January 02, 2012

Moving to Freethought Blogs?

I have been invited to join the stable of bloggers over at Freethought Blogs. There are some well-known ones already posting there, such as Greta Christina, Ophelia Benson, P. Z. Myers, John Loftus, and Ed Brayton.

There will be no restrictions whatsoever on what I post and so the content will remain the same. I am leaning towards joining but before I make the decision, I wanted to throw the idea out to the loyal readers of this blog as to how it might affect their reading enjoyment.

The present site is on a platform run by my university and has been terrific in providing support whenever I needed it and not placing any restrictions on my writing, so any move will not be due to any dissatisfaction with the current situation but purely as a means of creating greater visibility by being part of a broader network of bloggers with similar interests.

So, what do you think?


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I probably wouldn't check in as often - I find the presentation of the FTF site very distracting.

All else being equal I'd prefer you stay where you are.

Posted by peter on January 2, 2012 02:57 PM

It's always a pleasure to check in here. I'd miss the coziness.

Posted by Michael on January 2, 2012 03:01 PM

I'd say go for it specially if it is of financial benefit. You certainly deserve it.

One problem might be that just like skepticblog and freethoughts blogs have strayed from discussion of facts and their implications to be more ideologically or agenda based.

Your blog (and Jerry Coyne's) have kept above the fray by remaining fact-based without ideological bias. I hope that even if you join freethought blogs you remain as you are!


Posted by Somite on January 2, 2012 03:08 PM

It would probably be best to maintain the blog in both places, if possible. But since it's not my blog, it's not my place to say one way or the other.

Going to the Freethought blogs will bring you to a wider audience that will appreciate the blog, but it will also bring a lot of trolls. Many of the bloggers at FTB (e.g. PZ Myers, Jen McCreight among others) used to have open commenting, where registration wasn't necessary.

Endless numbers of creationist cretins have spoilt the fun for atheists and made registration a necessity to prevent trolls from commenting. It would be a shame to see this blog forced to do the same.


Posted by P Smith on January 2, 2012 04:17 PM

You would certainly gain a larger audience, if that is what you are after. I'll read your blog no matter where you are.

Posted by Mike Haubrich on January 2, 2012 04:19 PM

I started reading FYB a few months ago and enjoy it. When I started reading, I thought that your blog would be the perfect fit. So, my immediate response to whether you should accept was: Hell, yeah. I really enjoy your blog and I believe that others would, too. However, others are right about the "coziness" of your sight and the somewhat trollish-ness of FTB (and any other popular blog site). Nonetheless, congrats on the invite. That is great. You deserve it. You will make the right choice for you.

Posted by Moi on January 2, 2012 06:54 PM

Congratulations Manu. I already follow a number of blogs at FTB, and since I've had occasional problems with embedded videos over here which I haven't had at FTB, I guess I vote for moving. But whatever you do, I'll keep reading, you do a great job.

Posted by Ned on January 2, 2012 08:19 PM

I would tend to agree with Somite and especially what he says in his last paragraph. Coyne's and yours are two of the best and most thoughtful.

Posted by David on January 2, 2012 09:37 PM

Good evening. You need to do what you feel is best for your peace of mind. Honestly to me, You have the best site on the internet. (at least of what I have seen, on the internet, so far.) ....Mark

Posted by rprt on January 2, 2012 10:53 PM

I don't know how to advise you, but I do know that your loyal readers will follow you wherever you choose to go.

Posted by Steve LaBonne on January 3, 2012 08:22 AM

I'd read your blog no matter where it was. I think you'd get more exposure and readers on FTB, but you bring more exposure to Case by staying here.

Posted by Scott on January 3, 2012 08:50 AM

I'm with Somite (and others). I'll continue to read you wherever you go. Although I'm not familiar with the other blog platform, I would think that a larger platform would give greater visibility to your (excellent) books, which benefits you in the long run.

That said, I do enjoy the coziness of this blog.

Happy New Year!

Posted by Tim on January 3, 2012 10:16 AM

I've always liked CWRU's spartan (ha) look. The blue edging and lack of clutter on the sides is attractive. The freethought website has the usual distracting stuff on the sides that I find unappealing.

That said, I usually do RSS feeds so 80% of the time this doesn't really make a difference to me.

Posted by Jared A on January 3, 2012 11:51 AM

Mano: Go for it. I spend half my day there anyway!

