Blog Review: The Atma Jyoti Blog

Swami Tarakananda requested a Free Blog Review of his blog, The Atma Jyoti Blog and here it is…

What is The Atma Jyoti Blog?

The Atma Jyoti Blog

The About page tells us that this is the blog of the Atma Jyoti Ashram, a small ashram for men in Cedar Crest, New Mexico. They’re devoted to the practice and teaching of Sanatana Dharma and they’re also dedicated to living the traditional Hindu monastic life.

Site Design/Theme

The Atma Jyoti Blog uses a 3 column WordPress theme with the content in the middle. The overall feel is austere, just right for a religious order’s blog. They have 10 posts per page. I’d recommend cutting this back to 5 posts or going with an excerpted home page style theme like Visionary that I’m using here. This would improve page load performance and may help search optimization.

Navigation is well laid out. You can easily find links that will answer your questions about their views. The only glitch I found here was the sitemap link was 404. They may want to consider using the Dagon Design Sitemap Generator plugin.

Monetization is a single block of Amazon widget that advertises books pertaining to their beliefs. This is a good way to obtain funding for their site. If their beliefs permit it, they might also want to add in PayPal donation links.

They do not allow comments on their site. I generally don’t agree with this policy and I no longer review blogs that have this policy. However, Swami Tarakananda requested this review before I had this policy. I think it would be good for them to open up to comments but perhaps they simply want to avoid divisive religious arguments.

Content

Obviously, their content is based around their religious beliefs. Some of it was a little on the deep side for me but they mix it well with humor and photos with some easier to digest articles.

In Who or What is Satan? they examine their thoughts on this aspect of religious beliefs.

I found these discussions of meditation interesting, Two Views on Meditation–and a Third and Your Place for Meditation, since I had practiced some meditation when I was practicing martial arts.

They also have a few cartoon posts, like this one Misplaced Priorities, that are funny yet teach a spiritual lesson.

Overall

The blog is well done for a religious site. It’s informative and entertaining without being overly dogmatic. It could use a few minor tweaks but what site doesn’t?

Get Your Site Reviewed

If you would like your site reviewed by me for free, just like Swami Tarakananda did, use my Free Blog Review page to request one. Since I’ve gotten quite a back log I’m going to be doing two at a time spaced out about every 4-5 posts until I get caught up.

 


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2 Comments »

Comment by Swami Tarakananda
2007-11-30 16:05:10

Frank,

Thank you for your review of our site. Your reviews are a great service–good karma, as you said elsewhere.

You were correct regarding why we did not use comments. It seems that many who once read a few pages in a Cliff Notes commentary of a philosophy course want to pontificate in comments. We try not to confuse the issue.

I will take your suggestions to heart about the number of posts per page, and fix the 404 issue.

You may be amused to find that in the two months we have had Amazon links on our blog and main site, we have earned seventy-two cents! Now to decide what we will splurge on!

Best of luck with your site,

Swami Tarakananda

Comment by jfc
2007-11-30 16:43:31

Thank you Swami Tarakananda,

Religion and politics are two topics sure to gain both negative and positive commentators, that’s for sure. Most blogs on these topics generally limit or heavily moderate comments or don’t turn them at all.

You might try the PayPal donation links. It should do better than 72 cents every two months. While I don’t use it here I do use donation links on my VB.NET blog. I usually get enough from that to pay for a month of hosting for it.

 
 
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