08 April 2013

The Bloggernacle: A Short History

What is the "Bloggernacle?" 
Nathan Oman
There has been some discussion about what the term really means which could be easily resolved by simply asking the person who coined the term i.e. LDS attorney Nathan Oman. The term "Bloggernacle" was given its birth in February 22, 2005 by Nathan Oman in an article called, "In Memory of the Metaphysical Elders," from the Times and Seasons website. Since I have not emailed Nathan on what this term meant to him, I have resorted to Wikipedia (the final source of authority.) Wikipedia states that the bloggernacle is "the Mormon part of the blogosphere." This description is rather vague and simply leads the reader to ask more questions. However I have interpreted this sentence to mean "All LDS themed bloggers." If this interpretation is what Nathan Oman (PBUH) meant then this would range from Fair (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research) to gaymormonman.blogspot.com to greenjellowithcarrots.blogspot.com 

Bloggernacle Genealogy
Interestingly Feminist Mormon Housewives was among the earliest LDS bloggers who began blogging as early as 2002. The purpose of her blog was established based on "the 2004 elections...driving me crazy and I had no one to talk to about it all." 

One year later, the Father god of multi-authored blogging, "Times and Seasons" launched in an effort, "to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints." Times and Seasons soon introduced to the world, "Its where the bloggernacle begins." The reason why I have labeled "Times and Seasons" the Father god of the bloggernacle is 5 fold.
  1. Feminist Mormon Housewives drew heavily upon "the model and example of Times and Seasons"
  2. Others followed such as By Common Consent and Millennial Star which then exploded into more multi-authored and individual blogs
  3. Times and Seasons receives more than 2,000 readers per day
  4. Times and Seasons has continued steady for 10 years 
Bloggernacle Statistics
180 Random LDS Blogs
Having taken 400 random blogs from mormonblogs.org, ldsblogs.org and ldsrecoveryaddictionblogs.com I have discovered an interesting fact. Out of the 400 blogs exactly 220 blogs were deleted which only left me with 180 blogs to gather my information from. The information I have gathered is rather striking in that there was a massive explosion of LDS blogs in 2007. The following information I put in graph form so that you can see the spike in 2007.
180 random blogs were taken to discover when the bloggernacle began to explode

If one were to use GOOGLE TRENDS they would also discover an explosion of LDS themed blogs in 2007. Google Trends is a an invaluable resource for students who desire to see "how often a particular search-term is entered." Having entered in specific keywords such as "Bloggernacle," "Feminist Mormon Housewives," "By Common Consent" "LDS Blogs" and "Mormon Blogs" I have discovered again that in 2007 there was a huge spike and interest in the Mormon blogosphere. 
People who searched the term "Bloggernacle" 

People who searched "Feminist Mormon Housewives"

People who searched "By Common Consent" 

People who searched "LDS Blogs"
People who searched "Mormon Blogs"
Why was there an explosion and interest in the Mormon Blogosphere?
So the question must be asked "Why was there such a huge explosion and a spiking interest in the Mormon Blogosphere? The question can be answered in two ways. The first was the admonition and "Call" to blog by LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard. In 2007 M. Russell Ballard addressed BYU Hawaii students to share their beliefs through blogging. The title of his address was, “Using New Media to Support the Work of the Church.” M. Russell Ballard has asked the members of the LDS church to "Join the conversation" by starting a blog. What is interesting about the "Call to Blog" and why the Saints took the "call" seriously is because M. Russell Ballard set up this "call" in three important ways.

  1. The Lord invented tools to help spread the gospel 
  2. An Apostle says that blogging is one of those tools 
  3. The bearing of his testimony “sealed” this upon members.
The following video has been cut down to 2 minutes to show you this:
The other reason for such a high interest in LDS themed blogs was in response to the "Mormon Moment." Though there were a lot of Mormon "Moments" this one is particularly in conjunction with Mitt Romneys announcement for his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president which he announced in February 13, 2007. Since then the media has spotlighted Mitt and his Mormon faith which caused many to open up blogs either in defence of the LDS church or to simply show the world that we are not "weird."
What I have also found is the different types of bloggers which the following photo should display. What I have left out are the Mormon blogs who are transitioning themselves out of the LDS church. I have struggled to whether or not place them into the Mormon Blogosphere since they are leaving the LDS church.
Ritualistic Elements to Bloggernacle
A Name Change: Another fascinating interest that may be of interest to you is the "Ritualistic" element to blogging. I have discovered that most individual LDS blog writers have transitioned from their everyday mundane name to the more sacred or "authoritative" name. In Mormon Culture it seems that people take you more seriously by adding your full name. For example my mundane name is Mike Hickman but my blog is Michael A. Hickman. There is something special about that. All of the Apostles are named that way and so are many LDS book authors. It is of no surprise however. Abram changed his name to Abraham (Gen 17:5) Sariah changed her name to Sarah (Gen 17:15) Jacob changed his name to Israel (Gen 35:10) Saul changed is name to Paul and so on. 
Released by Title of "Emeritus": I have also discovered that most LDS multi-authored blogs have a section of "Released" authors given the name of "Emeritus" (an LDS element used to label released members of LDS hierarchical leadership roles.) 

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BYU Carpet Cleaner

I carpet clean the Mission Training Center and love the gospel of Jesus Christ. These posts contain my experiences, thoughts and opinions on spiritual things.

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