This week I created a blogroll (which is featured on the right side of the page). I spent hours scouring the deep corners of the Internet for blogs similar to this one. I want to connect with other bloggers who are attempting to reveal the connection and potential between social media and religion and an audience that wants to know more about it. I also want to utilize the knowledge and research of my fellow bloggers to make this the most comprehensive, relevant and accurate blog it can be. However, what I learned during endless Google searches, tag clicks and hyperlink follows is that there are hundreds of blogs about social media, thousands of blogs about religion and virtually no blogs that bring the two together. I wavered back and forth between shock and intrigue. It was shocking and a little frustrating that the all-powerful Google search was not rendering the results I wanted. However, it was intriguing and exciting to contemplate being one of the only blogs on the Internet to cover this specific topic.
So, not many people are blogging objectively about religion. Then again, religion is a very hard topic to discuss and while maintaining objectivity. Thus, my blog roll consists of blogs about religion—how it appears in the news, what it’s like to be Mormon/Christian/Buddhist/Jewish/Muslim/Agnostic/Atheist in today’s society and why the core beliefs of each are important to the blogger. It also contains blogs about social media. These blogs reveal how to use social media as a marketing tool, the most effective ways to use social media and examples of how social media has helped various establishments further their goals.
By Common Consent: This blog is maintained by an editorial board of Mormon followers and is associated with the independent Mormon journal Dialogue. It will serve as background on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Mormon life.
Catholic News Agency: This blog is an interactive component of the Catholic News Agency, which was founded in 2004 in response to “Pope John Paul II’s call for a ‘New Evangelization.’” It is a constantly updated source on news affecting the Catholic Church and the actions of the Pope. It also incorporates links and access to other news items regarding Catholicism.
CNN Belief Blog: As part of CNN’s website, this blog covers the biggest news about the political, entertainment and global aspects of religion. While there is some debate over the slant of major television news stations, CNN should serve as an objective source on religion around the world.
Convince & Convert: Convince & Convert is a blog maintained by the company of the same name. The company refers to its employees as “social and content accelerators” and offers ways to help people and companies become better social media users. They have worked with companies such as Wal-Mart, Billabong, Visit California and Petco. Their insight on how to best use social media to promote, grow and further an institution can be translated and related to advice for religions organizations. Plus, I like the name—it already has a religious ring to it.
HAQ Islam: I chose this blog because of my limited knowledge on Islam and how the Muslim community interacts. I trust it will provide background on Islamic practices as well as lead to an increased understanding of the Muslim tradition and desire to grow.
Ignite Social Media: Ignite Social Media is another blog maintained by a company. Their feeds leading stories are on how businesses have succeeded in using social media. They pride themselves on innovation and branding, which I think we’ll find to be key themes in the mission of the church.
Killing the Buddha: The blog application of an online magazine, this medium covers religion, culture, politics and how they intersect. It serves as a collection of stories for audiences that are both “hostile and drawn to talk of God.” Since it covers a variety of topics and relates them to one another, social media is bound to come up.
Soshable: Soshable is a blog dedicated entirely to social media. Its tabs include things like social: media, contents, networks and news. Even though I am a 22 year old graduate student, there are some things about social media even I don’t know (I told you I’m a late adopter), and this blog will serve in teaching me what I need to know as well as keeping me up to date on new trends.
Friendly Atheist: In any blog that has a specific focus, it would be a disservice to the topic and the readers to ignore opposing issues. For this reason I chose to follow a blog chronicling the thoughts of a self-proclaimed atheist as he discusses his opinions on religious news.
The Revealer: Perhaps my favorite blog that I follow, The Revealer is the only other blog I found that marries religion with media. It was created by New York University’s Department of Journalism and is “interested in all sides, disdainful of dualistic arguments and enamored of free speech as a first principle.” I think it will be incredibly helpful in providing information and readers because the contributors acknowledge that “belief matters, whether or not you believe.” That is, religion has an impact on all other aspects of culture.
Follow these and more blogs by checking out the blogroll! Until next time (: