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How blogs are like religious missions

? This Week's Cutting Edge Podcast with PodTech's John Furrier |


| Overheard in the pizzeria: Pre-adolescent business ?

February 15, 2007

How blogs are like religious missions

Stephen Baker

In the course of my research, I came across Breakthrough Media, a company that helps churches find members and build communities. As I read Eight Key Ingredients of a Powerful Community Outreach, I quickly saw that they were defining how to be a good blogger. You don't need an exegete to point out the parallels.

1) The only communication that really works is incarnational. (I read that as "Blog your passion.")

2) Speak with an authentic voice.

3) Have clear objectives.

4) Be truly audience-centric. ("Determine from the start to see yourself and your message the way they see it... would you respond? Make sure nothing is hidden and your "offer" has no strings attached.")

5) Marketing is conversations. ("All media should awaken dreams and begin a conversation.")

6) Let your audience design your media.

The last two, less bloggy, are to invest wisely and begin a comprehensive plan.

My question is this: Are the standards of blogging simply turning into Marketing 101? Or is there a kinship between blogging and the ancient traditions of building religious communities? (I did a quick search for 'Apostle Paul' to see if anyone was talking about him as blogging pioneer. Didn't find it, though I'm sure people have argued the point.)

09:26 AM


Re-ligio means re-linking. If blogs are religious missions, then MySpace must be a church.

Posted by: Emil Sotirov at February 15, 2007 07:21 PM

This is missionary-man aspect is exactly what I noticed too with the framework I developed for my Master's Thesis on how to best engage community in collective customer collaboration (CCC). In my model I describe the passionate critics (often bloggers): "...enthusiastic about the conversation itself and often seek to convert non-believers to their view"

You can view my FLIRT model of CCC with explanations on my site and comment on it if you feel like it.

Posted by: Sami Viitam?ki at February 16, 2007 08:02 AM

I suppose those could be good points depending on what you're looking for when you start a blog. Some of us began our blogs as a good way to get things off our chest. It can be very cathartic. I also noticed, however, that once we see that people are actually reading what we say that we start to direct our posts in a way to keep those readers coming back. For example, once I noticed I was getting a lot of response to my posts about the Beatles, I started a daily Beatles history post. It worked.

Posted by: Robert Rouse at February 16, 2007 09:28 AM

Shalom Stephen,

Some blogs are, I'm sure, like religious missions, but based on my extremely small sample size, I can't say that I think it's more than the tiniest of percentages.

Blogs aren't turning into Marketing 101. Marketing 101 is being informed by what a few blogs are doing and failing to recognize what most of the other blogs are doing.

We're just too diverse.



Posted by: Jeff Hess at February 19, 2007 10:26 AM

I'd say that yes, some of the standards for blogging are turning into Marketing 101 and will probably continue to do so as more bloggers come out of the woodwork. And I'd say yes, also, that there is a direct relationship between blogging and building communities, religious or otherwise--since blogs wouldn't have the power they do now if there were no community to support them.

Posted by: Josh at February 19, 2007 07:10 PM

Heard you say Apostle Paul and blogging in the same sentence and next thing you know, I am typing this comment. Yes, the kinship exists lest the blog itself be shortlived and/or the audience wanes.

Posted by: Paul at February 19, 2007 08:25 PM

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