2013 SouthernGospelBlog.com Reader Survey

Every now and then, I like to step back to assess whether the coverage this site provides is the coverage you want to read. Instead of the usual click-a-poll-answer format, these topics lend themselves to open-ended questions.

1. News Coverage

To what extent do you rely on this or other Southern Gospel news websites for coverage of Southern Gospel news?

News coverage has been a central hallmark of this site’s coverage.ย But over the last two years or so, I suspect that many of you have started to follow your favorite artists directly on social media. I wonder if a news website still contributes value in a social media world.

I doubt that it would be worth dropping news coverage entirely. Though many of you follow your top favorites on social media, fewer of you follow every social media account of every artist you enjoy. (Besides, a fair number of holdout artists still lack a consistent social media presence.) One other nuance is that I’ve aimed to make this a one-stop resource where you can be sure you are reasonably well-informed and haven’t missed anyย significant news story concerning the genre’s leading groups. Yet I wonder if news coverage needs to be less emphasized.

2. CD Reviews

Do CD ratings matter?

I am not convinced that ratings, except perhaps 5-star ratings, add any substantive value; I have been seriously considering discontinuing them.

3. Daily Posts

Would it make any difference to you if there were only three or four posts per week?

Since our launch in September 2006, I have maintained a daily posting schedule. I’ve aimed to put up a post every weekday and, for most of this site’s run, every Saturday as well. I believe I’ve only missed two days in these seven years, and one of them was when the power was out for more than twenty-four hours in a snowstorm! But I’m not sure that it’s as big a deal to anyone else.

(Be honest! I am open to considering a slower schedule. This is also connected to the first question, because a reduction in news coverage would almost necessarily mean a reduction in posts per week.)

4. Favorite Column

Of all the columns on this site, which would you miss the most if it was discontinued? Are there any columns from the past that you would like to see return?

Thank you in advance for your feedback!


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121 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Daniel, I appreciate your blog and I know that others do too. That’s why I’m reading it now early in the morning Pacific time. I’m sure it’s a big commitment of time and effort for you and I guess you’re the one who would know if it’s worth it or not. As long as you continue it I intend to read it. It’s my #1 source of Southern Gospel news these days. I don’t get much news directly from artists. I do enjoy your CD reviews.

    • Yes, it’s a big commitment of time and effort, but I still enjoy doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Please I’ve just found you and I look forward to all the news every day. Don’t change one thing, just keep up the good work.

        R Floyd

      • Thank you!

  2. Think social media covers the news ahead of anything else.
    Don’t care much about cd reviews. It’s one persons opinion of a cd. It’s kinda like song polls and awards. Depends on which poll you are looking at and which awards program you’re looking at. Some are close but none of them are the same.
    I like the daily post, sometimes I don’t get to the daily often go back and see if I’ve missed anything.
    Daniel I would miss anything that is posted on your site. I think you are one of the most respected ‘bloggers’. I hear and see more respect from your opinions by the artist and fans than any one blogging.

    • Thanks! Yes, social media does tend to get to the news first, which is why I was wondering if the news component here was still needed. But it sounds like there are still people who look for that coverage.

  3. I, too, rely on your blog as my #1 source of SG news. I’m not as interested in the CD reviews. My very favorite is the Saturday update, and would like to see it expanded. You’re the top blogger and highly respected around here.

    • Thank you so much! What would you like to see added to the Saturday updates? More news, or more of something else?

  4. 1) I usually hear about news first through your blog, most often when the update shows up on Facebook. It is from that point that I start seeing other people sharing that same news, but you are usually the first to broadcast it. I think you have an important role in the spreading of information in that respect.

    2) For CD Reviews, I enjoy quantitative analysis equally as well as qualitative analysis. For me, it acts as a summary of your review, and often times leads me to read your review more closely.

    3) I’m always amazed at the different thoughts and stories you are able to churn out on a daily basis, but I know that it must be somewhat taxing coming up with something every day, while I’m sure your daily life is getting more busy as you grow older. I don’t think it would do anyone a disservice if you wanted to scale back your posting frequency because you always have something substantive to post.

    That being said, I still visit everyday and always enjoy the discussions even if I don’t contribute much.

    4) My favorite columns are the interviews, in particular those that go behind the scenes with songwriters and new faces to the business. I would miss those if they were to go away, especially since I think your connections with those working in the Southern Gospel business gives you an open field for such articles.

    • Keep and expand the news! There are those of us who want nothing to do with Facebook. Drop the CD reviews; not useful information. Take Sundays off and enjoy…

      BTW, please interview the Punches Family. I’m an old-fashioned quartet man, but they are AMAZING!

      • I really like the Punches Family, too. I have posted about them two or three times and plan to continue covering them as opportunities arise. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Levi, thanks all around! Since I’m not married yet, my daily life isn’t all that different from five years ago!

      The songwriter and new artist interviews are two of my favorite parts, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Your blog is the only SG blog I check everyday. What I look for is news coverage. I like keeping up with everyone for many reasons. I’m not interested in CD reviews because, no offense, we all have different tastes in music. I’ve never been swayed one way or the other by a CD review. I especially like your Saturday Roundup with the videos. May I add that I appreciate your consistent biblical viewpoint on this blog, even sometimes asking the hard questions. Thanks, Daniel.

    • Thank you very much!

