A little more than five years ago, I got an e-mail from Ryan Bell and Adam Greenwood asking me to join an as-yet-named new blog. Ryan and Davis Bell, Adam, Matt Evans and a few others were the original ring-leaders. I agreed to the summons.
We were pondering what to name this new blog, and I suggested “Laban’s Neck.” It goes without saying that the history of Millennial Star would have been very different had it been named Laban’s Neck.
Well, five years have passed, and many things have changed. Many of the original founders have gone on to other activities. Clark Goble and J. Max Wilson, two of the pioneers, still post and comment occasionally.
I would like to quote from Ryan’s letter from five years ago:
The focus would be on thinking and writing that sustains, supports and builds on the structure and beliefs of the church, and provides a place where questions about such things would be answered without challenging core beliefs or the good faith of those in question.
I think that still pretty nicely summarizes what M* stands for. Anybody familiar with the history of the Bloggernacle knows that M* definitely has a past. It is worth pointing out that Christopher Bradford, one of the original founders, was the inventor of the term “Bloggernacle.” It is also worth pointing out that in our first year, 2005, we had about as much traffic on most days as Times and Seasons and BCC.
By 2006 and 2007, however, things were looking pretty grim. We even considered — briefly — shuttering the blog. Brian Duffin swooped in to help with technical issues. And since then we have had a long list of new writers — JA Benson, Ben Pratt, Nicholeen Peck, Joyce Brinton Anderson, Bill Stebbing , Keller– who have helped create a very different type of blog. In the first year we had very few posts from female bloggers — now women dominate things to such an extent that we were listed not so long ago as a favorite “mommy blog” for Christians.
I believe I can speak for all of the M* bloggers by saying we enjoy being part of the greater Mormon blogging community. The purpose of blogging is to help build faith, to dig into deeper doctrines, to make people occasionally laugh and cry and think. But most of all it is to interact with others and build up Christ’s statement in Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
I would like to close by announcing that we have added Bruce Nielson to our list of permabloggers, and we expect him to contribute to a vibrant future. He says he will continue to occasionally blog at Mormon Matters but will also post here. So, hopefully, M* can last at least another five years.
Please feel free to add any comments and/or memories you would like.