Blogging 101

Future faithful followers-

Hello!  My name is Samantha, and I am a graduate student at West Virginia University’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism.  I graduated in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a minor in history.  Aside from being a student and a Mountaineer, I also identify as a Buffalo High School alumna, small-town kid, 4-Her, resident assistant, new wife and Christian.

As a Christian journalist, I am constantly trying to find the good news.  I’d prefer a life where I could write feature stories all day, every day about all the small-town heroes and county fair award winners.  One great thing about my introduction to the blogging community is that as I start to read and follow more and more blogs, it seems that this news source offers a slightly more positive perspective on what’s going on in the world.

While this blog isn’t meant to be a statement on religion, I do hope people of any or no faith can find it inspiring.  I think (and hope) that the inspiration will come from realizing that using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can take an organization you care about to the next level.  If a local mosque, a non-profit or a school club is willing to take the leap into the social media revolution, it could change the future of their organization.

This blog will explore how religious organizations specifically are using social media to garner support, draw in new members, connect people with similar value networks, gain recognition and educate the world about what they believe.

For example, think of the most stereotypical religious icon you can.  When I engaged in this exercise, I immediately thought of two young Mormon men in their suits and ties knocking on my door.  This image is traditional and common.  And yet, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recently announced that their missionaries would be embracing a social media approach in favor of less door-to-door recruiting to reflect the growing societal preference to connect over the Internet rather than let strangers into one’s home.

It is examples such as this that will inform this blog and inspire more investigation and lead to more questions.

While I have always seen myself in a reporter role, I’m excited to be able to use this blog to explore options for a career in Christian media, a potential (hidden) knack for blogging and any other post-graduation opportunities.  I look forward to sharing this experience with any readers willing to go the distance with me!

“I think people often come to the synagogue, mosque, the church looking for God, and what we give them is religion.” –Gene Robinson 


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