Pledge Week

Here in the U.S. it’s Pledge Week for our public radio and television stations, and whenever that happens it reminds me that it’s time to beg for money to support IT Conversations. Until we can get more of those big-time underwriters on board, I’m paying all the infrastructure costs (hosting, telecom, etc.) and our awesome partner, Limelight Networks, continues to distribute most of our audio through their worldwide content-delivery network (CDN). But in the spirit of listener-supported audio, we depend on donations from you for all the post-production audio and editorial work done by our Team ITC volunteers.

But if they’re volunteers, I hear you say, how come they need money? Good question. At our current production rate of ten shows per week (~45/month) and a two-person crew for each show, no one gets enough $$ to even dream of quitting his or her day job. But it helps. Your donations to our Tip Jar are a way of saying Thank You to Team ITC, and it encourages them to keep producing our shows in their spare time.

So just take a moment to think about how much IT Conversations means to you. Think of the number of hours you listen each month and how valuable those hours are to you. Then think about how much you’d be willing to pay if we had to charge for our content, and give at least a portion of that amount to our Tip Jar. Not only will the members of Team ITC be most grateful, but you’ll be helping us prove that the concept of listener-supported audio really is sustainable.

FYI, we received nearly $2,000 in the Tip Jar in April (our first month for Team ITC), and distributed nearly half of that to the team members. We held off distributing it all because we anticipated a drop-off in contributions after the first month. Perhaps not surprisingly, many Team members turned down the money and asked us to either keep their share in the pool for others or to donate it to a third party. For April, we gave $200 to the EFF and $160 to the Internet Archive. For the forseeable future we won’t use any of the Tip Jar funds for infrastructure, and none of it goes to me.

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