the resulting two clubs develop their own "theme" as they continue and attract new member weblogs.

How about Mormon Incidentals Blog Club for blogs that are not primarily focused on Mormonism, but by Mormons?

The variety of blogs that show up in the current Mo Blog Club is pretty high. How would we categorize the blogs currently?

I see some blogs that are more personal (and perhaps random in their entries -- though some are more focused than others) whereas there are those that focus mainly on asking intellectual questions about Mormonism. By the way, Grasshopper doesn't only have his "Let Us Reason" blog (which follows the intellectual focus approach) but also has a personal blog called Grasshopper's Muse. Perhaps that blog should be "On Deck" as well, if Grasshopper is interested.

I'm willing to follow the leader. I did have one idea that I'm more than willing to see rejected. Perhaps the Mo Blog Club could be more loosely organized, in the sense that folks could be encouraged to pick ten Mo blogs that they regularly comment with or think they would have comments for (that are not group blogs like BCC: or Times and Seasons). The selection could be from a general Mo Blog Pool that is created or perhaps even from the entire Bloggernacle? Either way, those ten picks would be their Mo Blog Club. They would probably need to post their picks on their site under the heading Mo Blog Club and perhaps they could have a post to explain their picks and why they chose them. A chance to let loose a barrage of compliments.

The only danger here is that some folks could get left out (I could end up being one of them). But it could create some interesting commentary on "Mo Blogs" in general as well.

Just some brainstorming. Feel free to reject any or all of this like yesterday's newspaper.

If we want a theme of taking some book at perhaps responding to it once a week, that'd be a good idea. But I agree there has to be some "theme" that right now is lacking.

i like the "incidental" & "fundamental" blog approach. if your content is focused on being/living as a "MO" or on other stuff that doesn't really deal with whether you are MO or not.

having said that...I don't know where mine would fit. probably somewhere inbetween.

alt: One could be for blogs re: journal type blogs...and one for current-events type blogs or...comedy blogs? or...

"I don't know where mine would fit. probably somewhere inbetween."


It seems one possible division is between more "journal" oriented blogs and more "theological" oriented blogs. For instance "Celibate in the City" is a journal oriented blog. Mine is definitely theological. (Although I have a journal oriented one that is wofully neglected)

There are a few inbetween ones which are more typical "interesting links" type stuff. But if we split like this, perhaps those blogs would have an incentive to have more regular posts related to the theme?

As I said, I'm also interested in a book reader's blog where we all pick a book, read and comment on it. It could be anything from Jesus the Christ to Pres. Hinkley's recent book.

I'd third the book reader's theme. That could lead to some interesting discussion.

The real question for me is still Kim's from the first question: are we dividing over what we already do or would a new theme require a significant change of content and/or orientation in blogging as a theme to blog around?

I've given the purpose and direction of my blog a lot of thought in the last year, and have found that there are some themes that I simply am not interested in blogging about. Sometimes I only have time to note down interesting links; sometimes it's thoughts inspired by a book or an article; other times it takes on a journal-like angle. Whatever the case, though, I've discovered that I'm just really not all that interested in blogging about theological/religious topics, especially about Mormonism, despite my status as a Mormon blogger.

With that in view, I'd be quite open to to a theme that required a few posts and observations related to it, or a division based on currently apparent characteristics...but whatever the theme or the 'incentive', I'm not all that keen on changing the main focus of my blog (or, if there isn't one, giving it a Mormon-based focus).

So before I could suggest a theme, I guess I need to have that clarified -- what effect will the theme need to have on the orientation of a blog?

Arwyn, I don't think the theme really needs to affect the "orientation" of a blog, especially because themes come and go but weblogs are (theoretically) forever. If the theme is X and you have a "I don't do X" weblog, that's not a good fit maybe. But if you're willing to throw in a post on X when you come across an interesting article, or make one of your own interests take a detour near X from time to time, and if you are willing to comment on other blog posts about X, then things work out. Hey, it's just blogging.

