By All Means, Write a Blog, But…


I’ve been on LinkedIn since it debuted. In that time, despite all the lavish praise the business social media site has garnered, it’s done nothing for me. And it’s not for my trying.

Still some people swear by it.

The prevailing wisdom bandied about on LinkedIn is that writing a blog is one of the best things you can do for your career and for yourself as a growing, actualized, with-it person.

Really? A blog? How 1999!

I thought social media sites and microblogging drove a stake through the heart of bloggers everywhere. I thought blogs were the tools of wizened tech fiends who still program in COBOL and prefer to send their résumés not to Apple but to Xerox PARC. You know, anachronisms. Fogeys. People who wear polyester and tighten their belts above their navels.

Well, I was wrong; mark the calendar. Blogs are hotter than Hades.

So, because LinkedIn says you need one, you better be writing a blog.

As a blogger since 2001, I have some advice. It’s pretty simple, and it will spare you a lot of grief.

Find a theme for your blog. Something that will appeal to everyone. Like recipes for fattening foods made with organic ingredients that make them sound healthier than they are. Everyone likes to eat.

Go to Pinterest. Find what women about 60 years old like. Or since 60 is the new 50, what 50-year-old women like. Write about that. Quilting and knitting are safe so long as you avoid quilting and knitting controversies, such as which needles are best.

If you’re a man, talk about cars. Just don’t get too opinionated about any one make or marque.

In fact, if you’re going to write a blog, never get controversial. Write about stuff that is status quo that everyone can agree on. Or, if you want to seem cutting edge, write blog posts that concur with “thought leaders,” since nothing is better than ideas that seem radical on the surface but are really just warmed-over oatmeal that everyone can stomach.

Stay away from any topic that might get you writing about ideas that actually change society for the better. In fact, never put any opinions in your blog that might offend anyone. This is hard, since people are so easily offended by anything nowadays. Should you decide to write a recipe blog, don’t even get into the butter versus margarine versus lard battle. You never know when you’ll run into a lard hater out there. Those folks are vicious, plus they have long memories—probably because their cerebral arteries aren’t clogged with lard.

Oh, since LinkedIn is the site giving the advice on how it is in your best interest to have a blog so that the business world knows you are a serious person with serious ideas, better offer some business insights too. Just stay away from insights that challenge the state of current business ethics, the “loyalty” businesses have toward their employees, equitable pay or a living wage, and how meeting shareholder demands often means a company resorts to short-term thinking that hurts other people in the long run. For heaven’s sake, never mention anything like that.

And whatever you do, avoid the religion thing like the plague. You mention Jesus at your own peril. Too controversial. Not good for your blog or your career. Opposition to abortion or same-sex marriage? What are you, nuts? Not blog topics. Ever.

Even if you are a Christian blogger, never, ever, ever suggest that the Church can improve. Or that the Church has issues that need improving. Nor should you offer ideas on how the Church might improve. Didn’t you read this paragraph’s first two sentences? You’re not skimming this, are you?

Puppy & kittenRemember, everyone is walking on eggshells. Help them by not breaking any eggs. Because decisionmakers will Google your blog, and people who break eggs don’t get work, which, according to LinkedIn, is the sole reason for existence.

In fact, if you are going to write a blog, it may be best to write one that focuses on recipes intended for kittens. Or for puppies. Because you don’t want to show a preference for cats over dogs. Better add recipes meant for mice and rats, too, because mice and rat lovers are out there. Yes, they are weird. Oops, I didn’t just write that, did I? Just don’t include pictures of rats on your blog, because rats bother some people. And you NEVER want to bother anyone with your blog posts. Never, ever, ever.

So, in short, write a blog. Just be as innocuous as hell. Heaven knows hell doesn’t like to be challenged.

So Men Want a Challenge?


Recently, I wrote about issues facing men in our churches (or not in them, as the statistics point out), so I thought I would go over to the Church for Men site to see what men are saying about why they aren’t in church or why they feel the Church is not providing what men need. I’ve popped in there from time to time, and while I’m trying to take part in the conversation, I leave scratching my head.

If one factor defines that conversation, it’s the endless chorus of male voices chanting: “Men want a challenge!” Now this confuses me to no end because the list of challenges facing the Church is exceedingly long and certainly daunting if taken at face value. But I want to be game about this need that men have for a challenge, so I’m offering a challenge to every man out there:

Pray more than an hour a day.

That’s it. Nothing fancy or earth-shattering. But also nothing more needed or more missing in the lives of churches and the men in (or not in) them.

Can’t find anything to pray about for an hour? Then start asking everyone you see on a regular basis what they would like prayer for. Don’t make distinctions between Christians and non-Christians; ask everyone. Ask what their greatest need is and start compiling a list that you pray over every day. Soldier prayingThere’s not a human being alive who doesn’t need prayer. What can be more challenging than meeting a need that goes largely unmet in the lives of every person on the face of the planet?

If you find that’s still not filling up more than sixty minutes of your day, then ask God to open your eyes to every issue confronting your own church. Statistics say that most Christian teens are sexually active. Are you praying for the purity of the teens in your church? Christians tend to divorce at a rate not much less than the general public. Are you praying for the marriages of every couple in your church? Satan would like nothing more than divide and sift everyone in your church. Are you praying against the dark forces that seek to destroy every spiritual leader, every family, and every individual within your church down to the tiniest child ?

Okay men, there’s the challenge. Get back with me in a month and tell me how it’s going.