Goatriders of the Apocalypse

We need your donations

Taking a page from the Cub Reporter, I thought I'd mention to all our loyal Goat Readers that, y'know, the economy sucks, cash is tight, and we could always use a little bit of money. Granted, ownership of the Goat Riders domain isn't particularly expensive. I know, you'd think there would be a higher demand for goatriders.org, but it turns out that I can pay for a year's ownership by working roughly an hour and a half at my current gig. Likewise, we have to worry about server costs - and while you probably spend more money at the bar every weekend than we spend on our server every month, hey, if The Cub Reporter is doing it, why not?

I will grant that the domain address of thecubreporter.com was probably a little costly. I'm guessing somebody had to cough up a quarter of a week's salary to pay for that one, unless they bought it straight from the previous owner, who may have jacked them for four figures. Not to mention the fact that they probably redesigned their website from scratch after departing "the clutches of MVN," and that sort of thing costs a lot of scratch, too ... probably ranging from $500 to $1,000 if they found an IT guy as nice as ours who'd give them a sweet bargain because they're not a professional company.

However, while nobody at Goat Riders is on the brink of retiring from mundane, daily work, we're not doing badly in terms of site revenue. As the Cub Reporter has apparently decided to do, we've decided to pretty much avoid the evil, soul-sucking ticket brokers who are so diligently raping the blogging industry - we only have one company advertising on our site, and that's because they're not evil or soul-sucking like the rest. However, like us, TCR do have Google Ads, unlike us they at one point seemed to have negotiated a sponsorship with a company like Motorola, they have other brands on their website, and they almost certainly have enough readership to probably earn an additional fifty bucks a month through impressions, and I might even be far, far on the conservative side there.

In other words, TCR is probably doing alright. Just like GROTA, just like View from the Bleachers - where Joe has worked his ass off to milk those soul-sucking brokers for every penny - and just like any number of other blogs out there, it's actually not too hard to cover costs and even have some money left over for advertisements and, often in my case personally, expenses-paid trips to Chicago in order to see a Cubs game or two.

But, y'know, we bloggers have to stick together. If TCR wants to have not just a charity drive but an April charity drive, who are we to tell them they're wrong? And, hell, why didn't we think of that first?

But, nah, we're not going to do that. It's tempting, but GROTA does pretty well for itself. Besides, if we ever want money from our readers, we'll just produce a post about all the Goat Riders memorabilia which you can purchase at our cafe press store - and oh, it's coming, believe me. Not to mention the fact that we'd just blow your donations on beer, spicy chicken wings, and maybe women if enough was left over.

Anyway, don't consider this a challenge. Let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a dick. We're not asking TCR how they can't afford to host their website even if we were quite positive that they already can. We're also not saying that they shouldn't solicit. As fellow bloggers, it just came as a little bit of a surprise to us that the most read Cubs blog on the net - and, consequently, the one reaping the most benefits from per-impressions advertisements - would be telling their readers that they need donations to keep truckin' on.

But while we are not particularly opposed to their need to ask for donations, I for one am a little surprised that, based on their decision to call it the "April Pledge Drive," they're apparently planning on doing it again in May. And probably June. And possibly July. I don't know, maybe they're planning on actually paying their writers for their time, but that's just crazy talk. Who would do that, and why?

I digress, and, like I said earlier, I'm not trying to be a dick. Maybe they really are hard up on cash. Maybe it was tough to get back their web address, and they now owe Uncle Guido a lot of money. Maybe like many of our forefathers, they had to buy their freedom from MVN and the price was ridiculous and unfair. Maybe Ruz promised paid vacations to everybody. Maybe Arizona Phil blew their year's advertising revenue on a craps table in Vegas. (Sidebar: who would play on a craps table? I just don't get it... it's a craps table!) Maybe their server is hosting a ton of things unrelated to TCR and it's sucking the life out of somebody's wallet. I dunno. But don't think for a second that blogs don't make enough money to be self-sufficent. You could have a crappy, never-updated, never-upgraded blog and you could milk $500 a year - or more! - from various streams of revenue, he says as his readers scramble to blogger to create Cubs blogs of their own. I'm not sure why TCR needs donations, and I'm not sure if they really need them to begin with.

But, hey, if they can pull it off, more power to them. And, uh, Ruz? If you do happen to pay your writers for the content they provide ... ahem ... I'm available. Drop me a line.

Mixology

Man this topic splits my opinion. Come on Kurt, you're twisting things and you know it. You can't go on about how any blog alive can earn $500/year at the same time as talking about TCR/GROTA cleaning up their acts, because a big chunk of that $500/year isn't always the most wholesome revenue source, not shady as such but also not the kind of thing every website would want. I suspect the overheads here are lower than you realise; maybe TCR also know how to work on a budget but if they don't the difference in running costs could be way higher than you realise.

