One of the things I absolutely love about CB is that for me and a number of other people, it is more than just a blogging site. It is a blogging community. Of course I come here to write. That is obvious for I have posted more than 1,000 blogs on this site over the past few years but that is not what keeps me here. I could do that anywhere.
The thing which keeps me here at CB is community. Hmm... I suppose I could do community after a fashion on Facebook but for me, that has never felt like a community. Not the way CB has.
For me, this is a place where love lives. This is the place where people from around the world have opened up their arms and held me when I was going through cancer treatment, recovering from a ruptured brain aneurysm and on my knees pleading with God to spare the life of my cousin and not one but two of her babies.
This is a place where I have met my dearest friends who though the miles separate us... we are together in Christ Jesus and I can reach them with the click of a button whether on the computer or on the phone.
This is a place where I have fled to with tears in my eyes only to be uplifted and strengthened by friends. My tears have often turned to laughter which has echoed far into the night.
I realize that things often change and that people may come and go but I have been greatly saddened by the loss of community, here at CB. Changes that have been made, like the loss of our wall, have made me feel like the community has become fragmented and members are isolated as opposed to coming together. It has been suggested to me that I am alone in feeling that way and everyone is feeling more connected than ever. Perhaps I am wrong but then again... maybe I m not.
I am very interested in hearing what other CB members have to say in answer to these questions.
Do you feel like CB is a blogging community or is it simply a blogging site?
Which of the two do you prefer?
I have already answered number one in this blog. In regards to question number two, I could blog anywhere but I cannot find an online Christian community just anywhere. The community at CB has been a blessing and a treasure to me for nearly four years so yes, I prefer a blogging community rather than just another blogging site.
I was just sitting down to write a blog entitled "The CB Community.. Is We or Ain't We?" I think you and I are sensing the same thing.
People do come and go. Like you, I've established many close relationships here.. most of which have blossomed only in the virtual world, some beyond that.
Virtual communities form when people carry on public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships. That seems to be waning here. It is a tremendous loss, in my view. Christianity is based on relationships.
We do have many writers and at least many readers. My own blogs here typically have between 1,000-1,200 views per day. Much less than 1% of those are by members (at least those who are signed in). Less than 1% of those leave feedback of any sort. I bring these numbers up only as examples of what is happening here. We can't establish relationships without relating to one another.
Part of this is due to changes here... minimum comment requirements and loss of the wall and the chat room certainly are a part of that. But it is more than that. We've become distant, strangers to one another, posting and reading independently.
There are some, Dave, Hwa and a newcomer, startingover, as examples who are consistently supportive of others. Most of us, and I must put myself right at the top of that list, post but seldom read. When I do read, until the past couple of days, I don't interact... build relationships.
I can see where this becomes discouraging to newcomers. When they first arrive, they attract a flurry of interest.. but it soon wanes for most. That's partly the fault of us "old-timers," but not entirely. Newcomers should also read and work to build these relationships.
This site has the potential, and we have seen it happen in the past, that CB was a strong, world-wide Christian community. I hope and pray that it will become that again.
I've recommitted to doing my part by interacting with others rather than just posting as I have been over the past few months.
Thank you, K, for posting this. It's been heavy on my mind for some time now.
Alive in The Word
Sigh... I just poured my heart out in a comment and then lost it! I'll have to come back to this later.
I was just pondering this very thing over the weekend retreat we took. It seems it used to be easy to connect with people here and talk to others and now that just seems to have dried up. I'm not sure why. I know I didn't blog for awhile due to some pretty serious issues going on personally and that made a huge difference, but the loss of the wall seems to have put a final nail in it.
Over the past couple of years I have been trying to learn more patience and not react to situations, instead just let them work out in whatever way they will, so I've been just sitting back and waiting to see where it all goes and blogging when I can. It's hard not to connect more though. The chat room never seems to work out for me because I always seem to be on at times when no one else is. However, we were told that the wall would return when they could work out the issues with it.
I like CB for blogging even though I am also on FB. I don't blog there at all and I use it to stay connected with mainly my family - cousins, aunts, uncles, really old friends ... But I don't like that people can say whatever they feel like to you and post whatever they want. Some things are very offensive which I don't have to worry about on CB at all.
I hope that answered your questions ... I got interrupted in the middle of this comment by a 13 year old deciding she wants to run away from home ... sigh ...
Oh my friend, I dont want to hurt anyone but sometimes smiling and adapting is the hardest thing to do. I am tired smiling and trying to stay connected when every line of communication gets severed over and over and over.
You know I am in the middle of a struggle right now, and this past couple of weeks have been so hard. In the past I would have came her, posted a status comment,written in the princess community, and known that there were folk who would hear me and just KNOW what was going on. That has been taken away, and my heart feels as if I am being pushed to the fringes. If I dont have the strength to blog then I dont deserve to be heard. And maybe I don't.
