So THAT’S what I’ve been up to.

I’ve sorta receded into the background lately, but with good reason. I’ve been doing the technical heavy-lifting for these new digs. They ain’t perfect, but a coat of spackle and primer and they’ll be fine.

Let me know if and when the seams start to show, either here or via the “Tech Issues?” link on every page. I’m especially interested in feedback from folks who use screen readers, because while I can sprinkle tags around and follow best-practices guides, I’m not exactly living in that mode and would love to hear from those of you who do.

There will be growing pains. There will be last-second alterations. There will be missing media, and stylistic problems, and edge cases we haven’t anticipated. But we’ve put a lot of effort into keeping all of that to an absolute bare minimum, and we’ll fix just about anything you point out as soon as possible.

It may be a while before I’m back to blogging regularly, mind you. I’ve got a lot on my plate most of the time anyway, and building and improving this place has kept me pretty occupied of late.

Welcome to The Orbit!

(Those of you visiting now because Hemant posted not an hour before I took the password box down — yeah. Greta accidentally posted her farewell post at FtB early but took it down almost immediately, but that was enough to tip someone to tip Hemant off. And the kickstarter isn’t live yet, but will be as soon as the video is complete. The social media blitz is actually scheduled for tomorrow morning, and I took the password box down early so I could get a few Jetpack and Google integrations complete before the REAL launch. Thanks for the advertising, Hemant. Wish he would have waited for the full launch, but hey. How was he supposed to know?)

We’re fully launched! Kickstarter is live! Welcome one and all!

So THAT’S what I’ve been up to.

31 thoughts on “So THAT’S what I’ve been up to.

  1. 1

    Looking forward to the new digs! Congrats!

    Quick question – are there individual blogger feeds? I found the RSS feed at but it’s network wide (and the ones at appear to be as well).

  2. 2

    It appears the plugin that runs the sitewide RSS feed might be taking over individual blogs too. Naughty behaviour. May have to make it use another name so as not to be so greedy about directing people to itself. More info soon.

  3. 4

    Well, once I saw who all was joining the network I realized I HAD to find a feed to follow so I wouldn’t forget where 90% of my favorite bloggers had gone.

  4. 6

    Testing, 1, 2, 3…

    Any chance there’ll be some layout tweaks? The site feels like something out of the Netscape 1.2 era: Plain black and white, few delineations, and no visible sidebar by default (without executing JavaScript).

    On the other hand I *can* leave comments, which is more than I can do on any Patheos blog.

    Good luck with the new site.

  5. 8

    I’m getting weird behaviour from the pull-down menu widget which seems to be pulling recent comments from all over the site, and not particularly recent ones. But then I am navigating this on a phone!

  6. 9

    Sorry, Xanthë, which one do you mean? There’s a pulldown menu under the logo on every blog that gives you a list of all the blogs, and there’s a list of recent comments on my blog in the sidebar that’s showing comments appropriately for my blog. Wonder if something went awry with the blog-switching the theme has to do to build some stuff. It’s possible somehow or another, in some conditions, WordPress loses track of what blog you’re on…?

    When you see this issue, are there any other artefacts? e.g. the blog banner missing or showing the incorrect blog?

  7. 10

    Minor issue:
    When visiting the Blogs page on the phone in vertical mode I get the blog list in only half of the screen (in one column instead of two). Only when I turn to horizontal mode are the blogs listed in two columns and take the entire screen.
    Browser: Chrome
    OS: Android 5.1.1

    Will there be a preview button for the comments?

  8. 12

    AlexanderZ: have added both of these items to my to-do list. AJAX preview should be easy enough to implement via a plugin. And it looks like on the smallest level of responsive, the blogs list isn’t flowing back into one column like it’s supposed to. I’m sure it’s due to those last second edits I was up til 2am last night doing, too. Ugh.

  9. 13

    And just so you know – aside from the minor issue above, I really like the layout of the site on both the PC and phone. You’ve done a great job!

  10. 14

    I figured you were just slacking off and partying through all that sweet click-bait money, but you were actually being productive. Yay!

  11. 15

    Heh. Note that we launched without ads (for the moment). I’m also putting strict limits on what sorts of ads appear, and they’ve gotta clear design to begin with, but I can promise the following: no clickbait “Elsewhere on the Web” nonsense. No autoplay audio (if I can help it — could be ad networks don’t let you filter those out entirely). No slideouts period, no popups period, no popunders period, no interstitials or modals, no mobile ads that send you to the goddamn store to download some bullshit app.


    *huff puff*

  12. 17

    Congrats to everyone! And thanks, Jason, for all the behind the scenes work. I never guess that’s what all the bloggers were up to. 🙂

  13. 18

    Front page loads 35 megabytes of images, which seems… excessive?

    Many of them are multi-megapixel photos which the browser is then expected to scale down; this can make some browsers get really upset and freeze for long periods while rendering.

  14. 19

    Andrew: you’re right, of course. The front page is not presently grabbing the thumbnails of the featured images. But the problem runs deeper in that apparently that’s because they’re not being built at all. It is on my to-do list… :/

  15. 20

    I did wonder what you’d been up to! Thank you a bundle, for doing the technical grunt work for The Orbit.

    The place looks great and the company even better. Strength to your arm!

  16. 21

    Also, are you in need of assistance? I’m in need of paid work. I can offer a like-minded attitude, an Australian time zone, and experience with WordPress and other free software.
    This comment has an email address you can contact me on, if this is of interest.

  17. 22

    Congratulations on the successful launch of “The Orbit”. I just added a listing for it in the “Blogs and Blog Hubs” section of my Atheist Websites Directory at .

    There are always technical problems with a new site, but overall it looks like you’re off to a good start.

  18. 23

    Thank you for adding the preview window!!
    But now that the comments at the Speakeasy are getting a bit too many, can you put an End and Home buttons that will allow to quickly go to the last comment and them up to the top-most part of the page?

  19. 24

    Thanks Bill!

    Alexander, I’ll do what I can. That’s probably useful for screen readers too — links for jumping around within a page is good standards for them. Really wish I had someone to properly beta that though.

  20. Nat

    This is probably small beans but I noticed that pings from other blogs are just redirecting to the blog post they’re on for me.

  21. 27

    Thanks for pointing that out, Nat! The URLs are there in the database, but the theme is apparently linking it improperly. I’ve been meaning to pull pingbacks into its own area so I will be doing some work around it anyway.

  22. Nat

    Is there a way to subscribe to a post without commenting? FtB had that feature attached to the comment box, but I’m not seeing it here.

  23. 31

    Er, oops! Sorry. Yes I was half asleep t’other night & yes, I do know about and am seeing the preview thingamawhatsit below which is showing my words as I ( typically mis)type them. Mea culpa.

    Editing ability is always nice but, yeah. My apologies again.

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