Like Button Updates

sDuring this downtime for our conversations here, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some things we can learn from our “like” buttons. As I mentioned before, the buttons are anonymous. We do not have access to any user-specific data about the buttons, not even ip address or country. So here are some statistics for our 350+ articles and 11,300+ comments.

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Announcement: Skype Talks

s[Admin note: This is not a normal article. This is merely an announcement to the readers here.] I expect and hope the UBF conversations here will continue (I know they will as long as Ben is publishing :).  Although I will continue to comment from time to time on such articles, I for one won’t be publishing any further articles about UBF here on this blog. I may publish articles about other topics, but for now I would like to announce something new: Skype talks.

As I shared here previously, I attended the 2013 Global Leadership Summit. I made an offer to share these videos with any UBF chapter or person who wanted to invite me to view and discuss them afterward. That offer still stands. Now I’d like to expand this offer using Skype. So here is my announcement and expanded offer.
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ISBC UBFriends Stats

iupI found the following statistics to be kind of exciting.
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Admin Note: Like Buttons!

l1Ok so I played around with various “like” and “dislike” buttons, per some requests. This has come up from time to time, so I found a rather flexible solution. We now have like/dislike buttons on each comment. These are anonymous, public and limited to one vote per person (as much as technically possible).

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Hello Malaysia, Ukraine and South Korea!

f1From time to time, as the technical admin here, I review our website statistics from Google Analytics. We may wonder who is reading this stuff. According to the stats, Malaysia, Ukraine and South Korea spend the most time here. Here are some more 2013 stats. Enjoy.

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What are we talking about?

wordcloudThree years ago we started this blog in hopes that it would become more than a blog– perhaps we could become an influence and an online community which would promote unity, friendship and vibrant discussions, not only about our experiences in UBF, but about God, the Bible, Christianity and life in general. So what have we been talking about?

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UBFriends Admin Notice

The admin team here at UBFriends wants to thank everyone who has contributed articles, made comments or read along silently! We are hopeful that this website can continue to encourage dialogue and edification across human boundaries (even though it is sometimes painful and ugly :)  We will be performing some behind-the-scenes maintenance over the next two weeks. So there will be some downtime, and sometime this weekend I will freeze the articles/comments so that the maintenance can be performed smoothly.
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When Apple lost its founder…

“Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” – John Armstrong, during a meeting at Chicago UBF

Every once in a while a company is so deeply impacted and shaped by a single leader that this person becomes the very identity of the entire organization. There can be no doubt that such has been the case with Apple and the recently deceased Steve Jobs. Newspaper headlines were overflowing with discussions on how Apple will continue without their charismatic genius and their most creative brain. There was one article in particular, published in the New York Times, which I found very interesting and relevant. One must not stretch analogies too far but I immediately had to wonder whether there are parallels between how to run a company and a church. The question is: can churches be (functional) one-man shows as it had been the case with Apple and Steve Jobs or Microsoft and Bill Gates? And the answer to that question is a very emphatic “yes”.

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Overcoming the Male-Dominated Culture of UBFriends

When this website was launched in the summer of 2010, we had a grandiose vision of a cyber-cafe where people of many different backgrounds could meet and connect with one another. A safe haven where we could discuss all sorts of issues pertinent to UBF and to life beyond. A place where new friendships would form and grow.

That has happened. God has blessed us with lots of interesting articles and lively discussion. Even during the recent holiday period, when our pace of publishing slowed down to less than one new article per week, we were still averaging about 50 site visits per day by readers from all over the world.

But one aspect of UBFriends has been gnawing at my conscience: the overwhelming majority of posts and comments have been written by males.

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Commenting Has Been Fixed

Dear Readers:

Over the last few weeks, some of you have tried to leave comments and experienced difficulty. Without our realizing it, commenting privileges were restricted to subscribers only, and then all comments were being held for moderation.

We believe the problem has now been fixed.

If you tried to leave a comment on UBFriends and were unsuccessful, please accept our apologies. This website is dedicated to open discussion, and we don’t want to exclude anyone who is willing to join in. If you continue to experience any difficulties, please send a note to

Thank you.