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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Size Transitions in Blog Rings

Hi everyone! I just finished reading the Alban Institute's Size Transitions in Churches. Basic premise--size transitions require congregations to change ways of organizing their common life. Does the same thing apply to blog rings? With 80+ members, perhaps we need to consider how these daily round-ups can best serve the needs of this much expanded ring!

Problem: Even if the rounder-upper spends only 30-60 seconds scanning each blog, it's still a time consuming job. Then there is the problem of deciding which of the current blogs are round-up worthy on that particular day.

Are we happy with brief and random? Or do we want to reorganize so that Monday's round-up is for blogs beginning with A-D, Tuesday E-H, etc? Or am I way overthinking this? How do the rest of the rounder-uppers feel about this? What about the rest of you?


  1. I agree that the job has grown beyond what's feasible. The last couple of times I've just basically "randomed" several times to see what comes up, but that misses a lot of people.

    It's a shame that when you click "List" that it doesn't display blogs in order of which have been updated most recently. Is there an easy way for the average person to view this information? Because that would pretty much obviate the need for anyone to comb through the blogs.

    I also like the alpha idea, although maybe a larger range, perhaps about 15-20 per day that are combed through. That way we'd get through the whole rotation faster (good for those folks who post multiple times per week). (The question would be how people would know where the previous "comber" left off... I guess they could just look at the previous entry!)

    Then, if other people had something they really wanted people to check out, either on their own or someone else's blog, they could post that in comments.

    I may be overthinking too...

  2. No, I think your thinking is good :) (if that was at all coherent..)

    Could you recruit a few extra eyes? If I knew that it was, survey these (a reasonable portion) on this day, I could probably offer myself up to the task. Maybe with two round-uppers for the day, the task would be more managable for both.

    [Side note: if anyone has advice on CPE, that was my latest post, so hop on over to my blog.]

  3. BLogRoll does have a function to show which blogs have been updated within a set period of time (you can set the period and tell it what sort of a marker to put beside the blog name). It seems to be semi-reliable in my experience.

    I think it can be set to list them in order of update as well but can't remember for sure.

    Otherwise I think the alphabetical system may work best. PCIT is right, to scan all the blogs and comment on them is not tenable.

  4. PS. I have blogged about clergy and unionization today, and am meditating on what makes a successful church from yesterday.

  5. I use bloglines. Then most of the time I only include those blogs that have updated within the last 24 hours. I think that the alphabetical method is OK, too. But Bloglines works the best for me.

    Christian Carnival requires you to send the updater an email if you wish your posting to be included in the roundup, along with the proper URL and suggestions for the text. Another idea.

    But I do like my Bloglines....

  6. I'm the Blog Roll manager, and I will go fix it so that it reflects updates. I'll use the 12-hour span. If that doesn't seem to suit us, I'll fiddle with it again. Blogrolling keeps track of XML feeds, so I guess a blog will need one of those to be noted as "updated."
    There are, of course, other uses for this blog. The blogger of the day could pose a discussion question, for instance. I'm thinking I'll keep trying to do a Friday Five of some sort. But, I do agree updating has become onerous.
    One thing reverend mommy has been good about doing is plugging new members, and perhaps we can be more intentional about that. Perhaps Thursday (rev mommy's day) could be new member round-up?

  7. Also, an Open Thread could be posted on a day the blogger of the day has nothing brilliant to ask...

  8. Yes--a daily theme could work as well as the alphabetic method perhaps. I'm not familiar with bloglines. How does it work?

  9. I'm also not versed in bloglines, and I don't know whether cute little journalscape uses XML, which would affect cheesehead and me.

    But I like the discussion and new member ideas for sure. Those are great suggestions.

  10. And there's always the possibility of just doing whatever the Spirit moves us to do...

  11. Oh, you free-wheelin' Congregationalists! :-D

  12. I'm going to sing when the Spirit says 'Sing'
    I'm going to sing when the Spirit says 'Sing'
    I'm going to sing when the Spirit says 'Sing'
    And obey the Spirit of the Lord....

    I'm going to preach when the Spirit says preach,
    I'm going to preach when the Spirit says preach,
    I'm going to preach when the Spirit says preach,
    And obey the Spirit of the Lord.

    (actually, I learned this in a Pentecostal church... Strange... No women clergy)

    allows you to add any and all XML or RSS feeds
    Easy and fast
    East to keep up with all your blog reading.

  14. Reverend mommy is not the only one from whom I've heard a favorable report on Bloglines. I use NetNewsWire (I'm a Mac person) to check blogs-- and it's very good about checking RSS, XML and Atom feeds. Adding blogs is easy, and checking even easier.

    At the same time, the idea of the alpha approach makes the tidy little organizational side of my brain happy...

  15. :) you all do a great job and it IS appreciated.

