Greetings Christian Bloggers,
It was only about 16 days ago that our website suffered a major outage for a short period of time, and consequentially left the website moving very slow for a number of days. In the end the only solution was first to take the website offline completely for a few hours, and than throw a lot of money at upgrading the quality of the server/computer that ChristianBlog.Com runs on. During that process the decision was made to upgrade some of the software that the ChristianBlog.Com depends upon. That, unfortunately, did not go over very well, and once again we found the CB website offline for about a day. Eventually a resolution was found and the next few days were spent trying to get everything else resolved.
Before all of that happened we notified those who were CB Group Administrators that sometime between than and mid-2016, mostly like mid, the CB Groups would be going off-line in order to completely rebuild them. The decision was made, when trying to resolve all of the above explained issues, to just take the CB Groups offline and attend to them being upgraded now, instead of later in the year.
That decision was about 10 days ago.
Over the last ten days, with the exception of the standard monday-day-off, all efforts have been put into rebuilding the CB Groups from the ground-up, as they say.
The last day or two has been doing testing to make sure all of the major, and hopefully minor, parts of the CB Groups are bug free.
We are now announcing that we are ready to bring them back online.
You can access them at: https://www.christianblog.com/groups/as well as by clicking on the "Groups" at the top of the website, when you are signed into the website.
There has been some changes to the way that they look. They 'wall' aspect is still the same looking, yet with minor changes to clean appearances up. The form areas for posting new posts, as well as comments, have been given a massive update, and eventually the entire website (blog comments, the wall, private messages, etc) will be updated to use this much cleaner and nicer looking interface. You may notice that the buttons on the main post are automatically displayed - no more clicking on the message box for them to show up - however, they are greyed out until you start typing a message, at which point they will turn from grey to blue. There is even a green state for the buttons at times. The reason for sharing all of this is that now, hopefully, the buttons and message areas are going to look the same on almost all devices - be it a windows pc, mac desktop, iphone, ipad, android tablet, or whatever.
Notifications are obviously a big part of the CB Groups. At the moment we are going to start with a very broad implementation of notifications for Groups. As we hear back from bloggers on their likes/dislikes of how the notifications behave, we will look into making changes. Our thoughts are that because the CB Groups are a low activity part of our website, that notifications should not get out of control.
Now for the two unfortunate parts:
First, one of our Group Administrators decided to shut down their group, so we have shut down the grandparents group.
Second, we know we said nobody would have to rejoin groups, but it turned out that this was just going to be a bad idea in multiple ways. So, unfortunately, all of you that use to be a member of one of the Groups, if you would like to still be a member of the Group, you will need to re-join the group. This is a very easy process. You just confirm you want to join it, and the Group Administrator will have the chance to approve you within their Group. It is, of course, completely up to the individual administrator of the individual groups to make that decision.
With that in mind, this is a good time to point out that we have placed gender-restrictions on certain groups. The CB Group for the ladies out there, "Princesses of God" will not be able to have men join the group. The CB Group for the guys out there, "Men of God" will not be able to have women join the group.
We have also fully integrated bloggers IgnoreList into the CB Groups. This applies for both Group Posts and Group Comments. Likewise, if you happen to have the administrator of a Group within your IgnoreList, you will not be able to join the specific Group.
Interested In Starting A Group?
If you are interested in starting a Group that you think could draw in enough bloggers to keep the Group active (think: one active discussion a week) than let us know and we will give it some consideration.
We are looking for long term commitments when it comes to setting up and administrating CB Groups (one year commitment, at a minimum.)
Sorry but this option of being a Group Administrator is only available to those who are either PLUS or PRO bloggers, free account bloggers cannot be a Group Administrator.
Our greatest apologies go out to the entire CB Community for the down-time of the CB Groups over the last two weeks. It has been painful, we understand. Thankfully this new CB Groups should be the last time we need to upgrade the Groups in a very long time. We went the extra mile in order to lay down a long-term foundation for the Groups. We hope they serve you well.