Evidently very. Time magazine has an article on how influential the bloggers of the SBC were in the recent voting for leadership. Mark Roberts, who links to the Time article itself, has made some observations and I’ll make some here.
The secret to blogging is fast communication. Because of independent minded folk, bloggers will say what they think, their words are often contextless so that one can’t tell if the writer is an expert or a hack, and that democratizes words at a level perhaps never known in history. And it happens all at once: within a few hours a hornet nest can be awhirl and awhorl. I’ve seen it happen. All at once.
It also empowers people: if everyone can express an opinion, everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone feels that they are being heard. If enough folks say the same thing, a beachhead can be formed on the part of those who are not in power. Think about it: how many who are willing to say what they think in the blog world are also willing to stand up at a national convention? Not as many. And how many would the convention have time for? Not that many. So, when blogging gets going more voices are heard. This is good.
What I find most interesting about the SBC, about whom I’m no expert, is that there was lots of criticism of bloggers at the convention. It makes me wonder if the congregational polity of the denomination is not at threat when the “congregation” (of voters) actually starts acting like a congregation. Maybe I’m off base on this one, but maybe not. On the blogs I’ve read many who thought the bloggers offset those who were sitting behind the desks. But, I have no desire to enter into the SBC politics.
I do think bloggers have some power, though. Each blogger instantly becomes a public journalist. Which media has been most hurt by bloggers? Newspapers.
Has a new day arrived?