Another Blog Move Coming Up

I know I’ve just gotten settled here at FreeThought Blogs, but another website, Patheos, has made me an offer to move my blog there and I’ve decided to take it. It’s a good business decision for me, which is important what with graduate school and being pregnant with my second child, and it may allow me further opportunities to continue growing my readership. The move will occur sometime next week, and I’ll let you all know when it happens.

Just to give some background, Patheos is a site devoted to all manner of discussion of religion and nonreligious paths, and, in addition to information about a large number of religious traditions and columns on the religious and political issues of the day, it offers different “portals,” including Catholic, Mormon, Pagan, and Atheist, each containing resources and blogs. I will be joining The Friendly Atheist and several other atheist bloggers in the Atheist portal. There will be no moderation of my content, and I will be free to handle my comments section without interference. Don’t worry, I have had plenty of backs and forths with the Patheos people about all this.

My experience here at FreeThought Blogs has been nothing but positive. I want to thank the other bloggers for being so welcoming, my readers for being so faithful, and my commenters old and new for their many insights and lively discussions in my comments threads. I’ve enjoyed being part of a blogging community, and I wish FreeThought Blogs the best as it continues to grow. I have been honored to be here. Patheos wasn’t in the cards when I first moved to FreeThought Blogs, and I didn’t foresee this opportunity opening up.

I truly hope all of my readers will follow me as I make this change. I have a lot of exciting new ideas for my blog, including both things to blog about and ways to highlight more of my readers’ experiences as well. I’d like to compile a sort of database for people making journeys similar to mine, and also a resource for those wanting to learn more about the effects of movements like Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull. This is, of course, in addition to my regular blogging.

Thanks for understanding!

Libby Anne

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • michaeld

    Goodluck with your new home :)

  • MadGastronomer

    I remember when Slacktivist moved over to Patheos. A lot of the commentariat felt really uncomfortable with Patheos at the time, and I know the commenting has changed a lot since the move. You might want to see if Fred Clark is willing to talk to you about how he handled the transition, and what it meant for his blog.

    Er, none of which is meant to criticize your decision to move. At all. If Patheos can help you pay the bills, then that is freaking awesome. I just would like it to be a good transition for you, and hope that Fred might be able to help with that.

    As for me, I won’t be following, at least not to comment. Disqus works really poorly for me, with my particular security settings. I wish you the best with it, though.

    • Libby Anne

      But I won’t be using Discus comments. I’ll be using the same sort of comments format as we have here. Patheos lets you pick which kind you want.

    • Libby Anne

      Talking to the Slactivist is a good idea, though. I’ve talked to The Friendly Atheist about it quite a bit already, and he said his transition went smoothly and everything adjusted well.

      • jamessweet

        I actually didn’t even notice when Hemant moved to patheos. Because I don’t follow his blog every single day, I missed the posts announcing the move. And still redirected to the right place… it was actually several weeks before I noticed, hahaha…

  • julian

    Good luck!

  • Uly

    Isn’t it possible to crosspost your entries on both sites?

    • Libby Anne

      That sounds really complicated – and actually, I’ve heard that if you post the same post, same title, and everything, in two different places the search engines penalize you.

      • Jeremy

        It’s not complicated, and the search engines won’t penalize you (unless you cross-post to like dozens of sites at once). However, I’m pretty sure the folks at Patheos are paying you for exclusive content, and wouldn’t be happy if you turned around and sold the same content to someone else. So I do think you have to choose one or the other.

  • Nox

    An atheist blog/forum that I participate in (Unreasonable Faith) moved to Patheos a few months ago. The main change I think you’ll see with the move is that as the network overall is religiously themed you’ll be getting a lot more christian commenters than here.

    • Steve

      Given her particular background, yes maybe. But I’ve had the same worries about Friendly Atheist. There are a couple of Christian trolls who post the same nonsense over and over, but it’s literally just five people. It didn’t open the flood gates. So maybe it won’t be that bad

    • Libby Anne

      I used to have more Christian commenters than I have now, and it didn’t generally pose a huge problem. The way I see it, the problem isn’t Christian commenters, it’s trolls or incivility, and those can happen anywhere. If a Christian commenter says something you disagree with, all you have to do is reply and explain why you don’t think that’s a good explanation, etc. And again, I’ve seen that work before so I don’t see why it couldn’t in the future.

