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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Word From Our Sponsors

Sponsored by Nobody:
This Blog's For You!


Actually, Thrasher's Wheat doesn't really have any sponsors. But that's another story...

But what we do want to bring to your attention something quite obvious -- that it is becoming increasingly impossible to separate all of the wheat from the chaff here at TW. There is truly an exponentially explosive growth in the volume of Neil Young news and a vast shortfall in our ability to bring our dear readers only the finest of the wheat.

While it was never our intention to be all things Neil, over the years it seems that expectations of TW grew along with Neil's ever increasing stature in the world of music.

With Neil Young's recent fire, we were quickly overwhelmed with the flood of reports and rumors that were flying about and massively stressed in our ability to provide some sort of balance of verifiable information. So now seems like a good point to reassess things.

Right now, we have literally dozens and dozens of posts stacked up for publication but we can no longer keep up with it all and continue to fall further behind. We have unpublished posts on Neil Young birthday tributes from last week. Unpublished Bridge concert reviews and photos. Unpublished news on covers, planned benefits, concerts, etc. It really is staggering.

Of course all of this is vastly accelerated by the whole rapid evolution of the internet's real time hyper-social networking culture.


Facebook Interaction Trend Insights
Thrasher's Wheat Never Sleeps | Facebook


Witness our recent trends on Facebook over just the past few months and peaking on last week's fire at Neil Young's warehouse and 65th birthday when our Facebook feed traffic skyrocketed.

So, if you're still reading, here's just a reminder to both readers, subscribers, and contributors.

There are already tons of sources of Neil Young info, most of which are located in the right sidebars. The news feeds are the best source of real time info.

Clearly the trend is the RSS reader which can be used through your favorite tool like Twitter, Facebook, and other social network sites. At this point, we're considering how best to support these feeds and have been doing some experimenting.

Right now our feed address is RSS Feed for Neil Young News and would encourage you to add it to your reader if you haven't already. What is happening right now with the TW platform is that when a story is published here on TW the feed hits our Twitter, Facebook, and email streams.

So here's the bottom line, our intention is to continue along with most of our normal blogging. But if you have an event, cover, tribute, story, photo, video, or whatever, still feel free to email us about it. However, we can not in any way guarantee that we'll be able to publish because of our time constraints.

So here are some alternatives to consider which many of you are aware of already but just as reminder. These are all good places to get your Neil word out:

And that's just a few and we're sure we've left off a bunch (And these are mostly just english sites, but there are also lots of non-english NY sites as well). Drop a comment below with other suggestions.

So once again, thanks everybody for your support. Your supportive and kind words during this summer's blog meltdown and subsequent reaction truly demonstrated our reader's faith in what we're trying to do here at TW.

We should also mention that our efforts with the Gigs For The Gulf | Facebook and Nobel Peace Prize for Willie Nelson | Facebook have a lot do with our inability to keep up any longer. We appreciate everyone's support of these efforts as well and in some ways find these efforts to be in some ways even more gratifying than covering just the Neil news.

Lastly, this is a good problem. We are truly lucky to be following such a vibrant artist that even with all of the good sources above that we still can't even keep up with the flood.



Which brings us to a word from our sponsors -- of which we really don't have.

As you may know by now, each of these types of mega-Neil events like tours, albums, archives, tributes, etc. causes traffic to soar resulting in ever greater bandwidth expenses. And costs continue to rise, just as Neil Young's star shines ever brighter and brighter.

Again, this would all be well and good except that we fund this based on several sources. Primarily -- as many of you may know -- out of our own pocket. This is something we find to be really fun and meaningful and rewarding. We love what we do here in our very, very spare time as we ride into town on the train each morning or back again at night.

The second source of funding is you -- our dear readers. First we tried the Amazon.com route which generates relatively small returns which continue to dwindle. You see, folks just don't buy CDs, books, DVDs, etc. like they used to. Physical media sales are falling off a cliff. And those commission that we do get from Amazon are quite nominal. Think about 2% on a $13 CD. That's about $0.26. We'd need to sell about 100,000 units on this site to make a go of things. ha!

And we've tried selling ads as well. First of all, most of the "ads" over there on the right do not generate revenue. The banner ad across the top generates about $1 for every 10,000 impressions. Again, we would need a lot of traffic to generate anything substantial.

And we tried fund raising with PayPal. This is the preferred method but also the least successful. It seems it's very hard to get folks to drop $5 a year on Thrasher's Wheat -- even if they visit the site daily. It seems so many want everything for free these days. We realize there's a global recession and all but we do think that $5 a year isn't too much to ask.

