Web logs or blogs are an integral part of that networking process, and some of the more successful New Zealand bloggers – such as David Farrar and Russell Brown – are now becoming media personalities in their own right.
Internet users are increasingly turning to blogs as an information outlet additional to traditional sources such as newspapers and television.
With the number of New Zealand bloggers estimated to be in the thousands, how are Christians measuring up?
Tim Selwyn, from Tumeke Blog, measures the most popular type of blogs, those that engage in public debate, and each month issues a New Zealand ranking. Using his figures, long-time Christian bloggers Matthew and Madeleine Flannagan have discovered that writers bringing a Christian viewpoint are achieving an encouraging response.
They say the top 10 Christian blogs fall within the 150 most read blogs. The most popular of these is New Zealand Conservative, compiled by a group of Catholic writers. The Flannagan’s own – MandM – has risen to fourth position among Christian writers, and 50th overall.
“We are getting close to 3,000 unique visitors per month. We put the rise in visitors down to our commitment to quality, considered posts from a philosophical perspective that are relevant to a broad range of people, Christian and non-Christian alike,” Mrs. Flannagan said.
Most of them enjoy respect from non-Christian blogs, however, she said, writers have to be strong enough to take the knocks as well. “At the moment I’m putting up with an online voting poll about who is the sexiest blogger. I have been named as one of the finalists, and people are writing in with some fairly lewd comments. There is nothing I can do about it.”
“Christians sticking their necks out publicly on issues like abortion and homosexuality also come in for some abuse and threats that the secular blogs affirming these issues do not.”
Mrs Flannagan said she was passionate about blogging as she found it an excellent way to get the Christian viewpoint across and to smash the false assumption that Christians had nothing of interest to offer in the public square. …