A New Look for an Old Blog

Readers may notice that we have changed a few things on the blog, making the desktop and mobile versions more like each other than they were hitherto. This is only the first stage of an intended ‘refresh’ of the design and layout. Our principal reason for change was the need to ensure that the underlying code on which the blog relies is as free from vulnerabilities as possible. Having suffered a major cyber attack in the past (and ever since paying a lot of money for 24/7 professional monitoring, to ensure that no one’s computer is infected with malware, etc), the introduction of GDPR and the changes that required seemed a good time to overhaul the blog as a whole. So, what are the changes, and are they permanent?

First, I don’t intend to make any further changes for at least a fortnight. That is partly to allow myself to get over the chemocosh (and help prepare our accounts for their annual audit, groan). It is also because the shock of the new often overrides judgement. Most of us need to get used to change little by little.

Second, from a reader’s point of view, the changes made so far concern the following:

  • We are using a theme created by GeneratePress and tweaking it to suit our purposes.
  • We are using Alegreya serif as a typeface. That may change again.
  • We have introduced colour into post headers (you may not see them if you use a Dlvr.it or bitly link to get to a post).
  • We have changed the layout slightly to make our comment and quotation policies clearer, and to enable people to find the RSS feed more easily.

When I am satisfied that the basic structure of the blog is working as it should and load times are acceptable, we shall be introducing a few genuinely new elements, including more graphics, including photos. I am not the world’s greatest photographer and freely admit that words and typefaces are where my own interest lies, but I will try to make iBenedictines more visually appealing to those who have more pictorial imagination than I do.

You can help, as many have already (thank you) by letting me know of any difficulties you experience using the blog, and how you feel about the design changes.

What won’t change? There are no plans to change the type of content, nor the way in which opinions are expressed. A few kites will still be flown, and I hope the Holy Spirit will be there somewhere, ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus, ‘that God may be glorified in all things.’ (RB 57.9)

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A Colophon Digest

It has been suggested that a little book of some of the better blog posts in Colophon (you mean some were good? Ed.) would be worth making. I don’t think we are the people to make the selection, but if anyone would be interested in doing so, please would you get in touch? The whole blog is archived over on our web site at http://www.benedictinenuns.org.uk/blog/colophon.php. It would mean going through the entries and noting which you think would be suitable for publication. Not exactly a service to humanity but definitely a work of supererogation!

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A new blog for a new world

Long ago, when printers still made books using paper and ink, we began a blog called Colophon because it appeared at the end of our web site and told people something about what made up our lives as nuns. Four and a half years later, it has become unwieldy – probably because contemplative nuns let their keyboards run away with them, given half the chance. Not only that but the blog engine we used has been superseded technically and it’s now possible to craft a typographically more attractive site without finding that Internet Explorer users are facing a blank screen. The world has changed, and so have we.

Advent is a time for new beginnings, so we have archived our old blog and begun this new one which you can get to either by coming straight to this address or, after the week-end, by going through our community web site. The RSS feed has been burned with Feedburner, so we’ll see how that works out.

Our web site makeover is nearing completion (quiet alleluias from Digitalnun) and should be online within 48 hours. There are bound to be teething problems but patience is often described as being the fourth Benedictine vow. Maybe we’ll end up making Benedictines of all our readers.

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