One of the things to do when you’re serious about blogging is to read other blogs to see how it’s done. There was a time about a year and a half ago when I was reading about 15 to 20 blogs a day, and not just blogs written by Unitarian Universalists. I was reading a fair number of tech blogs as well as a sampling of some well-known Christian bloggers. Two of my favorites in the later group were Ben Arment (whose blog “History in the Making” can be found at www.benarment.com) and Andrew Jones (aka Tall Skinny Kiwi at tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com). Aside from their evangelical fervor (for both blogging and Jesus), I appreciated how each one kept their respective blogs fresh with a mixture of personal and professional information. Arment, a church planter, has some lovely posts about his family (like dancing in the living room with his young son, or spotting from the inside of a Starbucks his wife strolling along with their children). Jones is a globe-trotting apostle for the emerging church movement, and his posts are liberally illustrated with photos from his travels. So in spite of any theological differences I might have with these two, I thoroughly respect them as bloggers. And, of course, part of me wanted to emulate them.
However, this blog is really mostly about my work as the Lifespan Program Director of the Prairie Star District. In fact, there’s a link to it from the from home page of the PSD website (www.psduua.org). This means that even though it’s a personal blog (I started it on my own), I feel an obligation to blog primarily about my work as a program consultant co-employed with the Unitarian Universalist Association. But I still feel it’s important to have some personal information here, as well as a photo or two of the family (see my last post “Henry the Redhead Reindeer). So…a bit of a dilemma. Do I post more often with a lot of personal stuff mixed in with the professional? Or do I keep posting at the current rate of one or two a week and stick to the strictly professional? What’s a blogger to do?
Well, I think I’ve found a solution. Enter the microblogging service Twitter. In case you haven’t heard about it, what Twitter does is allow you to send out 140 character posts (know as “tweets”) to whoever happens to care about what it is you’re doing. I’ve avoided the service until now because it seemed like a colossal waste of time. But then I realize that I could use my WordPress RSS feed widget to post tweets on my blog. Which is exactly what I did. So if you scroll down below my Flickr badge, you’ll see this:
That’s my “Tweets” feed, which I plan to use primarily for keeping you up to date with where I am and what I’m doing. Not that anyone really cares too much. But I do enjoy sending little updates when I’m traveling (like “Just checked into the Microtel in Ames, IA.” or “Having lunch with Sherry Warren, Prairie Star’s youth and young adult specialist.”), and while this information may not be inportant enough for a full post on Phil’s Little Blog on the Prairie, it might be of interest as an ongoing log of what I’m doing for work. And there’s the personal element, too. I twittered yesterday about eating lutefisk at Pearson’s in Edina, MN. Apparently that is news because my colleague, PSD District Exec Nancy Heege, posted something about it on her blog Nancy’s Views of the Landscape. So I think Twitter will give me the opportunity to add a little bit more of the personal as well as some posts about my travels. That, along with the Flickr badge, will allow me to update more often and add more photos without a full-fledged blog post. Who cares? Who knows. At least it gives me something to do when I’m on the road!
P.S. If you are interested in following my tweets directly from Twitter, you can find me at twitter.com/psdlund. Oh, and I’ve found that I can use Twitter to update the status on my Facebook page as well. Neat, huh? Finally, if you really want the full scoop on Pearson’s and lutefisk, check out this article from the New York Times: Forget Eggnog; Bring the Lye-Cured Cod.