Blog makeover

I’ve revamped the appearance of the blog. It will display equally on well on tablets and smart phones as on a desktop or laptop. I’ve cleaned up the navigation, and moved it to the header. Links have been moved to a separate page.

These changes in appearance has mostly been prompted by outside factors. Tablets are rising in popularity, and I should have long since optimized this site for tablet users. WordPress has greatly improved its menu management, so I no longer have to rely on sidebar navigation. And search engines don’t like to see a blogroll on every page of your blog (because that’s what spammers do), so all links have been moved to a single page.

I hope you find the new design easy to use. As always, I welcome your comments or suggestions for improvement.

New weekly publication schedule

Starting today, I’m moving this blog from a daily to a weekly publication schedule. The immediate cause of this move was Apple’s January 19th release of iBook Author, an iPad application designed to make it easy for educators to publish textbooks and supplementary materials. Apple’s announcement clarified something for me: blogs are just one aspect of the revolution in publishing that is currently happening.

I love blogging — and over the past few years I’ve experimented with video blogging, photo blogging, audio blogging (podcasts), microblogging (Twitter), and of course text blogging — but I’ve been spending an average of two hours a day on my various blogging projects. I want to experiment with other kinds of new publishing methods as well: interactive textbooks, e-books, print on demand, and more. In order to carve out the time to experiment with other publishing methods, I unfortunately have to cut back on the time I spend blogging.

So I’ll be changing my publication schedule here to a new post every Monday. If something comes up in the middle of the week — e.g., if I’m at a conference — I may post on other days as well. But there will always be something new every Monday.

Old blog posts back online

I finally got around to restoring blog posts from 2005-2010 that disappeared in February of this year when the old blog crashed after being damaged by a malicious intruder. The old posts may be found at the old blog address — www.danielharper.org/blog.

There is no longer a redirect on the old address to this blog. Therefore, if you haven’t updated your bookmarks or your RSS reader, or if you’re following an old link, you’ll wind up at the old blog. So please update your bookmarks, etc.

Sixth anniversary

Six years ago, I posted my first entry on this blog, using AOL’s old blogging service. Within a year, I had moved the blog to my own Web site. And now that I’ve just had a complete meltdown of that blog installation, I’m rebuilding the whole blog once again. I was planning a complete rebuild anyway, so this has been a great way to force me to buckle down and actually do it.

You’ll notice that I’ve changed the look of this blog, with a new design. The header photo is a photograph I took from a steep hillside in redwood country, in Camp Meeker, California. Over the next few days, I’ll be moving posts from the past two months into this blog, reinstalling the blogroll, and refining the internal navigation. As I fine-tune this rebuild, your comments and ideas, as always, will be gratefully accepted.

Some things won’t change — I’ll still be writing six or seven times a week, I’ll still be focusing on liberal religion and all the topics I’ve always focused on. But I hope you enjoy this sixth anniversary blog makeover.

Welcome aboard

Sometime on 24 February 2011, my blog located at danielharper.org/blog melted down; cause remains unknown, but it may have been due to files that were damaged by a malicious hacker earlier in the week. Long story short: I had to create a whole new blog, which is what you’re now reading.

I placed a redirect on the old blog’s address, so your old bookmarks will still work. If you subscribed to the old blog via RSS feed, you may have to resubscribe. And if you ever linked to a post within this blog, that link will no longer work.

At some point, I will restore most of the old blog posts and comments somewhere on this Web site; but my first priority will be to get this new blog up and running.

Blog problems

On 21 February my blog was taken over by some malicious person who utilized a security hole in the old version of WordPress I was using. The problem was bad enough that Dennis from my Internet service provider had to shut down the blog, install the latest version of WordPress, and reinstall blog data. In the process, quite a few photos in past blog posts were lost; I will gradually reinstall those. Please let me know if you notice anything else that’s missing (e.g., a comment, etc.).

To other bloggers: If you’re using WordPress, save yourself some grief and install the latest version immediately!