    I think it's important to welcome new RevGals. I always like checking out their blogs :)

    but it's been fun too to see the different ways you have all approached this. I've enjoyed the themes, I've enjoyed the randomness, I've enjoyed seeing what caught your eye. and seeing what I missed

    It would be nice to know more about members - how they got onto the blog roll - etc - but maybe a bloggers profile is down the road still. I wouldn't mind helping put some questions together or something. I could also help read some blogs and do a quick skirt around ... probably Mondays or Tuesdays would be best for me.

    love the friday five though it gave so much stress - because every time I hit send my blog said I couldn't send it. I never figured it out.

    weird weird.

    be blessed
    and thanks again all of you!

  16. hey the updated thing is REALLY good. thanks :) a great improvement for all of us.

  17. I like the randomness of the round-ups. But maybe we all ought to be more mindful of coming and adding comments to the round-up, pointing out posts we've seen that everyone simply must read ....or I suppose we could link to each other more ....

    Or if the sidebar listed the emails of the bloggers responsible for each round-up, then the rest of us could email them when we read a blog that ought to be mentioned. Would that make things harder or easier?

    I do like the idea of being able to use the list on this sidebar that tells which blogs have been updated since there are some of us who post every day and some who post only once in a while.

    I do think that as the commmunity gets bigger, this particular site will become more important. Sort of our meeting place.

  18. I love the idea of this becoming our meeting place :) I'm with you Jo(e) on that one!!!

    this site has helped me at least notice newcomers and also find great posts I'd missed

    I've quite liked the randomness, but there is a danger that some will feel left out or overlooked

    One thing I would be interestedin though are those blogs which have been inactive for a while. I always hope ppl are ok but not all have emails cited so it's not easy to check up on them.

    be blessed :)

  19. Believe it or not, I am such a Luddite (not out of technophobia, mind you, but out of busyness and an extremely short attention span) that I don't even know that "site feeds," etc. are. (Any tutorials appreciated, so I don't feel quite as dense.) I'm always rather surprised that I can post pictures on my blog: "Wow! It's magic!";-) (I'm also easily amused.)

    Anyhow...I too experience a real frustration not being able to always read everyone's blogs. (Which I try to do...if I've not yet posted on your blog it doesn't mean that I don't read it or don't read it a lot...I'm lurking.) Low-techie that I am, I thought that the alpha suggestion sounded workable.

  20. I like the Blogger Profile Idea -- a lot.
    That would be cool.

    And I like that I log on this morning and the blogroll has "updated" beside the blogs that have updated. That alone should make life easier. That way, I will only have to go to the blogs that have updated.


    The book (hopefully) goes to the publisher Wednesday. Ready for purchase (Lord willing and crick don't rise) on a week from Monday. Say a prayer and keep those fingers crossed....

  21. I'm late to this discussion, but I do appreciate the updating notice.

    I had a way of checking that but this is easier. After doing the roundups for several weeks I noticed that there are a lot of bloggers in the ring who update less than a couple of times a week.

    I agree with rev mommy's suggestion to try browsing those marked "updated"and reporting on them. We could do this for the next week or two and then ask if that is working for the "round-uppers" .

    You can check the previous day's post to see if the updated has been covered or not.

    What do you think?

  22. I just got hooked up with bloglines. Oh my, it is a L.I.T. (Life Improving Thing). And journalscape seems to work just peachy with it.

    Let's keep introducing new members, blogger profiles would be cool, and I think it's a good idea to have the people who are the designated "combers" listed somewhere here along with their specific day, just so people know.

    Now that the blogroll lists updates, can we see if that makes the "combing" job easier? If it's still cumbersome we can divide the list alphabetically.

    And people are welcome to post quizzes and memes to get people talking too. I like those. (In fact I have an idea for one tomorrow!)

  23. reverend mommy, didn't you post something once about sorting your bloglines subscriptions out by subject area? Or am I hallucinating?

  24. As Indigo Montoya said in The Princess Bride, "Let me explain. No, it's too much, let me sum up..."

    So what we are doing now as 'updaters' is posting about those bloggers who are marked 'updated' on the blog roll? If this still remains too cumbersome then we will split the list alphebetically.

    I am quite the newbie when it comes to computer programming so please let me know if I need to add some code or something to my blog.


  25. I also meant to type 'thank you' for everyone's work, comments and ideas.

    What a fun group.

  26. Oh, will smama, your nickname is still my favorite.
    If you have a blog that doesn't seem to show updates, say a Typepad or journalscape blog, here is another option for being sure you are updated at Blogrolling.
    First, go here:
    There you fill out a little form with your blog title and URL, then you click on "ping." I'm trying it and will let you know the results.

  27. I've been away from the blogs for a week, and oh, how much thinking you all have been doing! Hooray!

    I agree that I was feeling guilty every time I (had to) leave out a lot of wonderful stuff. And the "updated" is perfect.

    Mary Beth (off to do Sunday's roundup late!)

  28. Why don't you have guest updaters from the ring and give them some guidelines?


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