Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

An almost unsolicited plug

A member of the Nanty Glo email forum on Sunday gave a plug for my other unremunerated project, Xnmp, the Christian news and media portal. I thanked him for the "unsolicited" plug but felt a little guilty afterward. I didn't expect the plug nor did I ask for it, but earlier when he sent a note saying how much he appreciated Xnmp, I was extravagant in my thanks, mentioning that getting any feedback on that project is so rare that it goes a long, long way. So to come clean, that may have been tantamount to "asking for" some additional support.

On the off chance that some other members of the list may be checking out Xnmp for the first time or again today, a word about how it works. Its "front" page, Xnmp, is a collection of headlines to articles published in the past 16 days (plus any "break time" like the recent short hiatus I took to concentrate on editing my book for the third time). The top headline across the whole page is always linked directly to the article it describes, and all the headlines on that page cause a "popup" synopsis of the article to appear when you "mouse over" the headline. But the next day I move the top headline to the second position, deleting the link and instead linking to the comment I made about the topic on our NewsComments "editorial page," which I think of as my "news blog."

But on the editorial page the headline always retains the link to the original article. But there's a caveat about that: News articles tend to disappear from their original locations after a few days. Some online news media put their articles in archives which are reserved for access only by registered or paying subscribers of their service (this is the case of Time Magazine, for example). Others may link an article freely to all at first but will put a "free registration" page in its place after a day or so. This is why I decided several years ago to link the headlines from the "front" page to my comments rather than the original article. If the original article disappears or becomes inaccessible, at least the comment will give a bit more information about the topic. The links are generally helpful for long-term research, as they usually have a date coded into them, so serious scholars can look up articles in hard or micofiche copies of the news publications in libraries.

Also a word about why I do this unsung project and have continued doing so for four years or so, for in all truth it has generated email notes from less than a half dozen readers over those years. I said in response to the first note mentioned above, although Xnmp gets almost no notice, I have to keep reminding myself that God has called me to be faithful, not famous. If my journalism experience, thinking through and researching issues for more than 40 years now for editorials, feature articles, and columns, and if I'm true to the calling I said I thought I had from God to my pastor at First Baptist Church in Vintondale over 40 years ago...a calling to bring the Gospel to bear to the field of journalism however I might be able to do that...I should continue using that experience and wisdom the best I can, so Xnmp continues sloughing on.

And in truth it perpetuates itself for a tiny more selfish reason, akin to a motivation that keeps me spending hours every day here on the Nanty Glo Home Page. Without the home page, I would have no "home" to come to visit every few years, now that all my family and extended family members are gone from Cambria County. And with Xnmp, I wouldn't have much motivation to keep up and keep "keen" (to whatever extent I do) on the issues of the day, if I didn't have that outlet for reflection.

So I hope you will check it out and, if the notion strikes, send me a reaction, question, suggestion, or even a counter opinion for the NewsComments Page.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


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