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Chalice
Survey Questions on Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging
The Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging report, published in August of 2008, features survey responses from leading bloggers who promote Unitarian Universalism.

We are eager to share insights and advice from additional Unitarian Universalist bloggers. If your blog focuses on and promotes Unitarian Universalism, please consider posting your own answers to the survey questions on your blog and then emailing pw_specialist @ uua.org with the URL of your completed survey. Links to completed surveys will be listed on alongside the Best Practices for UU Blogging report on UUA.org

Survey Questions:

Why do you blog? What goals do you have for your blog?

I began blogging about the same time I became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron. Nearly 5 years ago. I began with a blog called Trivium that was very much dedicated to Unitarian Universalism related topics. In the past year and a half my spiritual life has changed and I now consider myself dual-faithed. My new religious path/spiritual practice is in a little known (or understood) segment of the neopagan community which titles itself Druidism, and is dedicated to a modern, scholarly, insightful, and spiritual moving practice within the frame work of pre-Christian Indo-European peoples.

The goal of my current blog, Druuid (with two U's in the ancient Unitarian Universalist practice of inserting "UU" into any word possible) it is to explore those places where Druidism and UUism meet, and to work through my own spiritual development as a dual-faithed religious person

Who is your intended audience?

Honestly, my most important audience is myself. Most of the entries on my blog are ways for me to think through issues and topics related to UUism and/or Druidism. My primary readership (based on comments) comes from the Druidic community as opposed to the UU community.

Who owns your blog? Does it belong to you as individual or to your congregation or other organization?

In the past I have been a member of blogs owned by my congregation or other organizations/groups. My current blog is owned by me as an individual.

How frequently do you post?

It varies depending on what is happening in my life. Some times it may be multiple times a day, sometimes only a couple times a week.

What is the tone of your blog?

Informal and yet clearly towards an audience. When I first began blogging I decided that even if no one ever reads my stuff I would write it as to an audience. I think this type of writing style is easier to read and follow.

What steps do you take to make sure that your blog is a safe space, both for you and for other participants? Do you have a code of conduct?

I am very authoritarian towards my blog. I do not mind disagreements and believe it or not in the comments discussions of entries I have learned a great deal and had some really interesting and thought provoking discussions. Anonymous comments are allowed, however, comments that are completely off topic or make no sense, or are offensive (according to me) are deleted. To date I have also chosen to ban one person from commenting because they have abused this privileged too many times.

What kinds of boundaries do you observe around confidentiality?

I never post addresses or phone numbers, and I only use proper names if they are already publicly known.

How do you respond to comments and email from readers?

This is the same answer to the safe space question really, see above

What are the most challenging aspects of blogging in your experience?

Sense starting Druuid as a specifically neopagan blog, I have found that it is taken less serious in the UU community than my previous blog was. I find it a challenge to assert that neopagans are not, on the whole, any more or less intellectual or touchy-feely than any other UU out there. We are just as serious, just as heart-felt, and just as determined.

What are the most rewarding aspects of blogging in your experience?

Connecting with people world-wide, and sometimes really being challenged to define and explore, in depth, my personal faith.

What advice would you give to Unitarian Universalists who are new to blogging and want to get started?.

Three things. Write, Write, and Write. As often as you can about any topic you can. The more one writes, I find, the more freely and clearly one can write in the future. Practice does make perfect

How do you evaluate the success of your blog? What have been your most successful blog posts or series?

I am proud of the content and tone of my blog, that is really the most important evaluation i need. It is nice to hear in person when I go to church or to a Druid event and someone says "I read on your blog..." that makes me proud. You never know what will draw the most readers. I had a post on Trivium (my previous blog) when Saddam was put to death that drew an amazing amount of people. GLBT spirituality posts I have made seem to draw the most, and most interesting, comments.

What do you wish you had done differently in your blogging?

I wish I had more time to really research some of my topics. Too much, in my opinion, of my writing is derived exclusively from my own personal gnosis. There are too many books in the world. :)

What other online tools do you use to promote your blog? (i.e. social networking sites, Twitter, social bookmarking tools, etc.)

My blog is listed as UUpdates. http://www.uupdates.net and I am a member of several LiveJournal communities.

Do you use an Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed? How many subscribers do you have?

LiveJournal, the location of my current blog, is capable of syndication, but I have no idea how many or if anyone choses to do so. I currently have about 30 mutual friends on LiveJournal

Do you track site traffic? How many unique visitors do you have per day (on average)?

I do not track traffic

Do you find Unitarian Universalist Association resources helpful to you as a blogger? What additional resources could we provide to Unitarian Universalist bloggers?

I have not found UUA resources helpful in my blogging. Are their resources (other than this survey) for blogging? Most UUA blogging studies seem to focus exclusively, or nearly so, on ordained ministers and religious professionals. There are many, many blogs and bloggers out here who do are not religious professionals. We are important to the discussion to.

Please write any additional comments or suggestions.

Thank you for giving all of us the option of responding to this survey.