To Every Blog There is a Season

Time for change. Stopwatch on white background. Isolated 3D imagIn the spirit of Ecclesiastes (and The Byrds) it seems like it’s time to share with you some reflections on the future of DatingGod.org. This post marks number 1,008 that has been published on this website since its launch in October 2010. As we come close to the third anniversary of the blog, having crossed the thousandth-post and the half-million-visitors mark, I felt it was appropriate to pause and evaluate what the origin, purpose, mission, and future of the blog was, is, and should be. In short, after several weeks of consideration and prayerful reflection, I’ve decided that it is time for a change.

Some of the more regular readers might have noticed a fluctuation in the frequency and regularity of posts here beginning in the summer and carrying through to today. This wasn’t accidental. I’ve been experimenting with how often to post new material, offer commentary, and share information, prayers, and thoughts through this medium. I haven’t found a particularly satisfying balance. Other blogs have a schedule — daily, twice-weekly, weekly, “occasional,” and so on. This blog has never really had that, although it is — if you do the math — on average a daily blog. It has never been officially stated that this is the intention, it just happened this way.

And this is what I believe has to change.

As the title of the blog indicates (although many people have forgotten about this) the site was actually launched in late 2010 in anticipation of my first book, Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis. It was never my intention, desire, or aspiration to start a blog, but rather the request of my publisher. With hesitation, I agreed to do it. Over the subsequent several years, I had come to appreciate and even at-times “enjoy” communicating in this way with whomever was interested in reading and responding. This medium has connected me, and continues to connect me still, with many women and men I would only otherwise know virtually through social media. I’m grateful for that, for this has proven to be a form of evangelization, communication, and dialogue that I wouldn’t have expected.

But I’ve been wondering lately what the precise mission and purpose of this blog should be now that Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis has been in print for more than a year. The blog has certainly taken on a life of its own and indeed is something beyond just an online extension of the book. But what exactly?

At this point, I feel that DatingGod.org is best understood as one medium among many media through which I can communicate ideas, reflections, and commentary. Since the launch of DatingGod.org, I have been invited to be a regular contributor to a number of other online media (for example, The HuffingtonPost and America Magazineto name two). Additionally, the amount of traveling I do for speaking events, lectures, and retreats (not to mention family, religious community, and other events) has increased over the years as has the number of requests for me to write in both scholarly and popular settings. This has been a wonderful joy, but has also placed certain demands on my time. As you all know so well, there is a limited amount of time in a given day, the realization of which has led me to take more seriously this milestone in the life of DatingGod.org to consider what to do moving forward.

Here’s what I’ve decided for now. DatingGod.org will consciously move from a regular, sometimes-daily blog to an “occasional” platform for sharing information, offering reflection, and communicating in this format. What this means is that there will be less-regular posts here, but that its not going away completely. If I had to guess, I would say that it’s likely that there will be a post here weekly, although that might also include cross-publication of writing that appears in other venues (think HuffPo and America, for example). I should also say that it is possible, perhaps down the road, for the mission, purpose, and future of DatingGod.org to change again and return to a more-regular pace, but for now this is where we stand.

Those who already subscribe to DatingGod.org will continue to get the email editions of new posts as they are published. Others can check back occasionally or you can continue to follow my writing here and elsewhere on Facebook or via Twitter.

Thanks, as always, to the many, many people who have been so supportive and enthusiastic about DatingGod.org over the years! I hope that you will continue to be so supportive!

Peace and good!

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8 Responses to “To Every Blog There is a Season”

  1. I suppose that, at some point, you have to decide who your intended audience is, knowing that you, or any blogger, cannot be all things to all people. I am disappointed that your posts will not be as frequent. I have looked forward to them – and to the Comments they generate. I don’t read HuffPost (a rag) or America and I most certainly do not belong to ANY social media sites. I consider them to be mostly self-aggrandizing inane gossip.
    If your decision is mainly to allow more time for your personal growth within your Order and for spiritual reflection, it is a good thing. You are much too young to face burnout. The recovery time needed for that state is sometimes long and tedious.
    In the interim, then, be at peace, Fr. Dan.

  2. Understandable why you’ve decided as you have. I’ll miss the regularity of Dating God, but ask that the cross publication you mentioned not be a “might” but a “will.”

  3. Marty Rendon Says:

    I understand all you have expressed, but I do look forward to however — and whenever — you are able to keep posting your commentaries. I have been excited by this blog from the beginning because it shows the Church is using the available social media to have its impact felt. Just as Bishop Sheen used television in its early days, I have been inspired by Dating God’s postings and relevance through Facebook and the Internet. Dating God has made the Catholic and Franciscan message both fresh and timely. Please keep it up, however you can! God bless you and grant you peace, Marty

  4. Bill Taylor Says:

    Dan,
    I have enjoyed reading your column from the beginning. I have often forwarded it to family and friends. I have commented but not always.
    I am a friend on FB but enjoy Dating God. I do understand your explanation completely. I also read the Huffington Post and we subscribe to America.
    Pax et Bonum
    Bill

  5. Thank you so much for your writing over these past three years, Br. Dan. I understand your busy schedule and I’ll continue to read, and appreciate, your posts as they appear. Every blessing.

  6. Dan, I think that you are making a good decision here. I have marveled at your ability to post so frequently with all of your other commitments and interests. At the same time I hope that you will continue to have a regular online presence. God has gifted you with an ability to share and reflect on matters of faith in a way that touches hearts and engages minds. That is a very much needed ministry today. Blessings always!

  7. I’m always amazed that you have been able to write as much as you do. Of course I will miss the frequent blog posts, but I’ll look forward to each column as it appears. I think all of your regular readers respect your decision Dan. Lastly, but certainly not least, you have a dissertation to write. I truly think that with regard to your contribution and impact on the Catholic community, the best is yet to come!

  8. MARY ANN BURKE Says:

    I am glad that “Dating God” is not going away and I think we all understand that you have other commitments to fulfill. I believe that all of your regular followers will understand and still look forward to your blog even though it will be less frequent. You are an amazing person, Fr. Dan!

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