The Falcon Banner has posted a new item, '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

*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

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:

Finally, beginning* January 1st, 2019, we will launch the Falcon Banner
group at*. The link to that is group is

*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
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