Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wanted: A New Business Model

The wolf at the doorWell, the wolf is approaching our door again.

My current employer has been hit hard by the financial crisis, and after two and a half years of steady work, I will be unemployed again before midsummer.

This isn’t a fund-raising post. We’re due for one of those soon enough, and you’ll know it when it gets here, because I’ll haul out the tip jar and make a big fuss about it.

This is just an invitation to help me brainstorm a new business model for Gates of Vienna.

I’ve been fortunate with my latest job: the people I work with are easygoing and professional, the hours are flexible, and my boss is a right-wing extremist like me, so hiding my Islamophobic tendencies at work has not been required.

But all good things must come to an end.

If I have to face a long commute again, or take on a difficult and stressful job, or work long hours, then posting here will be likely to suffer.

I enjoy managing Gates of Vienna and its related activities, even though it takes virtually every waking moment when I’m not working at my real job. If I had my druthers, I’d earn my bread doing this job instead of computer programming.

Unfortunately, nobody makes a living at blogging, at least not this kind of blogging.

You all have been habitually generous, and your contributions meet the running costs of this blog and help finance a road trip now and again so that I can attend various Counterjihad functions. But there’s no way to expand this to a level that would eliminate the necessity of a real job, especially given the current recession, when everyone’s finances are under severe stress.

Still… I can’t help but wonder if there might be a better way to do this, one that could raise the level of financial support so that I could eke out the rest through part-time work.
- - - - - - - - -
I have a recurring fantasy about a Gates of Vienna magazine. I can just see it now: a glossy cover like City Journal, with interior illustrations by Arnold Roth and Ismael Roldan and other accomplished artists. All your regular favorites would be featured in its pages — Fjordman, El Inglés, Paul Weston, etc., with material translated by the usual suspects from important European publications. Contributors would even get paid — what an idea!

Of course, readers would have to shell out a few bucks for each copy. Bummer!

But who in the world would advertise in such a xenophobic rag? Gun dealers, ammo manufacturers, and Christian bookstores — that would be about it.

Oh, well — I can dream, can’t I?

While I dream away this cold and dreary Thursday afternoon at the end of April, readers are invited to help me embellish my fantasy: what sort of business model would you suggest?

And while you’re thinking, I’ll leave you with a song by Robert Hunter. It describes what might be called “The Barack Hussein Obama Business Model”:

Talking Money Tree
by Robert Hunter


Late last night layin’ in bed
I found the answer to all my ills
A great big tree growing green and free
full of ten-thousand-dollar bills

Well, I went downtown to buy some wheels
Bought every car in town
Bought all the gas and all the oil
so we all could drive around

I bought the big department store
and everything inside
You could back up your truck and fill it up
The doors were open wide
          (It was company policy… we did it all the time)

I bought the park and I hired a band
to play every day for free
I bought the bars and the trolley cars
and the telephone company

You could call all day, say: How’s it goin?
and never have to pay
Send telegrams to your wife and friends
saying: You don’t have to work today!

But after a while I got so bored
I just gave the whole thing back
All I kept was a bar-and-grill
by the northbound railroad track

You can fall by here any time of night
or any time of day
The second cup of coffee’s free
but the first one, you got to pay!

34 comments:

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

You could put Dymphna to work as a scullery maid.:)

Charles Martel said...

Baron,

What line of work are you currently in? What sort of work are you seeking? You live in Virginia near Charlottesville?

Man, I wish I had a business in Virginia. I'd hire you in a second.

Andy said...

Baron I'm with you & Dymphna, and will hit that tip jar on demand. BUT, my place was downsized last month. Half the desks around me are empty now, pay is cut 30%, workload is higher even though we have fewer customers paying just part of their bills three months late.

This is really bad. Please don't put money into anything for least nine months.

moderntemplar said...

Hmm, a magazine wouldbe great. It would have more of a reach for those that don't read online. Not sure about the ads, though. What about a book? Should get you some money.

babs said...

Hey listen... This site is very impoRtant to me. I no longer pay for a dead tree edition of the local prooganda. I think I need to support our alternative media as should all of you.
If you want to receive the daily news download and you want to recieve the daily commentary then YOU NEED TO PAY FOR IT!
Hit the tip jar for God's sake!

moderntemplar said...

On second thought, I say you begin your political career now. The GOP is in disarray and I saw you start a new party based on an anti-jihad platform. I guarantee you'll become the 3rd biggest party in a few short years. It could be similar to the PVV in Netherlands.

Baron Bodissey said...

Thanks everybody for your support. Especially Babs!

