Reimagining Third Way Cafe

One of the many things that MennoMedia produces is Third Way Café. This site was launched some 15 years ago by Mennonite Media as a source for basic information about Mennonites, including history, beliefs, present-day values and thinking from an Anabaptist viewpoint.

There are over one million Internet searches each month for “Mennonite,” and Third Way Café is one of the places where people turn for information.

Our analytics show that we’ve had 70,000 visitors via computer since June—with half of them coming via a Google search. Plus there have been another 30,000 that came to Third Way Café via mobile devices—with 20,000 from iPhones.

And the numbers go up considerably when stories related to Amish or Mennonites make the mainstream news—or when Amish reality TV shows begin another season.

Our viewership statistics are impressive, and we are paying close attention right now as we get ready to launch a reconceptualization and redesign process for Third Way Café.

While some sections of the site are rarely accessed, others—such as the “Who are the Mennonites?” page—are heavily used. With a growing number of people interested in knowing about Mennonites, we want Third Way Café to continue to be a strong presence for searches about Mennonite faith and life.

As we embark on this reconceptualization and redesign process, we are asking ourselves:

We will work on this reconceptualization and redesign process both internally and externally in coming months.

To get us started, I welcome your feedback on Third Way Café.

  • How would you critique it?
  • How could we improve it?
  • How can we better use it as a communications tool for Mennonite Churches and for MennoMedia?

Looking forward to your input!

Amy Gingerich, editorial director

Amy Gingerich

 

4 thoughts on “Reimagining Third Way Cafe

  1. I’d recommend keeping the design simple (right now it seems too busy only in that there are too many different fonts). Make sure the most current content is on the front page, but searching the site gives access to all the older & newer content.

    The feedburner config could use an update. It defaults to Google, but Google Reader is being discontinued. There’s no choice in the other readers to use feedly.

    As a related side-note: the Mennonite article at wikipedia sure could use an overhaul.

  2. Third Way has been an important online source for many of us – thanks for your investment in its future.

    I would hope for several things:

    More Canadian content
    A diverse editorial committee (you may already have this?) that will be able to draw from and represent the increasingly diverse stories/histories of our constituency (eg. Canadian Mennonite churches worship in almost 20 different languages every Sunday)
    Connection to many existing Anabaptist online forums – many more now than when Third Way began 15 years ago. (eg. A very incomplete listing here – http://resources.mennonitechurch.ca/Browse/1641)

    • Thanks, Arlyn, and a great suggestion to include content that represents the increasing diversity of the wider church.

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