I’ve just backed the Pagan Bloggers campaign on IndieGoGo. They’ve got four days left to reach their stretch goal!
I heard about this campaign after following some kerfluffle over Patheos’ new contracts, in which Pagan bloggers were asked to agree not to disparage Patheos or any of its related companies. John Halsted, now a former blogger at Patheos’ Pagan channel, laid out the problem with “related companies” this way:
This is potentially the most problematic part of the contract. For example, one of the other writers here brought to my attention that the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a group founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson, is a partner with Affinity4, which is itself listed alongside Beliefnet and Patheos on the BN Media page. The ACLJ lobbies for the death penalty for gays in other countries. Under the new contract, ACLJ could be considered a “related company” that we’re not permitted to disparage. (And that’s just one related company that we’ve discovered in less than 24 hours.)
Patheos has since amended the contract slightly, but it seems that the damage has been done. Although some bloggers accepted the terms of the contract and remained at Patheos, Halstead and others have walked away.
Personally, I’m still trying to get a sense of where the Pagan community is online. When I was last involved in the community, Yahoo! Groups was just starting to fade, lots of people were actively blogging, and Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks hadn’t risen to prominence quite yet. Patheos was one of the first places I found the Pagan writing I was looking for when I came back. The place always did seem a little corporate to me, however. I follow a few recommended Patheos Pagan blogs but I didn’t get a sense that there was a thriving community there.
I’m interested to see what PaganBloggers.com will be like when it launches. Throw them a few bucks in the next four days and help them reach their first stretch goal!