Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The New Landscape of the Religion Blogosphere

It appears that some academics at the Social Science Research Council have compiled a report after surveying nearly 100 of the most influential blogs that contribute to an online discussion about religion in the public sphere.

His Grace has not yet had time to read it, but if readers and communicants are interested, it is available HERE.

Please feel free to contribute your thoughts.

Or at least give His Grace an indication of whether or not it is worth him spending some of his very valuable time wading through.


Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

It is worth your study.

Apparently your commentators are described as 'vibrant'. On one measure you are listed as fourth top on religoius issues.

Use the 'Edit' function; type 'Cranmer' and that will take you to all the places in the document that you are discussed.

2 March 2010 at 21:26  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'Edit' then ''Find'.

2 March 2010 at 21:27  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr D. Singh,

His Grace is most appreciative.

But he is fully aware that his communicants are 'vibrant'. He needs no academic report to tell him this.

If that is all that is new, though it be not new, he thanks you for taking the time and trouble to read it.

Alas, His Grace's ashes are weary and he is off to bed.

Yes, at 9.30.

Dreadful day.

2 March 2010 at 21:33  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Well Your Grace, good night.

What they mean by 'vibrant' is that you attract all races, religions, beliefs, nationalities, classes and range of opinions.

Et cetera.

In other words, you appeal to a global audience.

Why can't the Grand Mufti of Canterbury do that?

Anyway I shall study it in detail tomorrow afternoon.

2 March 2010 at 21:45  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Have a good night Your Grace. I too am not at my best after 9.30pm. A matter of age...and not only several hundred years, as in your case

Sleep well

2 March 2010 at 22:01  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Your Grace, page 23 lists the average number of comments per post:

1. Slacktivist (345·2)
2. Comment Is Free Belief (301)
3. The Wall of Separation (130·6)
4. Damian Thompson (85·2)
5. Pharyngula (83·9)
6. Archbishop Cranmer (65·8)
7. Holy Post (40·6)
8. Christianity Today Politics Blog (37·2)
9. All Things Catholic (35·8)
10. Steven Waldman (33·3)

Your Grace’s position at number 6 is better than might be expected, as page 24 makes clear: ‘It is also notable that, with the exception of Slacktivist and Archbishop Cranmer, all of the top 10 blogs with the most comments belong to wider networks.’

2 March 2010 at 22:29  
Anonymous not a machine said...

your grace , your blogg has had far more influence than a report, I often wonder if Jesus presented himself at no10 , if Alistair Campbell, would share a micro meeting and cuppachino , ask if he or she was yet on face book or twitter , and then be asked if he/she would become in place as a GOAT with the offer of his own department and permanent secretary called the dept of omnisciant message or DOOM , and be told that the only retribution he need now fear, as mistakes will not be tolerated , would be from press officers briefing against him should he wish to achieve a popular position in the publics mind !

I wonder if such a report is somehow independent in whatever multi thingy is supposed to be more representative than christianity .

2 March 2010 at 23:06  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

A fairly mundane article, and the first 20 or so pages describe blogging in general. The latter pages gat a bit more intresting but all in all I found it boring and bloated. I liked this bit though:

Political opinion
Discussions of religion and politics, often from a well-hewn partisan perspective.

• Archbishop Cranmer
• Bold Faith Type
• Christianity Today Politics Blog
• Crunchy Con
• God’s Politics
• Progressive Revival
• Religion Dispatches
• Street Prophets
• Talk to Action
• Tikkun Daily Blog
• The Wall of Separation

I think people get what they get out of blogs because of a diverse spectrum of reasons. There are comments in the article about how some people of religion have been horrified at what they read in some blogs, but what they fail to see is that everything adds up to make the bigger picture.

It's worth a flick through, but I would't want to read it page for page.

3 March 2010 at 08:52  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

My browser - Moziall Firefox - froze when I clicked on the button. So I could not get to it. And I can not comment.

3 March 2010 at 09:24  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Part 1 (of 2)

Your Grace – here is some text from the report that you might be interested in.

Political opinion

Discussions of religion and politics, often from a well-hewn partisan perspective.

• Archbishop Cranmer
• Bold Faith Type
• Christianity Today Politics Blog
• Crunchy Con
• God’s Politics
• Progressive Revival
• Religion Dispatches
• Street Prophets
• Talk to Action
• Tikkun Daily Blog
• The Wall of Separation

‘Some of these groupings are more cohesive than others; the “political opinion”
blogs, for instance, share relatively more of a conversation than the others, reading
and referring to each other regularly.


‘In old-guard organizations like the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant
denominations, blogging has created space for discourse that leans against
prevailing trends. At sites like Progressive Revival, Episcopal Cafe, and Christian
Century’s Theolog, mainliners maintain a rich public conversation about the present
and future of their communities. They do so, meanwhile, often outside the auspices of traditional ecclesial bodies (whose populations are in a state of decline), possibly
pointing toward a shift in the locus of intellectual leadership.

‘Recognizing the possibility of such a shift in Catholicism, high-level meetings
at the Vatican have discussed how blogging is shaping the conversation about
Catholicism and have even suggested the idea of issuing guidelines for Catholic
bloggers. “In the past, the church’s educational efforts included helping people
decide what they should or should not watch,” said one archbishop. “Now it must
also help them decide what they should or should not produce”—including, he
added, what they post on the Internet (Wooden 2009). Daily dispatches from
Vatican correspondent John Allen’s All Things Catholic blog, together with the
more gossipy Whispers in the Loggia, are part of a blogosphere that lends a new
degree of transparency to a hierarchy more accustomed to an older media
environment. The kind of discourse available on less judicious blogs has already
made a strong impression on the curia. “I have been appalled by some of the things
I’ve seen,” said Roger Mahoney, Cardinal of Los Angeles, about the blogosphere,
adding: “Of course, I’ve been the object of some of them.”

3 March 2010 at 09:41  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Part 2

‘The emergence of new blogging communities has political consequences. Just
as sites like MoveOn.org and DailyKos rallied the political left during George W.
Bush’s presidency, Talk to Action, Tikkun Daily Blog, Religion Dispatches, God’s
Politics, and Street Prophets (itself a subsidiary of DailyKos) helped to cultivate a
specifically religious language for the Left’s political priorities, which many felt the
‘mainstream Democratic Party had abandoned. While such blogs can’t take sole
credit for the Democrats’ rediscovery of religious language during the 2008
campaigns, the fact that prominent activists like Michael Lerner and Jim Wallis are
also bloggers attests that blogs played a crucial supporting role.

‘Archbishop Cranmer is described as:

‘‘Written by an anonymous Anglican who takes
his name after one of the leaders (and martyrs)
of the English Reformation. It focuses mainly
on religion and politics in England and gives
rise to vibrant comment threads.’’

3 March 2010 at 09:42  
Blogger magog said...

An academic paper without much vibrancy in itself. Dry but thorough.
I have an impression that blogging is the art of the computer hermit, when he or she should really be out there doing God's work actively, rather than just introspecting about it? Blogging does not feel interactive.

On the other hand it is a little chilly out of the cave at present.

3 March 2010 at 12:53  
Anonymous Septimus said...

I look forward to reading the guidelines of what Catholics are not to produce on the net .Will it never end?

4 March 2010 at 07:00  

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