With 16500 email readers and tens of thousands readers online, my WDRL project seems to be of big interest for many people. Understandable if we take into account how hard it is to keep up to date with web development technology. But how is this continuous research project financed? Mostly by myself. And that’s a problem.
After four in terms of acceptance successful years, my project is still constantly under-funded. Now if you take into account that I spend many hours each week on writing a summary for thousands of readers and therefore, as a freelancer, am investing real money into running this, there’s a real risk that at some point I will loose interest in the project as I’m working for free here.
A few years ago, when Šime Vidas decided to change his webplatformdaily.org project to a subscription-only model to access content, I talked to several very much known people in the front-end community. Most were very sad, some even upset that this great resource wasn’t available publicly anymore. They suggested to search for some sponsors instead or show ads.
But what they don’t take into account here: Searching for sponsors, handling sponsorship deals is an effort, too. That means increased work for a business model that could fail from one month to another. You never know if you find a good sponsor next time. Lastly, all these sponsorship deals don’t cover that much money and require analytics and statistics to be sent over to the sponsor. Most sponsors even require you to place prominent links into the resource itself or even exclusive ad-newsletters. This is unacceptable for a publication that wants to be independent and doesn’t want to collect any user tracking data.
I take donations by readers to fund WDRL. Sadly, my average donator count is stuck at around 35 individuals. This means, that about 0.0021% of my subscribers actually support the project with their money. I’m deeply thankful to each individual who gives a little bit of their money to support the content they love to read. ❤️
If we don’t want to loose projects we love, we need to support them with direct money. —Anselm