jtrhart

Posts Tagged ‘christian’

How a Christian Can Benefit From Blogs

In reference on February 24, 2008 at 6:35 pm

I wanted to post some reference material for those who may be new to this whole “blogging” thing. If you have a blog yourself, you probably won’t benefit much from this. But, if you only go to a few websites a week and are interested in learning a bit more about what this is all about, then continue on.

What is a blog?

Blogs started off as a type of diary on the web. People called it a log of your life and so the name web-log came about and was soon shortened to blog. People soon took advantage of this technology and made it personal. They began to update their webpages daily with all types of things. If you had a weird computer problem that you fixed you could post the solution on your blog to let others take advantage of the lessons you learned. If you went on vacation and took a lot of pictures you could post the pictures along with some of the details about your vacation for others to see. If your pastor preached an interesting sermon on Sunday morning, you could post your thoughts on it along with a link to the recording so that others could listen as well. There are plenty of possibilities and the technology is simple enough that anyone who knows how to send an email can setup a blog.

How can Christians benefit?

Continuing on from the last example, we can see how Christians might benefit from blogging. There are thousands of blogs that have a Christian theme to them, and many of these can be a great reference source. Some write about their thoughts on passages in the Scriptures, some write about what it means to have a Christian worldview through day-to-day events, some write about current events in the news from a Christian perspective, some focus on theology, worship, devotions, prayer, and some are an extension to a ministry already in place. Writers can be anyone from pastors, elders, church leaders, lay-people, and seminary professors. The key here is the ease of use, difficult technology should not keep you from starting up a blog.

Starting a blog

  1. Go to WordPress.com
  2. Click “Sign Up Now” (it’s all free of course)
  3. Fill out the information (don’t worry about a lot of the details, everything you fill out can be modified later on)
  4. Start blogging! Here is a good resource to help you with some rules on how to write.

Reading blogs

I’m listing two ways to read blogs (ok, one is a joke), I’m sure everyone has their own opinion on the best way to do it, but I’m going to write about what works for me. There really is no good way to explain this, you just have to jump in and try it out for yourself, so follow the instructions below and feel free to ask questions or comment if something needs further explanation below.

Option 1

  1. Find all the blogs you like, here’s a list to get you started.
  2. Visit them every day and read what they say, if you have 20 blogs you like, this could take a few hours!

Option2

  1. Take advantage of “feeds” and have all the websites come to you!
  2. Download this file to your computer (right click and say Save Target As or Save Link As), it is a good “starter list” of some blogs I have found useful for Christian news and references. Don’t do anything with the file yet, just save it somewhere on your computer and remember where you put it
  3. Go to Google Reader
  4. Sign in with your gmail account or click “Create An Account” to get started (it’s all free of course)
  5. Fill out the information and you’re all set
  6. Once you have an account, sign into Google Reader, now you want to start adding blog feeds to read
  7. Click on settings in the upper right hand corner
  8. Now click on Import/Export
  9. Click “browse” and then find the file you downloaded in step #2
  10. Click “upload” and you’re all set
  11. Now if you click “Back to Google Reader” you will see all of your subscriptions and their current feeds
  12. Play around with Google Reader to get the settings the way you want them. If you’re really up for a challenge, have a look at the keyboard shortcuts to really speed up your reading
  13. Most of these blogs are updated at least once a week if not everyday. As they are updated, your Google Reader unread items will increase just like your email inbox so don’t be afraid of the “Mark All As Read” button if you every have hundreds of unread posts (don’t worry, you can’t delete them like emails, they will always be there)
  14. Now, as you find other blogs or websites that have feeds (look for this symbol on the webpage or in the address bar that you type the website’s address into) click on the feed and choose to add it to Google Reader and you will have those posts show up in your Google Reader account.

This is a really brief intro to blogs and reading blogs. Please comment and ask questions in the comment area below. Enjoy!