This is something all users of free services need to consider. How does a free service survive? Usually, by turning their audience into their product.
Even with Sooke PocketNews, as long as we are heavily dependent on advertisers for an income, we “sell” businesses on our exposure rates with our audience. In other words, they advertise here because you visit here. No, we are not (yet) datamining. We would like to not (ever) have too.
To remain independent, we at SPN heavily urge readers to support their favourite online news providers, whoever it may be.
One cup of coffee a month, that’s all it would take!
If only half of our every-day readers gave a donation equivalent to a nice cup of coffee, SPN could pay a livable income to one individual. Double that, and there’s an employment opportunity. And, yes, we have an easy way to donate.
With enough individual donors, SPN could make that shift from being advertiser-dependent to being owned predominantly by (and therefore primarily accountable to) the readership. Our recent fundraiser proved to be predominantly individual based, with personal donations accounting for about 60% of the funds raised, and 40% to advertisers. That’s the healthy ratio we’d love to carry over into the operational future of SPN.
We more-than-appreciate our advertisers. They have let us bring the news to you for the past three years. We have purposefully made a point of seeking out relationships with advertisers who showcase Sooke, and who live and work in Sooke (so turn your ad blockers off, at least for SPN!). Our advertisers, we believe, contribute to the Sooke-centric value of the content provided on SPN, whether it’s event focused, service oriented, or political in nature.
Ultimately, though, we would love to be mostly accountable to the readership.
Please, consider donating a small amount on an ongoing basis. Set it and forget it… you won’t regret it!