Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

What is Patheos?

I’ve found that some of blogs that I used to read regularly have disappeared from their usual places, and reappeared on something called Patheos.

But what is Patheos?

You go to their main page, and you find “Editors’ Picks”, but nothing to tell you who the editors are, or why they have picked what they pick. There doesn’t seem to be any “About” page to tell you what the site is for. But it seems to be a kind of vacuum cleaner, sucking in blogs from all over. The masthead says “hosting the conversation on faith”, whatever that may mean.

There’s a tab that says “Sign In”, so I thought perhaps that might explain what one is signing in to and clicked on it, but all I got was this:

This Connection is Untrusted

You have asked Firefox to connect securely to cp.patheos.com, but we can’t confirm that your connection is secure.

Normally, when you try to connect securely, sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are going to the right place. However, this site’s identity can’t be verified.

What Should I Do?

If you usually connect to this site without problems, this error could mean that someone is trying to impersonate the site, and you shouldn’t continue.

Not very reassuring, but I’m still curious about why some bloggers have apparently moved their blogs to there.

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14 thoughts on “What is Patheos?

  1. Patheos ( all paths lead to god? ) seems to be a big repository of religious information and part of that is the blogging system, and I see that like you a number of bloggers have moved over or been invited to blog instead at Patheos.

    http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/About.html

    As to the reasons for moving from an individual blog to this collection I can’t work it out either. Lots of words that talk about interacting, community and others. See here

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2012/10/jesus-commands-us-to-go-but-we-would-much-rather-they-come-to-us-why-i-am-taking-my-blog-to-patheos-com/

    I also believe that Patheos as a company pay the bloggers to post.

    Have to say that when I’ve been following bloggers that have moved to Patheos I’ve just stopped following, never really read like it used to.

    • Thanks Chris. Interesting that you were able to find the “About” page, and I couldn’t, yet once I was actually on the About page, I could see a link to it quite clearly.

      That helps to explain a bit, but also shows that the cite from Adrian Warnock is a bit screwy. The About page says:

      Founded in 2008, Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs. Patheos is the website of choice for the millions of people looking for credible and balanced information about religion.

      Adrian Warnock talks about “huddling together in groups” but it seems that Patheos is the ultimate introverted site — the religious getting together to talk about religion.

      But Christianity isn’t about religion. Religion isn’t even about religion. It’s about life. It’s not about getting into a little religious ghetto talking about religion and “spirituality”.

      So reading the About page does make it clearer to me why I no longer follow blogs that have moved to Patheos.com. They have left the world and entered a religious ghetto.

      I’m not entirely uninterested in the conversation on faith, and I occasionally blog about interreligious dialogue. But I’m far more interested in the dialogue between faith and life, and that takes place outside the religious ghetto. Patheos.com seems to be a bit like the Borg: you will be assimilated! But even if it is futile, let us resist!

      • Just saw your follow-up comment here, Steve. I agree — while the Patheos “channels” give some ready insight into the different conversations taking place, there isn’t much room for integrative approaches one way or the other. For the most part, the bloggers just seem to continue writing about what they were before.

  2. Hi Steve

    Ben Myers of Faith and Theology has more on it… He eventually decided against the move.

    Here’s the Patheos About page.

    One of its positives is the way it collects its bloggers under “faith channels” — Buddhist, Mormon, and so on.

    One of its limitations is its American-centric operation.

    • Collecting bloggers under faith channels can also be a negative. I’m not signing up unless I can join the EvangelicalPentecostalSocialistLiberalbutSociallyConservativebutonlyonaTuesdayComeThursdayYou’reAllGonnaBurn Channel.

  3. Resist? How much they paying first!

    I can see the temptation for moving to such a large community or platform. I guess that Patheos takes care of all the affiliate stuff, gives an increase in visitors and I suppose it does give one that ‘professional blogger’ title.

    I don’t get all that stuff about dialogue and community though, that’s readily available outside of any outfit like Patheos.

    BTW, I’ve finished my Google+ commenting experiment on my blog, back to Disqus!

  4. Every once in a while I’ve seen this blogger or that get all excited about being invited to Patheos. I hope there are others who have had the good sense to turn down the offer. The individual blogs on there are no less unfriendly to contrary ideas than any private person’s blog, and the recognition of having a blog on Patheos is laughable. They’re rather insulated little communities, and I have yet to see any blog that moved there go off in some wonderful direction. If any change, the opposite. I think the site, from its phoney-baloney name right on down to its lack of any kind of intelligent mission, is pretty lame too. One is better off maintaining a bit more independence, unless one wants, as you say, to assimilated into the Borg. I subscribe to a couple of Patheos blogs in my reader, and some of them will likely be the first to go the next time I thin the herd.

    • Since posting this, I’ve learnt a bit more about what Patheos is, but knowing more doesn’t make me like it more. I sometimes post links to interesting blog posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook, but if they are on Patheos, i generally don’t. Likewise, I am reluctant to follow links to blog posts if they are on Patheos, unless the subject is of enormous interest to me.

      • Well, I should be fair in my own criticism. It’s not all bad. Patheos does perform one consistent act of charity by providing the forum for Franky Schaeffer to suffer his long developing and now rather severe public psychotic breakdown.

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  7. Yvonne Aburrow on said:

    I have unassimilated my blog from Patheos. It was one thing when it was its own site – quite another when it was taken over by BeliefNet and they decided to issue new contracts.

    Dowsing for Divinity has moved

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