Our blogging brother at The North Eastern Corner wrote the other day about how the face of Masonic blogging has changed over time. He notes three trends: centralization, blog fatigue, and extraction.
He points out that the trend towards centralization tends to sublimate the personality of the individual bloggers, and I agree. Part of the pleasure of surfing Masonic blogs is in noting the design, graphics and layout of a particular brother's blog, as well as seeing which links he chose to put on his blog, and what, if any, advertising he showed. All these things, together with his writing, created the individual blogger's online identity and "personality." The centralizing of blogs, such as has been done recently at Bro. Greg Stewart's Freemason Information, lessens the appeal of reading Masonic-theme blogs, for me anyway. I'm not knocking the trend; I'm just adding to the discussion of it on The North Eastern Corner.
Personally I've been suffering blog fatigue for while. Regularly pumping out interesting stories is hard work. My dwindling interest in local Masonic events coupled with my growing knowledge of "improprieties" related to Shriner and Jester activities simply led me to abandon my keyboard for a while.
The North Eastern Corner article points out a third trend in Masonic blogging: extraction, or Masonic blogs going dark or totally disappearing from the web. We've seen a lot of that. For a while there were many newly raised younger Masons who eagerly jumped into blogging with an impressive enthusiasm. Most of these blogs didn't last long; there's only so much a new Mason can say about "next Tuesday I'm returning my Fellowcraft catechism."
The most notable "extraction" in the past year was the unexpected death of well-known Masonic know-it-all Bro. Theron Dunn. Next Wednesday will mark one year since he moved on to the Celestial Lodge.
Bro. Dunn and I seldom agreed on anything.
And I liked that. I found him pompous and self-righteous and often unmovable in his opinions and stance. In that, he was a lot like me.
Debating and arguing with him kept me on my toes. Publicly disagreeing with him helped me hone my writing and my logic skills and often made me think long and hard about an issue. Our "confrontations" strengthened us both, and made us both better Masons. Masons don't have to like each other — we never did — but Masons should ultimately respect each other and treat each other as brothers.
And that we did, even if sometimes it was begrudgingly.
The world of Masonic blogging, like all of life, is constantly changing. I'm glad I'm still here to enjoy it.
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