Posts Tagged ‘Bloggernacle’
If you are a new visitor to my blog, you may want to take a few minutes to browse through some of my top essays. These are ranked by page views over the past two years. I have a different list of some of my favorites but these are the most viewed. I hope this gives you a flavor for the kind of material I like to cover in my essays - current LDS topics.
1. General Authority Training – Advanced Subjects
2. How Americans View Mormonism
3. About Tim
4. There is no middle ground
5. It Came From Behind the Sun
6. Elder Packer Was Right about Bearing Testimony
7. My Interview with Mormon.org
8. What they don’t tell you about Bishopric Meetings
9. The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith
10. The Mormon Corporate Empire
11. Getting past prejudices with Rent – the Musical
12. An Evening with Richard Bushman
13. The Endowment is more than the ordinances
14. When Prophets need to know
15. Divine Manifestations must have a purpose
16. Come Unto Christ – my Christmas talk
17. A different kind of knowledge
18. Rachel Esplin video continues to be a hit
19. Shades of grey and relative truth
20. Walt Whitman – the great American poet
21. Mormon visitors from outer space
22. A website for the average Mormon
23. Thoughtful discussion of controversial topics
24. 2012 the movie
25. Revelation and emotional response
26. Add your profile to Mormon.org
27. The attitude of mocking
28. Objections to the Book of Abraham
29. A letter to a reader – burning of the bosom
30. The ambush – a fictional background story
31. Spiritual experiences as a foundation for faith
32. Seer stone in a hat – book of Mormon translation
33. When a prophet gets Alzheimer’s disease
34. The personal power of Hester Prynne
35. Red Sky – an early version of my novel
36. Unique Religion of Benjamin Franklin
37. God even loves computer geeks like me
38. Moving toward gospel promises
39. Sandinistas - missionaries in Nicaragua
40. Mormon mommy blogs are the traffic queens
41. Multiple versions of the first vision
42. And the stars shall fall from heaven
43. Miracles and angels – a car wreck in Oklahoma
44. The government of the United States will collapse
45. Just where exactly are the lost ten tribes?
46. Mormon Church is not the fastest growing
47. Just what was Portnoy’s Complaint?
48. Changes to the Book of Mormon
49. Changing requirements of perfection
50. Public rebuke from an apostle
A long time ago, I compiled a list of the LDS blog aggregators and made sure that I got listed on as many of them as I possibly could. The effort paid off. Although Google searches are still my number one source for bringing in new readers, being listed with the LDS blog aggregators has brought in a respectable number. In fact, I get roughly eighteen percent of my traffic in this way.
Meta-list for Mormon Mommy blogs
My fellow blogger Megan from Hall Pass announced on Facebook a couple of days ago that she was a guest poster on Mormon Mommy blogs. It got me to thinking about all the MM blogs I’ve seen spring up over the past few years. I wondered just how much traffic they were bringing in. I also wondered if there was a blog aggregator especially for Mormon Mommy bloggers. Yep!
So I ran some Alexa comparison numbers and was shocked to discover just where all the LDS blogging traffic was really going. The aggregator site called Mormon Mommy blogs was ranked higher in Alexa than any of the other LDS blog aggregators out there. Now you may argue with me that it is not a real aggregator, but you might want to take a second look. They are indeed!
LDS blog aggregators
Take a look at the chart I compiled of LDS blog aggregators sorted by Alexa rankings. There are two MM blog aggregators on the list, one right at the top of the list. You are probably familiar with all the others. If not, you ought to be and you should make every effort to get your blog listed in them. They can do wonders for driving traffic to your blog and getting you new readers.
Except for the two MM link-lists, I get referrals from almost all of them except the two from the More Good Foundation. My blog is fed to Mormon Bloggers while LDS Blogs is really more of a hosting site. I suppose they probably don’t really qualify as an aggregator but I do get some traffic from blogs found there. I am pleased to see that Nothing Wavering ranks high on the list.
