Chatter: On money scheme, you deliver tough love

An occasional peek at what you’re chattering about. In today’s edition: mixed reviews of my effort to make a buck through advertising sales, and a voluntary subscription fee of $5 per quarter.

I thought my favorite tough-love mom (left) was channeling anonymous comments when I read the following, “I have to ask: Have you not been job hunting since you took the buyout? Are you just now trying to figure out how to make a living? I’m sure living the life in Europe over the summer was fun, but if you’ve spent the last 10 months mostly doing this blog and not figuring out your future I have to question your wisdom. Please tell me I’m wrong.”

Then, someone sounding like Sparky (?!), quickly came to my defense: “Let the man take a vacation! After putting many years into a career with Gannett, I’m sure he needs time to de-stress and get his bearings. I know I would (will).”

But really touching: Many, many readers were extra generous in buying subscriptions — including one who wrote: “I’m in for $20. That’s half of the co-pay I pay my therapist and I have gotten as much or more relief out of reading this blog as I have from anything else. Thanks for giving us a place to speak up and speak out.”

Thank you all! XOX!

Join the debate — or start a new one, in Real Time Comments.

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

[Image: Legendary mother Joan Crawford, portrayed in 1981’s Mommie Dearest. My real mom — hi, Raine! — is the world’s best!]

7 Responses to “Chatter: On money scheme, you deliver tough love”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Jim Hopkins, 51, was a writer and editor at the Gannett group, which publishes USA Today among other titles, where Hopkins worked for 20 years. Lately, Gannett has been firing everybody. Hopkins among them. So he’s started a blog about Gannett, selling Google ads and soliciting “voluntary subscriptions” through paypal.

    Today, Hopkins set himself a challenge: Make $24,000 from blogging by the end of the year, or “all bets are off.” So far, he’s raised $315 through voluntary subscriptions, and about 15 cents from Google ads, which really do pay appallingly.

  2. rmichem Says:

    Jim, before ANYBODY, SHOULD SEND YOU ANY MONEY> I believe that their are a few questions, that you should answer. 1,How much, money already, have you put into this blog? 2, Where did you come up with the 24 thousands, dollars figure you said you will need? 3,How much time, per day, do you spend on this blog? 4, Any money that come in to your blog> How are you going to set it up? Are you going to keep it as part of your personal living expediencies? Are you going to set up a separate sets of books,? Are you going to maybe set up any kind of legal no-profit deal? 5, What other income do you have(IRA, royalties from pass writing, a trust fund)? Outside of Google, ads, what other funding have you tried to obtain?

  3. Anonymous Says:


  4. Jim Hopkins Says:

    10:23 a.m.: 😉 This is EXACTLY how a USA Today editor would greet a reporter’s business travel request.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Can we all chip in here and offer 10:20 a blogspot buyout?

  6. Matt Neistein Says:

    Jim, I must say you’ve run into my huge problem with the whole “new journalism” paradigm people are imagining for the Internet, i.e., specific blogs or news sites with hyperlocal content staffed by a few (at best) reporters/editors/whatever: where’s the money?

    Your blog has gotten good press and good traffic numbers, and you certainly have my respect for the job you’ve done. And that’s gotten you enough money to still qualify for food stamps. So if I start a hyperlocal, informative Web site about, say, the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, using all my journalistic skills and experience, it still won’t support me as an adult human being, let alone if I have a family.

    Will such sites eventually make money? No doubt. Do they now? Very rarely. So what happens to the huge gap between when newspapers regress and purge thousands of journalists and when blogs like yours become successful businesses that can support their owners and/or staff?

    I find it amusing when progressive journalists – primarily in academia – shout that all you have to do is set up a site, learn to shoot some video and go into business for yourself as a 21st century newsperson. Sure, it sounds easy … as long as you have enough upfront capital to set it all up and tide yourself over for a couple of years (at least) until the money begins to trickle in.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    rmichem, I’m the one who sent in the $20 cited.

    We don’t need you to decide for us whether we should or should not be sending Jim money. Last time I checked, I’m over the age of 21.

    I have two words for you: Shut up.

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