Helping out The Reader

There has been discussion in the past (see this thread and this one) on raising money for The Chicago Reader, our gracious hosts of the SDMB. Ed said that they couldn’t accept donations

I have an idea that may help. Subscriptions to the Reader are available for $95 per year, according to the Chicago Reader website. I realize that’s a little steep for many of you, but in the aforementioned threads there were a good number of posters willing to donate in the $100 range.
In this case, it’s not a donation, you’re going to receive one of the finest alternative weeklies in the country, the home of Uncle Cecil, AND you’ll be helping out the board you love. What do you say, Teemsters? My check is in the mail.

(hopefully I haven’t doomed this thread to extinction by posting it on a Saturday morning, let’s keep it bumped up for the weekday crowd.)

Don’t know if I feel wealthy enough to pony up 100 bucks, but if three more of you paupers would be interested in splitting a subscription and donating it to a public library, I’d be game.


The Reader charges $25 per thousand views in a category (e.g., The Straight Dope). We dopers could pool our financial resources to buy a block of banner ads. Rather than advertising a service or product, we could create artwork to fill the 468 by 60 pixel space at the top of the SD pages.

Since our ‘donations’ would actually buy an advertisement contract, Reader management shouldn’t (would it, Ed?) have a problem with the arrangement, and we would get the blazing new server that we so sorely need.


Hmm, I missed this the first time around, and will give it a proper /bump/ up…August, BTW, where have you been? And must Sledman and I personally invite you to join us for the Ultimate in Brewer Give-aways?

In a world where Real Networks/Major League Baseball can charge $10/year for access to games, why not charge for some or all of SDMB? It used to be that transaction charges would each you up but the Internet offers solutions to that.

Or you could adopt a publishing model: charge only for those who want access to Search and the Archives.

Or the network model (“the value of the network rises in a square to the number of participants”) and charge for access to popular portions, like MPSIMS.

Competition would determine whether or not $10 per year is a fair market value. (Try running your own servers; T-3 links; BB software; and moderators.) And yes, we’d lose some people but there’s a critical mass to make this work.

And there are other ways to make the business model work too, if Ed wants to outdo Gates:
– banner ads in SDMB
– more message boards based on more focused audiences
– culling key contributors for specific areas of expertise (ala

Heck, I’ll move back to Chicago to help make it happen.