June 16, 2010

I Love Ele.

The Day of Reckoning is Upon Us! On June 17, our three-month loan expires, and we’re faced with tough choices—going forward more slowly, not growing beyond our choir to those who didn’t know they cared about “the mindful life,” limiting our only one part-time staff person in addition to myself, not paying writers for original quality content. How to help? Easy. Pay $1/month for what you read, and stabilize our new business model for new media. Or pay $9/month for your name/business on every page of elephant, in a sort of plaque. There’s other options, too. With thanks to sweet Lindsay for posting the below. ~ ed.

We can’t give up, we just can’t. I understand that the stakes are higher for Waylon and the staff – very much so. For me, elephant is community. It’s a place where we can have conversations – personal, professional, global, local, you name it. I understand that Waylon and the team have to do what they have to do. And truthfully, I hate talking about money. I sure as hell hate asking for it. But, as we near a serious deadline for ele, I think it’s worth it.

As I was listening to This American Life today – a favorite program of mine – it hit me that Ira Glass and team were essentially doing the same thing, and presumably fairly successfully. If you can, check out the episode from week before last – “Held Hostage.”

Essentially host Ira Glass – and who doesn’t love Ira? – says:

– It takes money to do this.

– If you’re listening, you must think this is worthwhile.

– If we charge, fewer people will get it. It will be less effective for this reason.

– A little bit of money – less than the cost of a movie – not only covers you but a few other listeners as well.

– If you’ve been hit hard by the economy and don’t have a spare $5 or $10 to share, it’s completely understandable. But if you’re doing okay and you have some spare change and still don’t contribute, do you really want to be that person?

These same points apply to ele as well.

And, specifically, here’s Ira’s request:

“Over the last several months we’ve tried to do an especially ambitious run of shows: investigative reports, an original Broadway song, the history of GM told through one car plant that could’ve saved the company, Rest Stop and #1 Party School – to name just a few. All these shows were trying new things, some of them hardcore, old-fashioned journalism, some just for fun.

In this brave new media economy that we all live in, we’re trying to prove that you can do expensive, ambitious stories like this, give them away for free on the Internet, and people will pitch in to pay for it.

I hope you believe in that idea too at least a little, and have been happy enough with this run of shows that you’re willing to help us fund it. Throw us a dollar, or five dollars, or ten, and help us prove that this way to fund stories can work!”

Hoping and praying and sharing and sending love and kindness.

~ Click here to get your name on every page of elephant,
and help elephant survive and continue to improve its ability to spread the good word beyond the core or choir and to those who didn’t know they gave a care.

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