Saturday, March 22, 2014

Changes in Vital Signs Blog?

Americans are dramatically changing their attitudes when it comes to visiting issue-oriented websites and blogs. The traffic to such sites had already been slowing for the last three years or so but the re-election of Barack Obama last year accelerated the trend even more. Internet surfers who previously frequented these sites (the largest percentage of which were conservatives) began to find other things to do.

Were they affected by frustration, disillusionment, fatigue, and a sense of powerlessness? Certainly. After all, every day brought new horror stories of the growing tyranny, corruption, and decadence -- stories that were heartbreaking and dispiriting. You can only take in so much before being overwhelmed. So why not just tune out?

Many have.

Others have chosen more pleasant distractions. They may still live many hours on the internet but instead of the Drudge Report, Fox News, and the rest, they are now hanging out at eBay, Pinterest, YouTube, game sites, or pursuing non-controversial matters through social media.

But there is a third way that still others have taken. These folks have adjusted their internet habits too but they haven't given up on the information, encouragement, and helpfulness of the issue-oriented sites. They still seek out information about their political and cultural landscape because, no matter how bad things get, they still care. They want to know how to effectively pray, how to best defend themselves and their families from the culture rot, and how to rebuild the ethics of a culture that once promoted decency, fairness, life and family, religious freedom, economic growth, and justice.

But these conservatives can only take so much too. Indeed, as we've maintained all along, they should only take so much -- before they do something in response! And taking action, by basic necessity, means less viewing. That's fine by us. 

What does this all mean for Vital Signs Blog? 1) It confirms the purposes we have tried to serve throughout our many years of blogging. We have sought to provide information, insight, encouragement, and specific action targets for Christians who are committed to "occupy until Jesus comes" and therefore "strengthen the things that remain." We will continue to do that the best we can with Vital Signs Blog.

2) We do desire, however, to use our time in the most profitable ways. And, just as we moved away from our longstanding radio program when the response began to fall (with expenses going in the opposite direction), we will begin to redirect some of the hours that have been spent on Vital Signs Blog towards other kinds of ministry. Again, Vital Signs Blog isn't going away. But it will be changing.

3) Among the significant changes? More original articles -- some quite succinct, a few more comprehensive and detailed. Many more interconnections with the Vital Signs Ministries website, Twitter and Facebook, my sermons, my personal correspondence, The Book Den, even our Russian-language website.

Also, more compilation posts. More "encore" posts. More audio clips. And yet there will be fewer posts than the 20-25 we uploaded in years past. Thus, we hope to make Vital Signs Blog tighter, better suited for the Christian activist, and an outreach that better complements the other ministries of Vital Signs.

See you next week.