Saturday, July 2, 2011

Small Groups, Blog Platforms, and Jumping Ship

Blogger is free and I've been trying not to resent its idiosyncrasies. My friends were blogging here so I came here, too.

But it is so frustrating to not be able to talk to each other. I have tried twelve times to comment on Julie's blog post yesterday but have gotten stuck each time in an endless identity loop that will not recognize my Blogger name and password. Some of you have experienced the same thing trying to comment here.

The ability to comment on a conversation is too important to leave to Blogger's whim.

Many of us find that parenting kids with disabilities is isolating. If we polled special-needs families in our church, I think we would find that fewer than average participate in a small group because the logistics of finding a group that fits the dynamics of our life is so challenging.

That is significant in a church like ours where the elders have established small groups as their primary way of "shepherding the flock."  If you want to "know and be known" on a personal level in a church the size of ours, the very best way is to join a small group.

While it isn't the same thing as meeting face to face, the blogosphere has helped some of us fill the gap. For some of special-needs moms in our church, our blogs stand-in as a virtual small group. We take turns sharing the Word and what God is doing in our lives. We share our praises and our prayer requests and regularly pray for each other. We also support each other in practical ways --like Dorothy's organizing a Care Calendar for Julie's family during Elijah's upcoming bone marrow transplant.

Beyond that, assuming our posts are honest, blogging creates a layer of transparency that allows people outside our circle of church friends to know how we're doing, too.

In our case, the blogging platform is the public place we gather to meet and pray whenever we can. But in Blogger, when we knock, half the time we find the door is locked. Virtually fingerless, we can't lift the latch and let ourselves in.

So I am getting ready to migrate to WordPress. That platform is more stable. I've never had a problem commenting on a WordPress blog. The quirks my WordPress friends have mentioned (like paying to host video unless you host it externally) are things I can live with. They estimate that migrating the blog will take about an hour of set up. Beyond that, I will have to  manually update all of my internal links to the WordPress edition of those posts.

But those things sound like a fair trade for being able to blog unimpaired. I'll be sure to tell you where I go and when I'm going.

Photo credit: Oliver Kelly Latch. The Minnesota Historical Society.


Mike and Katie said...

I can relate with your frustration. I haven't been able to comment on about half of the blogs I read although, it's been fine on this other computer. So who knows. Good luck with the move.

Mike and Katie said...
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West of Home, South of Sanity said...

I feel your frustration and am jumping ship as well. I look forward to finding you on the other side!

Corrie said...

You will love wordpress. I left blogger a long time ago and have never regretted it! Corrie