This will be an odd one. I realized it was time to do another one of these and couldn’t really think of a uniting theme for fandom or game things like I’d usually do. But I’ve been doing quite a bit related to the blog. I’ve also been working on internet things in general, such as expanding my knowledge of web design and programming languages. (I’ve started taking courses on SoloLearn, reviewing HTML and learning CSS.) But I’ll focus on the blog.
1. New (Shared) Blog!
My sister and I have talked about doing a project together for years. Actually, we started a shared blog a few years ago that some readers might remember. That one didn’t last long. The concept was giving opposing viewpoints (liberal and conservative) on religious issues. But it wasn’t very interesting to write, I doubt it was very interesting to read, and there really just wasn’t that much to discuss. A podcast with a debate like we’d have on the phone sometimes might have been different, but we didn’t have a way of recording that at the time and in text it just didn’t have the same effect. (Also I just didn’t have much of an opinion on a lot of the topics we considered.)
This time we’re not relying on contradictory opinions. We’ve grown closer together in our views anyway (though we definitely still have our differences), but we’re working on building different skills and planning for different aspects of ministry. She’s currently working in a church where she gets to do sermons every once in awhile and wanted more practice since she wants to work in public speaking.
Meanwhile I’m starting to focus on smaller and more personal ministry and also trying to be more inspirational and less strictly academic. And I’ve felt out of practice with Biblical studies and theology. I’m working on how to embrace that part of my background and speak to it honestly but also in a way that is meaningful for others. So we’ve decided to follow the lectionary and she’ll do a sermon while I write a devotional. For now, we’re aiming for one post a month. And this month, that’s today! So if that interests you at all, you can see us at Acts215.com.
2. Google Spaces
I already talked about this in my last post but it’s worth mentioning it again now that I’ve been playing around with it for awhile and have a better idea of what I might do with it. Google recently introduced a new service called Spaces, a small group sharing site. After using it for awhile, I realized that it’s fulfilling the interest I had in doing something like Patreon. I don’t think my audience is big enough or I offer enough to justify something like that, but I really like the bonus content creators typically offer their supporters on it. Things like previews of future posts, votes on topics that will be covered, the ability to watch them create the posts.
For me, that would mean smaller not-quite-topical videos, links and thoughts that do relate but aren’t going to provide enough material for a full blog post, notes on things I’m working on or considering. It also provides an easy way for readers to contribute to the process, since any members would be able to make posts of their own. Got an idea for a post or just thoughts on the topic in general? Add ’em! But it also works as just a mini-blog/bulletin board for me that can be easily shared with readers and friends. All the interaction and community participation of Patreon without the awkwardness of asking people for money.
I’ve now decided that’s probably not the best place for that. I’ll keep it to myself as a bulletin board, bring some of the bigger ideas here, if there’s enough of the little things that I want to share maybe I’ll actually make a separate Facebook page for it. Or a group for comics and religion or something. Future developments.
But I’m keeping the one I made to talk about visual communication – art, comics, sign language, pictorial writing systems, etc. You can find that here if you’re interested. I’ve had some good discussion happen over on that one and I have a better idea of what to do with it, since it’s a more limited topic. (I think that’s a good tip for Spaces, based on my limited experiences. Keep it small and specific.)
3. New (Old) Host!
My account with the hosting provider I’ve been using for this site for the past three years is expiring and renewal was waaaayyyyy too expensive. So I got to experience shopping around for a new host. Technically I’ve done that before, when I first went from a regular WordPress blog to a website with my own domain on my own space. But it’s been awhile and for some reason moving away from a paid host seemed scarier.
I looked at many different options and finally opted to just come back to WordPress. A small fee to keep my domain name, but no hosting fee. Perfect for me especially since I’m out of work right now and not quite sure when I’ll be able to find something new. The transfer was pretty painless and I’m very grateful for that. WordPress has changed a little since I moved away from it and is a bit different from the version of it I had on my previous space, but it only took a few minutes exploring to adjust. I think I’m going to like being back here. 🙂
(If I’ve done it right you probably won’t even recognize anything’s changed. Just sharing because it was an interesting experience for me.)