Blogs as Postcards

I’ve been blogging for almost ten years now: “Casual and critical observations on life, love, and faith, in the form of short prose and photography.”

I’ve enjoyed the hobby — though I certainly haven’t been the most popular on the internet (typical traffic has never risen above 300 hits a day), nor have I been the most prolific (I seem to average about 12-13 posts a month). But I’ve been at it for awhile. One might even be able to make a case that I’ve been a participating publisher in the “blogosphere” for the majority of the medium’s history.

Anyway, I’m noticing that “kids these days” seem to use bloging in a distinct way — namely, as travelogues, or electronic postcards.

These blogs are a bit more disposable, more temporary, as opposed to blogs from the late-90s or early 2000s. I don’t necessarily consider this to be a bad thing; I just notice that it’s different. Actually, as I consider the phenomenon: the medium of blogging really is ideal for this sort of use as electronic postcard. It costs little to no money. It allows for instantaneous publication of text, photographs, and video files. Links to the blog’s content can be easily broadcast across many of the other internet platforms that are used more regularly and more widely: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail… And like journals or scrapbooks in hard copy form, it’s just a fun way to keep track of one’s experiences.

I’ve recently started following the blogs of several students from H2O at Kent State University, as they file field reports from Estes Park to Pamplona to Florence.

  • AJ Ozanich is currently participating in the LINC (Laborers Impacting Nations for Christ) program in Pamplona, Spain — though he has also used his blog for previous travels in Florence, Italy and Chiba, Japan. His blog is called actseighteenthree (the title referencing a Bible passage on “tent-making” and thus utilizing a fun play on words between his studies in Architecture and his passion for missions).
  • Walt Haim also spent a semester abroad studying architecture at Kent State University’s branch campus in Florence, Italy. He titled his blog Il Blog Arbitrario, and it’s worth noting that this particular blog may have already run its course since Walt’s semester abroad has now been completed. Of special interest to me, personally, he reported on a visit to my old stomping grounds in Amsterdam.
  • Katie Fife should be arriving in Estes Park, Colorado at just about any moment, driving there to serve as an intern with the Collegiate Church Network’s Leadership Training (LT) program. Throughout this Memorial Day weekend, it’s been fun to follow her Twitter activity, @katie_fife, chronicling the looooong drive from Kent to Estes Park with fellow intern Isaac Benner. Her blog is called katiegoestolt (Katie Goes to LT), and I look forward to seeing how her summer goes.
  • Kara Wellman has actually been in Estes Park for a week now. She’s also there for the Leadership Training program, and I only just today learned that she’s planning to blog through the summer. Fun!

It’s good to keep up-to-speed on all the things that God is doing around the world. I’m glad for the way that blogging helps to facilitate such a sense of connection.

I’m praying for these intrepid young travelers, trusting that God is going to work in and through them this summer. If you feel so inclined, please feel free to join me in following their adventures and in praying for them!

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