Welcome to the new and improved Trouble in God’s Country.
TIGC was first set up as a simple blog about a dozen years ago. I decided months ago that it was long overdue for a facelift and a technological overhaul. What you’re looking at now is the result.
Visually, I hope it’s more appealing and easier to navigate. One obvious change is that readers can see and access more than one story at a time. You no longer have to scroll through multiple articles to get to a search box at the bottom of a long list of recent pieces; now, there’s an easy-to-use search function in the upper right corner of this page.
Another change – related to the new look – is that I’ll be featuring groups of stories. Just off to the right, for instance, you’ll find several pieces that deal in one way or another with the economic divide between “Atlanna” and “Notlanna.”
Immediately below is a new feature I’m calling “Rural Roundup.” This section will be devoted to important rural stories from other publications. Further down is another new section. This one is called “Golden Oldies” and will feature old TIGC posts that continue to attract high readership levels. Over time, I’ll occasionally swap out these sections and replace them with groups of stories on other subjects.
Functionally, one important change is that you can now sign up to get an email whenever I post something new. Readers have been asking for that for years, and I’m such a Luddite that I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. The good folks at WordPress have handled that for me, and now you can find links allowing you to subscribe in the list of menu options at the top of this page and a sign-up box at the bottom.
Another addition to the menu at the top of the page is a link allowing readers to submit “Tips & Story Suggestions.” Even without this, I’ve regularly received good suggestions from readers across the state, and I hope this tool will invite and encourage even more. They really help and are much appreciated.
I’m also going to try to monetize TIGC. For over a decade, I’ve operated the site pretty much as a hobby and funded any costs out of my hip pocket. Now, though, I’d like to generate enough revenue to support some research initiatives and fund one or two internships to help me with fact-checking, data analysis, and infographics.
I’m not planning to charge for content or put up a paywall. But I do hope to attract some advertising and may try to recruit a few sponsorships from organizations with an interest in addressing the challenges arising from Georgia’s still-widening urban-rural divide. A few friends have suggested I might be able to attract philanthropic funding to support TIGC’s work. We’ll see.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that I’ll still be taking a good bit of time between posts. My emphasis has always been – and still is – on taking in-depth looks at critical aspects of Georgia’s urban-rural divide. That usually takes time, a great deal of research, and a lot of number-crunching and fact-checking. So, you won’t find a lot of breaking news here.
What I do hope you’ll find is useful journalism and analysis that shines a spotlight on some of the most vexing public policy challenges facing Georgia. I’ll do my best to keep delivering it, and I much appreciate your readership.