I find it odd how a comment made on a blog by a total stranger can bother me so much…
This morning I was walking to the bus stop and checking my email (on my phone) as is my usual custom. I came across an alert that there was a new comment on my post about the GTS forum. I click it and read this:
Leslie on November 12th, 2008 6:45 am
If you’re going to have a forum, you need to maintain decent blog posts to keep people’s attention. I also read thru a reader, and this site has been going downhill fast. I used to be proud to send articles to people and now I’m lucky if the post has more than 2 lines that just link to other people promoting their blogs and/or promoting me to buy some bible software.
Now, I wish I could say that I read this and what like, “eh, whatever.” But like a parent who hears other kids making fun of their son or daughter, I took it personal. As I sat on the bus (actually, I’m still sitting on the bus) I came up with all kinds of ways to respond. There was the sarcastic response, the angry response, the funny response, the ignore it response… but this is what I came up with.
My response: Well Leslie, you’re right. The level of content has really gone down around here. It has been a challenging couple of months for me and my family. After only 9 months in Orlando we had to drop out of seminary and move 3100 miles across the country for me to start a new job that seems to indicate that my journey back into vocational ministry is on a VERY long pause. In the midst of packing our house, moving cross country, unpacking, settling in, and starting my new 40+ hour a week job with 1 hours round trip commute has left me with little time for writing on GTS.
Not only me, but all of the GTS crew is going through times like this. Terry has taken a full time ministry job while still trying to take classes and be a good husband and dad (oh, and he lives in a house that appears to be falling apart, has a car that keeps getting broken into or ran into, and has recently had to go to court to testify about his parents divorce when he was a kid). Jeff has been wrestling through the decision to out school on the back burner as he assumes the weighty role of assistant pastor at a church and Kari has been working to wrap up her studies. Jake is working something like 30 hours a week plus taking a full load. And Chad is doing web work for Asbury, serving in a church and taking a full load.
So, as you can see, we all have our plates full. I really wish your comment would have been something like, “Hey, noticed the content has been going down and hope everything is ok with all the GTS writers. I really appreciate your hard work and effort and hope that things pick up on the site…” Alas… it was not.
The fact of the matter is that none of the writers get paid to write here. I get a little bit of money from advertising (read: LITTLE) and it comes nowhere close to recouping the cost of hosting and 100’s of hours I’ve put into developing the site. So, we all do this because we like it and because we hope to help people. Please take all that into consideration when you write things like the site “has been going downhill fast.”
Now, I said it earlier, and I mean it… you’re right. The site isn’t what it used to be. So, here are some things that Going to Seminary readers can look forward to:
1. In January, Jake Belder will be quitting his day job and focusing more fully on his studies. When that happens, he will also be taking over as the managing editor around here.
2. I will continue on as a occasional writer and handle all the site maintenance.
3. Terry will be posting book reviews on a regular basis along with his less frequent but always brilliant posts.
4. From what I’ve heard from Jeff and Kari they’ll still be posting from time to time (they tell me they have a coupe great posts up their sleeves right now).
5. I am working on a new section of the site that will allow people to submit story ideas… but, I’ll say it right now, if you want to write for Going to Seminary, just pitch me your article using the contact form. We’re always open for new and guest writers.
Other than that… we’re doing what we can over here. So, if you like the site, then say a prayer that we don’t all sink under the sea of responsibilities we have… oh, and giving us money would also greatly help the cause.
So, Leslie… no hard feelings… and I hope that we can get this ship up and running again soon.
(oh, and the short posts with links and “selling software” is from the section on the site called “Quick Bits Around the Web.” They are designed to be short and point you to other things around the web that we think are cool. Also, they are MUCH easier to write than a full post).
This is my stop… gotta get off the bus and go to work…