The Evolution (And Birthday) Of Shlog

This blog turned five this month.

It was born because of Bebo Norman‘s road manager, a label that didn’t understand the internet, and Randy Elrod.

Bebo’s Road Manager

I was the opener on Bebo’s first ever full-band tour in 2001. Some nights after the show, Kirk, Bebo’s road manager, would read Bebo’s message board for instant feedback on everything from volume level to song selection.

One night, he called me into the production office to read some very kind words someone had posted about the opener who sang that home song. Kirk helped me log-in and say “thanks.”

I was hooked.

My first site launched at the end of that tour, with a message board. I felt like I knew the people posting there.

The wall between artist and audience was suddenly short enough to see over.

A Label That Didn’t Understand The Internet

The folks at my label understood more than I ever will about the music business and music making. But they thought a web site should be a pamphlet, the same everyday. They saw no value in a message board – it was a concession they made to me but worried over.

What if you say something that offends someone? (Where would they get such a crazy idea?) A web site is a form of publicity and they didn’t like not being able to control every pixel of public perception.

They tolerated the message board with one finger hovering over the delete button. As time went on they wanted more and more editorial control over the board and I began looking for another way to connect outside of label oversight.

Randy Elrod

I decided to give blogging a try because Randy said I should.

Blogging was just like a message board but with more focus. And it could attract readers that didn’t know me, my music or my God. Also, I could own it.

I launched this blog on the free Blogger service. I called it Shlog, as in Shaun plus blog. (OK, bad idea. Fine.)

I watched Randy closely, doing whatever he did. He is the Blogfather of this here site.

Eventually, after the label folded, we ditched the name Shlog and moved from Blogger to Today the blog is my site, created by three creative geniuses: Brad, Ben and Barton.

Thousands read this blog everyday, from China to Chicago, at, on Facebook and via RSS feed. Dozens of readers have become friends. Hundreds of concerts have been booked and thousands of children released from poverty as we’ve traveled together to El Salvador, Uganda, The Dominican Republic, Kenya, Ethiopia and India. There’s no counting the laughs, lessons and prayers that have come from you all over the last five years.

All thanks to a road manager, a label that didn’t understand the internet, and Randy Elrod.

And you.

Thank you. Now, here come another five.