One year ago today, I asked the readers of kottke.org to become micropatrons and support my efforts in producing the site for a year. Over the course of three weeks, people generously sent in their financial support, giving me enough to pay my salary for the entire year and not have to bug you about it every few days.
So the year is up and I’ve been trying to think about what to say on this occasion for, oh, about six months now, but I’m undecided even now. I guess I’ll start with the important bit.
I’m not going to be asking for contributions again. Part of it has to do with the reasons outlined at the bottom of this post. I haven’t grown traffic enough or developed a sufficient cult of personality to make the subscription model a sustainable one for kottke.org…those things just aren’t interesting to me.
The other big reason is that my life has changed a lot in the past year. Growing a new business with a novel (or at least challenging) business model requires lots of time and energy to build the necessary momentum…basically approaching it with a startup mentality: long hours, work on the weekends, less time to spend with family and friends, making work the #1 priority, etc. My (unstated) intention from the beginning was to approach the site as a startup, but along the way life intervened (in a good way) and I couldn’t focus on it as much as I wanted to. The site became a normal job, a 9-to-5 affair, which meant that I could keep up with it, but growth was hard to come by.
So what’s going to happen with kottke.org? I’m not quite sure at this point. In the short term, it’s going to be taking a back seat to some other things going on in my life. Longer term, who knows? I might look for other ways to fund my efforts on the site or maybe it goes back to being more of a hobby. But there will be posts and links and other things here almost daily, just like there have been for almost 8 years now.
And that leaves approximately everything else, if anything, unsaid. If you’re curious about something related to the end of the micropatron experiment, send me an email with your question. I’ll choose the most interesting and/or representative ones and post my responses to them in a future entry. I’ll give special consideration to questions from micropatrons. Or post your thoughts to your blog, send me a link, and I’ll compile those as well. And as always, your feedback is appreciated via email. (And sorry in advance if I can’t respond to your questions individually, although I’ll try my best.)
 Again, thanks to everyone who contributed for their support. In this age of ad-supported media, it means a great deal to me that you felt strongly enough about kottke.org to support it directly. I’d also like to thank Eyebeam, the companies and people who contributed the fund drive gifts, thelist, Jonah, and Meg for their help and support.
 Since everyone and their uncle has been asking, about 1450 micropatrons contributed $39,900 over the past year…99.9% of that coming during the 3 week fund drive.