      On the CD Reviews – no problem! I would not have asked these questions if I wasn’t fine with answers either way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 1. I rely on this site PRIMARILY for the news in SG. You’re on top of it faster than any other website. I don’t have time or energy to individually follow everyone online, so this is the one-stop shop. If news were discontinued, much of my interest in the site would fizzle.
    2. CD ratings. While I don’t always agree with your ratings, I find that your opinions usually have merit. Without a rating, it feels like you are trying to avoid saying what you really think about an album. It helps peel away some of the sugarcoating that tends to go with a CD review.
    3. Daily Posts. I think 4 a week is good, with an exception for newsworthy events. Sometimes a great post/comments thread gets buried after a few days because of the daily postings. That said, this site has risen to become the premier blog in SG largely because of its daily postings. No other blog does that.
    4. I would miss Sat. News Roundup the most. I love the recap.

    • Thanks! Well, based on feedback so far, I think I can already conclude that the news coverage isn’t going to go anywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I also dislike how a great discussion can get buried by new posts, but as you said, there has also been merit to the daily coverage.

      I think that the Saturday News Roundup isn’t going to go anywhere, because, even if I were to scale back news coverage a little – which doesn’t look likely at this point – I would still at least mention the happenings there.

  7. I’ll reply to a couple of individual comments individually, but as an overall reply to Vic, RevPaul, Levi, and Mr. York: Thank you for the feedback. Since, based on the early feedback, it looks as though the news coverage is still valued, I’m perfectly happy to keep it coming. I just didn’t want to do it if nobody was finding it useful anymore.

  8. I read your blog everyday, first thing in the morning and yes, I would miss the news, interviews, videos, and the Saturday Roundup. I don’t use twitter b/c when I did I found the short sentences useless so discontinued it. As for the cd reviews I could do without them but I do like the list each month of what is coming up. This is the only SG blog that I look forward to each day and when it doesn’t appear I concerned that you might be sick and of course reminded me to pray for you.

    • I don’t like Twitter much myself, but I stay there anyhow to make sure I don’t miss any SG news updates posted there first. Thanks for the feedback on what you most/least find useful!

      I definitely plan to keep that list of upcoming CD releases going. It definitely takes a little legwork and digging each month to put together, but it’s so useful that I plan to keep it up.

  9. I usually check the SG blog everyday to keep me informed on what is going on in the SG world. This site is my primary source for SG news and I value its thorough and well informed content. I generally like reading anything about SG music, but especially enjoy the artist interviews and always love seeing videos that get posted. As for the cd reviews, I do enjoy reading them, not necessarily because I may always agree with the review, but because I like hearing from the perspective of others. In addition, there have been times where a cd review has persuaded me to go out and buy a particular album. Regarding the frequency of postings, I can understand if you would like to reduce the number of postings per week. I can imagine it must be a cumbersome task trying to come up with a different topic to post about each day. As long as I knew what days you would be posting, I would be fine with that, although it would take some getting used to as I previously mentioned I am in a routine of checking it each day. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks! Based on feedback so far, I’m planning on sticking to daily posts.

      I’m a little surprised at how many people have mentioned liking the videos. If a video is really strong and memorable, I tend to see it in at least a half-dozen other places, so I hadn’t known if including it here added value for anyone. Good to know!

      • One thing to note, Daniel, you are “In the loop” so to speak, so you see videos or breaking news at many different spots. But many people don’t have jobs where they can continually monitor and observe all the things going on in social media. I have the opportunity to be on my computer or smart phone a lot, but it is still hard to catch it all, plus even though I am “Facebook friends” with many of the artists and industry people, I am not friends with everyone, so it is still easy to miss a new-worthy item. Plus, even if I have seen the news item, you may have further or different details than I have because you knew someone different than I did. Keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Thanks! Most of what I read and bookmark for the stories here is during off hours, of course, but there are certainly Crossroads-related items that I’ll be more aware of because of my job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I enjoy and look forward to receiving your daily emails with updates. I realize the effort that you put into this and although I hope you continue to publish daily updates, I would understand your “cutting back”, and would appreciate any updates you are willing to do, regardless of whether it be daily, every other day, or weekly.
    PLEASE, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

    • Thanks! I’ll certainly try, and it’s looking like daily updates still has merit here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 1/ news coverage i verymuch enjoy NEWS — i just do prefer its not bias – personal opinions — NOR personal political views

    2/CD reviews — i think its good and very benificial – i have read blog reviews that made me wanna get a cd from a group i usually dont care for — HEY im human we all have our favorite groups —

    3/ Daily Posts — i would be fine with weekly posts and IF something news worthy/ time worthy happens then i VERY MUCH APPRECIATE the heads up — i know so manytimes this blog has let me know things ahead of others and i do enjoy that — and thank you ! im sure this is a labor of love! and again THANK YOU

    again THANK YOU for doing what you do —

    dave

    • You raise some interesting points, including one that I have experienced from time to time on other sites. We all have groups we pay closer attention to and groups we pay less attention to, and from time to time, reviews on other sites have alerted me to realize that some CD I may not have otherwise reviewed is a particularly strong release that I should check out.

  12. I really enjoy this blog, all of it. I may be able to follow some of my favorites on FB but there are a lot of artists I either don’t know well or don’t know at all yet. I would hate to miss out on some because you weren’t here. I am fairly new to this since I only acquired my laptop in Nov but as long as you’re here I will read everything you post.

    • Thanks! Even as I was putting this post together last night and this morning, I suspected that many of my readers are like you – following a couple of favorites on Facebook, but not hearing about everything newsworthy on Facebook yet.

