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.
Congrats to M* on surviving to the ripe old age of 5. It ain’t as easy as it sounds.
What a wonderful 5 years it has been. I appreciate the opportunity to join a wonderful group of bloggers and look forward to five more years with M*. Thanks to everyone who contributes.
Geoff J: Thanks for stopping by. I still remember the bloggersnacker almost 5 years ago at your house. It was a wonderful evening and a great opportunity to connect with others from the Nacle. I have enjoyed being a part of the LDS blogging community and appreciate the diverse viewpoints from the various blogs.
I had a lot of fun posting at M* back in the good old days. Can’t believe it has been five years!
Ditto all of that. I found the Bloggernacle after Clark wrote a couple of posts on the AML list. I started reading T&S and M*. I posted my first comment on M*. I am so glad to be here. In the last, almost five years I have learned much, had my brain stretched and have met so many wonderful people.
E, I miss having you post here. Sorry I forgot to mention you. Among the other pioneers who come to mind who I forgot to mention: Bryce Inouye, Ben Spackman and Kevin Burtt. Other writers who still occasionally post include Tanya Spackman, Bryce Haymond and Ivan Wolfe. I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody else. I apologize in advance.
Happy birthday, y’all. It’s been a fun five years. 🙂
This month is such a special one, it’s birthday time for you! We’ll sing a song that we all know, ‘Happy Birthday, to you!’
congrats! keep it coming
Many happy returns, folks.
Congratulations M*! Well done!
Who is bringing the cake? 🙂
Nice going, peeps.
Geoff J. is right, 5 years is harder than it looks. Congratulations!
This is so great!
As a fan of their current blog, it was a quite a shock to learn recently that Ryan and Davis had been among the founders of M*.
I was running this morning and realized I forgot John Mansfield, one of the early writers for M*. Sorry John!
Geoff, this list may help:
Thanks Chris! Michelle Obama hasn’t posted much lately, but we’re hoping she finds time soon. 🙂
I think she may have followed ECS over to FMH.
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This was a lot of fun to read. It’s funny to think that a blog can have that much history behind it. I am glad to have been a part of the founding group, and it’s crazy to read the list of contributors now- there are a LOT of people who have written for M*. I still remember those chat sessions where we tossed around some ten thousand options for names of the blog. (Believe me, Laban’s neck isn’t even close to the worst one we considered).
Anyway, congrats to all of you still chugging along putting out good writing and doing good thinking. I admire the stamina that is evident in that accomplishment. Good luck in the next five years. (And feel free to visit the Bell brothers at our new blog any time– dontdodumbthings.com)
Ryan, great to hear from you. All the best in your new ventures.