Given that I’ve been blogging for about a microsecond, I feel a little presumptuous in posting my answers to this survey. But I am indeed a Unitarian Universalist, indeed a blogger, and indeed one who blogs on topics relevant to Unitarian Universalism. So despite my blogger babyhood, I post my answers here:
- Why do you blog? What goals do you have for your blog?
I am blogging, in part, to begin and continue conversations about religious and spiritual identity, practice, and belief. I want to start the process of looking around my life, mind, and heart, and considering how to share my observations with others. Mostly, I hope to generate discussion.
- Who is your intended audience?
Thoughtful people interested in spiritual and religious experience.
- Who owns your blog? Does it belong to you as individual or to your congregation or other organization?
- How frequently do you post?
I’m shooting for a couple of times a week.
- What is the tone of your blog?
So far, it is sometimes heady, sometimes earthy, sometimes straight from the heart, and sometimes some combination. I’ve only just started in the last couple of weeks, so I think I’m still finding my blogging voice.
- What steps do you take to make sure that your blog is a safe space, both for you and for other participants? Do you have a code of conduct?
I’m considering this now. I have a semi-moderated comments policy, in which posters’ comments are moderated the first time they post. I also encourage commenters to keep in mind the guidelines of truth, kindness, respect, and inspiration.
- What kinds of boundaries do you observe around confidentiality?
I have identified my church, but I do not identify other individual people in my life. I do identify Julie, later called “My Lovely Wife.” Certainly, people who were out to identify everyone in my blog could probably do that research. If I’m going to mention anyone in any kind of identifying way, I ask their permission.
- How do you respond to comments and email from readers?
At this point, given that I’m baby blogger, this hasn’t been much of an issue. So far, everyone who’s commented is someone I know. I have responded to comments with comments and to emails with emails.
- What are the most challenging aspects of blogging in your experience?
Being brave enough to consider that what I think, observe, and practice is appropriate to share with others.
- What are the most rewarding aspects of blogging in your experience?
Hearing from others, whether in comments, in person, or in other venues. Continuing conversation.
- What advice would you give to Unitarian Universalists who are new to blogging and want to get started?
I’m not in any position to give advice at this juncture.
- How do you evaluate the success of your blog? What have been your most successful blog posts or series?
On one hand, I evaluate them by the way I felt posting them, and what I think as I reread them. Of course, it’s also nice to have my goal met—for there to be significant conversation around a post.
- What do you wish you had done differently in your blogging?
I wish that my site were more spiffy. It will be, but at this point, it’s just a template. I’ll learn more lessons as I go, and some of those lessons will be about what I wish I had done.
- What other online tools do you use to promote your blog? (i.e. social networking sites, Twitter, social bookmarking tools, etc.)
Facebook and personal emails.
- Do you use an Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed? How many subscribers do you have?
Yes. I don’t know.
- Do you track site traffic? How many unique visitors do you have per day (on average)?
Oh, I’m sure I have nearly zero. And no, I don’t track visitors, at least not yet.
- Do you find Unitarian Universalist Association resources helpful to you as a blogger?
I do, though I haven’t taken nearly as much advantage of them as I will, I’m sure.
- Please write any additional comments or suggestions.
I am excited to become part of the UU blogosphere. As a new seminarian, spiritual traveler, and grateful Unitarian Universalist, I hope to have many wonderful conversations about those things most important to me: The spiritual life, social and environmental justice, identity, practice (both communal and individual), and religion writ large.