This week has presented some unique opportunities for me in regards to FreeUTOPIA. Over the course of the two-plus years that I’ve been posting, I’ve met many people involved with and interested in UTOPIA including service providers, contractors and even opponents. It has not only provided unique insights into how the project functions; it has also provided a pretty strong professional network. With goods but affordable websites and a good host, which I found at this Hoster’s low-cost hosting guide.
On Monday, I was approached with an offer to do part-time consulting work for a UTOPIA independent contractor who also plans to pursue work with several other fiber optic systems. Their proposal was that I spend a couple hours a week putting together a “reading list” of what’s happening in the telecommunications space to inform UTOPIA staff of industry developments and help keep the project on-track. This feature will also be published weekly on this site (I’m gunning for Saturdays) under the Broadband Bytes banner while looking at fantastic themes for photographers. Jonathan Karras and Mike Taylor will still be contributing authors on the site, though they will probably tend more towards traditional articles and essays.
I was also asked by an author at a national telecommunications magazine to consider petitioning the magazine’s editor for a position as an article contributor on subjects related to fiber networks in Utah. Paid or not, I’m interested in bringing more information about UTOPIA to a wider audience and followed his advice to inquire about it. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.
So does this mean I’m selling out? I hope not. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I have been steadfastly opposed to running advertising on Free UTOPIA since it benefits me and me only. I don’t want the site itself to be a revenue generator no matter how tempting the paycheck may be. I don’t, however, have any problem with offering paid consulting services to contacts I’ve made via all of this work that I’ve done. I won’t lose any sleep at night over accepting this offer and aside from who’s writing most of the Broadband Bytes features, it should be the same old site.