Showing posts with label Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog. Show all posts

15 February 2013

Noted from the web (1 - Feb 2013)

The blogosphere is full of interesting things to read. Here are some items I spotted recently that are well worth passing on. Chris writes about not compromising, Jim about organic church, and Kelly about kindness in love. Three great writers, three great topics, three great articles.


It's not always about finding the middle ground - Here's a great article from 'Life with Da Man CD' in which he explains that finding holy ground and finding middle ground are by no means compatible.

Da Man CD (aka Chris Dryden) suggests that compromise is not always the way to go. He points out that society approves of compromise until its assumptions are challenged (a very good point and one worth remembering).

But in following Jesus we go way beyond any middle ground! By living the truth in love we challenge society in ways it cannot accept or tolerate.

Read the original article...


Finding organic health - Jim Wright at 'Crossroad Junction' has posted an excellent article about the current state of organic church in the West. In my view he expresses it just right.

He says organic church is beginning to come out of a time of serious difficulty and is catching up with the rest of the world. He adds that we are leaving behind some really weird stuff that was unhealthy and that we are networking better than before. There is much about good, local, unpretentious leadership, and much about community, fellowship and accountability. All Jim's observations are helpful and he is encouraged by what he sees as a growing outward focus, touching and learning from one another.

Read the original article...


Why good enough love is better than amazing love - Kelly Flanagan writes at 'UnTangled' and wrote about the need to accept one another without expecting perfection. Real love accepts me just as I am.

He uses Valentine's Day as a springboard to get us thinking about the bondage of expectation from others and the freedom of acceptance. As he says, somewhere inside we all know that we fall short, we all know we are broken.

To be accepted, brokenness and all, by those who love us is therefore a great gift. Pressure to be amazing will only damage us, but permission to be broken releases us.
Kelly focusses on acceptance within marriage, but the principle applies across every aspect of life and relationship.

Read the original article...

14 November 2012

Blog post links and questions

There are a variety of ways to make blog articles more useful and interesting. These include the addition of a question section and a links section. Questions stimulate thought and discussion. Links make an article part of a wider network on a particular theme.

Typical 'Questions' and 'See also'
I've begun regularly adding 'Questions' and 'See also' sections at the end of blog posts. Both are intended to make the articles more useful.

An invitation to respond - I've noticed how some other bloggers include open questions at the end of their articles and it's been really helpful.

For one thing it encourages me to think for myself when I've finished reading. It's so easy to read something and then move straight on, but the questions interrupt that automatic urge to see what's next and instead provoke me to think through the implications of what has been written.

Sometimes I leave a comment purely because one of the questions has helped me to agree or disagree with something the author has written, or has taken me beyond what is mentioned in the article.

A list of links - I've also noticed 'See also' sections in some blogs, but this seems less widespread than the inclusion of questions. However, from now on my intention is to provide links in the 'See also' section for every post.

Some bloggers only post links to their own articles, but I'm going to try to link to other blogs and websites too. Expect to find links to other relevant blog articles, Wikipedia articles for topic overviews, recent articles from news organisations, and other stuff that seems relevant from time to time. For completeness the list always includes the links provided in the main body of the blog post.

It's my hope that readers will use the links to explore a trail from one blog post to another, not just within my own blog but much more widely.

I encourage other bloggers to pick up this idea and run with it. If enough of us engage in this rich linking all our blog articles will act as entry points into the wider discussion. It would be very helpful to our readers and it would also bind us into a wide and deep community of writers, commentators and commenters. Along with chain blogs and synchroblogs it would help us transcend the boundaries of individual blogging.

Organic Wine - Some time ago I set up an area on this site called 'Organic Wine'. It has its own tab below the banner. The idea was that this would list links to specific topics that are important to me, specifically around the subject of church in general and organic church in particular.

I haven't kept this up-to-date recently and I hope that the lists of links in articles will be a more flexible way of achieving the same end - linking to relevant material elsewhere in the blogosphere.

We'll see how it goes. If, over a period of time, the new linking arrangement seems successful I may freeze the 'Organic Wine' feature permanently and eventually take the dedicated tab away.

Previous, Next and Index - I have always added these links to the top and bottom of articles where they're part of a series. These links always refer to other posts on 'Journeys of heart and mind'.

When I write a series on a particular theme it's particularly useful for readers to be able to skip to the previous and next articles in the series. It's also useful to see a list of the entire series on a single page (the index). Doing it this way also means the series does not need to be continuous, I can intersperse stand-alone articles that have nothing to do with the series.

