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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Blogging Advice Please

It was December last year when I first contacted Tim Challies about the possibility of changing my blog and/or leaving Blogger. Nine months later, I have still haven't done anything about it. Even worse, I haven't updated my blogroll very much either. So, as I look to make some changes in the future, I would like some input from you if are so inclined to respond . . . 1. This morning I have been updating my blogroll and have been looking for a good way to categorize the blogs. I thought about doing "bloggers I know" but I am not sure what has to constitute "knowing" a blogger. Then I thought about doing "daily reads" and "weekly reads" and all, but then that would be misleading as I probably would not stay true to that. Then I thought about general categories like SBC or Reformed, but then they overlapped. So I am at a loss on this. Do you have any suggestions or advice for organizing my blogroll? 2. Speaking of blogroll, I have been thinking a lot about adding a list of bloggers I disagree with. I have in my head a list already of blogs I watch closely that I seriously disagree with, so in my head I think, "Why not just put a list on the blog?" You know, like the affirmations and denials, it is good to present those whom you recommend and those whom you don't. But then again, linking them would be an implicit recommendation anyway. So what do you think? Should I provide a blogroll of those contra-P&P? 3. Also, if I choose to leave Blogger, what blog software do you recommend. From what I can tell, the big three are Wordpress, Typepad, and Moveable Type. At SBF, we use Wordpress and I like the admin page and dummy-proof functionality. Challies uses Movable Type, and others still use Typepad. So which would you recommend? 4. Finally, if any of you subscribe to P&P, I was wondering which program you use or prefer. From what I can tell, most seem to use Bloglines or Feedburner, but I have seen others use Google Reader and NewsGator. I haven't got on board with any of these yet, so I was wondering what feed host you use and would recommend to me. Over the summer months, I have been blogging on other computers, most which used Internet Explorer. Almost a year ago, I changed to Firefox and haven't turned back. I have noticed real formatting issues and frustrating template errors in IE and have been disappointed in viewing any blogs from it. Therefore, let me urge any of you . . . if you read blogs or intend to do so on a regular basis, let me encourage you to switch to Firefox. It will be well worth the change, trust me. Thanks for the help, and I hope to make P&P a better place both in form and content in the future.


Blogger Timmy said...

I noticed that some of the work I began on my blogroll has been updated and refreshed. I am far from completing it yet as there are some blogs which I will probably move and certainly some I will add as I have time . . .

8/12/2006 05:42:00 AM

Blogger justin said...

I have been doing a joint blog over at Wordpress with my fiance, and there are things I like about it but a few things I don't.
Google reader is nice, and they keep on improving it.

8/12/2006 07:50:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think having a contra blogroll is a great idea! It is very helpful for people to see where you stand and where others are in relation to you. I may consider doing the same at my site as well. Thanks for the idea!

8/12/2006 08:04:00 AM

Blogger Kevin said...

I used blogger for several years and was more than happy to make the leap to typepad. I like the typepad platform and haven't had any problems with anything there. They are quick to respond with help and they simply don't have the annoying problems that blogger has.

The only issue, of course, if price. If you could get cheap hosting, I would go with Wordpress. I have played with that a bit and think that might be my next step.

I have added you as the only entry on my "contra blogroll" ;-)

8/12/2006 09:46:00 AM

Blogger Dwayne H. Ewers, Sr. said...

Timmy, I have recently switched from wordpress on my own domain to a free wordpress.com account. You can see it here. I like wordpress better than blogger. Some reasons being file hosting, ease of admin panel, cleaner look, etc. It seems a bit easier to manage.

On the idea of a "contra" blogroll, I have considered something similar but decided against for the reason of feeling like I was giving the "contra" SOME credibility by linking to them. I would be interested in seeing how it works for you, if you decide to go for it.

Also, I use bloglines, but Google Reader is pretty good as well.

Like your blog, keep it up!

8/12/2006 09:50:00 AM

Blogger William E. Turner Jr. said...

