Nov 032009
 


I’ve mentioned this before but I work in the engineering field. A field that has been completely crushed by the recession/credit crunch and subsequent cease of all things construction related. It’s an industry where all the canaries died many months ago and everyone has been mulling about their cave waiting to die. Without going into too much detail the firm I work for has fought pretty hard to keep all their employees employed and receiving their full pay but they’re starting to relent under the constant barrage.

So. Yesterday we were informed that the the entire company will be taking pay cuts across the board. How much and how long are great unknowns at this time and if it’s anything more than a finger in a crumbling dam is also unknown. Obviously this will be having a considerable affect on the Autopsy Compound’s budget. What does this mean for ninebullets? Immediately, nothing but the reality is that when it gets right down to it, ninebullets is enough of a monthly expense that it’s a line item on a currently being revised budget.

Now, I’ve really tried to keep 9b advertising free over the years out of fear of being sued. I mean, in the end, it’s an mp3 blog thus its “legal” grounds are shaky at best and I’ve always hoped that since there is no income being generated from the site then perhaps people would just leave me alone. That said, times are changing and things on this little corner of the interwebs may have too as well.

Now, both the wife and I agree ninebullets is awesome and provides a decent service to the people that read it. So, here are some scenarios that have been bantered about (I’ll order them from least desirable to most) in order to help offset 9b’s operating costs should it come to that:

1) Do nothing. Hope everything works itself out and if it doesn’t just stop paying the bills and wait for the host(s) to shut everything off.

2) Become an ad whore. Accept ads from the various ticket resellers and what not. Ultimately this would probably evolve into text based ads in the sidebar and a graphical ad in the header and footer.

3) Do a Community Radio style fundraiser where I ask y’all to help keep 9b afloat via donations. I could try and get some donations from some of the labels and bands I have decent relations with as prize packs and what not. Perhaps sell some 9b stickers and shit.

or

4) Somehow convince Google or some other person/corp. with more money than God to bankroll all operating costs as well as cover my lost wages should they reach a point that I have to get a second job.

And that’s it. What are your thoughts? Do any of those feel especially palatable to you guys? Can you think of a scenario I may have missed? I am open to any and all ideas.

Dead Kennedys – Soup Is Good Food

Autopsy IV

I am the founder of ninebullets.net. Aside from being a self-made nillionaire, I'm is also a righteous indignation addict and professional self-loather.

  37 Responses to “THE STATE OF NINEBULLETS.NET (READER INPUT/THOUGHTS?)”

  1. I’m personally all about the community-style fundraisers, which will act as a promo campaign, as well you know. Plenty of people do it in Portland, and it’s a really great way to keep people involved. You know we’re all about the local over here. And believe me, I’d promo the shit out of you from this side of the land mass! You guys are better than chicken.

  2. I think fundraisers are a good idea. Also since I work for an internet advertising company I can’t oppose those :D

  3. Hmm–

    What’s the scale of #3? As fellow Portland Communist Lollyrae said, I’d be happy to help but it would all depend on what your needs are. I could live with ads, but would be sad if it limited the mp3′s you could share and/or the content of the site.

    As for #4, make it work!

  4. I like the idea of fundraisers too. I’m hoping to have a benefit concert this spring for my non-profit so maybe I can tie you into it somehow.

    Hopefully this is only a temporary thing for your company. We went to a 20% paycut in February, then in Aug dropped to 50% pay plus they no longer covered insurance or 401k matching. This month, we’re only at a 40% cut with insurance being covered again.

    If all else fails, you can always auction the tasteful nudes…

  5. You guys are better than chicken.

    Thanks for the compliment…but if it’s fried chicken that’s been in a refrigerator overnight and it’s breakfast time…well, nothing is better than that…

    What’s the scale of #3?

    Total operating of ninebullets per year runs around the 500 dollar mark….240/yr to Amazon. 60/yr to the podcast host & 200/yr for hosting.

    As for #4, make it work!

    no. shit.

    you can always auction the tasteful nudes…

    there is that! Weiner shots! 5 Dollars.

  6. So $5 donation gets us a new 9B sticker?

    That would get you started and isn’t a real hardship on any of us. Just one less beer.

  7. So $5 donation gets us a new 9B sticker?

    That’s one thought. I would have actually put something up about that today but I don’t currently have any stickers at all.

  8. well, i’m admittedly illiterate when it comes to running podcasts and ad-funded blogs, but if paid ads work, why not partner with locally owned, independent businesses (whether music-related or not) rather than going for ticketsellers? local restaurants, friends who have independent businesses, that sort of thing. of course, i have no idea what your costs are and therefore how much ad fees would be, but if it’s nominal and you could provide a low-fee ad service for enough local businesses, it might help offset some of your out-of-pocket.

    you could also do the “if you like what we do, donate!” type of thing… i actually did something similar when i was in school, i set up a paypal account strictly for donations from friends, family, and any random internet stalkers who might want to contribute to my tuition and/or coffee habit. that way, you aren’t charging for the service you provide, but people who enjoy it and think it’s worth a few bucks can donate as they are financially able to. and you aren’t making a profit, it’s just going to offset production costs. make sense?

  9. I also dig the fundraiser idea. I’m sure you have enough readers that would toss in a little $$ every once in a while to help out. Put up a Paypal link and see what happens. Your type of blog is the future for music- it’s the best way for new bands to get reviews and, frankly, get heard. We as music fans and musicians have to support this type of media any way we can to keep you guys around.

    I vote fundraisers and donations. Or maybe throw some more shows and take a small cut for your time, energy and promotional efforts (if you have the time & energy, that is).

    As for ads, I bet some bands would LOVE to have a small flyer/poster on your site somewhere promoting an upcoming show, release, or tour. I’m also sure bands would fork over a little $$ from their ‘marketing budget’ if it meant extra promo. I know my bands would, and your readers would probably be thankful that they’re seeing ads for bands’ upcoming shows/releases instead of ads for Viagra and Lending Tree…..

    As someone also in the construction industry (up in Chicago where it’s baaaaaaad), I feel your pain. I got the paycut in June and I’m still hanging on for dear life, but I feel worse for the architects and engineers; we aren’t sending them any work, because there is nothing to build!

    Good luck.

  10. I vote for the fundraiser idea. Who wouldn’t want a 9b tote bag?

  11. fundraising and running web ads for Tampa/St. Pete independent businesses.

    maybe a “homemade music” competition of original submissions, one per entrant. top ten songs go on a podcast downloadable for $5 on pay pal, all proceeds to continued stewardship of 9B.

  12. actually you might combine a couple or three of those ideas. selling stickers, doing the donation thing, and also getting some of those bands together once a year for a benefit. they owe you something for all the props. god knows you’ve cost me hundreds of dollars buying their cd’s. (yeah I still buy shit). the new lucero and bottlerockets are being worn out in my player since being released. whatever it takes, I’ll be sending some of my cash your way. I know I won’t be alone either.

  13. I vote for the fundraiser idea. I would KILL for a 9b tote bag!

  14. Thanks for the ideas guys.
    I am afraid there won’t be any 9b totes since it would actually require free funds to get the purchased to begin with .

    But, there may be a sticker sale / Fundraiser on the horizon.

  15. #3 sounds like the way to go for me, good luck whatever you go with

  16. Sell stickers and maybe 9B T-shirts??

  17. I have my own screen printing shop and would do up some badass t’s on credit. On three conditions-
    1- They gotta be black shirts as its my gang color.
    2- None end up in the hands of those Portland commies.
    3- You don’t tell anyone the sweet deal I gave you as I don’t want every band in Florida asking me about it!

  18. If you made up a design and uploaded it to a site like cafepress, there wouldn’t have to be any initial outlay of cash and you could put your design on a variety of products. And if no one likes any of them and never buys, you’re not out any money at all.

    Also, I am a button addict, if you sold little $1 buttons I would definitely buy. http://www.mushycat.com/ does great work and will give you a discount on big orders.

    I like fundraisers.

    Also, what the hell are you paying Amazon for? Are you already doing the Amazon referral program? My sister is the editor over at bookslut.com, and I know at times the Amazon referral program bankrolls a significant portion of her hosting costs. She also sells ads, but will be the first to tell you that it’s a pain in the ass. She has also at times asked artist friends to create designs for her which she then put on t-shirts and such at cafepress to raise funds.

  19. I’m down with #3. Seems like WMNF has made it work for a long time in this community. By the way, I am a director of a national engineering firm…hit me up on my email and we can cuss and discuss.

