A gazillion Southern Baptists with not much else to do are regular bloggers. SBC Voices boasts 500+ blogs in their listing and, as it is sometimes put, I are one of them.
I didn’t do much blog reading until about five years ago when I was intrigued by Wade Burleson's blogging about International Mission Board trustee meetings and matters. Starting with him, IMO, it seemed that blogging in the SBC was not an insignificant means of communication about convention stuff.
One of the things that was painfully evident five years ago was that the IMB and especially the IMB trustee leadership was completely inept at responding to bloggers. To many of the trustees blogging seemed to be considered an annoyance, something to be ignored or, if a blogger was heard enough to cause waves in the SBC constituency, a sin.
It's looking like some of our entities are much more sophisticated these days. Southeastern Seminary has a popular blog. I occasionally see a prof respond to something said on some of the blogs.
I get the feeling that some staff of North American Mission Board actively pays attention to what is said on the blogs. At the moment no other SBC entity is under such scrutiny and for the past five years or so no other SBC entity, except perhaps the IMB for a stretch, has come under such criticism. I have a good many articles that feature my rather close, and sometimes dysfunctional neighbor, NAMB. Their new leader, Kevin Ezell, was an easy target, nothing personal mind you, because of his non-support of NAMB prior to being elected head of the outfit.
So, is NAMB trying to manage the information coming out on the blog, or at least respond to it?
Looks like it.
Last week I wrote a piece that was tweeted with a link by someone at NAMB. I check the count on my blog occasionally and it was up one day. Turns out such was because of the attention from the tweet. Fine by me. Puts my vast readership into double figures.
I am aware of one other blogger who has been called by NAMB staff after a critical blog article. Guess I am not critical enough of them to get a low tech, personal response like a phone call, not that I'm looking for it. They could take me out to lunch, though.
Maybe Ezell learned after his intemperate criticism of bloggers a few months ago. Maybe he just has someone who knows the blogging landscape better. Whatever the reason, good for NAMB for paying attention to one slice of their constituency.
It cannot hurt them.