For about six months we have been in communication with a large website that has expressed an interest in hosting the Jesus Creed conversation. At first I had no interest, but I want to lay out for you today why we have made the decision to shift the site over to Beliefnet.com.
This is the header they’ve got ready to go:
Over the 3.5 years of hosting this blog I think we have established a way to communicate in a civil manner that is simply not found in many places in the Christian internet. We’d like to expand the community and we’d like to extend the kind of community we have here at Jesus Creed to the Beliefnet.com community. Furthermore, very few blogs have the mix of folks that we have — and we think moving to Beliefnet.com will not only expand the community but will give you — the Jesus Creed community — the opportunity to extend what we have done here to others.
No need to worry: the address will stay the same and it will be redirected from “www.jesuscreed.org” to the new address. So, you need not do anything to your link address.
Yes, we know change is not fun. In fact, we said no to Beliefnet.com for several months just because we like our color scheme and our community. Giving up that color scheme wasn’t easy for me, though it is the least important of what the blog is about. Furthermore, we didn’t want to “go corporate” and have ads, but we thought the expansion to new readers and the extension of this community to some new folks was more important than what the blog looked like. I think most of us have gotten used to ads, even though they can be annoying.
In essence, then, though the site will “look different” it will be the same community. I will be doing the same kinds of posts, the same kinds of series, and we’ll have guest bloggers and I hope we’ll have the same humor and the same internal ribbing of one another that we’ve had all along. I will continue to monitor all comments and have control over the conversations. That will not change.
As many of you know, Beliefnet.com is the biggest religious website in the world and we were honored they wanted to host this blog. By moving over to Beliefnet.com we will find ourselves engaging new folks, confronting new points of view, and take this civil conversation into a more public forum. Frankly, one of the most important considerations was whether or not our committed conversation partners would go with us. I’m convinced you will and I wouldn’t have thought of this had I not thought we could take this conversation to Beliefnet.com. I’ve talked to more than a dozen folks and almost everyone thought this was a good idea.
Let me explain something about this blog: it takes time. I get somewhere between 100 and 200 e-mails/comments per day and it is not always easy to keep up with it. On top of this, spammers are after us and I have to remove their attempts to get to the site. Beliefnet.com has more sophisticated stuff to counter this; they will provide technicians who look after this kind of thing, and it will save me time. Recently I spent the evening with a few people who helped me deal with someone who had hacked into this blog and messed up the capacity to upload images. Beliefnet.com has more sophisticated awareness of this sort of thing.
So, friends, I’m hoping you will join us on November 1st.
As always, I welcome your comments.