Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Faciamus Micro-Interview

Last Monday I received an email from a journalism student at Patrick Henry College in Virginia. Mari Davis asked if she could interview me about the Blogs 4 Life conference and the March for Life for her school paper, as she had run across my blog on the Pro Life Blogs website. After informing her that I had not personally attended either the conference or the March this year, I encouraged her to contact other bloggers who had been in attendance, and I also answered the few questions she posed for me. The following is her article.

Blogs Are Becoming a Formidable Force in Today’s Culture
By Mari Davis
January 24, 2007

Rob Bluey was seated behind a long table draped with a maroon cloth, along with six other panelists. Bluey, editor for HumanEvents.com, explained the draw of weblogs, “There’s so much excitement about blogging right now…. It’s so easy; the possibilities are endless.”

At the second annual Blogs for Life Conference, Charmaine Yoest hosted the “dream team of blogger panelists.”

Hosted by the Family Research Council at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Blogs for Life conference coincided with the 32nd annual March for Life which took place this past Monday. The events commemorate two landmark court decisions which legalized all forms of abortion. The Blogs for Life conference explained the influence of internet media on American culture at the grassroots level.

In his column “How Bloggers Took on Harry Reid and Won on Earmark Reform” written for The Examiner, Bluey explains how Capitol Hill was affected by the grassroots internet community. A group of bloggers and a video posted on YouTube, a site for videobloggers, sparked interest in a House debate which ended in an amended reform bill. “It goes to the highest point in government, it’s really amazing.”

Blogs for Life focuses on strategically using internet networking technology to promote Christian pro-life messages. The Blogs for Life network includes personal blogs like “Tulipgirl—Ideas for mothering, theology, and gracious living,” and specialized blogs such as “Mary Meets Dolly—A Catholic’s Guide to Genetics, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.”

A “blog,” short for “weblog,” often contains personal reflections, links to other sites, and texts of other sources as well as issues analysis and commentary. “…[N]o one has the right to tell someone else that his or her own life has less value than their own. Abortion and Euthanasia are straight up murder,” says “Bro Robin,” a member of Blogs for Life. “I got into blogging mostly out of curiosity,” he explained “It started off as just posting my interests and some quotes and pictures I enjoy then kind of blossomed into a political, social, and news commentary where I can express my views in an uninterrupted manner…. I can do whatever I want with it, it's a great expression of our freedoms as an American citizen.”

LeShawn of LeShawnBarber.com, adds diversity to the “blogosphere.” Her website is considered the highest ranked black woman’s Christian conservative blog. Barber’s website, described by host Charmaine Yoest as “one of the top evangelical blogs out there,” addresses topics such as business, faith, and media bias.

Barber doesn’t believe in sugar-coating the truth. “On my site, I call abortion ‘murder,’” she said. Blogging gives her the freedom to be authentic. “I could never be in mainstream media calling abortion murder.” “Blogging has given me a fantastic platform to evangelize.”

Members of the panel encourage others to start and maintain blogs, and offer advice on how to do it. “Do it because you like to write,” Barber said. Network. “Networking with other bloggers is important…. Don’t get discouraged. Just remember why you’re doing it.”

David All, president of DavidAllGroup.com, explained that a variety of content is helpful in drawing a consistent audience to your site. “People are not stupid on the internet. Sometimes that’s hard for [site creators] to understand,” he explained.