Patterico's Pontifications

9/9/2010

Pledge Drive

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:16 pm



As many of you know, I have been blogging since 2003. I don’t think I have ever asked for money for myself. Once I held a pledge drive for an LAPD officer who had been paralyzed by a gunshot wound from a criminal. I occasionally ask readers to mention the blog to friends. But I haven’t wanted to ask for money. I don’t blog for money. It’s always been a hobby. And frankly, I don’t want to feel like I owe anyone anything.

But here’s the problem. Ever since the 2008 election — for about two years now — I have been trying to find some solution for the blog that would keep it up during big links without breaking the bank. It has not been a cakewalk. At one point during the height of the presidential election, I was incessantly nagging my host to do something to stop the down time I kept getting during big links. He reacted by ordering me off his server within 72 hours. If I didn’t move my site, the blog would be dead. I had to desperately scramble to find someone to move my site and save the data, and the bill — well, let’s just say you would probably be shocked at the size of the bill. (My wife sure was!)

Since then, I have tried to find out what I can do to keep the site up and working — especially during big links. (The best posts often get the biggest links — which kill the site. Meaning the site often goes down when the best material is up — and I miss a chance to bring new people into this community.)

The answer always tends to be the same: if you want to keep the site up during big links, it’s going to cost more money.

So as much as I hate to, I have to ask for your help.

There are shiny PayPal buttons over there on the right. I’d appreciate any help you can give.

This is important: if you’re going to use a PayPal account funded by cash, you can use the top button. That is best because I get every cent. If you are going to make a one-time payment that is funded in any way by a credit card, you have to use the second button. PayPal takes a small amount off the top, but that’s the nature of the beast. I can’t accept credit card donations made using the top button.

And I want to point out that third button, which is my favorite. It is a subscription button, which allows you to set up a recurring monthly payment of $9, which I am calling a “subscription.” I’ll take any donation, but I’d really encourage people to “subscribe,” as that would give me some idea of the resources available to me on a monthly basis that I could hopefully use to keep the site up through an Instapundit link, just once! A couple of you have already become “subscribers” without my mentioning it, and I really appreciate it. (I can also accept recurring payments funded by credit card at the third button.)

What are the benefits of being a subscriber? To be honest, I’m not sure yet. I’ll take suggestions. Maybe I could do the occasional e-mail with thoughts I don’t want to share with the general public? I have no idea. Right now, you’ll just have to be content with the satisfaction of helping out the blog.

The great thing about this blog — the thing that keeps me going even when work is crushing and help is scarce — is the community of readers. The commenters here are the greatest on the Internet. Period. Also, I am occasionally reminded that there is a wonderful group of readers out there who rarely if ever comment. I was thrilled to “meet” many of you recently when I asked for commentary from the “lurkers.” I have met many of you in person in the past, in various places across the country, and hope to meet many more in the future.

There’s no reason that this site should be the only one on the Internet that always goes down when there is a big link. The other sites that constantly ask for donations never seem to go down. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who asks you for donations constantly. (Hit my tip jar! Hit my tip jar!) But I know we ought to be able to do at least as well as those other sites.

Again: thanks for any help you can give to the site. Let’s show the other sites who’s boss.

UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link. And the donation.

77 Responses to “Pledge Drive”

  1. Or at least, who can avoid the white screen of death during a Hot Air link.

    Wouldn’t that be something?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. No new taxes!

    Howard Jarvis (fb8750)

  3. I just did my part, sir.

    Eric Blair (58b0cf)

  4. Thank you very much!

    I can already see I will have some notes to write. It’s very much appreciated.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  5. I’m now a Patterico subscriber.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  6. Thank you very much, DRJ. The benefits include …

    Uh …

    Well, thanks anyway.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  7. I loathe paypal.

    JD (8ded14)

  8. Been there, done that…

    oh, and by the way….

    GO SAINTS!!! GO LSU!!!

    reff (176333)

  9. You know, I always used to wonder how expensive it must be to try and maintain a site like yours, with enough traffic that it has ranked in the Top 100 Political Blogs in years past. I am happy to become a monthly subscriber. Unlike the NY Times or other subscription sites, I know you aren’t wasting money with huge salaries to second-rate writers and third-rate thinkers (hello, Frank Rich!).

    JVW (eccfd6)

  10. Wheeler’s Cat said she will pay for both of us.

    elissa (0c0773)

  11. I should note that Dana (the pretty one) was (and continues to be) an early subscriber, having joined up before it was cool. (Well, it *was* cool — y’all just didn’t know it yet.) reff has been as well (although, reff, I think that glitch we experienced may still be operative).

