If a tree falls in cyberspace . . . does it make a sound?

An interesting problem has developed here in the blogosphere. I have no idea whether it has affected any of our readers. In fact, I do not know if it has prevented us from having any readers and I have no idea how to find out whether it has or not.

In fact, I don’t know who I am writing this note to, because if the problem is affecting you then you can’t read it. Does that make any sense?

I recently switched to Earthlink DSL at home and, after five days or so of working with the blog, something interesting happened. Earthlink is famous for its software that stops pop-up ads and things like that. Well, it also tries to help users avoid WWW sites that it considers dangerous in terms of fraud.

The problem is that Earthlink’s ScamBlocker software has concluded that www.GetReligion.org is a scam — a site with a high risk of identity theft.

Wonderful. Does this have anything to do with us changing the TypePad settings to require those leaving comments to give us an email address? We do not know. Does this have anything to do with the name of the site? Are sites that start with “get” considered automatically dangerous? We don’t know. Is Earthlink worried about “deflected” addresses, where one address deflects the user to another site? We don’t know.

I know that www.GetReligion.org works when I call it up at the university where I teach. This appears to be an Earthlink problem — which is a big deal when you consider the size of that company.

We also know that our direct address at TypePad works fine, even with Earthlink — so far. That address is the one that shows up in your Address: box in the browser — http://getreligion.typepad.com. We also know that we will be using TypePad for at least a year. So please hang in there with us. The software is supposed to improve sooner rather than later.

By the way, if you feel inclined to drop Earthlink a note to let them know that we are not a scam (other than opinions some readers may hold about our cultural and theological convictions) please feel free to use the handy form at this site.

P.S. And now for something completely different, while I am asking questions about the site. Does it work if we post new material over the weekend? It seems that these items draw few readers. Yet, I should note that much of the nation’s religion coverage — for better or for worse — takes place on weekends. Let us know what you think.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://www.marieely.com/herbely/ Herb Ely

    Terry,

    I read the papers and selected blogs every day but try not to post on the Sabbath. Here is a comment on preachers telling Lincoln what to do about abolition:

    http://www.marieely.com/herbely/2004/05/lets_dont_be_so.html

    Maybe the bishops should meditate on this. Herb

  • Chad Ray

    Re weekend postings: Keep’em coming. Addictive cravings don’t stop on weekends.

  • Daniel

    I had the same problem with my Earthlink account. I had to turn off the Spam Blocker every time I wanted to come to the site. It doesn’t appear to be doing it now though.

    Weekend posts are great. Everyone else takes off weekends already.

  • James

    Weekend posts are great.

  • J. Mark

    I check in on this site every day, and I enjoy the weekend posts.

  • Julie

    I don’t check on the weekends but do look back through everything I haven’t read on Monday. So I’d say keep it coming whenever the spirit moves you!

  • RyanH

    I’m with Julie on this–I read GetReligion religiously during the week, and catch up the weekends on Monday! Great stuff–whenever you can post it!

  • http://blog.boydston.us Brad Boydston

    I read what you post when I get to it — and that is often on weekends. However, my blog stats take a dive on weekends, too. I wonder if that’s just not true for weblogs in general. I suspect it means that there are a lot of people reading weblogs at work. :-)

  • bc

    Please post as much and as often as possible, you’re high on the list of my favorites

  • Roger Wm. Bennett

    I, too, read the Blog daily, including weekends. I probably have more time to respond on weekends, but I respond rarely as it is.

  • http://thomasswilliams.blogspot.com Thomas Williams

    Hey GR – I read in an aggregator, post whenever on the weekend and I’ll get to it first thing Monday. Keep up the good work!


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