I just wanted to offer a quick update on my most recent fund-raising efforts here, which I launched on my birthday last week while mentioning my attempts at trying to find some way through to keep the work that we do here at The BRAD BLOG (including our radio shows Green News Report and The BradCast, neither of which anybody actually pays us to do) going...
First, many of you contributed for the very first time here over the past week. There were a bunch of names I haven't seen contributing (or commenting) before, so thank you all very much for that! As well, I want to thank so many of you for both the birthday wishes and exceedingly kind thoughts that many of you offered our work here at the same time.
As of today, I've received approximately 55 contributions over the past week, averaging about $25 a piece, over all. A few of you (three, I believe), also signed up for new Monthly Sustaining Contributions. Those regular contributions are really appreciated, as I try to figure out how to bring some sustainability to this ongoing, nearly 10-year old project, without having to bug everybody constantly for donations (which I hate doing.) The fact is, however, we just do not currently have many Monthly Sustaining Contributors signed up. So that's difficult. And thanks to the way the Internet has changed, ad dollars are now very difficult to come by.
While 55 contributors is many more than we've had in such a short period for a very long time --- for which I am tremendously grateful --- it is still the very tiniest fraction of our daily average of several thousands of readers and barely scrapes the surface of what we need to survive, even with costs about as low as they can possibly be here. How to entice more readers to contribute and/or do so on a regular monthly basis is a question I am still unable to figure out.
I try to avoid bothering you all with this, since I know I don't much care for it (hate it, in fact) myself when websites beg me for support --- even sites which I know rely on such support and which are doing very good work. But neither you nor I am here for that. We're here for content and substance. And fundraising, frankly, is distraction from all of that. It's also something that I'm neither very comfortable with or good at, and always try to avoid --- even if I shouldn't. In short, I'd rather blog and report and write and investigate and make trouble and do the work that needs to be done, that someone needs to do, and that you've come to rely on and enjoy here, and that I suspect you'd rather I do as well!
Still, if I'm unable to figure out an alternate and/or reliable means to keep things going here, I'm not sure what I'll have to do. We're getting close to that day, however, unless something changes. And so I'm trying to figure all of that out in the background with a minimum of disruption. Unfortunately, that means I've been unable to work on that substance of late as much as I'd like to. I hope you understand, and will continue to support our efforts in the meantime as I continue to try and figure out how to get over this hump. I remain certain that there is a need for truly independent, blunt, aggressive reporting, blogging and muckraking, particularly on issues which don't get the attention they otherwise deserve from the mainstream corporate media.
It has never been easy to do what I've been trying to do over these many years here, all while striving to maintain our fierce independence from corporate, foundational and/or partisan interests. We have always been the underdog, and I've always had to supplement the site's income with money I've scrounged to earn elsewhere. I have no regrets about that and, in fact, am quite proud of it, and of the many successes we've had and powerful people that we've pissed off here in the bargain.
That comes with a price, however (which is why so few attempt it).
At the same time, there have been many changes on The Internets since I accidentally began this venture nearly a decade ago. Many of those changes are for the better, some not. All of which, in any case, add to the challenge of funding our work here, either through ad sales or third-party work throughout the years that I've been able to do to help fund the "loss-leader" that is independent blogging. Additionally, we've been hit with a number of unforeseen issues and setbacks over the years (some I've written about, others, more personal, that I haven't) that have also affected our ability to produce as much of the high-quality, smart, helpful and just fun content that might otherwise help to pay for itself.
Nonetheless, I'm pressing on, in hopes of finding a way through, as mentioned. And I wanted to both give you all an update to my somewhat cryptic birthday note, and to offer my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have helped by doing your part to support our efforts here with a recent donation --- particularly as I know that many of you are facing your own very serious difficulties and challenges in this horrific economy and mad mad mad and getting madder world we're all now trying to survive within.
This note was not meant as a pity party, however. In truth, it was meant as a way to offer a bit of transparency on where things stand and as a way of saying thank you to those who have so thoughtfully and generously contributed of late. If you haven't, but would like to, of course, that is still very welcome, and I'll keep this item up at the top for a while to make it as easy as possible for you to do so... --- Thank you, Brad
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)