Fad, Fun, Flashes in the pan, here to stay … what? (I of II)

Now that there are three known independent blogs devoted to sg, and all coming into either existence or wide circulation in roughly the last month, it seems worth a little reflection, not least of all because of a few of you have written to ask what I think about it and what I see as the consequences or effects. Mostly, my answer is, I just don’t know. The internet generally and the so-called blogosphere specifically are spaces founded on nothing except their propensity to be in constant flux. Such media are fickle kingmakers. Success can be hard to define, difficult to recognize, and impossible to maintain. Plus, it’s not anyone’s full-time job (at least I don’t know of anyone except maybe the spurious Matt Drudge who can live off this kinda thing, and if that’s the way you have to behave to make it as a fulltime blogger, count me out … I mean, for one thing, you’d have to wear that awful hat everywhere … bleh), so circumstances completely independent of your website or its content and aims can derail your online enterprise. With all that circumspection in mind, blogs have essentially redrawn the lines of force in various realms of politics, culture, and society over the past few years (there are a lot of theories about why this is so, given the decentralized and relatively disempowered position from which blogs arise, but the best examination of the issue I’ve seen is from two political scientists who wrote this paper on the topic recently). And though I think sg, when viewed as a subculture (which it is and which is not a pejorative term, at least not to me), tends to be more insulated - and so more impervious - to the kinds of forces that pretty easily shape and remake other similar groups or subcultures, I see no reason why we shouldn’t cautiously believe (and, in my case, hope) that sg “blogs” can and will (with time, perhaps lots of it) have similar reshaping effects on southern gospel as an industry and art form.

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