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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

5,000 subscribers at a buck a month?

Call me crazy, but I think this could work.

Can I get 5,000 readers to “subscribe” to FlickFilosopher.com for $1 per month?

GOAL: 5,000 4,958 (as of 08.13)

Subscribe via PayPal
(in almost any currency):

     Subscribe via Amazon Payments
(in almost any currency):

Let me explain why I think this could work, and why it would be good for all of us, including you, my dear readers.
I started thinking about this after I rattled my donations cup at readers a couple weeks ago, and then when two readers — amanohyo and Bluejay — suggested it simultaneously, I figured I should give it a shot.

Here’s the thing. The donations I’ve received over the past couple weeks are most appreciated — thank you, again, everyone who donated (your donations are reflected in the goal countdown above) — but they’re just a stopgap measure. There has to be a more permanent way to ensure this site’s viability for me, as the only person who does absolutely everything here, which is more than a full-time job and currently brings in, each month, the equivalent of only a day or two’s pay. And for you. Part of what makes FlickFilosopher.com so special and so unique among other similar sites is the very high level of conversation we have here. It’s not just smart: it’s also civil, even when the inevitable disagreements crop up, in a way that is really, really rare online. That’s not just my doing but yours too, and I hope you value it as much as I do.

So: One way to up income is to up traffic (in which case ad revenue goes up). I’m already trying to do that without posting crap that’s just linkbait: I have no desire for this site to lose what makes it distinctive.

Or, I could run more ads… which I get solicited to do all the time. Video ads. Interstitials. Ads that expand to take over the whole page. Popups. Popunders. Ads that embed themselves in the text. Ads that embed themselves in images. *argh*

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of how the Web is getting more and more overrun by advertising. I understand why it’s necessary — work has to be paid for — but there’s already too much advertising here. I don’t want more.

But if 5,000 readers — which is a tiny percentage of the readership here — donate just $1 per month, that would be enough to give me a modest income for New York City, even after PayPal and Amazon take their cuts and I pay taxes on those subscriptions. Oh, and of course those subscriptions will also go toward paying hosting fees, which have gone up dramatically as traffic has risen. The site is now hosted on a semi-dedicated basis because of its high bandwidth demands, and that ain’t cheap.

Would you even notice a recurring payment of $1 once a month? (If you would, then please, for pete’s sake, don’t donate!) It’s pocket change. It’s less than a cup of even regular, nonfancy coffee.

I don’t mean to belittle the very real financial hardships a lot of people are suffering these days. I really don’t. I’m living them: I know what it’s like. But if you’re enjoying what I do here and are in a position to throw a buck my way once per month, I hope you’ll consider doing so.

This is where the power of the amazing readership — all you guys — comes in. If some of you, not even very many of you, each give just a teeny bit, it’ll add up really quickly.

And here’s what you’ll get in return, in addition to what you’re already getting:

I’ll remove all the banner ads from the site.

I’ve already started, as a token of appreciation and encouragement: that rectangular ad in the middle of posts is gone. And it’ll stay gone if we can reach the 5,000 goal.

When we get to 2,000 subscribers, I’ll remove the tall “skyscraper” ad in the lefthand column.

When we get to 3,500 subscribers, I’ll remove the wide banner ad at the top of the page.

When we get to 5,000 subscribers, the mid-post rectangular ad will stay gone.

(What will stay: the “blogads” at the top of the left column and in the center of the right column. Being a member of blogads is good for promoting the site even when there are no ads running there. And because blogads are so targeted, I feel they’re as informational for you as they are advertising. They’re not the annoying stuff that shows up in the banner slots. I’ll also keep links to Amazon, because they’re helpful if you want to buy the stuff I write about, and they also cost you nothing to give me a little kickback from your purchase; the affiliate cut I take adds nothing to what you pay.)

The income from 5,000 readers sending a buck a month my way will also give me the freedom to write even more stuff of the kind you will like, whether or not that stuff brings in more readers. It will give me the freedom to finally move the site over to a newer version of Movable Type, which will mean better tools for commenting and community.

I’m setting a deadline of October 1, six weeks from now. In between now and then, on September 8, FlickFilosopher.com will celebrate its 13th anniversary. I feel like we all have created something special here, and I want to ensure that it is around for another 13 years, at least.

Can you help?

Subscribe via PayPal
(in almost any currency):

     Subscribe via Amazon Payments
(in almost any currency):

Subscriptions are set to run monthly until you cancel. I hope you’ll let it run for at least 12 months.

Or, make a one-time donation of at least $12/£10/whatever the equivalent is in your currency:

Donate via PayPal
(in almost any currency):

(Sorry, I can’t accept donations via Amazon Payments. That’s Amazon’s restriction, not mine.)

UPDATE: Readers have asked to subscribe in larger amounts: here are a few. I’m happy to create buttons for other amounts. Just let me know.

Subscribe via PayPal @ $5/month
(in almost any currency):

     Subscribe via Amazon Payments @ $5/month
(in almost any currency):

Subscribe via PayPal @ $10/month
(in almost any currency):

     Subscribe via Amazon Payments @ $10/month
(in almost any currency):

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