Today Bishop Bill has a truly historic post as it marks my 200th! I started about four years ago, and have posted every Sunday with only a few misses.
My average readers per post is about 2000. My most viewed post, with 13,239 views and counting is “The LDS Dating Crisis” from fours years ago. While I don’t believe that post was any more brilliant that my normal posts, I think it might be because it was linked on an LDS singles Facebook page, as it is still getting several hundred views every year (while most of my post go to zero after a few months). With the number of single people in the church growing, I expect this post to continue to get views for years to come. The inspiration from the post came from my daughter’s experience of dating as a single mother of three daughters after the loss of her husband to cancer. I’m happy to report that she has been happily married for three years to a wonderful man who has three boys. They did a great Brady Bunch Christmas card last year
My 2nd highest post was “God has not changes His definition of Marriage” at 8404 views, and then “Conference Odds” at 3616 views. My very lowest at 589 views was a post called “The One True Blog” where I did a parody of the First Vision Story relating it to LDS blogs. I guess the lesson for me is to stay away from parody, although in my defense, I did a very similar parody called the “One True LDS mailing list” and posted it to Mormon-L back in the 1990’s, and it was quoted in Sunstone Magazine with my name as author in an article on Mormons on the internet, so there is that!
My next lowest post was “Lost In Translation“, about how the church changes meaning of words. Not sure why that one bombed.
My posts about my mission also had very low views. I had fun reading my old mission journal and writing them, but I guess it is a lot like showing friends your old home movies, fun for you, not so fun for them!
So what works for you? Which of my posts resonate with you? Which ones are a pile of flaming ^%$@#$? (Eli, picking “all of them” is not an option.)
I appreciate your work (and that of others) on this blog and appreciate the safe space I find here.
Our Potemkin Village is 20 new temples while the dysfunction at the core remains unacknowledged much less actually addressed. A greater percentage of Saints voted for Trump the second time, after four years of vulgar antics, incompetence and outright corruption. What does this mean going forward? Nothing good, I assure you. Keep shinin’ that light, BB!
Congrats on your historic post. I wonder what will make next weeks post historic.
I remember and enjoyed your series about situations you encountered as bishop. The “you’re the bishop” series.
LOL. I actually quite enjoyed your mission posts, and they made me reflect more on my European mission. We actually had an American ward mission leader in our mission who had served in Chile for his (possibly just a few years after you did). Many of his meetings with Elders and Sister consisted of mild exasperation as to why things couldn’t go as they did in Chile, which didn’t always fly over well with us, regardless of our faith.
I don’t want to trash other permabloggers here, since I enjoy many of their posts as well, but you often come across as less pretentious. Others often (but not always) come across as “This is how things are, why do you think that is?” while you often come across as “This is how I tend to see things, how exactly do you see them?” I find that more inviting. Of all the bloggers and commenters here, you’re one that I’d be more inclined to meet in person at some point.
As mentioned in your feedback post 30 posts ago, I do find your reliance on logic somewhat frustrating at times. We both have technical/engineering backgrounds, so I can see why that is. But the more I learn about logic, I feel like its applications are wide, varied, and almost limitless, rather than narrowing or simplifying. Proclaimed truth may not seem logical to one, but to another, it may seem very logical. Logic is just one aspect of our complex existence.
I know you have some disagreements with the Church, but ultimately love a lot about it. It’s difficult for me to tell at times if some of your posts take on a form of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or a sheep pretending to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Because it’s difficult for me to tell at times, I’m forced to conclude your approach is rather clever overall, and thought-provoking, if nothing else.
I started coming here regularly not too long before you started posting, so it does kind of feel like a journey together. I’m trying to spend less time online (not being very successful), but will continue to try to make time for your posts, using the invitation to disagree with you when I feel necessary (I actually do keep my fingers still more often than you might think), and allowing you to turn the wheels in my head, even if they don’t always take me the direction you might be hoping.
Congratulations on 200 posts.
Congratulations on 200 posts, Bishop Bill! I don’t have any good thoughts on which of your posts I enjoy more or less, because I enjoy pretty much all of them. I love posts about the church as people experience it, and I feel like you’re really good at getting at issues around that.
Also, as far as what draws lots of traffic and comments or little, I feel like it’s almost a crapshoot. As a fellow blogger, although at a less trafficked blog, I find that sometimes I work a ton on a post and feel like I have good stuff to say, and it goes nowhere, and other times I slap a thing up, and it gets relatively much more attention. Who even knows? I guess, like you said, your top traffic one was linked in an influential place and so it’s drawn far more traffic. And I feel like drawing such links is hard to predict.
In any case, here’s to 200 more!
Congratulation on 200 posts, Bishop Bill!
As to your observation that your posts that ventured into parody did not seem so well received, I will merely note that in my opinion,, Mormons generally don’t handle humor very well—whether they are conservative, so-called TBMs or liberal, so-called Progmos. Maybe I suffer from an extravagant sense of humor, but life seems to be too serious for a lot of Mormons to laugh about. Maybe this is linked to Eli’s comment that to him, you seem less pretentious than other permabloggers. I think Eli is on to something, though I wouldn’t use the word pretentious; I would merely offer that some permabloggers seem to be consumed with a sense of their own correctness. Personally, I am just grateful if a day passes in which I didn’t mess up:
So please keep up with your tongue-in-cheek approach on occasion toward Church issues. We need it! One reason I find General Conference to be rather dull is that it is so SERIOUS. One thing I admire about Catholics as a people is they have a substantial body of written Catholic humor.
My wife, who was raised Catholic, told many hilarious tales of her parochial school adventures.
Thanks again for what you do.
Over the past year or two, I have read several of your posts. Thank you for taking the time to write them. Some of them have helped me figure out where I stand on certain issues. I do wish that you would participate more in the discussions that follow after your original post though. Granted I haven’t read all of your posts, but the ones that I have read, it seems like you mainly do a post-and-done.
Don’t confuse the number of comments with the value of your posts, or how much your audience enjoys them. Sometimes your posts leave me thinking, and the deeper the thoughts they provoke, the less willing I am to toss those thoughts onto a public forum. So, I don’t even comment on some of your best (IMO) posts. The humor, I may enjoy immensely, but seldom have any more to add. How much can we discuss, “boy that was truer than we like to admit” about a parody? So, many may not comment because there are already 20 posts saying, “that was great!” While a discussion of polygamy will usually generate hundreds of comments because it is controversial, but safe because it is basically all theory as we don’t have to practice it , something now and painful such as the recent W&T post about the policy on child sexual abuse generates very few comments. But which is actually more relevant? There are more Mormon women sexually abused as children (statistically 1/3) than currently practicing polygamy by several million, but we all would much rather talk about polygamy. So, which is really more relevant and which is more commented on?
Thank you for your work and dedication to assisting conversations within our community.
Thanks all for the feedback. bwbarnett, yes, I do have a problem responding, but promises to do better as evidenced by this reply here! Eli, I’m going to take you up on that meeting! If you are in the SLC/Provo area, lets meet up next time I’m in Eagle Mountain visiting my daughter’s family, maybe this summer. Seems logical, no? Anna, Taiwan Mish, yes, the number of comments really doesn’t correspond to the quality or subject of the post, all it takes is a little disagreement between commenters and the numbers go way up!
I’m just minutes away from Eagle Mountain. My work schedule is rather irregular, and summer is fairly packed, but depending on how long you’re here, I’m reasonably confident we could make something work. Keep me posted!