So yeah, I think you're being a bit of a dick there, but - I also think you missed one of the biggest points.

If I was a blue chip like Motorola would I be happy with someone I just sponsored coming out and saying "we have no money"? Yeah right, because that wouldn't make me look cheap at all. "This site proudly presented by the free handset Motorola gave us, thanks guys!" I'd assume they cleared it first, I'd hope they did anyway, but... well, I wouldn't have even asked I don't think.

Then again, donations aside they're getting some free publicity so...

I'm pretty sure TCR knows

I'm pretty sure TCR knows how to work on a budget, but the point is, I'm basically asking *why* do they need to take donations? I'm not saying they don't, I wasn't saying that they were being greedy, but it's just a question of why.

At this point, they are saying that they paid money to get it up and running, and now that it's going they still need money for "domain names, server costs, Parachat." I'm just a little surprised that all of those things put together would cost more than $50 a month, which, as I said before, is on the conservative side of the cost-per-impressions advertisements that they are running.

I will grant you that their domain name may very well have been expensive, but wouldn't that have been a pre-launch expense?

The Motorola Sponsorship

The Motorola Sponsorship was an April Fools thing.

___
This has been a message of Pestilence

Hmmmm....

Motorola Field in Wrigleyville.

Kinda snappy.

To clear up a few matters....

Kurt,

The Motorola sponsorship was an April Fool's Day joke as mentioned, poking a little fun at Sam Zell. It's also mentioned in the first sentence of the post you linked to...

BCB is the most read Cubs blog, we're maybe 2nd or 3rd (behind League of Her Own) and probably a quarter of BCB's readership.

Ruz doesn't run the site anymore, he passed the reigns to me during the 2006-2007 offseason fwiw.

As for the motive, it's mostly to get our money back from designing the new site. The $500-$1000 range is a good estimate. There are some more site enhancements we'd like to make too and if we make enough, it'll probably go there first. We haven't really pursued much advertising yet, just the 2 google ads and one from joining Yardbarker. At the current rates, we'll see something about every 3-4 months. And yeah, I'm not a fan of the ticket brokers.

Most importantly though, many of our readers said they'd be more than willing to help out with a new site to get the hell away from MVN. We thought we'd take them up on it.

And "April Pledge Drive" was just to note that it'll be going on all through April, there will be no May or June. We may do another next year, but only if there's an immediate need for something such as a outcry for a certain feature or what-not. Or if our advertising isn't paying our out-of-pocket costs, which it should by next year.

Finally, we haven't started paying our writers, but there's been nothing to pay them with. Ruz never had advertising when he was on AB.com and we saw a pittance from MVN for the year or so we were there.

Hope that helps...thanks for the schedule widget.
Rob G.

Fair enough

I'm still a little surprised, although I can understand that if you don't have a war-chest built up, redesigning a blog can be rough. But while you may be seeking donations to help cover the costs of the redesign, I'm a little surprised that you need them to pay for hosting and the domain name, as they shouldn't necessarily be particularly costly.

Being the gossip that I am, I'm also a little curious about the kinds of shenanigans that MVN put you through.

And, to be entirely honest Rob, if I had to choose between asking for donations and whoring myself out to a ticket broker, I would become a whore. I guarantee you that you could negotiate a deal for exclusive sponsorship with just one of those evil brokers (to the tune of 10 links, max), and it is VERY safe to say that you'd swing four figures for the deal, and possibly four figures twice or three times over.

Re: Fair Enough

But while you may be seeking donations to help cover the costs of the redesign, I'm a little surprised that you need them to pay for hosting and the domain name, as they shouldn't necessarily be particularly costly.

Those are our expenses and it would be great to have the first year covered before advertising kicks in. But we're asking for donations, not demanding money or we'll fold shop. I have no idea what we'll get and probably not even enough to cover the redesign.

And, to be entirely honest Rob, if I had to choose between asking for donations and whoring myself out to a ticket broker, I would become a whore. I guarantee you that you could negotiate a deal for exclusive sponsorship with just one of those evil brokers (to the tune of 10 links, max), and it is VERY safe to say that you'd swing four figures for the deal, and possibly four figures twice or three times over.

to each their own...the key being that many of our readers pleaded with us to leave MVN and offered to help out before we ever asked for donations.

Being the gossip that I am, I'm also a little curious about the kinds of shenanigans that MVN put you through.

just didn't turn out to be our thing, MVN gets a lot of hits and we were their 2nd biggest draw and top MLB draw. Never really saw cash from it and they started to interfere too much into what we write on top of it.

I wish them the best, but it was time to do our own thing.

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