1. What software do you use?
Our plan is to eventually host it internally, but TypePad is just too convenient, too cheap, and we know it too well to delay the launch for an internal solution.
2. Who provides the content?
Right now, the blog is a team effort. I am writing some and serving as what would best be called the editor. Much of the initial content has come from Terry and we're starting to incorporate writing from other departments.
3. Isn't it mostly repackaged from the rest of the site?
Yes and no. Yes in the sense that the blog is a way to highlight things that might get buried in a site with as much content as ours. Rather than emphasize 5-6 things on the front page, we can methodically point to certain items that are worth knowing about. And, for those who are comfortable subscribing to a RSS feed, the information now comes to them!
The answer is no in the sense that most of the first seven posts have featured content that we have rarely had on FellowshipChurch.com: a personal story about baptism, a concert setlist, baptism photos and celebration. The blog is an avenue for many things that we haven't had a quick and easy outlet to share.
4. No comments?
Every organization must make the decision of whether to enable comments on an official site based on its unique profile and responsibilities. If TypePad provided an option for moderated comments, we would seriously consider this, but as a high-profile church, we have a responsibility to provide a site free of comment spam and other inappropriate content, and simply trying to monitor and quickly remove that content is not an acceptable option.
We are incorporating reader comments via email, however, and more and more staff and members are starting blogs of their own. The blogosphere is an equal opportunity printing press and comments are only one form of conversation.
5. How has it gone so far?
The response from the staff and our membership has been terrific and we've been very pleased by the amount of traffic. In four days, we've had over 3000 hits and 55 subscribers to our RSS feed.
Lastly, the blog is now at a more convenient address: blog.fellowshipchurch.com.