Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog news update - decisions, decisions...

Dear friends,

Wow!  Really.  Wow!  Your response to my Community Brainstorming: I am swimming against a Tsunami post was nothing short of massive, huge.  I got more donations then ever before, I got long and very moving letters of support, and I got a lot of very good advice and suggestions.  Frankly, I had never expected such an outpouring of support and I am immensely grateful to you all for it.  

Truly, it is hard to put in words.  I will try though, in the near future.  I will call the post "submarines in the desert".  I will explain what I mean by that at that time.  All I can say is that I am immensely touched and absolutely amazed by your support.  As I said - I will discuss this important topic in a future post (now is not the time).

I also had the time to think, consider all the suggestions you sent and ask for advice.  To keep a long story short, here are my conclusions (organized in the usual time and money categories):


First, as soon as I move to the new blog I will have at least three co-moderators to help me with this extremely time consuming task.

Second, the Saker community is working on the creation of a "pool of webmasters" which would  be able to support all the various Saker websites.  We have already received applications from some highly skilled volunteers and we hope that once this system is in place the turnaround time to fix any problems or to implement a needed change will be much shorter.  If you are interested and if you have time, availability and strong WordPress skills, please email me.

Third, I will keep this (old, blogger) blog indefinitely open as a mirror of the main (new) one although I will eventually close the comments section here.  Should anything happen to the main blog, I will always be able to open up comments here.  In other words, the blog will have triple-redundancy: new blog, a main (and so far hidden) backup, and the old blog as mirror.

Fourth - the new blog should be back online soon.  Again, before that happens I will keep you posted.


First, the site will, of course, remain 100% free.

Second, if anything at all, I have come to the obvious conclusion that the sudden drop in donation was not due to any lack of desire of anybody to donate, but to a lack of reminders to do so.  I do not want to put up ads, I do not want to place a constant reminder, I do not want to have fund-drives, I do not want to place big signs or do any other of the many techniques I have seen used which I personally find obnoxious.  However, what I am thinking of doing is post short and unobtrusive reminders about donations about once a month in the form of a post.

Third, I have decided to try out a monthly podcast which I would also make available for free, but which I would also use as a reminder about donations.  My idea is for anybody interested to send in questions about any topic and I would read these questions out and reply to them in a recording which I would then make available for download/streaming.  In this way, I could communicate with you in an informal way, simply by speaking directly to you (in English) rather than by always writing.

Fourth, I have agreed to write a book based on some topics touched upon in this blog, but organized in a logical way and edited by a professional and a team of volunteers.  The book would be available for download along some kind of donations scheme still to be worked out.  I will keep you posted.

Other miscellaneous issues

The logo.  Again, wow!  I did not expect such a massive response :-)  Frankly, my main "problem" is that I like almost all of these logos and you seem to like them all.  So I am wondering whether there is a way to use them all too.  Maybe an animated GIF (though I don't like this format) or some HTML5 equivalent?  Maybe a moving banner?  Or maybe I will ask one of my webmasters to write a PHP script rotating the logos every week.  The main arguments to have various logos is that seems only appropriate for a very diverse community like ours. 

Latin American Saker Blog.  It's happening, I promise.  It's just that this a very big enterprise (possibly the biggest Saker blog) and that the main people organizing it are very busy in *meatspace*.  I had hoped to officially launch last Friday, but that was not doable.  So I hope for an official launch in the not too distant future, but I cannot say when.

What about an Italian Saker blog?  I have a good friend who has a big archive of Saker articles already translated into Italian, and making one more clone of the Saker blog model websites would not be too hard.  All I need is a few Italian volunteers to create a small Italian Saker blog team.  Is anybody interested?  If yes, please email me.

That's it for now.

Your turn now - what do you think about these ideas?

Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Please let me know.

Kindest regards and tons of thanks,

The Saker