Article

A Milestone

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Yesterday marked a major milestone for Black Sun Journal. Over 100,000 visits since October 28, 2005, and approaching 250,000 page views! This is thanks in no small part to Web 2.0 and specifically to StumbleUpon, my top source, which has driven repeated and large traffic spikes. This is especially gratifying, because pages do not remain on StumbleUpon unless they keep getting thumbs up from readers. So when an article keeps generating traffic, people are reading it and sharing it. There’s not a much better vote of confidence than a personal referral, which is essentially what a thumbs up is.

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I have to mention my other top traffic sources for the last year, which are in this order: Google, scienceblogs, richarddawkins.net, Wikipedia, Skeptico, Goosing the Antithesis, Kill the Afterlife, Crooks and Liars, Reddit, rushmessageboard.com, Skeptics Annotated Bible, Daylight Atheism, Atheist Revolution, Planet Atheism, atheism.about.com, and Friendly Atheist.

This article is also in reference to the Evolution Blogmeme. I followed this as far back as I could, which was far outside the atheist blogosphere. It started as the 5 old posts meme, for which I was tagged by tobe38 from A Load of Bright, and Heather and TW from Why Don’t You Blog?

From BSJ’s About page:

I started Black Sun Journal in 2001, ironically, weeks before the September 11 attacks. I had intended the journal to be a forum where I could discuss my views and experiences against the backdrop of my earlier life as a minister and VP of Church Universal and Triumphant. I wrote two original pieces called, “What is Black Sun Journal?” and “Why is Black Sun Journal?” Things have developed quite a bit since since I wrote these early posts, but they still capture the original spirit of what I intended to accomplish.

After September 11, 2001 much of my discussion centered around the national crisis.

But I also kept true to my central purpose, which was to explore the depths and Jungian “shadow side” of human nature and human psychology as they related to political and social events. A central theme was also the almost entirely negative effect of organized religion on the human experience. This topic for me is both intensely personal and political.

A total of eight issues of Black Sun Journal were published, at first on a monthly schedule. (All the original content has been re-posted in the current BSJ archives.) As my job responsibilities began to interfere, I cut back on my blogging, and eventually stopped altogether in late 2002. It had been a little ambitious, given my limited web skills at the time, and was also a little too early on the blogging curve. The constant updating of .html pages took away from the joy of writing, and eventually became way too much work.

In April of 2005, in honor of my mom’s 66th birthday, I launched Black Sun Journal 2.0, as a Typepad site. I also wrote about the last conversation I had with her before her mind was completely destroyed by Alzheimer’s.

The Typepad format was a much better and more interactive and immersive experience for me. I learned a lot and met a lot of new friends on the net. Special thanks to the crew at Goosing the Antithesis, Aaron Kinney at Kill the Afterlife, and Matt Crandall at 10,000 Reasons to Doubt the Fish. Later, after launching BSJ 3.0 as a custom wordpress application, I became friends with Tobe38 of A Load of Bright, John P from Spanish Inquisitor, John Blackman of Evolutionary Middleman, and Heather and TW from Why Don’t You Blog? I also helped Ebonmuse of Daylight Atheism to get the Humanist Symposium started, hosting the 3rd edition of that carnival. In August of ’07, John Blackman submitted my article Atheist Metaphysics and Religious Equivocation to the Richard Dawkins site which resulted in about 10,000 unique visitors.

Thanks also to my webmaster, B.R. at Hexanet communications. My traffic has grown from almost nothing at first to averaging nearly 2,500 5,000 15,000 unique visitors per month. I’ve written about 300 670 750 posts and responded to hundreds of emails and comments. Though it’s been a lot of work, it provides not only an empowering platform, but an amazing atmosphere for learning from and interacting with others. Thank you, everyone, for being that mirror for me.

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I’ve also introduced some new authors on BSJ, and it’s quickly becoming a team effort. Morgaine has written on shadow work and Simone de Beauvoir, and shady character and Laurence have contributed heavily to the Atheist of the Week feature.

Here is what BSJ readers have to look forward to: More and better Atheist of the Week articles, more direct reporting, starting with an upcoming story on my meeting with David Borden of DRCNet at the 2007 NORML conference, Morgaine’s upcoming interview with a 12-year-old female atheist, and much more. Since all this work is entirely pro bono, I’ll be looking for ways to monetize the effort and make it self-sustaining, possibly through a small number of ads, possible 501(c)(3) status to allow for grants and contributions, and a possible merchandise store. But the primary focus will always remain ideas and activism.

Thanks for reading. If you were mentioned in this story and have not yet been bitten by the "Evolution Blogmeme," consider yourself TAGGED!


Comments (3 comments)

shady character / October 14th, 2007, 1:14 pm / #1

Congrats to BlackSun and everyone on the team!

Thanks also to everyone who visits, comments, and makes this an interesting forum for free-thought and discussion.

Here’s to the next hundred thousand!

The Gay Black Jew / October 15th, 2007, 1:22 pm / #2

Congrats…when I found this blog, it was very comforting to find so many views I hold articulated so well…the shadow, the damage religion causes humanity, the absurdity of the Drug War, environmental issues…all right here. I’ve learned a lot and I hope to learn more. Keep up the great work!

olly / October 30th, 2007, 10:17 am / #3

Here I am 2 weeks late, but congrats Sean!!!!! :)

-olly

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