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The Changing Face of Mormon Blogging

September 30, 2012

Change is a constant…and that’s basically the only constant . I’ve known this conceptually for a while, yet when I experience change personally, it still surprises me somewhat.

When I first entered the Mormon blogging scene (as a lurker but more often [and to the chagrin of others] a commenter), the environment seemed so familiar. Things have changed since then. One blog I was invited to write at (Mormon Matters) has stopped existing as a blog (but interestingly enough, that just points out history…as Mormon Matters originally was a podcast, and to the podcasts it has returned*.)

Mormon Matters gave way to Wheat & Tares, and on the same day of Wheat & Tares’ founding came Doves & Serpents. In my mind, W&T and D&S are still the “babies” of the Mormon blogging sphere…even though, like with my younger brother and sister (who are now teenagers and that definitely is freaking me out)…that’s not true anymore.

Today, there are even newer kids on the block.

What intrigues me is how I’m not even connected enough to see these new blogs coming into existence. To be sure, Worlds Without End was something that I was aware of from the point of its inception. At least, I think I remember reading the FB conversation where one of its founders debated whether he ought to join one of the group blogs. (And the answer, so Mormon-esque, came: join none of them.)

The thing about WWE is that it aims to be a Mormon Studies Roundtable. This showcases in its scholarly style — I mean, each article has footnotes. I think that’s really interesting, although it really points out how much of an amateur I am…

While I knew about Worlds Without End from early on, Into the Hills was totally a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. Still, I know of many of the contributors to that blog. At this point, Into the Hills humbles me, but for a different reason than WWE does…I just feel too spiritual tone-deaf to understand most of what the contributors are discussing at ItH.

My coblogger Bonnie has gotten her faithful group blog Real Intent off the ground, and I’m also excited for what they are doing there. Just from what I’ve read, it seems to be more about day-to-day experiences rather than theory or hypothesis. It’s about faith in practice through family and home-building.

However, this post was inspired by my discovery today of a new ex-Mormon group blog: Mormon Diaries. I’ve already added the previous two to my RSS feed, so I just have to add MD as well. I haven’t read much of it yet, so I can’t really summarize it here.

Finally, that gets me to my *.

As I mentioned, Mormon Matters became a podcast (again)…but that has reminded me that this post so far is limited. I write about the changing face of Mormon Blogging as if blogging is the end-all be-all of Mormon conversations online…and to be honest, I prefer writing as a medium.

But I mean, podcasts…we’ve gotten Mormon Expositor, which I wrote about before at Wheat & Tares, and then there is Infants on Thrones as well.

I actually feel somewhat conflicted about these two podcasts. I understand the importance for people to have their own space, but when I see the contributors to the two podcasts, it seems to me as if the Mormon Expression community has been bifurcated. And I mean, I guess it’s not fair to say that, but I already feel like podcasts are a heavy time commitment, so whereas I don’t really have a problem with adding multiple blogs to my RSS feed, I feel like doing the same for podcasts is more problematic.

Meanwhile, the Open Stories Foundation emanates new podcasts like Ein Sof emanates sefirot. A Thoughtful Faith, Mormon Stories Sunday School, and a planned ex-Mormon Stories to come soon.

Even though it seems overwhelming for anyone one person to keep up (how does chanson do it every week with Sunday in Outer Blogness???) it’s also really neat that Mormonism drums up such interest that it can sustain several group blogs, podcasts, and the like.

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