The Future of the Falcon Banner

I want to tell you about some changes coming over the next couple of years with the Falcon Banner. How it gets distributed, how it relates to social media, and some of the challenges we as a community need to address.

First, the challenges.

The Falcon Banner was started as a way to get news about events and people to the large number of Calontiri not on Facebook. I believe we have done a reasonably good job of that. But not as good as we need to. A lot of information is still only being published on Facebook, leaving a lot of people out. We need to do better.

The other independent kingdom gazettes have something The Falcon Banner has never had; a steady stream of information coming in from readers and regional correspondents. They have editors that change off every week, who take that information, follow up to get any needed details, then post it. I am often told by the other editors how amazed they are at what we accomplish at the Falcon Banner. Essentially, it is me acting as editor and correspondent, twisting arms to solicit articles, and Dorcas covering court reports (Thanks Dorcas!)

If you want to keep the Falcon Banner going, that has to change. We don’t need money, we don’t need permanent volunteers (although I won’t turn them down!), but we do need your engagement.

I doubt Calontir is big enough to justify the infrastructure of, say, the East Kingdom Gazette. But we can have readers who feed us stories so we can follow up, edit and publish. Readers as reporters.

That would be you.

You can recommend folks we need to profile. You can submit your A&S projects, class notes, documentation, research papers, late changes to your groups’ events. You can submit a write up of a local event, or a pictorial essay from Pennsic, Gulf, or Estrella. Anything that connects the Kingdom is welcome.

Which brings us to distribution and social media.

I have called for reader involvement before and we have had some excellent feature articles as a result. But, mainly, it has been me stalking Facebook and reposting stuff found there.

So, if that has been working, why make a big push for more reader involvement now?

Because in two years, January 1st, 2021 neither I nor the Falcon Banner will be on Facebook.

This decision came about for a lot of reasons, but the most recent privacy breach was a big one. If this hadn’t been a pattern for Facebook since its beginnings, it might be different. But it is a pattern, as is the deception about it. I could also list the ways that Facebook actively makes it harder to gather and publish information, and to reach an audience. But we know all of that; we have just been putting up with it because “everybody is on Facebook”.

But everybody is not, never has been, and never will be on Facebook. Usage and engagement are declining, advertisers are noticing, regulations are coming and Facebook’s business model is in a slow-motion implosion. If there ever was a reason to make a deal with that particular devil, that reason is becoming less and less compelling.

As I said, we won’t be leaving Facebook for two more years, so you can continue to follow us on the Falcon Banner page there. But, starting April 1, 2019, I will not cross post to the Kingdom Facebook page.

There will continue to be other ways to stay connected to the Falcon Banner.

The most obvious one is to subscribe on the website. That will send you an email notification every time we post, with a link you can follow to the full article. If you use a news reader app, such as Feedly or Flipboard, on your phone, tablet or computer, simply subscribe to our feed. Search for “The Falcon Banner” or manually add the link to our feed: http://falconbanner.gladiusinfractus.com/feed/

Finally, beginning January 1st, 2019, we will launch the Falcon Banner group (https://mewe.com/join/thefalconbanner1) and Falcon Banner Page (https://mewe.com/p/thefalconbanner) at MeWe.com. I am not sure which will work better, so we will test at both and keep the one everybody likes best. 

MeWe is a social media platform that has been around for a few years. The user interface will be very familiar to Facebook users, but their business model is very, very different. They do not collect private data and they do not sell ads. Their motto is #Not4Sale and they seem to mean it. They get their funding by selling additional services, such as more storage space, add-on emoji packs, etc. It is run by leading cyber-privacy advocate Mark Weinstein. With the demise of Google+ it is now the leading social media challenger to Facebook.

This is not an advertisement for MeWe; if they don’t pan out, the Falcon Banner will move someplace else. This is just an explanation of why I think, right now, this is a better platform for the Falcon Banner.

That is an overview of some of the changes coming. I will be sharing more detailed (and hopefully shorter) posts as we move to implement each step, and announce any detours we have to make along the way. Look for these posts as they come out, and they will also be collected on a new page on the site titled The Future Project.

This is going to be a significant journey for the Falcon Banner. I hope you will decide to come along.

Mathurin Kerbusso, OP
Falcon Banner Editor-in-Chief

Falcon Banner Publication to Google+ Ending

Detail from the Hunterian Psalter, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 229 (U.3.2) circa 1170. Public domain in the US

Due to the announcement today that Google+ will be shut down in 2019, and the lax security and failure to report that led to the announcement, The Falcon Banner is terminating all future reposts to Google+ and terminating its account there.

Users who are effected can subscribe to email notifications from the web site , or follow The Falcon Banner on Twitter or Facebook .  Notices for new articles will continue to be posted on the Calonlist as well.

Mathurin Kerbusso, Editor in Chief

Name and Location Resources

The question has once more been raised about including location information with the court summaries that Dorcas posts to the Falcon Banner.
 
We always link names in the post to 1) http://calontiri.wikispaces.com/ or 2) http://op.calontir.org/ in order to provide that information.
 
I want to encourage everyone to keep these two sources updated.

For the Calontiri Wikispace page:

For the Calontir Order of Precedence page:
Our Kingdom is large in both numbers and geography. Keeping these resources updated can help us stay connected to each other.

Web Flyer Hosting

Men harvesting wheat, Queen Mary’s Psalter, circa 1310. Public domain in the US

Deodar has been having issues with its website for some time and has not been able provide a flyer link to the Kingdom website for “A Day In The Life Of A Norse Village” event. We have posted the information taken from the Facebook event page for the event here:  https://wp.me/p5AiIQ-Ml

This is probably an issue many groups run into from time to time.

The Falcon Banner will immediately begin offering web flyer hosting for groups who have no website, or whose website is experiencing difficulties. Customization will be limited, but it will at least provide a shareable link that can be given to the Kingdom Webminister.

If your group finds itself in need of this service, please contact us via email.

 

The Falcon Banner is Now on Twitter

If you would like to be notified when new articles are posted on The Falcon Banner, you can now follow us on Twitter.  The address is “https://twitter.com/falcon_banner“, and the handle is “@falcon_banner

Of course, all the other social media and email options are still available:

On Facebook  “https://twitter.com/falcon_banner

On Google+ “https://plus.google.com/108492198346888335050

And the Subscribe button on the lower right of the website at “http://falconbanner.gladiusinfractus.com/

 

The Falcon Banner Scroll Archive Project

The Falcon Banner is beginning a new project, the Scroll Archive Project.

Headed up by Mistress Dorcas Whitecap and Mistress Aidan Cocrinn, the goal is to preserve and display the texts and images of scrolls given out to the Calontir people. We will concentrate on GoA and PoA scrolls for now, but may expand to examples of Royal pre-prints for other awards at a later time. A new item, Scroll Archive, will now appear at the top of the page where the Archive can be found.

Scribes’ labors make our experience of the SCA richer and more beautiful, but often their work is only seen ephemerally and then whisked away to the recipients’ home, never to be seen by most Calontiri again. The Scroll Archive Project is intended to make the beauty of these works more accessible that they may be appreciated more widely.

If you personally have a scroll that you would like to see preserved, and you know the text author, calligrapher and illuminator so that we can obtain their permission to publish, please contact Dorcas, Aidan or myself to arrange publication.

Thank you,

Mathurin, editor
Non nobis solum

 

Men harvesting wheat, Queen Mary's Psalter, circa 1310. Public domain in the US

Men harvesting wheat, Queen Mary’s Psalter, circa 1310. Public domain in the US