Nineteenth birthday

On February 22, 2005, I sat in my office at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva (Illinois), and wrote my very first blog post, “Requiring the seven principles.” There were already forty or so other UU blogs out there. So I was a latecomer to Unitarian Universalist (UU) blogging. This was enormously freeing for me. The other UU blogs could do the heavy lifting of representing Unitarian Universalism to the world. I could just sit back and write whatever I wanted to write.

That was then. There have been huge changes in intervening nineteen years.

The peak of UU blogging was probably around 2007. (My blog peaked at about 3,600 unique visitors a month in May, 2007.) Then came a long slow decline, as people turned to commercial social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. By 2020, most Unitarian Universalists had migrated to commercial social media.

Today, UU blogging in the United States appears moribund. I believe that I’m now the only U.S. UU blogger still posting at least once a week. It’s hard to be sure because unfortunately UUpdater, a site that used to track UU blogs online, has ceased operations. Blogger Scott Wells — one of the last of the regular UU bloggers, and a smarter and better blogger than I’ll ever be — has dropped to an irregular schedule. Patrick Murfin is still blogging daily, but most of his posts are on history, not UUism. Outside the U.S., the United Kingdom still has a few Unitarian bloggers who post regularly. I follow Still I Am One, where there are links to a couple of other still-current blogs.

Given that UU blogging is moribund, why should I continue with this blog? I guess because blogging turns out to be a good medium for some of the things that most interest me. I’ll give a couple of examples, so you can see what I mean. I’m interested in the history of local congregations—but local history holds little interest to serious scholars of UU history (and rightly so), so really the only publishing outlet for local history research is on the web. I’m interested in the ongoing saga of misconduct by clergy and lay leaders within Unitarian Universalism—but this is a topic that is mostly avoided elsewhere (we UUs are willing to take on racism and anti-LGBTQ+ bias in our midst, but not so willing to take on misconduct by our leaders), so again the only publishing outlet for reporting on misconduct is on the web.

In addition, there are a few other topics which interest me where web publishing is the best option for my writing. Mind you, I won’t promise another nineteen years of blogging, but I do plan to stick around. And I’m grateful to all of you who continue to read this blog.

See you here at least a couple of times week — as long as the creek don’t rise, and the good Lord’s willing, and there ain’t no meltdown.

Screenshot of this blog as it appeared back on the old AOL blogging platform
(from the Wayback Machine)