Quaker Ranter (Martin Kelly)

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A Blog by Martin Kelley
Updated: 18 hours 4 min ago

Weymouth NJ Church

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 8:06pm

Weymouth NJ Church

Categories: Blogs

Wait, a new Quaker blog, what retroness is this?

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:54pm

And just as we’re talking about the continued downward entropy of blogging, here’s a new Quaker blog. Isaac Smith of Frederick (Md.) Meeting (and Twitter) has the first post in a time-limited, “pop-up” blog. He’s calling it “The Anarchy of the Ranters.” I’ll overlook the similarity to this blog’s name in the hope that the people who have been dropping comments on mine since 2004 asking about the difference between Quakers and Ranters will start bothering him now.

The first post is “Defensiveness as a Theological Problem for Friends,” a good blogging debut.

The question of who belongs in the church, which has always been of central importance, is what’s at stake here, and unfortunately, it is often being answered in ways that are hurtful and alienating—the opposite of what the gospel promises.

Categories: Blogs

Jason Kottke on blogging, 2018 edition

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 3:56pm

Two things on the internet that I consistently like are NeimanLab and Kottke.org. The former is Harvard’s journalism foundation and its associated blog. They consistently publish thought-provoking lessons from media pioneers. If there’s an interesting online publishing model being tried, Neiman Labs will profile it. Kottke is one of the original old school blogs. Jason highlights things that are interesting to him and by and large, most of the posts happen to be interesting to me. He’s also one of the few breakout blogging stars who has kept going.

So today Neiman Labs posted an interview with Jason Kottke. Of course I like it.

There are a few things that Jason has done that I find remarkable. One is that he’s threaded an almost impossible path that has held back the centrifugal forces of the modern internet. He never went big and he never went small. By big, I mean he never tried to ramp his site up to become a media empire. No venture capitalist money, no clickbait headlines, no pivot to video or other trendy media chimera. He also didn’t go small: his blog has never been a confessional. While that traffic when to Facebook, his kind of curated links and thoughts is something that still works best as a blog.

Although I don’t blog myself too much anymore, I do think a lot about media models for Friends Journal. Its reliance on non-professional opinion writing prefigured blogs. It’s a fully digital magazine now, even as it continues as a print magazine. The membership model Kottke talks about (and Neiman Labs frequently profiles) is a likely one for us going into the long term.

Last blog standing, “last guy dancing”: How Jason Kottke is thinking about kottke.org at 20

Categories: Blogs

February Flashbacks

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 4:16pm

I’m terrible with blogging these days, aren’t I? Actually my last few bits of writing have been for Friends Journal. I’m posting once a month for the Editor’s Desk series highlighting upcoming themes and I’m writing every other introductory column for the print magazine. For example, here’s February’s The Roots of Our Lifestyle. I chime in when a vintage post of mine hits Reddit as happens every so often and I often drop “hey, this would make a interesting article” comments in lively Facebook threads, along with a link to the Friends Journal submissions page.

Well, one way I’m trying to psych myself is to look at my history of blogging every month.

1 Year Ago: February 2017

A rare juicy post of mine from the last few years and one of the few times anyone has followed my blog’s Ask Me Anything link.

AMA: Conservative and Liberal Friends? But even these brief observations are imprecise and can mask surprisingly similar talents and stumbling blocks. We all of us are humans, after all. The Inward Christ is always available to instruct and comfort, just as we are all broken and prone to act impulsively against that advice.

5 Years Ago: February 2013

Some fun!

Sectarian Symptoms: Jumpers, Shakers, Quakers, and… 

10 Years Ago: February 2008

Oh look at that, I was commenting about a Friends Journal article!

Looking at North American Friends and theological hotspots. Over on Friends Journal site, some recent stats on Friends mostly in the US and Canada. Written by Margaret Fraser, the head of FWCC, a group that tries to unite the different bodies of Friends, it’s a bit of cold water for most of us.

15 Years Ago January 2003

I was writing about U.S. foreign policy seemed to be avoiding a growing situation in North Korea. Oh my, too timely still.

Tough Time to Love War(Making). President Bush and his team of war mongerers have been so busy looking at Iraq that they’ve given North Korea just sporadic attention. Recently-declassified reports show that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has known much more about North Korea’s nuclear bomb making over the last dozen years than anyone’s been admitting.

20 Years Ago: Early 1998

This is like one of those Facebook memes where you present a preschooler with a piece of technology that disappeared decades ago and ask them to guess at the use. Hey kids, gather round: have you ever heard of the Polaroid 600 and Spectra series? I had them both.

Burnished Polaroids. This is a style of photography I got into a few years ago. It’s appeal is simple: it takes little technical expertise and the process itself is limited in time. Everything boils down to basic form: a successful photo depends on setting up a good shot and then bringing it’s potential out in the burnishing. 

Categories: Blogs