  13. THE blog in my opinion to get my daily fix on Gospel news, interviews, etc.

    Agreed with everyone so far. Keep the news, enjoy it, very informative, and you keep on top of newsworthy events.

    CD Ratings: I read everyone of them, but if it weren’t around anymore, I honestly wouldn’t miss it too much. However, I have in recent memory bought CD’s or digital copies based on reviews here. And find myself agreeing very much with most of the main interest points in regards to said Cds.

    My favorite thing about this site, is the Saturday news roundup. Really enjoy reading those, and to be honest every Saturday morning I check twitter specifically to find where it has been posted there and click on the link and read. Good points always, and I also very much enjoy videos on occasion on there. I enjoy seeing the “hat tips” on others videos and such. Case in point, I sent you an email the other morning of the new Dixie Echoes lineup singing Winging my Way Back Home, and shortly thereafter another user had posted a video of the same song from the GOGR… Enjoy things like that

    Daniel you do a magnificent job and I know we are all appreciative of all the hard work. Thanks again….

    • Thank you so much – wow! I tend to post hat tips with videos when one particular person brought a video to my attention. When I notice it myself, or when three (or ten!) people bring it to my attention, I tend to not do a hat tip in that situation.

  14. I depend on you to keep up with the news, changes etc. 2 or 3 times a week would be ok, just as long as we get the news.

    • Thanks! Based on the feedback from this post, the news coverage is definitely not going anywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Daniel, I enjoy your blog every day. I’ve found it to be accurate, to the point, wide ranging, positive and that you never forget its more about the”Subject” of the music than the personalities or actions of those who are used to make the music. You must spend a great deal of time with this blog; I, for one am impressed by your continual input and monitoring that I’ve seen. I wouldn’t blame you for scaling back, but I would miss the blog. As for cd reviews, I read them and it seems you are correctly encouraging, yet you add little bits of info about songs, songwriters, singers that often make a song come alive for me. Also, you have been true to your honesty and you withhold false flattery. Thanks for that. I’ve never met you, but you are a good man. That is revealed here. You seem to love the music and the message and you don’t play favorites. I think this blog is a treasure. Thanks for all you do to promote Southern Gospel Music and the Message.

    • Thank you! I’m pretty passionate about this music and its Subject, and I’m glad it shows. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Based on the feedback so far, I have no plans to scale back.

  16. You are doing a great job! I look forward to every email I get from you. I think you should keep it the way it isโ€ฆif you can physically do it. I know that this is a lot of work for you and it is greatly appreciated.

    • Thanks! I’m so glad that you look forward to getting these posts. And based on the feedback, I definitely plan to keep things the way that they are. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I concur with the comments about keeping the news comtent. I come to this page first thing in the morning, every morning except Sunday. Don’t care much about the cd reviews, but the news and interviews are must reads for me. Don’t change a thing! If it ain’t broke…

    • Thanks!

      If I change any one thing based on these responses, it would be doing fewer CD reviews. That seems to be the #1 “take-it-or-leave-it” part of the coverage here.

  18. Keep the news information coming. I have the likes I have on facebook of groups I follow but I don’t always see the news updates. I have facebook setup for chronological order but sometimes miss post that the artists posts or the industry. I come to your website to make sure I stay informed. I enjoy the cd reviews as it is a basis on how I may purchase the album or not. I like the reviews because since you have experience in the industry, you reviews weigh heavily on whether I purchase the album. My favorite columns are the new releases and the interniew/latest news.

    • Thank you! That is one aspect that I hadn’t thought of, even though it happens to me, too – Facebook doesn’t show me all pertinent posts, either.

  19. I generally come for the News and the Saturday Round-up. No need to change anything, IMO.

    Sure, there may be some parts that don’t interest me as much, but those same parts may be what someone else really likes, so if your readers keep coming back, leave it as-is.

    One thing I would like to see is a “Story behind the song” feature. I realize that there are plenty of Hymn Story pages around the Net, but it would be neat to hear the stories behind many of the current songs in the charts. . . on a regular basis. (I’ve watched some of the videos of Phil Cross doing this but I’m more interested of seeing it on a continuing basis) I think hearing the stories gives extra meaning.

  20. I really look forward to all your news please don’t stop

    • Thanks! I certainly don’t plan to!

  21. I really enjoy the site and read it everyday, as it is my “go to” sg source. One of the things I enjoy about the blog is that there is daily , fresh content.

    1) I really enjoy the news section. While I may have heard news from other sources (social media). I find southerngospelblog to have the story summarized, plus there is usually some great commentary to go with the story. The interaction with the readers in the comments section is great as well.

    2) CD ratings really don’t matter to me, but I do like hearing opinions/reviews on the latest CDs.

    3) Love the daily posts.

    4) Favorite Columns: The interviews are great. I like columns that talk about the industry side of things. I’ve enjoyed the special features on the history of SG. The saturday open thread is one of my favorites.

    One poster in this thread also stated that he loves the conversation aspect of the posts, and I agree. I do agree that sometimes the conversation gets “lost” by the other posts. Maybe there is a way to add more “interaction”, but i’m not sure what way that would be. I realize that message boards/forums aren’t the hot thing anymore.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks! From time to time, I do contemplate adding a message board in. But by and large, I find most of that purpose seems to be well served by the open discussions in the weekly open threads.

      I’d love to write more about our genre’s history. I’ve been pondering ways to add a little more of that in at some point here.

