Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: One Body, Many Blogs

One Body, Many Blogs, A Guide for Christian Bloggers, is an e-book by TJ Burdick. He has compiled eleven Catholic bloggers' suggestions for the "ten commandments" of blogging. Each chapter has a short biography of the blogger and their recommended commandments. Several themes are repeated over and over:
  • Don't feed the trolls--Trolls are people who comment on a blog seemingly only to stir up controversy and heated (rather than enlightened) discussion. Typically their arguments are shallow, relying on emotionally-laden buzz words (possibly swearing too) rather than coherent arguments. This is good advice for most any blogger, Christian or not.
  • Pray before blogging--Motivation in blogging ranges all over the place. Some bloggers want to persuade, some to entertain, some to boost their egos. For a Christian blogger, helping others by witnessing should be the motivation, not the desire to zing an opponent or show how great you are.
  • Write on a regular schedule--This advice is good for all bloggers. The best way to build a readership is to let them know how often you will be posting, so they can keep up.
  • Give credit to others when it is due and share from other blogs--Another way to build readership is to know about and interact with other similar blogs or ones in which you have interest. Just don't steal what they wrote and pass it off as your own. Again, it's good advice for all bloggers.
The various authors (including Jeff Miller/Curt Jester, Marc Barnes/Bad Catholic, Lisa Hendey/Catholic Mom) are all engaging and the book is a fun, quick read as well as an inspiration to be a better blogger.

The book includes a glossary of blogging technical terms (like RSS feed, combox, troll, etc.) and a list of papal documents relating to communications (including hyperlinks to the full texts).

Money quote from the Vatican documents:
So often freedom is presented as a relentless search for pleasure or new experiences. Yet this is a condemnation not a liberation! True freedom could never condemn the individual - especially a child - to an insatiable quest for novelty. In the light of truth, authentic freedom is experienced as a definitive 'yes' to humanity, calling us to choose, not indiscriminately but deliberately, all that is good, true and beautiful.

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