|Our new Web site means a new day for ethics. Be assured that we retain our fidelity to the centrality of Christ in moral discernment and our faithfulness to the biblical witness. We remain dedicated to seeking justice and devoted to the local church as the key to social change. A new day refers to our Web site’s function and force, which will challenge people of faith to advance the common good.
The driving force behind the launch of EthicsDaily.com in 2002 was the desire to provide Baptist Christians with the latest news about current events and to offer accompanying moral reflection. In a 24/7 society, we recognized that week-old moral reflection on current events in religious publications wasn’t very useful. By the time readers received their newspaper or magazine, the culture had moved on to other issues. We believed that Baptist Christians and others desired and deserved timely religious news and moral commentary. That was why we began posting fresh information each weekday.
Since the launch of our 2002 strategy, many others have followed our path.
Technological changes continued to alter the information landscape. The advent of the blogging community enriched and complicated our strategy of providing daily news and commentary on moral issues.
The explosion of online video challenged our Web site’s strategy, which was locked in the world of text, pushing us to begin posting more and more video clips.
While our site developed over time a dated look, our readership continued to grow, soaring from 1.1 million page requests (the number of times articles were read) in 2004 to 3.7 million in 2008.
After several starts and stumbles, we began earnestly in the fall of 2008 to redesign EthicsDaily.com.
Our new site will continue our commitment to providing timely news about issues and relevant moral commentary. But the presentation of these and other articles will change.
Articles will be more visible for longer periods on the front page and easier to access on secondary pages. Our new search engine will enable readers to find more swiftly subjects of interest.
Our new format also allows us to post fresh material more quickly.
Add to these features the new blog hub. When bloggers update their blogs, our blog hub can be updated, drawing the attention of readers to new commentary and information from an array of people of faith.
Not only will we be able to make readers more aware of our own educational resources (curriculum units and DVDs), we will be making available in highly visible ways other spiritual, moral, cultural and pastoral resources.
Review the weekly lineup: On Tuesday, readers will find on the front page the option of downloading podcasts related to religious liberty and social justice. On Wednesday, readers will see featured sermon podcasts and have access to even more sermon podcasts on a secondary page. On Thursday, readers will have the option of downloading sermons delivered earlier in the week in the chapel at McAfee School of Theology. On Friday, more sermon manuscripts will be available.
But that’s not all. We will still provide stories from Religious News Service, which keep goodwill Baptists informed about the larger ecumenical and interfaith communities.
We will also be posting regular video clips—clips that we have produced and some that our partners have created.
We hope EthicsDaily.com will become an Internet stop each day for multiple reasons—news, movie reviews, book reviews, commentaries, blogs, podcast sermons and video clips. We think EthicsDaily.com will provide a dynamic platform for more resources, more synergy with productive partners and more visibility for things that matter.
Now, we know that all the glitches have not been ironed out.
Having moved some 6,000 articles from one computer language to another computer language, we must still fiddle with formatting tricks and technology. All the sermons from the old site have not been uploaded to the new one, as another example of work still to be done.
Nevertheless, we are pleased to release our new Web site, which aims at challenging people of faith to advance the common good.
If you like what we’ve released, tell all your friends about it!
And check back later today and tomorrow for newer information and more resources!
Robert Parham is the executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of EthicsDaily.com’s parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics.