Kottke Quits Contributor Sponsored Blogging After One Year

Posted on February 23, 2006

Blogger Jason Kottke is not going to ask for contributions from his readers this year. Last year Kottke raised a total of $39,900 from about 1,450 contributors. Kottke also says his blog will take a "back seat to some other things" at least in the short term.
I'm not going to be asking for contributions again. Part of it has to do with the reasons outlined at the bottom of this post. I haven't grown traffic enough or developed a sufficient cult of personality to make the subscription model a sustainable one for kottke.org...those things just aren't interesting to me.

The other big reason is that my life has changed a lot in the past year. Growing a new business with a novel (or at least challenging) business model requires lots of time and energy to build the necessary momentum...basically approaching it with a startup mentality: long hours, work on the weekends, less time to spend with family and friends, making work the #1 priority, etc. My (unstated) intention from the beginning was to approach the site as a startup, but along the way life intervened (in a good way) and I couldn't focus on it as much as I wanted to. The site became a normal job, a 9-to-5 affair, which meant that I could keep up with it, but growth was hard to come by.
$39,900 is very high revenues for a single blog in a single year. The contributors were probably encouraged by Kottke's bold move. Kottke said 99.9% of the donations came during the initial three week fund drive. Kottke's blog is ranked high in most of the blog a-lists. He is 23rd on the Techorati 100 with inbound links from over 4,600 blogs.

Most bloggers are proud of the effort Kottke made. Fluid Imagination writes, "So, Kottke, despite the way the experiment ended, I want to say, one blogger to another, 'Nice job, sir.' You made us proud." Andy Wibbels says, "I count it as $30 well spent. Thanks, Jason." However, Backwards City says the Metafilter commentors (posting here) are "beside themselves with glee."

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