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Pledge Drive!

It’s Pledge Drive time at Minnesota Public Radio!  This Winter’s pitch for bucks comes at the same time Congress is (once again) looking to slash funding for public broadcasting.  That means one thing to me – I better get my own Pledge Drive in while I can.

Welcome to the first ever Barataria in-blog Pledge Drive!  There’s a survey at the end where you can tell me just what you think anonymously and easily, whether you give or not.

I’m here today to ask you for help keeping this humble li’l effort going.  Barataria has always been an experiment.  It’s another attempt to prove that new media isn’t necessarily something completely different from all the media that came before – but it has the potential to bring new ideas into thoughtful consideration.  It takes time out of my bizzy life, and rather than try to sell ads I though I’d try the traditional Pledge Drive approach to supporting my bad habit – er, this service that you’ve come to rely on.

Please click here to donate via Pay Pal.  I’d love to see $15 from you, or a dime a post, but whatever you can do to help is greatly appreciated.

Pledge Drives, for those of who spent far too much of our lives listening to public broadcasting, take on a life of their own.  More accurately, they have a death of their own – in the sense that the announcers get up there and slowly, horribly die.  Every Pledge Drive goes through the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief – a fun way to look at them, if for no other reason than it has an umlaut.

Stage 1:  Denial This will be the best pledge drive ever!  I’m so excited!

I don’t think anyone has ever tried to do an in-blog Pledge Drive before.  Think of this as a way to show that the ‘net doesn’t have to go totally commercial in order to bring out new ways of looking at the world.  I’ve been posting here MWF for nearly 4 years now, 156 posts a year without a single miss.  Barataria just hit 6k pageviews per week and continues to grow in readership.  Why not simply ask people to show their love rather than resort to some cheesy ads for Viagra on the side that no one wants to see anyways?

Stage 2: Guilt & Anger Why aren’t you giving?  I do all of this for you!

OK, so you don’t necessarily want to open your wallet while trying to digest the lengthy and difficult stuff that I write.  I understand.  But I know that some of you have come to rely on Barataria for a different way of looking at your world.  This has always been about a life that is thoughtful and away from commercialism.  If you define yourself by what you think, not what you buy, this is the blog for you.  But I still have this strange habit of eating that I have to support.  A little help would go a long way.

Stage 3: Bargaining I only do this because I have to.  I’m not asking a lot!

OK, so I don’t spend as much time on these posts as I should.  If there was some scratch in it I might do a better job.  And I realize I don’t have a tote bag or a Car Talk CD to give you in return for your contribution.  But I’m not really asking you to fund any of my more expensive habits, just help make this worth the somewhat-less-than-an-hour I put into every post.  Who else do you know digs through the data of the Federal Reserve and reports back with raw data in chart form?  Who else gives you tips as to how you can digest the flurry of news that comes at you every day?  How many people stick their necks out with solid predictions that they can be held to?  It’s gotta be worth something, isn’t it?

Stage 4: Depression If I don’t meet my goal it will be the end of this service.

I knew this would be a bad idea.  People are probably going to think that I’m desperate.  Look, I’m a writer, things are always a bit desperate as I live from one week to the next.  It’s no life for anyone with a strong sense of pride, believe me. I just thought I’d try it.  I’m sorry if it looks ridiculous, it just seemed like the next experiment.

Stage 5: HopeThe end is in sight!  This Pledge Drive will be successful!

Even on Barataria, posts don’t last forever.  This one is almost over.  It’s going to work!  I’m going to make it!

Before you go, however, I’d like to ask you what you’d like to see more of on Barataria.  This blog is a bit infamous for not being about any one “thing”.  I honestly believe that a strong, clear mind would is always going to be bored by narrow disciplines and that there is value in making connections to ideas that otherwise might seem to come from nowhere.  If nothing else, I think there is ample evidence that all of the problems we have in politics, media, and life in general stem from our culture losing its way in a world that appears Too Big to Understand – at the same time it’s clearly invented by people with minds no bigger than yours or mine on their own.

I’d like to know what you think I should write more about.  This li’l survey will help guide Barataria for the next few months.  No, I will not write about my kids because I see that as a terrible invasion of their privacy, and I will only write a little bit about my very strange life that defies even operatic flourishes – honestly, you really don’t want to know.  But what do you like about Barataria – what kept you reading all the way to the end of an in-blog Pledge Drive?

Thank you again for being a reader, and thank you especially for your contributions!  You are all the only reason Barataria is here in the first place.

12 thoughts on “Pledge Drive!

  1. Off to a slow start, but we’ll see how it goes during the day. I’m not sure I could write about economics alone – it seems to me that the idea of a Free Market(tm) is so central to our culture that it winds up being a part of everything!

  2. I had to call you a blowhard. It was my way of saying do what you want and don’t pay attention to the polls. 🙂

  3. Thanks everyone! I know the two people who called me a “blowhard”, so I won’t take it personally … well, not too much. 🙂

    Still surprised that the social/history is coming out on top. Also amused that social media is a stinker, especially since that’s what gets re-tweeted the most. Clearly, my readers are not people who are the “norm” on social media sites. Hardly surprising, but it makes the success of Barataria all the more interesting.

    Thank you all again …. not sure what I’ll post tomorrow, but I think I want to more or less move on and see what I come up with.

  4. Thank again, everyone. Over 100 votes in the survey and you’ve made it pretty clear – more history and social commentary, along with economics – no more social media and writing. I’ll throw in a little urban life because I like those stories, but only when I have a good point. 🙂

    I didn’t raise much money so far, but I wasn’t sure what I’d get. MPR says that their conversion is around 7%, so I would expect Barataria to be even lower. I could still use a little help here, so I appreciate whatever you think I’m worth.

    Thanks again! You are all the reason I write at all!

  5. Anna, contributions were pretty slim. I think I’ll just leave it where it’s at for now and not talk about it too much. But I’m happy with the survey results, at least.

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