Monday, December 01, 2008

Rethinking the Atheist Ethicist Blog

Greeting, Reader:

I have been quiet this holiday weekend because I have been contemplating what I want to do with this blog. I think it is time to do some rebuilding.

A couple of months ago, Divided by Zero (a.k.a. db0) set me up with my own site. Then, at the time, my interest in the Presidential race picked up, so I did not want to switch horses in the middle of that particular political stream.

(See: Atheist Ethicist)

Now that the election is over, I have had an opportunity to step back a bit, look at what I have done and what I have wanted to do, and consider what I would do differently if I had a chance to start over.

I asked myself what I like about this blog and what I do not like. I also considered what others have said – their expressed likes and dislikes – over the years. And I have a list of likes and dislikes that I imagine that people have, even if they have not expressed them.

What do I think needs changing?

I think that I need to focus on writing smaller posts. My essays take require a substantial commitment on the part of the readers. A lot of people do not have time for that level of commitment. I need to figure out how to make a point at less cost to my readers.

I need to work on the quality of my posts. I typically finish up my writing late at night, when I am hardly awake enough to know what keys I am pressing, let alone whether I am making a coherent argument. This leads to too many mistakes. I want to reduce those mistakes.

If I write shorter posts, I want to do a better job of fitting those posts together. If somebody wants to put in a larger level of commitment, I need to make it easier for them to do so by pointing out other relevant articles – both here and elsewhere.

Db0’s work gives me an opportunity to start over and to try to do things better.

During the month of December, I will be looking at how I should conduct this migration – what I should include in it.

I would like to hear from you, if you don’t mind.

You can contact me through my contact page.

Feel free to let me know what you like and dislike about this site – what you think I should keep, and what you think I should change.

Together, we can make this a better place in 2009.


Anonymous said...

I believe you need to work on organizing more. You need to make your considerable content easier to find and look through. With the new blog you have now various new tools at your disposal that you should make use of

Categories and Tags: At the moment you re not using any and you really should. Not only because it will improve your SEO but because people can then select a specific category to go through the same type of posts, or a tag to see what you said on a particular subject. Categories will also allow people to subscribe to a specific concept of your writing, if, say, they only want to read things specific to the US.

You should also use other organization stuff like indexes for a particular topic. The simplest way is to create them on pages where people can use as a launching point (sample). Personally, I would propose you make use of the series plugin which will allow you to create an automated index with very easy management (unlike categories, allowing you to modify a series members from the dashboard). I'm already using it actually and I find it great. You can see a sample of how it can look on my site (just look at the top of the article and click on the "About this series" link)

Anonymous said...

I personally like the longer essays about morals and ethics, sure you make typos, but th content an validity of any point you try to make is always perfectly clear. I like the fact that you look deep into the issues, like with wafergate.

Matt M said...

Shorter blog posts would certainly make it easier to find the time to read them, but I'd hate to see the longer ones disappear. Maybe it would be better to just mix it up a bit?

Alonzo Fyfe said...

Well, I actually can't think of how I would continue the Beyond Belief series if I strictly limited myself to shorter posts. Those presentations require a more detailed response.

I am also considering a series on political economy. (Note: I believe that there is a strong link between economics and morality, and have devoted at least half of my efforts studying morality to the study of economics.)

So, I see no way for longer posts to entirely disappear.

Anonymous said...

I do not know much about blogging, but I am a regular reader of your blog.

Do not sacrifice intellectual rigor for the sake of satisfying shorter attention spans. Sometimes longer articles are necessary to get the point across. You could use abstracts or teasers to better accomodate the non-daily or casual visitors who would like to browse through the articles quicker ("see full article beneath fold").

I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your ongoing work and say that you fill a niche of deeper comtemplation and sharper observation that the other more "high frequency" atheist blogs leave missing.