To see this in action, here's a list of the series index pages on this blog.

Questions:

  • Do you find the 'Questions' section useful? How? Why?
  • Do you find the 'See also' section useful? How? Why?
  • Do you think I should continue with 'Organic Wine' or not?
  • If you're a blogger, do you think you might begin cross-linking in a similar way?
  • Are there other ways we could make blog articles more useful to our readers?

See also:

30 October 2012

A new look for the main article

This is the first post in a new format. A change of font and a focus on the current article will refresh the blog and make it easier to read. There are also several other ways to see 'Journeys of heart and mind'.

The old style blog
From now on I plan to offer articles in this new font and display them in their entirety.

Here's a sample of the old font.

I'm also widening the text area as screen widths have continued to increase and can usually accomodate the new size.

I'll only display a single article (in the past I've offered three truncated articles). Some adjustments and simplifications to the right hand column have further simplified the layout and the images will be larger in future.

I posted my intention to make this change several weeks ago, hoping for some feedback. But it's not too late! Leave a comment to tell me whether you think the new style is an improvement or not.

Dynamic views - There are several other ways to view the site, maybe you'd like to experiment with them. These are alternatives to the normal view so find one you prefer and bookmark it so you can revisit whenever you like. Or bookmark several if you like more than one.

  • Classic - See the current article in full, scroll down for previous posts.
  • Flipcard - An album of images, hover to flip them, click them for the full article.
  • Magazine -  Looks like a magazine page with articles arranged in blocks.
  • Mosaic - Pick a picture.
  • Sidebar - Titles on the left, article on the right.
  • Snapshot - Like a set of photos, hover and click for an article.
  • Timeslide - One photo, several extracts, and all titles month by month.

Mobile devices - There's a separate version of the blog for mobiles.

Sign up - Don't forget that you can also receive the blog posts by email or read them in an RSS feed. The 'Subscribe' tab has all the details.

See also: Changing the websiteEnjoy the viewA new look for 'All about Jesus'

18 October 2012

Changing the website

It's time to change one or two things about this blog, and it would be good to have some suggestions from my readers. I'm considering changing the way articles are displayed, and I've already modified the range of other blogs I link to.

The Journeys blog in October 2012
I like to check how well the blog is working from time to time.

If necessary I can make some changes. I don't like to change things often as it may cause some confusion, but sometimes a few improvements are necessary.

Recently I added quite a few additional items to the 'Other Blogs' section in the right-hand panel. In a later section of this article I'll explain why.

Current article - But first, I'm considering another change and I'd like to know what you, dear reader, think about it. At present, the default page includes extracts from the three most recent articles and you have to click a 'Read more' link if you want to see an entire article. I might change this.

How would you feel if instead, I displayed just the first article but showed it in full? That way you would never need to click 'Read more...' to see the current article. I'm considering displaying it in a larger font too, any comments on those changes? Of course, you'll still be able to read older articles from the 'Article Archive' which I might move to a more prominent position.

I've noticed a few other blogs doing it this way; I think it works rather well and is easier to read. There are other possibilities as well. I could, for example, make the extracts much shorter, perhaps leaving out the images, and provide many more extracts per page.

Blog links - Now back to those links to other blogs. In the past I have mostly included blogs about the Way (what you might call 'Christian' blogs). But I'm interested in many things and would like to share more of them with you too. I've therefore added more links to blogs on science, the environment, space, history and astronomy and will probably add more again.

I'm currently displaying the ten blogs with the most recent new posts, newest at the top. At peak activity times, this seems to cover about an hour or two. During the night it will be a bit longer, say three or four hours or so. There's a 'Show All' link at the end of the list that you use to see the older items.

Please leave comments to let me know what you think of these changes; if you have any objections please say what they are and let me know why you object. In a week or so I'll make the changes whether or not there have been any comments, but if there are comments I will consider them carefully first.

It's your chance to influence 'Journeys of heart and mind'.

Are there other things you would like to see changed? If so, do let me know. I can't promise to implement every suggestion, but I will consider them all carefully.

See also: Enjoy the viewA new look for 'All about Jesus'

22 February 2012

From the archives...

Sometimes it's fun to look back. Here's what I was blogging in February in previous years. From trouble in the Middle East to ancient photographs.

The archivesA year ago - The trouble was starting in Libya a year ago, just as it now has in Syria. As we thought and prayed for the people and government of Libya a year ago, so we should also do for Syria now.

