Blog confessional

by

One of the criticisms that has been leveled at ministers who blog is they spend time blogging that could be better spent working for their respective churches. People ask me on a regular basis “How do people find the time to blog as much as they do?” My honest answer is I’m not sure.

Museum 2.0¬†estimates how much time it takes for people to engage in certain web 2.0 activities, including Facebook, Twitter and blogging. Nina says it takes 1-5 hours a week if people are mere participants — commenting on blogs every once in a while or doing a Facebook page. For the bloggers out there, she says it takes 5-10 hours a week to run a blog.

So it’s confession time. How long do estimate you spend online doing things like blogging, commenting on blogs, reading blogs and/or doing things like Facebook and Twitter?

And help me out by providing an answer for the people who ask me how you do it. How do you view your blogging? Is it part of your church ministry? Do you do it during “working” hours? Is blogging affecting your work at your church? Are there ethical issues related to blogging and holding a full time ministry position?

And I want some real honesty here. Some of you put a lot of thought and research into what you write. I know that takes time. If you feel you need to, anonymous comments will be accepted, but I’d like it more if people were open about how much time they spent on blogs and the like.

Tags: , , ,

11 Responses to “Blog confessional”

  1. David Says:

    John:

    There are blogsites I view daily, but may not read in detail depending upon the day’s posting. There are blogs I used to view but gave up on after interacting with the sites’ owners. There are blogsites I view several times each day because their owners most often post comments regarding matters about which I am interested (this site is one of those).

    I attempted setting up a blogsite over a year ago, but discovered what you mention above to be true: doing so requires much time and effort to provide postings of interest to a wide readership–too much time and effort for me to commit with everything else “family/work/etc.” for which I am responsible (if I were to do that much work, I would prefer to be paid for it–say, working under your direction as one of the BGCT’s news writers . . . in that convention writer’s position which has been vacant for quite some time now . . . which still is not filled yet . . . my phone number is . . . personal resume attached . . .). ;-))

    Hopefully, comments I post here are helpful to the whole and not disruptive.

  2. Ken Coffee Says:

    It helps to be retired. I probably spend four or five hours a week on my own blog, perhaps less. Writing has always come easy for me, so in an hour or so I can write a whole week’s posts. I look at selected blogs and see what the topic is. If the topic doesn’t appeal to me I just move on. If it is exceptionally good I will leave a comment. If it is factually inaccurate I will try to correct in a comment. I do most of my posting in the evenings, on my own time. Occasionally, I will do one at lunch time. I suspect four or five hours a week is about right. I know many people feel blogging is a waste of time. Those same people might feel that sitting in a room with a group of people and discussing a topic is a waste of time, also. It is a way of sharing thoughts and ideas, and I, for one, never figured my ideas and opinions would appeal to anyone. But, it seems they do. Hundreds check out my blog each day, which surpsies me no end. I never thought anyone wojuldcare what I had to say. In fact, after retiring from the BGCT in 1999 I was on a retainer to consult with and assist my successor. In three years I never received a single call from him. I finally went in and told him, “You just start using me or quit paying me.” He chose the latter. I decided then that old guys ideas were not welcome at the BGCT, so I dropped off the map, so to speak and just minded my own business. When I saw things being said about the BGCT that I knew were off base, I decided to wade into the fray. The result is my blog. I love the fact that I have made many new friends through blogging and surfaced some old ones , also. Just look at this. You and I would never be having a conversation if it were not for this blog. You would not consider me important enough to ask my opinion, and I would never have known who you were. That alone makes this worthwhile.

  3. Ken Coffee Says:

    One other thing and I will try to eliminate the typos this time. I do not spend hours on the phone each day talking to friends and trying to get the straight scoop on all things. Some of these folks who criticize blogging would do well to look to their own schedules and see how much time they waste doing things no one ever will know about. At least bloggers are out in the open.

  4. John Says:

    David you make me smile.

    Ken, I’m glad you started to blog. I’m one of the people who look at every post you write. You have a perspective many of us don’t. I find it extremely helpful.

  5. Rand Says:

    I ignore my family and work. No, just joking.
    I spend about 5 hours per week and I usually sacrifice sleep. My wife and toddler go to bed early so I have a luxury of time there. Most of my online time is spent catching up with people from college and even high school. Some I care to find, others not so much.
    Most of the time that I spend on blogs is in a way, work related. The blogs I frequent are about marketing and branding (besides this one of course).

  6. Benjie Says:

    John,
    What you suggest to Ken is one of the reasons I spend time reading blogs. It helps me find people with thoughts that make me think. When I think, I feel like I do a better job in the preparation of sermons (I also find good illustrations among the blogs from time to time). I also find that it helps me develop a better idea of some of the things that are important in the world outside my sheltered village.

    I post sporadically on my own blogs to keep a hand at writing–I find that I have been better at journaling than I ever was with a pen and leatherbound pagebook.

    One final plus for me, that I think helps in my ministry, is the ability to meet and interact with people who have much more expertise than I do (either in ministry, or with a specific issue that has cropped up). Is it wasted time? Only from the perspective of one who doesn’t understand. Is it wasted time to go down to the corner restaurant for a cup of coffee with the locals (or the post office porch, or the barber shop)? Surely not, it’s networking. Are there other things that I could or should be doing from time to time–rather than comment on your blog, or another? Most definitely, but I still think that there are times when we have to wait until we’ve got a God’s-eye view before we start casting stones.

  7. David Says:

    John:

    The smiles–that’s another reason I read blogs and sometimes leave comments. There honestly appears to be a great amount of anger and/or frustration out there among us. Maybe it’s some carry-over from the days of BGCT/SBC struggles, in addition to our own recent convention trials . . . but life already is hard enough without that anger and/or frustration, especially between brothers in the Lord.

    Keep up the good work (and let me know about my resume . . .!)

  8. ashli Says:

    I would say that I spend at least 8 hours a week on these kinds of things. Every morning on the way to work I do facebook, twitter and a check a few blogs on my phone. (I can do this safely b/c my husband is an excellent carpool driver.) I also randomly check these things during the day if I have a chance and most of the time before I leave work. I also check my facebook on my phone most nights before I go to bed. I don’t comment too often on blogs and when I blogged, I was like Rand and sacrificed sleep.

    The ethical issues surrounding web 2.0 activities, for the most part, are common sense. If I am shirking the responsibilities of my work or family to participate in these activities, then it’s wrong. And even though I’m not in a full time ministry position, I would have to be careful in choosing what information to share about the ministry that I volunteer with. No matter where I am on the web, my words need to be truthful and respectful. That doesn’t mean I can’t share my opinions that I know might not be the norm, I just need to make sure that they stick to my rules of truth and respect.

  9. Ken Coffee Says:

    See? All these comments have been a blessing to me. It is why I blog, just to hear different perspectives on things. I guess any tool can be misused and many blogs are not worthy of our time. However many are. I enjoy this topic, for instance. Thanks for stimulating this discussion, John.

  10. davrick Says:

    John,

    Everyone reads my blog and benefits by it (smiling loudly).

    I spend several hours each week on the blogsite, putting up thought pieces I most often use and reuse. People have come to Christ over the blogsite and I have answered other ministry related questions over it.

    Now, I am taking too long to write this reply (smiling again) but it is one way to extend ministry with technology.

  11. Arnie Adkison Says:

    You guys may be done with this conversation already, I don’t know. Apparently I don’t spend enough time reading this blog to stay up to date…

    I probably average 4-5 hours, but honestly there are weeks where it’s 10+ and weeks where I don’t do much at all. I would love to spend 5 hours each week writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: