The Widget is Broken

At the top of the left-hand sidebar is a list of recent posts at the Unity Baptist church website. I don’t know when it happened but I noticed this morning this list is longer than usual. That wasn’t a change I was aware of making but when I went into the control panel nothing had actually changed. I changed the number of items to display to 4 and clicked update. I changed the number to 3 and clicked update. It has been set to 3 since 2015 when the church website launched but nothing I do changes what is displayed in the sidebar. Funny that.

Satur-deja Vu

I mentioned that this was coming up when I wrote about announcing the call to preach 30 years ago then promptly forgot about it again. Thank you WordPress. Since March 4, 2008, there have been 1887 posts (this one will make 1888), 765,014 views and 2,540 comments. I have 750 subscribers although some of those are probably WordPress accounts that are no longer maintained or email addresses that are now defunct. If you have been any part of this journey – and you are reading this right now, presumably of your own free will – I hope you have learned something, enjoyed something or at least smiled as you shook your head. I have never started a podcast or relaunched The Master’s Table as a YouTube channel; it warms my heart to know that some people still read. So without further ado let me write something for you. You may or may not have caught these items this week:

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Satur-deja Vu

Here’s a little early history of The Master’s Table. My wife and I, before our daughter was born, got to spend Christmas 2007 in Germany. She had grown up in Germany (army brat, not a German citizen) but had not been back in 20 years. She actually lived in West Germany before reunification. We visited for 10 days, arriving early in the morning on Christmas Eve and coming home January 2, 2008. I don’t take “vacations” and knew ahead of time that I would be confined to my in-laws home much of the time. I had never been on a 12 hour flight. So one of the things I did to prepare was to load up my 2nd gen. iPod Nano with every iMonk Radio and Coffee Cup Apologetics podcast available at the time. That’s why the iMonk Radio archive page contains episodes 48 – 81. They were downloaded, listened to, and forgotten about for a period of time. We had been living in Oneida, KY, and working at the same private boarding school as Michael Spencer since 2003. I was aware of the Internet Monk website and sometimes commented, but we saw him pretty much every day. He was a real person and the OBI Campus Minister before I encountered the Internet Monk and his online persona. I never felt compelled to start my own blog… until I spent 10 days listened to the podcast. That made me feel like I had some things to say.

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Presented Commercial Free

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For many years I saw this announcement at the bottom of every post on my blog. I didn’t know exactly what visitors saw since I was always logged in on WordPress when I was writing, checking stats or giving a new post the once over. I did suggest to the church that we pay the nominal fee to have ads removed from the church website lest something with a conflicting message appear on the same page as a sermon or church bulletin but never did so for my personal blog.

The Happy Monday posts are often done on Sunday evening, if not earlier, and set to publish at the appointed time. I was away from home some months ago and used my phone to check and see that the post was in fact up on the website. Happy Monday is very image heavy and what I discovered, looking at the post on my mobile browser, was that after every two or three images an ad had been inserted by WordPress. I was creating material with a certain aesthetic and not only was that being disturbed by the advertisements but of course someone else was getting traffic or selling product and I was not making a dime off of the real estate. WordPress, as the host, owns the real estate of course which bloggers use for free but it was my post with a bunch of junk scattered throughout and not just at the bottom below the line.

For what it’s worth, I have paid to have the ads removed from The Master’s Table. I have no plans to offer subscription only content or place ads of my own, but if you the reader ever think about linking content here from your blog or social media sites know that your audience will not be subjected to ads when they get here. Upgrade plans start for as little as $4/month (billed annually) if any WordPress blogger is interested in doing the same.

Satur-deja Vu

Happy Monday began back in 2012 during the summer Olympic games. We took time to mentioned that earlier this week in post #365. Then I was surprised by the announcement above from WordPress. My own blogoversary snuck up on me. Six Years at the Table was published in 2014 and tells the story of how The Master’s Table came to be. If anyone reading today has been with us since 2008, shout out in the comments. Continue reading

The Changing Nature of Blogging

I was introduced to blogging by the original Internet Monk Michael Spencer. He was smarter than the average bear but lived in a rural community in southeastern Kentucky. Beginning just after the 2000 election he took advantage of the World Wide Web and as an early adopter of the new blogging platform quickly grew an online community of followers around the world. I had certainly never heard of a blog in 2000, back when I was accessing the internet via AOL and used their free hosting to create my own webpage. It wasn’t until after Michael started podcasting that I felt strongly enough that I had some things to say and joined WordPress in 2008. Hindsight being 20/20 blogging peaked somewhere between 2006 and 2008 so I came on board just in time to see blogging begin its decline across the board.

Back in 2012

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Five Hundred Followers

I recently mentioned that The Master’s Table was nearing 500 followers. It turns out that the number of WordPress followers was 497 but there are also 23 that follow via email. I only realized tonight that we have a Facebook link on the sidebar but no clear and simple way to follow the blog. There is now a follow button on the right-hand sidebar. If you are not a logged in WordPress user you can enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts. Continue reading

The Master’s Table Facebook Page

Screenshot 2019-02-28 at 10.13.55 AMUpdate: Issued resolved, links have been restored.

I’m having a bit of a tiff with Facebook. It’s probably not enough to make me give it up for good but at this time I am unable to post links to this blog. I always link new blogs on the Mater’s Table Facebook page and occasionally, though not very often, link from my personal Facebook profile. I was hoping to spread a little Happy Monday cheer but Facebook rejected the post and claimed it violated their community standards on spam. They also removed all links to this blog from the Master’s Table FB page. That page has 178 followers. It was created for several reasons but perhaps the biggest thing at the time was so that I could post links each time a new blog post was up without constantly irritating my Facebook friends. Every new blog post was linked from the FB page and like I say only occasionally from my own profile. Currently the only links on the Master’s Table FB page are to Paul Wilkinson’s Wednesday Connect posts. Continue reading