Is the Blog being retired?
Does anyone know if the Blog portion of this site is being retired? There were 2-3 entries per week before, but nothing has been posted there for almost 2 weeks now. Hopefully it’s just the staff taking vacation time over the holidays, because the Blog was the main way I connected with and used the site. Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.
John RameyStaff - 7 days ago
Thanks for asking Stephen, it’s very helpful to hear. No, not retired. I encouraged everyone to take some time off, given how nonstop we’ve been since Jan ’20 (when we were one of the first western publications to ring alarm on covid) and the mental-health toll the work has taken.
That said, I have been thinking about where the blog goes from here. We started blogging about a year ago and have been treating it like an experiment; trying to figure out where we can add value, what people like, our values, etc.
For example, we don’t want to be yet another “fear and gear” blog that’s just in it for the clicks with low-effort content — the world has plenty of that and not enough things like TP. And we’re trying hard to avoid the news, politics, tribalism, etc tactics so often used to drive revenue and engagement on other blogs.
As a young project with a very small team, especially given there are no ads or other common scummy money-making tactics that we can use to fund growth, we have more things to do than resources to do them.
We’ve thought about pushing Patreon or a membership option for people who want to support more work and help the sane prepping community grow.
Unless the community clearly tells us otherwise and votes with their actions (which has not been the case so far), I think of The Prepared more as the core content (the big articles/reviews not on the blog) and the other stuff like community/forum, kit builder, and courses.
So we’ll keep blogging, but have to balance it against the other stuff people want done. And future blog posts will be less about the current events (eg. we’ve ended the twice-weekly news roundups) and more about prepping, such as the Memebusters series. If TP continues to grow and enough people support it, I’d love to get more folks posting more often on the blog.
In the end, it’s hard to build something large and sustainable on the internet without resorting to things like tribalism or taking money from manufacturers to give biased reviews. But we’re trying 🙂
mopdx - 6 days ago
Thank you so much for the update. John. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, The Prepared blog is one of the very few sources which I turn to for timely information–especially for COVID-19 and global health content. The diversity and breadth of long-form blog topics are definitely appreciated (who would’ve thought that pinto beans brownies were a thing?), and the mature tone of the authors are worth returning for.
Stephen Besch - 6 days ago
I agree – I greatly appreciated the synopsis approach with links to more detailed data if desired. The mentions of new articles/features across the rest of the TP website made the Blog a convenient one-stop-shop that I could check for prepper-oriented news (both inside and outside of the TP website). I kept it open in a browser tab and refreshed it daily. That seemed to be more reliable than relying on email alerts for new content. Maybe something similar could take it’s place (a chronological landing/summary page?) that doesn’t require quite as much legwork to maintain. I recommend your site to lots of people. Thanks!
Cia - 5 days ago
I agree as well. I’ve reread most of the articles in the blog several times. I’m back up to the beginning of April now. I’d pay for a Patreon membership if the blog continued to publish articles and news with links.
LNMOt - 5 days ago
The blog updates on what was going on around the world and regarding COVID-19 was the primary thing that brought me back time and time and again to this website. While I really enjoy the forum and the articles / guides, the blog meant a lot and I find my self not visiting this site as much.
As a very busy mother of two small children who has a really hectic and challenging career but still wants to be involved in preparedness , the preparedness focused summary updates were really helpful and truly helped me feel more in tune with what was really going on. I knew the information in the reports wasn’t biased like what you might read on pretty much every other website (biased left or right, doesn’t matter!).
I am quite devastated to have lost those updates – they were definitely something I looked forward to reading each week!
Gideon ParkerStaff - 5 days ago
I agree with you. I also don’t have a lot of time and frankly energy to scroll through news articles with how negative the news is and how much is out there from so many sources. Having a few highlights during the week is nice to feel somewhat informed and not take too much time.
Jamie Mork - 5 days ago
I, too, miss the Key Developments update. I am trying to avoid “news” and instead consume factual information about current events – not Op-eds on Op-eds. The Key Dev posts are very concise, pertinent and non-political which I really appreciate nowadays.
The other topics are great! But not why I came to the Blog.
