Waku Waku Nyūsu (Exciting News)
OK, so I’m excited and depressed at the same time. I’m excited because this blog has taken off and become much more than I had ever expected. I’m also excited because I’ve implemented 2 new dimensions to the site – which I also never expected.
The thing I’m not excited about is asking for donations. And maybe there’s never a cool way to do this. I spend most of my time working – as do most people. And then I spend the rest of my time researching[i], writing, and editing this blog. It’s a labor of love, really. But it’s like having a part time job in addition to my regular job and regular life. I have a dream of one day moving Japan This off of Word Press’s free system and onto a dedicated server (because then I use plug-ins to enhance the experience (many missed opportunities up until now[ii]) and many more ideas about growing the site.
As I’m not bent on world domination and I’m not so interested in making a profit (because I just love writing this blog too much to stop!!!), I’ve decided that crowd sourcing is the way to go. That way it’s voluntary. If you want to and have the means to contribute, it would mean a lot to me (and my readers who can’t afford to contribute).
One of my favorite blogs is a pay only blog[iii]. I don’t know of any other blog like that. But I would never charge anyone to access my blog. I believe in a free exchange of information and ideas. But I know some people who copy and paste and pass on said dude’s blog to other people. In short, it’s a stupid way to run a blog. Granted he has thousands and thousands of readers, I only have… well, about a thousand.
Anyways, I’m babbling….
So here’s what I thought. If every individual reader who liked Japan This! and wanted more content just contributed a few dollars, just a few, it might help me move the site to a server with unlimited space and the ability to add enhancements that I can’t do currently.
I’ve thought of two ways to contribute:
Patreon is a donation website designed for musicians, artists, vloggers, etc. It’s a service that lets fans say thank you to their favorite creators. Hopefully some of you dig Japan This! enough to contribute a little bit. As the name suggests, you would become a patron of this site. You can make a one-time donation or set up monthly payments. And, of course, you can cancel at any time. So if I start writing utter garbage at some point you can pull the plug on me. lol
(I got this idea from my friends at samurai-archives.com, who you really should visit.)
I have to say, I’m pretty proud of what’s in there right now. Anyone who reads this blog seems pretty down with the Japanese History thing. They also seem to be pretty geeky and down with obscure references, my bad jokes, and Japanese History. Yes, I just repeated myself.
In the past, I’ve mentioned making a 入鉄砲出女 iriteppō deonna T-shirt. In the middle of my 16 part series on the Tokugawa Funerary Temples, I also mentioned in passing that I should make a T-shirt about writing “new funerary content.” And the other day when I wrote “What does Edo mean?,” it turned into a gargantuan post well over 5000 words and I mused that I should turn that article into a T-shirt.
Well, now that fantasy is a reality in the Japan This! Café Press Shop.
Speaking honestly, if you donate through PATREON, 100% goes to me for maintaining this site. I think this is the best way to do it. If you can donate this way, there’s a way to leave a message when you donate. If you do that, I’ll mention you in an article[iv] and help promote you the best I can. So Patreon is a 100% pure donation.
When you buy at the Café Press shop, I get a couple of dollars here and there off of each purchase. Café Press gets most of your money. But at least you can get a cool Japanese History T-Shirt or sticker or magnet or something with original designs.
Again, I feel shitty asking for donations, but I really want to upgrade the site and give it a permanence and usability that it doesn’t have now. So that’s why I’m asking for your help. And even if no one donates anything, the site isn’t going anywhere. I’ll continue to write. Just would be nice to take things to the next level together with you.
And as I mentioned, if you want to tell the world you support Japan This!, when you donate thru Patreon, you can leave a message and if you want me to, occasionally I’ll give shout outs to donators. And if you buy Japan This! Goods at Café Press, upload a picture of yourself wearing (or using) your new item to the Japan This! Facebook page!
[i] Research is the most time consuming part of the blog because I tend to cover topics that aren’t available in English.
[ii] The main feature I’d like to add is clickable footnotes. Right now my footnotes are annoying as hell on long posts. But on Word Press’ free service I’m doing all I can do.
[iii] Don’t worry. The guy’s not being a dick. The proceeds are donated to charity.
[iv] Only If you want me to. The system is anonymous by default.