    In addition to DRJ, I want to welcome JVW and Stu707 as new subscribers. Stu707, it’s been a while since we’ve heard from you. Where you been, son?

    Thanks to JD, and daleyrocks, and to a fellow I will call only D.K. for now, for your generous donations.

    I will write all of you notes of thanks as well, but I wanted to thank you here.

    This may actually work out. Can you imagine? A site that works?

    No guarantees, but I’m more optimistic tonight than I have been in a while.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  12. Drop me an email if you’re not being treated well by the Pay Pal and I’ll do it again…please…let me know…

    reff

    reff (176333)

  13. Wheeler’s cat has to pay for all of the voices in it’s head.

    Icy Texan (d61420)

  14. With the rampant sock-puppeting (which I was hoping to restrict to the sock-puppeting thread, hint, hint), I feel compelled to observe that that comment was apparently not actually Jeff Goldstein. Signs point to sock puppet.

    Although he *is* unbanned, like everyone else, so you never know 100% for sure.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  15. Patterico – There is a person sock-puppeting people at multiple sites, in very mean and vile ways. Much like the comment above.

    JD (8ded14)

  16. JD,

    I’m pretty sure that’s not Joe.

    Who is, I think, whom you were talking about.

    It might not have been meant in a mean and vile way, anyway. Necessarily. There is a lot of rough joking on this Internet.

    The Joes and serr8ds of this world can’t re-start a grudge I’m over, anyway. Part of the unbanning of the world is to wash away all grudges.

    Or to try. Some will stick like caked grease. But what are you gonna do?

    I’m too tired for grudges.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  17. I was not referring to any particular individual. I was just noting that someone else is sockpuppeting in a very similar manner such as the comment above.

    JD (8ded14)

  18. Thanks to Kevin Murphy and S.B. and B.S.

    And Ed Morrissey’s mom, if I’m not mistaken.

    I will write all of you.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  19. I don’t know, JD, should I delete it?

    The weird thing is, I can see Jeff himself making a comment like that, depending on mood.

    But if it’s someone trying to be nasty it should obviously be axed.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  20. Thanks to Chris H. and Thomas S. and William J. and John B. and Gary K.

    Again, I will write you all. It may take me throughout the weekend.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  21. I would, but I have a brilliant excuse that the city just up the road (Christchurch and yes, I felt it myself) was destroyed by an earthquake, and I sort of feel obligated to give to them first.

    How much traffic (GB) do you do a month? Just curious.

    scrubone (a568f1)

  22. 2 Words
    Get-a-Job
    OK, 3
    and why should people pay for something they can get for free?? And your blog doesn’t even have a pic of hot Israeli IDF chicks like mine does, or a “Glee Season 2 Countdown Clock” like mine, or a running total of how many Americans have been killed in Iraq/Afghanistan (846) since Barukus Pontius Pilate Obama ascended to the Throne.
    So do your pitiful Jerry Lewis bit, I’ll keep posting Nobel Prize Winning pieces free of charge.

    Frank

    Frank Drackman (550e6d)

  23. Do we get a lovely totebag with a pledge? Or, a logo’d coffee mug?

    I’ll send something when I get home from this business trip.

    the friendly grizzly (c5df66)

  24. Great site, Patterico. Thank you.

    no one you know (6631bc)

  25. Only if you promise to ban me the first time I say a mean thing to or about another commenter.

    (Bill Heirens — the “stop me before I kill more” killer — was a mentor for one of my very stupid, young clients at Sheridan prison.) 😉

    nk (db4a41)

  26. I like to be shocked, how big IS the bill?

    I see all sorts of hosting ‘deals’ and have always wondered what the cost of running a blog that has significant traffic actually is.

    So, how much does this place cost? (if you don’t mind me asking).

    jakee308 (e1996a)

  27. You were very helpful to me, when I was stuck in Florida. Thanks, again.

    Dan Collins (a503bc)

  28. Thanks to Dilip B. and Jeffrey S. and Mark A. and John I.

    For those who are asking: I’m looking at a baseline of $150 per month, with undetermined extra amounts to pay for bandwidth spikes for big links. It will cost me to move again, and I’m not sure whether the people who have been helping me on technical issues will be able to continue to do that — at least for free. So I may have to pay for technical help too, and I have no idea what that will cost.

