Archive for June, 2011

“The Master Plan Gets a Good Trial Run” by Todd Strandberg

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Bible prophecy has been very active in the news, thanks to Harold Camping’s misguided judgment-date prediction. I was just amazed at how much coverage the liberal media gave to Camping. Normally, the press ignores any subject related to Christianity. Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” book series had to sell over 30 million copies before the liberal media was willing to acknowledge its existence.

The press seems to have an endless fascination with Mr. Camping. Even after the May 21 date passed uneventfully, a horde of reporters showed up at Family Radio’s headquarters to report on the new date of October 21 of this year.

It quickly became obvious to Terry and me that the liberal media had an agenda behind its coverage of Camping. Because we are the largest prophecy site on the net, the media comes to us for comment whenever they do decide to report on eschatology. Normally, this only happens when oddball subjects come up, like, “Is Obama the Antichrist?” or “Does the Bible have anything to say about the Mayan prophecy for 2012?”

This time around, the press only gave us limited coverage because we wouldn’t play ball with the narrative they were trying to establish. We did interviews with newspapers, explaining how Camping was wrong, and none of our comments made it to print. If we were telling people to sell their worldly possessions and climb to the top of the nearest mountain to meet the Lord, I’m sure we’d have our pick of prime-time interviews.

Rapture Ready’s traffic, however, has benefitted greatly from the coverage. Because we are the top-ranked site on the subject of prophecy, we have had a record amount of traffic. It only took us 19 days into the month of May to smash the 294,000 unique visitors record set just two months ago. Right now, as I’m writing, we have over half a million visitors.

I have access to a very complex readout of how people find Rapture Ready. Most people come to the site by doing their own searches. When Time magazine featured us in 2002 as part of its cover story article on “Left Behind,” most people came to RR by following dozens of links from news organizations that parroted the story. Today, people don’t need the media to find information. They can search for it themselves.

Another major difference between 2002 and now is our ability to handle traffic. Back then, we had to struggle to accommodate 60,000 unique visitors. At one point, I had to direct some of the traffic over to our mirror sites: tribulation.us, and rr-rapture.com. Today, even with a ten-fold increase in traffic, our server was still able to handle the load.

In the 24 years I have been working on Rapture Ready, I have always followed a plan for the site’s progression. Right now, I am down to one final goal that I call the “master plan,” and I even created two articles on the site related to it. The “master plan” is this: Getting Rapture Ready on a server network that is so powerful it allows an unlimited number of people to access the site’s data.

I strongly believe the Rapture will generate the greatest panic for information in human history. When millions of people realize that they have been left behind, they will get out their laptops, smart phones, or iPads, and search for all things related to the end times.

Even though the bandwidth of the average server has made an incredible leap in its ability to feed out information, we are still far short of my goal. The problem is not just the numbers. The post-Rapture traffic surge would involve people spending hours looking at dozens of articles. Last week, the average visitor only read one page. Since this is the first time we have been able to easily handle a traffic surge, I’m very hopeful about us reaching the point of unlimited bandwidth.

I doubt the Lord Jesus is going wait around until every web surfer on the planet can access our domain all at once. It greatly pleases me that we’ve now reached the point that our network of mirror sites will allow millions to draw upon our resources.

I’m very thankful to everyone who has stood with us in helping to fund the site. Camping has a profoundly negative impact on our finances by causing most people to sit on their hands, waiting to see what will happen. What happened is that our opportunity to contribute to the Kingdom of God continues.

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).

— Todd

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