Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monte's Skew on Blogging
blogging 101

In the past weeks I've had several questions and conversations about my blog Monteskewed, the purpose, the format and the frankness with which I speak, or write. I thought I'd take a post to talk about what it means for me and my hopes for what it can birth.

The wording alongside my glasses says it all. The photo gives you a snapshot of how I see the Bay Area (my context for life and ministry) through my glasses. It's a great visible metaphor for why I blog. My header disclaimer states "I'm seeking to skew you to my worldview." That's it in a nut shell. Of course my thoughts on being a follower of Jesus who enjoys Oakland and loves to garden, eat, parent, live faith and life in community, to talk about politics, culture, music and books....is not meant so much to tell you how to live, as it is to share some of my thoughts, with an emerging cynicsm and my dark (kept in the closet too often) humor AND to invite you to a dialogue, a give and take, a listen and speak, about different issues, topics and emerging events here in Oakland. I write as a pastor because that's my life. I don't write as a pastor of a given church or the one I work with. I don't speak for or on behalf of that church community of faith on my blog, which is often my role in my daily life. It's a fine line. When you read Monteskewed, remember what the title is, that should help keep things clear.

I try to write quickly, honestly, organically and with humor. I try not to proof-read. Rather I think, letting my thoughts stew in my head...then I whip them out onto the screen via the keyboard. For me it's a fun way to share my thoughts, a sort of spiritual discipline in terms of thinking about faith and theology and how they interact with culture, politics and daily life ethics. It's also a way I seek to expand my work and ministry as pastor, recognizing that technology plays a crucial part in our relationships, communication and experience of faith community.

You can make a comment, and enter into a dialogue - or start one - for every post. Simply scroll down to the word "comments" at the bottom of the post. Click it and you'll be linked to a form through which you can enter and share a comment (or more) in the emerging discussion.

I have a two rules for my blog, that you can't get around.

1. It's about discussion to build community, not to convict or convert anyone to one particular view (except mine!) So you have to identify yourself on the form. You can use a code or nick name. But there are no anonymous postings aloud. Being in a real dialogue necessitates that we know who we're talking with, to and who is talking to us. We're all subjects, not objects.

2. I reserve the right to erase comments that are violently racist, sexist, homophobic or just plain destructive in terms of my goal to build community in person and online.

I hope you'll join the conversation. If you want to learn more about blogging, how it started and what the general consensus about blogging is try this [link].

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