2009 in review: The year in Unitarian Universalist blogs

Here are four things Unitarian Universalist (UU) blogosphere this past year

1. The slow disappearance of Philocrites Philocrites, once the most influential UU blog, has practically ceased publication. At the beginning of the year, Chris Walton, the author of Philocrites, was posting about once a week, but he has not posted anything since 17 July 2009. Chris is still the editor of UU World (both the print magazine and the related Web site), and I’m glad he’s doing that. But I miss the personal voice of his blog, along with his superb reportorial and intellectual skills. We’re still waiting for another blog to fill that authoritative role Philocrites once had in the UU blogosphere.

2. Peacebang moves to Facebook Peacebang, another prominent UU blogger who prefers to remain anonymous, announced on 3 December 2009 that henceforth she would be ”  ‘mini-blogging’ on FaceBook.” If you have a Facebook account, you can “become a fan” of her page. (Her non-UU blog, Beauty Tips for Ministers, remains publicly accessible on the Web.) Among UU bloggers, Peacebang was one of the best writers, and I miss having her unique voice publicly accessible to anyone, even people without a Facebook account.

3. Rate of growth slowing in UU blogosphere? UUpdater, the administrator of the UU blog aggregator site UUpdates [pron. “oop-dates”] is now reporting 414 UU blogs. A year ago, UUpdates had something like something like 350 UU blogs. In February of 2005, when I started this blog, there were a little over 40 UU blogs, and the growth curve was very steep for about 3 years thereafter — but now it appears to be leveling off. Are the various social media sites drawing writers away from blogging? Or have we simply found all the Unitarian Universalists who want to blog about liberal religion?

4. Kudos to prolific and long-term bloggers I continue to be astounded by two long-term, prolific UU bloggers. Rev. Scott Wells has been blogging at Boy in the Bands since May, 2003 — and not only does he post at least once a day (sometimes more often), he’s literate, knowledgeable, and fun to read. Chalicechick has been blogging for exactly five years tomorrow, but before that was acknowledged as the doyenne of the UU forum at Beliefnet — she doesn’t post on her blog as often as does Scott, but she has an active Twitter feed, and both blog and Twitter dispense her trademark mix of snark, heart, and good writing.

Though he’s not a blogger per se, I continue to be astounded by the work of UUpdater, mentioned above. His blog aggregator gets an enormous amount of traffic, and I hate to think what he pays for Web hosting. Yet year after year, UUpdater writes code, deals with maintenance issues, and delivers a feed of UU blogs that I absolutely depend on — all out of the goodness of his heart. He gets too little credit for his work — so send him email telling him how much you love what he does.

5. Help from a professional As I said last year, I feel the Unitarian Universalist blogosphere is simply too big for one person to comprehend any more. This is a good thing — the more we talk about our liberal religion, the better I like it. But that means it’s impossible for me to keep up with all these UU bloggers any more. Thank goodness for the bloggers at The Interdependent Web blog, part of the uuworld.org Web site — they must read an enormous number of UU blogs each week, finds the best posts, and then they summarize and link to them. I’m glad the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has paid staffers Chris Walton, Kenneth Sutton, and Shelby Meyerhof working The Interdependent Web — another reason to make sure your congregation pays its fair share to the UUA.

6 thoughts on “2009 in review: The year in Unitarian Universalist blogs

  1. Scott Wells

    I appreciate you including me in this list. As it happens, I do actively Twitter (@bitb) so ought to include that at the blog.

    Not a little worried about the consolidation of media via Facebook, which was one reason to pull back to my public blog instead of getting too cozy there.

  2. Jeremiah

    I miss Philocrites too. Had a lovely argument with him and others about whether or not an internship position at the UUA should be a paid position (I said yes). By the end of the discussion, I wrote a check to the UUA. Clever guy.

  3. Dan

    CC @ 1 — Um, being a New England Yankee, I’ll shake his hand for you, kay?

    Scott @ 2 — You write: “Not a little worried about the consolidation of media via Facebook, which was one reason to pull back to my public blog instead of getting too cozy there.”

    Yes! I did not do LiveJournal for exactly the same reason.

    Jeremiah writes: “By the end of the discussion, I wrote a check to the UUA. Clever guy.”

    Note to self: do not sit next to Chris Walton at GA this year.

    hafidha sofia @ 4 — People should check out your blog, too, which is one of the really good UU blogs:

  4. UUpdater

    Thanks for the recognition Dan! And of course UUpdates would be nothing without all the fine content people publish for it to aggregate. I also really appreciate the work of the Interdependent Web, there is too much to keep up with.

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