Two or three decades ago some free local newspapers instituted something called “voluntary pay,” in which they asked their readers to put money in an envelope enclosed in the paper – and assured them they would continue to receive the paper whether they ponied up or not. This was an interesting strategy, one which made no sense to me and whose results were so sufficiently modest that the idea never caught on with the industry.
But bad ideas die hard, and while I am clearly not in the blogosphere for the money, I would like to begin to cover my modest expenses and feel occasionally the jingle of coin in my own pocket. So, ye, I am instituting a “voluntary pay” program, asking you to consider a donation (by clicking on this link) with the assurance that whether you donate or not will have absolutely no impact on your status as a subscriber. Nor will the size of your donation.
In fact, I have asked my “back office” (my daughter, Annie, and her boyfriend, David) to set up a system that will only let me know who gave and how much if a donor so wishes. Otherwise, gifts – and, it goes without saying, the absence of gifts – will be anonymous. Any donation will generate a thank-you note and my gratitude, but it will not have any effect on our personal or virtual relationship.
I posted my first blog, Haiti, on January 2, 2012. They initially went out every day for a while, but to guard against writer – and reader – exhaustion, I gradually cut back to once or twice a week. Five years later I’m still here, grateful for your support in whatever form it comes.