Blog sites are an ever growing internet “phenomenon,” where those who have a passion to write or just have something to say can express it. MySpace, one of the world’s largest social networking sites, reports more than 300,000 blogs posts are submitted daily on the site--no doubt, blogging is utilized by many for internet communication.
Now, this English course had many assignments, however, the largest assignment was for every student to set up a blog account on the internet blogging site, Blogger; then weekly, submit a blog post and comment on at least three different student blog posts throughout the ten week course period. Moreover, the professor added one restriction--"no random thoughts"--each student had to pick their own a particular blog theme, title it, and stay within the relationship of their theme. Well, it did not take me long to figure out my choice theme--Religion, but more specifically, Christianity--as my faith plays a vital role in my life.
I have been a Christian for some time now and my life’s focus revolves around my Christian faith--not by fear or tradition, but by a strong inward conviction of belief in Jesus Christ. The title I chose for my blog was “Truth Perceived,” which speaks of the truths of my faith and how I perceive and understand it. I am a simple person, a simple Christian--no theology degree here--just my thoughts and convictions towards biblical truth.
Instantly, I grabbed the “bull by its horns” with this blog assignment; funny, really up to this point, my interest in writing was only a mere attitude of “Have to do it” either for work or school--that’s it. However, I believe what gained my interest in this assignment was that blogging presented the perfect “stage” for me to express my thoughts and feelings without any certain guidelines, interruptions, or distractions. Moreover, through the years, I have gained the reputation from friends and family as a “good listener”--the go to guy--for others to express their thoughts, issues, or problems. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being a well-respected listener--but come on--listening isn’t my only feature.
One major quality I came to enjoy, throughout the blog assignment, was that often face-to-face conversations can have annoying distractions, but blogging overcomes that "distraction" dilemma by creating a distraction free zone. So many times, especially, in group conversations, I have seen a, ready and willing, speaker left out of the conversation and/or abruptly silenced without ever truly finishing his or her point. Blogging solves these problems by allowing that speaker to openly say and completely finish his or her point without being left out or having to try to overcome a dominate speaker--blogging can be a powerful instrument to the soft spoken, face-to-face, speaker.
Throughout this blog assignment, as I would suggest to any future blogger, I maintained a constant focus--builds credibility with other bloggers. My focus was to bring some realism about Christianity--“hey, Christians are still only human.” The true nature of the Christian has been so overlooked due to various media scandals, negative stereotypes, and other so called “Christians” misrepresenting the faith--society, unfortunately, seems to take more interest in the negative rather than the positive. I am always amazed on how many people think Christianity is just made up of money-hungry self-loathing preachers with believers who are nothing but hypocrites. I would agree Christianity is not free from such bad examples; however, such examples are not the majority, but rather, the minority.
Truly, the majority within Christianity do represent the true Christian characteristics--love, patience, kindness, humbleness, and self-control. Therefore, my whole purpose in all my posts was to convey the Christian message in the most real and understandable way to any who may read. Furthermore, I wanted to break the notion that Christians are a bunch of judgmental “holy rollers”--“Bible thumpers”--“Jesus freaks,” who force their faith on others. Christians, in general, are just like everyday people, who look like everyday people, who have families like everyday people, and who have jobs like everyday people. Christians are not perfect, though people often expect us to be, and like everyone else--we make mistakes, but what we bring to the "everyday" world around us is the face and attitude of hope, compassion, and a life’s purpose.
Needless to say, the ten week blog assignment inspired a new found passion within me. I learned so much, gained a new kind of fulfillment, and realized that even a quit easy-going guy like myself, can have a place to come to, speak his mind, and bring forth a message of faith, love, and hope to an almost countless audience. I have since continued on with blogging since my English class, as I still regularly submit new blog posts on Blogger, as well as, on MySpace (myspace.com/fowardthought). Blogger, unfortunately, hasn’t taken much shape in gaining a vast audience of readers--my fault though, I never really worked at it--but my blog on MySpace has taken flight in so many unexpected ways.
To this date, as I am still amazed, I get on average over 200 hits weekly on my blog posts (small potatoes compared to other bloggers); in addition, my blog audience has expanded to an international level. Moreover, several of my posts have ranked up into MySpace’s Top 20 most viewed blogs, worldwide. Really, I did not state these facts of mine to brag, my purpose was to make the point that the blogging world can be a huge tool for anyone to speak his or her thoughts or message. However, gaining a vast audience isn’t easy--takes time and work--but when you get there, the pay off is very fulfilling (commenting on other blogs is key).
Honestly, my intentions were to never grow my blog on such a vast scale--just kind of happened. My intentions, from the beginning, were truly wrapped around my enjoyment in writing my thoughts to help anyone who may stop by to read; but with anything, you just never know what will come out of it. The past year in blogging has brought me a vast number of new and interesting friends, helped too further my writing skills, and helped to grow my knowledge in a wide range of subjects.
Blogging can be a very fulfilling, learning, and sometimes frustrating experience (opposing comments can rattle the nerves); but in all, if you like to write, have something to get off your chest, have a message of purpose, or just like meeting interesting people--blogging is an effective outlet in accomplishing that.