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Emily W. Jensen: Bloggernacle Back Bench: In search of Mormon blogs

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2008 12:47 a.m. MST

"So how do you find the Mormon blogs?"

I get asked that question frequently. And my response is always the same: there are a lot of ways. Let me outline how I search.

1st click: I start with a blog aggregator. As discussed in a previous techie tip, these can show you a list of blogs and most recent posts. I use Mormon Blogs, Mormon Archipelago, LDSelect.org and just recently discovered LDS Blogs.

2nd click: I start choosing posts/blogs that intrigue me. I skim through contents and carefully read the more interesting posts.

3rd click: A few blogs provide their own picks of the week or day or whenever-they-feel-like-it interspersed within their content posts, i.e. "LDS & Mormon Blogs" on A Soft Answer and the "The Bloggernacle Minute" on Dave's Mormon Inquiry.

4th click: Most blogs have a side blog roll highlighting their favorite blogs. I sometimes randomly choose a few to check out.

5th click: My RSS reader automatically updates the blogs I have highlighted and I can skim through the posts. Ill discuss RSS readers in a future column.

6th click: Sometimes I Google search a term or title that I want to know more about.

7th click: You! I get emails from readers who would like me to check out their blogs. I love it! Keep doing it.

Following are some amazing Bloggernacle finds from this past week:

Power Pick: Deciding when to have children. Wow, this is one of those topics that can illicit a range of emotions. In the powerful post "Evolution of Official Birth Control Teachings in the Mormon Church", Bored in Vernal highlights some of what the presidents of the Church have counseled/opined concerning birth control. Fascinating! I echo the commenter who said that it is "great to see all this information in one place."

Presidential Party: With Presidents Day this past week and George Washingtons birthday today I thought this well-researched post on "The Presidential Oath of Office" was particularly timely and cool. Includes quotes, pictures, links, footnotes and video. Did you know that breaking this oath is considered high treason? Abraham Lincoln is said to have remarked that his oath was "registered in heaven." Find more insights into the presidential oath at Temple Study.

Missionary Story: From my e-mail came a new blog that had a cool missionary story that began: "Near the end of my mission, my companion and I were introduced to and began to teach a great young couple. They were enthusiastic, intelligent, and they got along really well with all the members in the branch. But after a while, we became concerned that they kept deflecting our challenges to be baptized and seemed no longer to be progressing spiritually." Then it ends with "our investigators cheered excitedly for Sharlene Wells of Salt Lake City, Utah. She won. They were baptized." And it has a delightful middle. Happy reading!

Similar Circumstances: It won't stop, that high-pitched ringing in the church. You know what it is, but you don't know where it is. You've been there. I've been there. And KEBStuff's quirky post hypothesizes ways to stop that hearing aid from "Ringing".

Quotable Comment: "I think that people and communities WANT to recognize people and organizations that do good things. It has multiple purposes. It encourages others to participate, it helps those being recognized to know that their work is appreciated and encourages them to do it more. There is a difference between identifying yourself and bragging about what you do. Any good done from that recognition is icing on the cake. It should not be sought out, but it is ok for folks to know if Mormons are helping them." — Jeff Spector, commenting on "The Ammon Approach: Redefining Missionary Work".

Forgotten Gem: From Sept. 9, 2006, comes the tongue-tying title of "Maxims to Minimize Mormon Moving Madness", in which Mormanity author Jeff Lindsay provides a moving list to . . . well . . . minimize Mormon moving madness. For instance, prepare by packing and cleaning, simplify by de-junking, be grateful for the help and, of course, feed the movers. Good for anyone in the process of moving.

Techie Tip: Why do people write out their e-mail address, such as "desnewsblogs at gmail dot com"? One luncheon word: spam. Blog administrators realize that spammers generally won't take the time to figure out their e-mail code, which means they likely won't be sending them unwanted junk e-mail.

Happy clicking!

(Emily Warburton Jensen juggles writing and editing while mommy-ing four mostly delightful children. She returns to the Deseret News after seven years, excited to cover the Bloggernacle. She loves to ski, horseback ride, sing, travel and enjoy dark chocolate.)

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