Dave and I are ecstatic to be able to finally move to our new hosting service for the blog today. You won’t have to change any bookmarks or anything as the main page will still have the same address and all the old posts are still reachable by their old links. There are three major kinks you might encounter.
First, your computer may be automatically sending you to the old site until around noon tomorrow the latest. We’ve put up a note sending you here instead but even once arriving here, you may be seeing the new site without any formatting. We’re working on remedying that problem the best we can.
Second is that we have to recreate every link to a YouTube video which we have in our archives. This is a major task and although we have gotten the vast majority that could be restored done already, we will likely need more days until all the ones that are still on YouTube and can be restored are up and running again. Most of what remains missing is the videos from my top 366 musical artists list. Nearly all the other videos are already here. Nonetheless, you have our sincere apologies for any inactive links or missing portions of posts while we finish moving putting the new home together.
The other problem relates to the comments. Between our two stages of importing the site’s posts, we lost those comments made between June 4-yesterday which were made on posts prior to June 4. All comments made since June 4 on posts written from June 4 onward are in tact and so are all comments made before June 4 on posts made before June 4. We still have the new comments on the old posts at the old site but couldn’t transfer them over. Please accept our apologies and our assurance no one is being censored. Some of the most provocative remarks stored at the old home but not the new one may even appear in new posts I write in upcoming weeks.
The good news is that we have a whole bunch of exciting changes and additions likely to improve the blog drastically.
Most immediately apparent is, of course, our new, significantly friendlier on the eyes, color design which should make the site drastically more readable.
Secondly, you will notice that on the right hand column we now have a feed with the tantalizing opening lines of the site’s 5 most recent comments at any given time. We are hoping that bolstering your awareness of your fellow commentators’ comments will help foster more multi-party discussions. We have always been lucky to have terrific commentators on a number of our posts but have rarely been able to generate longer discussions in the comments section. We really hope this feature will help change that by giving readers an immediate heads-up as to when interesting discussions are germinating.
Thirdly, you will notice that we finally have a Blogroll acknowledging and directing you to go read some of my favorite blogs, primarily about philosophy and atheism.
Fourthly, the homepage will not automatically feature every post on the site anymore. The reason for this is simple. This blog’s primary reason for existence is to provide substantive ideas pieces about topics related to philosophy, ethics, atheism, and religion. I do not put so much of my energy into Camels With Hammers in order merely to aggregate news stories or post funny videos or draw attention to high quality (often independent) music and films. And I want the homepage from now on to reflect what the site is primarily about, which is the development of engaging ideas. I want the site to earn a reputation more as a primary source for new ideas or coverage of material in books not otherwise discussed online, rather than as a site focused on aggregation. SO the homepage from now on will be nearly exclusively only posts in which I say something substantive (or at least make an effort at it!)
Fifthly, I love to aggregate. While the blog’s primary purpose is to provide original material, I am passionate about atheist activism, about education, about politics, about psychology, about science, about comedy, and about music and film and numerous other interesting subjects about which I have only a little bit to add or to which I need add nothing. And when I see things which are germane to my goals as an atheist activist or as an educator and when I see things which are funny or hear things which are awesome, I want to bring them to your attention. So, the new link labeled “Full Blog” is on the left hand side of the page right below my picture and the link to our page welcoming and introducing new readers. The “Full Blog” link will expand the blog so you can skim through our usual wealth of aggregated material from atheist, religious, science, and political news to the latest educational videos from around the net to comedy videos. And on the full blog you will also find my (soon to resume) top 366 list of favorite musical artists (which was only temporarily suspended while I reassessed how to balance the blog’s goals). So, for those of you accustomed to reading Camels With Hammers for more than just my original writing (or by actively skipping my original writing!), you can still do that by simply clicking “full blog” or by clicking it once and bookmarking the page for your future visits if you are not interested in first seeing my new writing every time you visit the blog.
Seventh, you will notice that now all of our posts have a share button at the bottom. Click on it and an excitingly huge cornucopia of options for sharing one of our posts will pop up, from which you can choose your favorite means for sharing your favorite blog posts. And, of course, we shamelessly beg you to share your favorite posts from Camels With Hammers posts with your friends and with sites that allow you to upload great internet finds to the rest of the world. This is still a relatively small blog and only you have the power to make it thrive or wither in popularity. All I can do is put my all into making it deserve to grow.
Eighth, you will now notice icons for subscribing to the site and for following us on Facebook where you can post links and comments of interest to other Camels With Hammers fans and see exclusive bonus posts which are not a right fit for the site itself but which I still think should be of high interest to you.
Ninth, I am thrilled to announce that our new hosting service enables us to host much more by way of video. In the past we were significantly constrained in what we could post since our previous host only allowed embedded video from YouTube and, in recent months, another two video hosting sites. But now we are not so limited, so we will be able to feature video from Vimeo, The Atlantic, Bloggingheads, Comedy Central, various major news agencies, etc. So, again, even though the site will concentrate on its primary role as a primary source, we are have upgraded our capacities so we can bring you the best videos available on the internet no matter where they come from.
Tenth: We have removed the long lists of categories that were both atop the page and along the left hand column. Now you can even more efficiently search the archives by using our handy new search engine right there in the left hand column too. When I tested it out I geeked out at its speed and quantity of results for what I imagined was a random word.
Eleventh: We are updating the “Recommended Posts” (which are now in the left hand column, moved over from the right). They had not been updated since early October and so even though we were on virtual hiatus (but for the top 366 artists list) for several months in that span while I finished my dissertation and then my semester’s teaching, there are a number of posts of original writing that have accumulated and which deserve to be highlighted on the site for those of you who missed them or would like to be able to have a handy list of all my most (hopefully) memorable writing on hand.
Twelfth, but not least: Look! There’s my picture! No, not there–THERE! Back up at the top on the left! Full disclosure: the photo is about 5 years old. My appearance has not changed drastically but it’s safe to say I do not look quite as good now as I did then. I put up the best picture of me I could find (yes, I know that’s the best I could do, sorry!) rather than just the accurately up-to-date because I figured, really, wouldn’t all of us just be happiest that way? And we didn’t photoshop it at all (except that we took out the original background) because while making me look more Russell Crowe and less like Seth Rogen might again make everyone happier, truth is still the most important goal this blog has. And it’s at least true that at one fairly recent point in time I looked like the cross between Crowe and Rogen you see above.
Thank you so much for your past readership during what we can now affectionately look back on as Camels With Hammers’ very own Dark Ages (from a visual aesthetic standpoint only, hopefully!) and for your anticipated future, increasingly enthusiastic support. I love blogging for you and eagerly look forward to Your Thoughts after my every post.
There is no God.