Sparks on the Water 2.0

In the effort to re-tool my blog, I have taken a gander at the UUA’s questions for UU bloggers. Here we go!

 

1. Why do you blog? What goals do you have for your blog?

I wish to explore the questions that concern me- imagination and reason living side by side, wonder, prophecy, and action and how these questions heal our fractured planet. I am interested in how we (i.e., Unitarian Universalists, CUUPS members, everyone who reads this!) integrate our creative selves into what we do, especially through liturgy and creative rituals. I want my blog to help me improve my writing skills, get my ideas out there, and communicate and be confronted by others who think differently than I do and can enlarge my perspective.

3. Who is your intended audience?

Unitarian Universalists and other religious people of all types and on both sides of the spectrum.  People with a flair for the dramatic, mystics, dreamers, activists, those who hover in the spectrum of “spiritual but not religious, art and music lovers, eco-dreamers.

5. Who owns your blog? Does it belong to you as individual or to your congregation or other organization?
I own my blog.

6.How frequently do you post

At least once a week

7.What is the tone of your blog?

Sometimes funny, sometimes angry or engaging in advocacy. Hopefully always poetical.

8.What steps do you take to make sure that your blog is a safe space, both for you and for other participants? Do you have a code of conduct?

Yes- no swearing or flame wars. Healthy debate okay. I will remove anyone who uses inappropriate language, who engages in racism, sexism, homophobia  or  who acts like a troll in general.

9. What kinds of boundaries do you observe around confidentiality?

I am not sure I understand this, aside from I think that in describing people or situations I know first-hand that are of a sensitive nature (someone’s illness, someone’s trauma) I think it wise to change their names unless they are comfortable with being known. I think, on the other hand,  that too often people post attacks under pseudonyms. I wish to avoid that at all times, while still respecting the privacy of those who need it.

10.How do you respond to comments and email from readers?
I think I will comment and respond but I am not sure if I want my personal email being used for email exchanges.

11. What are the most challenging aspects of blogging in your experience?

Committing to the process (discipline of once a week) and trusting that you have something interesting to say.

12. What are the most rewarding aspects of blogging in your experience?

Getting a chance to interact with others of like mind and learn from them.

13. What advice would you give to Unitarian Universalists who are new to blogging and want to get started?

Well, I am new myself!

I guess I wonder myself if you have to have “a niche” or a “brand” starting out, or can develop a purpose over time. There is tension in that for me.

14. How do you evaluate the success of your blog? What have been your most successful blog posts or series?

By the number of hits and the thoughtfulness of the comments.  The post that was most successful was about ministerial calling and rites of passage.

15. What do you wish you had done differently in your blogging?

Just kept it up regularly

16. What other online tools do you use to promote your blog? (i.e. social networking sites, Twitter, social bookmarking tools, etc.)

I am just starting to use twitter.

17. Do you use an Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed?

I think I do. Luckily, I know what that is, but it has been so long I have not checked!

18. How many subscribers do you have? It says 400??

19. Do you track site traffic? How many unique visitors do you have per day (on average)?

Yes! I do!

20. Do you find Unitarian Universalist Association resources helpful to you as a blogger? What additional resources could we provide to Unitarian Universalist bloggers?

I am pleased with the tools-and not just these tools, but the Church of the Larger Fellowship and the other online resources as well. They are exciting, but one thing I am curious about-how to we integrate them or not integrate them with what is happening in the bricks and mortar buildings??
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21. Please write any additional comments or suggestions.
I have none… what I am doing here is using an existing blog and building on it. Wish me luck!

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About Valerie Freseman

Valerie Freseman is a Unitarian Universalist minister and a 2014 graduate of Union Theological Seminary. She completed a chaplain residency at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT, and served as the first year-long Killam Ministerial intern at the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland. She is passionate about spinning the inter-dependent web, creating a more just world, and applying the arts to faith.  She is also becoming increasingly well-known for her sock collection.
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