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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The Net Effect of the Bloggernacle Experience » The Net Effect of the Bloggernacle Experience

The Net Effect of the Bloggernacle Experience

Rusty - July 24, 2006

As you’ve probably noticed my (writing) blogging has fallen off the last, oh, six months or so. I’d say part of that is due to the fact that we’ve been through selling/buying/renovating our apartment(s) but the other part is that I think I’m getting worn out. I’ve been blogging for two years now. While I certainly haven’t explored every single nuance of the Mormon faith, I’ve hit most of the major points. And I’m pretty sure I’ve heard pretty much every single argument against it. And I still keep hearing them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And I’m over it.

I remember when J. Max Wilson cold turkeyed the Bloggernacle and how everyone reacted (the full spectrum), especially me (annoyance, disappointment). I remember thinking that you can’t run away from the negatives, that contention is a natural part of discussing many of the “issues” of the Church and that he should just buck up and deal with it. But now I think I understand a little better what he was doing. I think for him the net-effect of the Bloggernacle wasn’t positive so he figured he’d go elsewhere to get a better return on his investment.

For me the currency of the Bloggernacle is feelings. I’ll continue playing the market because I’m still “up” but I’m becoming less and less willing to spend/lose those good feelings to be able to be in the game. J Max wanted to stay up so he cashed in his chips to invest elsewhere. And I’m truly happy for him. I believe I can still come out ahead but my strategy is evolving to be able to do so. The following are a few ways in which I’m changing my participation in the Bloggernacle:

1) I’m done with the ideas of the antis/disaffected/unsympathetic (note I said their ideas, not them personally). You have an axe to grind with the Church? I don’t care anymore. I promise I’m familiar with your axe, and even though you might have a legitimate reason to pull out the grinder, actual grinding has never produced positive results, has never influenced someone to increase charity and only serves to escalate bad feelings (not good Naclenomics). If you are unsatisfied with a particular aspect of the gospel and are truly interested in a meaningful conversation, great, I’m interested too, but trying to have an adult conversation with an unsympathetic is like dealing with customer service in Brooklyn.

2) I’m finding myself much more sympathetic to those who are sympathetic. It’s nice to see when people are willing to give their bishops/blue-hair old ladies/Q12/GBHinckley the benefit of the doubt. It suggests a willingness to look past the faults/perceived faults of others and shows the humble ability to say “I don’t know.” This in no way justifies all of the insensitive comments, racist doctrines, or stupid ideas of many Mormons, it’s just admitting that we don’t know everything. I like people that don’t know everything.

3) Unless you are bringing a completely different perspective to the table, these are the topics I’m done with: gay marriage, women and the priesthood, your issues with leadership, prejudice-proving anecdotes, your issues with the temple, BoM historicity and a few others. There is so much energy devoted to talking about these issues in so many different, clever ways, why can’t we devote the same creative energy to discussing charity in so many different, clever ways? Because it doesn’t rack up the comments? That’s lame. Because it’s boring? That’s the writer’s fault, not the topic’s.

And I’m not afraid of these issues, I’m just SO FREAKING BORED with them. Hmm, let’s see, which would I rather do: play xbox 360 or read another round of anecdotes “proving” that the Mormon hierarchy is uninspired. Tough choice.

(That being said, I know there are many who are discovering these discussions for the first time and I wish you the best as you maneuver your way through them. Just remember, there is no silver bullet proof of anything, either for or against the Church.)

4) I haven’t been and probably won’t be posting as much as I have in the past. I’ve started dozens of posts in the last few months but completed very few. This is due mostly to numbers 1-3 and the fact that I’m not a good enough writer to finish them at a satisfactory level.

5) I reserve the right to continue to change. It’s not hypocritical, it’s just me figuring out how to become a better person.


  1. Amen.

    And now you know why I’m not as excited about Sunstone as some of my friend are.

    Comment by Johnna — July 24, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

  2. “Amen brother”…er I mean son. Me too!

    Comment by don — July 24, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

  3. I know what you’re getting at Rusty — I’ve been fighting a bit of blog burnout as well. Not only am I getting bored of the topics, but there is administration burnout that sets in as well.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 24, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

  4. “these are the topics I’m done with: gay marriage, women and the priesthood, your issues with leadership, prejudice-proving anecdotes, your issues with the temple, BoM historicity”

    Well, there goes my guest posts!

    In all seriousness, well-said. It’s getting a little tedious in the Bloggernacle. I wonder if anything good has even become of these discussions. I doubt anyone’s opinions have changed.

