strange top posts

March 31, 2010

From time to time you write a post that just seem to get search engine hits over and over again. I don’t understand enough about google to be able to tell you exactly why, and sometimes it’s not clear what people are actually looking for. For years my top post was about MXit – a very popular South African mobile IM client, accounting for up to 20% of blog visits at a certain stage.

This is currently my top 10 pages visited on this blog:

Title Views
Home page 13,658
meeting your MXit contacts 4,609
down the missiological rabbit-hole (Tran 1,328
burning bibles/wasting nature 1,195
nexus and my social networks 1,012
Juno, abortion, pro-life/pro-choice 959
The Contemplator 904
selling your soul to the devil 738
contemplating MXit 633
David Bosch, Public Theology, Social Jus 623

However, for the past 30 days, the top 5 posts is the following:

Title Views
Home page 414
burning bibles/wasting nature 222
nexus and my social networks 121
White pastor in an irrelevant church 56
down the missiological rabbit-hole (Tran 52

The MXit post is way down at 2 views for the past 30 days.

The burning bibles/wasting nature post is a short reflection on the Belgic Confession article 2 and ecology. The interesting this about this post is that the views has drastically increased over the past few months, as can be seen in the picture below. It started out getting a few hits, as usual, then quited down totally, as usual, and then from October last year started getting more and more hits.

My first guess was that Coopenhagen was the culprit, and that the increased awareness about ecology caused an increase in searched. But, from the WordPress stats, it would seem like the searches used to get to the post was linked to “burning”. “burning book”, “burning books”, “burning picture”. Now what would cause this?

I’t been more than two months since my last post. I’ve been on blogging holiday. First down to Cape Town, then moving house, then getting married, then honeymoon, setting up the house again, and finally getting my new Internet connection today! So now I’m back! I plan on finishing the series on the historical Jesus started here. I now live in community with 6 other people and in this practical way try to find a more sustainable lifestyle, I might write about this. Who knows where the year will lead us. But more again from tomorrow.

new/old header

November 17, 2008

Well, I visited my old blog today, and found my header from back then. Decided to change this blogs header to the same. So, no longer is this blog “Cobus van Wyngaard on life and theology“, but my new/old description is now: “a South African conversation on just being church today“, I think this fits much better with my current mood as well.

I’ve been meaning to do this for months now, to set up a twitter account that provide people with usefull links to blogposts. You see, I have a lot of friends who don’t read blogs, and probably won’t for a long time still, or ever. Sometimes I send them a mail with a link I think they might find usefull. Sometimes I post a one paragraph post with a link I found usefull. I generally never get round to writing a roundup of the posts I found usefull during a week, I have to do it immediately, or else I forget. But following over 100 blogs mean that you generally find usefull stuff out there from time to time.

After sending another email like this this morning, I suddenly decided just do it. So, if you are a twitter user, you can follow mylinks. If you are not a twitter user yet, you can sign up here. If you’d rather use an RSS reader, the feed can be found here, and if you’d prefer to get the links by email you can sign up here.

For the non-South African readers, I’ll try to keep you in touch with some of the South African posts, and for the South African readers, in touch with non-South African posts.

You’ll find this blog quoted in the last Emergent Village blogcast by Steve Knight where he talks about the whole “end of emerging” thing which I blogged about here earlier the week. You can watch him talking here, the quote is near the end. I think I meant something different when I wrote that, but I realize that it could have a double meaning, and agree with the interpretation Steve is giving it as well.

Within the South African conversation, it seems we will need to spend some time in future to think whether emerging is really the term we should use for “it”, this “thing”, this conversation, this growing netword, this whatever we are busy with.

I’m doing a mini-dissertation in public theology at the moment. And when I say “at the moment”, I mean it! I have about 5/6 weeks to finish 80 pages, and I just started writing. Now, there is many different understandings of public theology, but one aspect is taking part in the public conversation as Christians. Formulating concepts into words which can be used in the public, and not just in the church.

We had a conference on Public Theology at the University of Pretoria about 3 weeks ago. Sadly I couldn’t attend, but I’m busy reading the papers that was presented. Two of the world-class theologians who spoke mentions the link between public theology and cyberspace. Professor Will Storrar from Edinburgh is currently heading the Centre for Theology and Public Issues and said:

Whether the 21st century bloggers of cyberspace have restored some of that critical function to the virtual and global public sphere is a matter for debate.

Furthermore the South African New Testament scholar Andries van Aarde also says:

The social location of public theologians is not the university campus, but rather the university campus, but rather the public square – in other words, the modern-day agora – wherever it may be situated in the “global village” or in the cyber space.

So-called “Christian” blogs easily become just that: Christian blogs. Blogs fostering the insiders conversation. Now, I believe there is a place for this. But what Storrar is looking for is those who take part in the public conversation. And from my perspective, I would like to tell Storrar (not that he’s likely to ever read this), that I believe bloggers do just that. Maybe we are not always good at it, maybe sometimes we suck. But we take part in the public conversation. Many of us do social critique, we talk about politics, justice, ecology and other issues from the agenda of the city.

One of the things I’m becoming more and more convinced of is that your theology will determine whether it will ever be a public theology, and if, what form it will take on. And with bloggers it’s no different. Some of us work with a theology which make it impossible not to take part in the public conversation, but others prefer not to. They do this simply by blogging about issues which has relevance only for the church.

If Van Aarde is correct, then public theology doesn’t happen in the chairs of public theology, but, among other places, in cyberspace. And in this way bloggers are public theologians. Because the moment we write, we open ourselves up to the public conversation, to the google bots, to the technorati databases. What I write might be written in a form which only make is accesible to the church, but the medium I chose make it accesible to the world.

So keep it up! I believe we could be this generations public theologians.

some posts worth reading

August 6, 2008

Hennie Stander was my lecturer in Greek at one stage. He write on eating with your teenager (Afrikaans), not a rocket science post, but a good reminder. This is one thing which my mother did for which I hope never to forget. She built a family by having us (sometimes forcefully) eat together without a TV.

The whole immigration thing is quite complex in South Africa, with rich white people leaving, and taking a lot of expertise and money with them. It’s also a question how Christians and the church should react to this. The good news is that many young people seem to be coming back, Arthur write about this and give some further links, and so does Cori.

Internet Monk wrote some thoughts on what it means to follow Jesus, and how we’ve become middle-class or even upper-class Christians that easily forget what Jesus said about money.

And Eugene Cho has a nice letter his daughter wrote on what she would do with $100000.

OK, so I know some of these posts have been out quite some time, didn’t really blog the past few days, so only got around to it today.