They say the “future of publishing” is “Pay What You Will”. If you visit my site regularly, and it makes you laugh, think or discover, consider electronically transferring me a little donation. Don’t assume everybody else will (because they won’t). Don’t worry that an amount is too small (because it isn’t). Do feel good about your donation (because your support keeps me going). The “default” donation value is $2. Thank you!
OTHER WAYS TO HELP BESIDES MONEY
- SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT WHAT I DO. This includes sharing my features on Facebook, RTing my tweets on twitter, +1-ing my posts on Google+, stumbling my stories on StumbleUpon, linking to my site from your site and giving my contact information to all your wealthy collector friends!
- LEAVE COMMENTS ON BLOG POSTS. Especially if you really liked (or hated) what I wrote and if my words moved you to make a purchase.
- WRITE ME A NOTE. I’ll put it on my “Props” page!
- MAKE ME A SANDWICH. (Hey, it could happen!) Or buy me a coffee. I’m a very cheap date.
HOW MUCH MONEY DOES IT COST TO BLOG?
Hosting + TIME = Blog. Read below for the breakdown.
HOSTING AND SERVER COSTS
In late October, this site crashed because of the volume of incoming traffic. Thanks to a terrific readership that grows every month, I need to relocate Jeremyriad to a dedicated server. This means that my affordable $12/month hosting is about to at least quadruple.
Many people re-tweeted my interview with Circus Posterus. Here’s what it took to bring it to you:
- @3 hours for research, formulating questions and conducting the interview itself.
- @4 hours for preparing the story for print.
- @4 hours for revisions with my editor over the course of several days.
- @3 hours for editing, formatting and posting the full interview online.
Net pay = ~ $40. Time spent = 14 hours or 2 full-time days of work. Other interviews (for web or print) may include travel and photography and typically pay the same or less. Check out some more interviews here.
FEATURES & RECURRING COLUMNS
- @35 minutes of talk time with The Sucklord while I recorded with my iPhone.
- @1 hour & 30 minutes to transcribe the conversation.
- @2 hours of research, screengrabbing and compositing pictures.
- @4 hours of writing, editing and formatting to turn the transcript into an interview that reads well.
Net pay = $0. Time spent = 8 hours or 1 full-time day of work. I tried hitting up Bravo for some sponsorship, but no dice. The resolution was to cut the talking time in half, which allowed me to recoup 50% of my day, (but left me with surplus questions). Check out the latest features here.
ART SHOWS & EVENTS COVERAGE
The nicest feedback I get when I cover a show or an event is when people tell me they “felt like they were there.” I recently checked out the I Am Legion 3A Custom Toy Show. Here’s how covering your average art/toy show breaks down:
- @1-3 hours of looking at art and toys (and art toys) and talking to people.
- @1-2 hours of color-correcting, tagging and titling every picture. (Tagging and titling tells viewers which artist made which artwork and also helps Google index your work.)
- @2-6 hours (depending on the complexity of the show, the amount of work, and my response to it) to post the coverage.
Net pay = $0. Time spent = varies from 4-11 hours. Check out coverage for: 3D art shows | 2D art shows | toy and book signings | studio visits | conventions | other happenings out and about on the town
Critique is crucial for growth. Some folks cite the June 2011 Juried Resin Toy Art Show as being the point at which I began to “spread my wings and fly elsewhere.” It certainly was a turning point. The gallery gave me a $100 stipend for gas. Here’s how the rest of it broke down:
- @14 hours driving to Los Angeles from Oakland and back.
- @3 hours of photographing, “discussing,” and “judging” the “art”.
- @2 hours of sorting, titling, tagging and uploading photos to WordPress.
- @1 hour of titling, tagging and uploading 76 photos to Flickr.
- @9 hours of researching, pondering, questioning and writing my response. This included 6 brief individually requested critiques.
Net pay = $0. Time spent = 29 hours or 3.5 full-time days. (That one hurts. At least the 13 comments give me a feeling of justification for the time.) Check out editorials here.
DAILY DESIGN INSPIRATION
I LOVE writing about toys and design and popjects, and I’m forever trying to carve out blocks of time to dedicate to them. Basically, I wake up in the morning, get dressed (no, I’m not a pajama blogger), consume coffee and spend the first two hours reading the news (comprised of around 100 RSS feeds). With these leads, plus incoming email and Twitter, I select what to write about throughout the day. A typical day equals about 5 blog posts, and I pretty much always have one eye on Tweetdeck and the other on Bloglines. While this is all happening, I consult for great companies and write other kinds of things (textbooks, PR) for other kinds of people. This helps provide food and shelter for my little family (wife and cat). If there is money left over, I buy toys.
THE THINGS WHICH ARE HARD TO SAY
Even more than green toys, I love stories. When there’s a good story, I hate to let it go untold. When there’s an injustice, I like to expose it. For a variety of reasons, many of my friends who experience injustice cannot themselves expose it. So I listen to their stories, do my own research and write my reports. Consider a donation if you think honest commentary is important. A few examples:
- My 2009 investigation into the practice of “blind-boxing” designer toys changed the way at least 3 companies choose their ratios and packaging methods.
- Kidrobot’s current creative director told me he keeps a copy of my Open Letter to Kidrobot around as an example of “what not to do”.
- The Sucklord gave me props for the critical views I expressed in Real Talk about Custom Toys. I hope this leads to more thoughtful curating of toy art shows.
- MINDstyle is one of the biggest “villains” in the designer toy community. Some blog‘s still take MINDstyle’s money, but I mock them.
- As a content curator, my job is to spotlight interesting design objects made by talented people. On a personal level, I feel warm & fuzzy inside when awesome people are helped by things I write. On the flipside, it’s good to know where your money is going. Recently, a number of you saw that Amanda Visell and Michelle Valigura might paint sweet, they sure don’t talk sweet!
Thank you for your consideration and your patronage. Above all, thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. It’s an incredible feeling for a writer. Knowing you’re out there craving content gets me out of bed everyday.