Hacking Christianity 4.0

hx-sqlogo-homeHello World

Today marks one of the most significant site upgrades and updates to HackingChristianity.net since it began in March 2008. While most of the updates have been cosmetic (or replacing catastrophic loss – see version 3.0 below), this is the first one that is holistic: all pages, posts, categories, images, and the entire site flow has been updated.

Major Update: New Logo

hx-logo-2014final

HX.net commissioned a new logo and offered it up to my private Facebook friends to vote. I gave them six options from six different designers. The above eventually won with an overwhelming percentage of the vote. Thanks to Sarah Sandford for her winning submission–if anyone needs a referral for a graphic designer, let me know.

What’s up with the key and the circles? Thanks for asking!

  • The Key: Hackers often seek to unlock either computers, networks, or file encryption so that they can unlock new possibilities or simply share the data behind the lock with others. Since this blog seeks to unlock and debug aspects of Christian systems for everyone’s benefit, this seems most appropriate.
  • The Circles: If you ever look at a circuit board, you’ll often see two circles attached by a line, indicating these two areas transmit data or electricity to one another. Or you might see two circles or computers connected together indicating they are in a network sharing data. The interconnectedness of any faith system encourages the use of such networking metaphors.
    • If you want to get really deep, the circled dot is actually a symbol for God, although it’s not very mainstream (two offbeat examples here and here and in Dan Brown’s novel The Lost Symbol). While I really don’t have much in common with those examples, the symbol could be helpful.

HX.net now owns the copyright to the above image (and its square version with the HX) and indeed it is the only copyrighted item on the entire website.

What’s New

  1. New logo – SO PRETTY.
  2. Updated to the “Free Cultural Work“ Creative Commons license–every blog post can be reposted or printed in a church newsletter without permission but with attribution. Since we syndicate to many different sites and I field these requests all the time, it’s just better with everyone under one license.
  3. Simplified page and category structure to reflect the threefold focus: Church Talk, Geeky Topics, and the United Methodist Church. It’s better to stop trying to be everything to everyone and to keep the focus on these three passions of mine–all using the hacking hermeneutic.
  4. Mobile friendly. The header actually fits on the mobile page, and there’s a simplistic form to it that looks really great on mobile. The typeface is much bigger and easier on the eyes.
  5. Updated “About” pages. After almost six years, the rationale for the site, the perspective we are trying to offer, and the tone of the about pages needed to be updated. The old manifesto is still up there from 2008, but the nice threefold “About” is more accessible. Now that the site is closer to done, updates will come to these sections over time.

What’s Gone

  1. The really pretty tag cloud that had all the tags and categories in it and swirled when you held your mouse over it. It’s the only remnant of HX 1.0…and it was time. Goodbye old friend.
  2. Links to other bloggers. So many of them were out-of-date or not blogging…there’s little use in linking to them. Besides, if there’s good content, you’ll see it posted on Twitter. So follow me there and you’ll get the best out of the blogs I follow anyway!
  3. Lots of unnecessary categories and pages. Most of them are now under the three main topic areas and will continue to be streamlined–while remaining accurate–over the coming weeks. With 950 posts, it takes some time to error-check them all (or at least the good ones).

What’s Still to Come

  1. Better cross-posting to all the social media networks
  2. Better speed – once all the bugs have been ironed out, turning on a web accelerator will yield faster page loads.
  3. Consistent Ads – The site is supported by advertising and thus ads are important–but now that there’s a new theme, they need to better “fit” with the flow of the page. That is forthcoming.

Update History

  1. Version 1.0 was a really bad Blogger template from 2008-2010.
  2. Version 2.0 was a self-hosted WordPress template from 2010-2012.
  3. Version 3.0 was a new WordPress template after the site exploded from 2012-yesterday.
  4. Version 4.0 is today’s version: 2014 and beyond.

Anything broken?

Thanks for your continued support and PLEASE let me know if anything looks odd or doesn’t work. I appreciate your input and being in community/conversation with you!

Blessings, ~Jeremy

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Comments

  1. says

    Congratulations on concluding a tremendous amount of work, with more to come. Probably no surprise to you, but I’m not keen on the new graphic. Any graphic that takes that much explanation for viewers to get it isn’t successful, IMHO. Graphics need to be understood at first glance, or so I was taught in design. But then, I am of a different generation, so maybe it will work for others.

    • says

      Logo design is so tricky! One of the overriding sentiments from the Facebook conversation was that this was the one that “caught the eye” moreso than the ones with more easy symbolism. Hopefully it will work out in the long run and you’ll start thinking of the blog whenever you see a key ;-)

  2. says

    What are the Facebook, Twitter, etc. icons? I’m seeing (L to R) a comma, plus, minus, zero, eight, dollar, with a rounded-square black background on rollover. Are these the alt text?

    The comment box is a light sans font, in gray on white; more contrast would be nice.

      • says

        Thanks for the fix; it’s more readable now.

        I’m having to scroll sideways to read the site, with or without Javascript enabled. Are you considering a liquid design, or do you plan to stay with fixed-width? (I’m using Linux on an old Thinkpad, a combination you probably don’t have much need to support, so I won’t be too upset if you don’t feel the need to upgrade the design.)

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