Blogging for the weary traveler
CLIMATE CHANGE / Winds and Waves / December 2015
This is the 11th year of our blog “Journey Reflection”, which tries to provide insights, brooding and courage to those on the journey of life.
To do this, we created two mythical characters “Journer” and “Nez”. The blog is a compilation of their dialogue, accompanied with images and quotes.
The content includes wisdom gleaned from our years of community living with members of the Ecumenical Institute, the Order Ecumenical and the Institute of Cultural Affairs. A collection of more than 4,000 posts is now online, viewed more than 3.5 million times by readers from 198 countries and territories.
We began the venture in 2004, after our younger son suggested we start blogging. At that time we were hardly familiar with the word “blog.”
We had been self-publishing books for several years, but the problem with books is that they have to be sold. Marketing was not something we liked doing.
John’s sight would not support the close and lengthy reading required for writing and editing books.
So we took up blogging. Blogs could be created on a large computer screen and made quickly available for global reading — free to readers.
Our early blogs were quotes using ecumenical spirit language and wisdom from our past. We remembered a little red book of quotes that we used in ICA centres around the globe in the 70’s and 80’s and thought, why not publish daily reflections for our network of colleagues, friends and other people.
A few years later, we added visual images for background, context and pizazz. We occasionally used photos of our family, especially the children and grandchildren, hoping the habit of reflecting would catch on.
A traumatic event occurred in 2012 when John accidentally pushed the wrong computer key which deleted 1,700 of the visual images.
We had a decision to make and decided to go forward revising all existing posts. We will probably keep refining older blogs — an editor’s delight, mostly — until we stop blogging.
Adding social media sites to our original Google blog site has been a learning experience. Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and others are add-ons, but Google Blog has been and is now our primary repository for the more than 4,000 posts. Google makes sense to us because of its stability, innovation, cloud capacity, global reach, and no costs.
These days, our blog averages 850 daily views. That is gratifying, but we are always thinking about how to get more people across the world to read the blog. If Lynda had her way, we would have longer posts but John prefers those that take only a minute to read.
Many ICA colleagues, old and new, view “Journey Reflection” regularly. We especially take notice when we hear from new readers from places such as Nepal, Ukraine and Peru.
Besides social media, we are looking for platforms that allow self-conscious reflection without distractions such as the images of delicious food, clever pets and friend and family news you might find on Facebook. We are using a super e-mail company called MailChimp, which is also free to viewers. Several hundred more colleagues and others are perusing the daily blog e-mail as early as 7 am (USA time). We hope to sign up many more to this new means of daily reflection. Subscribe with your name and e-mail to email@example.com.
We thank our “Journey Reflection” blog readers for sending dialog and quote suggestions, sharing the blog and inviting new readers. May we all be daily sustained to demonstrate deeper care for our precious Earth community — locally, globally and ecologically. Namaste.
Journey Reflection blog: www.rejourney.blogspot.com
Web page: www.transcribebooks.com
By Lynda and John Cock
John and Lynda Cock have been working with the ICA since 1969, in Chicago, Kansas City, Washington D.C, Denver, Canberra, Jakarta and Mumbai. They are now ICA affiliates in Greensboro, North Carolina, the United States.