    I don’t even want to say what I paid when I had to move in a hurry. I had a metaphorical gun to my head and it was awful. Whatever I get in this pledge drive, it will be less than it cost for that one move.

    I’ll be away from the computer all day, including evening, and may not be able to acknowledge the donations on a rolling basis publicly as I have been doing. I will say that I intend to write everyone a note thanking them personally. That will probably take throughout the weekend.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  29. Thanks to Gazzer, William McG, Jesse M., Karen W., EPWJ, Dorothy W., and John G.

    The response has been very helpful and ought to get me through the move and allow a plan that HOPEFULLY will cure the problems we keep having.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  30. Thanks to Reed S.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  31. Dear Patterico: I don’t think you need to write thank you notes. People contribute because they value what you do. They are thanking you.

    Or I am, anyway.

    Eric Blair (58b0cf)

  32. When I say $150 per month, that’s what it will cost at the new host — an option that has not yet been proven to work. I was paying $150 per month at the previous host and it was not enough to keep the site up. I am told this new host has a better way of dealing with traffic spikes — supposedly. We’ll see.

    I have had people tell me that I may end up having to spend $500 a month to run the site without outages from big links. My response has always been: I can’t possibly afford that. I will quit first.

    How do other bloggers do it? It’s not like my traffic is particularly huge. Yet this seems to be the only site on the Internet with the tendency to go down in every big link.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  33. Thanks, Eric.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  34. Thanks to John H. and Donald N.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  35. Pat, I don’t need a thank you (ditto to Eric @ #32), but I’d appreciate a quick note that the transaction went through. I haven’t used PayPal in a coon’s age, and in the meantime my bank was bought by another bank, so I’m not sure what that will do.

    As an additional sweetener, you can visit my blog for FREE anytime. And I’ve never had a problem with traffic spikes. 😉

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  36. You know, I get pretty sick of these vanity blogs whinging about server costs, down-time, begging for money and just generally crying because their hobby isn’t financially viable: listen, face up to it, if anyone wanted to pay to read your writing, you’d be hired by a legit organization (like say, Jim Treacher)- the fact that you face all these problems is the product of the fact you insist on subsidizing what is, in reality, a vanity project. Yes, lot’s of people read and enjoy. But they obviously value your work at what they pay for it.

    I’ll tell you what I tell all the whining babies who can’t face the fact they are nothing but a BLOGGER, one of millions, no more, and in many cases, quite a bit less GET A FREE WORDPRESS HOSTED BLOG: NO DOWNTIME. NO COSTS.

    Jesus.

    [I have had offers but they are not compatible with my day job. — P]

    ms. docweasel (7a0d70)

  37. I don’t like subscriptions, of any sort, to anyone, for any reason. And I understand the reduction due to credit expenses. So, I need to find out how that paypal cash thingy works (I don’t hit buttons without knowing whats on the other side).

    in a coon’s age

    Given my heritage, I understand. However, given the fact that trolls are incredibly vile and venomous creatures, only more fodder for their poisonous, but broken, arrows. But on the other hand, it’s so easy to have fun at their expense. Mindless sheeple that fall for any trap, any time!

    BTW, Patterico is an excellent illustration as to how you don’t need to be a blogging giant to be effective. I consider Patterico as one of my favorite boutique blogsites offering reasoned, conservative commentary.

    rookwood (41786e)

  38. ms.docweasel

    Thanks for venting, but like most people – its none of your business what we do with our money

    so, if you keep it up – I’m going to get JD

    if that doesent work – I’l play the SPQR card

    EricPWJohnson (17f94c)

  39. SPQR is not a card game. Not f**king “Magic: The Gathering”. Its a traditional board wargame.

    SPQR (26be8b)


  40. so, if you keep it up – I’m going to get JD

    WTF?!

    JD (ff08c4)

  41. It’s odd and ironic that while sock puppetry now is allowed, various posts of mine over the past few days have ended up lost in cyberspace. For at least $150 per month — which is good chunk of change! — such technical glitches would hopefully not be an issue. Beyond that, knowing how much a blog like this costs to maintain means those of us who don’t subscribe will feel like glommers and freeloaders.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  42. Thanks for the TYs but we’re appreciating what you do for the site so this is really our thanks to you. Too bad we can’t afford to send tips to all the great commenters who contribute to the fun here. So they’ll have to settle for cheap kudos. 😉

    no one you know (196ed7)

  43. JD

    It was humor – okay so it wasnt funny

    SPQR

    I collect old SPI games – think of it as an event card

    EricPWJohnson (17f94c)

  44. At the risk of telling other how to run their website. The best experience I have had with the begging for money behavior was with my old PBS station, there would say how much money they needed, and then play music instead of beg when they got that amount. I would suggest that you maintain a budget for paying for you bandwidth and inform your readers in the side bar as to how far above or below track you are. Then a person can judge their needs against the website’s needs.

