Wednesday, 19 March 2008


In the last month or so I've made a concerted effort to read a few more blogs on a daily basis. Finally got broadband, rss feeds and starting to get an idea of what's out there. I'm trying to figure out what works, and why, partly given that my employer Matthias Media is about to make a bit of an effort to increase the frequency, quality and relevance of its blog by introducing new members to the team. Really, I know nothing, and I've just been trying to learn a few things.

I'm still a bit puzzled. My goodness there is a lot of regularly updated dross out there in the Christian world (not you Craig. I'll always click for you, buddy. You were the one who convinced me that there might be a bit more to blogging than just "Tuesday. I seem to have developed a nasty red rash on my elbow").

Now it does need to be regularly updated, I can see that. If it's not updated most days, you need to have a friend like Craig who notices when you do, and links to your stuff.

But even when it is updated daily, it needs to be interesting. Good grief, sometimes the very act of clicking on your link is sending me to sleep. Nothing personal, but if I could write your blog entry for you before I've clicked you're that predictable, then I'm not going to click through, really. Spare me. Maybe along with the list of recommended reading that some blogs have down the side, I could add yours except with a heading 'Warning. Sufferers from sleep apnoea, do not click or zzzz...' 'Do not read this blog before driving or operating heavy machinery', that sort of gear.

There was a busker who used to sing and play guitar just outside the Queen Victoria Markets when I was enjoying a post-vegetable-shopping cup of coffee. You know how there are some buskers you just want to take the money from out of their guitar cases in quite a pointed way, so as to discourage them? I came that close, I tell you.

Anyway, some of your blogs are like that. No, not you Craig, really; and Jean yours is fantastic too and deserves more attention. I'll stop there before I start sounding like that weird lady on Romper Room with the mirror, from when I was little. Funny how you look at kids' TV in a new light when you're a grown up. Still hate Play School, but. Stop talking down to me, Benita or whatever your name was. Got enough of that from Mr Smillie in year 9. And Humphrey B. Bear is even more pathetic and wet than I remember, which is pretty hard, because even back then he had the sort of personality that if the year 9 boys caught him behind the toilet block, they'd job him just for being who he was, a creepy mute guy in a bear suit.

Anyone out there got blogs they like? Don't tell me Challies or Pyromaniacs, I know all those US reformed guys. Huh. I'm in a bad mood now. Those links better be good or you'll be hearing about it.


Badders' were pretty good too, but they never update now they have a baby.


The Shtes! said...

Andrew Hong from NDSCCC writes some good food for thought (particularly related to Chinese churches):

Phil Campbell at Mitchelton Pressy in Brisbane has a blog devoted to good graphic design that churches should take tips from:

I use this blog whenever I'm wanting to add something new to my own blogs (it's got good tips from a once-was-a-noob blogger):

And for pure fun I read this blog written by a Doctor in Singapore (who is also a Christian) attempting to find the best hawker food available:

And I have a few of my own, but I'm sure you're not interested in that snooze material ;)

Dannii said...

You're only after Christians yes?

Here's two I like:

Now what can we do get Mark blogging again? Are children off limits?

michael jensen said...

I am addicted to Karen's blog.

I highly recommend Byron's thoughtful theological blog. He writes like an angel and he thinks hard. I never leave unchallenged. His stuff on the resurrection was superb.

David Castor said... has the definite list of blogs from the Christian "underworld". Imagine my surprise at being included in their list. I mean, I'd always thought that I was rather orthodox. Really.

Baddelim said...

Wow. We almost made it onto the Blogging List of Honour. So close!

We're trying to update on Fridays now. The presence or absence of a Friday post is an indication of how the week's gone.

So, you never know. We might be updating more regularly soon.

I like Nicole Starling's blog: - especially thought provoking around election time!

:) Jennie

Timothy Wonil Lee said...

The Internet Monk.
It's quite famous, but in case you haven't seen it yet...
(Please be nice to him, he is not a Calvinist, and doesn't like the word 'inerrant', and he gets many hateful emails and comments for that reason apparently...)

GospelDrivenLife - used to be my favourite. Sadly, it doesn't get updated much anymore.

Reclaiming the Mind
I think you'd know this one.

Timothy Wonil Lee said...

oh, by the way, I read this one post on iMonk site which may interest you.
Ten reasons I don't read your blog

Pete said...

I blog again for a week and don't make the cut. :( Even when I blog about things like large churches.

Maybe it is because I'm boring.

Some of the other blogs recommended I'd recomend too.

I'd also recommend a few of the other lurkers here as good blogs too.

CraigS said...

No, not you Craig, really

Methinks he doth protest too much. I know I'm totally tabloid, the Daily Telegraph of the local blogosphere, but it's generally done in good humour.

Continuing the analogy, Gordo is more like the Oz, MJ is the SMH, and Byron is Green Left Weekly.

The amount of dross out there at least makes it easy for you to raise your head above the pack. I am really looking forward to the new MM blog, I'm sure it will be very helpful, and very influential.

ambrosis said...

How about ?

Or is he counted as one of "those US reformed guys"?

/Karen/ said...

Wow, I'm an addiction for MJ! :)

Gordo, I think your post could benefit from a definition of what you consider to be “dross” and uninteresting. The fact is, 90% of the blogosphere won't appeal because 90% of the blogosphere aren't interested in what you're interested in. Some people find discussions about the merits of different types of knitting stitches endlessly fascinating; others, of course, won't. I'm constantly amazed that some of the readers of my own blog find my longwinded accounts of day-to-day miscellania endlessly fascinating (and it seems that more find them fascinating than those who don't).

