May 14, 2009

Wanted: Ideas for title for Quaker blog reader

A short post to inspire and get inspired: I'm starting to configure the various sections of the Quaker blog reader that I've been editing, with support from Chris M.

It's exciting to see the chapters start to organize themselves and to see what were once originally online blog posts being transformed into what look more and more like pages from a book!

I look at the various sections that I have in my spreadsheet of blog posts. They include Worship & Ministry; A Friendly Look at Christianity, Jesus, and the Bible; Convergent Friends; Love as a Testimony; Reclaiming and Reexamining Our Practices; That of God; and Openings and Personal Story. By far, the longest section is on reclaiming and reexamining our practices, so that might be broken down further as I get into organizing those posts.

It's a relief to see progress being made, believe me!

From time to time, I step away from the computer and the typesetting and the copying-and-pasting, and I begin to consider what This Thing wants to be called, other than "the Quaker blog reader."

Here are some of my own thoughts:

Found! Quaker Renewal Across The Branches

Reclaiming And Reexamining Our Quaker Faith And Practice

Love, Convergence, and Renewal Among Friends in the 21st Century
Or, is "Quaker Blog Reader" enough?

What I really want, though, is to know what title or words would catch your attention for such a book? It's likely the final title--or any tag line under it--will be a criss-cross between what's offered, but I'm awfully tired of thinking through this on my own right now.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!



Ashley W said...

Brainstorming for titles sounds like fun! Here are some ideas, for what they are worth:

- Connecting Friends: Online Quaker Renewal in the 21st Century

- Friendly Convergence (or Friendly Conversations)

- Crossing the Lines: Online Conversations Between Friends

I'll let you know if I think of anything else. Good luck!


Martin Kelley said...

Some of those titles sound long. A short, punchier title might work better. Part of the freshness of the blogs is an immediacy.

A big question is: who's the intended audience? Since you're aiming for the FGC Gathering, I assume you're trying to legitimize these blogs with the Quaker establishment? That's fine enough (I put together the Quaker Ranter Reader for all establishment Friends who don't know how to use the internet). But it's a very boring audience. Is this a book that you'd give to someone who was intrigued by Friends but didn't know much?

There's something to be said about just going with a variation on "Quaker Blog Reader," which should at least be the sub-title. When I look for titles, I skim through the material itself and try to find something evocative. Like, the title of one of my blog reports from the youth ministries consultation years ago was "It's our language now!" which was just something a participant said that I jotted down. It would be great if the title would suggest something about the generational changing of the guard and the freshness of the message--imply convergence and renewal, etc., but not use the words (which sounds pedantic).

Sorry to ramble, but I haven't had my morning coffee yet!

Jay Thatcher said...

Walking Cheerfully on the Web: a Quaker Blog Reader

Cat C-B (and/or Peter B) said...

I'm bad at titles, but I quite like "Found! Quaker Renewal Across The Branches" (perhaps shortened to "Found! Quaker Renewal").

I also like Jay's suggestion, "Walking Cheerfully on the Web: a Quaker Blog Reader," and I agree with Martin that any title should include something like "A Quaker Blog Reader" as a subtitle.

I suspect there's not a lot of legitimization of the blogs involved at stake, however, and that the pieces will stand or fall on their own merits/how they are perceived by Quaker readers.

As an aside--I have a copy of Martin's blog anthology. I picked it up in the bookstore at New England Yearly Meeting. So these things can get around...

Nate Swift said...

I like the word "conversations." Maybe "Conversations on renewal, a Quaker Blog Reader?"

Michael said...


I have gradually realized that the Quaker correspondence by email, blog, etc., on the Web in some sense recreates the vast sharing of journals, letters, pamphlets and broadsides among the first Friends.

Those folks of 17th century England were prolific writers, and they shaped their collective faith and practice not only in face-to-face meeting for worship but also across geographical distances by pen and printing press.

We modern Friends are doing the same in cyberspace.

What title might honor that early practice and recall it?

I'm not sure, but I'd look for a phrase which captures the heart of that first century of constant communication.

Blessed Be,

Liz Opp said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Some of you have touched on themes that have been rolling around in my own head, like using the word "conversations," including the tag "Quaker blog reader" (which gives a nod to Martin's Quaker Ranter Reader), and looking for a way to draw on a familiar phrase from early Friends.

Jay, I will acknowledge that your suggestion stirs a certain resonance within me... Do I need you to sign a permission slip--"Title used with permission...."? smile

More later, as Way opens. And keep the suggestions coming.


Jay Thatcher said...

I doubt that you need it, but you certainly have permission to use the walking cheerfully idea.

I've been reflecting in similar ways to Michael on the heritage of pamphlets and journals that is reflected in blogs. It may be reflected in other contemporary formats that I'm not noticing. I wonder if Fox or another early Friend had a comment on those conversations....or arguments.

Tom Smith said...

I really am not sure myself whether these titles are for the fun of it or are to be taken somewhat seriously ;-}

What do Quaker Blogs say?

Do Quaker Blogs speak to thy condition?

The Valiant 21st Century Quaker bloggers.

Friends Library of Quaker Blogs.

Rich in Brooklyn said...

Of the ideas mentioned so far, I think Jay's is far and away the best "Walking Cheerfully over the Web: A Quaker Blog reader".

All of the titles seem to be aimed at an audience that's already Quaker, but Jay's a little less so than the others. What I'd like to see in a perfect world is a title that sets up cognitive dissonance in the part of the pubic that's confused about Quakerism, and thus plants the seed of curiosity. ("That sounds strange: Aren't those the people who won't even use cars? How can they be writing blogs, and why?..I should check this out"). Unfortunately, I don't have any specific titles in mind to offer.

Rich in Brooklyn said...

P.S. I like most of what Martin says about this, but I'm not so keen on the "generational changing of the guard" as he is. Might have to do with the fact that I'm 62 and he's not.
- - Rich

Tom Smith said...

P.S.S. I concur with Rich. I'm even older than he is! When I were(sic) a younger man I considered there was a generational changing of the guard.

Nate Swift said...

Ha! I'm older than Rich too, and I'd LOVE to see a generational changing of the guard!

Lotta good thoughts here.

Lessee, one more idea:

Conversations Now, A Quaker Blog Reader

Patrick Ruth said...

As Rod Serling used to say-"submitted for your approval": "Online in the Light:Readings from Quaker Blogs" Thanks, Patrick