I am not a big fan of the global economy. In fact, I am a strong advocate of supporting local business. I buy a share in a CSA to support a neighbouring biodynamic farm, I purchase Ontario apples instead of Chilean grapes and try hard to shop for clothes made in Canada. Imagine my chagrin last week when I realized that perhaps I had sold my birthright for a mess of pottage by allowing myself to become a pawn in Steve Evans’ Microsoft-style machinations :)
Although I was new to blogging, I saw some signs of the war between Walmart and Target. However, with the formation of the Mormon Archipelago and today’s announcement of The Millennial Star — the writing is clearly on the wall. Like many other things in our "Supersize" culture, bigger is perceived to be better, even in the Bloggernacle.
During the 1950s, when Ezra Taft Benson was Secretary of Agriculture, he counselled smaller farmers to "Get big or get out". Many have declared that moment to be the beginning of the end of the family farm. In fact, Wendell Berry has said that it is one of the "most ignorant, undemocratic and heartless things ever said to the free citizens of a democracy."
In a similar vein, Berry says, "In making things always bigger and more centralized, we make them both more vulnerable in themselves and more dangerous to everything else." Sure, it could make things more efficient and unified, but what do we lose in shutting down all the "Mom and Pop" blogs? Certainly, the big group blogs are diversified, but they are still undeniably less diverse then when they existed as individuals. Has Times and Seasons failed as Nathan Oman has postulated? I don’t think so. But I agree that there is danger in the "Daily Me" and wonder if the idea of the group blog has contributed to a somewhat distorted definition of success . In defining one of the standards of excellence as size, Mormon bloggers should be wary of the "monomania of bigness" — because it is in the strength of our own voices that new ideas are explored and that individual stories are told.