catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 2, Num 18 :: 2003.09.26 — 2003.10.09


*cino hops on the blogwagon

Since 1997 when the term "blog" was officially coined, the
subversive phenomenon has emerged to be of importance even to
mainstream media sources, who not only discuss the importance of blogs,
but regularly use them to record and distribute information.

It is also widely suggested that blogs will serve as an important
independent source of information, keeping the media giants in check
and giving the average citizen a widely accessible forum in which to
share opinions. "What [blogs] set off was absolutely essential: a move
toward a web that we could all write on, not just read," said San Jose Mercury News
technology columnist Dan Gillmor. "Blogs will also help democratize
journalism?.We need to listen to people at the edges, not just
ourselves and our usual-suspect list of sources."

Of course, not everyone has the type of wit and thoughtfulness that
make an opinion worth reading. Along with the great blogs has come a
lot of garbage. A clever Guy Chapman, commenting on an online BBC
article about blogs, said, "The great thing about blogs is that anyone
can set one up. The only problem is that anyone can set one up." Other
not-so-diplomatic respondents considered blogs to be no more than
"hubristic" and "boring, self-indulgent drivel," concluding that "life
is too short to go around reading all this stuff." More tempered
critics wonder if blogs are simply a significant fad.

While individuals debate the lasting importance of this medium,
there is no doubt that blogs have a way of bringing people together and
providing practical insight into a person's life, work, and thoughts.
In spite of the "drivel" such an open medium invites, many blogs have
significant importance and regular readers. Some successes are due to
bloggers merely being eyewitnesses in the right place at the right
time. Others, though, succeed on the quality and insight provided by
content that is of interest to a particular type of person.

By providing a place at catapult for blogging, we're hoping
to engage the strengths of the medium to support our ultimate goal of
developing relationships that lead to practical service. Our basic goal
is to have five to ten regular blogs at one time, the writers of which
are focusing on practically using their gifts for a particular mission.
At the moment, we have a playwright working on his first full-length
play, a family on mission in New Mexico, and a couple engaged in
starting a fair trade store in a small Midwest town (that would be my
husband and I). We're hoping to engage readers in long term entries, as
well as entries that only span a defined period of time during a
particular project. Feel free to nominate others or yourself and
certainly forgive us if we stumble on this journey to find new ways of
connecting believers.

At the very least, *cino blogs will provide interesting, purposeful
content for those who are disillusioned with blogs and maybe with the
Internet as a whole. Our ultimate vision for our blogs is that they
will introduce individuals who are genuinely trying to negotiate the
call to engage in practical service out of faith and obedience. We're
hoping the blogs will inspire people to exchange ideas, join forces and
change the world.

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