Bless me reader, for I am but dust. It’s been two months since my last personal update.
Work. I’m at home full-time now, only retaining a role as director of the company I helped build. We still retain ownership of significant portion of the company (my brother and I hold the two biggest stakes), but it will be my intention to sell it in a couple of years. I expect we’ll put down the last of the ink on this ordeal this coming week, and for now, I have a settlement under a noncompete provision that I can live on for a while. This leaves me free to pursue other things, though without an employer and just a handful of miscellaneous irons in the fire right now, I would probably best describe myself as a “freelance writer, strategist, and consultant.” I’ve started another blog which holds my business thoughts; it needs a bit more attention than I’ve given it lately, so I’ll be spending a bit more time on that one as well to try and build up readership. (Send me an email if you’d like the url — I’m not linking it here simply because it isn’t pseudonymous, as this blog is.) I hope to derive some income online as well, once I sort out some affiliate advertising agreements and get WordPress Mu tuned up, fired up, and working as I want. I’m keeping up with a small group of guys that meet fortnightly over beers to toss around business ideas, “testing assumptions for fun and beverages.” Last week we had a guest out and had him run a business venture idea through our gauntlet, lots of fun. Can’t believe we give away good advice for free like that! I’m also working on a startup project with this same group, an online community thing for aspiring writers.
Reading, Writing, & Other Projects. I mentioned yesterday that I was reading a lot more, and I hope to be reading more offline as well as online. On the latter, I’m even paying a bit more attention to the Resonate mailing list lately. I’ve got more books on the go right now than had been my average, and when I returned from the library the other day with an archaeological mystery (The Orkney Scroll) which is pure escapist brain candy for me, my wife was quite pleased. I’m sure I’ll keep thinking of Andrew Jones while I read it though. Also this past week via email with Mike Morrell I agreed to start writing some book reviews connected to The Ooze, which should keep me stocked with some of the fodder I need. This week I also submitted an article to Allelon for publication sometime over the weekend or Monday, I believe. I was honoured when Bill Kinnon made the request on behalf of Mark Priddy and the Allelon gang, so I reworked and added to a pair of posts I did last month — it should generate some discussion ;^) and I will likely post it here after it’s had a run on the Allelon site… I’ll be sure to link it when it’s up. An Allelon badge also appeared in my sidebar today. I’ve also agreed to an article at the request of the July Porpoise Diving Guest Editor, which should be a fun project in June, probably something at the crossroads of post-charismatic and missional. For May, I’ve got something quietly cooking with Rick Meigs that involves an impressive cadre of folks… more on that in late May when it becomes officially “less quiet.” I’m also continuing a conversation with Jamie Arpin-Ricci and others about a possible Winnipeg-based emerging/missional event. We’ll see where it goes, but I’m sure something will transpire. I have a business book concept on the back burner, and another book on the missional church outlined in my Moleskine, wondering if it would sell 1,000 copies if I self-publish, or just what I should do with it… so far it’s just an outline. Now comes the discipline part, but I’ve been trying to keep to a routine “work” schedule even though I’m at home 95% of the time.
Subversive Influence. I’ve already hinted at some upcoming changes around here, and I expect they’ll all be positive. I’ve got some code updates to do, which I think will be followed by a site redesign. Already I’ve made some changes to the banner advertising here, and more will follow as I hope to begin deriving some revenue from here. I’m committed to not being obtrusive with ads (not much more than you see already) and to not allowing the hope for some revenue to impact the way I write, other than perhaps to post a bit more, and to provide a bit more original thought and content. Anything I would want to do online that would be shaped by revenue goals will be done elsewhere… kind of a commitment to the readership I have that my reasons for writing won’t change, nor will the message. In short, the fundamental goals of this blog will not change. The look and feel of the site probably will — it’s designed largely to my own taste, and it will morph a bit more toward the user, toward search engine optimization goals, and toward allowing (hopefully) unobtrusive ads “above the fold.” Not sure yet about a Tip Jar, perhaps that’s going too far! ;^) At the end of the day, the niche in which I write here is not lucrative for advertising, but I do hope to build some readership to help with the goal. As a glimpse at my traffic stats, here’s a live peek at my RSS feed stats:
These exclude syndication sites like Bloglines et al as well as the few I have at Feedburner. (Ignore the total, it only calculates since I installed the tracking plugin.) Of course, this also excludes the 3-5,000+ page views I have from 900-1,500+ unique daily visitors over to the website (averaging 3,500-4,000+ daily visits pulling 9,500-13,000+ pages per day), which includes between 3-5,000+ unique referrers each week, or over 13,000 links here each month. (All this and I still don’t have a stats tracking package that I really like; these are pulled from four different packages.) I’m considering some other new features around here too, recurring weekly posts (recurring feature like a link roundup or something topical like Scot McKnight does so well), or perhaps even a tag-on project: a wiki-based Bible commentary (appreciate any thoughts or ideas on those!). And hey, if you want to advertise here, just let me know!
Our simple church expression has taken steps toward becoming more intentional as a church expression in its own right. The flavour hasn’t changed, but we’ll now have to work through some of the “big questions” about values, goals, and the like. So far, “all” we’re having to deal with at the moment is a test of our resolve for missional community. Dealing with each other’s humanness can be crap sometimes… but I’m told it’s worth it, and that’s what I’m banking on or nobody will put up with my contribution to the collective crap.
Well, there you have it, an around-the-room summation of what’s going on around here. Personal disclosure has never been all that easy for me, and the foregoing is still rather antiseptic for the most part. I avoided this kind of thing initially, but after each of the first few such updates, people came out and said they appreciated it and said such nice things about little ol’ me that I decided I could stand to do one of these personal inventories every once in a while.
I always enjoy your personal updates.
Your business ideas sound interesting. I wondered if you or the guys you brainstorm with have given much thought to missional economic development or self-supporting ministry ventures.
I enjoy reading about the progression of your simple church expression too.
BTW, thank you for increasing the traffic at my site.
Thanks, Grace. I’m always nervous putting it out there, and even moreso when there isn’t much comment… but those who speak up on these posts (let me tell you it’s deeply appreciated) are a great encouragement to me. I can’t believe what kind of friends I’ve made through blogging!
My Tuesday business group hasn’t really ventured into missional conversations, though we’ve discussed environmental concerns. Personally, I would really love to become involved in some kind of humanitarian entrepreneurial endeavour (if that’s a good phrase) and would like to keep my eyes open for an opportunity like that. Unfortunately I still want some kind of stipend… it’s easy to keep busy if you don’t need to get paid ;^)