Okay, sorry for the lame Wikipedia-esque post title but if Wikipedia's "urgent appeal" was able to net them $14 million, maybe my appeal will be able to get me some of the help I am looking for.
Don't worry! I am not going to ask you for a dime. What I really need is some expertise; some faithful Catholic with the right skills to help me take this blog to the next level. Allow me to explain.
This blog is going on its fourth year. In that time it has gotten around 279,000 unique visits and has an average readership of about 180-220 per day. I have published 723 posts on everything from liturgy to history, politics to economics, patristics to apologetics, saints to Oprah and everything in between.
For some time now, I have been wanting to take this blog to the next step and make it more professional by expanding it into a legitimate website. Using a website instead of a blog would offer many more opportunities to customize layout and do a few things not possible with a blog; I do not just want to "upgrade" to Wordpress or hide a blog behind a dot com domain name and some code.
Here are some of the things I'd like to do with this website:
- First, it would be much more aesthetically pleasing than this blog, that's for sure. That alone is a definite improvement.
- The tone of the site would be different than that of this blog. This blog was founded as a place for me to air grievances - a place to say, " I see X,Y, and Z wrong in the Church and nobody else seems to care." Since I began blogging, I have of course realized that there are many persons out there who are likewise concerned about the Church's direction. The way I see it, the task now is not so much to air grievances as much as to be "evangelical" with Traditional Catholicism - instead of complaining about X,Y, and Z, pointing out why aspects A,B and C or Catholic Tradition are so beautiful and vital to a renewal of the Faith. While not shrinking from addressing challenging issues, this new site would be a much more positive elucidation of the traditional Catholic "position" than most of the other sites out there.
- I'm hoping to transfer some of the very best posts from this blog, but mainly it would be new content, and of a much more scholarly tone than the off-the-cuff stuff I post on here (and yes, everything I post on here is off-the-cuff, unlike Athanasius who meticulously and responsibly researches his posts for weeks before doing them).
- To facilitate getting more and better content up, I'd like to take on at least two more contributors to this new site who could post at least on a semi-monthly basis. Writings would have to meet some scholarly standards, but there would also be a place for opinion pieces.
- This new site will also feature some great multimedia stuff I am working on. I've been talking to some people and will be working this summer on doing some prototype video projects - some talking-head type stuff, but also some other things...I'm not going to say too much more about this at the time, save to say that it could generate a lot of traffic to the site.
- One thing I am really excited about is using this site to post a lot of pastoral resources that I accumulated during my three and a half years as a DRE and Youth Director, specifically exhaustive notes and outlines for RCIA and resources for building an orthodox Youth Group. There is literally nowhere else on the web that offers this and I consider it to be one of the most important things offered by this site - especially since they will be FREE.
- There will also be a section for reviews, mainly book and film. I envision these reviews as coming from a variety of contributors, almost in a Wikipedia type style of submission. I'd like to build a broad base of solid, Catholic reviews that would help guide Catholics in what they watch and read (and break up the monopoly that Stephen Greydanus has on them - sorry Steve).
- The site will need to be able to be set up to take credit cards without the use of PayPal - not because I am expecting to make a lot or any money off of it, but because I want to have a store that can serve as a clearinghouse for good, Catholic books (especially slef-published ones) that could use more visibility: excellent books like Jeff Pinyan's Praying the Mass, the book by Anselm on the atonement I just reviewed (Poena Satisfactoria); great books that may be published mainstream but are not receiving a lot of attention from the Catholic press, like Alyssa Pitstick's massive tome Light in Darkness, a 458 page behemoth that thoroughly and decidedly trashes von Balthasar's theory of Christ's descent into hell. And of course, my books as well (here and here).
So what do I need? Somebody to set the site-up for me; I don't need anyone to actually manage it - I am pretty good at web design stuff once I understand the software that is being used, and I have other friends that will do the artwork, etc. I just need someone to throw up the skeleton of the site and teach me how to fill it in. I am willing to pay, though I don't have much. I have some friends who paid $1500 for a site and $49 every month to maintain it. Well, that's prohibitively expensive for me, especially since this site won't make much money. But I am willing to pay. So, what I need is someone who is willing to do this, can do it, and will do it promptly. I have had other people offer to help me with this before, but when I actually want to get started they are very non-responsive - what I need is someone who will actually be motivated to get this thing off the ground and can do it in a timely manner.
I am hoping to start building this site within the next six months and open it within a year.
So, post in the combox with your email address is you:
1) Are interested in being a contributor once this site goes up.
2) Are an individual with web expertise who can help me build this site.
3) Can refer me to someone who can build the site.
I do not have a name in mind for the new site yet, but the motto will undoubtedly be Mutans Tenebras In Lucem - "Turning darkness into light," from the famous anonymous poem "Pangur Ban."
Well, that's my vision. Is there anyone out there who can help me get this thing off the ground?