By now you’ve noticed things look pretty different around here. Not only have we updated Patrol‘s look, but a few other things are changing as well.

Patrol has always been great for its ability to adapt easily to the people putting their time into it—to their interests, abilities, and availability. Perhaps even more amazingly, readers have stuck with us through countless redesigns, staffs, and changes in purpose. You always keep coming back, and that gives us a powerful motivation to keep writing, even if the format has to change.

Where Patrol was modeled before as a magazine, it is now unabashedly a blog. Given our evolving careers and personal lives, we’ve found the site flourishes most when it is fueled by a semi-autonomous team we trust to give us great material with minimal editing. Having a blog instead of a magazine allows us to respond more quickly, to write as much as the subject requires without the burden of drafting a full essay. Our new publishing system will allow contributors to jump on a topic and write as much or as little as they wish without requiring any heavy lifting from an editor.

The new format will also facilitate the direction Patrol has been headed for a while: providing running commentary on the numerous and complex experiences of being a believer in the modern world. Through our many iterations, this seems to be the uniting thread that has kept readers’ attention. Even when we primarily reviewed music, the most passionate reactions were always to the deeper issues: what should we believe? Why should we bother? How do we live in a world changing so fast we hardly recognize it each morning? Can we stay Christian without retreating to the reactionary sentimentality we see around us?

We have been repeatedly surprised by the feeling of community many of you feel around Patrol, the excitement you express about exploring those questions with us. So that’s what we remain committed to doing, even though it will probably never attract advertisers or “win the morning.” Many of us follow the relentless news cycle at our day jobs, and we draw from that context to facilitate slower, deeper conversations here. In an era of media saturation, political dysfunction, and cultural unease, those conversations matter more than ever.

As always, Patrol is a work in progress, visually, conceptually, and in every other way. We count on you to keep showing us the way to go.

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0 Responses to What’s Happening to Patrol

  1. Matt says:

    I support this move, especially if it means I get to read articles (even less-edited ones) by the Patrol team more often. But why the format change to such a nakedly old-fashioned blog style? It’s less navigable, less visually appealing, and emphasizes chronology. I see you’ve tried to escape the tyranny of chronological posting with the links to “Sections” in the sidebar–but that’s small and easy to miss. Why not keep some of the beautiful design and layout of your “magazine” incarnation? That’s my only complaint. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to reading your future work.

  2. I agree with Matt: I like and support the new direction. But, like Matt, the new layout seems like a greater sea that is difficult to navigate, groups of dated piles that aren’t pretty to sort through.
    Yay for change, but not a fan of the layout.

  3. Mr. Tsay says:

    I’ll reserve judgment on the layout, since I haven’t yet seen it. The one thing I have to contribute is that I miss the music reviews. Any chance you guys will do any more of these in the future?

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