Josh CentersContributor - 5 days ago
Thanks for the kind words about the blog! I’m mostly working on evergreen content now (the main articles), but I was brought in to blog, so it has a special place in my heart. 🙂
Gideon ParkerStaff - 5 days ago
What are some of your favorite blog posts? This can give us an idea of the content you enjoy and come to the blog for.
If you look through them, there really is a wide variety of different topics such as:
- Drinking your own pee
- Giant wheel of cheese
- Waxed clothes
- Making a candle from an orange
- How to avoid doomshopping
- of course the many Key Developments
- and lots more
Two of my favorites was a look into Jon Stoke’s go-bag. It helped me realize that I don’t need a large bag, and I can keep things simple and small.
And I like how to make char cloth. Just cause I wrote it 😉
Cia - 5 days ago
None of those were my favorites. I really liked the ones on homeschooling, logic of slow the testing down, Crocs, masks being our future in fashion and technology, the split screen effect, civil unrest, banging pots and howling, the article on lockdown from Alaska, you’re not going crazy, Nashville effects, accountability partner, not being excited enough about Pfizer vaccine, all the reports by Ari Feuer, all Stephanie’s updates with links, the three recipes for lockdown (what happened to those?), articles about stages, steps, possible futures, games for adults and kids, city folk in country. I hope I can revise this when I think of more. I have also become very dependent on this blog.
Cia - 5 days ago
Oh, preparing bags for quarantine, sickness at home, and hospital, I bought a lot of those things on Amazon using the links. Is AZ who put up the prep lists for cats and dogs going to put those up again? I bought a lot of the things recommended there and in the comments on pet prep. I need to put a comment up there about just learning yesterday about Taste of the Wild and other expensive dog foods likely causing cardiomyopathy in dogs from legumes and potatoes used depleting taurine. I’ve fed our dog TOTW her whole life, five years, but researched it last night and ordered Natures Logic from Chewy, to alternate with TOTW’s new line with “ancient grains.”
Cia - 4 days ago
I also really liked the initial article with lists of how to prepare for Covid. I used them extensively, especially the food lists. And I liked Ari’s articles outlining possible ways the pandemic could go. I reread them last week, enjoying the irony that a year ago we thought we might control it and eliminate it by April!
Alisa Felix - 5 days ago
I haven’t seen many of those blog posts, so thank you for the recommendations. I have something to read this weekend!
LNMOt - 5 days ago
Thank you Gideon!
For me personally:
#1 – Key Developments and other news relevant to the sane-preparedness community.
The other blog posts were interesting and informative but for me personally, staying on top of what is going on in the world has helped me the most.
I really like the concept of short, small scope “learn how to” topics that are relevant to preparedness.
I also really like the concept of short, small scope “weekend preparedness projects”. Small scope projects that are inexpensive and relatively simple that will only take a day or so. Little things that you can do over time that will further the preparedness journey we are all on.
Finally, another idea would be scoped educational pieces of preparedness basics. And I don’t want to duplicate the fantastic articles and guides already on the website. Just little tid-bits that are shorter and super focused, but interesting education for the average person interested in preparedness. For example: basic nutritional requirements, fire arm cleaning and maintenance (high level), some basic food safety lessons that would be good to know if we were in a grid down situation without electricity for a period of time, etc.
Just my two cents 🙂
Gideon ParkerStaff - 5 days ago
Great suggestions LNMOt. I too like those little “learn how to” topics. Inexpensive, easy, and short projects are fun to work on when you have a minute of free time during the weekend.
I also like your idea of small tid-bits articles. While having those presented in a blog post format would be nice, I think that many of those smaller topics can be answered pretty well and quickly by the community. I love the ones that you have listed as examples above and can easily see those being incredibly popular topics in the forum.
Until we think about the blog some more and what that will look like, can I ask you to post some of those questions to the forum? I’d love to see those topics discussed in there as I don’t remember ever seeing forum posts about any of those examples. You could post something like:
Topic: Firearm cleaning and maintenance
Subject: How to you clean your firearms (i’m sure it will be different for pistols, rifles, and shotguns), what products do you use, how to you make sure you are safe, what maintenance do you preform and how often.
Something like this would be an excellent resource to others and you helped create it!
