Monday, February 27, 2006

The "Outsider" Folds

After but two months, Alejandro Bermudez has shuttered Catholic News Agency's blog, Catholic Outsider.

Admittedly, given that Bermudez burnt out so quickly, I'm led to examine my conscience, pondering whether I'm either: 1. insane or 2. a glutton for punishment to have kept these pages going for 15 months now, always trying to scope out what's going on, breaking stories as opposed to just regurgitating the reportage of others and seeking to add a layer of analysis and more detailed coverage which, given the subject matter and the usual constraints, isn't easily available out there.

I can only hope it's been beneficial for the wider audience, and I pray that the quality of it has gotten better with time. The numbers do show a constant, significant uptick -- February's readership is, so far, on a 50% increase over January's (on track for a record 100,000 for this month) -- and that reaffirms my desire to think that all of this hasn't been engaged in vain, and that the coverage has been of the calibre worthy of the rich, multifaceted beat which, when it's done right, Catholicism is.

So, all that said, I do need to ask again for your assistance. I hate doing this, but to paraphrase Chink, you can't run an office on Hail Marys.....

Unlike the other news-blogs running, remember that these pages are not owned by a larger outlet, so your humble scribe is a news outlet of one working on a budget which makes a shoestring seem downright lush in comparison. Sure, the hosting's free, but not the phone time (just had to increase the minutes on my cellphone plan), the office expenses, the research materials, and everything that's necessary to keep all this as comprehensive as possible.

I do all this because I love it, but I also have to pay the bills.... Whispers keeps purring solely through the support of its readers. I put out a request a couple weeks back for help, and it was somewhat received, but not enough to keep me a paid-up camper.

Yes, it would be easier to just slink away and become the bland desk jockey I was always supposed to be. But I'm too stubborn for that, and too committed to this.... I love hearing and knowing that so many of you enjoy the dispatches as you tell me you do. That's just downright heartwarming and means the world, not to mention it keeps me encouraged that, someday, things will be a bit easier.

In the meantime, however and as always, keeping this outlet going remains in your hands. You can find the guitar case down the right sidebar, below the archives, so please do what you can.

All thanks for the kindnesses so many of you have show me everyday. And many thanks in advance for helping things along.