Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is the "Buddhist blogisphere" losing steam?

Does it seem to you like the Buddhist corner of the blog universe is losing its mojo? Or is it simply undergoing a transformation? There is no doubt that many long-time popular Buddhist-themed blogs, such as Republic of T and The Buddhist Blog, are still up and running strong. But many other popular blogs with a Buddhist emphasis or perspective have gone the way most blogs do into disuse or permanent deletion. Even so, one might expect that many new bright stars would be on the rise. Fine new vessels catching inspiration in their sails to make that voyage from a start-up project to an established voice in the online community. Are there really so few diamonds in the rough waiting to be polished? Or is the interest in Buddhist blogs not sufficient to sustain the popularity and word of mouth of the newcomers?

It's not that I doubt that there are people trying to make a go of new Buddhist-esque blogs. But they don't seem to be making the kind of splash that ripples through the established blogging community, which traditionally is how folks first get their content seriously noticed. So is this a sign of a weakening interest in Buddhism in the blogisphere, a diminished talent pool (talent here strictly referring to successfully managing a blog), or something else? Or has the emphasis moved to other forms of new media such a podcasting? And why for crying out loud is there still not a single listing of a Buddhist blog under the heading "Buddhism" on Beliefnet's Blog Heaven? It used to feature Paper Frog (now defunct) and Woodmoor Village, but it has been empty for quite some time now. Are the available choices really that bad?

If you've spotted an interesting new Buddhist-themed blog lately, would you kindly do a favor and paste a link?


  1. Interesting post. I've got a reply and some good links for you here.

  2. There's nothing like complaining about losing steam to get people to stoke the boiler. :)

    Thanks for the effort you put into your reply. The list you posted is very good - I have read quite a few and visited many but there are also several I will need to visit for the first time. It isn't the lack of people trying so much as the relative impact or attention (compared to the greater spiritual/religious section of the blog world) that their efforts produce that struck me. I think you are correct that a tighter synergistic relationship would help, as a lot of momentum and inspiration can dissipate in relative isolation.

    Be well.

  3. Hi Tiny,

    I think you hit upon a really good point here, and I left a longish post on Rev. Fisher's site about that.

    In short, I think that some people come to the conclusion that Buddhism in a real community is much enriching that reading through books and Internet, or they just get involved with life in general, and quit. That's a perfectly healthy thing to do I think, but I also wish people would take their experiences in the Temple and share more with those who don't have easy access to one. There are still a shortage of good Buddhist temples in the West and I appreciate more and more what I had back in Seattle. :)


  4. Yes, there has been a lot written online about that - using the internet to offer something for those who live too far away from a live sangha to visit and participate on even a semi-regular basis. Actually that's the situation I find myself in as of July of this year.


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