NLQ Open Comments ~ Thurs. May 27, 2010

Ever since NLQ’s one-year anniversary when I opened the comments on the blog ~ and readers rewarded me by posting so many supportive and thoughtful comments ~ I’ve been thinking about how I might incorporate open comments without distracting from the NLQ forum.  I really like the “community” feel of the forum ~ but I’m aware that the majority of No Longer Quivering readers do not join the forum and participate in the discussion there.

So ~ here’s my idea:  I’m going to try putting up “Open Comment” posts every few days ~ no particular topic ~ just a post that allows anyone to comment ~ to see what sort of response we get and how it affects interaction, page views, etc.

With all that said ~ here’s the first “NLQ Open Comment” post.  Tell me what you think!

  • Susan

    I just found NLQ this week and have enjoyed all of the posts I’ve read so far. I was brought up in a fundamentalist church with strict parents. I started questioning various aspects of religion in 2nd grade and by 5th grade knew I could never believe a literal interpretation of the bible. My legitimate questions to Sunday School teachers were completely blown off and I was treated like I was being an obnoxious brat for asking. My mother would slap my face if I questioned religion and gave me no answers or feedback of any kind. I’m now a reluctant atheist (gasp) raising my children with no church. I love reading about other people’s experiences (both good and bad) with religion.

  • Julia

    I’ve been reading NLQ for several months now, and for me, it offers a fascinating look into a lifestyle radically different from my own. I’m very interested in life stories other than mine, so it was a gem of a find. I would suggest some kind of system for assuring that the various stories are updated more regularly, and perhaps a bit more editing for grammar. Really fantastic site, keep it up!

  • Sarah

    Hi Vyckie
    I’ve been reading NLQ since the very beginning and I absolutely love this site – however I’m not liking the ad screen that I have to “skip” to get to the website. It makes the site look a bit cheap and nasty, and I usually tend to instantly close any website that opens up with an ad like that! It would be a massive disappointment and a huge loss to the ex-QF movement if people didn’t come to the site as a result of intrusive advertising. I understand that you need to make money but perhaps just stick to the side bar ads?

  • Hannah

    Hi,

    I like the idea of comments and I think it facilitates informative conversation a lot of the time so generally I feel very positive about this. However you need to think about yourself here as well. I wouldn’t want you to face extra stress in reading/moderating unpleasant comments. If it gets to onerous don’t be afraid to stop and go back to the old system!

  • another susan

    I really do enjoy your website, and I’ve also been reading since near the beginning, but I ditto — the full-page ad that needs to be ‘skipped’ is really annoying. Not only that, but because I have a slow connection it takes quite a bit for the ad to load to the point where I can skip it. It’s greatly cut down how often I visit and read — I tend to check a week’s worth of posts at once now instead of reading daily.

  • http://nolongerquivering.com Vyckie

    Wow ~ I really appreciate the input here. I know there are a lot of readers who visit No Longer Quivering regularly ~ and it’s so nice to hear from you :)

    About the full-page ads ~ They are about 1,000 times more profitable than the regular ads ~ which could really be helpful IF you all can stand them. But if not ~ I would rather have readers than money.

    When I only had sidebar ads, they were earning approx. $0.02 per day ~ whereas the full page ads are bringing in $2.00 or more per day. I have it set up so that each reader should only encounter one full page ad every six hours unless you return to NLQ using a different browser.

    Would it make a difference if:

    1) I set the ads to open only after you’ve looked at a couple pages first?

    2) I restricted the ads to show only “family friendly” content?

    Let me know! I really do value your input. :)

  • lisbet

    Well I read every post and have for a while, including going back through the archives- but I do so in fits and spurts and just don’t have the extra time beyond that to join the forum. But I am so glad you’ve been feeling better! I have a severe anxiety disorder, so I know from panic attacks! Anyway, I talk about topics I read about on here all the time with friends and family. (Just a very brief comment for now.)

  • maggie

    I’ve been reading for months now, I usually lurk around the forum too sometimes. There’s not too much I can contribute, since I’m an atheist and have never been in a religion (aside from supporting you, Vyckie)! You should maybe try to find “Losing Faith in Faith” by Dan Barker, sometime. It might be helpful for you to see what happened to him when he became an atheist after being very religious.

  • maggie

    Oh, and as for the ads — I don’t see the one people are complaining about, but I promise I’d be happy to put up with it anyway.

    I wonder if it’s because I have Firefox adblocker.

  • http://nolongerquivering.com Vyckie

    lisbet ~ so nice to know you’re here :) The panic attacks are horrible ~ it’s a relief that they’ve let up recently and I’ve been feeling much better ~ yay!

    maggie ~ I’ll check out that book. Seems like I’ve heard of Dan Barker ~ doesn’t he have a website? Thanks for the recommendation. :)

  • Mimi

    I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s stories and thoughts. I was brought up Roman Catholic so there are many similar ideals (though I bet a lot of QFs would consider Catholics heretics) and it’s so nice to hear about people working through them. My husband is one of two children of people with zero and two siblings. I am one of four, and my parents both have seven, I have 24 first cousins. Trying to explain my family to him has been so hard, much less letting him know how we all know that it’s hard to remember which one we are, and don’t get offended when you ask!

  • pjf

    i dont know if anyone else sees it, but there is a really nasty looking ad on the side from hal-con…am i being too much a prude? i thought it was a lead in for an adult-only site….not quite the statement you want on the site i would gather. BUt otherwise, i am really liking the NLQ posts.

  • Ex-Adriel

    Hello – it looks like the comments are going well!

    I wanted to weigh in on the full-page ads – they’re a little bit of an imposition, but I try to remember that each one I see gets you a little money, so I don’t mind. The only downside (maybe just this type of ad) is that I have to look at it for a few seconds (oh the horror) until a second page loads with the “Skip this Ad” button. : ) That’s what makes it seem like a hijack – there’s no way to skip at once, so there’s this thought “oh, crap, where am I – ” and then the skip button appears and I realize it’s just an ad.

    It might be nice to make a blog post specifying that you’re letting full-page ads in so people don’t think they’re being hacked or hijacked.

  • http://nolongerquivering.com Vyckie

    I like your suggestion, Ex-Adriel ~ and I’m going to set up an explanatory post now. Thanks everyone, for your comments. I’m thinking that having the “Open Comments” post is going to work out well for those who don’t have the time or inclination to join the forum ~ and also for the rest of us so we can get to know you a bit better. :)

  • Rachel Melcher

    I don’t frequent the forums as I read NLQ posts through a feed on LiveJournal.com. If comments were open, I’d surf from that feed to your site in order to comment on posts that I had something to say about. Otherwise, I am not on your site. Visiting, I find the ads distracting and it can be hard to find the content in such a cluttered visual field. Knowing the money gained through this inconvenience goes to you and not some nameless corporation does make it less-irritating.

    I have been a reader from the beginning. The Quiverfull movement seems so innocuous in the hands of television programs like the Duggars’ where it is boiled down to a sort of cute Little House on the Prairie lifestyle with the highjinx of many children underfoot. The concept of children as arrows in a war to come is particularly frightening to me as I live openly as a witch and neopagan. The growing influence of QF and other born-again Christian ideals in our government is something that makes me worry about the future health, freedom and safety of my family. Reading your blog helps me to understand what the movement really is and what it is capable of. So thank you–I’ve been honored and touched to hear so many stories from so many individuals that left QF or fundamentalist teachings behind.

  • Staceyjw

    Hi,
    I’ve been a reader since nearly the beginning, but rarely post in the forums because I rarely have anything worth adding. Plus I’m lazy, and use to using the comment section on blogs! I’m also an atheist and feminist, and find QF threatening and dangerous to families.

    I don’t see the ads, they don’t come up on my PDA, but knowing why they are there would make them OK by me. After all, the more $ your site makes, the easier life is for you- the more you have energy to write. And that’s what’s important!

    You need a sponsor for your site, as it really does offer a lone sane voice and a service to ex QF’ers not available elsewhere. A feminist magazine or org ought to help out, as this is vital to womens rights.
    Also, when it comes to $, I bet most readers understand what’s needed and feel like they know your family pretty well. So, don’t be afraid to do a fundraiser every so often, maybe raffle off something donated. You are a hero to many, and you saved your family even with such challenging circumstances- we don’t mind pitching in when we can.

    Last thing- when you can, it would help if you reach out to atheist groups. Not only are they interested in your story and QF in general, they are often very helpful in practical ways, which is what you need. Pharnygula aka PZ Myers, Freindly Atheist, Greta Christina, Daylight Atheism, Common Sense Atheism, and Skepchick are all popular, high quality sites, and are. Written by friendly people- send them some of your key stories, let them know your out there. The story of you and your uncle is especually compelling for an atheist! Campus atheist groups and others like FFRF might be helpful as well. Don’t be afraid to ask, atheists love being helpful in tangible ways, even more so when religion has hurt someone.

    Keep up the good work!!!

    Staceyjw

  • http://padremickey.blogspot.com Padre Mickey

    Hi,
    I’ve been reading your site for the past two months and am fascinated. My parents were missionaries and members of a Pentecostal church and I attended a school for missionary kids run by fundamentalist Christians. I had a lot of problems with their ways of understanding the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, but none of them were as extreme as the stuff you talk about here!
    I’m an Episcopal priest and missionary and I think one of the important things is helping people understand the importance of compassion and love over any doctrine or dogma. I guess the folks you all grew up with would burn me at the stake!
    Thanks for your site and the work you do. Keep it up.

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