I have published 246 blogs and shared 63 comments.
I published my first blog on Saturday the 28th of January 2006.
My most recent blog was published on Thursday the 4th of April 2019.
I currently live in: United States.
My local date/time is: Sun 26, 06:39 pm.
Two quick updates and one quick question:
For security purposes, we are reverting away from staying signed in for three+ months and all accounts will need to be signed back into on a weekly basis. This is better than the 'every time you visit' that we had a number of months ago, while still providing a high level of security. The automatic sign out will take place on Thursday mornings (PST/UTC-8) each week.
We will be discontinuing the sending of Direct Message notifications of "Financial Transactions" for donations and monthly subscriptions. Feedback seems to indicate members find them annoying.
We have not seen anybody in our chatroom for about two months. Is it not working for everybody or has everyone just decided to abandon it?
To our users in Russia: Please be aware that if you contact us via email we will not be able to response. This is due to the recent blocking of ProtonMail within Russia. We use ProtonMail for our email service to be able to provide our members the highest level of email privacy possible and to protect our own assets and services. With the recent (last 48 hours) blocking of ProtonMail within Russia this is something outside of our control. If you need to contact us you can do so via a direct message to us.
We have added a new featured called "Ministry Name" that will allow ministries (churches, personal ministries, etc) to have their ministry name displayed instead of their personal name. This feature is available to all members with an upgraded account.
Sadly, last month (May) we had our worst financial month in over three years, at $780 income. We need $1200 a month to keep our bills paid, and are currently in the negative $1139 for the year. Any above-and-beyond donations would be truly appreciated!
We currently have three different types of blogs that are being displayed:
Card Blogs (those blogs, by gold members, displayed at the top of the home page that have an image attached to them)
Non Card Blogs (those blogs, by gold members, displayed below the Card Blogs, within the "recently published blogs" section)
Free Member Blogs (those blogs, by non-gold members, that are displayed within the "more recently published blogs" section)
After doing some statistical analysis, the view differences between the Card Blogs and the Non Card Blogs are beyond what was expected.
For almost all Gold Members that have Card Blogs, there is a 3.2x higher view count for their Card Blogs.
Just as an example: if a Gold Member has 10 blogs that are not Card Blogs and 10 blogs that are Card Blogs: say their 10 non Card Blogs get 1000 views, by the numbers we are seeing, that would mean their 10 Card Blogs would get over 3000 views.
So the numbers at this point look pretty amazing: the Card Blogs are having a significant increase in overall blog views for those blogs that meet the requirements, which of course are very easy:
Be a Gold Member of the ChristianBlog.Com website.
Have an image within your blog that is at least 300px wide and 200px in height.
And, of course, on our visitors home page, only Gold Member Card Blogs are being displayed, so that further helps drive traffic to our bloggers taking advantage of our Card Blogs!
We have added a new clause to the ChristianBlog.Com "Content Policy", entitled "Goods or Services", which goes into details on the non-allowances of using the ChristianBlog.Com Services for means of trading or selling goods or services.
Here is something we thought some of you might be interested in seeing - but sadly it is a "far down the road" kind of feature it looks like.
If you go to this blog (it is only available on that one blog) and scroll down to the bottom of the blog content, just below the "published date/license/link" section, there will be a new section with a media player inside of it.
If you click on the play button it will read to you the context of the blog!
This is something that is about 80% ready to be released, in regards to the development of the feature.
Unfortunately the real issue is a financial one. We are looking at about $100 per month, ever month moving forward, in order to turn this on, and that is just for future blogs!
If we were to turn this on for all previously published blogs it would cost us over $12,000 USD.
Given CB is currently $4,000 USD in debt, it is just not something we can do at the moment, either for future blogs or past blogs.
But, think about how great it would be to be able to offer those who have difficulty reading (my own father is a prime example) the ability to HEAR blogs! WOWZER!
One of these days the Lord will provide the financial means to let us do all these kind of cool things that we want to do to the CB website!
Sometimes in life things just end up working out for the worse - beyond worse, just downright bad. Things that are outside of your control - beyond your ability to do anything about them. Things that make you want to throw in the towel - but not just...
So over the last, well, a couple of years, we have been getting bugged to change the CB Chatroom, even though it works perfectly well (we feel) and we have been trying a few different options for the last 6-8 months and have found two that are viable, with one of them seeming to be the better of the two.
We have been doing a few testing's with a few different members and wanted to open our testing up to a larger group of folks.
Important thing to note: this chatroom is not something that we have made. It is a third-party chatroom. It is an extremely popular chatroom in the world of online gamers, but that is actually a good thing, as online gamers pretty much demand things are super easy and always work.
So, being a third-party service, it will mean folks will have to use something that is not located here at CB.
While we can link to it, it will not "be" a "CB specific" kind of thing.
It will also mean CB members will have to create an account at the chatroom service/website/app (which is very easy, just confirm email address).
The chatroom can be accessed via a website, or via software you install on your windows or mac desktop/laptop (we use the windows software), and it can also be used on things like an ipad and iphone. We recommend installing the software on your computer, it is much nicer to use, will run in the background, which is nice so you can get notification beeps.
All of this is free. There is also no charge for you to join the chatroom. And, there is no charge for CB to use/have the chatroom. win win as they say. There are some advanced features that we might want to pay for, down the road, if this actually works out for us.
So, if any of you want to try out this new chatroom, here is an "invite link" which will walk you through the very easy process.
At this point in time we are not saying/committing to using this new chatroom, this is still in the testing stage an
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I will be out of town from Friday (March 2) until probably Thursday (March 8) visiting out of state family and friends - I will be going on a nice 1,200-mile (~2000km) drive.
