Friday, November 16, 2007

Does Anybody Really Care About Blogging?

There's no doubt that blogging has changed the way many of us look at information, both our choices of sources of information and the empowerment (or perception of empowerment) of the common person to have a voice in sharing information. Ben Arment has written an interesting article on the real influence of bloggers, The Unlikely Prophets of Blogging. Many of those in my generation (I'm 53 and I'll let you decide where the young end of my generation is) downplay the impact of blogging. Often, I think we tend to do that because (1) blogging is not the way we interact with the world, (2) it's unruly, somewhat chaotic, and doesn't follow the "rules" of traditional information sources, and (3) if we acknowledge that blogging does have influence then we also have to either acknowledge that our own positions of influence/power are threatened or we have to change our ways.

I've also just finished reading The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom. The same danger exists in how we view the shift toward decentralized organizations. The 7th chapter in the book really caught my attention as the authors dealt with hybrid organizations. Not every organization can or should make the switch to a fully leaderless model. I think that's the situation with the International Mission Board, the organization where I work. But, I think we could benefit in many ways by moving toward a hybrid organization. That's uncomfortable for a lot of folks, myself included. Some would accuse us of protecting our power but I think (hope) it has more to do with how seriously we take our mission. Still, uncomfortable or not, I think we would be more effective and would become more relevant to the emerging leadership and followership of our denomination if we decentralize wherever we can. Of course, part of the difficulty of making those changes is that we are the largest arm of our denomination and the denomination is a centralized organization.

What do those two things have to do with each other -- the impact of blogging and decentralizing the IMB? In a word, change: change in how our constituency is influenced and change in how we do our work. Change is hard.

Running: I've run 72+ miles in the last 12 days -- probably a high for me. Today's run was hard but good. I haven't run a tempo run since the Maymont Half-Marathon at the end of September but I don't want to lose my fitness level. So, I only had time for about 5 miles today and was planning to run the route on which I had been doing tempo runs, so I thought, "Why not?" Not bad -- mile splits were:

Mile 1: 9:00
Mile 2: 7:35
Mile 3: 7:30
Mile 4: 7:35
Mile 5: 8:25
Last 1/4: 1:41

I'll take it!

Run well, y'all,
Bob
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