An Online God: Blogs and Vlogs
-Rev Melissa Fain-
For almost seven years there has been material posted weekly, sometimes daily, for Fig Tree Christian. I actually considered waiting until July to post this just so I can say it had been exactly seven years. Seven being Godly and all. At the end of the day, there is a method to my madness. I'm always playing a big picture game, and waiting until the meditations are seven years old is neat, but plays outside the bigger picture.
Sometimes keeping this page active is a slog, and frustrating. It's my personal opinion that most active ministers believe having a personal blog is important, but almost all fail to keep it active. They are good for 2-8 months, but then their schedule becomes too active, and something has to give. Before they know it, the church is linked to a blog that hasn't had a single post in over a year.
How do I view blogs and how do I view this site apart from blogs?
Blogs and Vlogs: Want my opinion?
The word "Blog" originated from two words, "Web Log." Early on, it was a public journal or diary. Ministers used one to have a place to share an opinion. Consider them pastoral op- eds.
Somewhere between when Fig Tree started and now, the term "blog" lost its meaning. Today, blogs can be about anything from a public journal to a deep lesson on how to cook the proper pasta. Usually not the former, but a whole lot of randomness on the later. I'd actually say, most seriously bloggers have felt the url format for Vlogs (video blogs- usually on YouTube), or post on sites that give more visibility.
Vlogs are another can of worms all together. There is a whole genre of professional vloggers who try to make their video look amateur- but there is really some great camera and video editing skills behind the scenes. We, the public, have bought into these professonal vloggers.
We yearn for the homemade. That's why we buy things that have imperfections built into them. They give the illusion the item was handcrafted. It's true for our videos too. We tell ourselves we want to see reality, but we really don't want to see reality. What we really want is something cheep, and well put together. (Maybe with clothing, that's only six months, but we'll buy it if the price is low enough.) With videos, we'll put up with a little commercial and buy into the authentic illusion.
Why am I mentioning this? Vlogs are like magic. It looks like the magician just threw something together, and voila! Something that looks magical and easy appears before you. In reality, there are tons of strings and levers making that magic happen. Ministers see it, and think, "Wow, I could do that too!" Then they pull out their Apple phone, and begin recording. Watching the video back, they don't know why it didn't hold the same "magic."
Camera angles, lighting, what you are wearing, where you are recording, background noises, sound quality in general,.. just to name a few things are the reason many ministers cannot do vlogs. More than that, the ones who tend to get the before-mentioned items, tend to lose the very thing most people are looking for: authenticity. For a minister, authenticity is vital!
Fig Tree Christian: Burnout is real!
Two parts with what Fig Tree does with blogs:
Fig Tree Christian: A diamond in the rough.
It is frustrating to have an idea of what I'm supposed to be doing, and not being able to do it! Our video side of things is abysmal! I can single-handedly record, edit and publish a video, but the time I'd need is too much. I have the authenticity, now we need the production value. We are a unpolished diamond. To the untrained eye, we look like a rock, not worth anyone's time. To many who can see our potential, we are still no better than a rock, because many of those will not or cannot help us to refine our videos. So I'll admit it, we do "vlogs" poorly. I can't wait until we have the resources to do them well. I'm ready to work with people.