      But really, as Steve says, The Friendly Atheist blogs on Patheos and while there were some concerns when he first moved, he hasn’t really had any problems. I talked to him about this before making my decision.

      • Sheena

        Well, some of the Christian readers followed you and just don’t mention beliefs when they aren’t relevant :) I’ve found it interesting to read comments from the community here, because they reinforce the idea that morality is not tied to religious belief.
        I feel like I’ve learned a good bit about the perspectives of others, which is good — I’m too old to be naive.

        I’m checking out patheos to see who else I’m going to read; I already pop in to Fred’s blog (Slacktivist) occasionally, but I don’t want to limit myself to understanding any given belief system.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    I wish you luck (well, in general, but particularly at Patheos).

    The definition of atheism under their “Humanist” tag includes pompous and counterfactual statements such as

    Atheism is distinguished from agnosticism in that the latter allows for the possibility of the existence of the divine whereas the former claims an absolute rejection of the concept.

    - followed by a crude and inaccurate linkage with the ideas of Karl Marx (who did not invent “materialism”, whatever they claim).

    At least they’re making a decent effort to select good people, as your own recruitment indicates, so maybe you and Hemant Mehta and whoever else will have a chance to teach them clearer thinking.

    • Steve

      Ouch. They STILL haven’t fixed that? I thought many people would have complained about that by now

    • Libby Anne

      They want to have essentially a library of information on each different faith tradition, as well as on non-religious paths, something like 100 different ones total, but they haven’t gotten it completed yet. The atheism section is one that they haven’t completed, and they’re still looking for contributors knowledgeable on the subject to help put it together. I think they’re making a good effort, and hopefully we’ll see the entry improve as they work to complete it.

      • Steve

        I don’t see an effort there. That text has been up from the very beginning. They had months to ask someone to write something better

      • Libby Anne

        I’ll tell you what, how about you email me with your qualms with the section, and I’ll send that to my contact at Patheos. I don’t see any reason why we can’t get it fixed, and I’d be happy to be a part of that. And then maybe we can judge whether they’re making a good effort.

      • Andrew G.

        The errors in their atheism stuff were pointed out when Slacktivist moved there, which was quite a while ago; doesn’t seem like anything’s changed.

        I hope you’ve checked out the other bloggers – there are some real nasty pieces of work blogging there.

      • Libby Anne

        Andrew – I know that, but Patheos isn’t a blogging community united around certain ideas like FreeThought Blogs is. Any unity that takes place is within each portal, not across all of them. And my blog won’t be connected to any of the other portals, so I’m not too concerned. I mean, those bloggers would probably think what I, or Hemant, or the other atheist bloggers write is “nasty.” The point isn’t unity – the point is a variety of blogs discussing religion from different perspectives and viewpoints.

      • Steve

        If you only visit one of the blogs, you don’t even realize that the rest exists. There aren’t really interconnected in any way

      • Libby Anne

        Interestingly, Steve, they’re planning to make them a bit more connected but only within each portal. If that makes any sense.

  • nigelTheBold to the power of nigelTheBold

    Good fortune at your new home, Libby. I haven’t commented much, but I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. You’ve provided insight into aspects of my personal life (long story, won’t bore you with it), so I thank you.

    • Libby Anne

      I hope you continue reading my blog even after I move!

  • Incongruous Circumspection

    Second child!!!!!!! Congratulations!

    • Libby Anne

      I thought you knew! Sorry about that! Thanks for being so awesome to Melissa et al., by the way.

  • opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces

    Sorry to hear that you won’t be posting on ftb any more, but hope things go well in your new home.

    • Libby Anne

      And I hope you all follow me there, too!

  • JeseC

    Good luck! I can honestly say I’m in favor of this move – I think it will be more welcoming and comfortable for your religious commenters. I’ve read enough of your old blog that I actually miss them.