COMMENT: How things have moved on! History will not repeat itself, the situation in Syria is different, probably far more dangerous internationally than the upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. We can also now pray for the development of stable democracies in those countries, it's not a foregone conclusion for any of them. Don't forget the smaller countries too - Dubai and Yemen for example.


Two years ago - A word from the Spirit. He tells us to follow him, not one another. Our callings are different so if we are all obedient we will be doing different things. We shouldn't persuade others to do what we do, we should encourage one another, not criticise.

COMMENT: This is the key to peaceful hearts and minds as we share our lives together in Christ.


Ten years ago - I was just starting the adventure of blogging. Here's the third post I made, a brief thought about photography following a chat in the office with friends.

COMMENT: Photography records the past for us in a very special way. We can see what was present in a place up to 186 years ago - the oldest surviving image was made in 1826. When photography was invented it was a novelty, but now some of those early efforts are a source of historical information.

13 February 2012

Review Award - Rhoda

< No earlier items | Index | Be the light >

It's time for the first 'Review Award' which goes to Rhoda's delightfully titled 'Living to Please God'. Why does she get the first of these? Because she sparked the idea recently so she deserves it!

Living to Please GodRhoda lives in Wales and has a blog called 'Living to Please God'.

Her husband is an American missionary leading a local church; they have a young family that Rhoda is home-schooling. That must be quite a challenge! She somehow finds time to write about many things including church, family, blogging, holiness and more - but all of them are rooted and centred on Christ.

Why I like the blog - That consistent Christ focus is one of the reasons I like Rhoda's writing. Another is her propensity for kindness and gentleness with her readers, even when writing on difficult or challenging topics, although she doesn't shy away from dealing with those issues. For a good example of this look at 'The dangers of questioning the Bible'.

What else? Ah well, the banner image is just wonderful. It shows a serene lake surrounded by mountains, possibly somewhere in Snowdonia which just happens to be one of my favourite parts of the British Isles. Am I allowed to like a blog for its banner? Of course!

And last, but by no means least, I have yet to see an article on Rhoda's blog that is not interesting and engaging. This blog is simply written, straightforward, and packed with good things.

Selected quote
This blog is here to share what God is teaching me about living for Him, in the hope that it will help and encourage others.
This simple statement sums it up, really. This is what 'Living to please God' is all about, and it's what Rhoda herself is all about. If we can't engage in ordinary, messy life and take Jesus there with us, we have failed to follow him as we should.

Conclusion - Jesus didn't call us to fine theological discourse or endless argument over small details, he left those things to the scribes and pharisees. Instead he healed the sick,  threw out demons, and made life better for ordinary people. He even provided wine for a wedding when it ran short. He covers our poor planning and our lack of resources in all that we do. He is - basically - a hero in every possible way.

If he's our hero what else should we do but learn to live for him, hoping to help and encourage others? If that is your goal you will find abundant hints and help in Rhoda's blog.

< No earlier items | Index | Be the light >

12 February 2012

The AAJ Review Award - INDEX

(See indexes on other topics)

Awarding a review and a badge to other bloggers seems like a good idea. It will be fun to do and will help link blogs together. Hopefully this and other schemes will encourage a developing sense of community.

The 'Review Award' is a new idea, sparked by a comment on one of my recent posts. It was really encouraging to receive an award, in fact it made me grin from ear to ear! And that's good; we should encourage one another.


Hopefully, review awards will help other bloggers by encouraging them, drawing new visitors to take a look, and strengthening the blogging community in general.

I like the idea of providing a badge and I'll start with the simple design displayed here - we'll see how it goes.

You can view recent awards, or pick from the list below (most recent awards are at the top).

2012


12 November 2011

Enjoy the view

For several years I've been offering exciting alternative ways of reading the AAJ blog. These browse views depended on a Google service that had remained experimental until a few weeks ago. Now it's gone mainstream.

Google is calling these dynamic views - and that is what they are. Please take them for a spin, they're great fun! They are as different from the usual way of reading a blog, as flicking through a photo album is from reading a book.

We'll take a quick look at each of them in turn. Begin by clicking the 'Browse' tab below the main banner at the top of the page. Now click the image or the 'Go for it!' link (they both do the same thing). You'll see two gears turning and then you'll see the default, 'Mosaic' view. The only way back from here is to click the blog title 'All about Jesus' in the top-left corner.

