Existential: the future of UKGospel.com (Part 1)
When I started writing this forward-look several weeks ago I opted to do it in stream of consciousness.
It felt right because it’s setting out the UKGospel.com roadmap for – God willing – the next 5-10 years.
Additionally, sharing my thought process this way lends itself to the feel of a story that’s unfolding almost in real time…
Shutting everything down
I did a similar stock-take in 2014. Ironically, I was considering shutting everything down back then.
There was good reason to seriously entertain thoughts of calling it a day: the UK Gospel media landscape was vibrant. And diverse.
The live scene was popping, and there were many great people running TV, websites, print and radio.
Plus: social media was on the verge of seriously levelling up as a channel to actively engage audiences in ways we hadn’t seen before.
All in all, it felt like a good time to call time on this project.
In the end I decided against a shut down for the same reason I write this today: I pondered a few hard questions and was uncomfortable with the conclusions staring me in the face.
Over the years the vibrancy of the UK Gospel scene and the media platforms supporting it has ebbed and flowed.
Many exceptional initiatives spring up but sadly lose momentum afterwards.
From the recent past I can think of Vinejuice, and before that m-Brio Music, and – going back even further – United By ONE was phenomenal. On the magazine publishing side Gospel Link magazine was as good as anything anywhere.
I pondered a few hard questions and was uncomfortable with the conclusions staring me in the face…
I’m sure there are many reasons why many of these platforms aren’t around any more, and why new ones fail.
From a simple business perspective, running a hyper niche enterprise is always going to be challenging and unlikely to be profitable (at least in the short term).
If the basic economics of our sector mean media operations are especially vulnerable, it doesn’t bode well for the future of any project (and for media platforms in our scene in general).
This of course is all conjecture and massive assumption on my part, and I’m happy to admit as much.
I could be totally wrong about this. History suggests I’m not, though…
The plan moving forwards is to make sure that UKGospel.com keeps up with phenomenal work that platforms like AStepFWD.com and GospelHydration.com are doing. And that’s not going to be easy.
If the basic economics of our sector mean media operations are especially vulnerable, it doesn’t bode well for the future of any project (and for media platforms on our scene in general).
Anyway, back to the issue at hand: the problem this type of writing creates for me is that things always take so long for me to complete (I’ve been working on this off and on since March 2022. It’s now May).
Between the drafts and re-writes (and re-writes of the re-writes) the trajectory from my brain to the screen you’re now reading this on is rarely a smooth one.
To slay this particular dragon I’ve decided on a periodic run, putting these articles out as a weekly series, sharing my thoughts and plans, with some analysis and (unpopular?) opinions thrown in for good measure.
This should hopefully free me up to commit to putting something out every 7 days or so.
weekly series sharing my thoughts and plans with some analysis and (unpopular) opinions…
Plus: that kind of pressure brings its own creative energy (at least that’s what I’m telling myself…) 🙂
So: welcome to the brand new UKGospel.com: same as the old UKGospel.com, really…
See you next week.