At a Crossroads here on Thrasher's Wheat
Last week Dewey Martin died. Since then, we've received lots of comments and letters noting the fact including some chastising us for our lack of coverage.
A couple of points. First of which is that we've been away on a break. So it's not like Dewey died and we said oh let's put up a silly video about a lost dog instead. Second -- and no disrespect to Dewey -- but we can't drop everything to write an obituary for a bandmate of Neil Young's from 40 years ago.
As much as readers would like Neil Young News to be a real time original reporting source, it's just not going to happen under the present circumstances. Regular readers know they can find real time news via the feeds in the sidebar.
Also -- and let's take Dewey's death as an example -- if someone would like to write an obituary which does justice to the Buffalo Springfield drummer, than by all means feel free to get in touch and write one and we'll be glad to publish. Similar to the outstanding job that Tony did with the passing of Ahmet Ertegun.
Over the last year, we've been struggling quite a bit with how to manage this site's growth. While loyal readers have been generous with their support, it does not begin to cover all of the operating costs much less the infrastructure costs of bandwidth and storage for ramping up services further.
One of the odd misnomers of the internet and one of its dirty little secrets is that the more successful a site becomes the more expensive it is to run. The laws of economies of scale do not apply as they do in most other business models. So given the present expenses and revenues involved, it just doesn't make sense for us to do much more than we already are. This is driven primarily from our own time limitations but for the cost reasons cited above. While we'd certainly like to do a lot more given that Neil Young seems to have entered one of his most prolific phases of his career it is troubling that we can't do more to document the incredible wealth of information that is evaporating down the memory hole. But we've tried to do our best but could not. Thus, we continue to separate the wheat from the chaff at our own pace far behind Neil's prodigious output.
And loyal readers you do know how much you're appreciated for your supportive comments and contributions. Not just for clicking thru Amazon links for your purchases of CD's, books, and other stuff but in the sharing of comments, photos, links, videos and other amazing Neil experiences with fans around the world. It is those contributions which we most appreciate. On the other hand, it is abundantly clear from traffic statistics that the vast majority of this site's traffic never makes a contribution, a purchase or the submission of material, some of whom -- ironically -- still feel compelled to tell us how we should run the site.
On occasion we make a fund raising appeal and we know that many of you find this annoying like some public television station begging for a donation. But the simple fact is that reader supported blogs require contributions unless they have a solid advertising revenue stream. It has also been clear that readers do not want to be subjected to corporate advertising as well. However, we are finding it increasingly more difficult to maintain server performance without significant service upgrades.
Some of our revised thinking was spurred from reading about a similar situation at one of our favorite blogs Climate Progress and their decision to accept ads from the nuclear power industry. Rather than start a reader revolt as might be expected, readers were quite accepting of the solution to the predicament.
So what do you think? Should we supplement the donations and Amazon links program with advertising? Or try and keep Thrasher's Wheat ad-free with reader support only? Or utilize both income sources to improve content and performance?