I love blogs! I like blogging! I also love online forums and communities. I believe they have different purposes. I’ve often said that some people need to stop ranting on forums and get themselves a blog! Forums are for sharing ideas, resources, etc whereas I see blogs (within the home-school community) for personal sharing, ranting and raving and expressing one’s own thoughts, being as biased or straight forward as one likes. Your blog is your personal soap-box. Forums are a bit different and much more netiquette is needed.

B U T …

I believe that the blogging explosion has stolen something from community forums.

Think about your early days of homeschooling. Did you belong to an online forum, email group or online community? Did you receive help and support? After having received help and support are you now one who gives support? Have you noticed that as the blogosphere has grown the online community forums have diminished? How do you feel about this? How do you think newbies feel about this? ( I don’t have the answers – feel free to comment)

I love having my online home, where I can decorate as I like, rant and rave…write or not write! But, I will never give up forums…I love the combined effort that online communities offer. I started blogging as I found I was writing the same answers over and over again – it seemed more time efficient to simply put it in one place, but I know that many people prefer a more personal response – they prefer forums. So, I will continue to be a part of online communities – it’s my way of trying to serve others.

Blogging can be addictive.(It has it’s own dangers= the lure of popularity, to come up with ‘new’ information or thoughts, etc) To be a self publisher and see one’s own words in print – wow! Once one starts to post regularly the comments start rolling in…one can gain in popularity, get ranked in the blogging social bookmarking sites. It all looks rather professional really. However, there are dangers that every Christian needs to be aware of. Guard your heart.

Online communities offer something that the blogosphere doesn’t or can’t by its very nature. An online community can offer support, encouragement, information, resources, laughter, fellowship in the one place – from more than one member! Which means one can go on holiday and feel at peace- instead of worrying about the readers wondering when the next blog post will be written.

We’re created to be part of a community…and the blogosphere provides an online community – to an extent. But community forums are where newbies go for help first…

So I ask, why do you blog? Are you blogging for you or with the heart motive of serving other’s. Should the answer to this question change your actions at all?