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Emily W. Jensen: Bloggernacle Back Bench: Using blog technology

Published: Tuesday, May 10 2011 3:30 a.m. MDT

Blogs can be places where you flex your writing skills, chronicle important (or even mundane) parts of your life, or connect with family and friends. These are all great reasons to have a blog, but I love to see blogs that use the blogging platform in new ways.

Take the A Few Good Wasatch Men. This new blog serves as “a 12-step community blog for men who have left pornography addiction behind them.” Wow!

It’s an online gathering place that serves to point to real-life gatherings to help readers succeed.

I also was pleased to see that there is a companion site, “Good Wasatch Women,” for women similarly struggling with addiction.

I love sites that rate activities, books, movies, etc. Here is a Utah-based site that rates the places for “Good Food and Fun in Utah.” Blogger Vickie outlines out her rating system, then she and her husband go on a date every Friday night and try new places, and then she blogs about it.

Her goal? “Hopefully, this little blog of mine will encourage you to have fun and date your spouse and give you some ideas of what to do and where to eat here in the great state of Utah.” Fun!

Blogging every day for a year, and not just blogging, but expressing gratitude every day of the year is the premise of Jane McBride’s Gratitude Project. Sunday, she blogged about the power of kind words in her life. And I don’t think she’s missed a day yet. What an uplifting use of blog technology!

And I just love those blog comedians. There’s the Middle-Aged Mormon Man, whose blog tagline proclaims, “I love the Church. I love Buffalo Wings. One Matters.” In this humorous post, he tracks down the misquote of “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it” to actress Mae West. Fun and fascinating.

Or Chris Complains about all sorts of things, but here he hilariously looks at Church Choirs: “Singing a Verse A Capella: Like the Power Key Change, singing a capella raises praise level (but without alienating your tenors). It can be a great ego boost for the choir – ‘Look how good we are, we don't even need a keyboard or organ cover our mistakes.'”

And finally, let me spotlight a mom who has, well I’ll let the blog title tell you how many children: Twelve Makes a Dozen. Wow. Here are some of her adventures in laundry: “So today I was putting in a batch of laundry. ... I pulled wet clothes from the washer and tossed them into the dryer. There were a few candy wrappers that must have been in someone’s pocket and I tossed them into the garbage. I couple of shirts later I noticed three $1 bills (Score! Sometimes I do get paid to do the laundry). Then I pulled out a pair of jeans and heard a thunk. I fished around in the bottom of the washer. What was that? My fingers touched hard plastic and I pulled out a PEZ candy machine with a BYU football on top. "Curly!" I was definitely annoyed. ‘I washed your PEZ!’ I heard him shut the lid. ‘Thank you!’ he called back cheerfully. Maybe laundry isn't a thankless job after all.”

Now let me highlight other new posts from this last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power Pick: “In my line of work, I get to read what a lot of people say about my church.” Wow, substitute “say” with “blog,” and the head of the LDS Church's Public Affairs department Michael Otterson has pegged me. This fascinating post at Washington Post about “Is this really ‘Mormon Moment’?” goes on: “Every day, news media reports mentioning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or 'Mormons' cross my desk, many from remote parts of the world. Since the advent of the Internet the number has increased exponentially, especially in the US.” See how the power of the Internet is growing? Otterson then proceeds to list three integral things about the Mormon faith that others may not know. Click to read more!

Young Women: What if you took the counsel in Handbook 2 regarding ward councils and applied it to Young Women presidencies? That’s the premise of this wonderful post that asks “Can we as adults sustain youth in their callings?” And this blogger proceeds to outline ideas for how to do just that:

“2. They NEED an agenda.

"3. Opening prayer – invites spirit as they discuss sacred topics…

"6. Let them plan, but guide. Perhaps their idea is good for some, but not for others…

"10. Teach habits of planning, focus on needs, write assignments, report back to leaders.” Click for the entire well-worth-your-time list!

Techie tip: As the church becomes more global, the need for church materials grows. So I was excited to see how the “LDS Church Online Store (is Expanding)” to meet that need. You can now find the online store in six different languages with free shipping available for new parts of the world. Plus, some things are free and downloadable right from site. Click in to explore the expansion!

Emily W. Jensen updates “Today in the Bloggernacle” on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, presenting the best of what we've seen from the world of LDS-oriented blog sites. Her extended “Bloggernacle Back Bench” appears on MormonTimes.com on Tuesdays.

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