Mormon blogosphere

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The Mormon blogosphere (in some contexts referred to as the bloggernacle or Bloggernacle Choir) is the Mormon portion of the blogosphere.[1] The latter two terms were coined by individuals within members of LDS blogging community as a play on the name of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; however, not all LDS-themed bloggers like or use the name Bloggernacle, or even consider their blog to be part of it.

History[edit]

It was on November 23, 2002, that the Mormon blogging community became a distinct entity with the founding of the blog Metaphysical Elders.[2] Some component blogs from the Mormon blogosphere's first two years were short lived, however one of its first bloggers, Dave Banack, began his longstanding Mormon Inquiry blog on August 19, 2003.[3] On January 1, 2003, a multi-author blog Mormon Momma launched — a spin off from the original "Circle of Sisters" column from Meridian Magazine. By the next two years, many multi-author blogs were launched, including Times and Seasons, By Common Consent, Feminist Mormon Housewives, Millennial Star.[4] On March 23, 2004, due to an article in The Revealer,[5] the writer Kaimi Wenger at the LDS blog Times and Seasons noticed that the Jewish and Catholic blogging communities had adopted names for themselves. In a blog post titled "The Nameless Mormon Blogosphere",[6] Wenger sought to remedy this situation and asked for suggestions for a name. Christopher Bradford posting under the name "Grasshopper" suggested "Bloggernacle Choir", the shortened version of which gained wide approval. "Bloggernacle" is a term that has been used commonly by LDS bloggers.

The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research features an LDS-apologetics website and blog; Jeff Lindsay writes a Mormon apologetic blog entitled Mormanity, as well. A Mormon "litblog" named A Motley Vision was founded in 2004 by William Morris.[7] During 2005, several LDS-themed podcasts entered the Bloggernacle to augment LDS blogging with audio programming; these included podcasts produced by church affiliated sources and an independent series, Mormon Stories Podcast, produced by John Dehlin (who has also founded the blog Stay LDS[8] and the group blog Mormon Matters).[9]

Stay-at-home mothers who are LDS and who blog are known to comment occasionally upon their religion; two such writers whose blogs have become popular with non-Mormon audiences are Stephanie Nielson, of the blog the NieNie Dialogues,[10][11] C. Jane Kendrick of CJane Enjoy I], and Jana Mathews who blogs at Momlogic as "The Meanest Mom."[12][13][14] (A spoof on this genre of blog is the blog "Seriously, so Blessed!," written by an anonymous Utah woman.[15]) In 2009, the religious news site Religion Dispatches ran a story about the phenomenon of Mormon mommy blogging,[16] which its author believed arose in part in response to Elder Ballard's 2007 commencement address at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, which had lauded efforts by Mormon faithful to share their beliefs through such means as blogging, citing an online post by "Bookslinger" (pseudonymous author of the blog Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon).[17][18]

Mormon videographer Seth Adam Smith[19][20] began blogging in 2004.[21] Some of the Bloggernacle's more prominent blogs are named after defunct Latter Day Saint publications. For example, Messenger and Advocate, a blog written by Guy Murray, was named after the LDS publication of the same name published 1834–1837 in Kirtland, Ohio.[22][23] Keepapitchinin, a Mormon history blog written by Salt Lake Tribune columnist and independent historian Ardis Parshall that she founded in 2008, was named after a sporadically published humorous newspaper published 1867–1871 and pseudonymously written by three sons of LDS apostles, George J. Taylor, Joseph C. Rich, and Heber John Richards.[24][25] The blog Millennial Star was named after The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, published in England 1840–1970; and the LDS history blog The Juvenile Instructor' [26] is the namesake of a publication intended as a catechism of Mormonism printed in Salt Lake City, Utah 1866–1930.

Salt Lake City, Utah's The Deseret News began producing a separate, LDS-themed newspaper insert on January 10, 2008 named Mormon Times. The website version of this insert features readers' feedback. The Mormon Times reporter covering the Bloggernacle is Emily W. Jensen. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' own Internet presence is substantial; and Church spokesman Michael Otterson's blogging contributions feature prominently in the LDS blogosphere as well. Linescratchers, an LDS contemporary music scene blog, also debuted in 2008.[27][28]

Neylan McBaine founded The Mormon Women Project in 2010.[29]

[edit]

From May 30, 2005 until just before Halloween of the same year, six bloggers carried out an elaborate and, ultimately very controversial prank through a fake blog called Banner of Heaven, a name derived from part of the name of a book of non-fiction by Jon Krakauer. Those involved in the prank were eventually exposed through a Bloggernacle-wide contest hosted at 9 Moons, another group blog.[30] Although many people found the content on Banner of Heaven to be humorous, others found the deception to be very off-putting, and the Mormon blogging community engaged in multiple bouts of debate and protest over the ramifications of such a hoax.[31][32] After seeing the extreme negative reaction, the perpetrators posted public apologies,[33][34][35][36][37] although some of these were not well received by the community.[38] As of 2010, the Banner of Heaven hoax continued to elicit strong debate whenever the subject was broached, and the hoax constituted one of the most important or defining events in the history of Mormon blogging.[39]