Stephen Besch - 5 days ago
I definitely liked the summaries of weekly events. Those were dominated by COVID info, understandably, for much of the time, but they weren’t always limited to that (and certainly wouldn’t need to be, going forward). It was a trusted barometer for me on salient developments around the world (whether they might be COVID indicators, signs of economic downturn anywhere across the globe, damage to US crops from storms or insects, etc.) that might influence the need to tweak my prepping supplies for the short term.
For example, the explanation of how capacity limitations and the routing of almost all container shipping through China was exacerbating many of the supply-line interruptions helped me understand why they were so random (i.e., that nearly anything could be absent from the store shelves from one week to the next) and for how much longer they might continue (despite any improvements in the COVID situation).
Even if they were very short more often than not, I still love the idea of a regularly scheduled “state of the world” update that’s tuned to a prepper perspective. The update could also mention new articles that were posted elsewhere on the site, as I didn’t visit those areas as much after reading through the initial bolus of existing info in each area.
Alisa Felix - 5 days ago
I liked how you called it your barometer, and I tended to use it the same way as well. I could tell when things were going to get bad at my grocery store, and when covid cases were flaring up again.
Cia - 4 days ago
I think you could make a book from your articles, The Covid Year (Two Years?). It would be a fascinating account of what we’ve been through and how we have dealt with it, with the help of your information and advice. It would be a shame to let them vanish into the blogosphere.
Ld - 4 days ago
I agree—I am on this site for the blog, especially the update posts. Like many who have posted, I counted on them as a way to gauge what I should really be concerned about and what I shouldn’t. I have been checking back daily hoping to see a take on the events of this last week in Washington. I know I can count on those updates to point me to important news I might have missed, help me keep a balanced and long-term view, and help me see what’s going on from the perspective of a seasoned, rational, prepared person. I am disappointed to hear they’ve been retired, and I hope you all might reconsider bringing them back in some form, even if less often, paid, a newsletter, what have you.
MikeNZ - 4 days ago
I also have missed the ‘Key Developments’ posts over the last week or so. I read a wide variety of news sources yet have frequently been tipped off on a significant news item by one of these posts. The rational summary of the state of the world is much appreciated and these very up-to-date posts make a nice balance to the ‘evergreen’ foundation articles on the site.
Given the blissful lack of advertising on this site I’d support a Patreon subscription or email newsletter.
Heretic G - 13 hours ago
Well my long post got nuked somehow, after I posted it, then tried to edit it… Maybe the admins can still find it, but here’s a condensed version:
- I support all that’s been said about the Key Developments part of the blog.
- I came here mostly for that portion of the blog. Other blogs were less relevant.
- You’ve built up a sizeable user base, based on the news blogs, would be a pity to lose it, since you’re probably the best aggregated/curated news source in this niche.
- I’d pay for a patreon supporting those key developments blogs, the same as I pay for other specialized news sites.
- The world needs a news source like yours, that we can trust to deliver key content. I like that the blog scope expanded to other crises, such as geopolitical. If you could cover climate change developments too, that’d be the cherry on top!
Gideon ParkerStaff - 13 hours ago
I was able to find your post that you accidently deleted. Here it is:
Heretic G wrote:
I’m here to throw my support for the news/Key developments blog. I think with all the replies you see here, it’s obvious this was the reason many of us came to the site.
I greatly enjoyed the condensed, informative highlights of the week’s developments. I was pleasantly surprised when you started adding more than Covid news, such as prep/collapse/crisis news. The world needs a news blog such as yourself. The other blog subjects are hit and miss with me, most I don’t care about, as I don’t prep to that level. I prefer to keep an eye out on things, which is already hard to do in this information overload that we live in. So please bring the key developments back! Maybe down to once a week if it takes too much staff time, but at this point I’d argue this is your actual core content, it’s definitely brought in an audience of its own.
Perhaps a patreon would be in order or a subscription service? I’d sign up, in my mind it’s easy to justify paying for a specific niche of curated news content. Like I pay for a tech news site, for example.
Katy Cheuvront - 12 hours ago
Hi, I just wanted to chime in and say how much I miss the key developments. I read every article on the blog (so much great info), but it’s the key developments that I check in for. It’s a reminder to me to keep prepping in mind, especially combined with the other articles. I didn’t have that mindset a few months ago, wasn’t remotely ready when Covid hit, and hated it. I definitely consider it a resource worth paying for. Thanks for all the hard work!
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