When Good Blogs Go Bad(ass)
Before I give you the grand tour of the new website, I’d like to take just a few moments and explain the motivation behind the changes that have been made. As the graphic above states, this is, in fact, the 200th post to Hunting for God. For almost three years I have been posting to this blog, the final two of which saw me posting two times per week. Unlike other websites which get to post about external events, HfG is focuses solely on internal ideas. This means that there are now nearly 200 posts (not counting guest posts) that chronicle my own dealings with an ineffable, infinite, invisible, all knowing God who only sometimes feels the need to use words. It was hard, exhausting, mentally taxing work. And mostly, I loved it.
Over the past few months, however, my passion for sharing myself began to wane. What more was there to say? I found it harder and harder to write a post without repeating one I had already written months ago. Finally, last Monday I hit a wall. I couldn’t keep doing this. I couldn’t keep going like I had been. What was I going to do? Continue posting twice a week for the rest of my life? That sounded daunting and monotonous. However, I know for a fact I’ll never stop growing and as long as I’m growing I’ll have the urge to write about it… So what could I do? I had already answered that question a year ago, but I didn’t know it yet.
When I started posting on a regular basis, I realized that my dream for Hunting for God was to create a website that was bigger than just me. I want this to be a place where anybody can share their stories and ideas and experiences about their own hunt for God. When I closed my eyes and really imagined it, what I saw looked more like a magazine than a blog. I wanted to hear new voices. I wanted to see monthly columns. I wanted to see a missive from the other outcasts that were willing to venture away from their safe beliefs and follow God’s call to the unknown. After taking a few days to think about the direction of HfG, I realized that I wanted to see that, right now.
So here it is. This redesign is the first baby step toward becoming something new and different.
Please keep your arms and legs inside the website at all times…
On with the tour! Similar to the way HfG was laid out before, there are a list of permanent pages at the top of the blog. Each of these have been rewritten and optimized to handle a whopping 8.7 times more awesome than before. Astounding! I would particularly like to encourage you to check out the Contributors page, as we have yet another monthly contributor! We’re excited to have Matt Cummings from “Finding Meaning” joining our ranks as a fellow hunter. You can expect to see his first post with us next month.
Just beneath that, on the left side of the page you’ll see a dark and foreboding menu. There’s nothing to fear, that’s simply a new navigation panel! Up until this point, I’ve never made wide use of a WordPress feature called “Categories”. Categories, as you might suspect, allow you to flag each post for easier sorting by topic. Each of the items listed on that menu are new categories for various types of posts you’ll be seeing in the near future here at Hunting for God:
Around the Campfire: This is a monthly column that will focus on other hunters and their various run-ins with God. In a perfect world, these stories would be submitted by you, dear readers. If there has ever been a moment in your life where you feel like God’s presence was almost palpable please share it with us! You can do so with our handy-dandy Contact page above.
Features: The final Monday of every month will see an extended article posted. A little longer and more academic than our usual posts, our Features will be an in-depth look at a specific topic or idea.
Tools of the Trade: This column will appear at the beginning and end of the month. In it, the writer will choose an activity or spiritual discipline to participate in for an entire month. The first post will explain what they’re doing, why, and what they hope to get out of it. The final post will discuss how it went and share any epiphanies gleaned along the way.
I want to add more columns to the line up, but those are all I’ve been able to come up with so far. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let us know in the comments. Seriously. I’d love to write the type of posts you would be interested in reading.
Help me, reader. Help me help you.
HfG is something I’ve been doing for three years, and I’m more excited about it now than ever. I really hope you are too, because I need your help. Let’s real-talk.
An average post usually sees less than fifty views. I want to see that number grow. Not because I’m on an ego trip, or because I feel like the numbers would validate me, but because I believe in what we say and do. I know that there are others out there who could benefit from our writing and I want them to have that opportunity. If you’ve read and enjoyed any of the past 200 posts, I feel like that gives me the authority to ask you for a favor: Tell somebody about Hunting for God. You can click the “Like” button over on the right hand side of the page. You can tweet about it, or paste the link to the homepage into a FaceBook status. Heck, you can just click on one of the “share” buttons at the bottom of each post. If a post helps you or makes you think about something differently… Let somebody know.
As we progress down this new path, the need for writers and contributors will only continue to grow. All of those people I talked about in that last paragraph? They need to hear your story. There are other people out there, going through the same things you are, and they will continue to believe they’re alone unless you show them differently. Write for us. Maybe just one post, maybe several, it’s up to you. We can slap your name all over it, or you can be anonymous. If you feel like maybe you have something to say or share, tell us. For more details check out the “Join the Hunt” link above.
One more thing… I know this post is going long, so I’ll try to make it brief. Right now, Hunting for God exists on a server at wordpress.com because they let me do this for free. Unfortunately, there are limitations that come with that: I am glued to templates when designing the site, the ability to publish new types of content is diminished, I am unable to optimize the website for outside traffic, etc. The next step in my dream for HfG is to see the readership help move the website to a paid domain and host. For more information on that process and why I’m asking for help, I would encourage you to check out the “Donate” page above.
Thank you so much for joining us for these past 200 posts; I hope to hear from you throughout the next 200. Until next time, happy hunting.