Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

DW Donation Drive

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If you don’t read the forums religiously, you may have missed some discussions that popped up about the cost of running this site and a donation drive that was begun by some generous readers. It all started with the thumbs earlier this week — the thumbs we use to rate comments. As I explained in a brief post on Tuesday, I was forced to get rid of our old thumbs because their plugin was no longer compatible with the updated version of WordPress. I risked crashing the site if I continued using that plugin, so I deactivated it and searched for a replacement. The replacement I found was as close as I could get to the original, but it wasn’t exactly the same and change is hard, and when I asked for feedback readers let me know everything they thought was wrong with new thumbs. I, feeling a little defensive, was all, “But this is the best I can do! At least, for free! If I hire someone to design something else, it could cost several hundred dollars! And I just got a bill for the next six months of hosting fees and it’s more than I’ll probably make off this site in the next six months, and my life is sooo hard.” Or something like that. I had PMS. I’m a little embarrassed about the whole thing, really.

But then some readers saw what I wrote and started donating money to support the site. And someone else started a thread to basically get a donation drive started to not only support the maintenance of this site but to “buy new thumbs” [full disclosure: the price to make the new thumbs look like the old thumbs ended up being $125. They should be up by the end of the day]. See, I told you it all started with the thumbs, right? And while I have been a little reluctant to do a donation drive for myself/this site, I do so appreciate people’s efforts to raise money. And since it’s already been started, I decided to just embrace the generosity of the DW community and announce the donation drive here. And in an effort to be transparent, I also outlined the cost of running a site like this — maybe the figure will surprise you, maybe not.

The truth is, after covering overhead costs and paying a babysitter for a few mornings a week so I have time to work, I usually end up in the hole each month. That is, I lose money running this site. Yes, even with the ads and affiliate links. I am working on complementary sources of income related to this site — like a subscription-based podcast and ebooks, for example — but those things take time (and money, in the case of a podcast), and with a young toddler at home, extra time is something I don’t have an abundance of. And who knows how much money those things would really bring in anyway. All of this is just an experiment.

So, the donation drive. I’ve come around to the idea, and I’m posting about it here in case you’re interested in contributing. If you like this site, if it provides entertainment for you or emotional support or a way to just kill a little time during the long hours at your office job, and if you feel inclined, consider donating here. Any amount helps. And if this goes well, maybe I will start doing two donation drives a year, NPR/PBS-style, just as a reminder for anyone who wants to kick in a few bucks. And as always, there’s a “support” tab in the navigation menu you can click to make a donation whenever you’d like. Thank you so much for your support, kindness, and generosity. And here’s to some new thumbs!

18 comments… add one
  • katie

    katie March 1, 2013, 12:17 pm

    YAY YAY YAY!

    wendy, with all the donation drives you have done/ran/supported in the past, i would think that there is no justice in the world if we couldnt get this on the main page. you are just as wortly and deserving as little kitties, the hurricane victims, and kids without christmas. PLUS what you do directly impacts my life in a positive way- not that donating isnt positive, but with this, i can be selfish, because *i get something out of it*. and so its just as important.

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    • katie

      katie March 1, 2013, 12:19 pm

      PS- i just finished my latte out of my DW cup. i am winning DW today.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 1, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Yayy 😀 Wendy, you are too cute (for being embarrassed) & this is making me feel warm and fuzzy all over again! Here’s to you getting the support you need, & one more YAY for new thumbs (haha)

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray March 1, 2013, 12:25 pm

      She should be embarrassed – those thumbs were attrocious! Kidding. I’m embarrassed too. But omg I was PMS’ing too! Wendy, we’re PMS twins. How cute is that? (Not very). Fabelle, are you going to the NYC meet up on June 1?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 1, 2013, 12:31 pm

        Hell yeah, I am! haha, I am excited. Are you planning an NYC trip? I’m bringing thiiiis:

        (Okay, probably not actually, but how stealth would that be for park wine-drinking?)

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        Addie Pray March 1, 2013, 12:33 pm

        *gasp* I need one of those.

        I wuold really like to. I haven’t been to NYC in over 3 years or so. And I owe a visit to some friends there. *But* I’m supposed to go to Napa the weekend before, and back-to-back weekend trips exhaust me. So we’ll see.

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      • katie

        katie March 1, 2013, 12:36 pm

        ohhh, look at me, im ap, and i have to PICK between two awesome trips because having them both close together is tooo haarrrddd.. wahhhhh!

        lol just kiddin. im just jealous.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 1, 2013, 2:01 pm

        hahaha, you assmonkey

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      • avatar

        MsMisery March 1, 2013, 1:08 pm

        How weird would it be if we ALL SYNCED UP. :O

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 1, 2013, 2:04 pm

        I’d hate to be a LW that week! Can you imagine?! All of us with PMS + regular BGM = some harsh words of wisdom

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray March 1, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Horray for new old thumbs! Sorry, everyone, that I couldn’t handle change this week. *But* I think the silver lining here, after all our little breakdowns, Wendy is getting some donations she deserves. So donate already!

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow March 1, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Yay! I think an annual or bi-annual donation drive is a spectacular idea. Or, as was suggested in the forums, we could all donate $8 or $10 per month like a Netflix subscription. I don’t mind paying for my entertainment, personally. What would I do without DW??

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy March 1, 2013, 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Cats. Eventually, I will set up a “subscribe” button so that people who want to can sign up to donate a specific amount each month. I want to wait until I have something extra I can offer subscribers before I set that up. I’m hoping within about two months, Drew and I will have the first few episodes of our podcast ready to download and I think that will be a good time to try out a monthly subscription program. I’ll keep everyone posted.

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    • Jess

      Jess March 1, 2013, 2:02 pm

      Wholeheartedly agree. I think a twice a year donation drive is really appropriate and it follows a model people already know and accept. I don’t see anything wrong with doing 2 donation drives for a full week, twice a year.

      Subscribed donations are also great and there will be some who sign up for that. But I have a feeling that more will come from the twice annual drive which will be more visible. Just my 2 cents (err, well $10 since that’s what I donated –I feel cheap now!).

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      • Jess

        Jess March 1, 2013, 2:03 pm

        To clarify, I mean do both! Annual subscription service and the twice a year donation drive.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne March 1, 2013, 2:01 pm

    I don’t comment all the time, but I am a daily reader/lurker and I want this site to be as successful as can be! More than happy to help your cause 🙂

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  • Dear Wendy

    Wendy March 1, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Thanks, everyone. And thanks for helping me not feel weird about doing this. I wasn’t prepared to run a donation drive for the site, but next time I will be and I’ll have something extra to offer in return for your support. It’s all so appreciated!

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  • Polka Dots and Bows

    Polka Dots and Bows March 1, 2013, 3:36 pm

    I just donated. Question – I don’t know if this would cost to much to develop, but have you ever thought about doing an iPhone app? I would definatly pay for the app! Maybe the app could also be a monthly subscription service, since the app would be something extra that we arent already getting! I know not everyone has a smart phone, but maybe there are more ppl like me that would be into that!

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