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Friday, April 08, 2005

Fund Drive: Day 6

This makes blogging run

For some reason this came to mind

A long time ago
A million years BC
The best things in life
Were absolutely free.
But no one appreciated
A sky that was always blue.
And no one congratulated
A moon that was always new.
So it was planned that they would vanish now and them
And you must pay before you get them back again.
That's what storms were made for
And you shouldn't be afraid for
Every time it rains it rains
Pennies from heaven.
Don't you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven.
You'll find yor fortune falling
All over town.
Be sure that your umbrella is upside down.
Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers.
If you want the things you love
You must have showers.
So when you hear it thunder
Don't run under a tree.
There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me

Hey Google, you have a problem with Blogger being totally bollocked up. Being down for oh, 20 hours is a bit of a problem. Which is why with all your IPO money, it should be fixed.

Anyway, you're seeing one of the costs of running a full-time blog: hosting. Obviously, blogger is going to lose a shitload of business behind this unforgivable collapse in service. Now, it's nice that Atrios can post, but if I had one percent of blogger's traffic, and couldn't post I'd be super pissed. Because he could easily give that traffic to any number of hosting companies.

Finally, I decided to us IE to get to blogger and it worked. Which I hate doing because IE has more bugs than an ant hill

One of the readers suggsted that I "open my books", which is fair enough. However, some people get pissed when you detail what you spend, other people would like to spend it for you, you can never make everyone happy. But let me explain how the money is spent, more or less.

First, I don't have books, per se, because I'm actually quite lazy. I do have a record of my purchases and expenses, however, since I use a debit card to pay for them.

However, I don't keep penny to penny track of my expenses. Wny? Because I do have a record of them, and frankly, that takes more time than I have.

My estimate of current expenses runs to about $1000 a month total, including equpiment and repairs. It's a lot lower than it would be with hosting. Now, some folks are saying: damn, that's a lot of money, others, wow, that's pretty cheap. So I usually raise enough from contributions to go for three months, maybe four.

I honestly don't have a final total for any drive, because checks come in as much as three weeks late. Then Amazon and Paypal are accounted differently and getting money from Amazon to Paypal can take well up to 10 days, between clearing times. Also, ad money may aslo be included in that as well. So a there is no final total, per se, but on average, I can run the site and live comfortably on the proceeds from each drive for three-four months. Basically, as long as I can buy what I need, which is a lot more computer gear, books and subscriptions than soccer jerseys, I consider myself lucky and don't think about it. Hell, I'm still shocked that I get a dime.

But remember, that includes ALL of my expenditures, expect for things like my phone bill and cable, but includes my DSL.

Remember, I don't have any freelance clients, so what I get from the readers is it. Why? Because I work at home and it's just enough to cover my expenses. Also, I don't have to travel to work every day, so I can cut costs there as well. And only the insane would rather deal with editors when they don't have to. And because of people kicking in cash, that makes it possible.

Why so much? Because first of all, I need some kind of emergency fund. Last drive, I had to replace my laptop the same day, that was $1099 up front at CompUSA. I don't like to come back to beg for cash, so whatever I raise quarterly is it.

The same with the desktop. Now, I could have repaired it, but frankly, I've wanted to build a server for over a year, and I wanted a brand new computer for the first time in my life. All my other machines have been either hand built or repaired. Which is fine, but I'm using these computers so hard, I figured that it was time to outsource that bit of my life. So the old machine becomes a server.

One of the other reccurring expenses is repeat buying. By trying to save money, I have a useless PDA and a useless printer. Money not saved and things which had to be bought again.

The thing which surprises people is that this isn't cheap. Because I have to run two compatible machines, and both have to work. And I work them hard. So the costs mount up.

Of course, some of the money goes to things like clothes and food and the odd beer, but a lot of the money goes for books and computer related items, Which is why I don't have a Mac, because it would cost a couple of hundred for repairs. Doing my own repairs is a major cost saver. After all, I pay for everything from ink to blank DVD's.

I know a lot of you don't really care how I spend the money, but some of you do. However, I have no problem explaining where the money goes.

What I would ask you to keep in mind is this: any serious blog is very labor intensive. You don't get seven days a week of new content by osmosis. It's work, a lot of time consuming work. Which you know. But that work isn't free and it isn't cheap. There is no blogger's discount at Staples. We pay for everything without the support of a company.

Which is why I am always greatful for what people give me, even a dollar and why I support other bloggers. The only net we have is the one you weave for us.

posted by Steve @ 11:46:00 PM

11:46:00 PM

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