  • Mosaic - This view lets you browse the images from the blog articles. More pictures appear as you scroll down. Hovering over an image makes it expand slightly and the article's title appears. Clicking an image brings up the full article but you can still scroll up or down to see more images. Point to 'Mosaic' in the black bar to select another view or click the blog title to return to the old, standard interface.
  • Classic - In the 'Classic' view you see the full text of the articles, as you scroll down more and more will appear.
  • Flipcard - Here you will see a regular array of images. As you hover over an image it will flip over to reveal the article's title. Click the flipped picture to open the article.
  • Magazine - This view shows a summary of the most recent article with images and extracts of older ones below. Once again, click and article to open it.
  • Sidebar - Here you will see the most recent article along with a left sidebar with small images and abbreviated titles for older articles. Click these to open them.
  • Snapshot - This view looks like a table top covered with photos. Hover over them to expand and straighten them, click to open them.
  • Timeslide - Finally, the 'Timeslide' view is good for scrolling far back very quickly. Only a few images are shown but in a good size.
And remember - click the blog title 'All about Jesus' to escape from these various browse views.

See also: Changing the website, A new look for 'All about Jesus'

26 September 2011

A new look for 'All about Jesus'

It's good to refresh things now and again, whether it's church, the decor, lifestyle or just a website.

The old version
The appearance of 'All about Jesus' has been fixed for a very long time. So welcome to the new look! Under the bonnet (as we say in the UK) nothing has changed. The content is the same but it's been poured into a fresh container.

A word about the banner and the little icon that appears on your browser's tab - this pizza thing - what is it and why is it here?

The clue is the Greek word 'Ichthus' which you can see in the banner. 'Ichthus' means 'fish' and it was used by Jesus' early followers as a symbol on a house or a door. The same idea is still used today, you'll sometimes notice a car with a stylised fish sticker - it just means 'we follow Jesus'.
The Ichthus icon
The round symbol is what you get if you write out the Greek letters for Ichthus but instead of side by side you write them all on top of one another. Here's a list of the letters, can you see each one in the 'pizza' shape?

For fuller details read the 'ichthus' article.

05 August 2010

Where next with this blog?

This is the first post since 23rd June. I've been busy with 101 things and have failed hopelessly in my attempts to keep things up-to-date. In particular a family holiday in North Wales and work leading to the opening of a coffee/book shop on 14th August have demanded a lot of time, and the holiday was in an area where internet access was rather problematic.

As a result I've been thinking about ways of restructuring what I do. Currently I manage four blogs and a variety of other sites. The main parts of my online presence are...
  • All About Jesus (AAJ) - which you are reading right now. This blog is a record of meeting notes, thoughts, announcements and more. It centres on my spiritual life and those of my friends. AAJ developed from online meeting notes and goes back to 2001.
  • The Scilla Blog - this is a series of posts about other things that interest me - science, technology, thoughts about life, things I have read, things I have noticed, photography etc.
  • My personal 'home' page - also called 'Scilla', it has a little information about me and links to the other websites.
  • The Cornerstone website - the internet presence for the Cornerstone Cafe and Bookshop in St Neots.
  • Sundry other sites -  blogs, wikis, Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter. Some of these are for personal use, others are part of my public presence on the web.
What I think I might do is collapse all these down into just two main sites, AAJ (this blog) and the Cornerstone site. I will also retain some of the wikis and other sites as glue and to communicate with close friends and family.

The main impact of doing so would be more frequent posts here on AAJ and on a much wider range of topics. I'll make sure to provide links to the old sites so it will be easy to read older items.

01 March 2010

Climate change - Truth or deception?

Most scientists are agreed, we have a serious problem on our hands. A typical glacierPossibly less severe than we fear but just as possibly more severe than we fear. Meanwhile there are plenty of sceptics who claim the data has been fixed or incorrectly analysed.

It's no good speculating and it's no good just crossing our fingers. We need to know whether the science is sound or not. It makes a difference. Do we need to stop releasing CO2 and methane or can we safely continue as we've been going?

Whichever side of the debate you are on, I strongly urge you to take a good look at Dan Satterfield's latest blog post. He has no doubt which side he is on. I agree with him and I really want to encourage everyone to read his post and its two main references and draw their own conclusions. This is one of the best posts on this topic that I have seen.

