What is this QuakerQuaker thing?

There’s been some head-scratching going on about Quak­erQuak­er over the last few weeks. In the ser­vice of trans­paren­cy I’ve post­ed my con­trib­u­tor guide­lines on the “About Quak­erQuak­er page”. Here they are:

Post should be explic­it­ly Quak­er: Any thought­ful posts from any branch of Friends that wres­tles in some way with what it means to be a Quak­er is fair game. While we all have our own issues that con­nect deeply with our under­stand­ing of our faith, the Blog­watch only seems to work if it keeps focused on Quak­erism, on how we our faith and lives inter­act. Back when this was just a links list on my per­son­al site I would get com­plaints when I added some­thing that seemed relat­ed to my under­stand­ing of Quak­erism but that wasn’t specif­i­cal­ly writ­ten from a Quak­er stand­point (when we want to make this kind of link we should do so on our per­son­al blogs where we can put it in bet­ter context).

Post should be time­ly: I’ve billed Quak­erQuak­er as “a guide to the Quak­er con­ver­sa­tion” and links should go to recently-written arti­cles with strong voic­es. We’re not try­ing to cre­ate a com­pre­hen­sive list of Quak­er web­sites, so no link­ing to orga­ni­za­tion­al home­pages. While most links should go to blog posts, it’s fine to include good arti­cles from Quak­er pub­li­ca­tions. A link to some­thing like a press release or new book announce­ment should only be made if it’s extra­or­di­nary. Remem­ber that Quak­erQuak­er posts will only appear on the main site for a few days (if the ini­tial set­up goes well I can start work on some ideas to giave a more time­less ele­ment to the site).

Post should be Inter­est­ing: Don’t book­mark every­thing you find. If the post feels pre­dictable or snoozy, just ignore it (even if the writer or top­ic is impor­tant). The Quak­er blog­gers all have their audi­ences and we don’t need to high­light every post of every blog­ger. Only make the link if the post speaks out to you in some way (it’s quite pos­si­ble that one of the oth­er con­trib­u­tors will pick up, find­ing some­thing you didn’t and high­light­ing it in their descrip­tion). That said, the posts you link to don’t have to be mas­ter­pieces; they can have gram­mat­i­cal and log­i­cal mis­takes. What’s impor­tant is that there’s some idea in there that’s inter­est­ing. It might be a good dis­ci­pline for each of us not to add our the posts from our own per­son­al blogs but to let one of the oth­er con­trib­u­tors do it for us.

That’s it. While there are some vague assump­tions in all this about the role of tra­di­tion and com­mu­ni­ty, dis­ci­pline and indi­vid­u­al­ism, there’s noth­ing about the­ol­o­gy or who gets linked. This is a pub­li­ca­tion, with some­thing of an edi­to­r­i­al voice in that I’ve cho­sen who gets to add links and asked them to be sub­jec­tive, but its very mel­low and I’ve been hap­py to see con­trib­u­tors range far afield. Google tells us that this is one of 18.7 mil­lion “Quak­er” web­sites and $10/month will get you your own so let’s not do too much navel-gazing about what’s linked or not linked. If you don’t find it inter­est­ing, there are plen­ty of non-subjective Quak­er blogs lists out there. I do lis­ten to feed­back and am always twid­dling with the site so feel free to send email to me at mar​tinkel​ley​.com/​c​o​n​t​act.

  • *sigh*
    Yet anoth­er no-easy-answer sort of ques­tion for this online Quak­er com­mu­ni­ty. Cor­po­rate ver­sus indi­vid­ual; spir­i­tu­al dis­cern­ment ver­sus per­son­al judg­ment; inten­tion ver­sus impact.
    I pre­dict that until we have web­cammed MfWfB for Quak­er blog­gers, our online con­ver­sa­tion and deci­sions are going to be second-guessed, head-scratched over, and exper­i­ment­ed with. There will be gains and there will be com­pli­ca­tions and there will STILL be unre­solved concerns…
    Truth be told, I ini­tial­ly resist­ed the con­cept of Quak­erQuak­er (QQ) for fear of blogs or posts that might get over­looked due to the ini­tial sole contributor’s per­son­al inter­ests or lack of time or ener­gy. That resis­tance has less­ened – but isn’t total­ly gone – as oth­er Friends were invit­ed to become contributors.
    One of the unex­pect­ed plea­sures I’ve got­ten from QQ is see­ing the top­ics and posts by Friends who aren’t part of lib­er­al Quak­erism or for that mat­ter Amer­i­can. It’s helped me learn about Friends in a way that hasn’t been pos­si­ble before: my “per­son­al pref­er­ence” prob­a­bly would have kept me cir­cling around in my own lit­tle sphere of blogs. Like a kid on a bike stuck in her own neigh­bor­hood, I need­ed a fun friend to say to me, “Hey, let’s go over HERE where I know some oth­er cool things to do…”
    Just for the record, I still don’t show a link to QQ or have a list­ing of recent con­tri­bu­tions to QQ on The Good Raised Up. I guess that’s my way of say­ing it’s worth surf­ing the web, review­ing a blog­gers’ list of blogs they read, and cross-linking with­in posts to one another’s blogs.
    I’ll be curi­ous to check back to see what oth­er QQ blog­gers and read­ers say. Thanks for being trans­par­ent in this way.
    Liz, The Good Raised Up

  • Thanks for your thoughts, Mar­tin. Being rel­a­tive­ly new to this, I am still learn­ing the blog­ging eti­quette in gen­er­al, and the Quak­er eti­quette in par­tic­u­lar, regard­ing things like blogrolling. It’s help­ful to hear your sug­gest­ed guidelines.
    I agree with Liz about the plea­sure of con­nect­ing with Quak­ers from oth­er branch­es. It seems to be one of the great gifts of this new medium.