We have two issues to address today with changes to our Prayer Request and Praise Report features.
These two features have not been in existence for very long (in the long scope of the history of our website) so this was for all accounts and purposes our first major update.
A few hours ago we finished up converting our Prayer Requests feature here at the ChristianBlog.Com website.
We did four major things to the Prayer Request system:
 We migrated to the new design template,
 We integrated the Account Alerts system,
 We migrated to a new storage method,
 We added a Subject field to them.
The change to the new design went smoothly and we feel that the navigation of the Prayer System is now better and prettier than ever.
The integration of the Account Alerts will allow the person who posted the prayer request, and those who have commented to it, to be notified when a new comment is posted.
The migration to a new storage system allowed us to have a new Subject field, made it much faster, and allow it to store a whole lot more prayer requests, and will make the prayer request system integrate with other sections of the website in the future. Unfortunately, this also meant that any previously posted prayer requests have had to be purged. Sorry to everybody who posted a prayer request in the last few days. This was a decision we had to make for the long-term future of the entire Prayer Requests system. Please remember that up until just a short while ago ChristianBlog.Com did not even have a prayer requests feature, so this update is really the first major update to our prayer request system. Unless there are major core changes to our software in the future, this should be an update that will not have to be updated for a very long time, thus having to purge our prayer requests should not have to happen again for a very long time.
Lastly, we added a "Subject" field when adding a prayer request. Previously we just displayed 80 or so characters of the beginning of the prayer request. This made portability of the posted prayer requests into sections of our website very very difficult. Having added the Subject to the system will allow us to port the prayer requests into other aspects of the website in the future (for instance, into the profile page, into the wall system, etc).
We have decided to remove our Praise Reports feature from the ChristianBlog.Com website.
While your shock wears off allow us to explain our reason for this...
The more we have pondered on the issue of Praise Reports over the last few months the more we have realized that praise reports are a great thing! However, it has always seemed that the entire praise reports feature of our website has sort of gotten a back-seat when it comes to people reading them - a disappointment to both us and to those who post them.
As there is really no better way for us to highlight the Praise Reports feature, there is realistically only two options: Either we keep things how they are and the praise report feature continues to get neglected because it is not the highlight feature of our website, or we remove it and encourage people to post their praise reports as blog entries.
As the continual goal of the ChristianBlog.Com Service is to have people post blogs, we think having people migrate their praise reports into full scale blogs, is very likely the best way to go about this whole matter. It not only increases the amount of blogs at our website (which makes us happy) but as blogs gain more attention than praise reports, it will result in more people viewing the praise reports/blogs (which will make those posting them more happy) and thus we have a win-win for everybody.
We suppose some could say that if we are going to encourage people to migrate their Praise Reports into published Blogs... why not just do the same for Prayer Requests?
A very valid question that we have been asking ourselves - and we are sure most of you will also wonder.
The answer to this is simple:
People have come to expect a dedicated section of website to have a Prayer Requests feature. Something that is totally and completely in and of itself.
A prime example of this is that just shortly after we switched our main home page to the new website design we had two people within a matter of the first hour of the new website design be switched posting messages about their inability to find the prayer request feature. Even though the links were visible and all that, just the very hint of them being moved made people panic. You see, people here at ChristianBlog.Com have come to totally and completely depend upon the other members of ChristianBlog.Com to be there in times of great prayer need, that within minutes of something going wrong they are logging into ChristianBlog.Com to post their prayer request! The network of prayer warriors at ChristianBlog.Com is globally strong and united. The instantaneous need for getting prayer post and having the prayers go out around the world have to be something that is rock solid, that people know about, and that people will instantly be able to access. It is this last item that is why we have made this decision. When people need prayer, and need it quickly, those prayer warriors out there should not have to go digging through a bunch of blogs, or digging through a bunch of blogs, looking for blogs that are of the most urgent - prayer requests in times of great need.
We can only hope that this makes sense. It is a logical thought-out decision based upon vastly great importance and needs.
Prayer Requests are often times vitally important to have propagated as quickly as possible. People should not have to struggle to find them.
Praise Reports are almost never vitally time-important. They are an after affect of great things having already happened.
This is not to diminish the importance of Praise Reports, but rather a desire to highly Prayer Requests - and also bring a greater audience to those posting praise reports in the form of blogs.
Even those blogs that receive the least amount of views over the course of a week get far more views than 90% of the praise reports that have been posted over the last few months. So from a numerical standing, moving praise reports into a form of a blog just makes sense as well.
We hope to quickly see our new Prayer Requests feature here at ChristianBlog.Com quickly fill with some much needed prayer request, we hope that our new prayer request feature will enable those prayer warriors out there to have a much nicer place to spend your time with the new design and the Account Alerts, and we hope that everybody can see the logic in moving praise reports into published blogs.
Should anybody find any issues with our new prayer request system we ask that you please submit a bug report so we can get things fix as quickly as possible. Most new systems typically have at least one or two little bugs... just part of the beast we call internet software.