Sometimes I look at Cb the way I would look at any magazine. I was first drawn to it by the features it had to offer. But instead of improving those features the magazine has, one by one, thrown them out, leaving only one feature. So what do I do? I reach for somewhere that offers me what I need. Maybe thats why so many of us are on Fb more often than we are here.
Again, I dont mean to hurt anyone here, heck, I know the pain that words cause, but I suppose my answer to your questions would be that No, I do not believe Cb is a community any longer, But I believe it can be both, and I believe it should be both.
K you know where my heart is at so i wont go into it again lol. but this blog.. well.. my heart echoes this blog and everyone comments :)
I'm new and I already have detected in many blogs the discontent you are voicing here... I have already read at least 50-100 blogs (probably many more)...and I see that people are sharing some very personal issues...and there is a lot of pain and only a few respond with healing words.
Hey... .I'll tell you what's been working for me...I enjoy the feedback I've been getting when I've commented...it feels so good to know you have blessed someone...so...how about this: for every blog you do...try and comment on at least 5 or more blogs...that way it makes blogging even more rewarding. One more thing, when commenting, it might be helpful to leave it open ended...not just an exhortation...but an opening to a conversation (like say...mentioning a similar experience...I mean, most of us get quite personal in our blogs...well...some may be gifted with a teaching gift, which is great, we need that too...but there are those of us who are wanting answers to the questions in our lives...and we don't want to feel like we are writing into thin air.
I realize that some here are of the belief that we shouldn't even being looking at ourselves and just concentrating on Jesus..and I have this to say to that: Jesus came to bind up the wounds and set the captives free. Every child of God is His Body...and we will not lose our reward.
I must add however that I have been very pleased with the very Christ-centered, biblical-y based blogs and replies. I have been impressed by there not being any real dissenters, which I was afraid of when I first joined, (if you read a lot of internet news and see the type of filth that is spewed on our beliefs, I had a right to be worried).
Let's get serious about binding up some wounds...and setting people free...maybe if we search our hearts (oops...I should say...allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts )we might discover some chains of our own...that need someone with the right key to set us free.
Lovin' it so far. In Christ Shirley
I admit I do miss some of the features that were here when I first joined, almost 2 years ago. I am sure that John has his reasons for streamlining on the website, though. Too much slows down the load time, I am sure. And some of the group discussions could get a little heated. There are always going to be those times, however, as new people join, and even some of the older ones have differing views on topics such as election, and free will, just one of the big ones. Even the few groups here, get little traffic, at least the ones I am in. I used to preach and have taught classes for many years so I focus more on scriptural issues. Others want to share more day-to-day stuff, and they are very interesting.
I probably have been a little slack in comments as of late. But looking at my stats, I am averaging right at 8 blogs commented on, to every one I write. If it will encourage others, perhaps we all need to step those up. It is easy to get into a groove, ritual, and want to stay there. I somehow feel I must do 2 a week, for some strange reason, called 'habit', I am sure. Pehaps I need to look at doing things different, instead of same ole, same ole.
I enjoy seeing new people come in and share. I sure hope they all feel welcome. Surely, we can take the time to at least hit the recommend button, if we are too rushed to comment. I hope you ladies will stay faithful, who have been here all along. Wish some would return. And us guys, well, just behave I guess. Godspeed in whatever is done. billy
Although I do not participate in the "social networking" side of things, I do understand the frustration and pain of those who do. I cannot experientially grasp it, but I do feel it. I am not quite sure if the ability to be a community is limited to things such as having a "wall" or similar things for I never used it; but obviously for those who did, its loss has been devastating.
Communication is the key to strong relationships whether in person or in cyber space. Communication takes commitment, time and the willingness to do whatever it takes to not fall into the abyss of isolation. Honestly, there is always a way to communicate. There are still the ancient and old fashioned ways such as email, telephones, Skype, letters and personal visits. It is just that we live in an age when we are used to being able to instantly communicate whenever we so desire with whomever we desire.
Two years ago I sensed there were some needs that could not be addressed via any written form of communication. Instead of just fussing about it, I hopped in my van and drove to see various people spending an evening with them getting to know each other and discussing their situations. Whatever it takes to communicate should be our goal and mission.
As far as commenting on blogs goes; the truth of the matter is that none of us can do everything. Each of us must determine how much time we have available for CB and then determine if that time can best be used writing blogs, commenting or being in chat. People such as myself decided to invest the time available in developing and writing a daily quality blog. Others have determined to comment on as many as they can each day and write a blog once per week. Still others have decided to write a blog when they can, comment when available and spend time in chat blessing others.
The point is that we all have our strong points and if we remain faithful to exercising them, we will be doing our best to be a functioning part of the community. Interesting discussion going on here and thank you for bringing it up.
if the wall came back, i would use it.my weekends now, i'm on the road and access to a computer is like pulling teeth( no i dont have a smartphone but if i keep dropping hints my 50th birthday this year ( maybe i will see that ipod or better yet(yea right keep dreaming a ipad lol) be blessed