Believing Bloggers (Part 1): Religion on the Internet
February 18, 2008 §
From time to time I spend a few moments looking at trends on Blogpulse
. Its a habit, trending and statistics is part of what I do for a living at the hospital, so you can’t blame me for being interested in what the spectrum of internet chatter looks like in a line graph. Anyway, as I was looking through Nielsen BuzzMetrics’ interesting little media tool I ran across a Blogpulse generated search called, Church vs. Mosque vs. Temple vs. Synagogue vs. Shrine vs. Cathedral
. It is a general search which does an overall scan of “places of worship” that are discussed on the internet. And what I found was that according to peak average, the “church” was mentioned in, a shocking, 82% more blogposts than the “mosque” overall. And the “mosque” was mentioned in 55% more than “synagogue” among all blog posts from August 19, 2007 to February 6, 2008.
It should be interesting to note that the highest rate of posts for each place of worship were during the the months of Holy days. The synagogue’s peak rate was .026% of all blog posts in the month of September. September 2007 hosted two of the Holy periods for the Jews, both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. The “church” on the other hand was blogged at a rate of 2.053%, while the “mosque” was mentioned at a rate of .04% of all blog posts during December 2007. It was during the month of December that the biggest Christian holiday and the Muslim Holy day of ‘Eid al-Adha fell in 2007.
In conclusion, we can say that the Christian church is mentioned on the internet much more than the Muslims and Jewish places of worship. And one observation I did make looking into the articles written during these months is that Christians often write on their personal experiences at the church. For example, getting up in the morning and going to church; gathering the family for Sunday service; the difficulty of getting to church on time and things like that. While Muslims and Jews have an entirely different dialogue on their place of worship, at least on the internet. I think this should be enough to remind Muslim and Jewish bloggers that developing a disconnection with your place of worship is a dangerous thing. For Muslims it may prove helpful to reflect on what the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon) has reminded us, saying that among the people shaded by Allah in the shade of His Throne on the Day of Judgment will be a believer whose heart is attached to the Masjid. (an-Nawawi, p. 155)
*Please be aware that both Muslim and Jewish places of worship have other names, such as masjid and temple. The data reported here is only on the identifiers “mosque” and “synagogue”. And as a result may not accurately reflect the actual rate that Muslim and Jewish places of worship are mentioned on blogs overall.