Sunday, 13 September 2015

My advice Bob? Shut it down if it's bankrupting you.

The reason I decided to quit being a blogger for madinamerica was because of a big advert on their front page which popped up asking for money.  This was annoying because I do all my blogging for free and, for that matter, all my mental health work.  I am now 63 and a pensioner, living in a council house (social housing in Scotland) and an unwaged carer for 2 sons with mental disorder labels who have been disabled by psychiatry.  Which means I am financially poor.

Here is the Email I sent to Robert Whitaker, who I had invited to Scotland to speak on his Anatomy of an Epidemic book, in November 2011, hosting him in Fife, finding a nice guest house on The Scores, St Andrews, a room with a sea view, and driving him to the seminar venue, Elmwood College, Cupar, on the day.  My son and I also took Bob out to Anstruther, East Neuk of Fife, for a walkabout and a fish tea, after the seminar.

Strapline: huge advert on MIA asking for money [sent 11 September 2015 at 11:40]

"Dear Bob

I noticed recently that a big advert is coming up on your madinamerica website asking for money.  It fills up the whole page.

I find this very offputting and wondered what the thinking behind it was?

Hope you can explain,

Regards, Chrys"


Meanwhile as the day wore on I decided to withdraw from MIA and sent another Email, see former blog post: shameful? it's a Wordpress blog. Not the Boston Globe

Bob responded after the shameful Email [11/09/2015 23:55 (GMT+00:00)]:

"Well Chrys, we are trying to stay alive. 

We used to ask people to support us (there was a popup), but so few readers have, and we are dying financially.

With this new popup, which you can say no thanks to in about three seconds, it urges you to make a donation directly.  A person who donated $1 or more would have the popup turned off for a year. 

Do you find that too much to ask of our readers? A few dollars for a year?

Any way, this website has been a financial disaster for me. In every way. But whereas I have only put money into the website, I do believe in paying people at least a very modest amount who are working for the site, and of course we have many expenses related to hosting the site, web development and such. A site with our traffic and complexity would normally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to run, and we do it for about $50k, even though we don’t raise anything close to that.

We are now running out of money, and unless I can figure out how to generate more revenue, I would have to shut it down.

So what is the thinking: I am trying to keep MIA alive. 

Sorry you find that off-putting. 



I got Bob's response the next morning, along with the other shameful one, after doing some photography in my garden with my Canon EOS, capturing the bonnie flowers, here's one from out back, of Lavender and Roses:


And sent this short, pithy and to the point Email at 7.45am (I still had to get my breakfast so was hungry):

Strapline: if bankrupting you then close the doors

"My advice Bob?

Shut it down if it's bankrupting you.

To add. My wordpress blog costs nothing to run. Not sure why yours isn't."


And then I sent another one at 8.16am after getting some breakfast and was at the PC, getting into my stride:

Strapline: institutional? differences between newspapers and blogging websites, in case you didn't know Bob

"And what's with the "institutional" references?  3 times.

Blogging website are different from newspapers. 
  1. if I was writing for a newspaper I'd get paid. 
  2. I'd have a contract
  3. there would be bonuses and other benefits from being in a media team
  4. opportunities to buy into a pension scheme (too late for me as I'm a pensioner already)
  5. and no doubt many other things that I don't know about because I've never worked for a newspaper
Although my dad did and look what happened to him?  Shafted (excuse the expression)."


my blog post from Friday, 1 May 2015: remembering my father Willie Patterson: author of sci-fi strip Jeff Hawke; one in a million; 1986 dedication Titan Books

me with my Mum and Dad 1953 at my Granny's house

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