Because of the controversy, the Banner of Heaven weblog was taken down and made not accessible until Scott B. of By Common Consent initiated a resurrection of the blog in order to conduct a five-year retrospective on the scandal.[40] The blog is now permanently hosted by MormonMentality.org, a group blog founded by David K. Landrith, one of the perpetrators behind the hoax.[41]

Selected list[edit]

Since the birth of the Bloggernacle, many blogs—both group blogs with multiple authors, and solo blogs with a single author (many of which have also contributed material to group blogs) have played a role in the development and expansion of the Bloggernacle.

Group blogs[edit]

Blog portals[edit]

Numerous blog aggregators, or portals, have been constructed by participants in the Bloggernacle. The most prominent and widely recognized portal is the Mormon Archipelago (or MA), which was created in 2005 "to be a useful central place to see what’s going on at all of the best blogs in the Bloggernacle."[42][43] The MA displays LDS-themed blogs, grouped together in various boxes or "islands", with the newest content in each blog on top, with sidebars displaying links to recent comments around the Bloggernacle. Over time, the location with the MA, removal of blogs, or addition of blogs has resulted in disputes over the role the MA plays in Mormon blogging.[44]

In addition to the MA, other LDS Blog Aggregators include:

  • MormonBlogs.org, an aggregator affiliated with the Mormon group weblog Mormon Matters.
  • Mormon Blogosphere, an aggregator accepting any Mormon-related blog.
  • LDS Blogs, a list of both LDS-themed blogs, as well as non-LDS-themed blogs by LDS bloggers.
  • Nothing Wavering, a list of both LDS-themed blogs, as well as non-LDS-themed blogs by LDS bloggers.
  • MOHO Directory, a list of blogs related to gay or lesbian or bisexual blogs of past, or present Mormons in any variety.

Niblets[edit]

Since 2005, the Mormon blogging community has given out "Niblet Awards" (or just "Niblets") to recognize outstanding contributions to the bloggernacle.[45] These awards have typically been awarded on the basis of open nominations and voting, while the location of the awards and voting has varied from year to year.[46] The term "Niblet" is an homage to Hugh Nibley, one of the most distinguished and beloved Mormon scholars. Categories for the awards include "Best Big Blog", "Best Individual/Solo Blog", "Best Post", "Best Humorous Post", "Best Blog Design", "Best Overall Blogger", and numerous other categories.[47] The Niblets often cause arguments and disputes within the bloggernacle, as there are frequently disagreements over which blogs should properly be considered members of the "bloggernacle community" and which blogs are simply Mormon-themed.[48]

Niblet winners[edit]

The host site for the 2009 Niblet awards, Mormon Matters, compiled records of past winners as part of the awards.[47] Among the winners were:[49]

Best big blog
Best group blog
  • 2005: Nine Moons
  • 2006: Zelophehad’s Daughters
  • 2007: Zelophehad’s Daughters
  • 2008: Segullah
  • 2009: Segullah
Best solo blog
  • 2005: Dave’s Mormon Inquiry
  • 2006: Dave’s Mormon Inquiry
  • 2007: (N/A)
  • 2008: Keepapitchinin
  • 2009: Keepapitchinin
Best overall blogger
  • 2005: Wilfried Decoo
  • 2006: Wilfried Decoo
  • 2007: Kevin Barney
  • 2008: Ardis Parshall
  • 2009: Tracy M

See also[edit]

