I’ve been running this site for twenty years now (I look so young!) and as we begin the third decade and the third reading I thought I’d try something new – I’ve set up the ability to financially support the site, using Ko-fi.

Why, and why now? you might ask.

First, it’s never cost a huge amount to run the site – somewhere around US$15 (£13) per month for the website hosting – and I was happy to do that because I find it interesting and enjoyable. But the new email list provider for the daily diary emails costs money, as do they all. For a list of our size, currently just over 500 people, and the integration required to automatically send the daily emails, it costs US$29 per month, which is more than I’d be happy to pay on my own. Some other services would cost much more.

Second, even if I’d wanted to ask for financial contributions when the site started it wasn’t easy to do so. It was the very, very early days of PayPal, for example, which has never been a pleasant experience. Some people have kindly bought me gifts of books over the years (decades!) for which I remain very grateful, but anything else was always tricky to manage.

It’s only over the past few years, with the rise of Patreon and similar services, that it’s become easier, and more acceptable, to ask for donations, payments and subscriptions.

So, I thought it was worth a try. I’m not sure how it’ll work, or if this is the best way to do it! But we’ll see. Ko-fi seems friendly and fairly simple. It allows for one-off donations, monthly subscriptions, and pay-what-you-want payments for both.

So if you enjoy the site, or the emails, or the Twitter and Mastodon accounts, and feel like contributing something, that would be appreciated! Contribute on Ko-fi.

But absolutely do not feel obliged to. Everything about the site will remain free and nothing’s going to disappear behind a paywall. This is entirely voluntary and you’re extremely free to carry on enjoying everything as before. I won’t be visibly highlighting users who have contributed (like with a symbol next to usernames), because I don’t want to create any kind of hierarchy.

If you have any thoughts about this, do feel free to post a comment here, in the discussion group, or privately to me by email.


Third Reading

Carol D  •  Link

Hi Phil - this is entirely appropriate and long overdue. We can never repay you for your time and dedication in creating, maintaining and improving this astonishing resource, but we can at least make sure it's not costing you cash as well. Happy New Year and Happy New Diary!

Linda C  •  Link

Phil, I was trying to make a donation but it said my security number on the credit card was incomplete which it wasn’t. Not sure how to proceed.
Linda in Michigan

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Hi Linda. I'm not sure what to do I'm afraid, as there's no way I'm able to change the forms on Ko-fi. I can only suggest double-checking your card number and the three-digit CVC number are correct. Sorry, but thanks for the thought even if you don't succeed!

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