Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Why Donate?

I can't wait until pledge week is over so I can stop sounding like the folks at the National Review Online. Though, why on Earth the nation's premier outlet for conservative thought (shudder) needs reader donations I have no idea. Millions of right wing slush money floating around and they can't get their hands on any of it?

Anyway, a lot of people have expressed hope that I could perhaps obtains sponsorship from some organization, or get paid to blog for an existing magazine, or something like that. All of those things are possibilities, I suppose (though no offers yet), but they aren't necessarily things I'd like to do, at least not right now. This site is part journalism, part pundit, part community, part activist - and the last two, the activist/community parts, would be much more difficult to do under such circumstances. Any institutional support would come with its own parameters.

The other day Kos wrote, in a kind post directing people over here:

And if we can't get compensated for our efforts, there will come a time when we'll face two choices -- abandon the effort or accept an offer to blog for faceless media conglomerate X. A free and independent blogosphere requires that writers get compensated for their time.

All of this takes time - and, in addition, trying to increase the influence of this blog and blogs in general also takes time. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that media appearances are rarely if ever compensated. Doing things like making a radio appearance, or answering a journalist's questions, all take a lot of time. Now, I love going on Air America -- it's a lot of fun, but it also chews up one of my evenings every week.

The reason why there's a never ending supply of right wing nutballs appearing on every TV and radio news program 24/7 is because a lot of them are paid to sit around and do not much more than wait to be booked on TV and radio.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this has never been a "give me money or I'm going to quit blogging!" situation. It's more a matter of can I continue to do this and perhaps try to expand the influence of the left wing blog community in general, or do I need to refocus efforts onto maintaining more realistic career goals. I hope to become a bit more visible one way or another, go and cover the DNC convention, etc... But, I need a bit of a buffer to be able to do that.

But, aside from those high minded sounding things -- if you like the service, leave a tip. If you're unemployed or otherwise financially constrained, please don't. Really. It isn't necessary.

And, you know, it would be sweet if I could raise more than the Corner...