January 18, 2014

The MOHO Directory History

A little history and background information. This is a history of my involvement (with as much general history as I know included). I apologize to the creator of the Directory if I leave anything out. It is not my intent to take any credit away from anyone, but just to share a history.

It was around four year ago (November of 2009) the founder of the MOHO Directory, Abelard Enigma, asked me to help with some design issues on the MOHO Directory (I think there was some HTML issue, but I really can't remember). I was then asked to give the MOHO Directory a visual identity. I was young in my graphic design schooling and wasn't very creative. I designed a DEX Yellow Pages inspired logo for the Directory. Abelard then invited me to become an administrator for the Directory to help with any future coding issues.

The blogger at MOving HOrizon was also an administrator for the Directory. The three of us worked on issues that arose with the Directory: Whether or not to include group blogs or how to increase the capacity of blogs on the listing and whether or not we should include outside blogs or keep the listing to a strict category of bloggers.

I tried out a few alterations of the design for the Directory over the next year. Including one design that was really not liked. "How did you come to choose such dark and oppressive colors for the MoHo directory?" asked one anonymous commenter (Link to comment). Some of the background designs for the Directory were really cheesy now that I look back at it, but I was trying to portray a certain message of the vastness of MOHO's around the world.




FUN FACT: Did you know there is (was) a MOHO Map, that was created to visually show where MOHO bloggers lived and some stats (only if they wanted their information included)? There was even a MOHO Polls web page (no longer visually functioning) where monthly polls on various topics were stored. The MOHO Polls page even created a monthly theme that MOHO bloggers would devote one post a month to.

At the beginning of 2012 the Directory seemed to reach a maximum capacity for blogs. 294 blogs were on the listing and we couldn't add more. This seemed to be an issue with coding because we knew other directory blogs had more than 294 blogs. The administrators talked about moving the Directory away from blogger onto some other platform, but eventually the issue was discovered. So I spent two days going through and manually collecting data and web address for each and every MOHO blog we had on our list. I manually deleted each blog and re-entered each blog. It was a long two days but the Directory was back and able to add more blogs to its listing.

June of 2012 presented another major issue for the Directory. We were not able to add anymore sites to the Directory (again), but that wasn't the major issue. The Directory had been blocked by Google. Anyone attempting to reach the site was told it was a malicious website and it was blocked from being accessed. I and another administrator did research and discovered it was a malware attack on just one of the blogs listed on the Directory. I spent the next week searching each blog, again, to find which one was the malware infested site. I eventually found two blogs with malware and had to delete the blogs from the Directory. However that did not solve the issue. Any blog which had a link on their site to the original two malware sites had to be deleted from the Directory.

All blogs linking back to the two malware sites were deleted from the Directory. Anyone that wanted to be re-added to the Directory had to go through a process of deleting any links to the two malware sites and resubmitting their site through google. When they were cleared of the malware they were re-added to the Directory.

It was decided at this time of purging, that the Directory needed a major visual overhaul. I spent a couple days redesigning the site and logo. There was a discussion on the MOHO Facebook page (which I have no idea if it still exists) about the logo. There was a general agreement on using the shield from the CTR ring we all knew as young Mormons. I presented four concepts for a new logo and there were also a couple other ideas submitted.

I presented two alterations of the coloring and the direction of the shield. Of course the rainbow was a concept due to the fact that we are all gay. The blue and green concept came from a long ago MOHO uniform. I bet you didn't know there was a MOHO uniform did you? I believe it was Original Mohomie that came up with the idea for the blue shirt and green tie idea. There was even a MOHO uniform day where each blogger was encouraged to go to church wearing the uniform.

The MOHO Uniform colors of blue and green seemed to be a more widely accepted color scheme for those MOHO's who did not want to embrace the rainbow's "outness" (myself included).

The CTR shield turned upside down idea was for the seeming difference of the MOHO from the traditional straight Mormon life. But most agreed that it could be considered disrespectful and so the shield was left right-side-up.



