more by MaryAnn

social justice warrior | by maryann johanson

Amazon author

dreaming big re this subscription thing

I spent most of today catching up on some administrative backlog at the site, the sort of stuff that has to get done yet is almost invisible on your end. (The only truly apparent result of my day’s work: the new @realratings Twitter feed. Check it out.) I could have been writing reviews. I should have been writing reviews.
In my dream world — which can be a reality with just a little bit of help on your part — I would have been writing reviews.

Are you reading on a weekly or daily basis? Then I need you to support the site to the tune of only $1 per month (or more if you’re so inclined). Why? Because advertising doesn’t pay, I run this site by myself (no corporate overlord cutting me a paycheck every two weeks), I run it more than full-time, and I need to make a living.

The readership is there, numberswise. Now I need you to be there dollarswise. Just one dollar per month. It’s snap to set up — find quick-and-easy Amazon Payments and PayPal options here — and you won’t even miss that buck a month.

This can work. I’m so confident that this can work that I’m dreaming big. I need to bring in enough so that I can make a modest living — I’m not looking to get rich here, I promise you — but beyond that, it all goes back into this site.

Please don’t imagine that I say “I run this site by myself” like I’m boasting. I’ve got no other choice. I’d love to offload some work. There’s so much to be done here that, were the money there, I could easily be keeping a small staff busy. I could be, you know, helping the economy by giving jobs to people.

In my little netrepreneurial fantasyland:

• First I hire an editorial assistant to do all the grunt work here, the stuff that must be done but doesn’t actually demand my unique perspective on anything. I’m talking things like formatting, tagging, and posting reviews, adding new reviews links to all the places they need to be both within the site (like the all-reviews listing and the yearly ranking) and externally (IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, etc). An editoral assistant could look up box office numbes, keep track of the new and upcoming release listings, find trailer embeds, add Amazon links to existing reviews as DVDs come up, handle the scheduling and posting of social networking links, and much more: like perhaps vetting incoming email, and monitoring comments for trolls, spam, and other problems. There’s an unbelievable amount of stuff like this that needs to be kept up with on a daily basis, and I would be totally delighted not to have to do it myself and to give someone a paying job and hands-on experience helping to run a popular Web site. This could easily be a full-time entry-level job for someone smart and eager to learn.

(Please don’t talk to me about interns. I need someone I can rely on. In my experience in this area, you get what pay for. You pay nothing, you get nothing.)

• Second, I hire an executive assistant to keep me organized. This person could be the one to spend hours hunting down publicists, begging for screening information, juggling the logistics of my screening schedule, communicating with publicists on my behalf (RSVPing to screenings, passing on reviews, and so on), and other higher-level administrative stuff. This would probably not be a full-time job, but it is the sort of work that requires someone more mature, able to balance a sense of diplomacy and a certain aggressiveness, someone I could trust implicitly to represent me to the industry.

• Third, I get some mega geeky web-dev guys and gals to work on a slew of fun fun fun: mobile apps (the ideas I have!), serious reader profiles (maybe even reader blogs), gamification of the experience (did I use a Doctor Who link you sent in? you get a Companion badge that goes on your reader profile), and so on.

This is all so close, I can taste it. We can make this happen. If you think is cool now, think how much cooler it could be if there were some real resources behind it, resources with no corporate strings attached.

For one thing, I could write more damn reviews.

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