An amazing contribution
So congratulations to Mormon Mommy blogs, both the aggregator site and to all the MM blogs that are listed in there. You are the queens of LDS blog traffic, at least according to Alexa. If you have never visited their site, go take a look at all the blogs in the different categories. You will be amazed at the diversity and thoughtfulness there as well as many that are just plain fun.
You’ll find book blogs, hair blogs, beauty and fashion blogs, adoption blogs and even some blogs about crunchy moms! There are blogs about homeschooling, infertility, blended families, military life, singles, parenting, spirituality, photography, music, art, self-help, special needs and just about every other helpful topic. What an amazing contribution these women have made!
I’ve been writing on Blogger for quite some time and have long wished for greater control of the blog. I like the ease of use of Blogger but it does not offer customization features that I have read are available with WordPress. All the old Blogger essays transferred to WordPress without any problems. The links still point back to Blogger but that’s OK.
I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get all the same widgets in WordPress that I had in Blogger but I probably needed to get rid of some of them as it was beginning to look cluttered. I wish there was a way to transfer my blogroll but it looks like that may be a manual process. I also changed the theme to one that promotes the writing and not the design. I like the simple header. It speeds up mobile loading.
Update: three days later
The move is complete. I may still add some widgets but overall, I like the look and functionality of the new site. The biggest hurdle was transferring all my subscribers without having to ask them to subscribe to a new feed. I simply had to break the old feed from Blogger and redirect it from here. Easy, I know, but it took me hours to get it right.
Now I know why I waited until the three-day weekend to attempt this. The learning curve for WordPress was not too steep, but there still were some gotchas. The whole process was rather time-consuming but fun. I’m ready now to do some serious SEO and to get back to writing new essays. Oh, and respond to some of the recent comments.
No blogroll on LDC
I decided not to add a detailed blogroll but will maintain several in separate web pages. The links are at the top left: A new LDS blog aggregators list, the top LDS group blogs, the top LDS solo blogs and a large list of LDS Message boards or forums. These were all previously posted but have recently proven to be very popular reference pages.
Thanks to all the aggregators and fellow bloggers who have linked to the old site over the years. I know some have already changed to the new site. Thanks for your links. A blog is fairly boring without readers and comments. Your links bring me new readers every day. I look forward to the continued dialog and hope my essays are worth reading.
I had a blast today updating my list of LDS group blogs. I confess that although I have visited and read all of these blogs in the past, I have been sporadic in following them lately. That’s not because they aren’t good reading. It’s just that I haven’t had the time. Who does? I know some people spend numerous hours each day reading and contributing to these LDS group blogs.
I had a blast laughing and being shocked by the wonderful banter that goes back and forth in these forums. And I learned more than a few things that I didn’t know before. It happens every time I go reading on the Bloggernacle. There are some great articles written and shared every day on these blogs, some profound, some historically significant, some touching and some sad.
LDS Group blogs are fun
But for the most part, these blogs are just plain fun. I don’t know how else to explain it. You can waste a whole day being entertained and adding to the conversation. But I’ve got to wonder how these people produce anything for their employers and contribute as much as they do. I just can’t do it and not feel guilty. Maybe they are self employed or independently wealthy.
Unlike the solo LDS bloggers list that I updated last week, the top LDS group blogs did not change much in position. I added over a dozen good ones that a felt were worth the visit. Of course this list reflects my own personal preferences and may include a few that are not strictly LDS. But for the most part it’s a good cross section of the Bloggernacle as it stands today.
I have included a few disclaimers on the list, but here they are again: 1. These rankings are based on current Alexa rankings 2. This is not a comprehensive list. It is an arbitrary list of some of my favorites 3. List does not include LDS solo blogs 4. Some blogs may not be strictly LDS 5. A group blog has two or more contributors 6. All 9′s indicates that I recently added it
I know that Alexa is an imperfect measuring stick. I have had that conversation with others several times. If you know of a better way to rank the popularity of LDS blogs then let me know. I am open to adding your LDS group blog to this list as long as you have an Alexa ranking. The same goes for the solo LDS blogger. Just leave a comment or send an email.
