InSite, December 2008

An inside look at


Continuing changes across the site, December specials in store, and feedback on feedback articles.

Continuing Changes Across the Site

We had another busy November, with our website staff at work (as always) on a variety of projects. Many are related to our new Get Answers 2 (announced last month), which received a great deal of positive feedback and thoughtful suggestions—and we thank you for that!

One of the most-requested changes to the new Get Answers page was to make the browser’s back button functional again—and we’ve done just that. Now, instead of just returning you to the main page, the back button will retrace your steps through the new Get Answers section’s array of filters, topics, keywords, and results lists.

We’ve also added a filter display showing what topic you’re browsing in. Before, if you were navigating, for instance, the Q&A display for topic: dinosaurs, then clicked “most recent” or “most popular,” you would only see a limited set of articles (those matching keywords associated with dinosaurs). It was somewhat unclear you were still browsing within the dinosaur topic, and thus it could give the false impression that we had far fewer articles than we actually do.

Now you’ll see that “Topic: Dinosaurs” has been added to the filter list to make it more clear what topic you’re browsing in. And if you want to exit that topic and view all articles, it’s as easy as removing the topic in the filters list.

We’ve also harnessed the power of Get Answers 2 to drive our site’s daily article archives and archive of feedback articles.

We also have some small improvements elsewhere on the site. First, we’ve replaced the old “Email to a friend” link on most of our pages and articles with the new, more powerful “ShareThis” widget. Using this widget, you can not only email an article to a friend; you can also share AiG materials using messaging services and over social websites like Facebook, Digg, and StumbleUpon. You can even start a blog post straight from one of our articles by using ShareThis.

Sharing articles on user-driven news and social websites can be a great way to get more attention for Answers in Genesis, so we encourage you to help get the word out, especially when it comes to our monthly features (such as our new “Dear Jesus” Christmas campaign).

Also, soon, our links to Scripture verses will have a new improvement. Using technology called RefTagger from Logos, you will be able to hover over any linked Scripture verse with your cursor and a see an instant preview of the text, which will often save you an extra click (though the links will still work as well).

One final addition to our site many will notice is the return of our unintrusive donation banners at the bottom of daily articles (such as this one), along with donation buttons in our intersite menu at the top of each page and in the heading of our free Media section.

Like many companies and organizations, Answers in Genesis has been affected by the current economic climate. We praise God for His faithfulness in sustaining this ministry and trust Him to see us through according to His perfect will. We are also sincerely thankful for your donation, no matter what the size. Note that through December 25, there is a matching program and you can double your impact. See how to .

What’s in Store for this Month?

Since Christmas is fast approaching, we thought we’d point everyone to our December Specials—with items for any friend or family member, whatever age, saved or (especially!) unsaved, creationist or not, young-earther or not, student or worker, young or old, museum visitor or not—we’ve got something for everyone!

A question that should always be on our minds at Christmas, but especially during tough economic times, is are your gifts actually reaching the needs—including spiritual needs—of your friends, family, and neighbors?

Also, note that several days remain in our free shipping and free Bible software offer, we’re still offering free DVD downloads with Answers magazine subscriptions, and there are a number of topic-specific book-and-DVD combo packs on sale for the holiday. Find out more now!

Question of the Month

N.W. from Texas writes to ask:

How are questions chosen to be featured as a “Feedback” article on the AiG’s home page complete with a full, point-by-point reply?

Thanks for your question! There’s no straightforward answer, however, as a variety of factors can get a reader question “promoted” (or demoted, depending on the type of question!) into a front-page article. Here’s a list of influencing factors (in no particular order):

  • Legitimacy—Is the question asked earnestly? Whether from supporters or detractors, we most like to respond (publicly or not) to questions that make valid points and ask serious questions in an honest, constructive spirit.
  • Uniqueness—Has the question been asked before? If the question is a common one (which means we’ve almost definitely answered it already, probably even multiple times), we usually don’t respond again unless there’s a new aspect to the answer (such as new creation research).
  • Technicality—Although technical questions often demand a longer, PhD-authored response, they are more rare and answering them contributes to the depth and breadth of material on our site.
  • Clarification—We’re certainly human, and—we admit it!—sometimes we publish articles that are vague or confusing at points, or sometimes may address a topic on a more technical level than most readers want. If such points are raised, we often clarify or issue new explanations in feedback articles.
  • Defense—Likewise, sometimes an article (again, more often a technical article) will come under attack on a specific point. Sometimes we are accused (usually politely) of forgetting to acknowledge or incorporate a certain Bible verse; sometimes it’s a scientific detail that’s in dispute. When a clarification, correction, or retraction isn’t in order, the original article’s author often wants a chance to defend (and explain) the sticking point.
  • Staff interest—Frankly, sometimes it just comes down to what topics appeal to the various staff who typically author responses to feedback. They do their best to make wise decisions as to what topics to address in depth and which to pitch as worthy of a public feedback article.

This is just a generalized list of influences, however, and there are exceptions to all of them. But if you’re looking to ask a question that might receive the time and attention of a public article (destined for its “fifteen minutes of fame” spending a Friday on our front page), your best bet is to ask an earnest, fresh, valid question—in a tone of reasonability and cordiality, whether you agree with us or not!

Did You Know?

Our content management system, the backbone of, now has more than 30,000 individual items stored—from articles to media files to topical categories to author and speaker biographies!

About InSite

InSite is a monthly feature of Answers in Genesis that covers new features and content—as well as other useful tools and resources—on Written by the web team itself, InSite offers a bit of insight into the web philosophy and projects of the Answers in Genesis Internet Outreach department. Have a suggestion or other feedback about how our website works? Let us know! Miss out on last month’s edition of InSite? Take a look now!


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