Can you help me stand on my head? The name of the blog comes from G.K.Chesterton’s observation that “Most often a scene is more clearly seen when it is seen upside down.” That quip helps inspire my writing and whenever I am stuck for an idea, but standing on my head I usually see things from that new perspective that gets me going.
Every October for about a week I run a membership drive here at the website-blog. The aim of the blog is to provide as much content free of charge, while still giving extra value to the Donor Subscribers who help to support the blog.
We have got used to the idea that websites like this are free, however not everybody is aware of what it really costs to set up, maintain and operate a website that has interactive features like a bookstore, membership lists, videos, podcasts etc. John Flynn at Kickstart Media is my tech guy and he does a fantastic job designing and building the site and helping me maintain it and look after the users. He has a family to support as does the guy who edits the videos. In addition to that there are web hosting fees, software subscriptions, updates, promotion budget and publishing costs.
So, while the blog is free, it’s not free to produce. Other sites use advertising revenue to offset the costs, but when I set this new site up a few years ago I decided to get rid of all advertising. Those who have followed my writing for some time will remember that I was blogging at Patheos, and it was the ads which eventually got me down. There were so many and they were secular and stupid. When an ad for Planned Parenthood appeared on my blog it was the last straw. So this website has no ads and this makes is much more attractive to use.
Other sites also have big apostolates or a big name behind them along with a board of directors, a fund raising division, marketing staff and special supporters with deep pockets. I don’t have any of that. It’s just me and my laptop like it has always been–with help from John and Daniel from time to time. I like to keep it that way and I like the individual personal touch that blogs have had from the beginning.
So if you are not a Donor Subscriber I’m inviting you to join the club! There are seven levels of commitment which you can learn about here. Each of the levels offer special benefits and extra content from exclusive podcasts to a host of archived articles from fourteen years of blogging and a range of other websites, magazines, papers and journals I have written for. There is also the opportunity to sign up for my real time online courses and a growing archive of videos. If you click over to this page you can learn about the levels of support and see the special offer during October for new members and upgrades.
If you are already a Donor Subscriber, but would like to go further and upgrade then you are also eligible for the special offers. I would especially encourage folks to sign up to the new Promotion Level which gives you an invitation to my live online courses. The current one–The Church in an Age of Revolution is just about coming to an end, but during the run up to Christmas the next one will start. It’s going to be another six week course called The Characters of Christmas. I’ll be sharing my discoveries about the true identity of the magi, but also sharing more about the history, culture and background of the birth of the Lord Jesus. In addition to the live real time courses the ones I have already delivered are recorded and available for those who sign up for the Promotion Level and above.
If you are a Donor Subscriber and would like to upgrade, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know that you would like to upgrade and I’ll walk you through the simple process.
By the way–that’s our loveable labrador Felicity–aka Fliss.