Changing a blog

Welcome to the new home, and the new design, of my blog. When I launched this blog, in 2007, I called it ‘Shored Fragments’. The name comes from a line at the end of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, ‘These fragments I have shored against my ruins’. I chose it because I loved the poem – I still do – because I loved the name – I still do – and because it captured what I thought I was doing in launching a blog. My original ‘About’ page spelt this out. For years I have been in the habit of typing up brief (500-2000 words) summaries of a thought that has struck me. These got saved on my various computers with filenames like ‘Fragment on Universalism.’ The blog was going to be a place to put them up in public, to invite others to help me to sift and...

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‘Stirring dull roots with spring rain’

I’ve been thinking about Web page design recently, in connection with a couple of projects (one of which will go live in about a week, I hope; the other in the summer). I reflected that the design of this blog was not good in a couple of ways, and had been unchanged in over four years. So here’s a new design; I hope you like it… At the same time, I’ve added a couple of pages. ‘My writing’ and ‘My preaching and speaking’. Both are shameless marketing: links to places you can buy my books, or mp3s and even a DVD of me speaking. Comments on changes welcome; if you happened to be browsing this blog mid-afternoon, I apologise that the theme design changed repeatedly over one half hour!

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‘Vanity requires no response’

Just after midnight (GMT) last night, it seems, the view counter on this blog ticked from five figures to six. I have no idea, and not much interest, how 100 000 views compares to the average for a blog, or for a theoblog, or whatever. It suggests that there are a certain number of folk who find the stuff I post here from time to time interesting enough to come back, however, and for that I am grateful. (I noticed too a couple of weeks back the number of comments hit 1000, although over a quarter are mine; I am particularly grateful for friends who help me to refine and test ideas through that mechanism and others.) I’ve been blogging a little over four years, with two lengthy layoffs. Over the time, I’ve reflected more than once on what blogging is...

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‘Hooded hoardes swarming…’

Not quite four years ago, when I began this blog, I put a blogroll in the right gutter; it seemed the thing to do back then. I have been conscious for most of those four years that the blogroll was out of date, but unsure how to reform it. Recently, I deleted some dead links, but otherwise I have not changed it since the initial creation of the blog. My problem has been knowing what a blogroll is for. Two traditions are visible out in the blogosphere. The first is to list all the blogs one reads. That makes very good sense if your blog is somehow a record of your life. This site, for me, however, has never been a personal diary; there are important parts of my life never mentioned here (trivially, my love for cricket; centrally, my children). (That sentence is...

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Bats with baby faces in the violet light

So, I changed the randomly generated avatars for people with no uploaded pictures from geometric patterns to cartoon faces. Apparently, they generate from your email address, so that you always get the same one. I hope no-one is offended by the way they came out…

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