Hello dear readers,
As many of you may know, we went through a massive change over the past month. It was something that we not only wanted, but something that we needed to do, but making these changes wasn’t easy nor was it cheap. While we’re proud of everything PopOptiq (formerly Sound On Sight) has accomplished over the years, the various challenges inherent in running an independent website in a crowded publishing environment makes it very difficult to pay the bills. Our hosting costs have risen steadily and the site’s current source of steady income is simply not enough. In switching from SOS to PopOptiq, we knew we would take a hit, but we just didn’t think it would be this bad. We’ve worked very hard over the past eight years and we’ve never once asked any of our readers for donations, but at the moment we are left with no choice, and so we’ve started a fundraising campaign over at IndieGogo in the hopes that you, our beloved readers can lend a helping hand.
Our primary goal remains what it has always been, and that is to ensure that we can keep the lights on. With each new upgrade—added writers, the new domain name, each superior redesign, each new hosting service, each new podcast—the costs have steadily mounted. In addition, our current annual costs, which include bandwidth-hosting and site maintenance, have also increased. Dedicated servers don’t come cheap and due to the amount of bandwidth and disk space we use up, we can barely keep up.
Since PopOptiq/Sound On Sight‘s inception, the pop-culture website sector has seen the downfall of multiple major players. Over the past two years alone, several independent sites were acquired by media conglomerates—some were subsumed into pre-existing websites—and many, many, others simply collapsed. And well, we don’t want to be added to the list.
We are looking to raise $5000. Of that amount, $4000 will be used to pay for our hosting services for the next two years and the remaining balance will be used to pay what we still owe for our current redesign, as well as last month’s hosting package. In reaching our goal, we estimate that our expenses will be covered well into 2017, allowing us to concentrate on doing what we do best, providing content, without the constant threat of shutting it all down. I can’t tell you just how stressful it is for each of the editors every month, knowing that we need a certain amount of traffic and a certain number of published articles in order to keep the lights on.
Truthfully, most of us here at PopOptiq are not comfortable asking for a handout, but we simply have no choice. That said, we justify our request because we do offer a free service. We offer no subscription fees nor do we charge anyone to listen to any of our award-winning podcasts. And we believe our site holds value. Many of our writers have gone on to use their experience in writing for PopOptiq to help break their way into a career in journalism and film criticism. Some have gone on the become members of the OFCS, others have landed jobs with major publications, and a few have even gone on to make independent features. More importantly, many of us have become good friends over the years.
We understand that not every one of you is able to make a donation for whatever reason, but for those of you who enjoy reading our articles and reviews, and for those of you who enjoy listening to any one of our podcasts, we ask that you consider donating whatever you can. And of course, we are offering perks for those of you who donate certain amounts. All of the info can be found at the link below. Thank you again for all your support and here’s hoping we stick around for another eight years!