It's been two months since we last held a reader fundraiser, so this week seemed about time.
You can donate quite easily and safely online via this link (and if the link doesn't work, please use the yellow boxes in the left-hand column of the blog). AND, before I forget, if you use the yellow boxes at left, you can even create a recurring monthly donation that's automatically deducted from your account each month - for me, that's an easier way to give and not have remember each month to give $5 or whatever.
We're finally in the home stretch of re-launching the blog with our own servers, enhanced comments, and lots of new features for you guys (and for the folks on our end as well). We should start the launch next month, and then slowly roll things out to make sure it all works. Having our own servers will let us host way more video and audio than we can now (we pretty much can't host any). And we have even more fun things planned for the new site (we're still working on the look and feel of the home page).
Anyway, all of this takes money, I've had a tech guy working on this for months (and not for free), and we'll be paying around $1500/month in bandwidth and another $500 a month in tech costs once we move.
There's also the salary for my writers and me (I'm working full-time on the blog and Joe is spending about 1/3 to a half of his time, easily - and Chris isn't being slough either. Not to mention, Joe is spending about 1000 bucks out of his own pocket to attend the YearlyKos conference. Yes, that's his choice, I'm just saying there are expenses to blogging on a big site that folks might not realize at first glance). I believe in paying my guys a fair salary for their work. And while they initially volunteered to write for free for fun, I've been paying them what I can, and now want to make that a real salary as the blog responsibilities, and thus their responsibilities, have grown.
I'd also add one more point. If you'd pay for a newspaper subscription, or a magazine in an airport, then why not treat your favorite blogs the same way? Most of our donors are small donors - and the $25 and $50 donations add up surprisingly fast. Your daily coffee fix is important, so please don't deny yourself that, but if you're willing to give the corner coffee shop $3 a day (totally over $1000 a year), is it that much a stretch to give some love to your favorite online folks?
As for the future, our ad revenues picked up again last month, thank God, and we hope to rely solely on ad revenues at some point in the future, only asking you guys to help for special causes (someone in need, or raising money to help a special campaign we want to run). But for now, your donations still help.
So, to the extent you can, please consider helping us out. And as always, if you can't afford it right now, please don't. I don't want folks breaking their banks if they're strapped right now. It's more important that you be a part of this community and help us all work together for the common good.
Thanks guys, JOHN