This is Our 1000th Post – What Changes Are Needed to Make it to 2000?

We started in December 2005 and today is our 1000th post. We want to thank all our contributors, commentors and readers for bringing us to this point.

What do we need to do to continue our forward progress?

– Widen the discussion to include more non-BT related topics.

– Be more provocative.

– Focus more on growth related subjects.

– Address topics currently being discussed on other blogs.

Or we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing. The only problem with that option is that it’s been hard to get new contributors and our existing contributors have become markedly less prolific in recent months. So if you think we should keep on truckin like we’ve been, then how can we get and motivate new contributors to write on a somewhat regular basis.

We want to continue serving the Beyond BT community, so please help us help you by sharing your thoughts on where Beyond BT should be heading.

22 comments on “This is Our 1000th Post – What Changes Are Needed to Make it to 2000?

  1. Judy, Thanks for expressing your appreciate and accolades for the valuable advice and chizuk provided by our contributors and our commentors.

    We sent an email to your gmail account with information on how to contribute. Please let us know that you received it. Thanks.

  2. I’d love to be a contributor, not just a commenter! Where do I send my resume, CV or thumbnail bio? I enjoy emailing but I still haven’t figured out Twitter. I am 53 and have been frum since June 1974, way before the Internet. I really really enjoy this site and its network of smart sensible Baalei-Teshuvah giving helpful advice and sharing solutions. Wow, how much I would have loved to have had this resource thirty years ago!

    OK, I’m ready, if you’ll accept me as a contributor, just tell me how to get started. (I must be descended from Nachshon ben Aminadav).

  3. “I happen to think that this is one of the best laid out blogs. Maybe some search features would be helpful but I would not want to see any major changes to the format.”

    I agree and, believe me, I had nothing to do with it! My point is more directed to the making the “Topics Discussed” a little more specific or creating larger topic areas within which the more specific topics are listed.

  4. 1. I happen to think that this is one of the best laid out blogs. Maybe some search features would be helpful but I would not want to see any major changes to the format.

    2. I do not think the blog should deal with what other blogs are dealing with. Why do we need duplication?

    3. Perhaps a mission statement on the blog would be nice, including suggestions / rules about what constitutes a fruitful comment. (the “About us” is a good start but it could be built on.)

    4. I think original Torah or inspirational thoughts should be sought out and posted. This would give BTs a chance to show their stuff. It is nice to “have what to say” and sometimes in the larger frum world, BTs might not feel confident enough to express their original Torah ideas.

  5. I like Bob’s idea to reorganize the site so that it would be easier to zero in on specific information. That’s easy for me to say since Mark is the techie here : )

  6. Bas Yisroel: As I have mentioned before, we know the immense pain of having a child rejected from schools. The consequences are very troubling. The recent delay in opening of Lakewood girl’s high schools for the sake of the girls who had not been placed by September, was heartening, but still points to the fact that this struggle is more widespread than we would prefer.

    Have you found any support venues that are specifically dedicated to chinuch issues? I’ve found that R. Horowitz’ blog addresses most of these issues and, for me, was a good place to connect, virtually at least, with others who had similar experiences.

    I have wanted for a long time to join or begin an in-person group of frum parents dealing with non-conforming, or non-frum children who have had difficult experiences in school. If you, or anyone you know is interested in starting such a group, please get my e-mail from beyondbt.

  7. The way forward includes encouraging posts from a variety of posters.

    I feel that I am at an earlier stage in life and frumkeit than many of the active posters, being frum for about 3 years and recently married.

    I appreciate reading posts that come from those across the spectrums (life experience, bt experience, and hashkafah) because I generally find myself in the middle and benefit from looking in both directions.

    Encouraging/soliciting posts in only one direction will encourage comments and readership that is only in that direction.

    I benefit from the variety of posts and comments, and I imagine others do as well. That should be maintained.

  8. i don’t think you need to worry too much about people who are not yet observant or newly observant being turned off from reading posts made by those further down the path. i think such things can be encouraging, and even if they don’t seem like that in an overt way, they are real and it’s good for people to have a realstic take on what’s up ahead. and as far as the situation that once people have gotten settled, they have issues which are the same as FFBs, that’s ok too – most BT’s do stop defining themselves primarily as BT”s after a while and are, at the core, just regular folks, after all…:) as such, my vote is that y’all keep on keepin’ on – hatzlacha!

  9. Mark: I’m glad you asked this question. Although BBT was my 1st and only blog for a couple of years, lately I’m finding the discussions I want to be involved in don’t get much interest here, but are very vibrant on other blogs, for example, struggling to integrate in yeshivas, dealing with hypocrisy, & kids who turn off. These are more “politically sensitive” topics which may provoke more heated and difficult discussions, at least where the posters/commenters are not witholding because of fear.
    Just my 2 cents.

  10. As for the dwindling number of articles submitted, this might not be all bad. People have better things to do than to rehash the same thing over and over. When they have someone really new to report, that’s when to send something in.

    I’d like to see more invited articles from experts, covering a reasonably wide spectrum of approaches here and in Israel, on topics not well covered yet.

  11. You could reorganize the site into segments for the specific audiences you want to attract. Then people could head from the home page to the other page(s) that would interest them the most.

  12. Please, no “posts of special interest to women”. We get enough of that already. Very often, Jewish topics of interest to men are of interest to women as well. More links would be a good springboard though.

  13. I would like to see some additional links. YuTorah, Bergen County Beis Medrash, NCSY, Congregation Shomrei Emunah ( Baltimore), R Asher Brander and NJOP strike me as some worthwhile additions that everyone could benefit from in terms of the content thereon.

  14. About Potential Audiences

    Our first intended audience were people who are already frum for a few years. What we’ve found is that many already frum BTs no longer want to identify specifically as BTs.

    In addition, the problems of already Frum BTs are very similar to the the Frum community at large, schools, raising children, shidduchim, finances, etc,. So we could expand to general frum community issues to address more peoples needs.

    Another possible group would be people who are not observant or just starting out. There are sites out there with great beginners information such as Aish, but there is no real community discussion BT site.

    The issue with going earlier into the BT cycle is that the discussion of later stage issues could scare early BTs away. The reality is that it takes work for a BT to get closer to Hashem and BTs do face real challenges. When early BTs see some of the obstacles they may hesitate to take the next step, even though the vast majority of BTs that I know are extremely satisfied and confident that they made the right choice.

  15. maybe we could have some posts for people who are BT for a long time and are struggling to raise kids in this strange world. one of the things I find very difficult is dealing with these private schools who don’t want to accept my kids. Is this because I am a BT, is this what I became a BT for? This has really affected my beliefs, very dissapointed and angry now. anyone else feel this way, how do you deal with this?

  16. Before thinking about what BeyondBT should do, it is important to first examine what its purpose is. A related question is, who is it meant to serve? The “About Us” definition is a very nice start. It could be worthwhile to get more specific when thinking about how BBT should gear itself. For example — which Ba’alei Teshuva is it intended for? People who made their dramatic lifestyle changes years ago? People who are in the process of making these changes? People who thinking about making these changes but aren’t too sure about it? Some of the above? All of the above? Who do you want contributions from? All of those? Some of those?

    It seems to me that women comment rather less than men; I’m not sure why. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to have some posts of special interest to women?

    Bear in mind also, that the number of comments on a blog post doesn’t always indicate level of interest. Some very interesting posts might not generate many comments for all kinds of reasons. People are still reading and still following links, even if they are not commenting. I don’t commment much, but I read most posts.

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