Over the years the funding structure of LGM has changed a great deal. Back in the day the site earned no more than a pittance and the work was its own reward. Over time the numbers have increased through a combination of various kinds of advertising and patronage. Navigating the internet advertising environment has always been challenging. Apart from Google and a couple of other titans, there are plenty of advertising firms to sort through and it’s often difficult to settle on the one that’s going to make the most sense for your site. Moreover, the firm that makes sense for you at one point in time doesn’t necessarily make sense two years on; these things tend to have pretty short half-lives. And at its best advertising is a tricky game, with returns varying immensely on a month-to-month basis depending on holiday and political season.
With respect to our use of advertising thus far, I will confess that I sometimes find complaints about the ads here annoying, because I think we’ve done a solid job of limiting their impact relative to the rest of the internet. We don’t have pop-ups of either the pre- or post- read variety (at least not intentionally), we don’t demand that you subscribe, we don’t request your e-mail address, and generally speaking we try to keep the ads from visually dominating the site. These are practices which are… ahem… not generally respected by the industry as a whole, where content tends to serve as a vehicle for getting eyeballs in front of advertisers.
But… ads are inherently annoying, and the process of investigating and maintaining an advertising infrastructure is also annoying. Consequently, here is our offer: If we can meet our funding goal today through a combination of Patreon pledges and one-time donations, we will eliminate ads for a full year. Our goal is $120000, which is approximately the 2022 revenue of LGM adjusted for inflation. We have a crude formula for aggregating the income sources (Patreon numbers tend to decay over the course of the year) which we will continue to update over the course of the day. Given that we already have a Patreon subscriber base (and a few donations trickled in yesterday) we’re already more than a quarter of the way to our goal:
I’ll grant that the system is a bit awkward, but it builds upon what we’ve done in past years. We’re awfully reluctant to consider a platform like Substack where the funding apparatus is more organic, both because of the sketchy politics of Substack and because it would detach the archives of the blog from the new material. We’re resolutely opposed to any system that would exclude non-subscribers from any material that we create, so paywalls in general are a no go.
And so… that’s where we are. We hope that y’all enjoy the blog enough to generate sufficient funding to make this an ad-free site for everyone (free riders remain welcome!). As later posts today will detail, we also have updates on projects from various aspects of the site. As always, we thank you for the time you’ve graciously decided to spend in our little internet collective. Here are the links!