Posted by Ted on January 3, 2012 12:55 PM

Best news I've heard all year!!

I'd love it if you went to FTB and was hoping you would. Maintaining the blog in two places is one option but more work. If you go, be sure to link back to the old site where people can read your great archive.

Moving will possibly require more moderation (if you desire) of comments, but there are so many blogs there now that not all have quite the traffic as the the more well-known ones.

I think your voice would be a great benefit to the atheist/skeptic community at large. You have so many great multi-part didactic and exploratory pieces that people need to know about.
As a side benefit, maybe you can increase book sales!

For those of us who already read FTB, it will be one-stop shopping.

Posted by G on January 3, 2012 03:03 PM

When I first stumbled across your blog a few years back, I could hardly contain my excitement. You covered so many interesting and important topics that appealed to me that I must have printed off a books-worth of your blog (sorry trees…). Your writing is genuinely thought-provoking, entertaining, educational and inspirational. It galvanized my thoughts and better clarified my place in the Universe during a crucial time when I was thirsty for knowledge. It was also comforting to know that I was not alone in my newly-formed budding thoughts. With a larger audience, all other things being equal, it would seem sad to take away this bliss of ‘self-realization’ from others who are searching and in the same developmental stage in life that I was years ago. My growth still continues today... I feel that your writing talent should be shared with as many people as possible.

Posted by Tadas on January 3, 2012 03:13 PM

Shalom Mano,

Is there an reason you cannot do both?

If there is, then I would carefully weigh any personal advantage you might gain by moving to Free Thought to what your personal brand will lose if you no longer publish here.

My core sense is double publish or say no thanks.



Posted by Jeff Hess on January 3, 2012 04:19 PM

Well being a blogger myself I would say go for it!

Any opportunity to have your work published and your thoughts considered is a win in my book!

Joe Ventura

Writer for Lap Band Website Blog

Posted by Joe Ventura on January 3, 2012 06:26 PM

While the folks at Case may be very helpful, the Movabletype software is very outdated and there are some basic functions you don't have available to you.

Also, the software at Case is pretty restrictive with regards to posting. I've been blocked 2x for putting a link in my post (I'm using a anonymizer now to access the site because my IP is blocked. I unblocked it before but I don't want to keep going through the process.)

I'd say go to Freethought as your main blog and update this whenever you have a book review, movie review, or pics of the dog :D

Posted by henry on January 3, 2012 10:33 PM

Congratulations, Mano! You have deserved greater recognition for far too long. Plus, FTB could use a dose of your clarity.

Keep up the great work... you are our hometown hero!

Posted by Mark Tiborsky on January 4, 2012 10:02 AM

I say go for it!

But then it's possible that I have a slight bias...

Posted by Ophelia Benson on January 4, 2012 10:05 AM

I frequent ftb daily. But I rarely get to your blog. This would give me the opportunity to see your blog more often.
As a regular ftb reader I admittedly do not read every blog everyday. Still if everyone was like me I think you would still get more traffic at ftb.

Posted by Sam Salerno on January 4, 2012 10:42 AM

Your voice deserves wide exposure, so if you think this avenue will help spread your message then by all means go for it.

If you move, what will happen to all the old content? There is a huge volume of interesting material here, stretching way back before I became a reader, and I'd like to have a chance to explore it and comment upon it from time to time. Will you still pay attention to those old discussions?

Similarly, if you start building a body of work elsewhere, are you going to refer your new readers back to this blog? One of the many appealing aspects of this blog - befitting its educational association - is the scholarly attention to noting related discussions, both here and elsewhere. Even if you wanted to persist in such thorough linking, I'm not sure how welcome that would be to the new platform's controllers.

However you decide, I'm sure almost all of us will follow you. Thanks and good luck.

Posted by Richard Frost on January 5, 2012 10:28 PM

:- )

Posted by Ophelia Benson on January 7, 2012 04:18 PM

I would suggest that you temporarily do both. It would be a minor inconvenience at first, having to do a cut and paste, but I believe that only after you have done it for a month or so will you have a clear(er) answer. If you do decide to move please be sure to set up a forwarding URL so that those of us who are not regulars don't hit the favorite button and not find you. You would certainly get more exposure, if that is your ultimate goal. I will have to remember to check back soon so I don't miss the decision!

Posted by Greg Traver on January 11, 2012 11:26 PM