Saturday, May 18, 2013

Who's Been Supporting This Site?

This is something I've been meaning to post since reading Al Gore's libels on the Tea Party in The Future. If I don't have another steady source of income, and Blogspot isn't supplying paid corporate ads on this web site, who is funding this web site?

Big, rich petrochemical and tobacco companies? Hah. In theory there are things I might write that a petrochemical or tobacco company might like--e.g. a review of a book about the missionary work of Elisabeth Elliot (which was initially sponsored by Shell) or a funeral tribute to a local farmer (who used to raise tobacco)--but somehow I don't expect that a web site that consistently encourages people to drive less and not smoke at all is ever going to be among those companies' favorites.

I don't mean to suggest that $100 is the maximum amount you can donate to this web site, if you're wealthy, but $100 is the maximum amount we've received at a time, so far. All of it's come from individuals personally acquainted with members of this web site. None of them has yet requested an advertorial; some have suggested topics and titles, which have not included any specific business, organization, or political party.

Blogspot recommends a $5 Paypal donation from readers who enjoy a web site. We have yet to receive one. We have had to exchange money among ourselves just to keep our Paypal account active. Due to the support we have received from local lurkers, we interpret this lack of funds from other readers as indicating problems with Paypal rather than dissatisfaction with this web site. (If you are trying to express dissatisfaction with this web site, please explain.) We understand that this reflects a discriminatory policy: public access computers are set up to disable Paypal buttons, so whether you see buttons or not, they may not work for you. There are a few ways around this problem. E-mail to find out which one will work for you.

Since more than one demographic description usually fits one person, a list of the demographics of people who've supported this web site may be longer than a list of names. Since all the names so far belong to private people (no actors, no elected officials, no CEO's of Fortune 500 companies), the names can't appear on the Internet. However, the demographic descriptions may be useful.

In order to protect the privacy of people who live in small towns, the list of demographic descriptions below combines lists of people who have contributed money and people who have made other material contributions (not including content).

This web site has been supported by:

  • more people over age 60 than people under age 30
  • approximately equal numbers of males and females
  • people who've requested printouts because they have difficulty seeing computer screens
  • retired people
  • full-time and part-time grandparents
  • students
  • artists and artisans
  • teachers
  • small business owners (here defined as fewer than 10 employees)
  • storekeepers
  • former and present-time coal miners (but not mine owners or operators)
  • gas station employees (but not gas station owners)
  • mail carriers
  • police officers
  • farmers
  • construction workers
  • active members of churches, including ministers, deacons, and frequent attenders
  • an avowed atheist
  • Republicans
  • Democrats
  • Greens
  • veterans
  • people with disabilities
This web site has received many donations of written articles, and a few photos and videos, but no other form of support from any elected official (so far). This web site has consistently received reader referrals, but no other form of support, from,,,,, and

And what are readers here for? The split continues. This week's most popular articles include four in the general category of law and politics, three about phenology, one about a book, one (updated from Yahoo) about local businesses that have not contributed money to this web site, and one about television. Each of these ten articles has received more attention than any of the topics that have brought readers here, which are, according to the computer: iris flowers, Amazon River dolphins, introversion, Bill O'Reilly's wheat-free diet, cheetahs, Ed Sharp and Mrs. Sharp's Traditions, the Clinchport Flood, and local elections in Pittsylvania County--and that's actually been a fairly consistent list, over the past two years, of what people have Googled in order to get here. In other weeks people have also got here by Googling for other plants and animals, gluten-free banana bread, Andrei Codrescu, (in bill reading season) various bills, and the book Enriquezca su personalidad.

We try to be nice to those who are nice to us, and supply more of what people are looking for. We regret that we have no further information about cheetahs.