Sustaining a project like this one has not been without its ups and downs, I have found that it is difficult to keep in the grove and get a posting up every day and sometimes, I just get distracted. But, through it all I have appreciated and been rewarded with the loyal and encouraging support from you the reader of this modest publication. Each week, I get messages from readers about the stories and sometime I get phone calls.
Certainly it is the odd ball things that seem to get the most responses, but most of the contacts I get come from people using Google to find something they are interested in and they skim over an Ensign page then phone me to order a foam concrete form, buy the motorbike they think I am selling, or want my Plymouth. Of course I don't own a Plymouth, a motor bike, or sell grain burning furnaces, or foam concrete forms, but it tells me that people are checking things out, only their ability to read is questionable.
Perhaps the most rewarding reader contact relates to searching for people. Each year of Ensign I have had inquiries about people, or people seeking help in finding lost family members, or birth parents. These are truly remarkable stories and not something I can tell you the details about, but it is really something when I turn to regular readers of this site, ask them for help and be able to provide people around the world with important information and a chance to reconnect.
One of the projects that really reduced the amount of stories and days of posting on Ensign was the decision to create and post daily videos. I did this religiously for about nine months and found the task really fun to do, but really time consuming. So much so, that it interfered with producing the daily contact that a web site like this one can produce. Now, I only use video sparingly and each time I do, I have to recognise the fact it will really take some time to produce. The unfortunate thing about video is that it may be useable by a very limited number of readers. I have limited productions to QuickTime and both that and the restrictions of downloading, have meant that many readers simply do not get a chance to see the project completed.
In most cases, I try to post five days a week and whenever possible, to get up supplemental on the weekends. With the coming of summer holidays, the number of postings will be cut back during July and August as we will do a little camping and have a couple of home projects that will use up the time.
Most importantly, keep up the dialogue. I really appreciate hearing from you and I am so grateful to those who send me contributions of stories, story ideas and full articles. Writers like Gerald Crawford, Kevin McIntyre, Joe Hueglin, Edwin Wallace, Stu Innes, Mike Townsend and photographers like Ken Jones and Helen Carson make it possible to post some interesting content regularly. Many of these contributors have been posting on Ensign all of its nine years, but there have been many who have come along in the interim to fill in some of the political material and give voice to the political process; David Orchard, Joe Clark, Brian Marlatt, Robert Ede, William Dascavich, Joyce and Henry Neufeld and many many more, have made Ensign an interesting read and given me an excuse to produce a graphic to go with their material. In addition to these contributors the family pitches in each year I have drawn on pictures my father, wife, our three sons and their families who keep a constant flow of images of which many make it on to Ensign. Thanks to all contributors and a special thanks to you the readers who keep checking out this web site each posting.
It is important for you to understand that this project is a not for profit project. I will not and do not accept advertising and without the continued support of my wife, I could not afford to do this project on a daily basis. Ensign's credibility rests on the awareness of its readers that an honest attempt at telling stories is being made and no one is calling the shots about what can and cannot be talked about. Freedom of speech is alive and well on Ensign and I look forward to yet another year of posting.