Thanks! Met Our Third Target, On to the Fourth!

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 561 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Join us and participate via our Tip Jar or another credit card portal, WePay in the right column, or read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and other ways to donate, such as by check, as well as our current goal, on our kickoff post.

Thanks to your generous and speedy responses, we’ve met our first three targets: upgrading site support and hosting (which should help us come up with better solutions to our ongoing war with spambots; we think we may have solved the problem that had us completely missing from Google searches for over a month), nice ex-post facto honoraria to our loyal guest bloggers, and travel/conference expenses and coverage. And we are more than half way towards our goal of 1000 contributors for this fundraiser.

We are now on our way to meeting our next monetary target, which is selfish but also necessary: vacation and partial weekend coverage. Some of you probably remember the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments that would happen in the past when I would try taking vacations but still kept the blog going. One painful incident was summer 2011, when I was in Maine and the Internet ranged from sucky to non-existent (coastal Maine ex Portland is pretty much one big cell phone dead zone, so if your DSL/cable connection goes down, you are stuck). That necessitated near daily 40 minute round-trip drives to the nearest Starbucks. Longer standing readers may recall past Internet woes when on semi holiday trips (for instance, drafting Chapter 8 of ECONNED and still blogging while in Germany in 2009).

I desperately needed a more of a break than I got last year; readers may recall I was sick most of last winter (I seemed to get one bug and roll right into another). I kept up with researching and releasing the Bank of America/PNC whistleblower series even though I was so ill I couldn’t even muster the energy to leave my apartment for three days running. So the breaks are absolutely essential R&R if I am to have the energy to keep up with the daunting task of covering a target-rich environment ranging from dubious practices to outright looting, and debunking clever schemes.

Now I could simply follow the suggestion of reader Earl Crockett:

I wish to propose the founding of an “Yves Smith Well Being and Restoration Fund” so you can jet off to the Caribbean Island of your choice on every Tuesday and Wednesday when nothing of substance ever happens anymore [this was during the heat of the crisis, when the cliffhangers took all weekend].

Rather than rely on the generosity of unpaid bloggers for coverage as I did in 2008 (which led to a lot of unhappy readers), your contributions in the last two years allowed me to task holiday as well as every other weekend coverage to Lambert and Dave Dayen (long-standing readers may recall Matt Stoller also performed this invaluable role for us in the past). Since other Serious Blogs pay guest bloggers for coverage in specified time slots (for instance, I was paid when I covered for Felix Salmon when he was at Portfolio in 2007 and in 2011, for Glenn Greenwald at Salon), if we want to keep the caliber of the blog up to your standards when I get some badly needed downtime, it doesn’t come for free. And another benefit of having talented writers like Lambert and Dayen on the NC beat is that they are backup in case of disasters (they were prepared to step in if I had lost power during Sandy, for instance).

Last year, the vacation coverage plus every other weekend coverage came in at $17,600. So our target is $18,000, and we are already over $2,000 towards that goal. Thanks SO much for your generous support!

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  1. k

    Yves, I am really glad to see that one of the funding goals is coverage for R&R. Essential!

    I committed to a quarterly contribution via check for this year, last winter. I’ll re-up for next (and use We-Pay, which must be new or I missed in the past — and am glad to have that option over Pay Pal).

  2. Jon Claerbout

    Five hundred donors? You should have five thousand! Here’s an idea: My town has some free newspapers. I suppose many towns do. Those papers are full of adverts from local realtors. Those papers would be more appealing with news content. Who has done more than you have to defend homeowners rights? Nobody. But your articles are too long and erudite. Find some idealistic young volunteers to refine and give your good stuff to the local city markets.

  3. hunkerdown

    18 grand… damn. That was almost my entire AGI last year. But one can’t fight the good fight without hamster kibble, so… [AUDIO F/X: clod of change dropping into jar]

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks, I really appreciate the support!

      I know the numbers may look large, but it’s misleading to compare the revenues of small business people (and writers like Lambert and Dayen are small business people) to salaries. When you use a free-lance person, their price reflects the fact that they wind up having downtime. Jobs get cancelled, or overlap in ways that mean you can’t do both, or get delayed. And the shorter the gig people take, generally, the more downtime they have.

      On top of that, they have other expenses. Unless you live in a place where a lot of writing is handed out (NYC where rents and other living costs are high), you probably need to travel to keep your contacts up. Going to a conference or two might be more efficient than traveling to several cities to do that, but no matter how you slice it, marketing costs money. Lambert has a blog he runs, and the expertise he’s developed there (both subject matter and tech) has proven relevant to NC. But all those expenses are on their nickel.

  4. Kokuanani

    While my own funds are limited, I’ve tried to deal with that by enlisting the contributions of others. For instance, neither my husband nor I need any more “stuff.” We would, however, welcome a friend’s “subscription” to NK. We encourage them to buy it “for themselves,” thereby creating a double gift: one that they can read, and a second that supports something deal to our hearts.

    I encourage this sort of creative giving: reminding others that there are ways that they can donate in a manner that will benefit both you and them, that will improve society, and won’t add to the clutter on the planet.

    It’s not too early for gifts to honor Christmas, Hannukah, or Soltice.

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