April 16, 2014

You can edit your comments!

I'm fasting from Spam this Lent!

I've added a feature where you can edit your comment for up to an hour after you post it. That way, if you see mistakes you can correct them, tweak a clumsy sentence ot two, whatever. You won't be able to delete your comment (it messes up the 1, 1.1, 1.1.1 thingy), but if you have second thoughts you can always erase what you wrote and put something else in its place, say, "Suffering from second thoughts syndrome" or whatever you decide. As before, if you have an approved comment in the past your comments are not moderated. If this is your first comment, it requires approval before posting. Finally, the only two rules are that comments must move the discussion forward, and we don't tolerate any kind of personal attack. … [Read more...]

We’ve moved!

Easier than we thought too!

Many thanks to Fr. John Schroedel of Orthodox Internet Services (the man behind the wheel) who loaded the truck and moved us into our new home -- all the way from Hawaii! What will you see? In addition to the great commentary and timely news you have come to expect from the AOI Observer, you should see faster load times, the elimination of time-outs (the dreaded "internal server errors") and a smoother operation overall. Looking for a good and reliable host for you website? Truck on over to Orthodox Internet Services. Great prices and most of all great service. Again, many thanks to Fr. John Schroedel and Orthodox Internet Services for a job well done. … [Read more...]

Help us help you strengthen Orthodoxy in America!

christmas-ornament

Last chance to donate for 2009! December 18, 2009 Dear Friend: Thank you for joining the rapidly growing number of people in the United States and abroad who have made the Web site and blog of the American Orthodox Institute a “must read” for news and analysis on Orthodox Christianity. One grateful contributer writes: "AOI is providing the kind of in depth analysis and commentary that is unparalleled in the English speaking world. We stand at a time of competing ideologies in the world, in America, and in the Orthodox Church. AOI has been a beacon of clarity, reason and faithfulness to Gospel principles in the midst of an age of sloppy sentimentality and murky darkness." Fr. JR The American Orthodox Institute has become the go-to site for some of the best and most timely analysis of events in the Orthodox world today. Where else do you find: Critical reflection on the Ecumenical Patriarch’s collaboration with the global warming environmentalists? Reporting on the … [Read more...]

Trying nested comments

There's more inside!

I noticed that all conversation runs in one stream. If we want to comment, we put the post number in the top corner and go from there. To follow a conversation we have to scroll up and down. Nested comments keep the conversations grouped according to respondents. Let's try it out and see if it works better. To use it, hit "Reply" in the box of the comment you are responding to. If you are not directly responding to an earlier comment, just post as you did before. … [Read more...]

Main site makeover done

Actually, more than a makeover, a complete rebuild. Have a look. Don't forget to update your bookmarks. … [Read more...]

Somebody painted the walls when I was sleeping!

Surprise!

Why the new look? Here's the reason: AOI traffic took a huge jump last quarter -- over 50,000 visits each month and we are trending higher. We redesigned the main site to make it easier to post new and fresh content to meet the growing demand. The blog was last to be redesigned, but first to go live. The main site switch-over will occur next week. Is the new design functional? We hope so but we won't know for sure unless you tell us what works and what doesn't. A lot of the real-estate in the sidebar has been recovered by putting most of the static information behind buttons. Is this a good idea? Maybe, maybe not. Let us know. Web denizens are creatures of habit. We like familiarity. We value content. We don't like it when someone paints the room, and we get really annoyed when someone rearranges the furniture. If the couch doesn't belong next to the fireplace, we'll move it. Just tell us where. … [Read more...]

Odds and Ends

(1) Editorial decisions at the AOI Observer are made by the editors. I spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. In that business, people were always complaining about "negative" news stories. Frequently, these were stories that put their subjects in an unfavorably light. Sometimes, these very same people were complaining about negative news coverage even as they were led, in leg shackles and handcuffs, into various courtroom hearings. I'm sure that they were still complaining about negative news coverage in their jail cells, but by then they were out of earshot. Some people even complain about positive news stories. Usually, it's those sorts of stories that put their enemies in a positive light. News decisions are judgment calls. Sometimes we might make a bad call at the AOI Observer. I like to think that we're making a lot of good calls by the kind of traffic we're generating here. In any event, we will continue to post news and commentary about the social witness … [Read more...]

Guidelines for comments

Here are the guidelines for comments folks: First, any comment that does not directly address the ideas presented in the main article won't be posted. Second, AOI comments is not a debating forum although reasonable responses to other comments may be considered on a case by case basis. Most often however, they will not be posted. Third, declarations of support or non-support won't be posted without coherent reasons explaining your position. Any further comments containing personal attacks, snide remarks, innuendos, etc. will be deleted. No exceptions. Serious issues require serious deliberation. Disposition of the comments are final. … [Read more...]

Recalibrating the Conversation

One of the great things about a blog is that it's a conversation, not a monologue. The Observer is a moderated blog, but we keep it fairly open to encourage this conversation and the learning that goes on here. Those of us associated with AOI are grateful for your readership and the constant feedback. I have noticed, however, that in recent weeks some of the comments on this blog have veered off course. Nothing disastrous, but it's time to recalibrate. Now and then, a course correction is in order. What we set out to do on The Observer is discuss how the social witness of Orthodoxy can be an effective force in transforming the culture. The focus here is decidedly domestic (American) but we also bring in currents from other Orthodox cultures where they may be instructive. A couple requests, in particular. First, I'd like to avoid further ruminations on the anti-Christ and other apocalyptic figures. Let us, with the Church, leave these theological excursions to others equipped … [Read more...]

Comment glitches

For some reason, the blog was automatically turning off the comment function when we added new posts. Not intentional. Apologies. … [Read more...]

Care to comment?

The American Orthodox Institute Observer is an online forum for thoughtful, civil and lively discussion of the Orthodox Christian moral tradition. All reader comments on the blog are moderated. The Observer’s editors reserve the right to delete comments that are judged to be in poor taste, off topic, or launched as a personal attack. The site is devoted to Orthodox Christianity and for that reason the blog will not be a place for debating the merits of other faith traditions with their followers. A good guideline for those writing comments is to ask, “Would I say it just this way if I had an opportunity to say it in person?” We do not allow anonymous comments. If you care to post a comment, please register your real name and a valid email address. (Sign in below the post.) The editors may be reached directly through the contact form on AOI’s Web site. Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8). … [Read more...]