      I do generally aim to present news stories as concisely as possible. As much as I love to write and read long-form reading, I know that this is a skimming culture, so if I can condense the stories to present them simply and clearly, that seems to be what readers appreciate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Daniel,

    I wouldn’t change one thing that you are doing. You really put forth valuable information and on things that I’ve not saw before in other blogs. As an artist with my group Jordan’s Bridge, it really helps us everytime you mention us. I can tell you of 12 dates I have booked because of your kindness of doing a story or just a video review. I’m very appreciative of all you have done and I know all the other artist are also. God Bless You in All Your efforts.

    • Twelve! Wow, that is very neat; I had no idea. I’m so glad to be able to give you all some exposure, because you have something special going and deserve it!

  23. I like the news because it puts everything in one place. I also love love love interviews and song stories. CD Reviews I’m most interested in when it’s an artist I know, but I do like ratings because like someone else said it kind of boils everything down to something more hard and cold.

    • Thanks! Even though the interviews and song stories probably take longer to put together than any other columns, I think they’re worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I read SouthernGospelBlog everyday. It is a great service to know what is going on in the field of So. Gospel music. Love the videos you post and I think you are doing a wonderful job. Please don’t quit. Enjoy all of it very much!!! God Bless You!

    • Thank you! I have been quite surprised at how many mentions the videos have received. I had assumed that they were little more than filler, just a nice way to add some color to the Saturday News Roundup posts; I had little idea that you all enjoyed them this much! This is very good to know, and exactly the sort of reason I do these surveys on occasion.

  25. I understand cutting back. Maybe you could do a “Weekend News Round-Up” for Friday & Saturday and eliminate another day. In a genre so small, I understand it’s hard coming up with something unique that wouldn’t lead to gossip. Since your moral convictions are high and you like to keep things Christ – centered, I understand being very neutral about things. Love them or hate them, guys like Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher give pointed opinions. You could stretch slightly more foreword and let discussion ensue (that comply with your standards). Most people that read this site already have preferences on their favorite groups and know if they would or wouldn’t buy a CD already. And the reviews don’t move them one bit. However, you have a small percentage (including me) that will read them and be swayed to pick up a CD or check out a few songs. I know I’ve done that a few times. I think they’re helpful. And I know groups link CD reviews on their facebook & twitter updates which may always bring in new traffic.

    And I do enjoy the interviews & stories of the songs. I think it would even be cool to get an inside track on how groups select songs for their albums, why they chose them, what they were trying to accomplish, what they envisioned their music to do both creatively, spiritually, or if it was just time to bust out another project. Sorry for the long analysis. But I check the site weekly!

    • Thanks! Yes, I could probably drop Saturday at some point without much loss. But, right now, Saturday tends to be the best day for me to blog, so I may as well keep it up in the short term.

      Thanks for the idea in the last paragraph; that’s a great one! I’ll give that one some serious thought.

      I do try to be neutral and balanced in the coverage here. Over the last seven years, my personal favorites change from time to time, as artists build a particularly strong lineup or release several consecutive albums with particularly strong lineups of songs. But I hope that, through these years, I’ve covered all artists fairly enough that at least 80% of my readers at any one given time would not correctly guess my (say) top three current favorites.

  26. I check this blog daily hoping there will be something new each day. You’re often first in SG news, so it is quite important (probably too) to me. I enjoy the CD reviews (love a truly critical review), the stories behind the songs and past the press release. Not sure what I’d drop. Thanks for existing!

    • Wow! You’re welcome!

      Over the last few years, I’ve been moving toward the impression that life is too short to waste much of it on writing about music I can’t stand. So, more and more, I’ve just been focusing on reviewing albums I either completely like or partially like. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. One more thing…I narrowed my SG blog reads to a few because of those like yours that were open to artists other than only male quartets. So many I’ve looked at focused most of their attention on the male quartets. While I enjoy them, I don’t get the polarization of some fans and artists.

    • Thanks! I love male quartets, and haven’t ever hidden that the group that introduced me to this genre of music and remains my all-time favorite was a male quartet (The Cathedrals). But I have come to deeply appreciate our mixed groups, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I must be honest and state that I do not read this blog every day; howver, I do read it when I can, and sometimes scan thru several entries at a time.

    I enjoy all of the posts, because there is a vast amount of information that I can gather from them. I live in New Jersey, where Southern Gospel is not popular. There is rarely any news about the artists anywhere, and it is probably even rarer for the artists to come to New Jersey for a concert (Lancaster PA is probably the nearest regular location for artists… but that is about 2.5 hours away).

    I learn alot about artists I am not familiar with on the blog, so I appreciate all of the information that is currently posted. For example, I never heard of the Punches Family, and now I am going to do some research to check them out and perhaps support them by buying their music.

    So I personally thank you for all of the efforts you put forth to publish something every day… although from what I read, it is not an “effort” at all…it is more like a passion.

    • I would venture to guess that most of my readers do not read every day; no problem there! ๐Ÿ™‚

      For most of my life, I lived in Northern Ohio, which was also far off of the Southern Gospel circuit.

      There are certainly days when it is an effort – particularly writing CD reviews. There are a few each year that I get so excited about that the review is a breeze. But on all the rest, striking the right balance can be really tough. Transcribing interviews can get pretty tedious, too. (That’s part of why I’ve done fewer huge, long features in recent years.) But the rest of it, I do enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I look to your website everyday for news and updates in southern gospel music. One thing that has not been mentioned yet and I definitely look foward to every Sunday is Sony’s Devotional. I always love to see what she has to say. It is always encouraging and uplifting, Keep up the good work Daniel!

