BCC Contest! Enter now, and win!

At long last, our first contest. It was only a matter of time before we gathered enough intellectual and spiritual capital to unveil such a rich opportunity.

Without further ado, here is the contest!

The Prize: A Google Email account, courtesy of yours truly. Think of it: 1 GB of free email, cutting-edge technology and 10 MB max attachment size. Never empty your inbox again! See here for more information on how Gmail could change your life forever.

The Challenge: Come up with a good idea for BCC, whether a suggestion for a post, an idea for added functionality, or a different and new approach to LDS blogging. Post your ideas below.

The Rules: Anyone can apply, including BCC staff members, random people from the bloggernacle, even visitors from T&S. Suggestions for posts should be at least somewhat LDS-related, and the person winning with a post suggestion must write the post and reply to comments. Suggestions for added functionality must be Blogger-compatible, and the person suggesting the functionality must show us how to do it (unless it’s something lame like, “uh, the sidebar doesn’t show up in Netscape”). Judgments will be made by a group of BCC posters after we’ve received some good ideas (which, based on the number of comments lately, could take awhile).

That’s it! Put your faculties to work, brethren and sisters, and win the sweetest email account around. These email accounts have been going for crazy prices on Ebay, but it’s yours for the taking. Email me with any questions.

Comments

  1. “discourage”??

    oh, how lily-livered you are, Dave. Come on, man! We HATE stupidity around here…

    Kudos for the other ideas — but how would we incorporate those other lists, practically speaking? A pop-up window to a page of links? If so we’ll need to host it somehow.

  2. “I’m not sure why that would convince you to switch to a new template since you currently donÂ’t excerpt posts.”

    I don’t except them because I can’t, not because I don’t want to.

  3. “Kim Seiver already proclaimed that idea”

    So did Kim Siever.

  4. A scavenger hunt.

    Hmm, better make that an easy scavenger hunt. Blog readers have short attention spans. Err, what was I saying again?

  5. D. Fletcher says:

    A thread on our heroic organists, and how to keep them from leaving the church permanently.

    Plus, a side thread on how to do your home teaching effectively using only a weblog.

  6. Alas, Dave, Kim Seiver already proclaimed that idea.

    I think we should consider more basic ideas like font changes, sizes, layout, etc.

  7. All right Measure! A very cool bid for the prized email account.

  8. Alright, here’s my idea:

    First, the two inspirations for the idea. You may have heard of the movie “Supersize Me.” For those that haven’t, it’s a documentary in which a man eats every meal, three times a day, at McDonalds, for an entire month. It documents his health and the changes his body makes throughout the month, as a sort of longitudinal experiment on what McDonald’s food does in high doses, to the human body.

    Second inspiration: Gary Cooper’s post at Doctrinal:net on studying the scriptures intensely. Specifically, Gary writes that on his mission he was able (I do not know how) to read the scriptures for four to six hours a day, which resulted in an extremely heightened spirituality, including the receipt of many revelations.

    So here’s the idea: I’m going to mix the two. I’m going to go on a diet of pure Book of Mormon, allowing no other optional inputs in my life. Meaning: outside of work and encounters with actual people, I will not have anything put into my brain besides the Book of Mormon. For a month I won’t watch TV, won’t read anything else, won’t do movies, music (except background sacred), or internet (besides blogs). Every spare moment when I don’t need to be doing something else will be spent reading from the Book of Mormon. It will be a month of pure Book of Mormon.

    During and after the diet, I will report on the experience.

    Of course, while it may be interesting for BCC to host this feature, it’s not a big deal if they don’t, as I’ll probably run it at my blog instead- I’m thinking either July or August (nothing on TV anyway after the NBA finals end, right?) However, the cross-pollination of doing it here might be fun as well.

    Anyway, there’s my submission.

  9. Alright, it’s time for serious suggestions if I’m going to get that Gmail account. I’m sick of Yahoo. (1) It’s time to revamp the links to show real site names, expand the list as everyone loves to be linked to, and provide category links for the archives. Does Blogger do categories?(2) Must display recent comments list on sidebar, otherwise discussion of any but the top post withers quickly. Can the Blogger template be jiggered to do this?

  10. Ben Huff says:

    An upside to not having excerpts, for the casual reader, is you can read the original posts (which are, on average, the highest quality-per-word part of the site) without feeling like you have to get sucked into the comments : )

  11. And finally I have to ask:

    Are you really satisfied with the color scheme. It reminds of a ’70s American-made luxury sedan. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    But did the colors come with the place or were they chosen on purpose? Cause it’s not hard to change that. You may notice that I changed the color of my ‘hover’ link from the awful (imo) rust color that seems to be a Blogger standard (it’s the one used on this site too) to what I think is a much nicer olive green.

