Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CN Notices Lutheran Blogosphere, Comments

Christian News, which I have previously written about here, is a para-church Lutheran newspaper of some influence. I have argued that influence is waning and is devolving, with a larger and larger chunk of Lutheran news and discussion being found on the internet every day.

This issue of CN does a pretty uncritical cut-and-paste job of the BBOV, claiming more than 250 Lutheran blogs. Actually, the list printed in CN includes Aardie's Confessional Lutheran blogs as well as his other lists of links and non-Lutheran blogs.

CN continues to print cynical commentary on this growing media (and I can understand why "old media" is suspicious and perhaps even threatened by the "new media"). Here's the commentary:

Christian News has often suggested that conservative independent Lutheran publications unite. CN frequently says: "It is better to have one publication reaching 100,000 than 10 separate publications each reaching 10,000."

Most of the millions of Lutherans in the U.S. are not being reached with the truth of what is really going on theologically in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Many conservatives spend endless hours speaking to one another on the internet. They are not reaching the vast majority of Lutheans. Some bloggers seem to beleive that if they place something on the internet, they are reaching the world. Jesus First with its Jesus First publication is reaching far more than the conservative Lutheran bloggers. There is much more unity among the liberals than among the conservatives.

Here is a list of bloggers...

I won't deny that some Lutheran bloggers overestimate their influence and reach. But I think most are pretty realistic about it. Heck, most of us have hit counters to tell us exactly who is and how many are reading us!

But who can deny that, as a whole, the Lutheran blogosphere (like every blogosphere) is growing in influence and reach? As more and more people become internet-savvy, and as the collective amount of information in Lutheran blogs grows, this can only continue.

I also think there is far more agreement on the blogs than CN knows.

Are there limitations? Sure. Not every blog is equally helpful, or even speaks truth. Many voices means each one gets less attention. But the targeted nature of blog information is very powerful. If someone wants to know about "Lutheran Resources for Golden Compass", guess what comes up first on a google search? A blog.

Check out the Wittenberg Trail, as another new media... not a blog but inclusive of blogs... a place for reaching out to people investigating Lutheranism. How would CN do that? Another advantage of blogs over a newspaper is they are universally accessible to the Lutheran and Non-Lutheran alike.

And another advantage of new media over old is timeliness. Rarely do I read anything CN reports anymore that I haven't already seen elsewhere on the net, usually in a blog. CN is routinely weeks behind on some of the most interesting Lutheran news stories out there. It's a significant disadvantage of a slower medium, and why most major secular newspapers today also publish online versions - to keep up.

What I think CN is slow to admit, is its own waning in influence and its core audience is graying and dying. I think even Jesus First, with all its funding and ogranizational prowess, is behind the curve of the grassroots blogosphere.


necessaryroughness.org said...

Who is Christian News, again?



L P Cruz said...

I also do not know CN myself. At any rate, I rejoice in Lutheran blogging for the Lutherans are now taking action, they have been quiet for so long. That is no longer going to be the case and praise the Lord for it.


The Unknown Lutheran said...

Darn it all Pastor Chryst - I am going to have to retract my whole post on the Wittenberg Trail now that I know I am in semi - agreement with CN.


Frank said...

I started my blog to poke fun at, well you know. But now my I keep up my blog to teach my own family whose own post-modern tendencies lead them to hate the church. While I still write as a Lutheran, the conversations that stem from my blog allow me to help teach. CN is correct that we talk to one another, and there is certainly comfort in that for me.
But they fail to see the forests for the trees. I now write about hymns, modern trends as well as evangelism. CN doesn’t see the conversations that point to Christ at the family reunions and kitchen tables.
I only each 200 or so folks a week according to my site meter (which is miniscule to many blogs). But if my new hobby becomes an efficacious vocation, so be it.

Frank said...

I only reach 200 or so folks, not each 200. Sorry I've yet to learn to type.

Anonymous said...

It is better to have one publication reaching 100,000...

Just because one mails a copy of a printed publication doesn't mean that it is read.

Heck the last time CN actually caused a stir was when it published an anonymous article by an alleged seminarian.

At least I can say my fire pit has benefited from this publication as it certainly sets my firewood Ablaze!

*anonymous posted for pure irony

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I don't know who the CN is.....the website is down, or the address has changed.

Sounds like it is an old media that is out of date anyway.

Christopher said...

CN serves well here at CTS at the current moment...
It provides good lunch humor, is often used to start fires in fireplaces, and good scratch paper by the mail room.

wmc said...

Otten only wishes he'd had had blogging back in his heyday. Print newspaper was all he had in the seminex days. He did then what the bloggers do today. The big difference is that the bloggers are faster and the blogosphere is self-correcting.

Otten's anxieties over the "interweb" are largely geriatric.