I am humbled and excited to have been invited to join The Maven, a confederation of independent bloggers, journalists, activists, and subject matter experts spanning across the spectrum of topics. It is a group assembled as a bloc to help ensure and support open free speech on the internet, and to attempt to bring back alternatives to the walled gardens of social media that have formed online in recent years. The assault on open speech comes not from political prejudice, but rather from a corporate infantilization of media; an attempt to force all content to be so bland and non-threatening as to not possible perturb anyone. From firearms to social commentary to political activism to health, The Maven hosts independent publishers who have poured their lives into subjects they are truly passionate about.
For most of its members, Maven's greatest value is offering a way to gain advertising income by offering access to audiences who are engaged with truly high quality content - and this can overcome the potential controversy that content may entail. Thanks to Patreon, Forgotten Weapons is not in this group - I am able to exist through your direct support. However, Maven also offers technical support and hosting which bring a couple huge benefits to Forgotten Weapons.
First and foremost, Maven has an independent video streaming and hosting system, which will house a complete archive of my video work, both back to the first video and going forward. This means that the work is not at risk of destruction should YouTube decide to prohibit firearms related material on its system. Maven's video system has the stability that comes from serving a coalition of many video producers much larger than me, and has the best combination of stability and, accessibility of any video hosting platform outside YouTube. That said, I will continue to upload on YouTube as long as they allow me to, and I will also continue to post on Full30.com, for those of you who prefer to view my work there.
Second, Maven's technical support and hosting will allow me to make the actual ForgottenWeapons.com site bigger and better than ever. When I started this site (back before I did any video work at all), I envisioned it being a repository of not just stories and history, but also of primary source documents and information. The challenges of maintaining databases, together with the popularity of the video format, have led to me leaving that original vision behind...until now. Over the next several months, I hope to be able to start bringing that back as an ongoing element of Forgotten Weapons.
So what changes will you see as a result of all this? Not many on the surface. The process of moving the web site and video archive onto Maven's system will take a couple weeks, although it should be progressing by the time you see this video. As I am able to work with Maven techs to add features to the web site, I will begin that building process. If you are interested in more depth of information, I encourage you to go visit the site and see what is there - it might be more than you think!
Thank you all for your support, and here's to many more great years!