  12. Another serious suggestion that falls within the parameters of Blogger is to move from Haloscan commenting to Blogger commenting. The advantage is you get a page link that shows the post (in full) with all comments below it on one page. Go look at Arwyn’s blog for an example.

    http://arwynevenstar.blogspot.com/

    Grasshopper at Let Us Reason is using both Blogger and Haloscan comments, with comment counts for both displayed under each post.

    http://letusreason.blogspot.com/

    Finally, I think Blogger will continue to upgrade features, so before too long there will be a way to post a recent comment list on the face of the blog. Google bought them–how long can Google let six guys in a garage (Six Apart does Movable Type and Typepad) put out a better product than they do?

  13. Ben, by that are you referring to how non-members interpret it when they feel the Spirit, or are you talking about the extent to which they can/do?

  14. Ben, that’s a cool idea, I don’t think it’s one that’s come up on BCC.

    Note to self: come up with searchable index of archived posts. Hey, did I just win my own contest?

  15. D., if it makes you feel better, you can use limited HTML tags.
    you can include links: Hyperlink
    Bold text
    Italics

    New Paragraph

    Line break
    As for editable functionality, admins and blog posters have that, but I don’t know of any commenting system with spell-checking (unfortunately). Perhaps you can take comfort in knowing that if I don’t like your posts, I’ll edit them?

    As for your Patriot Act-style suggestions, what, our Blogger profiles aren’t enough??

  16. D., the more important question is how quickly the Church leaves its people — never.

    lol

  17. Dave is the winner thus far, plus I’d slip in a bonus prize if someone could figure out how to make the recent comments thing work in Blogger, or for that matter a way to excerpt posts. Kaimi’s current setup is pretty good.

  18. Dave, I’d actually thought about buying advertising, like some popup window on T&S or something, like “click on the polygamist to win a DVD player!”

  19. For the church membership code.

    Put this ibetween your head tags:

    function MyCalc(){
    now = new Date();
    yearEnd2003 = new Date(‘Dec 31 2003′);
    document.myForm.myResults.value=(Math.round(((now – yearEnd2003)/1000*0.0108)+11985254));

    setTimeout(“MyCalc()”, 1000)
    }

    window.onload = MyCalc;

    and this between your body tags:

    <form name=”myForm”>
    <input type=”text” value=”” name=”myResults” />
    </form>

  20. Here’s a real simple one:

    Update your template so that your bcc: image banner links readers back to the main page.


    But of course the best improvement you could make to the site is add a link to mine.

  21. Here’s an idea to drive LDS traffic to your site… in the sidebar, put up a counter, based on statitstics available from the Annual General Converence, of how many members there are, updating in real time.

    As a collalary, based on retention percentages, you could put up a counter for “Fallen away year-to-date”

  22. Here’s another one:

    How come the permalink for bcc: posts is that tiny little pound sign? It took me a few seconds of hovering my cursor around all the ‘bottom’ post material before I realized that you did indeed have permalinks.

  23. Kristine says:

    Hire a nanny and/or housekeeper for Kristine, so that she can blog all day!

    heh heh

  24. Hmmm, you want categories. I suggest switching your blogger software to WordPress. You’ll get your categories feature right away.

    How about some artwork? Anyone out here artisticially talented? Besides the occasional poll, some kind of Mormon-themed drawing could help break up the page a little more — maybe even add some color.

  25. How about a “survivor” like contest, where we get to vote our co-bloggers off of the island, and the last one standing gets a million dollars?

    *Note: We’ll need to find a source of funding first.

  26. I already have BCC fame. Short of becoming a guest blogger—is that copyright infringement—how much for fame can I garner?

  27. I already have Gmail, so there is no incentive for me to post suggestions.

  28. I am no longer in need of a Gmail account. Still, feel free to use my idea, and let me know next week if you still need any more coding for it, but it looks like you’re covered.

  29. D. Fletcher says:

    I beg to differ, Steve. Certain leaders of the Church are pretty quick to leave their people, purging the Church of fringe members who are struggling. I have a personal witness of this.

  30. Ben Huff says:

    I can’t contribute any real web/blog savvy, but

    How about a post on the continuity between the spiritual realm and the supposedly temporal realm as we experience it, particularly the way the Holy Spirit fits into moral experience for those who don’t believe in the Holy Spirit?

  31. I have consulted with my programmer and he says he could work on a basic counter app like we’re talking about, but he won’t be able to do so until after the 18th, as he’s very busy with work right now.

    He says if we want it updating real time, it would take Java, and he’s not too good at that, but if a counter that updates when the user refreshes his browser would suffice, he can help.

  32. I have three ideas, Steve:

    1. Clone Nate.
    2. Buy advertising.
    3. Embed subliminal messages. Perhaps you have some fancy Java code that does this already. If so, use more of it.

  33. I’m not sure if blogger offers this option… but perhaps you could insert a “style switcher”? Then you could have a variety of styles, font-sizes, etc. for the readers to choose from. You could keep this color-scheme but have some other options as well.

    I haven’t put one of these on my site yet but they can be a nice asset to a blog.

  34. D. Fletcher says:

    If what you want is a lot of posts, it seems like the best idea would be to put up a contest a week.

  35. D. Fletcher says:

    In complete seriousness, I have a couple complaints about these blogs that you can ponder.

