This page is only temporary. It’s for adding notes and comments ABOUT the site before it goes live.
PW PROTECTED UNTIL LIVE
While creating, had some visitors and even a “follower” of the WP blog, while there was hardly any content and I had just been creating a menu structure. So, for now, password protecting. Anyone who needs access will need a WordPress login. I can give access for readers, editors, admins. If you get “admin” access, you can also give access for readers, editors and more admins.
GENERAL TENOR/VOICE/STYLE OF PRIMARY CONTENT
In my opinion, the site should be positioned as a place for the most fair and balanced, serious, comprehensive presentation (and discussion) of the 1914 doctrine and related chronology issues. In addition to the “static” articles which provide the basis for discussion (evidence, scholarship), it will also allow posts, comments and contributions from among JWs, non-JWs, and ex-JWs assuming the editors see fit to allow them.
Anyone who has something substantial to say about 1914, whether defending for or against — as long as it’s respectful. (All submissions can be edited before they appear, or very shortly afterward depending on the settings.)
In general, static content can sound a bit academic and scholarly, as long as we don’t overdo the Wt style passive voice. I think it’s more likely to get some readership if there are personal experiences included. Guest posts can be a bit more dynamic and will no doubt present a wider range of styles. I’ve put a few ideas up for some of the “posts” as opposed to pages. They include the 6 images for “featured” posts. I assume we’ll begin to feature a post that might give information about the 20 persons who have done the most work on the 1914 doctrine to make sure it is presented according to the best understanding known at the time. If presented this way it can include Miller, Barbour, Russell, Rutherford, Franz, Ray Franz, Rudd Pierson, Johnssen, Feuerbacher, etc, etc.
More scholarly or dense or lengthy posts should be put on full-width pages, which means the right column disappears. If pages in some sections still feel too long, they can be broken up into multiple pages that are linked from the previous page.
This is a hybrid site: a combination magazine site (rotating or fresh content) and static content site. (JW . org is also primarily a magazine, fresh content site, which also contains a lot of static content.)
We need static pages for their reference value and ability to find through a fixed menu system. We also need fresh fresh content look of new and rotating posts to attract repeat visitors who are not looking at the denser, boring (static content) pages.
The current menus are likely close to what we would use going forward for the first version of the site. I think it is already a maximum number of menus. The menus across the top break the 1914 doctrine into various more-specific subject areas with 4 consistent content types to look for in each subject area: an overview, a overview of the teaching & questions page, a page that presents the argument against JWs, and a page that presents the arguments for the JW teaching. (the order of the last two is probably wrong.)
There will be a set of 6 blocks representing recent or featured posts, and each of the posts (or at least several of them) will also appear on the default home page. (We can keep less of them attached to first page 3, 6 or 9 works best.)
Other posts don’t have to appear among the featured “grid” of posts on the home page. I think the default home page should include the images for the 6 featured posts. The actual posts will change as ongoing ideas are submitted.
LEFT SIDE NAVIGATION
The left side vertical menu will focus on direct Watchtower quotations. It can also be a place to present the history of specific doctrines (although this could conflict/overlap with the top menu, where it ALSO seems to belong for a few of the subjects). It’s natural that the quotes already create a kind of history, and allows the site to touch on ALL areas of chronology, not just 1914. If we are going to quote articles at length that explain the Wt position (and history) this also becomes an excellent place to position the rebuttals to those articles as submenus of the articles themselves.
By creating a place where the full contextual quotes from the WT publications will be found on all major chronological subjects, this will also cut down on some of the controversy around 1975 because this will be an appropriate place to include quotes about 1975. I’m not comfortable with a fair and comprehensive site that focuses on 1975 across the top. (Looks antagonistic.) 1975 should be discussed, honestly, but this can happen through posts. Could look as if it was contrived specifically to embarrass.
- OWNERSHIP OF SITE and ANONYMITY
I, as one of the authors/editors, I would like to remain fairly anonymous on the site, but will be willing to explain my complete history and association with JWs just without highlighting my name. (Some will know me, and that’s fine.)
I can continue to pay for the site ($99 a year) without owning it. It’s currently on WordPress, and will be regularly backed up. I think the WT might fight on the copyright issue. When and if such interest by the WT begins, we can get a little bit of marketing value out of that and then move the site to a country that is not as concerned with copyright or change the nature of the site to remove long quoted material. (That’s why most of it is in its own menu area on the left, so that if the site has to change, one set of menus doesn’t change much.)
MARKETING THE SITE
There are a lot of ways to promote a site. We will promote it through supportive websites and discussion pages. Other pages that many of the members already maintain. Possible ads on Google and Facebook. We should find all sites possible that can link to it. Of course, I’d like to see people take an interest from both the non-JW and the JW side. I am personally involved in a few “closed” JW sites through FB, along with over 1,500 JW friends on two facebook accounts and a pro-JW page.
There are several JWs who also regularly visit some ex-JW sites, and I think that if they also see this site presented as a fair and comprehensive place for discussions on both sides they are more likely to look at the site when we use it to promote the 1914 exposers around September/ October.
A TABLE TEMPLATE FOR PRESENTING WT MATERIALS AND SIDE BY SIDE COMMENTARY
This side could have different colors, or even explain a color-coding of the left mapped to this right side. Reason is that we want to avoid a lot of multiple rows in the tables.