In August, shortly after the blog’s third birthday, I wrote a short piece on the future of Gunservant.com and that it was being migrated to a brand new identity. The blog has grown to over 12 000 subscribers, and I am beginning to run into limitations as to what I can achieve as an amateur webmaster. The blog needs to be redesigned into a format that is much more professional, easily navigable, and aesthetically pleasing than the current form. The original purpose of Gunservant has always been to be an informative and accurate firearm rights and ownership site, and it has done incredibly well to achieve those goals, but to reach beyond the echo chamber it is necessary to begin taking things a bit more seriously.
This is the reason for the rebranding. With the new identity we can reach people who are outside the usual circles of firearm rights discussions, whilst continuing to provide valuable and informative content for our readers. A job this important cannot be left to laypeople, so I approached Aldri van Jaarsveld and his team at Black Khaki to take charge of the project. They have been superb at the difficult task of transforming a concept into a working platform, and I cannot thank them enough for their patience with me (I can be a difficult customer) and their diligence in their work. The petting-zoo version of the new website is something special to behold, but you will have to wait in suspense a little bit longer!
I am proud to say that Gunservant has had its share of golden moments the last three-and-a-bit years of its existence. There are three particular achievements that stand out above the rest. The first is the time the blog (and myself) were referenced in the South African Medical Journal by Dr. Richard Matzopoulos, a board member of Gun Free South Africa, in his study titled Where have all the gun deaths gone? As you may imagine, the good doctor was not exactly a fan of my work, but causing perturbation to someone who sits on the board of GFSA is certainly a sign of doing something right! The second is the good-natured joust between myself and Ben Trovato, the famous author and (infamous) Sunday Times Whipping Boy, which played-out last year. Last, but not least, the podcast I did with Roman Cabanac and Jonathan Witt of The Renegade Report in June this year was certainly a highlight in itself, and I hope a follow-up can be arranged in the not-too-distant future.
During the last three months Gunservant has also grown a pool of around 15 contributors (some submitting articles more regularly than others), and the readership response to having a variety of high-quality content has been overwhelmingly positive. This dedicated group of wordsmiths have been invaluable to the website achieving what it has, and I could not have done it without them.
This blog has certainly laid a solid foundation for what needs to come, and I am happy that I decided to launch it way back on 11 August 2014. The fact that it has outgrown its humble beginnings is a mark of its success, and I do not enter the coming chapter with a heavy heart. The finishing touches are being applied to the new domain as we speak, and all the content has been successfully converted and migrated over to the new address. You will be kept abreast as the website nears its launch date. As soon as it does, you will find us at www.paratus.info
Going forward with Paratus is going to be an exciting challenge, and I hope you will all be coming along for the journey.
See you there!