My Fellow Keepa’ninnies:
A little blog business, a few explanations, and some plans are in order.
First, why the inundation of the “Problems of the Age” lessons over the past two days? Because I decided they were too heavy, too pessimistic, too unpopular to go on inflicting on you one at a time. I do think they have merit for expressing one Mormon’s views of a great many interesting and important topics at a critical time in history, and I wanted them available in Keepa’s archives. But although some of you have expressed interest in reading some of them, I felt they were driving other readers away. So they have all been posted now, in one foul sweep – er, fell swoop – and if you’re interested, you can easily find links to all parts of the series on this chart. Your comments on any part are welcome at any time, and I’ll respond to anything you say whenever you happen to read and comment.
Next, an apology. For various reasons, I have only been phoning it in for the past few months. I love writing for Keepa, I love reading your comments, and I realize I have to get back in the saddle and do it right if I’m going to do it at all.
Keepa’s third anniversary comes in about three weeks, and this is as good a time as any to make a new year’s resolution to make the effort and write the posts that built the Keepa community in the first place. In the next couple of weeks I may startle you by doing a post dump like I’ve done with the “Problems of the Age” lessons, just to complete a few series, however unpopular, and clear out the draft queue and force me to restock with more interesting posts.
I’m going to tell more stories, like those from Keepa’s first year. That’s a tricky promise to keep because I can’t control the rate at which I discover funny stories of old-time church leaders or inspiring stories of unknown Latter-day Saints. My priority, though, will be to find and write those kinds of stories.
I’m going to experiment with some new types of posts. They may succeed; they may fall flat. I’ll know by your response. If you have ideas you’d like to see me try – specific topics, yes, but also new types of posts, and new series or areas of church history – please, please, please give me ideas, either in comments or in personal email (keepapitchinin [at] aol [dot] com – and do note that the name ends in -inin, not just -in). Justin once suggested posts about church architecture, and a reader wrote privately to request a particular medical topic, and I’ve fallen through on a promised series of Relief Society history topics. I haven’t forgotten; now will be a good time to keep those promises. Anything else? Please make suggestions.
Guest Posts. The invitation for you to guest post is renewed. We’ve had a large number of very well done, very popular guest posts during the past three years. Some of those guest posts are among the best posts ever published here.
Regrets. Readership has fallen by about a third over this time last year. Some of it, I know, is due to my less-than-stellar performance over the past few months. Much of it, I think, is probably due to an overall decline in the popularity of the Bloggernacle – at least it seems to me that there are fewer engaging discussions on the blogs as a whole. But the regrets come in a few cases where I know I have offended readers because of conflicts here or elsewhere. I particularly miss Tatiana and Anne (U.K.) whom I have reason to think I’ve offended (I’m sorry; we’ve had misunderstandings, but there was no intent on my part to chase you away, I promise you), and other old friends whose lives may just have become too complex to spend much time online. If I knew how to win you back, I’d try.
Fiction. A few of the fiction series and individual stories have provoked some great conversations, especially the recent “Anne Brent” serial. Other stories, not so much. I intend to keep reprinting stories from earlier church magazines regardless of discussion – I have some ideas for future posts that will require being able to link to stories, so those stories have to go up first. But realizing that fiction isn’t usually why you come to Keepa, I’ll continue to make those posts secondary posts for the day.
Business. Keepa’s hosting fees have been paid for the coming year, entirely by contributions from various Keepa’ninnies. I hope I’ve succeeded in sending a personal thank you to everyone who has made a donation; if I missed someone, I apologize. Your donations are appreciated. One reader makes a regular $5 donation on the first of every month, which adds up significantly. Others have made one-time donations of $10 or $20, and a few have given even larger amounts. Thank you. Not having to wonder how Keepa’s bills will be paid has been a great relief during a time when professional work has been very slow.
Topical Guide. The heavy use of the Topical Guide (link near the upper left-hand corner of your screen) is surprising and gratifying. The Topical Guide is consistently the fourth or fifth most visited page in any month. Unless that use is strictly by spammers who have discovered it as a fertile source of links, that suggests that many readers are looking for past posts, to enjoy or share with family, perhaps to use in lessons or talks. If that is the case, I would very much enjoy hearing how you’re using prior posts.
Well, that’s about it. I appreciate your participation here more than you know. My stats program reassures me of the great volume of visitors who come regularly but do not comment. And of course we all know and enjoy the participation of those who do comment, whether sporadically or regularly. You all make this a rewarding experience.