So after a bit of thinking have decided on the way forward;
Think Defence is still only a blog, it is not a campaign for change with lofty objectives.
We don’t have to be too serious or take ourselves too seriously, the whole thing has to be enjoyable and interesting or it is not worth doing.
There is more than enough room for differences of opinion, errors and and ignorance but none for arrogance, closed minds or righteous aggressiveness.
The objective of Think Defence will remain the same as it always was, simply an effort to get people talking in a sensible and informed manner about UK defence issues, no more, no less.
A place to listen, talk and learn.
I am going to slow down my own posting so I can both sustain the type of post I really enjoy researching and writing and experiment with a couple of commenters suggestions about sharing the workload.
One and two will not produce any real change, the same stuff, just less of it, I might even migrate it over to WordPress or Blogger to drop the cost down.
The following ideas will mean much bigger change.
In parallel with the longer and more considered articles from me and other guest posters I would like a kind of side blog format that sees a team of contributors logging in to Think Defence as contributors as bashing out Quick Posts on a regular basis.
What is a Quick Post.
If you go back to the contents of ‘this weeks links’, the Facebook image slideshow or a single YouTube video with a couple of sentences this is what I am talking about.
A single link or a collection of interesting images or media that are topical.
The open threads would close, these are usually pushed along by something in the news or something one of the commenters finds interesting.
If it is newsworthy or interesting, a new Quick Post would be the start point.
If I can get a group put together it means publishing these short posts wouldn’t become a chore for any single person, exactly what I am trying to avoid.
What would you get out of being a contributing author?
All the container images you could realistically consume in one lifetime!
OK, not just that but a chance to contribute to Think Defence content and of course my undying gratitude.
The absolute VERY LAST thing I want this to turn into is a chore for you, come and go as you please, take as much or little part as you want but basically, play some part.
The only condition would be that you maintain the sites security by not sharing login credentials etc. because in effect, I am handing over the keys to the castle.
Just as a quick aside, being a contributing author does not mean you would be limited to Quick Posts, you can post what you want within sensible limits but I would imagine the majority would be short, time sensitive posts in reaction to news and events.
To support you in this, a login to the TD admin system and access to the about to be published Think Defence UK Defence Newsfeed to end All Newsfeeds to provide inspiration, up to date news and media.
The TD News Pipe will funnel hundreds of defence and related subject newsfeeds, facebook pages and media queries into a single sorted and de-duplicated feed that you can read in any newsreader, offline or online.
In addition to the News Pipe I will make available online my PDF and media library, it being fairly mahoosive.
As this grows I hope to make this ‘back room’ much more collaborative, much more than me just showing you mine!
You can always send in a guest post as well without being part of the team. Guest posts are great, I want more but don’t want barriers in the way either.
To build this additional capability I am going to have to spend a bit of cash, more than I do at the moment.
Hosting, security, additional software and perhaps outsourced design work all add up and if we are going to build Think Defence then it has to be secure, well designed, unbuggy, fast, reliable and visually appealing.
I know many people like the current ‘agricultural’ layout but it is only sparse because it keeps server load to a minimum, its hardly a looker is it?
Also, being part of the TD team will not be linked to donations, time, money, both or none are all equal in my eyes.
Reluctantly, I might therefore as the TD readers to throw a few quid into a pot to help me along.
I don’t know whether these plans will work, whether people will put their hands up and pony up a few quid.
If not, it will be normal jogging, just slower.
If so, and I am actually pretty enthusiastic about building the TD Massiv, then I hope together we can push Think Defence out from its one man band (ably supported by guest writers and commenters) approach into something much better and collaborative.
This is an experiment, if it works great, if not, OK, I will just carry on but less frequently and accept a reduction in traffic.
I am going to ask for some very specific feedback to gauge interest before jumping
- Would you be interesting in joining Think Defence as a contributing author?
- Would you throw a few quid into the pot?
In addition, do you have any specific comments on this proposed direction, even if the answer is no to questions 1 and 2