Wordpress, wordpress, wordpress... Having switched from blogger only since March '06 (I recall)things have become a lot easier. The greatest thing is that there are countless add-ons which you can use to tweak your blog to your liking. I do think you need to know a bit more html though or at least be willing to learn. I don't know that much but enjoy playing around - I like the flexibility which blogger doesn't quite match.

My only apprehension in using a "contra" blogroll is that it is basically starting a fight. I am naturally a polemicist and it doesn't do my soul good. But that is me...

I am still thinking about my blog roll because there is no organization to it whatsoever.

8/12/2006 10:40:00 AM

Blogger Tony K. said...

contra blogroll is a great for publicity as well - think Servetus tactic

8/12/2006 11:58:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

RE: Blog platform/software,

It looks like we have a competition between Typepad and Wordpress. Now if only I can get Challies on here to defend MoveableType . . .

8/12/2006 02:51:00 PM

Blogger Nick Kennicott said...

I'll chime in with something completely different - I use, and love, Squarespace. They give many different options as to how you want to edit it to include doing everything from the ground up. The set-up is by far the easiest thing I have seen for editing and manipulating and Squarespace support is more than helpful. Choose your own templates, make your own graphics, import your own fonts... oh yeah, you get like 50GB of storage as well. Good stuff.

I use NewsGator and like it. I haven't tried any of the others, but find Newsgator to be well organized and easy to use...

Looks like I'm the odd man out on everything. I always look for the stress-free elements of life!

8/12/2006 10:04:00 PM

Blogger Mathew Sims said...

I use a "daily read," "weekly read," etc. for my blog role. I don't feel guilty if I don't get to one of them dailys one day, but generally that's my habit.

Also, I tested Wordpress and did not like it very much.

Soli Deo Gloria

8/12/2006 11:17:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

@ Nick,

Yes, you are weird on all accounts. Just kidding bro.

@ Matthew,

What exactly about WordPress did you not like?

@ Kevin,

I looked for your "contra-Cawley" list and was found wanting. Maybe I am not that bad afterall . . .

8/13/2006 02:52:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Here's the deal with contra-P&P in my thinking:

My lifelong friend from childhood (1st grade on the monkey bars to be exact) is Caleb Clanton. Caleb is a devoted Christian but not of the typical, cookie-cutter evangelical mold. A year ago he graduated from Vandy with a PhD in philosophy and has been teaching there for the past three years. During that time, he has encountered every possible stripe of thought as you could imagine, ironically enough from divinity students who like to challenge him.

Months ago we had the conversation about how the evangelical conversation within itself is separated from the world at large, and the distance is growing greater by the day. Our blogroll often becomes a list of our closest friends who would agree with us most of the time and usually end up patting ourselves on the back. Of course, I can wholeheartedly that we need the affirmation and encouragement. But I don't want to be naive or blind or conversant with those who are like me only.

So having a "contra-P&P" blog is, IMO, not tagging my enemies but simply point out some that I disagree with--disagreements which could be very small and insignificant or very large and serious.

You know how the back of the book recommendations between scholars are predicable sometimes? You know, how the same people recommend the same people because they are all in the same inner circle and recommend each others' books? I think blogrolling can cause the same effect if not balanced with an honest and balanced approach where you atttempt to address your weakneses as well as advocate your strengths.

I know that is a long answer to my thinking, and most of you have fallen asleep by now, but I have given this a lot of thought. So I will probably put something up in the near future. Don't think it as an exhaustive list of blogs/links nor a list that carry any other criteria except that I am carefully watching, reading, and writing about the things they are writing about--except from the perspective they would not agree with.

8/13/2006 03:05:00 AM

Blogger William E. Turner Jr. said...

It looks like you could add Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new weblog to your blogroll. www.ahmadinejad.ir

Although I am not sure if I would want to put him on my contra blogroll! :)

8/13/2006 04:01:00 PM


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