About Southern Gospel Beat
Martin Roth Christian Commentary in April 2002 (it was at first called
MartinRothOnline.com). I am a journalist, living in Australia, and I saw it
as something of a ministry.
I wrote that I intended the site as ďa service to Christians trying to
live under God in a post-Christian world.Ē
But I found that my articles on topics such as Christian living attracted relatively few readers. By contrast, my writings on three subjects in particular seemed to inspire a big response.
The second topic that clearly attracted visitors to my website was Christianity and war. I wrote a long series of articles, in part trying to work out my own attitudes as a Christian to the looming invasion of Iraq. I have been honored by a request from the Library of Congress for permission to include the articles in their planned MINERVA collection of online resources concerning the Iraq war.
And the third topic was Southern Gospel. Iím a big fan, despite living in Australia (Iíve never attended a Southern Gospel event in my life), and I wrote occasional pieces. It was these that attracted more response than just about anything else on my website. I stopped updating the site in January 2004, to try to write a novel, but continued to receive regular emails about my Southern Gospel postings.
I love listening to Southern Gospel, and I love writing about it. So I have started Southern Gospel Beat. I hope you will enjoy the site.
I launched Southern Gospel Beat early in July. I told few people, and didnít seek out publicity, apart from placing advertising on top of each page of my other website, Martin Roth Christian Commentary (which hasnít been updated for more than 18 months).
Iím busy right now with other work (real work!), so I thought Iíd slowly and gradually build up the site, then around September Iíd start trying to publicise it.
But Iíve been sprung.
I happened to be in correspondence with Barbara of Tidbits and Treasures, and told her what I was doing. She placed a link on her site.
Then, a couple of days ago, Saint at Dogfight at Bankstown found the site and welcomed me back.
Iím now getting hits from all these sites.
So I guess itís time to come clean:
1. I love Southern Gospel music, but donít really know such a lot about it, and donít have strong opinions on it. I see my site more as a kind of regular update of happenings in the business, from a Down Under perspective, rather than as any kind of commentary. I was originally going to call the site Southern Gospel Update, but thought that sounded bland, so decided on Southern Gospel Central, but thought that sounded arrogant, so at the last minute went for Southern Gospel Beat. (But Iíd already uploaded stuff to the site with SGCentral in the URL, and couldnít work out how to change it.) Iím not even sure if what Iím doing is blogging. If you want to see a real Southern Gospel blog, check out Avery Fineline (Douglas Harrison), who to my mind is the model of a very fine blogger Ė knowledgeable, opinionated, sympathetic, sometimes controversial and an excellent writer.
2. Iím a freelance writer. According to this article, the median annual income for writers and other creative types in Australia was $11,700 in 2000-01. I make several times that, which must mean that Iím highly successful. Yet, for several years I havenít been making enough to support my family. I read a posting titled Earning a Six-Figure Income from Blogging? on former youth pastor Darren Rowseís site, and was inspired to see if I too could make money from the internet. I decided to start with something I knew and liked, and something that could be tacked onto my existing website. Hence Southern Gospel Beat. Itís an experiment. I wouldnít expect to make much from this site (and wouldnít be comfortable making much from a Christian site). But if I find that I can make something, I might then try launching something new.
Good to have all that off my conscience.