I started my website hoping to attract
readers with writings that presented a Christian perspective on life. I
incorporated a blog, because as a long-time newspaper reporter I enjoy
commenting on the news, and also because I wanted to bring in regular
visitors while I built up my file of articles and commentaries.
When I started I didn’t know of many
other Christian bloggers. I read
along with Holy
Catholic. That was about it.
But gradually I came to learn of more,
and I realised that there wasn’t a lot of interaction between them. Many
didn’t seem to be aware of the others. All sorts of good stuff was being
written, but wasn’t getting read by many people.
I thought an article on my site about the
phenomenon of Christian blogging might prove an consciousness-raising
exercise (and of course, as a new blogger, I was also looking for ways to
raise the profile of my site). So I sent out questionnaires to all the
Christian bloggers I could find – a couple of dozen, I think – and then
wrote an article,
Blogging for the Lord,
based on the replies. At the end of the article I added a list of the 12
Christian bloggers who had responded to my questionnaire.
I posted the article on my site at the
end of April, and sent off an email about it to Glenn Reynolds at
Within about 10 minutes the following appeared:
HERE COME THE CHRISTIAN
BLOGGERS. I think he's left out some, but I don't tend to sort people that
way so I'll have to think a bit to see if I can remember who it is.
And a little later:
UPDATE: Well, there's Amy
Welborn, for one.
I realised that Glenn
had taken the list at the end of my article – of respondents to my
questionnaire – as intended to be a complete list of all Christian bloggers.
It was already after 11pm in the US, and Instapundit had shut down for the
night, so it was too late to ask for a correction. I decided to compile a
real list of Christian blogs, and over the next 12 hours (it was still
daytime here in Melbourne) worked to track them down.
I found about 60, and
the next day posted the names on my site, under the title “The
Semi-Definitive List”, the implication of course being that while I felt I’d
probably missed a few, this list was about as complete as was possible.
Glenn Reynolds linked
to me again, and then the list was cited in an article by
John Leo in US News and World Report. From that point, it took on
something of a life of its own.
My next plan had been
to write fairly comprehensive reviews of each of the blogs, turning the list
into a kind of directory. This, I thought, would help Christians – and in
particular Christian bloggers – know what was going on in their zone of the
blogosphere. I imagined I could review all 60 blogs within a few weeks.
But suddenly I started
getting emails – up to a dozen a week – notifying me of new blogs, or blogs
I had missed. I abandoned the idea of a directory full of reviews, settling
instead for a brief description of each blog. Even that took me several
weeks of work, and was only completed thanks to a gracious offer of help
The list quickly grew
to 100 blogs, and then to 200, and was occupying hours of my time each week.
When I got separate emails from
Peters in the US and
Cunliffe in New Zealand, with ideas for turning the list into a major
tool of Christian ministry, it seemed an excellent opportunity to step
aside, to allow me to get on with what I really enjoy - writing.
Thus was born
blogs4God, something unique, and something in which all Christians should
Will it achieve much?
Some great stuff is being written by Christian bloggers, but how much is it
being read? For example, last week I
expressed my view that Amy Welborn’s
is “the very model of a Christian blog” and that a particular posting on
Presbytermark was “classic stuff that deserves far wider distribution
than just his blog”. Yet how many of the millions of Christians – or
non-Christians – who surf the net are even aware of these blogs, let alone
think that’s why we need blogs4God.
July 30th, 2002