Which ones do you recommend?
I used to participate in the dialog on several of the top group blogs years ago. I doubt that anyone would remember me as I probably didn’t contribute anything profound. But if you’re a solo LDS blogger like me and want to get exposure for your blog, I highly recommend that you join the dialogs on at least a few of the top group blogs. I always add readers every time I do.
So just out of curiosity, here are a few questions for you denizens of the Bloggernacle: 1. How many of these blogs do you read regularly? 2. On how many do you regularly contribute? 3. Which ones are your favorites and why? 4. Have you ever been banned from one of these blogs? 5. Do you feel that you are contributing something positive to the dialog there?
At Connor’s encouragement, I updated the rankings list of the solo LDS Blogs I read on a regular basis. I now have 110 solo blogs in my Google reader and listed on my sidebar. That’s an increase of thirty solo blogs since I published the last rankings five-six months ago in November 2008. Click on the image of the screen print below to go to the page and view the list with the hotlinks.
Although I noted several disclaimers at the bottom of the published list, I will include them here as well: This is an arbitrary list of some of my favorite solo blogs. It does not include LDS group blogs. The rankings are based on current Alexa rankings. Some blogs may not be strictly LDS. The top 3 are skewed due to their hosting site. All 9′s indicates that I recently added it.
How blogs are ranked
Look for the updated group blog rankings later this week. I classify a group blog as any LDS-themed blog with more than one contributor. In the list above, I have tried to only include those that are maintained exclusively by one person. It is not always possible to determine this so some may be in the wrong list. I move them around as I discover where they belong.
The top three are hosted on blog sites that include a whole bunch of other blogs. Alexa is unable to split out the individual blogs from these sites – About.com, Beliefnet and BYU. That would make Seriously So Blessed the top LDS solo blog but I doubt that it really is just one person maintaining it and of course, it’s not a serious effort at sharing doctrine. But it sure is fun!
LDS Blog Aggregators
This is in no way a complete list. There are thousands of LDS or Mormon related blogs out there. You can find a lot of them listed at LDS Blogs, which is curiously found at the URL of Mormon-Blogs.com. A big Bloggernacle thanks to David Sundwall of A Soft Answer and Of Good Report who has been publishing this list as a service to LDS bloggers for many years.
You can find many more LDS blogs at Mormon Archipelago, also known as LDSBlogs.org, Mormon Blogosphere, compiled by Dr. B of Mormon Mission. There are several other aggregators, one I especially recommend: Nothing Wavering. Another good one is the Blogregate at MormonBlogs.org. LDS Rankings rounds out the list. LDS Select seems to have disappeared.
A final note
Again, this is just my own list of LDS blogs that I follow, ranked by Alexa rankings. If you want to be added to the list, just let me know. I’ll add you as long as I find your content interesting, current and ranked in Alexa. If you are just starting and aren’t ranked yet, just give it time. You can read more about how to promote your LDS blog at this essay I wrote last year.
There are now many more LDS bloggers who are actively expressing positive and interesting things about their faith and the LDS Church. This is a huge increase from this time last year. If we have learned anything in the last few years, it is that we are still not understood by the majority of the world. We need more LDS bloggers, actively writing and sharing our message.
I mentioned Seth Adam Smith last week, but once again, I am blown away by this talented LDS Blogger who creates videos that portray depth and meaning through beautiful music and imagery. Today’s video is on the Anasazi Foundation. It is about leaving things behind and moving forward. It is a sublime message. I recommend Seth’s work and look forward to more.
Bloggers who report LDS news
I wish I could tell you who does Mormon-Chronicles or what is the purpose of the blog, but it has consistently provided a source of LDS news articles that you won’t find in Mormon Times or other pro-LDS sources. Go through the archives. You may be surprised at some of the stories there. I know I missed a lot of them and I think I’m a pretty good LDS news junkie.
Are gays taking over Salt Lake City? Chris Bigelow seems to think so in his recent essay, More Prophesying about Salt Lake City. He references Newt Gingrich‘s recent article on Gay Fascism. That seems to go right along with what Brian Fitzpatrick had to say in Crouching fascism, hidden media. You can read more about this viewpoint in the Salt Lake weekly. Interesting stuff.