So the Directory underwent a drastic visual update. A stark minimalist look with the new MOHO logo welcoming visitors to the MOHO Directory. The colors of the blue and green have changed slightly over the past two years as well as minor visual adjustments on the Directory. These minor changes happen as I learn more coding or visual concepts but they do not have any real significance.

Most recently, the CTR shield was updated to be more proportionately correct with the CTR ring's shield, basically it is just more skinny now.  


The other two administrators have left blogging (as many of the original MOHO bloggers have done) and have left me to keep the MOHO Directory moving along, which I am eager and happy to do.

I have a vision for what I would like the MOHO Directory to do in the future and how it can better serve us bloggers and the gay mormons out there who feel alone. I hope to be able to reach those who believe they are the only gay Mormon out there and let them know, we are many! Those ideas I have will have to come later this summer after I graduate college and have more time to dedicate to the Directory.

Until then, I would ask each MOHO blogger to do me a favor. Please support the MOHO Directory on your blog. This can be done in two simple ways. First, add a MOHO Badge (an image that is linked back to the Directory) somewhere on your blog. Click HERE for instructions on how to add the badge to your blog. If you already have a badge on your blog and I know many of you do—THANK YOU! It would be great if you could update it to match the newer version of the logo!

The second way to help is to create a menu button linking to the Directory. Is is simply adding a new link in your menu at the top of your page which, when clicked, will take your readers to the Directory. If you need help doing this, please contact me by e-mail.

I have both a Badge and a menu link on my page and hope you will show your support for the MOHO blogging community.

7 comments:

  1. It's great to learn a bit more of the background of my (sometimes) unhealthy addiction! I didn't even realize you were one of the administrators. The only one I knew about was Abelard Enigma from some old obscure post he had that for a while I would always return to to try to figure out how to tell people how to get their blogs on here. All is good now, though.

    Thanks for your work, seriously. The _Moho Directory_ is a huge deal, and I am excited to see what you have planned for it. I don't blog, myself (yet?), but if I could in some way be of assistance to the Directory (other than constantly nagging Moho bloggers to get themselves on here, which I do a lot of, to some positive effect I dare say), that would be cool. Keep us updated with this stuff. Maybe the Moho Directory could have its own blog that would occasionally post with updates to keep this information collected and accessible.

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    1. Hey Trev, I know that you are quite a great commenter on many a MOHO blogs. I would love to see you blog one day, but thats up to you. Just so you know in the future, there is a menu tab on the Directory that goes to a page giving instructions on how to be added to the Directory. You could just sent that link to those bloggers you find that are not on the Directory.

      Thanks for all you do!

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  2. I enjoyed reading the history of the directory. When I began blogging several years ago, Abe had, on the side of his blog, a list of all the people he had found through the years who identified as gay and Mormon. I was AMAZED at the great number I saw there, including my own. It gave me a sense of community and really helped me through some hard times knowing there were others out there with stories similar to mine. I personally truly appreciate the work that he, Horizon, and you have done to build the directory and to keep it going. Thank you! You do not know how many lives have been helped because of the directory and the chance it gives people to have their own blogs and to have their own voice in all the issues of life. Thank you so much!

    By the way, I sent you an e-mail today regarding a question. I hope you received it. :)

    Happy night! I hope your health is well and that school is also going well for you. You are almost there, a graduated man!! Way to go!! Duck

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    1. Abe really did all of us gay mormons a huge favor. The Directory wouldn't be with him. I did receive your e-mail and have completed the request.

      My health is great (I suppose I should do an update post huh?). Thank you!!

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  3. That's a great history! We're going to take over the world!

    And the menu item - done aaaaaaand done :)

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    1. Thank you for the MOHO support. It looks good on your blog!

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  4. I had forgotten this was still around. I hope that new bloggers are finding it as the old bloggers leave. I'll go ahead and put a badge on my sight even though I've moved away from the Mormon specific topics.

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