Before you read my post below…
Here is a geat video you need to watch and great site you need to visit. If living a non-consumption, non-indulgent lifestyle is appealing to you, then join the ‘conspiracy’…. Compassion instead of Consumerism.
Now for the rest of the story…
You discover a great partner like WordPress, you fiddle around a little bit, and then “bam”, within minutes you have your own personal place in cyberspace. Then comes that first post. You work hard, agonizing over every word choice, picking the right photo, putting on your best “Fox News” reporter persona in order to be compelling and interesting. Then you hit that life changing button called “Publish“, and BINGO! you’re an “author”! Not only do you have your own soap box from which to speak – but you’re actually speaking – or writing! The big question is this : “Is anybody out there listening?” “Does anybody even care about what you wrote? Can anyone even find it, amidst the millions of posts, and billions of words uploaded everyday? I remember in the early days after I published my first post, I went into my statistics home page like a kid on Christmas morning – “I wonder how many thousands of people read my post today? And even though, in the beginning we humbly and nobly say things like this, “Blogging for me is a spiritual discipline, I do it for me, so that I can express some thoughts and feelings… yadda yadda… I’m really not concerned with how many people actually visit the site, and I’m not worried about how many comments that people leave behind…?” The reality is that most bloggers I know write with the intention of others reading… and oh how desperate I can be get when I walk into my home after a long day of work, and during dinner, I gently drop the subtle hint: “So, did anyone read my post today?” and then the kids look down, the dog goes into the other room, and the mood goes south – because even family members don’t often have time to read Dad’s post. Yes, it’s painful but very true!
The truth is that bloggers do count, and some watch each day. How many visited? How many page views? How many left behind some message whether it be good or bad? And for most amateur, non-famous, ordinary people like me it’s a very humbling reality: a whopping 3.25 visitors show up each day, and hardly ever leave a comment… but the amazing thing is that you keep writing and posting… because someone, even one person does show up, and in the end, writing is good for our soul- even if no one reads, and imagine if that one person who does come – is blest because of their visit. So we write on!
That’s why my post yesterday on “Food for the Fast” really shocked me. In one day almost 215 people visited the site! That’s more visitors than I have combined in the last four months! On top of that four people actually left comments… I kept laughing to myself saying, “Wow, what happened?” I thought that my computer was broken, or that WordPress made a counting mistake! As near as I can figure out – here are the options:
- I suddenly became famous overnight and the world decided to visit the blog.
- All my “friends” on Facebook, who I occasionally let know that I posted, felt sorry for me and visited en masse!
- The topic that I wrote about, contentment versus consumerism, and the practicing of Orthodox fasting during the season of indulgent feasting – resonated with a number of people.
- Or, someone famous, “Tweeted”. Someone with a big, 40,000+ following of twitterers, send a tweet to the flock about something they read that they liked and showed up at my place?
I would like to think that a combination of #3 and #4 – were the culprits in yesterdays unusual, and hopefully, not the last massive migration to this humble blog.
So in the spirit of giving the audience what they want (and giving us all what we need) ; I would like to share a new resource that I have had the privilege to work on at Zondervan: it’s life changing and powerful and it’s called Advent Conspiracy… AC epitomizes everything that I wrote about in yesterday’s blog: the war during this time of year against consumerism, consumption, indulgence, and gluttony. The authors Chris Seay, Rick McKinley and Greg Holder challenge America to do something better during this advent season; something better like this:
Worship Fully – Give More – Spend Less – and Love All
Christmas Can STILL Change the world.
As long as we are willing to be changed first!