  20. Hey Chairman of the Peoples State of Spotucky…hit me up on email: autopsy4@gmail.com

  21. Accept a standing offer for free hosting…there’s got to be one around here somewhere…

  22. Actually, I meant 1″ buttons, not $1 buttons. Not sure how I made that exchange when typing.

    Also, in case of harder times ahead, what allowed my sister to make the jump from supporting her website to supporting herself was freelance writing. I don’t know if most venues would consider you too niche, but it might be worth your time to write up some column proposals and shop them around…

  23. Take orders for Ninebullets.net shirts..when you collect the money have the shirts screen printed. I can gurantee you that I will buy at least 2, and one for my lil man if you can get toddlers sizes. If you can get them screened for around 10 bucks (if bulk) you can sell each at 20 or 25 bucks..Just a thought.

  24. I’d hate to see you take any $$ from bands/labels for advertising, just muddies the waters a bit too much for a critical blog.

    I also dig the fundraiser idear. If your overall yearly cost is $500 i’d glady pay 5% of your costs by giving you 2 bucks and change a month. Find 19 more buddies and you’re set.

    Just set up a pretty little Paypal button to donate and lets do this thing…

  25. Dude, I know this tune all too well… I agree with WhiskeyTango. Throw up a PayPal donate button, ask your readers to help out and see what you can come up with. I know MBR will help with that we can! Stay up! (As Joran would say)

  26. Set up a donation button, and more importantly a recurring donation/subscription button. 2, 3 or 5 bucks a month are common, I send that off to a few sites every month.

  27. Oh, if you go fundraiser, gelaskins allows custom orders now. laptop, phone/celphones skins with the Nb logo…
    https://www.gelaskins.com/create.php

  28. Go the donation/fundraiser route. I’ll make sure and do my part. I hit this site up daily and have found a ton of good music because of it. If that isn’t worth a few bucks I don’t know what is.

    No matter what please please please keep doing what you’re doing!

    Good luck with the job situation. I know in the grand scheme of things this site is down your list a couple notches (rightfully so). It’s dark days out there now but it will turn around just have to keep our heads above water and keep paddling.

  29. I hear ya man. Tough times here too. A labor of love for sure.

  30. Just now seeing this for the first time. Sorry for the shit at work. We’re going through the same thing here, although pay cuts/layoffs have yet to hit me (knock on wood). Personally, I would prefer you accepting donations and staging the occasional fundraiser rather than accepting paid ads from companies. The exception would be if a band or company you genuinely liked offered to pay for ad space. Like if Skipper’s Smokehouse said they’d like to advertise for two months. Skipper’s is rad so you’re not selling your soul, you’re scratching each other’s back.

    I also like the idea of selling merch. Maybe not so much stickers, but if you could get the scratch together to buy a run of shirts, you could make a decent profit to keep the site up.

    Good luck with everything.

  31. Hate NPR-syle fundraisers. But selling a product for a mark up is something I can get behind. You do a great service and I think we can can all support you, particularly if we get something back, wheather its a sticker, t-shirt or tote.

    Never been to Portland, hear great things about it but don’t understand why it is filled with commies.

  32. Go Nascar and get sponsorships from small companies you respect that want the Ninebullets demographic. Maybe they sponsor certain posts and get a small web ad. Off the top of my head there are small breweries all across the country, national venues that specialize in indie-country, Justin boots, boutique guitar makers, custom bike builders, hot sauce companies etc. What do you think is cool other than the music that you post. We trust your taste. Only seek endorsements you would be proud of and we won’t care. From a marketing standpoint, the people who like the music you post make a great niche audience that people will pay for. The future of internet marketing is targeting very specific niche demographics and charging for it. You have a great niche. You just need to sell it and not piss us off your audience in the process. You could turn a profit and get free beer out of it. If you get American Apparel ad on here I’ll puke though.

  33. I really like the 9b t-shirt idea, we all could get the word of mouth going when we wear ‘em to local shows! And then a PayPal donation button as a backup.

  34. I’ll buy t-shirts, tote bags, etc. I just want to see this continue.

  35. Yeah i agree with the merch idea, i’d definetly buy a 9bullets tote or shirt!

  36. be a shame if you go tits up just as i start visiting! do you get paid for putting the ads on, or just when someone clicks on ‘em? lot of people have ad block in firefox, so wouldn’t even see them, but that could defeat your purpose.

    the paypal button is a good idea, but then does that give away your id to The Man? ( i too have the sue fear)

    linked you up on my site. that may garner you 1 extra visitor.

    2 if my parents internet is working again. why do they keep breaking it?!

  37. oh, and try drop.io for your podcast. $10 a year for each 1GB of storage, links for download and inline players and RSS updates.

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