We need your help with changes at Credit Writedowns
Credit Writedowns started in March 2008. When I got into blogging three years ago, I was using it as a way to hone my thinking about the subjects which most interested me and most affected me in my professional life. I never really intended to be a semi-professional blogger. But somehow I got hooked. And here I am still plugging away. I hope you have enjoyed the writing and learned a ton from our site.
Over the last couple of months, we have been putting out some great material at Credit Writedowns as events in Europe have reached a critical state. I have been devoting more and more of my own time to blogging as a result. I think you readers have enjoyed it because I have witnessed a pickup in the comments on our site. So, despite the troubling times, I have enjoyed it all, especially because of the intellectual exchange with readers.
This has been taxing and I don’t think it’s sustainable any longer. I am the major contributor here on the editing, writing and technical side because we have no dedicated day-to-day staff for either design or technical support. I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day! It reminds me of the sign of the corner market on West 43rd Street where I once lived that proclaimed “Open 25 hours”. That’s how I want to be!
But I can’t be like that. So I now face a choice (brought to a head at the behest of Mrs. Harrison!): either give up the blog altogether or find a way to integrate it sustainably into family and professional activities. I have decided to go with the latter and, to do that, I need your help.
Here’s what I have decided so far and where you can help me figure out the important bits. What’s clear is that I can no longer sustain the free blogging business model and devote the energy to it that I have. Credit Writedowns gets some advertising revenue but its no great shakes. You, the reader, get everything we offer here for free. I like it that way and so I want to keep it like that. However, the conundrum then is how to keep the site free and still devote enough energy and resources to maintain its quality. My solution is to run a fundraiser and to start a weekly newsletter.
My thinking at this point is this: I will start spending more time on the site but I will take a page out of Yves Q. Smith’s book. She has been running a fundraiser for Naked Capitalism for the past few days for many of the same reasons I need to. And the results have been encouraging. My hope is to help defray the costs of running the blog and to pay for things like dedicated technical support to free up my time. I will put up a dedicated Tip Jar button in a few days, so look for it. But i also think Yves’ idea of a dedicated campaign makes sense.
I also am going to start a paid weekly newsletter. This product will go above and beyond what I write here on a daily basis and look at key global macro events and their likely future impact on business and investing decisions. The goal is to focus on contingency planning for businesses and investors as well as people just interested in figuring out how all this will affect them. I want this newsletter service to also feature a forum where we can exchange ideas and debate specific topics that users have. I think this is important because some readers would much prefer to discuss these issues in a private forum away from the prying eyes of search engines and the entire internet! I think a newsletter, editor and user generated forum would be a huge plus for getting a better grip on what these global macro ideas mean.
Here’s where you can help me. I am pretty certain this is the way I am moving forward, fundraiser and paid newsletter. The question is about how to do it. I want this transition to add value. So I need your input. Where are you getting the greatest benefit from Credit Writedowns? How do you most like to consume our content? How often would you like to get a newsletter? How much is it worth to you? What’s missing on this site that you would like to see?
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I hope to start making this transition in the next few days. I am excited about it, and a little nervous. And I am looking forward to hearing from you about what would work best for you. When I get your feedback, I will update you on next steps.
Many thanks for making the last three and a half years so enjoyable.
P.S. – I forgot to say that you should feel free to email me directly at email@example.com. And for those of you who are so generous to donate to the blog, you will get that money rebated when you sign up for the newsletter. Thanks again. I am pretty excited for the next chapter here. Do give me a shout.
Oh, one last thing. I want this site to be fun, entertaining if you will. I know this is an odd way to look at financial news, especially in these difficult economic times. But, I enjoy this stuff and I want you to enjoy it as well. That’s my number one goal. So when you tell me what changes you would like to see and which ones you are willing to pay for, also tell me what does make this site fun. That would really help. Cheers.