I really shouldn't be fascinated by this conflict of tightening up the boundaries of the Bloggernacle and the resulting fallout here and here.
I assume most readers are actually not interested in it, which is why I've saved this post for Sunday. My blog stats tell me that only serious bloggers visit on the weekend -- people looking for something interesting visit during the week -- so today's post is a "Let's talk about blogging" special edition just for you hard-core blogging addicts.
My favorite idea on where Mormon-interest blogspace should go from here is John Dehlin's offer here of creating a more inclusive Mormon portal (at http://www.mormonblogs.org) to take the pressure off portals like LDS select, allowing them not to feel bad about being more selective in terms of including only highly LDS-faith-promoting blogs.
Putting this idea together with Johhny's clever (joke?) suggestion in the comments of this post that the LDS blogs classify themselves as Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial, we have a great way to allow everyone who wants to be a part of the community to be included while making it easy for people who don't want to be confronted with some types of materials and discussions to stay within their comfort zone.
For instance, the Celestial blogs could be those that are consistently faith-promoting -- whose topics could pass muster at Deseret Book or church correlation. Then the Terrestial blogs could be those that are a little more liberal -- and discuss the hard issues -- but are ultimately very faith-promoting in tone (fMh perhaps?). The Telestial blogs could be the NOM (New Order Mormon) blogs and everyone else that Dave kicked out of the Bloggernacle. And we all know who's in Outer Blogness...
I really love this idea, so I hope it doesn't end up being silently forgotten.
The thing is that as much as the Celestial blogs would like to imagine that the exmormon blogs are just a pest, like buzzing flies, in truth there's a continuum of discourse that stretches from the most orthodox LDS blog on one end all the way to the most anti-Mormon blog on the other. And while it gets pretty thin in the middle, this conflict demonstrates that the exact division point is not obvious.
Here's a trivia question for you blog history buffs out there: What's the difference between DAMU and Outer Blogness?
The difference is largely historical. DAMU (DisAffected Mormon Underground) is the term (coined by Equality?) for the network of exmormon blogs that formed on the fringes of the Bloggernacle. "Outer Blogness" is the term for the network of exmormon blogs that was organized... Guess where!
That's right -- on the popular Recovery from Mormonism forum of exmormon.org. If you're curious as to where the term "Outer Blogness" comes from, just read the comments to the "Cover Art" post in my sidebar...
(Note that exmormon.org did not organize Outer Blogness, but they provide a blog list here, and you can write to them if you would like to have your blog added to it.)
Outer Blogness ran into the DAMU blogs, the NOM blogs, and other Bloggernacle fringe blogs all at once, and that was when the DAMU network got sucked into Outer Blogness.
Actually, for anyone who's a glutton for boring blog history trivia, you can see some of the early organization of Outer Blogness here and here, and you can see what happened when Outer Blogness met up with the Bloggernacle fringe here and here. (Everything that happens in blog space is by definition chronicled and logged...)
So why not make the de facto community official with a common portal?
Now I assume most faithful Mormons will be very suspicious of this suggestion, and doubly so because it's coming from an apostate. That's why normally I try to avoid giving advice on the Bloggernacle. I assume most Bloggernaclers are open minded enough to consider my suggestions fairly, but I'd just as soon not cause confusion by making people ask themselves when I'm speaking as a person and when I'm speaking as an agent of Satan. But this idea is too good for me to let it pass by without saying something!!!
Yet again take it with a grain of salt if it looks like "Woo-Hoo, go Dave!!! You kick 'em out, I'll round 'em up..."
I know I've already put my foot in it at least once so far. But to my credit, I've learned from my mistake!!!
See, my first reaction on reading Dave's post was "this looks like a job for one of my new favorite Simpson's quotes!!!":
When Lisa informs Homer that the Chinese use "the same word for 'crisis' as they do for 'opportunity,'" Homer replies "Yes! 'Crisitunity!'"
And what I learned is that when someone has just been kicked to the curb by their dear friends, the last thing they need is some weirdo saying "Look on the bright side!!! It's a crisitunity!!!"
So, sorry about that Ann...
But maybe this is a crisitunity.
Or at least a Mormunity???