    • Justin Bufford!!!! Are you my long lost friend whom I’ll always call “Tater Digger??!!” Haha. If so, I saw your brother at Mark Trammell’s homecoming last weekend. Just wish you and the rest of the family were there.

      Daniel, you’re the greatest blogger in the world! The Singing News website is not the Singing News…your blog is! For the times I’ve e-mailed you in the past…thanks for always being so quick to answer my questions. You’re my go-to for all the news.

      • Oh, I certainly enjoy the Singing News’ website, make no mistake. ๐Ÿ™‚ Their coverage, especially in the magazine, sets the bar to which all other websites, including mine, would be compared.

      • Hey Hannah it is your old friend Taterdigger! Stephen said he saw y’all. Wish I could see y’all again but I live so far away now. I am also a big fan of this website also.

      • Hey, TD! So you finally found someone who will put up with you, huh? Haha. Stephen told me you got married, so CONGRATULATIONS to you both! I hope everything’s going well for y’all. Sure would like to meet her. I think about you every time I see a video of Tony Gore (you imitating him…) Tell your Mama I said “hey!”

        Daniel, sorry we’re using your blog as a social networking site. haha. You never know who you’ll run into around here. Have a great day!

      • Even though, technically, off-topic comments are only supposed to happen in the open threads (a new one posted each Saturday), when it’s long-lost friends reconnecting, I’ll put up with a couple of off-topic comments without complaint. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Daniel, I love this site this is the first place I go for SG news, heck, I once sent you a story I thought was breaking but you already had it up. You are the go to for daily news. Think about it, you had the story about the Utech brothers joining the Dixie Echoes at least 2 days before the Singing News put it up. I love this site because I look forward to see what the day’s post is about.

    The conversation here is unbelievable. I feel so blessed to know the people in SG music read this blog themselves. I enjoy talking with other people who know more than I do.

    I do value the CD reviews but won’t be crushed if you stopped doing them. As a cash-crunched college student I like to be selective with what I spend my extra money on.

    I think a feature I’d like continued or more of (if possible) is interviews we can’t all hope to talk to every SG artist but we can still get a good idea people are like away from the stage, outside of their music. I appreciate interviews and if possible would like to see them continued.

    Bottom line, this site is the first site I check every day, before Facebook or Twitter, and I get excited everyday to read your blog.

    P.S.: Speaking to the point that social media gets the news first, it’s hard to follow every SG artist out there. Example, how many of you knew Gary Casto just got himself a twitter yesterday? I didn’t know exactly who all had Twitter in Triumphant because I followed the group & Jeff Stice. So your news gathering is very appreciated.

    • The conversations here are indeed unbelievable. It hasn’t happened that way by accident; every year, a number of people try to stir the pot, and I have to make it clear that that behavior isn’t welcome here. But on the flip side, people who post insightful comments are probably the single biggest thing that keeps me coming back time and again. I look forward to putting up a new post because I look forward to the discussion that ensues. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I definitely plan to continue interviews. If there were more hours in the day, I would do more than I currently do, but I’m glad to at least be able to do some.

      As to knowing that Gary Casto got himself a Twitter account yesterday – I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. To me the CD reviews are the best part of the blog! I love the way you talk about the songs and the singers, as well as give your own personal opinion of each. I’ve bought many CDs based on your reviews and enjoyed all of them!!

  32. The news coverage would be my favorite column. I often get your updates before I ever even get an email update from singing news or anyone else. The news coverage update is the first thing I look for when I open my email up in the mornings when I get to work. You are very good at what you do!! Keep up the good work!! Your amazing! God bless!

    • Thanks, and God Bless you, too!

  33. Keep the news as it saves hunting all around the net. I don’t need individual reviews. If, every now and then, you want to list the best recent CDs you’ve heard that would be good. Post when you have something to post and feel like doing it. I like the Saturday roundup but if you’re away some Saturday don’t feel any obligation.

    • Thanks! On Saturdays when I expect to be busy or on the road, I do most of the Roundup writing that Friday evening.

  34. I’d miss the updates on the various groups…and people like Traci Stuffle. I’d also miss “Songs of the Bible” –I’ve been saving those.

    • Of course, the Songs From the Books of the Bible series had a, shall we say, pre-defined cut-off date, and is necessarily complete. (I do go back from time to time to edit in new ones I find, or new ones readers submit, by the way.) But it’s really neat to see those get a mention here!

  35. Daniel, when you live in Canada, and are far away from the centre of our music, it’s nice to go on line and keep up even if you are involved in the industry( I don’t like calling it that but it is) . And as Joe Lane said the fact that you review our cd,s (The Torchmen ) is also very much appreciated considering we are so far off the beaton path seeing we are up here in the great white north lol.
    Thanks for all your efforts

    • You’re welcome, and I’m happy that the CD reviews are helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. I check your blog at least twice a day for news items. I am too old (72) to facebook or twitter … Seriously, I am so skeptical of the ability to maintain the integrity of the information in the social media. Being a co-author for a “hometown” blog that only updates twice a week…..I have a feel for how much time this takes out of your day do do it on a daily basis. I appreciate your blog as it is as FOX says’ Fair and Balanced. I pay no attention to the CD review except to note who has released one. I appreciate the fact that you moderate the “flame wars”. In my opinion Avery has let that get out of control. It sometimes makes for interesting reading, but does not edify the southern gospel industry. I know from experience that keeping enough fresh material on hand is a challenge and I appreciate your willingness to do this for free. Your connections to the industry are invaluable in keeping us in touch with current events. Your interviews are so very interesting. A die-hard SG fan wants to know all about all of the facets of the artists life. You are doing a fantastic job, I look forward to your blog every day….as Brian Lester says…Keep on…Keeping On!

