Lutheran Carnival

A weekly/bi-weekly roundup of the best posts in the confessional Lutheran blogosphere, as submitted by the authors.

Mittwoch, Januar 17, 2007

Carnival Feedback

Aardvark Alley and the Theology Geek have questioned whether there has been a decline in confessional Lutheran blogging. If you haven't already, visit those sites and offer your input.

In the comments at Aardvark Alley, one of the most-read bloggers in the Lutheran community has this to say about the Lutheran Carnival:
As for the "Carnival" ... I really don't know what the point of it is since anyone with a feed reader can easily keep up with every Lutheran blog site out there, quickly and conveniently. So, I wouldn't stress over that one too much either.
I'm going to agree with Pastor McCain on this point. Having a Bloglines roll of 150+ Lutheran blogs alone, it is easier and faster than for someone to wait two weeks, collect submissions, and reformat them into a post.

The Carnival can do and sometimes does do more than that, and I think we need to focus and improve on these differences for the Carnival to continue. If I may be so bold, it might be interesting to see if the Carnival's strengths can be utilized so as to make it attractive to people like Rev. McCain to host. If you shoot for the stars and miss, you may still land on top of the world. :)

So, what can the Carnival do that Bloglines/Feedster/Google Reader cannot?

The Carnival highlights the host. While hosting a carnival one can develop a theme, write a blurb about a famous church father, provide commentary on submissions, recommend other posts by the same author, and/or provide a topic to write on.

He or she also reads the posts to verify that any theology falls within the Confessions. For a layman, that last duty is probably the hardest, and the host may learn something new if a submission doesn't quite look right. I've rejected posts before on a theological basis. Forty-one posts into the carnival, that isn't much of a problem any more.

For most people, hosting the Carnival results in a traffic spike, bringing more people to the blog. My spike was about 35 unique visitors over the daily average. Readers discover the new host blog and add it to their blog rolls (unless they use the BBOV, and then Pastor 'Vark adds it for them). :)

Along the same lines, hosting the Carnival results in more people reading the host's posts and getting to know the host better. This may be a positive thing when people read one's comments on other blogs and make snap judgments about the person. Readers get to increase their sample size of the host's writing. This is a benefit that even the most seasoned bloggers can realize.

Most blogs I know don't have an elder at the door asking if you're a particular denominational stripe. I suspect NR has a lower Lutheran-to-others ratio than whatever average exists for Lutheran blogs. Mine is not a theology-only blog. Non-Lutherans who read our blogs may click on some of the links and find the theology that drives us.

Thus far the reasons I've given are admittedly self-centered. The Carnival is not only for the host but for those who submit posts.

One knows two things right off the bat about people who submit posts to the Lutheran Carnival:
  1. If they read the rules, they say they subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions, and
  2. They think their topic is worth discussing.
If what the person has to say is beneficial, they should be promoted. Pastor McCain is right that RSS readers make it easy to identify new posts, but they also make it easier to ignore posts. "Catching up" is almost too easy. An interesting post can be missed, either because the blogger shows only excerpts in his RSS feed, or the shear volume of information is simply not to be processed by the human brain. :) These guys need feedback, and being the recent host I am probably chief sinner in not going to the submitters' sites and leaving complements. I did spend some time reflecting on Long Eye Moose's post and giving constructive criticism. Sometimes people blog because a) they write better than they speak, or b) they are in a situation where they think the world is screwed up and they need confirmation, or c) I'm just projecting onto all of you, or d) all of the above.

The host has the opportunity to make the submitters better, or the host has a chance to learn from the submitters.

So if you don't want to host a Carnival for yourself, host it for the other people in the Lutheran blogosphere. The more people confess the truth, the better. The more people we teach and gently correct when a particular doctrine seems astray, the better.


  • At Samstag, Januar 20, 2007 5:13:00 AM, Blogger solarblogger said…

    I think these carnivals have their place in the grand scheme of things. I have had an on-again/off-again relationship to them the whole time. It hasn't really changed too much over time. Some of us like our blog ruts for a while, and then want to branch out to read new blogs all at once.

    I find I will add several new blogs to my link list all in one day. Sometimes a carnival has been a part of that.

    But part of what people want in a new blog that they might find in the carnival is one that might be worth making a regular link. You kind of have to expect people to be on different pendulum swings between the comfort of the old and the excitement of the new.

  • At Dienstag, Januar 23, 2007 2:47:00 AM, Blogger Rebellious Pastor's Wife said…

    The Carnival definitely does have a role. We may have blog lists, but as Solarblogger mentioned, we get stuck in our ruts of blogs, and fail to notice something else that is interesting -- not to mention, edifying. Lutheran Carnival touches on things that are pertinent to the Lutheran life and brings it all together so that we can learn from each other and discover each other.

    It also helps us reach out to each other. Sometimes, it takes a certain amount of bravery to say "I've blogged about this, and I want to hear what other Lutherans think about it." and to increase our participation in the "great discussion" of life.

    While I may not check out every single carnival (as I said, I get stuck in my ruts, too, and I have my cycles of blogging) I know I have been blessed by reading those who have submitted and from submitting to it, also.


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