Keeping EnviroBlog.net Healthy (a different kinds of sustainability)
Over the last few days, most of the site contributors have been discussing via teleconference – video is unreliable, to say the least, on much of Australia’s so-called “high-speed” broadband network – on one difficult question: how can we make the site itself sustainable?
That is, first and foremost, how can we cover running costs without relying on our contributors to give money, as well as their time and creative energy. Looking to the future, how can we work towards a reliable stream of modest funds to:
Pay for site hosting, e-mail and so forth
Cover telecommunication costs
Help contributors with any expenses
Obtain carbon offsets that fully cover the project
The obvious option is to set up adverting on the site. Google, via AdSense, is of course, the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to advertising on the web. We quickly arrived at a consensus that we will never be running advertising of this kind on the site in the future. Without getting into extraneous detail, this is why:
They are obtrusive. At the end of the day, they are distraction from the content that you have come to the site for, and hopefully find interesting and/or enjoyable.
They represent a loss of control. The advertising network algorithms decide what is “relevant” and shown to you – not us. The site presentation, content etc. (not withstanding any shortcomings) should be in our hands.
Privacy concerns. The nature of the vast majority of online advertising is that it tracks you and your online activities to create a marketable profile (see, for example, advert-related tracking cookies. We don’t want any part of it.
Endorsement by Implication. We’re uncomfortable with goods and services being offered via ads that may well not support or even find abhorrent. Take a recent, prominent Youtube ad in Australia lobbying for a new coal-fired power plant, for example.
We have therefore decided to ask the community directly for support via our Patreon (more information on the platform here) with the suggested contribution of one dollar per month. Growth in this way won't be an overnight success we're sure, but at least it will be consistent with our principles. Moreover it will be sustainable and organic – after all, that's what we are all about.
Thank you for your kind attention,
The EnviroBlog.net Team
If a dollar per month (U.S.) is something that causes even the slightest financial strain, please don’t consider contributing. We are so happy to have everyone in our community. Thanks for visiting the site!