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Stones Staying Silent … For Now

As you may have seen, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, participation has dropped off quite a bit from our heyday. I’ve been wondering for a while now if we should shelve the blog entirely. My posts are basically the transcript of portions of my podcast, and I’ve spent more time with that than blogging; either on my personal blog or SCO. I think there has been something of the decline of blogging except by the big media guys or independent bloggers with a huge following. Hey, even the venerable InstaPundit joined the Pajamas Media group.

SCO has had great a 10-year run; 3 under Rick Brady and 7 under me (I had no idea it had been that long). But it’s been a few years since it’s been a vibrant blog, both regarding writing as well as attracting comments. So I think it best that, at this point, we give the old girl a rest.

We’ll keep the site up, and if we decide to relaunch sometime in the future, we’ll just pick up where we left off. Or perhaps we’ll do something completely different; a podcast, perhaps?

Anyway, we want to thank all our readers for your time and support. And whatever you do, keep crying out.

Hope and Change at “Stones Cry Out”

During this evening, I’m going to be doing a long-overdue upgrade of the WordPress software that runs this blog. While that’s happening, there’s no telling what you might see here. But on the other side of this, you’ll see a slightly different-looking SCO, as well as a more secure one (which is the primary reason I’m doing this).

Update: The update is complete. The look of the site may change a bit as I do some tweaking, and you may see more on the sidebar as I play around a bit. Now that we’re current, there are new features and plugins that become available, so I may be trying some out for a spin.

Site Issues Resolved

We had some malware infect our blogging system, and I had to do some cleanup. Google flagged us during this time as "dangerous", and if you use the Chrome web browser, you may have seen a big red warning sign if you tried to come here. I’ve got the infection removed and we’re back up and running. I have a little administrative work to do in the background, but for now, we’re back.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

All Clear

Yes, my web hosting account was suspended for a few days while I got a bill cleared up. They say they sent an e-mail reminder, but I don’t see it.

Anyway, we’re back. Sorry for the outage.

Back From Vacation

Yes, I was on vacation all last week, cruising in the western Caribbean.  Not so much relaxing per se (the excursions kept us moving) but recharging and just plain fun (and educational, especially with regard to the Mayan ruins we visited). 

No phone (didn’t want to pay international rates), limited Internet (just enough to transmit daily e-mails with pictures to family), and just the wife and me.  So I didn’t know about, or care about, the events of the day enough to make any real comments today.  But I just wanted to explain the dearth of posts from me. 

Nothing personal folks, but I just wasn’t thinking about you.  🙂

Blogrolling Shutting Down

Most of you will probably say, "Huh?" to that, but if you’re a blogger, it’s a potentially big deal.  Blogrolling, the largest site for managing links for use in blogrolls (i.e. our list of links on the left sidebar) is shutting down as of November 1st.  For those bloggers not noticing this, it’ll mean some rather empty blog lists in a few weeks unless you deal with it now.  It’s going to be a lot of link copying and pasting, as the Blogrolling service has no ‘export’ feature.

The links here will be looking different as I work on converting to another method of displaying them.  Also, the Church Directory blogroll run by Joe Carter will be gone at that time, too, and I don’t think there’ll be a replacement.  At least, there’s no discussion about that as far as I can Google.

Just an FYI from one blogger to another.

Five Years Before the Mast, err, Keyboard

October 1 marks my blogiversary, or blogbirthday or whatever. For five years now, on most Sundays through Thursday nights I’ve written a short essay. On some of those I’ve failed to get anything decent on (virtual) paper and have failed to post … life also of course intervenes occasionally to make that impossible. In that summer five years ago, a co-worker mentioned he’d begun reading blogs. I’d heard of them, but didn’t really look into it. So … I looked into it. Through August and September I “delurked” and spent and more and more time joining discussions, mostly on Joe Carter’s Evangelical Outpost. Then one Friday evening in September I signed up with blogspot, and chose a name for the blog, Pseudo-Polymath. That, in itself, to be honest was something of a variant/riff on the most popular blog of the day, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, who it must be said remains one of the highest trafficked blogs (although I must admit I haven’t myself stopped by in some time now). Pseudo, meaning fake, and Polymath, a person with great expertise in a wide variety of fields, which I think describes much of us on the net for via google and wikipedia we are suddenly fake experts at so many things. A few years later, I moved from blogger/blogspot to host my own blog using WordPress where it resides now. A little over a year ago, I was invited to join a quite prestigious (in the Christian blogging community) at Stones Cry Out and so far, I haven’t been uninvited.

The very first post, not surprisingly for a programmer, was “hello world.” Which worked … I subsequently deleted. Part of the froth back then of course was the Kerry/Bush election race. I even watched some debates and “live-blogged” them. Blogging then and now in part has been part of my personal spiritual journey, a half-year prior to starting blogging I “converted” and came to the somewhat abrupt conclusion that I was not just taking my kids to church on Sunday’s for their spiritual education, but because I was now a confessing Christian. That began a flurry of book buying, reading, and study … which eventually propelled me out of that church (and for no fault of it’s own) to an Eastern Orthodox parish where I now attend and find my home.