11 November 2009

Cycling to Australia - and he has time to blog

Oli Broom is cycling to Australia and blogging as he goes. Oli Broom in the commentary boxHe left Lord's Cricket Ground in London on 10th October and is aiming to arrive in Brisbane in time for The Ashes in 2010. He plans to teach cricket to people along the way, now perhaps that's the real challenge!

He is sharing his experiences in a blog and on Twitter as he travels and it's going to be a fascinating one to follow. The best place to start is not his current post, nor is it his first. The best place is surely the post he wrote on 26th September, an introduction.

Well done, Oli! It's a heart warming thing to see someone really going for a goal, overcoming obstacles, ignoring doubts and fears, and just doing it. Perhaps we can all learn something about life from this. This is certainly an experience Oli will remember all his life.

Cycling to Australia is not my thing, it doesn't excite me. Probably it's not your thing either.

So what will it be for you? If you could only do one thing during the remainder of your life, what would it be? And would you be willing to put everything into it as Oli is putting everything into this trip to Australia? Most of us spend our lives sleep-walking. Oli will be really living his journey.

09 November 2009

What, Lord?

This is a message from four years ago, a message from the prime mover behind this universe to one of his children. Lacy Haugan I think it's just awesome. The King of Kings wants to make us aware that he has something to say to us. The initiative is his, not ours. Sometimes we go to him with requests, sometimes we'd do better to listen and let him speak.

I won't say any more, the words that Lacy wrote four years ago speak most eloquently for themselves.

Here's a link to Lacy's blog where the words were originally shared.

There have been a number of times in my life with God when I have been just going about my daily business, and all of a sudden I feel this strong tugging that just won't go away. Like a child pulling on my shirt, or someone tapping their finger on my shoulder over and over. It's an obvious attempt to get my attention. And it happened this week.

I absoluetly love it when God does that. I mean how amazing is it that the God of all the universe (which fits neatly into His hand, by the way), the God who has access to billions of people on the planet, not to mention really cool heavenly beings to fellowship with - how amazing is it that this Person will tug on my shirt to get my attention.

I seem busy...He looks, He waits, He ponders...still busy...I wonder if she'll notice Me if I just lightly tap on her shoulder. Tap, tap, tap... She looks up briefly as if distracted from her work...then begins to type again. I know she is busy. I like the good work that she does. But just for a minute, maybe we could talk. Tug, tug, tug... She feels the pull and slowly finds a stopping place in her work. Tap, tap, tap... And then she realizes: it's Him. A deep breath and a rushing in her heart, and then she asks smiling, "What, Lord?"

And that's when it happens. He shares things that I know are what He wants, because He brought it up, not me. He shares His heart, His desires, His true thoughts. I have not convinced Him of something this time, I have not begged for it, I have not schemed up the idea myself, for it was He who pursued me to talk. Amazing. Simply amazing that God Himself has things on His heart that He wants to share with me. Even more amazing that He will seek me out to do that.

And when I feel that tug, that gentle yet increasingly more persistent tap on my shoulder (I actually feel it in my stomach, not on my shoulder), my heart races with delight, fear, and excitement. For the things that He says these times are the kind that often require action, faith, and getting out into my risk zone.

Tap on me, Lord. Tug on me. And interrupt me from my work. I long to be sought after by You. I long to know what is on Your heart to share. Tug on me.

Thanks to Lacy for writing this down and sharing it on line, and to the Holy Spirit for dictating it.

04 November 2009

Weird and wonderful maps

I love maps and plans. I always have. Most likely I always will. They encapsulate a place, a landscape, an idea, a society, politics, history, The World at nightwhatever may be of interest to whoever created the map.

Maps convey so much in convenient, overview form. I can pore over a good map for hours and hours.

So imagine my delight at discovering 'Strange Maps', a blog that's updated every day or three with yet another wacky map. Some of these are awesome, most are amusing or intriguing, all are fun providing they're not taken too seriously.

Take a few minutes to view a few of the posts, you won't be disappointed. Here are some that I particularly recommend for the cartophiles amongst my readers.

20 February 2009

Multi-authored blog, anyone?

I'd like to be part of a larger Christian blog. Some of the most widely read and effective technical blogs put out five or more posts daily. Editing a blog postBut individual bloggers post daily or less, often much less. Here on The Scilla Blog I'm doing well to manage a post every week, recently the rate is down to barely once a month. In some cases, multi-authored blogs might be the answer.

Why are blogs with frequent posts more widely read?

Quantity or quality? - OK, it's not all about quantity. The best blogs are those that combine good quality material on interesting topics with multiple posts daily. One of the places this is done to good effect is in the area of electronics, computing, and technical stuff.

