Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I am almost ready to release the new UUpdates. Two changes have been made to the current site and will carry over into the new one:

First is a set of optimizations to the database. I did some things to make results faster, and some of you may have noticed the total page count was lowered. By looking at the web traffic I noticed that people are far more interested in the latest information than they are in digging in deep, at least not routinely. So, I lowered the number of "feed items" stored to 10 items per site. Some sites had up to 30 items of monthly updates, which were unlikely to ever get read. The filter is just that -- not an extensive search -- as it is limited to pulling from only the excerpt and the title, so it's best used to track hot topics which are likely to appear in the title or first part of the post like filtering on "Second Life" which is getting a lot of press. But the more limited number of posts means searching back is less productive.

The second enhancement is really to offset the first. When it comes to searching I can't compete with a service like Google, so why bother trying? Thanks to Paul Wilczynski I don't have to compete, I can use Google. If a filter on UUpdates fails to find any results, the user will be directed to a page that contains the search results for the same term on Google Search of UU Blogs. Try an obscure reference like "equus" and UUpdates will return no results (at least it didn't when I tried it, Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) photos could change that). But will return results.

Monday, February 19, 2007

[insert blank] for Ministers

As many of you already know The Rev. Victoria Weinstein has been generating publicity with her PeaceBang's Beauty Tips For Ministers.

So, is there the potential for starting a series of blogs here? Similar to how there is a series of "[insert blank] for Dummies" (no correlation intended). As others have noted it is good publicity to have the "The Rvda. Weinstein victory" which I assume to be a fitting translation error of Victoria.

So will we get "Public Speaking Tips for Ministers" from Dan Harper? Or how about keeping the focus on personal appearance with "Fitness Tips for Ministers" from W. Frederick Wooden? "Computer Tips for Ministers" by The Rev. Scott Wells (UCC with an eye on UUA)?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Chalice coming soon

Like Ms. Kitty I am thrilled to be mentioned in the latest UU World. more specifically and not my blog. After the UU Blog Awards I got a bit of a bug to work on a redesign and finally kicking out some new functionality. It's not there yet, but in anticipation I wanted to share one thing I have finally settled on, a new logo/chalice.

The chalice idea is basically an inversion of an RSS button, with with orange radiating out instead of white. Unlike the new UUA chalice I wanted to keep the chalice off center, as the old Universalists did the off center with symbolic purpose. It's the same idea as the current chalice, but I like the new chalice a whole lot more. It looks less "Atari 2600".

Giving credit where credit is due the actual chalice above was done by Scott Abbotts I merely changed the "circles" around it.

I am sort of bummed I didn't finish the work before the publicity. The new release is coming.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Third Annual UU Blog Awards Feedback

Just a basic post to get feedback on the blog award process. What can be done better next year? It's an evolving process.

Should we have nominations, and then a run off to determine the five (at most) for voting? Or do folks like the long lists of potential vote getters?

Would it be easier for people to submit specific posts to an e-mail address? It might help by giving me a way to respond to any questions, and having a reply address.

More time to nominate, more time to vote, too long?

Would a time line announced further ahead of time help, or does that not really matter?

Third Annual UU Blog Award Winners

There is a reason that t-shirts declaring "World's Best Mom/Dad" can be mass produced. There is no absolute criteria by which something like that can be judged. We all have our own opinions of what is important in determining what is best. What makes an anecdote great? That it touches your heart? Gives a new perspective? Moves your soul?

However the lack of an absolute criteria does not make the gift of declaring someone "the best" insignificant. It is still a sincere gesture of appreciation. To those who have won, congratulations. Your efforts are appreciated.

To our runner ups please bear in mind that of the 200+ blogs tracked by UUpdates and others eligible for nomination only a dozen or so nominations per award came in. Each nomination, each vote was someone's sincere thanks for the thoughts and energy you spend on blogging. Thanks.

And to all those who helped spread the word, read the nominations, and in general participated thanks to you as well.

The Third Annual UU Blog Award winners have been posted and all vote totals are now viewable again.