End of 2013 Changes To The ChristianBlog Services

Greetings Christian Bloggers,

This announcement is to notify of our members of changes that will be happening within the ChristianBlog.Com Services between now and January 01, 2014.

Thirteen months ago ChristianBlog.Com switched to become an All-Paid-Website in an effort to bring to a halt our continued negative monthly costs. This change resulted in a sizable percentage of our bloggers choosing to leave the website rather than support the ChristianBlog.Com ministry and continue blogging at our website. We knew, and openly shared, that both viewership and total blogs published each month, would drastically decrease for the foreseeable future. Exactly that has happened. However, over the last five months blog viewership numbers have stabilized and have once again started to increase for many of our bloggers. We have also been in a continuous back-and-forth battle with Google over having our website indexed and properly listed within the Google search results. This has caused a massive effect on search-engine viewership and is one of the top issues we have been working to resolve for at least the last four months. Yahoo, bing, and Yandex have continued to properly index the ChristianBlog.Com website and we hope to have the Google issue resolved soon.

While ChristianBlog.Com is still in a negative funds situation every month, the switch to an all-paid-website has gone a long way to reducing the pain it was causing to the owner of the website. We have reached around 70% of the total paid membership that we were hoping to reach within the first year of being an all-paid-website. The other 30% would not have resulted in the ChristianBlog.Com Services from still being negative-cash-flow on a monthly basis, however at this point in time, ever new member that joins as a paying blogger is a step towards that goal. Not counting forward-growth-costs, we would need an additional 125-150 paying members for us to reach a point where the ChristianBlog.Com Services are paying for itself. At this point in time, John B. Abela (@abelajohnb) is covering the costs of the rest in order to maintain operational status and keep the website online. As always, donations help out a great deal.

Thankfully, no changes are scheduled to happen during the 2014 year as a result of a negative-cash-flow factor. All of the changes to the ChristianBlog.Com Services listed below are a direct result of necessary changes due to new laws being passed, or changes made to help enhance the website, or changes made because our members have asked us to change them and we have decided our members are right and the changes should be made.

Scheduled Changes:

The follow changes are scheduled:

New Profile Page. Over the last four months we have been developing a new profile page. We have had a small number of our bloggers testing it out over the last few weeks and we are getting amazing feedback and praise about it. It will look much the same as our existing profile page, but yet it is also so much more, yet also less. Sometimes less is better and so far everybody that has seen it has been in agreement with us.

Reduced Personal Information. Part of the above change, a new profile page, comes a change to the amount of information that ChristianBlog.Com asks/gathers/collects about our members. We are doing away with the display of personal information such as the city and state/region that you live in, your gender, age, marriage status, and such information. Also going away are the biography and testimony sections. They were great to have and served a wonderful purpose, but this is the type of information that can be shared via a blog by each blogger.

Real Name Policy. The ChristianBlog.Com Services will be adding an new policy clause to our Terms of Service entitled "Profile Name Policy" which will state something along the lines of the following - it is subject to change between now and the time the policy goes into affect, which will either be December 01, 2013 or January 012, 2014, depending upon final review by the legal department.

ChristianBlog.Com makes connecting with people on the web a lot like connecting with people in the real world, so it is recommended that you go by your first and last name because it will help you connect with people you know and help them find you. {Upon the date: AS OF DATE} the ChristianBlog.Com Services will require all users to use their real name for public display.

With this new clause to our Terms of Service will come a minor change to other sections of our Terms of Service related to this new clause.

To help address some of the initial questions we expect to receive regarding this new clause we have put together a FAQ that we recommend all of our bloggers read.

Change of Membership Tiers:

Since we switched to an All-Paid-Website we have had a three paid tier membership along with a 60-day trial membership.

We have spent the last year listening to feedback provided by our bloggers regarding both our tiered membership and our trial membership. As always we are grateful for those who take the time to contact us and share their thoughts.

Two of the most common messages we have received from our members have been:

  1. The Tier 2 membership is unfair.
  2. The trial membership is too long.

So we have chosen to listen to our members and take action on both of these issues.

To better make the Tier 2 membership fair for all of our Tier 2 bloggers, we have decided to do away with the Tier 3 membership and give all Tier 2 members the existing Tier 3 features in addition to the existing Tier 2 features. All existing Tier 3 members will become Tier 2 members. We have already contacted all Tier 3 members about this change and have not received any objections to this change - and in fact, every response we have received from Tier 3 members, all have been in full agreement of this change. It is our sincere hope that all of our Tier 2 members understand and appreciate this change and that all of you enjoy the new features you will be receiving. We do not have an exact time frame for when we will be reclassifying the Tier memberships but it should be sometime before April 01, 2014.

Regarding trial membership, we will be reducing the duration from sixty (60) days down to thirty (30) days. We initially set the trial-membership at 60 days for when we made the change to an All-Paid-Website. With that now a year+ behind us, we feel the time has come to have it set at 30 days, which was our original trial duration plan, but we extended it to 60 days to help people migrate through the transitional period, and just never got around to reducing it before now. With the change in our Tier structure, this is a great time for us to also make this change.

Blogging: Save Draft:

On August 01, 2013 ChristianBlog.Com introduced a new blog creator tool (also known as an 'editor') and the response to this new editor has just been amazing. It has allowed our bloggers to take their blogs to a whole new level and with better ease.

We have kept the old editor online for those needing a few features that have not yet been made available to our new editor, specifically the ability to save drafts and for the 'publish it later' feature.

We have been working on the ability to save blogs as a Draft using the new editor and expect to have it available for all of our bloggers before the end of 2013. We will be doing a tier'ed roll-out of this feature between now and the end of the year. Tier 3 bloggers should expect to have access within the next two weeks. Tier 2 bloggers should expect to have access two weeks later, and Tier 1 bloggers should expect it sometime mid-December, with a full roll-out to all bloggers by years end. The "Save as Draft" has taken us the better part of two months to get working, so we want to make sure it is bug-free before it becomes available to all of our bloggers.

We do not yet have a working solution for the 'publish it later' feature. Thankfully less than 1% of our members use this feature so it is not effecting a large number of our bloggers. For those of you who do use this feature, we ask for more patience until the first of 2014 for this feature to start being solved. It might seem like a fairly simple feature, but it is a rather complex one to actually make work.

Shalom & Thank you!
ChristianBlog.Com

Phillip Jones @asifbyfire ·

I like all the changes you propose making. I might even be tempted to become a tier two member. Thank you. Phil

John Knox @watchmanjohn ·

With the change in the name policy; are we required to do something or will it happen automatically Can we use both names?

wmj