Positive LDS news in blogs
Another recent favorite for me is Beetle Blogger. She just started a few months ago but has already built up a regular following of readers and commenters. I believe we’ll be seeing a lot more good stuff on the Beetle Blog for a long time to come. Article VI blog continues to provide great coverage of the issues of religion in the political arena. Good stuff and well worth reading.
Although Guy Murray’s Messenger and Advocate has been around for years, I found his coverage of the proposition 8 campaign extremely insightful. If you are a regular reader of the Bloggernacle then you are probably familiar with his work. If not, check out his blog and join the discussion there. Ditto for Connor Boyack at Connor’s Conundrums. Lots of great essays there.
Plugs for some of my favorite sites
I’ve always enjoyed Rough Stone Rolling. The man knows how to write headlines. Today’s offering is “Mormon Times, Vampires and Underwear.” Another favorite blogger that started about when I did is Mormon Soprano. I think she is under-read and deserves more serious attention to essays like this: “A Rebuttal To: “Mormonism LEGALLY Declared Not Christian.”
For great discussion on doctrine that applies to spirituality, testimony and every-day living, check out Jared’s blog, LDS Alive in Christ. Sometimes it’s only me and Jared going back and forth but I have found that we think alike on so many things related to spiritual experiences. Another under-read blog is Richman Ramblings. Larry is the CEO of Evergreen International.
You are probably already familiar with Clean Cut out of San Antonio, Texas. His essays are always worth the time to read. He also gets good participation in comments. Of course, there is Bryce’s Temple Study blog. Sometimes he will get dozens of comments on an essay, other times, nary a peep, but they are all worth reading. I always learn new things about the temple there.
LDS group blogs vs. solo blogs
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any LDS group blogs. I confess that I stopped visiting them just about the time I started my own solo blog. I’ll still occasionally visit Steve Evans‘ group at By Common Consent or John Dehlin‘s Mormon Matters, but for the most part, I no longer spend much time on the group blogs. And what happened to Times and Seasons?
I have found that many of the essays and many of the commenters at the LDS group blogs just don’t think like I do. I confess that I am fairly conservative and tend to interpret the world around me though the lens of a lifetime of activity in and study of the doctrines of the LDS Church. So many of the essays on group blogs just seem to have a worldly liberal approach.
I know, it’s good to have multiple viewpoints of important political and social trends, but so many times when I try to engage in dialog on those group blogs, I find little support and much arguing about what I think are standard orthodox positions on doctrine and policy. I have great respect for fellow solo blogger Papa D, who has great talent in navigating the LDS group blog waters.
Summary and conclusion
The last few weeks have been difficult in the Blogosphere as there have been so many negative articles and essays about the aftermath of Proposition 8. Is it just me, or does it seem like the national media coverage of this has been very slanted towards the civil rights side of the issue? I read so little about the moral side. That message isn’t heard except in many of our LDS blogs.
Like Elder Ballard has said many times, we need to be the ones telling our story and defining what it is that we believe. I am grateful that Proposition 8 passed, just as I was when we worked so hard on Proposition 22. But the resultant national dialog has been, quite frankly, a world of difference compared to what it was eight years ago when we went through this same battle.
I remain convinced that more LDS people need to join the online dialog. We are just getting started. There is much work to be done. Just visit some of the blogs of those who opposed proposition 8 and read what they have written about us. They do not understand us and they have said so. Let’s give them more material, well written, well presented and shared widely.
Update: Thanks to Dave Banack at Dave’s Mormon Inquiry on Beliefnet for linking to this essay. You may also be interested in reviewing my recent listing of the top ranked LDS blogs according to Alexa ratings. It breaks out solo blogs, group blogs and popular LDS websites.
I suppose I should be flattered. There are several sites out there that troll the Bloggernacle just looking for conservative bloggers that take themselves too seriously. I’m probably one of them. So I’m pleased to have been given a nice LOLcat award for some poor wording on a recent post about the Yes on 8 ads and kids being taught about same-sex marriage in public schools.