What makes the club work (if anything) is the links posted and comments made--that's the heart of the short-term community formed. The theme itself is more visible but less essential, as I see it, yet one needs some sort of theme to give some sense of mutual interest or common ground beyond "ten people who blog."

This, I'll note, is hindsight. It's not quite what I expected to see happen with the club when I first proposed the idea a month ago. But I've enjoyed having a few friendly weblogs to visit and having comments to give and receive.

I think people are thinking too much here. The previous theme was blogs by mormons. Now we just need some more themes that are similarly vague. So, here's one obvious theme: The Mo Life Blog Club. Blogs by mormons about themselves, their lives, their religion, their politics....more journal-type blogs fit but so do the more eclectic ones that touch on politics and technology and literature. Those are all subjects of life. Yay or Nay?

By the way, my imminent 5-week sojourn in Ireland will limit my blog club participation from the daily visits and comments to probably only a few times a week. I'll have easy access to the internet at most hostels but I hope I won't want to spend everyday online. I'm still willing and probably able to lead a group if my theme is acceptable.

Tentatively that sounds good JL. A breakdown to "Mormonism in life" and then "Mormonism in thought?"

Presumably Grasshopper and myself fit more in the "in thought" category.

I'd still like to do a reading group for the blog group I find myself in. But something not too terribly complex. I'd love a reading project of Orson Pratt's _The Seer_ but suspect that is not everyone else's kettle of fish. I'm open to one of Nibley's books as well or nearly anything else.

Okay, as people have weighed in I see two good candidates: (1) the Mo Life Blog Club targeting "journal blogs," and (2) the RPT Blog Club, targeting "bookish blogs" with a predisposition to talk about Religion, Philosophy, and Theology (RPT) books or themes. I'm not sure it would work to get everyone on the same book though. The Mo Life club will no doubt feature JL blogging her way through Ireland, which should be a kick.

Those are general enough that anyone desiring to go on to the second generation is okay, and also general enough that over a few weeks other interested bloggers (some from outside the Bloggernacle, I hope) will appear. Let's chew on this for a couple of days.

I thought danithew's idea that anyone can make their own personal blog club by just listing "my ten favorite blogs" and making the rounds daily is interesting. No reason you can't do that on your own and see how it works.

I third on Dave/JL's suggestion. Although, hopefully that means that politics is included somewhere betwixt philo & religion. :)

JL, nice input you gave there and I like the titles we're starting to see for the blog clubs.

Just for the sake of science ...

I was thinking of the various categories of Mo Blogs I've seen -- and though they haven't participated (as far as I can tell) in the Mo Blog Club to date, there is another category of blogs out there that we should probably recognize: Mo Law Blogs. Actually, it occurs to me that Lyle contributes some material on his blog relating to experiences with law and law school.

So just thought I'd add that additional thought.

So where would mine fit?

It seems I make enough posts to qualify for both.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. :)

I think those themes are a pretty good summary of what we have. Do we still have an on-deck circle, too? Of folks who expressed interest but were a little late for the first round?

I think your blog is eclectic enough for you to fit with any of the themes. That means you can choose which blogs you want to hang out with. :)

In that case, maybe I'll just wait around and to see what's left over. ;-)

So what did we decide?

From my "summary comment" posted two days ago, here's where I think things stand for the moment:

Okay, as people have weighed in I see two good candidates: (1) the Mo Life Blog Club targeting "journal blogs," and (2) the RPT Blog Club, targeting "bookish blogs" with a predisposition to talk about Religion, Philosophy, and Theology (RPT) books or themes.

Do we need a 3rd group for Poli-blogs? Those centering more on politics like Lyle's and I know John's House of Payne is mostly politics too, he wanted to join in with us. I think politics could fit both under Mo Life and RPT if we made it RPPT.

Depending on how it works, it could be either 'theoretical' or 'applied' politics. however, i think it will fit more comfortably with RPPT. :)

Alright, everyone has had their chance to propose, now it's time to dispose. As chair of the club, I will officially end the Mo Blog Club and identify successor blog clubs in a new thread. Many thanks to all diligent bloggers.

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