I no longer own a laptop so I will be unable to do anything other than basic check-in via my iPhone (if there is anybody out there with an extra $4,200 USD that would like to buy me a top end mac book pro, that would be awesome )
As always, if anything comes up that really needs my attention hit the 'report' button and I will get notified about it. I will probably will not be able to immediately do anything about it, but maybe.
If there is anything related to your account that you would like to have done in the next two weeks, please let me know before mid-day Thursday (March 1.)
The (visitor / not signed in) home page has been updated.
We have transitioned it to show a three across, three rows down, design.
We will be updating our (signed in) home page to a similar design in the near future.
We have also changed the requirements to have your blog displayed on our new home page:
You will need to be a Gold member
Your blog will have to have an image within it
a) The image will have to be an image uploaded to your CB account.
b) Your image will have to be at least 350px in width, with 600px or larger being ideal (especially in the months ahead)
Adding photos to your blog is very easy. Simply go to the "Photos" section of your account before you publish your blog and upload the photograph you want to use within your blog. Once you have finished the uploading process, go through the normal process of writing your blog by setting your blog subject, and on the page where you type your blog, click on the "Attach Photo" icon on the text edit, and press the little icon (the middle one works best) next to the "Primary" of the photograph you just uploaded. Super simple and should take about 30 seconds.
The Comments Counter on the Blogs page has finally been fixed. This was no small task, thus the long delay in getting it working.
Next up will be trying to get it fixed on the Dashboard.
Work on rebuilding our Notifications/Alert system is also moving forward, rather slow, but it is moving ahead a little bit each day. At over a half-million alerts, the current system is handling things better then expected, but still has reached a point where it needs revamping. Or rather, rebuilding it from the ground up, which is what is happeing.
A very important notice to those using the ChristianBlog.Com API system:
We have updated the Identifier length from a 5-character string to a 6-character string.
This change is effective Feb 07, 2017
If your in-house database structure is using, for example, "char(5)" you should immediately update it to, again, for example, "char(6)"
(and yes, we highly recommending using char() and not varchar() type)
We realize this is an unannounced and rather drastic change to make without a heads-up, but it just needed to happen.
The difference between a char(5) and a char(6) is massive.
char(5) = 60,466,176
whereas for a char(6)
char(6) = 2,176,782,336
Which will give us an additional 2,116,316,160 (two billion+) additional Identifiers to work with, simply by adding one additional byte (length) to the Identifier field length.
As we have switched our entire services to using this type of Identifier, we realized the need to make the switch to a six character Identifier.
Our API Documentation will be updated in the days ahead to document this change.
This new graph shows a yearly overview of your blogging activity. Each square on the graph represents a day of the year, and the squares/days that are blue are days that you published a blog.
This type of yearly grid graph has become rather popular over the last few years, so thought it would be a neat graph to add here at ChristianBlog.Com for our financially supporting bloggers.
The attached picture below shows the yearly graph for one of our most active bloggers.
It seems like the alerts/notification system is starting to lag a bit.
Took a peek into the database and it looks like there have been over 569,000 alerts delivered since our new alert system went into place a year or two ago.
It might be the time that we will need to restructure how that part of our code and database work.
But that will be no small project to take on.
Due to some unexpected technical issues, the ability to upload photographs from the blog publisher page has been disabled. You will need to utilize the 'Photos' page of your account, then copy and paste the address/url of the photograph into your blog. We do not have an ETA on the upload button returning to the blog publisher page at this time.
We have added a new feature to the website, for those bloggers with an upgraded account, that will display your "Lives in" and "Hometown" information on your profile page.
We are calling this new feature: "Places Lived".
Additionally, if you provide your current location, we will display the current weather on your profile so your friends can see the current temperature where you live.
Only your friends will be able to view this information - visitors, and even other CB members that are not on your friends list will not be able to see this information.
We believe that this provides the best approach to providing personal privacy security. Obviously, if you do not want this information shared even with your friends, you simply do not have to provide the information.
The below screen capture is what this new feature looks like when both the "Lives in" and "Hometown" information is provided.
Stage one, of two planned stages, of the biggest update to the database of ChristianBlog.Com, since the website went online, over 12 years ago, is now complete.
Phase two will hopefully be finished within the next 24 hours.
Those of you that encountered the website having issues over the last 24 hours, sorry about that, Phase 1 did not exactly go as smoothly as intended on the first attempt.
This project has been in the planning stages for three years, with hundreds of invested man-hours over those three years.
Some initial testing is showing that it is resulting in an increase of 600% - 800% for the loading of blogs, which is, obviously, beyond amazing.
At random times over the next 24 hours, you may encounter brief periods of time where the ability to publish new blogs is unavailable, as we put into place stage two. We hope to keep these brief moments of non-availability at under twenty minutes.
If you plan to publish a new blog over the next 24 hours, it is highly recommended that you save a copy of your blog on your computer before you submit/publish your blog here at CB.
We will post further updates as we complete this massive update of the CB Services.
If you have not visited holybible.today yet, you really should. It allows you to read through the Bible in a year -- you can start anytime.
Sorry for the downtime with the Groups section of the website. Over the last 12 hours we have completely rewritten about 98% of the software code for the Groups section of the website. There are still a few lingering issues, but the Groups should now be mostly bug-free. The notifications system for Groups was also completely rewritten, so that too should now be working (though untested, will have to wait and see if that is the case.) Group Management Tools are not yet working. That will be the next phase of updates to the Groups.