Lonesome Lands Newsletter #1
Since this is the first Newsletter sent out I thought I would post it to show what to expect if you sign up. If you like it sign up for more. If you think it stinks let me know and maybe I'll try to make it better.
When I stared the website, and put the place for the newsletter sign up on it, I had no idea what I would send as a newsletter or when I would send it. I had no idea if anyone would ever read the website or sign up for a newsletter. Up until last week the website has been slowly and steadily growing with more page views all the time. That changed when I posted an update to my reaction to the Wall Street Journal’s McMartin story. When I posted a link to the story on Facebook it was shared by some people in North Dakota in the area where McMartin farmed, and from there word spread. It has now been shared on Facebook 118 times and that one story had over 10,000 page views from all over the world just last week. I’ve also had a number of people sign up for this newsletter, so I guess it’s time to send one.
What is all this?
The plan for the newsletter is to offer some inside info on some of the things I’ve written and to answer any questions anyone might have. For this first one I’m going to assume the main question is, who is this guy writing this stuff, and what in the hell is he trying to do? Good question. Most of the answers to that can be found on the Contributor and About page of the website, but I’ll add a little to it here. I have a Bachelors degree in Communications and for a little while I had a journalism minor and was thinking about journalism as a career. One day in journalism class I looked around at the other students and asked myself, “Are these the kind of people I want to work with? Are these the kind of people I want to work for?” I then realized I definitely didn’t want to work for or with these people or anybody else. I graduated and soon started The Drover House. I’ve been running that for over 12 years now, all the time thinking that someone should start something like Lonesome Lands. Someone should give a simple, honest explanation of what’s going on out here in the Lonesome Lands. In the last few years the more I thought about it, the more I realized that real issues out here were being ignored nationally, and when articles were written in the national media they were often just wrong. Stories were covered by Journos from New York that had no idea what they were talking about. At some point I think I thought, “You know there is real opportunity here for someone. If there was only someone who had studied Journalism in College and understood what a joke it is. Someone who had a background in Agriculture and knew how to run a small business.” At some point I realized that the person I was waiting to do this might be me. So I decided to give it a shot and here we are.
I knew this kind of stuff was interesting to me, but I didn’t know how interesting others would find it. What makes the McMartin story special is how the journalists just completely ignored the facts to write it, and how easy it was to prove it. I felt a little like it was dropped into my lap as a proving ground. Like, if I can’t get people to read this then maybe there really isn’t that much interest. So I posted the story and it was really getting good numbers compared to what I had posted before. Then, I put a link on Facebook and it just took off. Truth is I still have very few followers on social media, but I was able to write one interesting, honest thing and people shared it and it reached over 10,000 people. So, now that I feel like I’ve proven the concept. All I have to do now is keep doing that over and over again, which is going to be one heck of a challenge, but I am looking forward to it.
An Update to the Update
After the story I wrote got so many people to click on it. I thought a lot about what I wrote. To be clear the subject of my article was about the Wall Street Journal not Ron McMartin. I could not trash them for being liars without being honest myself. When I gave my honest reaction it wasn’t very nice and I thought a lot about that. I don’t know Ron McMartin and had never heard of him before reading his name in the WSJ. I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy to be around. One of the problems I have with the national media is that they think everyone is entitled to some respect. I don’t! If you owe small family owned businesses money and you refuse to sell your million dollar property in order to pay them, you’re a crook. Because the article was so widely read in Mr. McMartin’s neighborhood I have a feeling he might have read it. If there was one thing I could add it would be to tell Mr. McMartin to sell that damn house and pay off some of the money you owe to the smallest businesses, the ones suffering the most from the damage you caused. But he’s not going to do that. Recently in court it was revealed that in 2013 McMartin’s Lake home was valued at $2.498 million, then when he needed his “trust” to buy it he changed the value to $1.26 million. Some people just aren’t entitled to respect.
I’ve been slowly working on a piece about a company called Memphis Meats who are trying to create lab grown meat in order to destroy the meat industry. Everyone in the national media seems to think that, that is a great idea. The title will be something like, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Jack Welch are investing in the death of the Cowboy and they can all go straight to hell, or something like that. I’m working on it.
The only real way for this to work is for people like you to share it. Thank you for signing up, telling your friends, and sharing on social media.
P.S. The newsletter will only be sent out every 2 weeks or so. If you’d like to be taken off the subscriber list just reply and let me know.