    Joe (399309)

  45. “in a coon’s age” is a controversial expression? Who knew?

    The typical lifespan of a raccoon is 10-12 years. I hadn’t used PayPal in about 6. So, OK, I guess I started wishing for raccoons to die young since moving to this area in which we have an overabundance and the use of firearms is not accepted.

    Perhaps I ought to have said “in a skunk’s age” (2-3 years) but it’s not a common expression and some other people might have taken it personally.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  46. I’d rather “subscribe” in a series of one-time donations which are easier for me to track. Here’s the first (pressing the PayPal button now).

    JLee (339229)

  47. Looking at the site meter, it appears that traffic is down compared to a year ago. Were you having the same problems back then?

    If not, can your hosting company explain the current outages? From what you’ve said above, it sounds like it should not be a bandwidth issue.

    Subotai (31c20b)

  48. I need to find out how that paypal cash thingy works (I don’t hit buttons without knowing whats on the other side).

    You have to set up a Paypal account. This is backed by your checking account, or your credit card, or just money you deposit into it.

    Subotai (31c20b)

  49. Pat #11

    You are very welcome. I have had some health issues, but I have been lurking here regularly.

    Stu707 (0b95d4)

  50. I subscribe therefore I am….
    enjoying your site!
    bob

    bob (40e4e9)

  51. A subscription is a little out of my league but even a one shot of money is good. Thank you Patrick.

    kensei (ebea88)

  52. I donated, especially after I found out that Hot Air has closed registration and, if you were registered and your e-mail address is no longer valid, you are out of luck. Funny how the insurgents begin to resemble the in-class as soon as they get close enough.

    Mike K (d6b02c)

  53. Obviously, one option for being a subscriber would be the opportunity to submit for moderation posts to go up on the ‘Jury’ site.

    (It’s similar to the way that, if you are not a subscriber to Harper or The New Yorker, you may as well not bother to try and submit anything to them.)

    luagha (5cbe06)

  54. “Dear Patterico: I don’t think you need to write thank you notes. People contribute because they value what you do. They are thanking you.”

    – Eric Blair

    Ditto, and well said. You’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this place, Patterico, and made it something special because of that. If any publication is worth a subscription, this one is.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  55. The current Financiapocalypse precludes a donation until the November elections are over (free funds are going to a few notable candidates.) In the meantime, have you considered a service called “Square Space”? It’s a turn-key hosting service that might be a better solution for you in the long run.

    GregP (c67522)

  56. I have deleted the comment from “JeffG” after learning that it was not actually left by Jeff Goldstein.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  57. BTW, Patterico is an excellent illustration as to how you don’t need to be a blogging giant to be effective.

    I think you’re trying to say I’m not currently a blogging giant.

    Is that what you’re trying to say?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  58. I’ve sent you a pittance. Please don’t thank me by name if my real one happens to show through. I’ll have you know that I’m going out on a limb doing this. I don’t think my wife believes me anymore, that these mysterious charges on the cc bill are for sleazy strip joints.

    The Sanity Inspector (5e8c68)

  59. Wish I could send you my support. At least know you are in prayers always.. :)

    No-bs! (6e616b)

  60. Think I subscribed, but didn’t get the confirmation. Please let me know if you don’t see it on your end. Thanks!

    Cankle (4a1a0d)

  61. Have you looked at google adsense? Then more traffic you have, the more revenue it should bring in.

    xgefqqwaug (ca56b4)

  62. Yeah, I applied to Google AdSense, a couple of times.

    I was turned down.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  63. Conservatives do not seem to fare as well.

    not Hitzlik, I swear (8ded14)

  64. Rainey, Rutten, and Hitzlik are supported by multiple layers of professional fact checkers.

    LA Times Editors (8ded14)

  65. Well, shoot.

    I started out publicly thanking people just by initials. Then I figured I could use first name and last initial.

    Now one person has left a comment saying he doesn’t want to be thanked by name, but I don’t know who he is. So now I am afraid to issue thanks to anyone by first name and last initial.