    I encourage you to finish your posts, though. Someone’s gotta break up the monotony. Even a round of “From the Archives” might even be good.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 24, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

  5. ^ That was me.

    Comment by Tim J. — July 24, 2006 @ 10:16 pm

  6. Interesting thoughts.

    I have to note, that having taken classes from or talked to or known some people who became G.A.s (I took a class from D. Oaks and talked with him, my family knew Robert Oaks pretty well), I’m very impressed with the integrity and honesty of those men I knew face-to-face.

    It affects a great deal of my approach and attitude.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — July 24, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

  7. Rusty = cool.

    You go, brother.

    Comment by John Dehlin — July 24, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

  8. Rusty,

    I went through the same thoughts not too long ago… in fact, there was a marked decline in posting at Blogger of Jared because Wade and I hit the same wall at the same time. The one thing that rekindled my interest was that blogbinders website where they turn your blog into a book. I figure it will be one way for my kids to know what I was like before they came around. Who knows, it might help their testimony somehow if they struggle with an issue I or one of my co-bloggers posts about sometime.

    Comment by Ryan — July 24, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

  9. Rusty, you describe my thoughts exactly.

    Comment by Eric Russell — July 25, 2006 @ 12:27 am

  10. Yeah. Axe-grinding. ugh.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 25, 2006 @ 12:58 am

  11. The ghost of J. Max still haunts these halls at night …

    Comment by Dave — July 25, 2006 @ 2:56 am

  12. I thought that was the ghost of Ebenezer Orthodoxy…

    Comment by Geoff J — July 25, 2006 @ 3:09 am

  13. Rusty, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. As the spirit moves you I hope you continue as you outlined above. Best to you.

    Comment by Guy Murray — July 25, 2006 @ 8:42 am

  14. Hey Rusty:

    As many others, I find myself slowly going down a similar road. Is this an inevitable end?

    Comment by Eric — July 25, 2006 @ 8:49 am

  15. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I didn’t realize so many others were feeling similarly.

    It’s an interesting question, where is the Bloggernacle going? I mean, I feel bad that there are those who are only now just discovering it but it’s evolved into a different place than it was when I discovered it. I remember having pretty interesting discussions about R-rated movies, the Sabbath day, women and the priesthood, even gay marriage, but now those topics are the dead horses so if we talk about them we need to find some obscure connection to not feel like we’re pulling out the whip. Perhaps some of the newer bloggers should start The Bloggernacle II and discuss all that stuff as if it hadn’t ever been discussed before. Who knows.

    I’ve considered doing a From The Archives but I haven’t yet for two reasons: 1) it kinda feels like I’ve been defeated, like I couldn’t come up with anything interesting to say so I have to go back to what I’ve said before. But hey, if it’s good enough for President Hinckley I guess it’s good enough for me :) 2) I have the feeling that many of those who read this blog have read me for a while now and I don’t want to be redundant. We’ll see.

    John D,
    Thanks man.

    Keep it up, I always enjoy your stuff over there. And I like that archiving idea.

    Eric R, Stapley, Dave, Geoff J, Guy,
    Thanks guys.

    It’s a good question. The answer might be yes for a lot of us. I’m not sure. The good news is that we can do whatever makes us happy so no matter what, whatever we do will be what’s best for us individually. Though I am sad that J. Max isn’t around these parts but I’m happy that he’s happy. Ya know?

    Comment by Rusty Clifton — July 25, 2006 @ 9:59 am

  16. I’ve unsubbed from almost all the LDS group blog feeds I had in my blog reader. I found most of the stuff being posted either boring or irritating, and I don’t like thinking negative thoughts about people. So I quit.

    I always preferred the personal blogs anyway. There’s some awesome people out there.

    Comment by Susan M — July 25, 2006 @ 10:49 am

  17. The best thing I did after coming back a year-and-a-half ago was bringing on more people. We still get decent posts and I don’t have to do it all.

    Comment by Kim Siever — July 25, 2006 @ 11:40 am

  18. Russ,

    Hey! I told you you were becoming more like me>8) All those reasons are why I stopped reading everything BUT your blog almost a year ago. You’ve just been more patient and/or tolerant than I.

    Comment by Bret — July 25, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  19. Rusty, I understand what you are saying. I’ve had my own bloggernacle burnouts. I still check in but I comment less. I also work on my own projects that no one or hardly anyone else cares about.

    Comment by danithew — July 26, 2006 @ 9:22 am

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