Blog update & our FaceBook page

Cranach_Gesetz_und_Gnade_Gotha

BeliefNet, having purchased Patheos, is planning a new look and new features for its family of blogs.  So watch for changes here at Cranach.  For example, you might notice a difference in how the illustrations are presented.

Actually, that is a minor change I was asked to make as part of the Patheos social media initiative.  In addition to my personal FaceBook page, I have an author page that I set up for this blog.  I have shamefully neglected it.  But no more!

At the urging of my Patheos editor and former student, Bart Gingerich, I am going to develop it into an active companion to this blog.  Not only will I put up links to current Cranach posts, I will include extra features:  background information about the Cranach blog, popular posts from the past, a forum for discussing the blog.

Visit the page, like it, post the links on your FaceBook page, and hopefully this will help bring back that sense of community we had back in the blog’s Golden Age.

 

Top 10 Cranach posts of 2016

Cranach's sealI know you are sick of holidays and want to get back to normality, but I can’t resist New Years retrospectives.  Other blogs are looking back at their top posts of last year, based on the number of page views, so I did too.

The most popular posts are from years ago, but somehow they got into Google’s algorithm.  Now, if anybody in the whole world wonders, “Why do some people say ‘Merry Christmas’ and others say ‘Happy Christmas’?” Google takes them to Cranach.  The same with St. Patrick’s prayer.  And I think my post on Hector & Achilles must be linked on a study guide somewhere.

Otherwise, the election, particularly the Republican primaries, dominated our readers’ interests.  I’m glad my review of the memoir by Tom Oden, who died later in the year, got quite a bit of attention.

Pageviews on a particular post go up because they are linked to on other web sites and because they are widely shared on social media.  So I’m glad our discussions here can have a reach beyond our blog.

See the top 10 posts after the jump. [Read more…]

Blog news

Podpis_had_cranach_starsiMerry Christmas, everybody!  I thought I’d pass on some news about the Cranach blog and tell you about what’s coming up next week.

  • Patheos has been bought by the even bigger religious site BeliefNet.  Patheos will have its own identity, the editors will be the same, and it will, as they say, remain its own brand.  But BeliefNet has resources that will make possible some technical improvements, new features, and, eventually, a new look.  I’m not sure what they have in mind, but be on the lookout for changes in the year ahead.
  • You may have noticed that I have started putting pictures with my posts.  I was asked to do that–if not as an early phase of BeliefNet upgrades, because pictures make posts more sharable on social media–and I have enjoyed this new tasks of illustrating what I have to say.  The challenge is to not violate copyright laws!  I have found an easy way to find images that are in the public domain or are usable through Creative Commons, a process by which photographers and other artists make their work freely available, as long as credit is given.  (Go to Google Images, then hit “tools,” then hit “usage rights,” then hit “licensed for reuse.”)  Images with no attribution are from a horde that Patheos/BeliefNet owns or from my own collection.

[Read more…]

Blogging from Down Under

We’re on our way to Australia to visit our grandchildren, daughter, and son-in-law (a new professor at the Lutheran seminary in Adelaide).  We’ll be there for a month, coming back on December 2.

The blog will continue.  (We’ve got to talk about the election on November 8–I’ve cast an absentee ballot–and other crises that will no doubt arise.)  The big problem will be the time differences.  Early morning in the USA is late at night in Australia.  And late at night in the USA is early morning on the next day!  So 5:00 p.m. CDT on Thursday in the USA is 8:30 a.m. on Friday in Adelaide.

I might be able to maneuver the time distances so that posts come up each morning as you are used to.  But I might end up just posting when I can, so that they will come up for you at odd and unpredictable times.  Please bear with me.  Just check throughout the day.

Then again, if we are on walkabout, we won’t find an internet connection in the outback.

[Read more…]

I am now on Facebook!

There is this thing called Facebook, and the way it works is. . . .OK, I’m not what you would call an early adopter.  But at the urging of students (you, Thomas Hererra!), Patheos, relatives, and the climate of the age, I now have a Facebook page.

It’s a writer’s page, like those they have for businesses, so it’s public and open for all.  It works not by “friends” but by “likes.”  Please “like” it.  My page will have links to my blog posts, so those who “like” my page will get those links, as will your “friends” and their “friends” and the Cranach nation will grow and grow.

But I’m not just going to post links to my blog.  I will take you inside the vast Cranach empire, talking about blog-related background information, and also talking about my other books, articles, projects, and speaking gigs.  You will also see what I approximately look like, though before I got my current cooler glasses.

As I say in the introductory piece on my Facebook page, I also want to hear from you.  If you come across an interesting article or bit of information, send me the link via Facebook.  Or if you think of a good topic for our discussion, send me your suggestions.  I want to build up the sense of community that we used to have on my blog.  I’ve got some other ideas for what I’d like to do with this page, which I’ll tell you about later. [Read more…]

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!