Believe us we when begin to say how distasteful this whole process is. We hate to whine or beg.

First, we want to say how much we appreciate all of the support we do receive. Your comments and letters are greatly appreciated and keep us going. So if you're writing comments, sending videos and photos, buying off Amazon, making PayPal donations, clicking ads, re-tweeting or sharing on Facebook your help is deeply appreciated.

It is this sharing that really makes what we do here so rewarding and satisfying to be part of our little global Neil village.

With record traffic levels which stressed the Thrasher's Wheat Platform leading to increasing bandwidth fees we either take TW to another level or we struggle to stay afloat.

For loyal, regular supporters of TW, this post is not directed at you whatsoever. For those of you who come here frequently but do not comment, contribute or offer other support, please continue to read.

By going the reader-supported route, there are two ways in which you can support Thrasher's Wheat.

The first option is to make a donation using PayPal. Just click on the link below to make a donation. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can use a credit card to make a donation via the button below (see lower left of PayPal screen).





The second option is to do all your Amazon shipping by shop clicking through the logo link below, It's in the right side bar so any time you buy on Amazon, go through Thrashers Wheat first. Thrasher's Wheat will receive a small commission.
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(Please note: International Amazon orders (non-U.S.A., non-Canada, non-U.K., non-Germany) do not credit to Thrasher's Wheat unfortunately. Other international readers are asked to please use PayPal account or credit card to support Thrasher's Wheat.)

You have proven that Thrasher's Wheat matters to you, and that you support our mission: to bring free Neil Young knowledge to the planet, free of charge and as free as possible of advertising. You've helped make and keep Thrasher's Wheat available for the whole world. If you find this site helpful as a reference or news source, please help us continue to help all Neil Young fans. Hopefully, this will continue to work to help defray the costs of running Thrasher's Wheat. Any excess funds generated above and beyond operating expenses will be donated to The Bridge School.

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Please don't give out of guilt; just give if you place value on what we do and are in a position to donate a little.

We'll also be giving away a Bridge t-shirt to a random TW supporter.

So Why Bother To Support Neil Young News on TW?

Our goal is simple: we create the best Neil Young blog we possibly can, refrain from contaminating it with nasty, evil corporate advertising, and then ask you to donate to us what you think it's worth. So far it seems to be working out sort of. We're not likely to break even on bandwidth and storage expenses (much less donated labor) this way, but that's not our goal.

Here at TW we're not just non-commercial. We're anti-commercial. We feel that quality blogs and corporate advertising just cannot co-exist. We also choose to refrain from forcibly extracting money from you by charging subscription fees.

We leave it up to you to decide what our service is worth to you.

Send support now via Visa or Mastercard — or use Paypal — or scroll down for other options.
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Your voluntary support enables us to devote all of our time and energy to making TW the best blog possible - and pays for the bandwidth, equipment and services required to keep the blog online.

The amount of your contribution is up to you - based on your opinion of how much you enjoy TW & what you can afford. A number of reader's have adopted the "one hour's wages per month" formula - some can afford to send even more than that (thanks!), others can afford only $5.

We particularly appreciate automatic monthly, quarterly or annual support payments. The more regular ongoing support we receive in that fashion the less we have to bug you on the blog. Please consider choosing that option of support.

We want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed so generously over the past few years. We quite literally couldn't do it without you.

And, as always, we understand that contributing money is just not an option for some of you. That's fine. All posts, feeds and services at TW are open to everyone, and we will do everything in our power to keep it that way.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Send support now via Visa or Mastercard — or use Paypal — or scroll down for other options.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Safety & Security Concerns:

When sending & receiving your credit card information online we use the standard https protocol that all online commerce sites (Amazon, banks, brokerage houses, etc) use. We do not know -- much less store your credit card number. We have no way to access that data ourselves, even if we wanted to.

We do not ever, under any circumstances, share your email address or any other information about you with any third party - nor do we engage in any kind of email or direct-mail marketing. We will send occasional (2-3 times per year) email to readers, which you can opt out of by unsubscribing.

Other Ways to Help:


Use our TW Neil Young Amazon Shopping Store :

Neil Young Store on Amazon.com


When shopping for your CDs, DVDs, books and other merchandise (Neil & Non-Neil) use the Amazon link above (it's always in the lower right sidebar, too). Each time you purchase an item on Amazon by clicking through the logo link above, Thrasher's Wheat will receive a small commission.

(Please note: International orders (non-U.S.A., Canada, & UK) do not credit to Thrasher's Wheat unfortunately. Please use PayPal account or credit card to support Thrasher's Wheat.)

