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Submerging Church: sunk without a trace

11 June 2011

One of the blogs I used to visit occasionally was Emerging Africa, which three or four years ago used to have some quite interesting discussions. But I hadn’t visited it for a while and saw that it had dropped off the radar, or at least below the top 25 on the Amatomu religion section.

I dug a bit deeper, and found it had dropped to number 50 on the list, and no doubt will continue to fall, because if you go to the site this is all you’ll see: Site off-line:

Current Status Emergence: this is what the universe does, so if you think it is going away, please reconsider your point of view. Africa: Relatively stable, sitting as it does on only one or two continental plates. Emerging Africa : submerged for a long time, now being let loose to sink to the bottom of the ocean. But don’t let that fool you: emergence is what the universe does, so if you think it is going away, please reconsider your point of view. Regards and Blessings The Sunken Emergent Dictatorship Inc.

I suppose the blog owner got tired of all the spam postings that were the only things available to read there lately.

But it does describe what’s happening.

Forty years ago a radical Christian magazine, the Catonsville Roadrunner announced that “The submarine church is surfacing”. That was probably the first reference to the Emerging Church. But those who felt threatened by it don’t need to worry — it’s submerged again, to suffer sea change.

Not that Amatomu is the best indicator. It still shows Dion Forster’s old blog, Dion’s Random Ramblings, abandoned more than a year ago, as more popular than his current one, An uncommon path. Perhaps he ought to go back to the old one!

Or perhaps it’s a sign of entropy in the blogosphere, and perhaps even the whole internet. Information is becoming more concise, more incoherent and less connected. We’re in a whirlpool of flotsam and jetsam going down a black plug hole into oblivion. I long for the old days of Fido technology netowrks. It was text only, it was slow, it was dial-up, but at least people had something to communicate.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 June 2011 1:19 am

    Aside from the activities of spammers, I think there are a couple of factors which may be affecting long form blogging on blogs run by individuals. They are microblogging ie Twitter and consolidated blogging (blogs with more than one contributor), particularly those that are run by professional media outlets or by professionals themselves – i.e. journalists, would be journalists, political apparatchiks, lawyers and the like. Some of the special interest blogs will survive because they tend to be networked in to a specific focus i.e. self-sufficiency, naturalists. In addition, in the last twelve months or so, Facebook has added a number of features which are useful substitutions for blogs and websites. Facebook has features which make it relatively easy to reach large numbers of people and organisations are now busily upgrading and I think that, over time, the websites or blogs of these organisastions will decline and disappear.

    • 12 June 2011 7:04 am

      I don’t think microblogging is a a substitute for real blogging, though it can draw attention to real blog opsts and articles. Unless they are simple things like “I’ll be late for dinner”, tweets are often an exercise in frustration unless they point to a bigger explanation. I know of several people who have moved from other media (like masiling lists and newsgroups) to Facebook Groups, but I find them much more problematic — it’s hard to find stuff on them. And getting an e-mail to tell me there’s a message in a Facebook group is a timewaster – if it was sent in a mailing list I could read what it said instead of having to open my web browser, go to Facebook and find the relevant post (the link in the e-mail message is usually too long. And you can’t refer other people to Facebook posts, ans you can refer them to blog posts, because they have to be members of Facebook, and often freinds with the person who posted it as well.

      The blog I referred to did have several contributors, and it was that that enabled the spammers to join.

  2. 15 June 2011 12:07 pm

    Sadly it’s really difficult to drag people out of Facebook these days. I posted a link to the Pagans for Archaeology blog on the PfA Facebook page and asked people to show it some love, and commenters said they didn’t get out of Facebook much.

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