Take a look at the blogs listed below. Even if you're not interested in the topics, take a quick look and get a feel for the quality and sheer quantity of the items.
Clearly, this is much more effort than one writer can produce.

Most of the really successful blogs are run by companies or societies. Possibly a very enthusiastic full-time writer might make a brave attempt, but most of us have day jobs, families, education, as well as homes and gardens to care for. To populate a blog with, say, five posts each and every day would need 35 people each posting once a week.

A shared blog - So what I'm asking is twofold. First, can any of my readers recommend a good, multi-authored Christian blog that I could join. And secondly, if nothing suitable already exists, is there anyone out there that would like to share in setting one up?

I'm looking for a blog that focuses on wholesome, interesting comment covering world news concerning the Church, teaching items, reports on meetings and conferences and so forth. I'd prefer it to be open to all points of view but failing that, primarily supportive of house church, organic church, simple church (whatever you call it). But above all it absolutely must be honouring to Christ and giving him the glory in everything.

I've tried hunting for something of this sort online, but I've drawn a blank so far. There's a website called blogs4God that seemed a good place to start, but it doesn't quite hit the spot. Am I too fussy?

Why The Scilla Blog? - When I started The Scilla Blog I intended to post material that would be of interest to a wide audience, I just wanted to post about all my interests. I hoped that someone interested in astronomy might discover that archaeology is fascinating too, that a photographer might find a new insight into Christianity, that local people might find out more about the internet. But now I'm feeling the need to be part of something much more focused, something that I know I can't do on my own.

I don't plan to stop posting to Scilla, but I'd like to be posting elsewhere too - but not on my own. Most of all I'm looking for a place where I can post when I'm inspired to do so even if that means three times in two days and then not at all for an entire month.

29 August 2008

Making the most of blogs

It's really good to know you're here, reading the Scilla Blog - thanks for dropping by. The Technorati logo and menuMaybe you read many blogs, maybe you read only a few or even just this one. But however many you read, there are useful ways of coping more effectively with the 'blogosphere' - the rich world of blogging. It's a very rich world - if you know how to mine it for gold.

Today we'll take a look at finding specific information using a tool called Technorati. Surfing around from blog to blog at random is interesting for a while, but suppose you want to check out what bloggers are writing about fire ants, or your home town, or a famous author, or a place you intend to visit on holiday? Many of you will use Technorati and other tools already, but if not - read on.

Technorati is a website providing search functions tailored specifically for blogs. It's easy to use and it's very flexible. As an example, check this search result for posts on organic church. There are several things to note about this.

The search looks complicated ("house church" OR "organic church") NOT China NOT Chinese NOT cell. It's not as hard as it appears, we'll unravel it in a moment but for now notice that it's made up of several search terms joined together. Now look at the results, hopefully all of them will be about house church. Each item is a blog post. They come from many different blogs, and are posted by a host of different people. They're presented with the latest posts at the top.

You can scroll down and read any that catch your eye.

Understanding the search - Lets look at this search in more detail. We'll start at the beginning.

"house church" - This is in double quotes which simply tells Technorati to treat it as a phrase, not two separate words. If we searched for house church we'd find all the posts that mentioned 'house' and all those that mentioned 'church', try it in Technorati and see for yourself! "organic church" works the same way, we're looking for the phrase, not the separate words.

OR - This is an operator, when Technorati sees it is acts on it in a particular way. OR finds blog posts that contain either this or that, in our example posts will be included if they contain the phrase 'house church' or the phrase 'organic church' (or both). I've added brackets to make it clear this part of the search belongs together, both for our benefit and for Technorati's.

NOT China - This tells Technorati to leave out any hits containing the word 'China'. Why are we doing this? It's because, in China, 'house church' doesn't mean church in a home, it mainly refers to churches that are not government approved. We've done the same with 'Chinese' and 'cell' as these terms remove some more posts we didn't want to include.

Creating a search - The next step is to understand how to create our own search. Maybe we want to know about Siamese cats in California. Who's posted about that recently?

Try a search for 'cat' - over 340 000 hits when I tried it.

Now search for "Siamese cat". - just 900 or so results this time. That's better.

And finally, try a search for "Siamese cat" AND California - now we're only seeing 29 hits.

You should be getting the idea now. Decide what you want to read about and build yourself a search to find relevant blogs. Happy reading!

Read more on searching Technorati from About.com.

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