You know, I just live with the bitterness that it's another day in the rain, during this holiday week, trying to figure out how to make it through the day with less than a dollar in my pocket, left over from yesterday...
Well, some folks must have sensed that, cause I just got these two emails this morning from two very excellent people:
I was just looking at ZumaTimes.com and your blog.
I really think you need to be a little more aggressive about asking people to donate.
You provide a better service to us than the LA Times or the Daily News and they get paid.
I really think you need to add a paragraph just above the PayPal and ask people to donate to help keep Zuma Times and your blog on the net. Let them know that you don't get paid otherwise (no salary).
So many people use pseudonyms and are really professionals who just don't want to be recognized. I'm sure a large number of your visitors never think about the fact that you need to earn a living.
Educate us right up front on how we can keep you on the net. Then if people don't do it, it may be a tremendous loss to free speech and to all of us.
I sent an email reply back telling the person that I just have to live with the bittnerness that only a very, very, very short list of people actually ever donate. Sure, they'll check in for free. But that doesn't mean most people feel anything like this is worth actually helping to sponsor to keep going.
Because I continue to live this way, anyway...and people continue to see the content continue. So they figure, ZD must be alright and someone else must be keeping him going. (And most days EVERYONE says "the other guy" is keeping him going.)
If I operated under that mentaility, there wouldn't have been even one Zuma Dogg public comment, or one single blog post, and you never would have heard of Zuma Dogg. Because I would just say to myself, "I'll just sleep in, save my gas money and energy because OTHER people will be showing up to public comment anyway, and there are a bunch of other blogs, anyway.)
Oh no...now I'm getting all bitter and cranky thinking about it all. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD, I don't show up to the council meetings and blog because other people want me to, anyway. I'm not doing it for other people, really. I'm doing it, cause I don't like what I see at City Hall, and I can't NOT do it. MANY of you know EXACTLY what I mean. Most of the days I attend the Council meetings, it's with just enough to get me to the meeting, without eating much. I don't say, "No one donated, I'm not going." (Sometimes I CANNOT go, unless someone donates. But if I have hopped on the bus, with just enough for bus fare to the meeting.
BUT, ALTHOUGH THE DONATIONS ARE NOT REALLY THERE, MOST DAYS, I AM VERY GLAD THAT SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE CITY LIKE THE EFFORTS THAT I GENERATE. And it DOES help keep me going, from a spiritual and emotional (not physical) sense, ABSOLUTELY! Especially, the average passer-by who is not a hard core blog reader or Neighborhood Council/Advocate Group participant.
But although I sure as hell wish more people donated in the spirit that was described in the person's email above. BUT NOT THE SAME SHORT LIST OF PEOPLE! I know some folks reading this HAVE indeed been the people who HAVE indeed kept me going all this time. So I guess it is what it is, and there aren't all these well-to-do people out there reading the blog who pour money into things like this, the way people think. When ZD first emerged, Michael Higby of Mayor Sam declared, "Hollywood money is going to love Zuma Dogg." WHEN, Y'ALL! So that's the frustration.
Anyway, Merry F-ing X-mas. I having an f-ing holiday parade, walking down the street in the rain, with a two hour break on the computer at the library.
Are you open for a contribution?
If so let me know.
We'll see if they were just curious, or just making sure I wouldn't be insulted at the idea of a contribution to help keep my blogging dream alive. (Of making an impact between now and March 3, 2009 elections with the internet.)
Gonna work on that, NOW. Check back later. And make sure to check out http://lavotersforchange.com/. It's a new blog tool I put together, working with a bunch of other "activists" from the community. (Many of the same old people who you know from all the meetings and blogging, and I say that in a good way.)
In other words, ZD came up with concept of a website to help promote the slate of candidates and ballot measures in the March 3, 2009 Los Angeles elections, and I am the "tech guy" running the blog (cause no one else raised their hand), but the input comes from a bunch of people. Basically, everyone who ZD speaks with in the course of the week. So check it out. If you like the content and the slate, then you are supposed to copy and past the blog posts and candidate slate and email blast them to your contacts. SEE THE BLOG. THIS ELECTION IS ALL ABOUT ROCKING THE VOTE WITH THE INTERNET. LAST MAYORAL ELECTION, YOU HAD NOT EVEN HEARD OF YOUTUBE OR MYSPACE, HAD PROBABLY NEVER EVEN READ MAYOR SAM'S BLOG YET (AND NOW THERE ARE MILLIONS OF BLOGS) -- AND YOU MAY, OR MAY NOT, HAVE EVEN HAD AN EMAIL ACCOUNT WITH HUNDREDS OF CONTACTS.
So let's use the internet in a focused effort. I tried to put something together that almost any of the SLAP, Z.A.P. (Zuma's Action Plan), Mayor Sam readers, Neighborhood Council participants and general "activists" can agree with. If you have any additions or questions, send your feedback to LAVotersForChange@Gmail.com and check out the LA Voters For Change blog.