An interesting problem has developed here in the blogosphere. I have no idea whether it has affected any of our readers. In fact, I do not know if it has prevented us from having any readers and I have no idea how to find out whether it has or not. In fact, I don't know who I am writing this note to, because if the problem is affecting you then you can't read it. Does that make any sense?
I recently switched to Earthlink DSL at home and, after five days or so of working with the blog, something interesting happened. Earthlink is famous for its software that stops pop-up ads and things like that. Well, it also tries to help users avoid WWW sites that it considers dangerous in terms of fraud.
The problem is that Earthlink's ScamBlocker software has concluded that www.GetReligion.org is a scam -- a site with a high risk of identity theft.
Wonderful. Does this have anything to do with us changing the TypePad settings to require those leaving comments to give us an email address? We do not know. Does this have anything to do with the name of the site? Are sites that start with "get" considered automatically dangerous? We don't know. Is Earthlink worried about "deflected" addresses, where one address deflects the user to another site? We don't know.
I know that www.GetReligion.org works when I call it up at the university where I teach. This appears to be an Earthlink problem -- which is a big deal when you consider the size of that company.
We also know that our direct address at TypePad works fine, even with Earthlink -- so far. That address is the one that shows up in your Address: box in the browser -- http://getreligion.typepad.com. We also know that we will be using TypePad for at least a year. So please hang in there with us. The software is supposed to improve sooner rather than later.
By the way, if you feel inclined to drop Earthlink a note to let them know that we are not a scam (other than opinions some readers may hold about our cultural and theological convictions) please feel free to use the handy form at this site.
P.S. And now for something completely different, while I am asking questions about the site. Does it work if we post new material over the weekend? It seems that these items draw few readers. Yet, I should note that much of the nation's religion coverage -- for better or for worse -- takes place on weekends. Let us know what you think.