I’m back!

We’re back from our two-week sojourn in Denmark and Norway.  We had a very good time, my presentations seem to have gone over well, and I learned a lot.   I’ll be posting about the religious scene in Scandinavia and some of our adventures in the days ahead.  Right now, I’m too jet-lagged to do much writing (Copenhagen time is 7 hours ahead of our central standard time).

But I do want to say this:  Thanks for keeping up with this blog while I was gone!  Usually when I’m on a long trip and I can’t post regularly, readership falls off, and it takes a number of weeks to build it up again.  But this time my page view numbers were actually up, above what they usually are!   I put up some old items from my files, scheduling them to pop up during the two weeks, and sent you to various sites to find your own news to comment on.  Despite what might have seemed like a dubious scheme to give you fresh content, you kept visiting and reading and commenting.  I should be gone all the time!


Blog drama

In the earlier days of this blog, we were renowned for the high level of discourse and the friendliness of our commenting community.  We had lots of different opinions and different sorts of people participate–conservatives and liberals, Lutherans and Pentecostals, feminists and gays, Muslims and atheists–but with a few exceptions everybody got along.  (Remember Little Buddha–something like that–the atheist who provoked extensive, in depth discussions about God and His existence, who eventually signed off thanking everybody for the personal support he felt and for the friendships he formed on this blog!)

Well, as the number of readers has soared, that sense of community and the friendly climate isn’t the same.  People tell me that they don’t comment anymore, due to their fear of hostile retorts, or that they don’t read the comments anymore.  I have valued the openness of our discussions and I have resisted all of the recommendations to rein in some of the threads and some of the participants.  But I have now started banning people. [Read more...]

The best Cranach posts on Patheos

I’ll soon be going on my second year of this blog being hosted at Patheos, where we’ve built up our audience considerably and been bringing in some income to pay the bills.  Patheos  is celebrating its 5th year anniversary and, in conjunction with that, is asking its bloggers to send in links to their 5 best posts, which the company is going to make use of somehow.   I don’t know what the best posts on this blog have been over the last year.   That’s a question for you readers.  Could you give me some suggestions?  I’d be much obliged.

New system for our “comments”

Patheos, which hosts this blog, is going to be making some major upgrades, including moving to a higher-end server, that should decrease load times, eliminate spam, prevent a host of problems, and make possible new features.  One new feature that will be added before moving to the new server is the Disqus system for comments.

Comments will stream as they are made.  You can go back and forth to and from different discussions.  You can follow different commenters whose thoughts especially interest you.  If I’m understanding it aright, you can follow and take part in related discussions that bridge different blogs.  Here is a description of the few features, some of which I don’t fully understand:  For Websites – DISQUS. [Read more...]

More blog updates

We now have comment numbering!  We no longer have comment nesting!  As I already reported, we now have e-mail comment notification!  We now have text boxes of flexible size!

Most of our dreams have come true in regards to this blog and its move to Patheos.  First, thanks to you readers for your suggestions.  Second, thanks to the Patheos tech people for being so co-operative and obliging for our requests.  (This involved multiple changes back and forth and no end of patience on their part.  I would say “how about changing this?” and they did.  Then later I’d say “change it back.”  Then I said, “let’s try this.”  That went on over and over again, hour by hour.  So I really appreciate that, especially when they quite reasonably could say, “this is our template, take it or leave it.”

I think the only other major request that a lot of you asked for was to have full-text RSS feeds.  [Read more...]

Blog developments update

We now have e-mail subscriptions to both posts and follow-up comments!   That’s one of your requests that we were able to make happen.  We’re still trying to figure out comment numbering.  But we’re making progress.

I’ve also got the hang of the new format, with the first part of the post appearing on the home page and then your having to click “read more” to read the rest of it.  What we worked out is that instead of just having six lines of  text in a box of six lines before an automatic jump,  I can now be flexible in how  much of the post  shows up on the home page, inserting  my own jumps.   I’m still breaking most of my posts into two parts, in accord with the Patheos template, but the beauty of the format is that I can put more material into my  posts, adding pictures and other discussion with great abandon, without having a post take over the entire page.  So it’s a change, but I think a good change.

Also, Patheos got rid of that “esoteric” ad that kept popping up to the annoyance of us all.

There looks to be some more tweaks that will be possible, including putting some of the old icons back into  the sidebar.

I appreciate too that the regular readers seem to have come on over to the new site, and we’re getting new viewers! So thanks for that.