This California Prop 8 thing has been getting pretty intense in the news lately. It is probably very disconcerting to the more liberal denizens of the ‘nacle who are opposed to the church’s involvement in this issue. It will probably only get more heated over the next three weeks. I hope our political views will not get in the way of our love of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mormon blogging is a small world
I have a sneaking suspicion that the only people who read my blog are other LDS bloggers. So my original intent in reaching out to those not of our faith was well-founded but perhaps not so very realistic. I have had a few comments from those researching the church but for the most part, I seem to attract readers who are on the fringe – those who are leaving or who have left.
Recently, I read an article about how few Internet Mormons there actually are. The majority of the church members – he calls them chapel Mormons – are not involved. They don’t know about the resources available to answer critics of the church. Nor do they know about amazing discussions taking place each day about the issues facing members living in an increasingly connected society.
Mocking is inevitable
My friend S.Faux posted an innocuous essay the other day about a common phrase used in New Testament times that pressed the “time to mock” button of some modern reader. It was all about the holy kiss, which sounds very unfamiliar in our day, but was apparently common back then. He illustrated his essay with a nice piece of artwork showing Peter and Paul greeting each other.
It is a sign of immaturity to mock things that you don’t understand or find hard to believe. They say it is all done in fun and yes, it can sometimes help to lighten things up when you see it from someone else’s point of view. But I am concerned for our newer LDS bloggers who share their testimonies in great sincerity and then get slammed by some ex-mo who thinks it’s funny.
Desecrating sacred things
It is inevitable in the virtual online world of LDS discussion that some of us inhabit, that we are occasionally visited by these rabid individuals. I am amazed at the talent of some who can craft a response that is intelligent and subtly mean at the same time. Others make every effort to openly offend and have not yet figured out how foolish they appear. It invalidates their point.
And then of course there are those who say they are on God’s side when they take things that are sacred to us and ridicule them in public display. No bolt of lighting comes down to zap them so they are happy to increase their efforts until someone takes the bait or they grow tired of being ignored. They have quieted down lately but you can read all about them over at the FAIR site.
Joseph was mocked
I enjoy my blogging activities about the church and LDS doctrine. Yes, my conservative views are very evident. I am also an older blogger so I see life from a different perspective from many who are proficient in the online world. Mocking on many forums and chat rooms is a common and acceptable practice. It can be a little shocking the first time a new LDS blogger is mocked.
This is not a new practice. It has been around since Joseph claimed he had seen a vision. It has just changed venues over the years until now it seems to reside online more than anywhere else. Some mocking can be said to be good natured, but I suspect most people don’t like it. Mocking is usually the forerunner to more active and serious efforts to tear down and destroy good faith.
The Savior was mocked
Those who lose their faith today are similar to those who rejected the Savior in the meridian of time. I can understand an honest loss of faith due to lack of belief in difficult doctrines. There were many who looked for a deliverer from Roman tyranny and were disappointed when Jesus did not live up to their expectations. They turned on him and mocked him as being weak.
The Redeemer was meek and did not revile. We do then same. The mocking of Jesus was at the zenith when he was taken, judged and placed on the cross. Some decided that he could not have been the Savior because he allowed himself to be crucified. We face similar mocking today as we meekly testify that these are indeed the last days and prepare for his triumphant return.
Summary and conclusion
I like to think I’m good-natured and have a thick skin when it comes to mocking. I try not to take offense at comments that are obviously from an individual who has been hurt and is taking in out on me because I wrote something that reminded him of that pain. I always try to think that it is not me that they are attacking, but the ideas that I espouse that they just don’t understand.
It is good advice to not take ourselves too seriously. That advice is especially applicable as we continue to discuss issues that are at the forefront of our political debate today. Mocking can be fun for those who engage in it and if done with the intent to help, then I suppose it can serve a purpose. It’s just seems so sad that there is no sense of the sacred from those who mock so well.