Thanks to Doug Davidoff of MLflash and to the author of Nagoonberry for posting responses to the Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging survey! Earlier this month, I wrote a brief analysis of recent responses to the survey. To read all of the completed surveys, including those posted in 2008, visit the full list of survey responses.
I was delighted to return from vacation last week and find that Unitarian Universalist bloggers had posted responses to the UUA’s 2008 survey on Unitarian Universalist blogging!
The goal of the survey is to promote knowledge-sharing among Unitarian Universalist bloggers and to collect advice for Unitarian Universalists who were considering starting blogs. The “Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging” report was written in 2008 based on the first round of responses to the survey from select bloggers. A list of the bloggers who completed the survey in 2008 is available on UUA.org, and the list of bloggers who completed the survey this summer will be published there soon.
To read the surveys completed this summer, please visit the following blogs:
- “Called” by Masasa
- “Finding My Ground” by Sarah MacLeod
- “Inner Light, Radiant Life” by Paul Oakley
- “The Journey” by Lizard Eater
- “Spirituality and Sunflowers” by Matt Kinsi
- “Storms and Reflections” by Catharine Clarenbach
- “uujeff’s muse kennel and pizzatorium” by Jeff Liebmann
Thanks to all of you on this list for taking the time to write and share your insights on blogging for the benefit of other Unitarian Universalist leaders!
What I notice reading the newest round of responses is how similar they are in some ways to those surveys completed in 2008. The similarities include:
- The rewards of blogging are, as Sarah succinctly put it, “First, blogging often clarifies an issue for me, and this is personally satisfying. Second, comments from folks who find resonance with their own journey from my posts reward me with connection.” The importance of sharing one’s thoughts and being in relationship with others has been reiterated in many of the survey responses over the past two years.
- The bloggers who responded care more about the quality of online conversation in response to their posts than about their blog traffic statistics or RSS subscriber numbers.
- Most of the respondents own their blog (rather than writing on a group blog or a blog owned by a congregation).
- Most of the bloggers allow comments, but actively moderate them.
There are a couple of new trends in the recent surveys:
- Almost all of the bloggers reported using Facebook to promote their blog, whereas in 2008, few reported using any kind of social networking site to draw readers to their blogs.
- Almost all of the respondents in this round volunteered that they are careful not to use the real names of people (such as family members) described in their blog posts.
For those who want to fill out the survey and have not yet done so this summer, please follow the instructions here. Thanks!
InterConnections, a UUA publication for lay leaders, has a new article exploring how “Congregations Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Podcasting.” The piece provides a newcomer-oriented overview of the major tools in use by congregations and is based on interviews with growth consultant for the Ballou Channing District growth consultant Peter Bowden and me.