Photo Copyright © 2011 Lee Mitchell, LMX Creative, All Rights Reserved
No, I’m pleased to tell you. Reports are exaggerated. I remain sentient, mostly. Thank you, all those of you who have emailed to express concern. You’ve added to my guilt, but I am very touched.
I’ve been busy – busy with stuff and busy thinking. It’s the thinking that’s kept me away from the blog.
I’ve been preoccupied with paralysing existential brooding concerning the GFG. I’ve suffered a major identity crisis. I’d be interested to know what you think.
My first and lesser concern has been sustainability. Can the GFG begin to break even at the very least? It runs at a lean and hungry loss at the moment, and that’s silly. ‘What was your business plan?’ I hear you ask. Never had one. I’m a believer in muddling through and seeing what happens. Even planners look back and agree that that’s the way it actually works. My guiding idea has been that if you can be of value to people then you can charge a little for that. I fancy the GFG to be of value to some FDs and providers of services and merchandise. I am proudest of all that it’s helped to keep Yuli Somme busy making her Leafshrouds. The GFG is of value to consumers, too. There ought to be a revenue stream there. Potentially, there is. The GFG just needs a better business head on its shoulders.
My principal concern has been identity. Does the GFG need to exist? What is it for? Last night I happened upon a Catholic blog which, it seems to me, expresses the idea of the GFG very well. The writer begins by saying, ‘I have had a morbid interest in that particular blog for some time,’ and goes on to say:
‘it is an excellent resource to get to grips with the confused secular world and its prevailing attitudes towards death and dying.’ [Source]
That’s it! That’s what we spend a lot of time doing here. So: the GFG is a little think tank. It is earnest, altruistic, mischievous, angry, sad, sometimes bonkers, always serious, never self-serving. It is rooted in things as they are. It seeks to compete with no one and to respect all (almost). It is capable of influence and even authority – and, dammit, we want to change things.
It is the contributions of its loyal commenters, the discussions they have, which bring, in a good month, upwards of 19,000 people to the site. Sure, not all of those get beyond the home page, and I don’t know how many actually go through to the blog. But the name of the GFG is well and widely known; it has readers in many countries. As they say in smart circles, its brand value is high.
But the GFG is presently not growing and maturing, which means, does it, that it’s dying? If it is to mature, how is it to do that? By transitioning from one-man-band to some sort of partnership which formalises what it already is? Is that what it actually is? (I’ve never been big on egotism; it would be a relief if it were.) Were it to become a partnership, what would the organisational architecture look like?
Maybe I am toying with ideas above my station. Sure, I am ambitious. I’d like us to shout louder and make an impact on public opinion, not leave the field open to Funeralcare and SunLife. But I am possibly being hubristic, and if so you’ll holler ‘Back in your box, Charles’. I can take it. There’s always something next.