one year ago today i started blogging. i had resisted for over a year, worried that i would either alienate ys customers (if my blog was really honest) or allow it to become a cheap marketing piece, disguised as a blog. but i chose to launch out. my first post said this:
so. people have been bugging me about blogging for a year or more. and i’ve wanted to. i’ve almost started many times. here’s been my two primary concerns: i don’t want a cheesy blog that’s just a marketing front for Youth Specialties. i keep seeing organizational leaders are starting blogs simply for this reasons (of course, there are great exceptions). i could easily write laundered, sanitized, and even occaisionally fiesty-but-well-aimed thoughts in a organizationally-promoting way. not interested (as much as i love promoting YS).
But the rub has been this (and my 2nd reason for a year of hesitancy): if i blog about what i’m really thinking, i stand to alienate a reasonable portion of the YS crowd! i don’t really want to do that either.
so, i sat and stewed about it for a year.
about a month ago, i decided, “crap, i have to do this.” then, this past weekend, i was reading (WAY overdue reading, i might add) Kenda Dean’s Practicing Passion (the link goes to Jonny Baker’s review of the book, because it’s such a great summary) on a plane, and kept thinking, “ooh, i wish i could blog about that!”
i want to do this as a sort of spiritual discipline. i know this will help me work things out — whether they be personal issues, faith issues, church issues, youth ministry issues, whatever. if you choose to read, so be it.
here we go!
so here i am, 505 posts and 3489 comments later. about 600 people visit this blog on an average weekday (about half that on weekends), approximately 80% from the u.s., a good amount from canada and the u.k., and a wonderful growing assortment from a dozen or more other countries all over the world. technorati (the blog search engine) ranks ysmarko as 8634 in the blogosphere, #2 in “youth ministry” and “youth work” (behind the uber-blogger jonny baker), and #10 in “emerging church. it’s #26 in “church” and #24 in “faith”.
but at the end of the day, my blog isn’t about ranking or readers (i’m glad you read, though). my blog has been a way for me to be honest: with myself, with god, and with, well, others. it’s provided me accountability and processing-space, thinking fodder and a journaling niche. i love blogging; i love what it’s done for me and in me, and how it has become a spiritual discipline for me, a guy who doesn’t naturally take to most things with the word “discipline” attached to them.
i raise my starbucks cup (it’s actually a bit cold, and only has the bottom half-inch of coffee in it right now — so it’s not much of a toast) to year two!