02 October, 2013

I need your help.

Howdy, y'all. I recently discovered a service called Patreon, and I've decided to give it a shot. Patreon allows anyone to pledge any amount of money (say, a dollar) per blog post that I publish. It also gives me a venue to interact directly with the people who are supporting my work, while still allowing me to keep the blog ad-free and freely accessible for anyone to enjoy. So if you like my blog posts and would like to see them more frequently, please consider supporting me on Patreon.

Why now? This blog has always been a labor of love. That said, my life is pretty full now, and I've noticed that I haven't been spending as much time writing as I'd like. But even so, it also felt difficult to prioritize the blog over the things that had come to occupy my time. In short, I've had to consider more closely how I spend my time and what I get out of that time.

How does Patreon help? For the blog, I have two primary goals. First and foremost, I want emotional satisfaction. I want to pour my heart into this thing, and get feedback that you appreciate what I'm doing. I'd also like for you to feel empowered to take some control over the content that I publish. Which posts should I work on first? Should I do another poem? How quickly do I need to publish about a current event for it to be useful? Patreon gives me a mechanism to identify some of the people who are willing to invest in the work that I'm doing, and at the same time gives me a way to offer them some ownership of the blog itself. That's a win-win in my book.

My second main goal is to have the blog contribute toward my photo business. Ideally, when I make investments of time, money, and energy into photography, I'd like to see a return that I can then reinvest in my photography. I'd like to be able to fix equipment and periodically purchase new equipment, both of which will help me do a better job of capturing and telling the stories that I witness.

At this point, returns from the blog have been few and far between, which sometimes makes it difficult for me to choose to invest the 2+ days of effort that go into each and every blog post (including this one). Patreon changes that equation by providing some assurance that I'll have a monetary return on the time I commit to blogging. In other words, if broken equipment keeps me from shooting, I can work toward repairing the gear by continuing to write high-quality blog posts. That's a pretty exciting prospect.

Why Patreon? I really dislike ads, and I want to share my work with minimal restrictions. If someone can't afford to get past a paywall or buy a subscription, I still want that person to be able to see and enjoy my work. L aptly described Patreon as creating an NPR-like model, where sponsors offer their assistance to maintain a free resource for the public good.

Why me? By becoming my Patron on Patreon, you can have a direct impact on the frequency, quality, and audacity of my blog posts. This is your opportunity to put your stamp on this blog.

Moreover, you'll have an opportunity to see a sample of photos I take, regardless of whether they ever make it onto the blog. To put this in perspective, in 2012 alone there were at least 50 shoots that never saw the light of day. So far this year, there've been at least 30. Do you want to see what they were? Do you want to pick the which photos deserve to get posted? This is your chance.

Any other questions? If you have any other questions, definitely leave me a comment on the blog, on G+, or on Facebook. As always, I will answer every question and respond to every bit of feedback that I receive. Thank you for reading this far, and I hope you decide to join me on this journey.

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