New “Stable” Design and About Our Core Features
Since moving to our new domain, we have been aggressively climbing the WordPress learning curve. What you see here is the payoff. Our new design adds several key features and provides a more aesthetic presentation. Credits for the new theme go to Chris Pearson and Copyblogger. Blog aggregation is powered by Google Reader and the KQF plugin.
The first “Core Feature” of our site is the blog index. Good education makes good bloggers. The students, faculty and alumni of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are exhibit A. Follow the menu links above and you will discover over 85 individual blog feeds refreshing in nearly real time. Each page features a light blue box (Google Reader) that displays the most recent updates in that category. The individual blog listings (KQF) show the previous five posts with timestamps. We are constantly adding new blogs. This catalog of theologically minded bloggers is unique in all the blogosphere. These are the heirs of the Baptist Reformation and future leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The second “Core Feature” of our site is the content. We are a team blog. Our editors and contributers produce significant articles on Theology, Culture, Church History, Baptist Issues, Christian Living, Seminary, Bible Study, Ministry and more. We aim to publish articles that will transcend the disposable nature of the blogosphere. As our team grows the frequency and quality will improve.
Every post is open for discussion, clarification and debate. Because of the quality of our readership the content of our comment section is exceptional. Our blog is accountable. We insist that all users comply with our expectations. These include using your real name and much more.
A Very Brief History of Said At Southern Seminary
- On March 15th, we launched Said At Southern at Blogger.
- On March 31st, we were linked by Abraham Piper on the Desiring God blog.
- On May 8th, we moved to our permanent domain SaidAtSouthern.com
- On May 28th, we debuted our “stable” design and officially “launched” Said At Southern.
Said At Southern Seminary Launch Campaign
The foundation is now set and we are ready to seek a larger readership. We have designated Friday, June 1st as “Said At Southern Seminary Day.” We are inviting all our friends and readers to link to us simultaneously on that day. I will create a post displaying the inbound links from that day and designate you as a “Founding Readers.”
During the month of June, we will publish a 12 part cultural engagement series reviewing the latest CD by Derek Webb titled “The Ringing Bell.” Our hope is that this series will attract a wider Evangelical audience to the unique perspective of Said At Southern Seminary.
Your Feedback Welcome and Why This Theme?
As always, I will benefit and be honored by your feedback. Perhaps our new theme choice my seem too plain or simplistic. I am interested to hear your opinion. I have selected the Copyblogger theme based on several factors.
- It is a very “clean” and “simple” theme – almost to a fault. I have been carefully watching our statistics to see how readers are using our site. The majority of items on our front page were nothing more than clutter. The site design has kept only the most essential elements. I want every element of our blog to showcase the two core elements outlined above.
- This theme is designed for easy modifications. I am able to make small changes with ease. Its designers are constantly adding new support material to make site administration easier
- It has key features to promote Search Engine Optimization. Excellent content can easily get buried in Google without careful SEO. There is a ‘real estate’ value in the way search engines rank your content. It helps to have a layout that works in your favor.
- This theme supports text resizing. If you use Firefox or Internet Explorer you can simply use “Ctrl +” or “Apple +” on Safari. This ability is essential for any website that expects users to actually read long sections of text on their screen.
Future Plans – What Is Next For Said At Southern?
The editors have more ideas than we can develop. For now, we are focusing on our “Core Features” and building readership beyond the Southern Seminary community. This means publishing excellent content and continuing to improve our blog index. Moving forward we hope to:
- Develop a regular publication schedule.
- Introduce additional contributers.
- Organize regular gatherings for our Louisville area readers.
- Publish significant team blog projects
- Produce occasional podcast or text based interviews
Again, your suggestions are always welcomed. We want to hear your suggestions. On a personal note, I am thankful for the support and friendship of each of you. This project has been sustained by your comments, emails, encouragement and corrections.
Â Posted by Tony Kummer