The “Blogging Bishop” #cnmac10 @alantlwilson

Bishop Alan Wilson first set up a blog in 2007, and is sometimes known as “The Blogging Bishop” and also writes for “Comment is Free” in the Guardian. Similarly to Maggi Dawn, he talks about taking the “time to find your voice, and let your blog cook slowly, by taking regular days off” – Alan’s voice is one of great humour and insight, and he will be bringing his unique style to the Christian New Media Conference, 16th October 2010.

On 1st May 2009, Alan spoke at an event organised for his communication’s team, contributing information about “blogs and bishopping” and the potential for using social media within a Christian context. Along with a great mini audio-cast, and outstanding insights from the day, he gave a list of “ten ways in which blogging has enriched my own work:

  1. This job involves being in a network with many people out there and one of you. Many of them want to know you. They may not read what you wrote but the fact that you bothered to try is undeniable
  2. Be yourself! Most of your colleagues only see you on formal occasions, or when they’re in trouble. This makes them think you’re a workaholic or policeman. You’re not, but how would they know? What you reveal in your blog adds dimensions to the way you are seen, for good or ill, usually for good unless you are a complete idiot.
  3. Take the initiative! People sometimes seek your views for their own reasons, time and context, often to make up stories — like the old round robin about how many bishops believe in God. The reality is they all do. The fantasy is they all don’t. You get caught in silly crossfire. Gazump this process by publishing your own views for your own reasons, in your own time and context, to tell your story. If anyone really wants to know what you believe all the information is in the public domain. If they’re just trolling or manipulating you, you don’t have to play.
  4. Local is beautiful! an intelligent acknowledgement of the genuine good you noticed in a school or parish, in your own words, is worth a hundred general thank-you emails.
  5. Can have a copy of your sermon? It seems mean to say no; but it’s not the same in print. Recorded on the internet is even worse. Very very few of our sermons translate into podcasts for length, style, content or production. They just sound naff. Blog content instead. Positively, work you do in one context be more available — input from one context can be picked up off Google search by other people who weren’t there for original…
  6. Learn how to write in quick English! It’s a useful skill, even for Bishops…
  7. Learn the joy of obliqueness! There are delicate matters out there like bullying, which you will only say anything about in a crisis if ever, left to your own devices. If you care about them, say so before there’s a crisis going on. Gentle positive reflection that tackles the subject is likely to work better. nything hot can be left on one side for six months, then picked up for comment in a less pointed more constructive way
  8. We are all expected to hold ourselves positively accountable to the people we serve. This is a way to help do that.
  9. Connect with the world! Discuss things that matter, explain what you mean, interact with overseas colleagues, convey your attitude to things as well as your policy about it, show that you aren’t a sock puppet… Tie up ideas and challenges in real time, and develop discussions. Think, rethink, interact — there are some extraordinary people out there you’d never meet otherwise. Sitting on the Peacock Throne (if you have one) handing down stone tablets to people, none of whom are listening anyway, is not a winner.
  10. If you don’t nab your space someone else will! Google yourself and weep… or not, as the case may be.”

Read Alan’s blog and follow his Twitter account.

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