Welcome!

Welcome to my new home… at least on the internet.

If you read my last post, then you know my life flipped upside down this week. As of last Wednesday, I stepped foot in America again for the first time in two years. Prior to that, I was living in Africa, working as a church planter and missionary. This post begins the other side of that coin. Ironically enough, returning “home” feels like anything but that. I left all that had become familiar and have returned to foreign.

Now I get to start seeing life from a different perspective, hopefully with a fresh set of eyes. As I do, I plan on discussing that here.

First, let me explain some of the changes and new features around the site. Obviously, the site has been completely redesigned. I no longer live in Africa, so it would be quite a feat for me to continue writing musings from the dark continent. So, the old name had to go. I also chose a different color scheme, one that will hopefully be a little easier on the eyes.

Here are the specifics:

New address (keelancook.com)
I am no longer hosted by Blogger. With the help of my particularly web-savvy Journeyman partner, we moved this blog to a place where it had a little more room to grow. The new address is blog.keelancook.com. If you have my old location bookmarked, make sure to change that and pass this new address along.

The name
I know its weird, but if you are wondering, “Why a tree?” then the answer is here. Go read it.

The connectivity
As people have started reading this blog, I have been encouraged by the number of people who have said they passed it along to others. I decided since I was starting over fresh, I would make that as easy as possible. After all, who writes a blog and doesn’t want people to read it?

RSS Feed:
If you are not a follower of many blogs, you may not be familiar with RSS syndication. This is basically a way of subscribing to my blog as though it were a magazine that would get delivered to your mailbox. By subscribing, you will be notified every time a new post is added to this blog. There are a couple of ways you can do this. If you use an RSS reader (such as Google Reader, NewsGator, or the RSS function in Safari) then you can simply click on the RSS icon at the very top of the right sidebar. (It is the funny looking thing that gives the impression my blog has good cellphone signal.) If you would prefer to receive my posts directly in your email inbox, you can type in your email address and submit it where it says “Follow by email.” Both are really simple and will notify you of future posts.

Facebook integration:
You can now become a fan of this blog on Facebook. If you will notice, I have one of those boxes at the bottom of the right sidebar that shows you all the people who have liked the blog on Facebook. If you want to be notified in Facebook when I post something new and make changes, want to show your support for the blog, or  you want to keep up with conversations that happen about posts on Facebook (which seems to be where most of the commenting on my posts occur), then click the like button in that box. There will also be additional content accessible in the accompanying Facebook page for the blog. Clicking this like button allows you to participate there as well.

In addition, you can like or share any specific blog post. I am always encouraged when I see people have passed something on to others. I periodically get emails letting me know that posts were shared, and that is always fun to hear. I want the word to get out as much as possible about this thing, so I have tried to make this an easy process. If you find a post worth sharing, then you can either click on the buttons in the hover bar to the left or at the bottom of every post. By clicking these buttons, it will post a link in your news feed about that post right from the blog. This way, you can share it with your friends.

Finally, if you will notice the Facebook icon in the top of the right sidebar, that will take you to my personal Facebook page. If you have stumbled across this blog and do not know me personally (or do and we have not connected on Facebook yet) click that so we can begin our McFriendship.

Twitter:
I gave in. I have avoided using Twitter for years now, but I have finally been ensnared by its pithy little one-liners. At first, I began using it as a supplement to my Facebook stalking routine. I would sit quietly lurking over my Twitter feed but never posting anything. I used it as a personal news aggregator, and it worked quite well. I could watch politicians squabble about a debt ceiling and know every time my friends went to the bathroom (because people seem to post absolutely everything they are doing on Twitter), and I could find out all of that quality information at the same time.

However, if you know me personally, you know I cannot sit in on a conversation and actually keep my mouth shut. I decided with the advent of this new website and a new chapter in life, I would use Twitter as a means of keeping the conversation from the blog going. If you want to follow thoughts that may not make it into this blog, or find out when I go to the bathroom, then click on the cute little Twitter icon at the top of the right sidebar and that will allow you to follow me.

Also, as with the Facebook share option, you can share a link to a blog post on Twitter. The buttons to do that are located in the left hover bar and at the bottom of the posts as well.

 

That should be all the explanation you need for know. My hope is that these improvements will help you have a better reading experience, and perhaps, allow you to share this blog with others.

So, take a look around the new site. Let me know if you like what you see. Click the like button in the Facebook box, make sure and subscribe to the feed, share some posts with friends, find me on Twitter, and enjoy!

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