Don’t look now, but I’m about to toss more triperspectivalism on the blog. If this is a new term for you, you can get the scoop on my “Resources” page for previous posts.
Triperspectivalism simply is a way to look at reality from multiple perspectives, specifically three. From an Christological standpoint, the perspectives relates to the three offices of Christ mediation, namely Prophet, Priest, and King. From an ethical standpoint, the perspectives are described as Normative, Existential, and Situational. And on a practical level, these perspectives can be argued from Head, Heart, and Hands. Through the multi-faceted angles and perspectives, one can develop a healthy and balanced paradigm for living skillfully (as I have sought to argue in the past).
Another area I’d like to posit a triperspectival approach is that of blogging. As I was returning from vacation last week and launching the updated version of this blog, I began thinking of how I can evaluate blogging in general and this blog in particular, and the triperspectival framework clicked into my brain about halfway home from the beach, and here’s what I came up with.
I find that strong, balanced blogs generally take a triperspectival approach to blogging. They may not call it that, and they may not realize they are doing it. So what do I mean by triperspectival blogging? I am referring to blogposts (and blog metanarrative) that incorporate all three perspectives of normative, existential, and situational to everyday life. Let me explain.
The Normative perspective generally deals with content, or text. A good blog must begin with quality content. They have something to contribute that has value, insight, inspiration, or further exploration. The content encourages to center our lives on truth and make it “normative” in our lives. Examples of this would include Trevin Wax and Tullian Tchividjin.
The Existential perspective generally deals with personal commentary, or subtext. This is where the blogger will get personal with a measure of disclosure and transparency. The result is a greater sense of relatability with the author as he or she brings “earthiness” to the content. The commentary is an encouragement to experience the truth in real, personal, and life-transforming ways. Examples of this would include Joe Thorn and Tim Challies.
The Situational perspective generally deals with community interaction, or context. This is where the blogger will engage the audience or blog community to “hash it out” in each person’s situation. The result is a greater sense of relevance to the content as people discover ways the content fits in their respective contexts. Examples of those who do this well include Michael Hyatt and Carlos Whitaker.
Triperspectival blogging encourages a balance of head (content, and knowing the truth), heart (subtext, and experiencing the truth), and hands (context, and applying the truth). Where I find blogs become less helpful or useful is when one emphasizes one perspective to the exclusion of others. For example, some blogs can be very heavy on content while the author is disengaged and the comments are closed. This is hardly blogging, in my opinion. Other blogs can be people simply giving everyone personal commentary about their lives, assuming it is interesting enough that people want to read their biography one blogpost at a time. If we would be honest, most of our lives just aren’t compelling to make our breakfast the subject of a blogpost. However, when a blogger speaks with first-hand experience about the subject matter, then he becomes “real” and more relatable. Even still, some blogs can have great interaction in the comments section and community involvement, but it is lacking in substance. Sometimes controversy builds community interaction as a lot of heat it exchanged with little to no light.
When I consider most of the successful blogs that have been around for some time, then tend to have (a) great content, (b) relatable author, and (c) developing community. Their readers benefit from the content, appreciate the personal commentary, and feel like they can contribute to the discussion and get meaningful feedback from the author and others in the community.
So what do you think?
Does this register in your approach to blogging?
If you don’t blog, do you feel compelled or encouraged to comment on certain blogs that intentionally facilitate reader interaction?