  • Didaktylos

    Good luck in your new home

  • G.Shelley

    That’s a shame, well for me at least, as I often read your posts when something strikes me as interesting in the freethoughtsblog newsfeed. I get a lot of content that way but the only blogs I follow directly are Dispatches and Pharyngula, both of which I have been reading for years
    Good luck in your new home, and if you can get back some readers who felt put off by what they thought the atmosphere here would be, that will be a good thing.

  • Mattir

    Well, crap. Now I have to add Patheos to the bookmark bar instead of wandering over there from time to time…

    I do appreciate your criticism of the Christian homeschooling movement, even if I do homeschool my own Spawns by locking them under the stairs and poking them with knitting needles to make sure they don’t have any theistic ideas… (This, for the record, is a joke – my kids have been vetted by dozens of Pharyngula OMs, not to mention PZ himself, and found to be not only unconfined, but alarmingly freethinking and now showing any knitting needle sized holes.)

    In other words, I was just getting into reading and commenting on your blog, and you’re a way bigger draw for me than Hemant since you discuss a world that I have to deal with every day. (And are you coming to Reason Rally, at least?)

    • Libby Anne

      I wish I could go to the Reason Rally, but I can’t because of school and whatnot. I hope to attend things like that at some point in the future, though!

  • Mattir

    Also, if I did a non-insane bibliography of “homeschooling ideas for families who want to use conventional schools”, as I did a couple days ago, might you add it to your archives? There’s some neat stuff out there…

    • Libby Anne

      At my new site, I’m planning to find a way to organize my archives so that they easily accessible and browseable, and one thing I plan to do is to have “resources” pages offering information on things like homeschooling, Christian Patriarchy, the Christian Right, etc. I’m actually thinking about asking for “testimonials” from those with experience with being homeschooled or with homeschooling, in order to collect together a wide variety of experiences and perspectives on it. And yes, that’s definitely something I could add to my resource page. I may be asking for readers’ help and input as I put these things together, and obviously, it won’t all be completed at once. I have all sorts of new ideas, though!

  • mcbender

    Good luck with the move. I’m sorry to hear that you’ll be leaving, but I’ll (a bit reluctantly) keep reading you over at Patheos. I do occasionally read Friendly Atheist, so it’s not any different, but I don’t particularly care for Patheos’ approach… ah well. Your voice will be missed here.

  • Martin

    But…but…you only just got here.

    I’ve really enjoyed your writing and I might follow you, but there’s only so many blog aggregations I can look at in a day.

    • Libby Anne

      That’s why I use google reader. It doesn’t matter where a blog is, and it gives you everything new on every blog you follow so that you don’t have to check a blog that hasn’t been updated.

  • John Morales

    Bye, Libby Anne.

    (It was nice to have you here)

  • HJ Hornbeck

    Awww, and just as I was discovering your work. Oh well, your move will finally get me reading Patheos on a regular basis! Good luck with it!

  • Yukimi

    I’ll be following you to Patheos (i’m a fan of The Friendly Atheist so it’s not a problem at all anyway) ^__^

    Perhaps you could ask Hemant how does he automatically post to twitter every time he posts? I use twitter to keep track of all my “vices” so I would personally appreciate it.

    Good luck with the move!!

  • kagekiri

    I’ll definitely be following you over on Patheos, congrats on your second kid, and thank you for all your writing! You do excellent work.

  • SueinNM

    I was starting to check your blog every day and have really been enjoying it. Your writing is so very good. Unfortunately, I pretty much prefer to stick with Freethought blogs and can’t work up any interest in going to a partially religiously based website, nor of reading Christian comments (especially conservative ones.) It’s hard for me to set aside time for reading blogs these days, and one-stop-shopping is what works for me.

    Really sorry you’re leaving, and good luck.

  • Beck

    I’ve loved reading everything you posted here. I already occasionally pop over to Patheos to read Hemant, but I’ll be a regular visitor for sure now. You may write for a very specific market, but I’m right there with you. :) It’s been so helpful to read your level-headed examinations of my childhood–I spent years thinking *I* was the crazy one one, and you’ve been instrumental in demonstrating otherwise.

  • Gordon

    Oh no!

    I mean I’ll be bookmarking you there, but I really thought you added something valuable here.

  • Elizabethgjf