    The first one is, my posts take a little bit of time to upload, and sometimes don’t “take” at all. This is particularly a problem at Times and Seasons.

    The second complaint is that I would like editable functionality, so that I can spell-check and stuff afterward.

    My third wish would be for full HTML functionality like on the boards I’m used to, fonts, italics, and so forth.

    I’d like to know who everyone is, where they live, and so on.

    Other than these few quibbles, I’m happy to keep posting if you’re happy to have me. If you’re not happy to have me, you’re stuck, I guess.

  36. Kaimi, do you have a Gmail account already? That’s interesting…

  37. Kim, you could do it for a shot of BCC fame…

  38. Kristine,

    Isn’t that what polygamy is for?

  39. Kristine, the thought of you blogging all day is the best idea so far.

  40. Kristine, you mean you can’t blog from heaven? I thought that was the only explanation for Kaimi’s prolific blog output.

    You make a good point though. I’ll come up with some kind of counterweight activity to keep my purity points just below translation level (you don’t object to me getting my calling and election that month, though, do you?)

  41. More random ideas: (1) Change the tagline. I like “A liberal-minded Mormon blog: we tolerate dissent but discourage stupidity.” No matter how you wrap it, a claim to be intolerant rubs most people (i.e., all those who don’t live in Montana with an arsenal in their cellar) the wrong way.

    (2) Start a “Visitors’ Blogs” list, where we put links to blogs of those who drop in for comments.

    (3) Consider giving each poster their own short link list, i.e. “Steve’s Links” or “John’s Links” where each can put their own favorite sites about absolutely anything. Encourages diversity, creates links, gives posters something to blog about.

    (4) Make an “Emeritus” list to move the posters who no longer have time to post.

    My suggestions flow from the view that links and comments are the lifeblood of a good blog, and we have room to grow on both counts.

  42. My suggestion is to switch to a Blogger template and offer Blogger and Haloscan comments.

  43. Kristine says:

    Nah, Ryan, you’ll get translated, and nobody knows about internet connectivity after that!

  44. Oh, I should mention that it takes several seconds before it updates since the Church has a fraction of new converts every second.

  45. P.S., if someone can come up with a way to do a recent comments sidebar with blogger comments, please let me know too! I’d pay many, many Gmail accounts for that.

  46. Kristine says:

    Ryan,

    Maybe we can work out some kind of indulgence system–*I’ll* sin just enough to keep you out of heaven :)

  47. Ryan, that idea is so messed up, I love it. You could make it even more messed up – just read the PgP over and over and over.

    Danithew — not going to migrate to WP, MT, or anything else. Play within the current parameters!

  48. D. Fletcher says:

    Shocking news, but I have a board of my own.

    http://pub101.ezboard.com/fsondheimandusfrm2

    It’s a public site, but you will have to register before you can participate.

    It’s just a group, called Sondheim and Us, where we discuss musicals, music, movies, and anything else that suits our fancy. Though small, we are getting about 20 posts a day.

    It isn’t specifically LDS, but that’s probably a good thing — my eyes are blogged from reading all these LDS blogs.

  49. Steve,

    I foresee a larger problem. The population most likely to know about blogging is also the population most likely to have access to gmail anyway.

  50. Steve,

    If I knew the statistics, I assume I could create one.

  51. Steve, if you offer Haloscan comments on the new Blogger template, I see no reason to not have the Recent Posts as you have it set up now.

    Also, for the record, every Blogger comment has an ID for it. I don’t know how Kaimi coded the recent comments, but he may be able to use the same method.

    Blogger doesn’t excerpt posts yet. I’m not sure why that would convince you to switch to a new template since you currently donÂ’t excerpt posts.

  52. Ben Huff says:

    Steve, well, more how they feel it, and how to connect what we say with what they think/say about those experiences, but that presupposes that they do feel it. Can’t say I’ve followed BCC closely enough to know if this has been discussed recently; just something that I’m thinking about lately.

  53. Thanks Kim! Do you happen to have an inactivity counter, too?

  54. The emoticon should be replaced with:

    “8 )” without the space or quotes.

  55. Ben Huff says:

    This is a beautiful blog.

    Did you want more traffic? Here’s an idea . . . keep it just like it is, cozy and homey, and just skim a little of the cream off the refugees from T&S as it (according to the doomsayers, Heaven forfend!) becomes unmanageable in the coming months due to extreme traffic : )

  56. two good ones in a row! Thanks, William!

  57. Uh, like I said, I second Kim’s idea of adopting a Blogger template and adding Blogger comment capability. ;-o

  58. D. Fletcher says:

    Weird, I’ve always used the brackets before.

  59. whoah, sorry, I don’t know how that happened.

  60. Wow, Kristine, sinning by proxy. I give you points for creativity. By the way, if you do the sinning in my behalf, which of us eventually has to repent?

  61. Wow.. . measure, that’s a great, great idea. Can you come up with the code?

    William, I don’t think anyone’s really tied to the color scheme, but olive ain’t my style, either…

  62. D. Fletcher says:

    Yes, I’d like to know how quickly people are leaving the Church — one a minute?

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