Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some Changes In These Here Parts

Once you've worked through the first stages of confusion ("Is this The Voice? What happened? Who's the old guy in the robe? People actually comment on this thing?"), you might have noticed one or two small changes to the blog. And more of them are coming. Most of these changes are meant to help conversation happen, to give feedback to the bloggers (me, and on the rare sabbath full moons, Seth or Ryan), and to help us make this blog into a place where we can actually learn about God together. It's part of an ongoing effort to move from "blog" to community.

The Conversation Bar
When you click onto The Voice, you can now scroll down and see the most recent comments that have been made on the site. This will help you see where the conversations are happening and to jump right in. Also, when you make the first comment on a post, others will see it and will be able to reply to what you've just said.

Twitter at the Bottom
Since there are some things that are best said in 140 characters, there are now Twitter updates at the bottom of the website. In time, I'm hoping to get a couple of other guys tweeting; it should be easier to have people do quick updates than to ask for full articles on a regular basis, so hopefully it will take the pressure off for present and future Voice contributors.

Links for Learning
On the side, you should notice a ton of extra links to theological journals, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and a site for free online Christian Classics. This is just so that you can see some intelligent, scholarly, educational takes on what the Bible means, and how to make sense of it, and what it has to do with our lives. If you don't feel smart enough to contribute to the conversation, these are places you can go to brush up on your understanding of things.

Immediate Reactions
If you have only got one or two seconds when you're done reading, or you don't think you're good with words, you can quickly rate each post as "interesting" "educational" "boring" or "encouraging". Just so me, Seth, and Ryan know whether we are doing a decent job. Also, feel free to suggest some extra options for immediate reaction ratings.

Main Page Abbrev.
On the home page, all the posts are cut off after the first paragraph. This makes it easier to skim through all of the posts and find one that's most interesting to you. If there are any more changes that you think could be made, just leave a comment. Peace.

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