    • It is hard to be fair and balanced, but I certainly try! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  37. I rely on your column for news on all my favorite artists more than following each individual group.

    I like the daily postings and would miss them.

    I enjoy your CD reviews and they are beneficial.

    I also enjoy the blog if it is someone or something I am particularly interested in.

    I enjoy the one on one interviews.

  38. Hi Daniel, you have always done such a great job with this blog. It is the only blog I read daily. Being up here in the Northeast Southern Gospel Wilderness, I rely on your blog to keep me up to date. As to the CDs, as has been said it won’t change my mind on a CD, but I do like to read your take on the music. You are always spot on (even if I think you are wrong…:) ). I understand that you would most likely want a “life”, and less than everyday postings are not a problem. I would miss your Saturday roundup. I have no doubt that God reads this blog too!!!!!

    • Truth be told, I don’t really mind this as my life, at least for the time being. ๐Ÿ™‚ Should the right young lady come into the picture and the door open for me to get married one of these days, I may cut back at that point. We’ll see! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Any idea where Sandy is referring to when he/she says “Being up here in the Northeast Southern Gospel Wilderness”? As I mentioned before, I live in NJ, and agree that it is like living in the wilderness when it comes to Southern Gospel. We have to get a bunch of people to join forces to get the artists to come to this area.

      • I imagine she’s referring to the relative paucity of concerts in the northeast when comparing that region to the heart of the Southern Gospel circuit.

        If you can get enough fans together to pay the gas bill, there are artists who will comeโ€”and if you can get even more fans together, enough to pay a flat, practically any artist will come.

  39. I read your blog every day, and usually the first thing (unless one of my kids emailed me! LOL). I read it first thing today, but am late now because I was away! I marked it so I wouldn’t forget when I returned.

    There are a few times that I might just skim the material, but not often. I would definitely miss the news, interviews, videos and the Saturday Roundup. Your love for SG comes through all the time. I read many of the comments also and like the input from others. You keep things on the level and balanced in the discussions…and do it with kindness! I respect you for that, as Iโ€™m sure many others do also. I like reading comments from some of the artists that post about your subjects.

    I donโ€™t do social media at all and would miss so much if you didnโ€™t post it on your blog. Too often I see things that say โ€œgo to my face book pageโ€, which leaves some of us out in the cold.

    I donโ€™t always read the CD reviews except to see what the artists are putting out. If I am interested in a CD, I would go to the artistโ€™s website to check it out more.

    I would certainly miss a daily blog from youโ€ฆbut itโ€™s your blog and your time! ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m sure thereโ€™s life beyond blogging and you will do whatโ€™s best for yourself and your โ€œfansโ€. Thanks for all you have done these years. We are the โ€œlucky recipientsโ€! God Bless You~~

    • Daniel,

      1. More news……Keep and expand……you ALWAYS have the scoop AND get it right.

      2. Lose the CD reviews…too time comsuming for you and everyone has their own opinion anyway.

      3. Interviews and backstories are always interesting…..check out “voice to text” software to speed things along.

      Extra: DO NOT REPLY………remember, you are cutting back, ha!

      You are a GREAT asset to the SoGo industry!!!!!!

      God Bless YOU!

      PS to readers….. He could probably use a donation or two towards the “voice to text” software. If he checks it out and gets it, I’m in for $20 bucks.

      • Thank you on all counts! I have tried voice to text software. The problem is that it makes enough mistakes that I end up needing to re-listen through the whole thing anyway! Of course, I’ve never tried the most expensive, top-of-the-line software out there, but word is that even that doesn’t get everything right. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Oh, and I have no plans to cut back! If I keep up the news coverage, I think I can sustain the daily pace for a while yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • No problem! I knew that surely a few of my readers weren’t into social media. It’s good to hear from a few of you, to know that the news aspects are still valuable for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless you, too!

  40. News: I check it every day although many times the items have already been covered via social media.
    CD Reviews: some I read, others I ignore depending on the group. I don’t consider them essential to the blog.
    Daily posts: probably not necessary, some seem to be “filler.”

    • Some of the daily posts matter more than others, to be sure. I try to find something to post each day that has some merit, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time but just recently started making a few comments here and there. Now I really feel the need to comment to let you know that your blog is the most valuable source of news for me, you usually seem to have it first and right.

    I haven’t been on Facebook in four years (also left out in the cold with “go to my Facebook page”) and only participate in other social media to promote my own website and creative work since to me it is simply a marketing tool. I know a lot of tech savvy Christians like myself who also stay away from personal social media in general for a lot of reasons. I don’t know her reasons but I ‘m with April: “I donโ€™t do social media at all and would miss so much if you didnโ€™t post it on your blog.” I rarely spend time on those sites for news or anything but post for business strategical reasons and would miss most SG news if you didn’t provide it.

