Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of blog. There are blogs that provide a platform for content creation and there are blogs that provide a platform for content curation. The creators are the ones who think of the ideas and write them out a few hundred words at a time; the curators are the ones who collect other people’s ideas, provide links to them, and sometimes comment on them. Both kinds of blog can be very successful and both kinds can be very helpful.
When I first began blogging, I was committed almost entirely to content creation. I was interested in exploring new ideas, reading new books, and discussing current events, and I found unexpected joy in doing it out loud and in public through the Internet. At that time I was (sinfully) opposed to curating content and linking to other people’s material. Somehow Envy had shown up and convinced me that if I did that, I would diminish my own readership. The best thing, and the safest thing, he told me, was to pretend that my site was the only one out there worth reading. It was both stupid and prideful. It’s rather embarrassing in retrospect.
One day I became spiritually convinced that I was sinning. God had given me a platform and it was only fair and good that I use the platform to highlight others who were creating excellent articles. As often as not, these articles were far better than anything I was writing at the time. I understood that I could be a bigger blessing to those who read my site by pointing them elsewhere. Discovering that sin, and dealing with it, brought a certain freedom to my life and to the way I wrote. I was free to celebrate the brilliance and the success of others, and free to share it with those who visited my blog.
Eventually the blog evolved into both daily curation and daily creation. I continued to write a daily article, and I determined I would link to other people’s sites most days as well. The curated part of my blog is what I call A La Carte, a daily round-up of articles I found interesting the day before (or sometimes even that very morning).
A La Carte has become one of my favorite things to do. Every day I comb through a long list of blogs and other web sites; I scan through Twitter to see what others are talking about; I rummage through lists of hundreds of marked-down Kindle books to see if I can find one or two that I can recommend; I find a thought-provoking quote to cap it all off. And almost every day I find myself smiling at the privilege that is mine as I do it all.
My criteria for A La Carte is simple: I look for stuff that I find interesting. My philosophy here is quite simple: I am a pretty normal person and have pretty normal tastes. If I find it interesting and worthy of a few minutes of time and attention, I suppose other people are likely to as well. If I find it humorous or downright hilarious, there is a pretty good chance you will find the same.
In any case, it’s a pleasure to find the information, it’s a pleasure to read the information, and it’s a pleasure to bundle it up and put it out there. Thanks for continuing to read it.