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Podcasts, Sabbaticals & Other Updates

Well, it’s good to be back from my two-month sabbatical. Many of you have asked how I’m doing, and I just want you to know, yes, I’m more tan than I have been in years.

I thought it’d make sense for my first column back to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes happenings here at RELEVANT, especially since I’m catching up on all the updates myself. And because I can’t log onto Facebook without someone asking me when the podcast is going to get back to normal. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

I actually came back at a very exciting time, because we’re in the middle of working on the inaugural issue of our new social justice magazine, Reject/Apathy. It goes to the printer next week, and I can’t believe it’s finally becoming a reality. You’ll be hearing a lot more about Reject/Apathy in the coming weeks and months—we’ve actually been pretty intentional about keeping it quiet until everything was finalized. We’ll be printing and distributing—no exaggeration—hundreds of thousands of copies of Reject/Apathy this summer and we’ll want all of you involved. It’s a very big and very important to initiative for us. (And yes, all RELEVANT subscribers will get it for free.)
Speaking of RELEVANT, the July issue is in design right now. I’d normally leak who’s on the cover, but the truth is we don’t know yet. And we’re going to print at the end of next week. (I’ll take “Things That Cause Ulcers” for $400, Alex.) We have a couple of A-list things in motion, a couple of B-list, and a couple of interesting, unexpected ideas. We’re waiting to see how everything shakes out before we make the call, but I can tell you it’ll either be our best issue yet, or not our best. Nothing like living on the edge.

In addition to two massive magazines in design, we’re also designing a huge 8’x24′ booth we’re taking around to festivals this summer. (It’ll have 5 flat screens on it, including 3 massive ones—a gadget geek’s dream. I just want to play The Dark Knight and sit back and soak it in.) We’ll actually have a big summer road trip/festival section on our site this summer, so even if you’re too old to make the trek to Cornerstone (I’m looking in the mirror), you can still see band interviews and a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff on our site. I’ve been told it’ll be updated daily with new blogs, pics and video. Should be cool.

Speaking of summer, if you do come by our booth you’ll notice our big partnership with the ONE Campaign. We’re working with them on some very cool awareness, engagement and mobilization strategies at festivals this summer, and then at college campuses nationwide this fall. If you know about ONE, you know why this is such an amazing opportunity. We’re big fans, as they’re doing things that are literally affecting millions of lives. They’ve been on the ground floor with us in launching Reject/Apahty, and we’re really honored to be linking arms with them. Some cool things are in the works, and there will be a lot of ways you can get involved. More info to come.

About the RELEVANT Podcast, we’ll be back next weekend. Not this weekend, next weekend. And yes, Maya and I will be rejoining Adam and Jesse—and all will be right with the world. (I’m a little sad that I’ve heard Roxy and Chad did such a good job filling in while we were gone. Part of me was hoping the wheels would fall off, and people couldn’t wait for me and Maya to come back.)

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The reason for the two-week gap since the last podcast is actually that we’re working on some improvements. We’re finally getting Adam a much better mic over there in New Zealand (I think a sheep ate his last one), and we’re lining up some new guests, games and performances. Not to spoil a surprise, but later this summer we’ll be launching some other audio and video strategies here on the site. So we won’t just be doing the podcast anymore—it’ll be part of a much bigger music and multimedia strategy on the site.

Thank you to everyone for your prayer and support while Maya and I went on a sabbatical over the last couple of months. It was a much-needed time of refreshing and recharge for us. Now we’re back, energized and ready to do get to work with the team this summer. RELEVANT is entering a very exciting new season, and I’m glad to be back.

If you want to stay connected with me in between blog posts, check out my Twitter feed here. (The RELEVANT twitter now has like twice as many followers as me, so I need some new friends, thankyouverymuch.)

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