    So…I also suspect I am not the only one who does not use social media for personal reasons but obtains news and information on a variety of topics through blogs like yours, RSS and news aggregation sites. I can only think of one other blogger (Aaron Swain) who is neither competition nor duplication that I rely on for this particular type of news. This is a niche genre and it is not easy to find information on other news sites. Also I live in Arizona and SG groups except for an occasional “big name” rarely make it to the Southwest and that also goes for SG news, we are not in the geographic center of it as other readers have mentioned.

    Having posted pretty much daily as you have since 2007 on my own website (which has a blog) I fully understand the work involved. Especially since I also do other work part time as well I understand why you ask the question. It is a labor of love as well as work to keep doing it and remain current and sometimes you do wonder if you are reaching your audience in an effective way or over-saturating them. Then number of comments already on this post alone should answer that for you.

    In summary I would miss 1,2 and 3 and I suppose I would have to say my favorite column would be Sony. I wouldn’t underestimate how much the comment section means also. Everything I’ve written has already been commented on I think but I wanted to add my voice to reinforce the value of your work and at the same time thank you for the time and effort you put into it.

    • Yes, Aaron Swain’s contributions are great; he’ll often review concerts or CDs of groups I haven’t seen in quite a while, so he’ll end up covering things I don’t.

      I’m so glad Sony’s column has some fans! That should tell her, when she reads the comments, that her time also isn’t wasted! ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Let me just say, you are the best. I don’t know of another blogger that posts every day, and that is why yours is the first one I go to.

    I’m not going to take the time to go to every artist’s Facebook page and hence your news is of great value to me.

    The CD reviews could go. With your much appreciated positive approach to everything I don’t think you would tell us if a project stunk anyway.

    Keep up the good work, my friend!

    • If a project stinks, and I come across a few every year that do, I just don’t review it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I only review CDs that have a decent level of intrinsic merit and value to this audience.

  43. This is the place we come for Southern Gospel news. Not all of us are on social media and thus we wouldn’t know the news unless you re-published it.

    For artists we are familiar with, we do like the CD reviews and ratings. We are actually considering getting one CD because of it. So, we like the ratings.

    Our favorite other columns would be ones by the Garms Family and Interviews.

    Thanks for putting so much work in the blog!

    • Thanks! I love the Garms Family’s columns, too, and I’m glad to see them pick up at least one mention. Their insights are valuable enough that if they blogged a little more often, I am sure they would receive many more mentions in a setting like this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Well, Daniel…I agree with others who already spoke. I love the fact that yours is a daily blog. And I go to it every morning, so it is definitely my primary Gospel Music news source. I had to smile when I saw that there are folks who don’t think the CD reviews have much value. I assure you…the artists and songwriters read those FIRST (hahaha). As long as you don’t mind the hard work, I hope you won’t change a thing. What does it matter how many folks are doing the same thing? That gives people lots of choices. But someone has to be the best…and that would be you. Blog on, dear friend…every day!

    • Wow, and thank you for the kind words!

      It’s interesting; pretty much everything seems to be well-received, with the exception of the CD Reviews, where about 50% like them and 50% are ambivalent and wouldn’t mind if they disappeared. That’s interesting food for thought.

  45. WOW DANIEL:
    You really got a lot of comments on this one. Was surprised this morning to see all that was added after I read them yesterday.

    Maybe the folks will double your salary – $.00 x 2 =

    • I’d be just as happy with double of $0 as with the starting rate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. In the interests of avoiding redundancy, I waited until you had a significant number of replies before posting. I am wholeheartedly in favor of your continuing the news items; while a breaking news item is indeed covered in social media, it is sometimes necessary to scroll through literally hundreds of replies on Facebook before getting the entire story — and even then, there’s no guaranty that the information is in fact reliable. On your blog, when I read a story, I know I’m getting the story in its entirety; there’s no doubt that you’ve done the research and verified its accuracy, so that I can feel safe in assuming that what I’ve read here is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, inasmuch as is possible for you to ascertain at the time. Too, I really don’t have time on Facebook to “like” every single gospel group’s Facebook page and then deal with the resulting clog-up on my newsfeed. It’s better by far to “like” my absolute favorites and the SouthernGospelBlog FB page; that way, I’m covered, no matter what happens.

    As for CD reviews, like many others\ readers, I can take them or leave them, but I confess that I sometimes feel a little vindicated when your review of a project and my own personal opinion of that same project coincide, especially when it’s in reference to one of my favorite artists!

    One thing that has not been mentioned as yet is the sidebar on your blog that indicates the most recent comments and the topics on which they were made. It’s nice to be able to see at a glance just what the “hot” topics are at any given time of day; even after reading your blog of the day, I’ll come back here at various times, just to see who and what might have been shared since the last time I checked.

    All in all, there’s really nothing about your blog that I don’t enjoy and/or find informative. I can understand if you decide to scale back, but until that happens, all I can say is a perpetual “Wow, Daniel, you done good!”

    • Nobody has 100% accuracy, but I do whatever I can to keep those errors very few and far between! Typically, when I put up a mistaken reportโ€”and I can think of two over the last three years or so that later had to be modifiedโ€”the report was mistaken because firsthand sources directly connected to the situation inadvertently put out incorrect information on social media. Ah, well!

      The sidebar, indicating the recent comments, is also one of my favorite parts of the site. I love how it sometimes breathes fresh life into a long-forgotten topic.

  47. This is not only the first blog I check every day, its the only blog I ever check. And, I check it several times through out the day. It’s my only source of news and I greatly appreciate all the work you put in. Don’t change a thing would be my vote.

