Monday, 29 September 2008

The (new) ten commandments for bloggers

Richard points us to a list of “10 commandments for bloggers” which was drafted at a recent evangelical blog-conference, and which has attracted some attention in the news. There are just a few things wrong (ten things, actually) with this list of commandments; so I’ve decided to reveal my own Ten Commandments for Bloggers:

  1. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the Gospel. Your posts are not beams of light into the darkness of cyberspace; they are not the power of God unto salvation; they are not even (thank God) a reforming influence within your degraded society.
  2. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with Jesus. No one imagines you to be a model of sinlessness; no one is particularly interested in your integrity or your godliness.
  3. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a church service. Your readers are not your congregation, you are not the shepherd of their souls, your posts are not the bread of salvation. The first step towards healthy blogging is the recognition that nobody needs your blog.
  4. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the papacy. Readers are allowed to disagree with you, or think you’re stupid, or cuss you in a comments-thread. How can you tell if you’ve confused yourself with the Pope? Just check whether your blog features a Very Serious List (VSL) of “commenting rules.”
  5. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the Holy Scriptures. No one cares whether you’re infallible and inerrant. You can change your mind as often as you like – sometimes, you can change it two or three times in a single post.
  6. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with an electoral poll. Obsession with stats, or with schemes to increase those stats, is one of the first signs of the Very Wanky Blogger Disorder (VWBD).
  7. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a corporate teamwork retreat. We’re not all equal team players, we’re not brainstorming together or creating mission statements, we’re not empowering one another or learning to respect and value one another’s differences. Just once in a while, you should go ahead and tell someone that their opinion is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. Go on. It’ll make you feel so much better.
  8. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with a university. No one expects your posts to be the product of years of careful reflection. The purpose of blogging is to express hasty, half-formed opinions, and to eliminate the customary time lapse between thinking and publishing.
  9. Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with the school headmaster. Resist the temptation to create stupid and pompous lists of rules for blogging – and ignore anyone else who invents such rules.
  10. Finally: Thou shalt not confuse thy blog with God. If you ever catch yourself acting like God’s cyber-spokesperson, or if you ever feel tempted to describe your blog as a “Godblog,” just remember that God is not a blogger – in fact, She probably hasn’t even heard of your blog.


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