Greetings Christian Bloggers.
Below is a detailed list of some of the updates to the ChristianBlog.Com website over the course of 2016.
Some of these changes will be minor, others are going to be a bit, well, not minor updates.
The most obviously change has been the introduction of a new design for the website.
While the overall design and colour pattern has stayed the same, we have made changes to the top bar / navigation, refinements to the main body of the website, updated the footer/bottom of the website, and are working on making forms look better.
As of the time of this announcement, we are only about 20% finished with the migration to the new design.
It is our number one priority over the weeks ahead.
This is a huge one!
For the first time in the history of ChristianBlog.Com we are introducing a one-to-one 'private' chat.
This private chat will allow you to have private conversations with your friends/contacts.
The private chat currently looks and works exactly like our standard all-members-accessible chatroom. So, please be careful to make sure it says "private chat" when you are wanting to send a private message to your friend. In the near future we will work on getting the design of the private chat to look a bit different from our standard chatroom, to help prevent any "opps" moments.
You can access the private chat of your friends by going to their profile page, clicking on the dropdown on the right side of their profile, and selecting the "private chat" option. You can also send a private message from the dropdown, as well as unfriend the person.
Please note that we have not performed a full scale security audit on our new private chat feature, so we caution everybody from sending any truly personal messages via this new feature, at least until a full security audit takes place - we will announce when it has been finished.
We are very excited about our new Community!
The new "Community" has fully replaced the "wall" that we have been using the last few years. It was time for a complete overhaul.
Over six months of work went into the development of our new Community. It still has a few issues that need to be worked out, but we are happy with it enough to shut down the previous wall and replace it with our new Community!
There is a brand new approach to privacy - one we really know everybody will come to love. You now have the ability to set if you want your Community post to be viewable by the entire CB membership, or just your CB friends! The previous wall only allowed your friends to see your wall posts, leaving many new members feeling left out or as if they were alone and nobody was reading their wall posts.
There is an entirely new 'like/love' feature.
The new Community has an entirely new feature to quickly see information about your friends (mouse-over their avatar).
The new Community will also handle videos and photographs in a much much better manner. Especially for those on mobile devices.
Because of the additional privacy options within our new Community, as talked about above, we have now been able to merge the previous 'prayers' features directly into our Community.
This might seem like it will be a big change, but give it time and we think everybody will see just how great our new Community feature is going to become and already is. By posting prayer needs within the Community our members will now have the ability to set if they want the entire CB membership to see their prayer need, or just have their friends see the prayer need. Plus all of the other great features of the Community are just going to help prayers be all the more personal.
With the addition of the great new private chat feature and the great new features provided by the Community, we wanted to do something extra special when it come to presenting which friends are online.
The addition of a new "Friends" icon, on the very top navigation of the website, is our new way of showing which friends are online, and a quick way to start a private chat within your online friend.
For those who might be a bit unsure of exactly how the list works, check out this post within the Community, that explains how the dropdown list works.
Our radio / music player has gotten a complete overhaul as well.
A new design, a new player that is both desktop and mobile friendly, and a volume controller that works significantly better.
Some of you may have noticed... we have removed advertisements, both google and amazon ads, from the new design.
We felt it was time for them to go bye-bye.
If you like this change, please, consider using the donation form on the bottom of the website.
Your donations can help off-set us removing the advertisements - and thus the lost revenue.
With the change to our new design, which features a header that always is visible, we needed to change the way that Sponsored Blogs are displayed.
What is now happening is that Sponsored Blogs are being rotated, every 18 seconds.
We will continue to evaluate if 18 seconds is a good time, or if it should be lengthen or shortened, over the months ahead.
With this change, the 'total views' within your Sponsored Blog management console is obviously going to be drastically skewed, as our new rotation method does not count the displayed.
The profile page has undergone a bit of cosmetic change as well.
We have removed third-party links.
We have also removed the additional buttons/icons to view a persons blogs, comments, and such information.
We will, in the near future, be adding a bloggers most recent blogs to the profile page.
We have no plans to reintroduce the ability to see bloggers comments and other options that were previously available.
We ask that our members give us time to finish getting the rest of the website updating to using our new design.
It is a very slow going process.
We are using this opportunity to not just update the design but to improve on things that need to be improved, as we go from page to page, section to section.
The last part of the website that we will be updating will be updating the "publish" page, which is going to be getting a drastic overhaul, and we hope to have that finished before the holiday season.
Excellent work, John! We are a "blessed" group of members to have at our helm a founder who is as interested as you in consistently making ChristianBlog such a wonderful venue. Thank you for the countless hours you have invested in these endeavors. It is greatly appreciated! -enje
I just discovered a potential problem if we are unable to see people's blogs listed on their profile. I don't know about anyone else but I have had friends specifically ask how they could read my blogs and the url I have given them in the past was to my profile page as they could access a list of my blogs there. Also, when I encounter people at CB I have not previously met, I go to their profile and take a look at their blogs as a way to get to know them better. I know other members have mentioned that they do that as well. As a blogger, I also do not like the idea that people have limited access to my previous blogs. I have had people rummage through my list before and pull up old blogs and I am also very glad that a blog continues to touch someone, years after it has been written. I hope that is not a permanent change and if it is, I hope you will reconsider allowing public access to a list of the blogs a blogger has published.