Spread the Neil Love:

Spreading the word about Thrasher's Wheat is also a huge help. If you have friends that you think might enjoy TW - please take a moment to drop them a note. Postings about TW on appropriate web forums are also a great way to spread the word.

As a matter of fact, we have folks using our Thrasher's Wheat logo on their blogs!

Again, thanks everyone for their contributions. But mostly thanks for all the reviews, photos, links, videos, and comments. And your kind and supportive words, especially. We truly enjoy sharing the Neil love around the world. We've been doing this on & off for 16 years on Rust/HH/RH and 14 years on TW and we'd really like to continue -- readers willing.

So by helping us out, you'll also help out Neil. And maybe in some small way, it helps the LincVolt project. Because we all want to light a candle, make a difference, be the rain, and be the change.

Be the wheat.
peace and love, Happy Thanksgiving!

thrasher & thrashette

"Keep on bloggin'
`Til the power goes out
The batteries dead
Twist and shout"

- "Fork In the Road"

ps - it keeps us searchin' for a vista and a muse.


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7 Comments:

At 11/23/2010 05:53:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Horne said...

Thrasher, it is obvious how difficult it is for you to ask. I am making a donation as soon as I finish this post. What little I do contribute is nothing compared to the quality of information and entertainment value of what I recieve in return. Your effort to this cause is remarkable.

Also wanted to just throw this out but was waiting for the right thread. I am doing ALL of my christmas shopping thru Amazon.com. It is easy and cheaper than retail, not to mention less stressful. Have planned all along to go thru TW so you would get the credit. If others are planning somehting similar, keep that in mind. Sure will add up to more than a single CD or such.

I recently ordered a drum set off amazon as well and went thru TW. So keep that in mind for big purchases in the future my fellow posters.

And Happy Holidays to all of you

Sandy

 
At 11/23/2010 08:32:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Thanks Sandy! You're too kind.

Happy Holidays to you as well.

peace

t & t-ette

 
At 11/24/2010 03:22:00 PM, Blogger yourisaforever said...

Donation done, many thanks for all you do here, keep on rocking! Isa from Spain.

 
At 11/25/2010 06:10:00 PM, Blogger Jill said...

That Neil! Wouldn`t you think he`d slow down occasionally to give the rest of the world time to catch up??! Seriously though Thrasher it must be so frustrating when you and Thrashette put in so much (all!) of your spare time on this amazing resource and forum for all us Neil fanatics. We all realise and appreciate the time and effort you put in and cannot thank you enough.

Well said Sandy, I`m doing the same with my Xmas shopping and some of my family are sending me amazon wish-lists for me to choose their gifts from. The items on the wish-list can be from other on-line retailers too, not just from amazon.

 
At 11/26/2010 04:49:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Thrasher, what you provide to us Neil Fanatics is truly invaluable. I visit other "Neil Sites", and Thrasher's Wheat is by far my favorite, not to diminish others, just my personal preference. You've created a strong community here, where Neil fans can talk everything Neil- from news and events to albums, songs, concerts, personal experiences and feelings, band members and other musicians, but most of all you give us a place to gather, to show our numbers, and be with others who truly understand why Neil's music touches us in such a profound and meaningful way.
I think it's safe to say that we all, even the most critical fans, appreciate the hard work and dedication that you and Thrashette put into this site. Times are tough, which is why your site and others like it become more and more important- it provides a much needed escape at times, entertainment, information and always puts a smile on my face. Even Neil Young himself has recognised the importance of Thrasher's Wheat. You are part of Neil history and, in turn, Rock n' Roll History. From here on I'd say any definitive book written on Neil's life and career would be lacking if missing a Thrasher's Wheat reference- you've been a liaison between the fans and the man himself. What you do is important and appreciated. Never loose heart.
I've made a large purchase this morning on Amazon through this site, as I always try to do, which I hope helps out. Of course it is a small thing, but if all your readers did this same, one small thing I'm sure it would help out a lot.
Again, thank you for your hard work, and devotion, not only to Neil but also his fans.

Happy Holidays to you and Thrashette!

 
At 11/28/2010 11:27:00 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Did anyone see Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young with Bruce Springsteen on his show? so funny http://stereogum.com/577951/bruce-springsteen-jimmy-fallon-as-neil-young-cover-whip-my-hair-in-a-manner-suitable-for-old-men-with-bad-alignment/video/

 
At 11/29/2010 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Crris said...

My donations are way too infrequent. Shouldn't be. Cyberspace is a better place because of Thrasher's Wheat.
If something is worth donating too it sure is TW. (Done).
Love your site.

 

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