We were rejected this past week by a site that everyone keeps telling us to join, or at least we have to revise how we go about explaining our "project."
The thing that is frustrating, and this came up with a grant back in 2009, is that we have very little overhead. Our biggest expense is TIME. And by time, we mean hours spent on the streets taking pictures, editing them, attending plays, putting together a weekly event calendar as we've done for the past 85-plus weeks, etc.
We know the Pipeline isn't quality journalism. The Chicago Reader and Mother Jones are quality journalism.
I've written 3,000 plus word feature stories like this one, about a company that takes children on field trips to retailers, and went to a small town to learn more about Ronald Reagan's roots, as well as had my byline on many dozens of 'serious pieces,' but at the end of the day, I'm really enjoying working on the pipeline, even if it means I might write one tiny paragraph about something that, in a perfect world, would be worthy of five paragraphs.
Who has time for five paragraphs? To read them, and to write them? Who is going to pay me if I write five paragraphs?
Alas, we're just trying to raise $1,800 to fund the cost of the software to continue sending out the pipeline in 2011, along with other expenses like ink toner, paper (we print copies upon request and if a reader we featured does not have access to the 'Net), and RAM memory.
We are hoping readers, a single business sponsor, or perhaps a merchant association, can help us to fund the cost of our software, toner, and memory cards in exchange for our eternal gratitude- or at least through the end of 2011- and visibility in the Pipeline through a 'Thank You' in every issue. The goal of the Pipeline is to provide a fresh, original snapshot of the week past, and the week ahead, with a core focus on community news and local, independently owned businesses.
Rather than create, we'd like to maintain a pipeline of funding to help keep our local, neighborhood e-newsletter running in 2011.
I started the e-newsletter in April of 2009, and send the weekly email to over 2,500 readers using a software which costs $250 every four months ($1,000/yr). We try to print copies when we can, but at an average length of 18 printed pages per email, printing/toner is very costly. Our toner costs $50 per month.
Another expense which just came up is increasing my Mac's RAM. With over 3,000 photos, we are out of memory! The Kickstarter campaign is to support our general costs of 'powering' the actual pipeline, enabling print copies for readers upon request, and RAM to store our images.
We'd love to offer giveaways from some of our existing small business supporters, i.e. a special book from Lake Claremont Press about Historic bars of Chicago, a free month of working out at Bucktown Fitness Club, a print from Jackson Junge Gallery, or even a 2010 Pipeline Reader Appreciation Music Mix CD with any $10 donation.
This is where I host the latest weekly issue of The Wicker Park Bucktown Pipeline.