So what are you after, exactly? Is it good writing or a particular focus in content?

AB said...

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of their blogs was considered to be the greatest.


Gordon Cheng said...

So what are you after, exactly? Is it good writing or a particular focus in content? dunno. Good stuff I

My rule of thumb is that if I could get the same stuff reading off-screen (what they used to call reading books, I believe), without too much difficulty, then why read it on screen? That cuts out 95%, no, 98% already and so I haven't really subjected the remaining 2% to a great deal of thought.

Of the 2%, the main test is whether it sparks me to think about stuff I'm interested in, but that list is eclectic and somewhat unpredictable, even to me. If it makes me laugh, it's got a good chance of getting read once, almost no matter what it is. But I will come back to it if it has something else going for it; especially if it is going to make me think hard about (in descending order)

a Bible verse

a theological question I'm currently interested in

any question I'm currently interested in (today: translations of the Stabat Mater)

Paris, France

Australian test cricket

buses and bus timetables

NSW state politics

a gadget, but I can't tell you which one until I see it


PG Wodehouse

Swedish trivia

current movie reviews of something I just watched

global warmening

global coolening

globes that you can live in, suspended from a tree

friends I'm stalking (none at the moment)

Quality of writing no object. Or probably, sophistication of writing no object. I don't care if it barks like a dog, if it holds my interest for other reasons.

Gordon Cheng said...

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of their blogs was considered to be the greatest.

Well yours is great too, AB! I mean, all of you out there, honestly, 'I love youse all' (Jeff Fenech), it's just, some of you I love less than others.

I also have a favourite child, but it switches from day to day and they have to compete for my affection and the cash prize that I will give to one, and one only, at arbitrary times during the month.

Anonymous said...

I also have a favourite child, but it switches from day to day and they have to compete for my affection and the cash prize that I will give to one, and one only, at arbitrary times during the month.

Do you at times do a National Bingo Night style action and not pay up? Just watch that a disgruntled child doesn't take the lead of Channel 9's protest during Sunrise by gathering their friends and protest at an inconvenient time shouting out "Dad doesn't pay up!"

Luke S. said...

There is indeed a lot of mind-numbing dross out there, but the trick is to find good sources with a reasonable signal-to-noise ratio that do most of the filtering for you.

The best thing about reading blogs is to expand your horizons, rather than just listening in on the echo-chamber of the Christian blogosphere, for instance.

For instance, sites (not nec blogs, and not nec work safe 100% of the time - you've been warned!) such as kottke (great blog, new yorker articles I've read via kottke are some of the best things I've ever read), reddit (social news, filter for crazy), (geeky) and some other design/web nerd blogs generally satisfy my information addicition, but the general aim is to get the right flow of information, run it through an IV into your arm, sit back and enjoy...

Laura said...

One of the funniest posts of yours I've read, Gordon! Very well played.

Quirky, silly, ranch-related:

Theology, etc.:


Jean said...

There are two I keep coming back to(besides yours, I'm reluctant to admit after your rant, even though it made me nod in guilty agreement):


Nicole's is well-known here, or it should be; the GirlTalk one is a gem and deserves to have every Christian woman in Australia reading it. But you can read it too if you like, despite being a male and all.

byron smith said...

Continuing the analogy, Gordo is more like the Oz, MJ is the SMH, and Byron is Green Left Weekly.
Made me grin a lot. That said, the few times I've looked at it, I've found the GLW almost unremitting drivel. (But maybe that's the comparison you had in mind...)

michael jensen said...

Man, to be likened to the SMH in christian circles is an insult of enormous proportions! I hope I am more accurate than that!

T said...

Oh Gordo, you DO bring a smile to my face. I am not as regular a blogger as I would like to be (don't know if you've even seen mine at all), but I regularly read yours, rd's (a certain minister's wife), sam and soph's ( and Nic's (a former minister's wife - it's already been mentioned here!).
They are good, and although I can't necessarily follow the big words you use sometimes (that's my brains fault, not yours), I enjoy all of them for the simple fact that it's evident in EVERY post how they seek to live out their faith in a way that's honouring to God.

rd said...

MJ said:
"Man, to be likened to the SMH in christian circles is an insult of enormous proportions! I hope I am more accurate than that!"

Not always, but we love ya anyway ;)

Nils said...

Challies is a Canadian reformed guy :)

Gordon Cheng said...

Challies is a Canadian reformed guy :)

Oh, yeah, sorry aboht that all you Canadians.

I remember one time Bryant Gumbel was broadcasting from Tasmania and kept calling it "Tan-ZAY-nia".

Timothy Wonil Lee said...

Came back for two more.

Two Christian law professors. (my brain hurts reading this at times, but you should be right. ;-)

Think Christian

Georgina said...

I think it all comes down to what you're blogging for! I'm blogging to encourage my local churchmates who read it, and tell others about my day. So what if it's not a big theological blog. And so what if no one reads it. What does it matter anyway?
The tree still falls in the forest whether anyone hears it or not.
Personally, the reason I like Karen's blog so much is that it's her - just her - not some person pretending to be someone else.

I don't mind if nobody reads my blog. It's for me. I'm not worried by a lack of audience. It depends on who you are trying to please, I guess.