People

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Faithful Track Questions, Answers and Minutiae on Blogs". The New York Times. March 5, 2005. 
  2. ^ "In Memory of the Metaphysical Elders | Times & Seasons". Timesandseasons.org. 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Wisdom of a Bloggernacle ancient". Mormon Times. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  4. ^ "A weblog full of ‘tiny dramas in Mormon lives’…". Religionnewsblog.com. 2005-11-19. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  5. ^ The Revealer:
  6. ^ Times & Seasons » The Nameless Mormon Blogosphere
  7. ^ "Fans in withdrawal from coffee substitute Postum". Deseret News. January 1, 2008. 
  8. ^ http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_12871883
  9. ^ "Sunstone foundation hires executive director". Deseret News. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Stephanie and Christian Nielson's Plane Crash". Oprah.com. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  11. ^ "Couple that survived St. Johns plane crash appear on Oprah | Phoenix News | Arizona News | azfamily.com | Phoenix News". azfamily.com. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  12. ^ http://byustudies.byu.edu/Reviews/Pages/reviewdetail.aspx?reviewID=799
  13. ^ Williams, Alex (September 7, 2008). "After Blogger's Plane Crash, Virtual Becomes Personal". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "World's Meanest Mom - WGHP". Myfox8.com. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  15. ^ "A clever twist on Mormon mommy blogs". Mormon Times. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  16. ^ The story went on to quote a source saying that the term Bloggernacle arose as a Salt Lake City-based response to the rise of Mormon blogs.
  17. ^ "Apostle Urges Students to Use New Media - LDS Newsroom". Newsroom.lds.org. 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ Jensen, Emily W. (August 4, 2009). "Mormon beliefs, YouTube style". Mormon Times. 
  20. ^ Malkin, Michelle (September 7, 2010). "Video: The Forgotten Man". 
  21. ^ Smith, Seth Adam. "About me". Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  22. ^ http://news.google.com/archivesearch?um=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=%22guy+murray%22+flds&cf=all
  23. ^ LaPlante, Matthew D. (March 25, 2007). Salt Lake Tribune, The http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SLTB&p_theme=sltb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=11824075E8635EE8&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM |url= missing title (help). 
  24. ^ "Should Brigham Young share blame for Utah War?". Deseret News. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  25. ^ "Resources for Young Women leaders". Mormon Times. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  26. ^ "Bloggernacle Back Bench: Blogging connections at MHA". Mormon Times. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  27. ^ Jensen, Emily W. (April 27, 2011). "Fictionist interview and inside a temple construction site". Mormon Times. 
  28. ^ Morris, William (October 6, 2009). "Q&A with Arthur from Linescratchers". A Motley Vision. 
  29. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (August 13, 2010). "New LDS women’s site features unique stories, common faith". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  30. ^ "Blog Archive : BoH Contest, Prize Inside » BoH Contest, Prize Inside". Nine Moons. 2005-10-26. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  31. ^ Blogging and Lying Thursday, October 27, 2005 By Nate Oman (2005-10-27). "Blogging and Lying | Times & Seasons". Timesandseasons.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  32. ^ After the Fall Tuesday, November 1, 2005 By Julie M. Smith (2005-11-01). "After the Fall | Times & Seasons". Timesandseasons.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  33. ^ When Bad Writers Go Badder (2005-10-28). "Banner of Heaven » When Bad Writers Go Badder". Bannerofheaven.mormonmentality.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  34. ^ Jenn F.A.Q. (2005-10-27). "Banner of Heaven » Jenn F.A.Q". Bannerofheaven.mormonmentality.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  35. ^ Aaron Unvailed (2005-10-28). "Banner of Heaven » Aaron Unvailed". Bannerofheaven.mormonmentality.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  36. ^ My Apology (2005-10-28). "Banner of Heaven » My Apology". Bannerofheaven.mormonmentality.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  37. ^ Allison: I’m Not Mari, But I Play Her On TV (2005-10-27). "Banner of Heaven » Allison: I’m Not Mari, But I Play Her On TV". Bannerofheaven.mormonmentality.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  38. ^ Miranda: Who Am I and Why Am I Here? (2005-10-27). "Banner of Heaven » Miranda: Who Am I and Why Am I Here?". Bannerofheaven.mormonmentality.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  39. ^ "Blog Archive : Banner of Heaven Retrospective Post Mortem: What Does It All Mean? » Banner of Heaven Retrospective Post Mortem: What Does It All Mean?". Nine Moons. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  40. ^ "Bloggernacle Classics: The Banner of Heaven Weblog « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". Bycommonconsent.com. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  41. ^ The Banner of Heaven Weblog
  42. ^ "Give me convenience or give me death!". New Cool Thang. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  43. ^ "The Mormon Archipelago". Splendid Sun. 2005-01-25. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  44. ^ Friday July 11th, 2008 (2008-07-12). "A Critical Look at LDS Blog Portals – Part 1 : “Never Show Your Face Anywhere in the Bloggernacle Ever Again” « Sixteen Small Stones". Sixteensmallstones.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  45. ^ "Bloggernacle Times » Bloggernacle Awards 2005". Bloggernacle.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  46. ^ "Bloggernacle Times » Jan/Feb Mini-Niblets*". Bloggernacle.org. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  47. ^ a b 2009 Niblets Results — Analysis from Mormon Matters
  48. ^ "2009 Niblets are Here!!". Mormon Matters. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  49. ^ "2009 Niblets Results — Analysis". Mormon Matters. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  50. ^ http://bycommonconsent.com/2013/02/02/tarefic-scandal-rocks-bloggernacle/

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Related to the LDS Church
Other branches of the Latter Day Saint movement