  48. Daniel – everybody has their preferences and it sounds like everything you are doing is hitting a chord for at least a group of people so just keep doing what you are doing. As for me, I do enjoy the news segments, the list of upcoming CD releases, and the interviews. I don’t read much else, except occasionally the CD reveiws, especially anything that is not strictly SG related.

    Like others have said – I do follow some groups/artists on Facebook/Twitter, but primarily those groups where I have friends. There are too many to follow to follow them all so getting a news item here might or might not be something already aware of – and I don’t look at it as repetitive in the least. You often try to add a personal touch to those news items and I also enjoy the video links.

    Quite honestly, you are doing something that if I had been born about 10-15 years later, I might have been trying to do myself. But now as a full-time Pastor and volunteer occasional concert promoter, there is not time nor energy. Thankful for you brother.

    • Thanks! I do try to reserve anything that is not strictly SG related to Sundays, so that people who prefer SG content can know to come Monday-Saturday.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I’m happy that I came along at the right timeโ€”where I didn’t have to have a magazine hire me for me to be able to start writing about the music I love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Although some news items are repetitive, many are new and I appreciate being “in the know.”

    As far as CD reviews, please continue these as they are so helpful. I use it when shopping for music that I would not know existed if it wasn’t for your review.

    Yes; I would miss daily posts! As far as favorite, I honestly don’t know. You are a good writer, having a great command of the English language, which makes me enjoy reading the material even if the subject is of no interest to me!

    • Thank you! I suppose that is one of the most unusual compliments that I have ever received. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will do everything I can to keep the content interesting, though!

  50. Br Daniel, whatever you do, don’t get rid of CD reviews, I enjoy those. I’d like to see more DVD reviews. I know there are not that many DVDs released but I’m sure you can manage to review the few that get released. Also, a concert review every now and then would do my soul good. I’m sure you can manage to do that too, since as far a I know, you don’t attend concerts on a regular basis.

    I also love the news roundup. I all in all, I think your blog is (to borrow your line) neat!

    • Thanks! Of all the columns I’ve done here, concert reviews has seemed to be the one that drew the least reader interest. It’s been probably the only thing that I specifically dropped because of lack of reader interest. With a CD review, the experience of listening to that same CD is one that can be exactly shared by any reader (except one who’s deaf, I suppose, but I’m not entirely sure why they would be a fan of a music genre and reading this website if deaf!) But concert reviews tended not to get any comments unless another reader was there at the same concert.

      Many things I do here interest at least a few of my readers. I try to do almost all of my coverage as things that will interest most of my readers. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Well, just because people didn’t comment it didn’t mean they didn’t enjoy the reviews. Diana’s blog was based on concert reviews, no one commented, yet they enjoyed reading the reviews and watching the videos.

      • But that’s the difference; she had videos and I don’t. Her videos made the concert experience she wrote about a shared experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. While the comment section may not be indicative of the popularity of a post, it sure helps the writer know if it was well-received or not. As someone who has maintained a blog about SG, getting comments really makes writers feel good about what they’re doing, and makes them want to continue that type of post.

    If there’s such a stark difference in comment numbers on concert reviews versus every other type of post Daniel writes, it’s probably indicative that its not as popular among readers. Sure they may read it, but they feel its not something worth commenting on. Much of what Daniel writes is to create discussion, so if concert reviews don’t create discussion on the site, it’s probably not worth him going through extra effort during the concert to take notes for a review if no discussion will come from it.

    This is more of a side hobby for Daniel, not his job. If content isn’t as popular, he shouldn’t have to go through the extra effort to write what people don’t necessarily want to talk about. As you said, there are other places people can get concert reviews.

    • Josh, thanks! Your observations are spot-on and capture my thinking process well. There is one additional nuance worth noting, which is that since Diana’s (and Aaron Swain’s) reviews include video links, their reviews are qualitatively better than mine would be. I think that there’s room for more than one Southern Gospel news website, and that the different websites are at their best when they play to their strengths. Diana and Aaron have a strength in concert reviews, so I tend to leave that to them since mine aren’t as good as theirs.

  52. I remember a while back you did a concert review for the Gaither tent revival, I remember highly enjoying that review because I’m a huge Gaither fanatic and so very much wanted to know every single detail that occurred. Videos would have been nice, but the lack of videos did not in any way reduce my interest, but I did not comment. Lack of comments don’t indicate lack of interest from readers.

    It also helps if the blogger interacts with the readers, which you do so excellently. When a comment goes unreplied to, the commenter is less likely to comment again, he feels worse than the way a blogger feels when comments aren’t made. Perhaps the blogger must encourage comments at the end of every post, and not ignore the comments that are made, lest he discourage more from commenting. Even a simple “neat” or “nice” or any appreciative word encourages more comments. A deaf ear = no comments.

    • I agree that commenters who feel welcome are more likely to return.

      I think that the example you gave of a concert review is an exception that helps to prove the rule. The interest level was high in that review because it was a taping of a DVD that tens of thousands of people around the world would be purchasing in a couple of months. It wasn’t an experience that only a few (if any) of the readers here would ever experience; it was a written preview of something that, I dare to guess, more than half of us have since experienced. That, I think, is why there was interest in that one.

      The other exception to the rule, of course, is the annual NQC coverage. Even if it’s only somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of the readers who either experience it in person or online, such a high percentage of readers share that experience that I still think covering it has merit.