Anyhow, so for me the blogging experience is fruitful. It spurs me to read, to study, to put thoughts into words, it’s taught me to write much much better (if you think my writing is bad now. Heh. You should have seen it back then!) It’s pushed me to read to explore things and topics I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Who knows where it will lead me (and therefore hopefully us) in the future.

To finish, I’d like to thank wholeheartedly the small cadre of devoted commenters, and as well all who have ever commented or read. Thank your for your thoughts, your time, and your continued patience with me and with each other and for what has been almost exclusively irenic polite thoughtful discussion.

WordPress Upgrade

We were having some problems with the blog late last week. Not sure what the cause was, so I informed my web host provider. They responded that it was a problem on their end, and to fix it they upgraded the version of WordPress that this blog runs on. Now, I had planned on doing that at some point after I read through and followed all the upgrade procedures I’d seen posted on the web. Instead, they just did it themselves.

It appears that the categories got fouled up, such that all the categories are in fact still there, but they don’t have names anymore. So I’m going to be spending some time reconstructing them. In the meantime, you’ll still be hearing from us, you just won’t be able to easily pull up posts from any of our categories. Sorry ’bout that. We’re working on it.

An Enforced Hiatus

A web site hosted by my website provider was the proud recipient of a Denial of Service attack the past couple of days, and has put the blog into an unexpected hiatus. Everything’s back to normal (for now).

New “Stones Cry Out” Contributors

Back when we moved over to the new WordPress version of “Stones Cry Out”, we made mention that we were looking for some new contributors.  Well, we’d like to finally announce that we have two new voices to add to the current set of stones; Rusty Lopez and Mark Olson.  You can click on the “Bios” link to the right to read up on their backgrounds, and what they bring to the blog.

Rusty has blogs for both culture and photography, and is now our official West Coast Stone.  Mark comes to us with a stint on World Magazine’s BlogWatch under his belt (which is, unfortunately, no longer active).  They still, of course, have their own personal blogs as well (links in the Bios) but we’re glad to have both of them to add to the voices at “Stones Cry Out”.

Welcome Rusty and Mark!

Welcome to the New “Stones Cry Out”

After the past few days of wierdness, we’re finally back with the new “Stones Cry Out” blog. We may have a few “growing pains” while some formatting issues get worked out, so please bear with us. Things look, I hope, a bit familiar, but a few things are different. First, an explanation for the change.

Rick Brady has been the man behind SCO since it’s inception. However, he’s decided to get out of the blogging biz. I offered to pick up the day-to-day running of the blog some time ago, while it was still hosted on one of Rick’s personal servers. Today, the blog has officially moved to a hosting server that I use for other things, including my personal blog, and Rick’s involvement with SCO has come to an end. Or perhaps, hopefully, a pause. His contributions will be greatly missed, and he knows he always has a place here at “Stones Cry Out” as the Foundation Stone(tm). If he ever wants to get back in the game, SCO will be here waiting for him.

So what’s changed on the blog. Well first, let’s talk about what’s the same. The current contributors — Jim, Tom, Mark and myself — are still here and writing. We will continue to write on topics that concern the Christian community or on issues that come from our Christian perspectives.

The layout of the blog is pretty much the same. I took a very configurable WordPress theme and adjusted it into a format similar to the old one, with just a few changes. (Nothing’s exact.)

And speaking of the old site, the entire old site is still available. See the “About” box in the upper left of the page. If you see comment boxes attached to the old posts, rest assured that they are completely useless. We moved the pages, not the whole blog backend, so the old site will remain as it was when we left it.

So then, what’s different? Well, just a few things for now, and perhaps a few more down the road.

While comments are still very welcome, since this is a new installation of WordPress, you’ll notice that the first time you do post a comment that it’ll be moderated (i.e. not show up immediately). WordPress keeps track of what e-mail addresses have had a comment approved, and thus once your first comment is approved, all the rest will be, if you use the same e-mail address. This is just FYI so you don’t think we’re cracking down on you personally.

On the right side of the page, you’ll see a place for polls. We’re going to give this a shot with some polls that may be of interest to our readers. Stop by occasionally to see if there’s a new one up, and you can browse the Poll Archives to see the results of previous polls. The first one is easy. It’s just informational to see what sort of “return readership” we have at the blog. If you’d record your answer, even if this is your first time here, we’d appreciate it.

There’ll be a new feature called “YouCry Out”, which is a fancy name for an open thread. If you would like to set the topic (or topics) for others to comment on, this will be your opportunity. If there’s an issue we haven’t covered, or a complaint about the site (or an “atta boy”), bring it up here.

Want to know when someone leaves a comment on a particular post (especially if you’ve made a comment on it)? You can now subscribe to comments, whether or not you’ve left one yourself. Just check the box and enter your e-mail address.

Down the road, we’re looking for some more contributors. Watch this space for updates. And if you’ve seen a feature on another blog that you’d like to see here, let us know. Click the “Contact Us” link in the About box for our e-mail address, or use the form on that page to send us a suggestion.

So that’s what’s happening here at “Stones Cry Out”. Hope you’ll continue to stop by.