    I wonder if that commenter could tell me: is it OK to thank you by first name and last initial, as long as I don’t say that person is you (which, I don’t know which one you are, anyway)?

    Otherwise I feel like I can’t thank anyone publicly by name, in that limited fashion. And I was enjoying doing that.

    Did that make sense? It’s late and I am sick. So maybe it didn’t.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  66. Thanks to Mike K.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  67. Thanks to Patricia.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  68. Cankle,

    The subscription did go through. Thanks!

    Thanks to other new subscribers, including Andrew H., Kingsley B., my pal Roberta S., Leviticus, Michael S., and Robert H.

    With ad revenue basically gone, this is huge for me.

    You guys really have to come up with ideas for subscriber benefits. Someone mentioned posting at the Jury. I’m happy to entertain that notion, and any new subscriber who is interested in doing that should e-mail me.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  69. I should add that Sherry C. is also a subscriber — although she did it in a unique way and paid for a year at a time. And has pledged to renew it in a year. Thanks very much.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  70. James S. is also a new subscriber. Thank you very much!

    Patterico (c218bd)

  71. I gave $11.00 (I gave the extra $1 hoping you would get $10) anyway – you are a great source, I have been lurking and reading for at least 2 1/2 years – I do not want you to go away. I really wish I could subscribe, but I can’t – I hope you raise enough to keep blogging!

    Janetoo (40d6c6)

  72. Why is ad revenue down? Recession stuff?

    Chris Christie (358f54)

  73. Chris, the blogger ad revenue model collapsed a couple of years ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  74. Yeah, I have barely gotten any ads in quite some time.

    I could reduce the prices but I figure why bother.

    Somehow I got kicked off of the Conservative Blog Ads Network. John Hawkins says it was an oversight but it hasn’t been rectified months later.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  75. I couldn’t donate much, but consider it a token of appreciation.
    Rob

    Dr T (8a28cb)

  76. $9 a month for a friggin’ blog?1

    Hardy har har!

    Gerry (a3c9fd)

  77. ›sequel to the martyrdom of michael jackson of the buddha heart. (3 hours ago)

    my commentary on sept 16th LAST YEAR has proven to be prophetic. michael jacksons mother is now suing AIG and rightly so. like howard hughes he managed an assisted suicide by buyng off his doctors.
    Subject: the martyrdom of michael jackson of the buddha heart.

    the ugliness and stupidity of corporate greed american style is self
    evident as jackson,s promotors AIG were totally complicit in the
    destruction of michael jackson. greed greed greed thats what its all
    about as AIG hired a bankrupt parasitic physician murray(he owed
    money all over the place) plus other corrupted so-called doctors to
    pump jackson,s decaying heavily damaged emaciated body full of all
    manner of “legal” drugs so as he could manufacture more millions for
    the crocodiles and vampires that swam around naive michael of the
    buddha heart. more gigs for michael in london. impossible and he new
    it. it was a glorious martyrdom which reflects the horrors of american
    corporate capitalism. a country which has dozens of mirv tipped
    nuclear submarines circling under the sea 24 hour a day. MAD mutual
    assured destruction. that is the american way of bounty hunting and
    the commercialisation of murder incorporated. it began with a million
    brave souls who marched into the gattling guns and repeater rifles
    during the confederate war and ended with the fiasco of nam and the
    death of michael jackson on the cross. corporate crucifixion indeed.
    the meltdown of the united states reflects the decline and fall of the
    holy jesus freedom loving united states. the world and the next
    generations of our children will be doomed if the youth do not get the
    message this time around and kick all their greedy money worshipping
    elders in the ass and that applies to the whole world. that hooker
    manmohan singh of india has signed a multi-million dollar deal to
    nuclearise all of india so that all of our kids will be eating
    radio-active tomato sauce with their kentucky fried chicken. they will
    also rot away like michael jackson,s body. arise ye youth of all the
    world fight the good fight for survival the shock of michael,s
    crucifixion will show you the way to handle all those corporate
    military industrial complexes all idolators that indulge in human
    sacrifice and have not learnt the lessons of abraham and the lord
    siddharta buddha. all must sing the internationale of karl marx and
    change the wording a little to include the youth of the world. again
    farewell great muse and hopefully your tragic death will change the
    world. dr adam rosenblatt psychiatrist. free lance journalist
    ecologist. baruch hashem and may the force be with you.

    adam rosenblatt (bd966f)


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