Today, I'm taking a little hiatus from writing about writing. If you have teenagers (or know any), you'll be very interested in this post.
Award-winning author Deb Raney's husband, Ken, recently launched a new entertainment website for teens, called Clash Entertainment (cool name, or what?) This is a fully loaded website featuring information, news, and reviews on the stuff your teens are interested in: movies, TV, books, music, career, style, games, comics, and sports. There are cool links to check out, contests, a section on The Word, and even an interactive section for teens to post their thoughts on a particular topic.
Ken has done a marvelous job with the layout. Colorfully pleasant to the eye and very easy to navigate. The only negative thing I can say is that it will be hard to find the time to take in everything there is to see! As a mom with two teens, I absolutely love this site and am excited to introduce it to them and see what God will do with this extensive new resource for today's teen.
To learn more about Clashentertainment.com, take a few moments to read this interview with Ken Raney:
An Interview with Clash Entertainment, Inc. President, Ken Raney
February 24, 2010, Wichita, KS – ClashEntertainment.com (an entertainment website for Christian teens) has been up and running officially for nearly one month. The following interview was conducted with Clash President, Ken Raney.
What made you start a website like clashentertainment.com?
The Lord, is the short answer. One year ago this month, I was laid off from the job I'd held for 25 years and assumed I'd retire at, as advertising manager of a manufacturing firm. As I started exploring other job possibilities––of which there were few––I felt the Lord leading me in the direction of starting a website for teens. I didn't have a clue how it would all come together or how it could become a paying job for me, but that "still small voice" never left, and eventually things came together with the financing and other details that I was able to take the plunge and start building the site. As I did that, I was amazed at how all the skills I've picked up over the years––in art, advertising, organization, management, etc.––all came together to make this venture possible. I'm not sure I had the skills and know-how to have done this even ten years ago. It's been an amazing journey, and frankly, we don't know yet how it will end.
What are your goals with Clash Entertainment?
First and foremost, we strive to provide teenagers with access to excellent informative and enlightening entertainment media that will, at the least, not undermine their faith, and that at its best, will be edifying. Second, we want to provide Christian creatives with an outlet for using their gifts of music, film, writing, art, and all kinds of other areas, for the Lord and His Kingdom. And third, we want to provide Christian publishers and production companies with access to the teen market, something that has been very elusive in the past. We believe that soon the window of opportunity will be flung wide open and we will see an explosion of excellent entertainment media for teens.
Is your background in working with teens?
Well, my wife and I have raised four teenagers, so in that sense, I have a pretty strong background. Deb and I also have taught Sunday School and served as youth leaders in several churches we've attended over the years, and I've coached teens and pre-teens in basketball, so working with youth is something I've been interested in ever since I became a dad.
Is this a full-time job for you, or a sideline?
Besides Clash Entertainment, I also run Clash Creative, a company that produces graphic novels and comic books for the Christian market. Currently we're working with The Voice of the Martyrs and Kingstone Media Group to produce two books for teens on the life stories of martyrs. Right now, Clash Creative is the money-making arm of Clash. And yes, between the two Clashes, it's not only full-time, but overtime. Fortunately, I am having a blast, so I don't mind the long hours, plus I get to work from home, which is a real blessing.
What kind of response have you gotten from teens about the website?
Everyone who sees the website seems to think it is "awesome." Teens––and adults, too (we have a lot of youth pastors and youth leaders visiting the site) have commented that they're surprised they can spend an hour or more on Clash and still not see everything that's there to see.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting up a website like this?
The first challenge was convincing my wife that this was a good idea! Now that the details have been worked out, we both feel strongly that we're following the Lord's leading, but it wasn't an easy decision, and we won't know for a while whether or not we can make it financially with Clash. We're trusting God to provide day by day, and in our 35 years of marriage, he's never once let us down.
Have there been any surprises? Things you didn't expect to encounter?
I suppose the most surprising thing––and it shouldn't be a surprise––is the way the Lord has provided everything we've needed just when we needed it. We've actually had people contact us offering a variety of the content you see on the site. I remember saying to my wife one day, "what I need next is someone who can review movies before they hit the theaters,” and next thing you know I'm talking to Phil Boatwright, who supplies us with some of the great reviews you'll read on Clash! It's been incredible!
You have four kids of your own. What do they think of the site?
All four of our kids have not only been incredibly supportive and helpful, brainstorming ideas and offering feedback on the content of the website, but they've contributed in various other ways. Our oldest daughter writes articles for the Style section, and our youngest daughter has spent hours inputting content, adding new links to the site, etc. Our son-in-law and daughter-in-law have done interviews for the Career section, and Deb's niece has provided illustrations for the Style section. It's become a real family affair, and we're grateful for the talents they've contributed to make the site what it is.
What’s next for ClashEntertainment.com?
All our efforts right now are going to attracting as many visitors to the site as possible. We need to do this to be able to attract advertisers, so we can pay the bills. If you know of teenagers, youth leaders, and youth pastors who have not heard about the site, it would be great if you could let them know.
ClashEntertainment.com is an entertainment/portal web site designed to be so rich and deep with entertaining media, that teens will want to visit, and stay for sustained periods of time. The site is updated daily with fresh content that includes news, reviews, interviews, comics, music, videos, games, sports, career information, and more. There also is a huge list of links to other Christian websites of interest to teens.
The name Clash comes from Ephesians 6:12, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." NLT
Ken Raney phone: 620-345-7494