Rough Road
Why DF! needs your support
Carl Bussjaeger

It hasn't been such a great month for me personally.

The starter motor on my truck died, and I've been putting off the repair to conserve cash; I'm borrowing a family member's car for errands. And on the 10th...

I'd read an editorial at another site I like, in which the editor was trying to explain why he needs the financial support of his readers by detailing all the work behind the scenes. It occurred to me that such an approach might do some good here at DF!, where donations fell off dramatically. Down to three. I appreciate their help, but I need support from a few more of the 23,000 individual visitors who accounted for over 173,000 in March. And as of the 10th, that need got greater.

I've already mentioned my vehicle problem. On the 10th, I sat down at my computer to write the forementioned explanation. I tapped the Enter key to bring up the display.

No go. Long story short, my computer died.

Some of you know about my poor little laptop. It got a little soggy a year and a half ago, and was only resuscitated with extreme measures. Even so, I no longer had a battery or working CD-ROM drive. That is what I've been producing DF! on since May of last year. I knew I was on thin ice, but I simply didn't feel I had the money to spare for a "luxury" like a fully operational computer.

As of Thursday, I had a tough choice: Fix my truck, and blow off DF! and its 23,000 readers; or get a new computer, crank out another issue, and walk.

As you can see, I chose to keep serving you.

I found a little computer liquidator shop and bought the cheapest desktop they had: An old Pentium II, 266MHz, 64MB RAM computer. It didn't even come with speakers. This will be the computer that DF! gets written on for the foreseeable future.

So I'm broke, I'm grounded, and I'm trying to produce work for you on a relic. See why I need support from all DF!'s readers?

Now let me get back to my original plan to tell you what I'm doing behind the scenes to get this magazine out to you. I've mentioned before that it's a full time job; now I'll explain why that's so.

My "title" here is editor, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Basically my job breaks down into five categories.


    I screen submitted articles. I don't take just anything: articles must be reasonably well written, and applicable to our readership. Sometimes articles almost make it, and I make suggestions or a few changes to make it work. I proofread everything (and still miss things too often). And when nothing suitable comes in, I go out and look for writers to generate something specific. Have you ever tried cajoling anarchists and libertarians of other flavors into meeting a deadline? Cat herding...


    You probably noticed my byline on the occasional article. Sometimes, when I've had a request for information, I can't find anyone else to write the piece. So I do it. That generally calls for a fair bit of research before I can even start the writing proper. And of course I write the Editor's Corner, Freedom History, and handle the Letters to the Editor.

Graphic Arts

    You wouldn't believe some of the illustrations that come in with articles. Where the writer clearly doesn't have the necessary skills to produce legible art... Yep, I do that, too. Perhaps you've noticed that a lot of the graphics lately seem similar in style; now you know why. Sometimes I choose to add graphics when the writer didn't, because I had requests for more illustrations to make how-to articles clearer.

Web Work

    Since DF! isn't a money-making operation, I can't afford to hire a webmaster. So, yep, that's me, too. I format and HTML-code every page you see on this site (not counting archived issues from before my time). Meta tags, customizing feedback and comment forms, setting up DF! or writer's donation links as appropriate. And I upload everything; over a dial-up conection that's usually bogged down at 40K or slower.


    Yepper, I'm the advertising department, too. A tough job, since I refuse to use spam to push DF! or attract advertisers. I exchange links, search out affiliate programs, and field inquiries. I have a rate sheet, but nearly every advertiser has special needs, so I ususally work up custom quotes. Sometimes an advertiser wants a banner ad, but has no art. Uh huh, there I go again; I make up some of our advertisers' banners; gratis, of course.

Whoops! Add a sixth job:


    Such as it is, someone has to do the accounting. Frankly, I wish to heck that you readers would make this a much larger part of the job. <grin>

Have I mentioned that DF! is pretty much a one man operation?

But not totally. Thank goodness for Samuel Paine, our technical guru. He fixes my server screwups, writes and updates the comments script, maintains the server stats script, and does general files maintenance on the server. I would not be able to run DF! as it is without him.

So there you have it, folks. I'm scraping by, working on a wing and a prayer, digging my way deeper into the hole to bring you Doing Freedom! every month. I need your support. Pay up, or I'll mix another metaphor. <grin>

It isn't that tough. I can take credit cards online via Honor, E-Gold, or cash, checks, money orders, or computer gear through snail transport.

The need for financial support is so great that I am again considering going to a subscription model. I think it might work: Every month we're setting new records for visitors and hits. Clearly there's a need for what DF! provides. 23,000 people in March alone can't be wrong. But TANSTAAFL; without support, I'm going to hit rock bottom soon. I'm working my over-sized butt off to get the issues out, but that can only continue for just so long if I can't pay my bills. And I wouldn't mind fixing my truck and getting a computer that was built in this century to produce the magazine.

Please support Doing Freedom!.

Carl Bussjaeger

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