Saturday, June 24, 2006
Doug Muder dreams of Coffee Hour 2.0.
I made it to the reception for UU bloggers after the evening plenary. We didn't get started until almost 10 p.m., and then ran until about 11:30. People trickled in by twos and threes, and we ultimately wound up with about two dozen bloggers in the room.
The reception was sponsored by the Information Technology Services staff group of the UUA, which seems to be fascinated by the blogging community and wonders how the UUA and UU bloggers can work together to our mutual advantage. I don't think the UUA people knew exactly what question they wanted to ask, and the question we ended up discussing was something like: How can the UUA create the kind of buzz it wants among bloggers?
It was an interesting conversation that I'm sure will be adequately covered by the other bloggers—I'll try to point you to their blogs as they show up. But I came out of the room thinking about the conversation we might have had, so I think I'll say a little about that. The question they should have asked—and maybe they even did ask it, but we misinterpreted—is more like: How can the UUA help UU bloggers become more effective at spreading the values of liberal religion?
That question has an answer that is very simple to state: Create community infrastructure that helps us find readers and helps readers find us. A very good example is what DailyKos did for politically liberal bloggers. Someone who is totally new to blogging can post a piece on DailyKos, and if it strikes a nerve, that post can wind up with tens of thousands of readers in a few days. Hundreds of them will leave comments. That's not going to happen if you create a political blog on Blogspot and wait to see who notices it. (I speak from experience. You can still be the first commenter at my Open Source Journalism blog.
Nothing similar exists for UU bloggers or religiously liberal bloggers in general. (A DailyKos spin-off called Street Prophets provides a home for bloggers whose liberal political values are religiously inspired, but that's not the same thing.) If the UUA could get such a thing off the ground, it could develop a community spirit in much the same way that DailyKos did, and could develop into a strong collective voice for liberal religion.
Sounds like Doug is looking seriously for ways to revive something like the community site Coffee Hour, which several of us UU bloggers slapped together two years ago and which we shuttered last fall. I agree that such a site is needed; I think it would be more viable, however, if it were developed independently of the UUA.
Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 24 June 2006 at 11:04 PM