For the last six years, around this time, I have announced my favourite blog of the year. This prestigious award is rigorously judged according to strict criteria.
- They must post regularly
- They must be consistently interesting
- I must like them more than other blogs for whatever subjective reasons I choose.
There are a number of blogs which I have mentioned in previous years that deserve a mention again this year.
Last year’s winner The Beaker Folk of Husbourne Crawley continues to be barking mad and inspirational by turns. But they won a couple of years ago and they’d only get big headed if they were allowed to win twice in a row.
Antony Billington’s blog continues to be the place to look for news about new journals and books. In a siminar vein, Rob Bradshaw’s site BiblicalStudies.org.uk, while not a blog as such, is a wonderful resource for online journals and serious theology.
Getting back to blogs, there are lots of missionary blogs out there which give good insights into the day to day life of missionaries. You can find a more or less up-to-date list of Wycliffe blogs here. However, to win blog of the year, a writer needs to reflect deeply on issues related to missionary life and work; good stories are not enough. There are a couple of stand-out examples of this sort of thing:
- Simon Cozens, a missionary in Japan, writes a thoughtful blog which often flirts with controversy.
- Mark Woodward, works in Tanzania and often has very wise reflections on his experiences.
However, neither of these bloggers writes often enough to be awarded the prestigious Kouyanet blog of the year award; good though they are.
And herein lies a problem. It could be that I’ve just been too busy to be involved much online, but my perception is that there isn’t much interesting happening in the Christian blogging world. There are a few celebrity bloggers who get lots of hits and attention, but when push comes to shove, they don’t actually seem to say very much (I won’t name names). There are lots of good blogs out there which are of interest if you know the people involved or share their interests, but which don’t scratch where I itch. (If you really want to see a ranked listing of British religious blogs, you can find one here. I try to avoid the ‘my blog has more hits than your blog’ thing as much as possible.)
So, for the second time since 2007, I will not be awarding a ‘blog of the year’ award this year. Could the missiological blogsphere please take note and do better next year. Thank you.
Sadly, this is an almost verbatim copy of my 2012 blog of the year post. I may just be getting old and jaundiced, but it seems to me that the Christian blogging world is nowhere near as healthy as it was back in 2007 when I first kicked off. Hey ho. Plus ça change and all that.