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Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Village Gate opens.

Allen Brill's The Right Christians was probably the best-known liberal-Democratic Christian blog on the Web. He's been dreaming of new ways to retire the old idea that liberal Christianity is our culture's best-kept secret, and his latest project is worth some serious attention. He has now replaced The Right Christians with a Daily Kos-like Web site — group blog, community forum, news aggregator, and more — for "religious progressives" called The Village Gate. (To be clear, Brill's interest is not in religious liberalism, but in political progressivism within a religious context.) Do check it out.

The liveliness of group blogs is something to behold. Crooked Timber, for example, is something like Daily Kos for academics. Among religion blogs, I'm personally fascinated by the conservative-to-liberal brainy Mormon group blog Times & Seasons, and am pleased to see the emergence of the first, fledgling Unitarian Universalist group blog, Step by Step. In time, blogs that present a variety of voices seem most likely to draw traffic: they take the burden off solo writers to have something new to say every day, and they embody dialogue. I think of them as informal magazines. It makes me wish that the blogs that first learned to fly at Fish Bowl had stayed together; sometimes, there's strength in numbers.

(The first paragraph has been modified to reflect the disappearance of The Right Christians, 4.8.04.)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 6 April 2004 at 5:43 PM

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7 comments:

chutney:

April 7, 2004 11:16 AM | Permalink for this comment

I just discovered kinja.com. Looks like we could register there and start a "UU digest" of UU blogs. Easy way to mimic a group blog without the hassle.

Philocrites:

April 7, 2004 12:07 PM | Permalink for this comment

How ironic: I discovered Kinja.com yesterday, and set up a test digest — click here. I've added most of the UU blogs, and it does seem to extract posts from non-rss sites that use Blogger, which makes it much more useful than Bloglines, for example. But I can't tell how it decides what "chronological order" means. Maybe it will take a day or two for all the posts to sort themselves?

chutney:

April 7, 2004 12:18 PM | Permalink for this comment

Yeah, I'm having similar issues, especially right after I added a site. It seems to be better now than it was last night, though (when I was adding everything). I guess it sorts itself out eventually.

FYI, my digest is here.

Chris:

April 7, 2004 09:32 PM | Permalink for this comment

(To be clear, Brill's interest is not in religious liberalism, but in political progressivism within a religious context.)

While it's true that Allen's interest is not religious liberalism, there is a pretty strong bias among many of his readers against Christian orthodoxy. I enjoyed the blog, but I'm not optimistic about a community based on TRC readers being a very good example of a politically progressive religiously orthodox community.

Nate Oman:

April 8, 2004 01:36 PM | Permalink for this comment

I am delighted to hear that you enjoy Times & Seasons.

~Jen:

August 24, 2005 05:40 PM | Permalink for this comment

Say, whatever happened to "the right christians/village gate? blog??

Philocrites:

August 24, 2005 05:52 PM | Permalink for this comment

The Village Gate died a few months ago. Allen Brill seems to have gotten bored of it and left it to a small group of not-quite-first-rate posters. My guess is he didn't bother to renew the domain registration, and the site unceremoniously went off the air because no one was in charge of it anymore.

Happily, it has been replaced by much better networks of progressive Christians. Check out The Christian Alliance for Progress and the Progressive Christian Blog Network, for example.



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