Charles Martel --

I'm primarily a VB & database programmer, but I'm so old now that finding new work in my field may be tough. Companies want young punks and not old farts in this line of work.

OTOH, I have 35 years of experience! :D

Dymphna said...

Nodrog, you must be a mind-reader. I was in the scullery biz for quite a few years before I became disabled.

Don't knock, it, dear token liberal of GoV. Maid's work pays well, you set your own hours, and your customers are always glad to see you. There is also no paperwork.

In every respect, it beat the heck out of social work, which has none of these features.

All that time I thought I should try to save the world...when all I really was put here for was to organize people's closets and edit their words.

These two jobs are similar. They mostly involve getting rid of things or putting them in the right order. The trick is to know what to save and where to put it.

Have you learned that one yet, sweet Nodrog? Where to put things? I hope so. Now take your foot out of your mouth and bow your head in shame for making fun of a job I did brilliantly for a long time.

Manual labor is honest and maid's work is something that makes the one who pays you feel grateful.

Once you remove your foot from your cake hole, you can simply put in on the floor; I don't require that you put it in any other orifice.

Your remark alone is self-punishment enough.

Ex-Dissident said...

Talk radio? If a fool like Hannity can make money from this, it must not be that difficult.

Ex-Dissident said...

i would much rather listen to you.

Takuan Seiyo said...

I am sorry to hear the bad news. GoV is an outstanding blog, distinguished in not only its textual content but its aesthetic presentation too. Normally, an undertaking at that level could not be carried out without seed money and paid staff. Given that the intellectual and aesthetic discernment levels required to appreciate the joys of GoV limit its audience to an elite and cosmopolitan group, two solutions are theoretically possible.

If it weren’t that the government is on the side of Islamic expansion in this contest (whatever it may say or ineffectually do in places where it doesn’t matter), there might be international advertisers bold enough to spend money to reach the GoV audience. And the audience might want to help GoV by filling out suitable marketing questionnaires, if anonymously.

In the current political climate, that is probably impossible. But that still leaves philanthropy. Think about the biggest donors to liberal politics, practically all Jews and WASPS. Names like Haim Saban, George Soros, Peter Lewis, the Sandlers, Stephen Bing, John Sperling, Winthrop McCormack etc. Unless the work of GoV succeeds, these people will be the first to go. Are all of them this stupid?

Maybe there are other criteria for identifying a proper angel, but surely it has to be someone who has already made his money and is therefore not vulnerable to market forces and government pressures. Someone who is a Europhile. John Walker, maybe?

One way or another, some angels will rise to support our side, rather than support their own extinction. The only question is whether not too late.

laine said...

A career in politics would be ideal for such an intelligent conservative and age is no barrier. There has to be a giant housecleaning of the throw-the-bums-out variety because the quality of present politicians is at low ebb. The founder of the Minutemen is running in Arizona against John McCain.

Unfortunately, this would still require financial backing.

Wait. The media would excoriate any candidacy by cherry picking this blog. How about hiring out as a consultant to a conservative candidate with money? You would need someone to make an introduction. Are there six degrees of separation out there that can be unified into an intro between wealthy politician in need of fresh ideas and intelligent conservative adviser?

I'm sure between the Baron and Dymphna you could come up with a vote-getting Republican platform that is presently MIA and fresh blood is needed among speechwriters as well.

Russel said...

Baron, write the book.

PatriotUSA said...

Baron,
I will gladly do what can for the tip jar. I am disabled and can only work part time and have a family, wife back in college, a fan restoration business I am trying to build. I have blessed with new job that actually pays 45%more than I was getting at last job. I am very selective about who i support but GofV rocks. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I was out of work for 6 years and we used up ALL our savings. I consider it an honor to assist you however I can.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Yeah, a book could work. "How I bame a right-wing extremist nutball who's visited more countries than a liberal" or perhaps "People like us own the guns."

I wish I could write that second one...

Anyhoo, I haven't had much luck with business up to now. I have ideas but whenever I try to put them into practice they don't work I suspect I'm thinking in the wrong direction. You may be thinking in the wrong direction as well... in a recession, there are boundless opportunities for novel business ideas to flourish. I know of a guy who survived the 70s by hauling a bunch of whale bones into his garden to make a tunnel-style "gate", for which he charged people a pound a time for the opportunity to walk through. Without wanting to sound like a walking cliché the opportunities are there, you just have to abandon the current way of thinking about what constitutes "work".

Someone like you could do well on radio, or TV. Set up a "retreat" for bloggers wanting to experience the rural life. You could get them chopping wood and cleaning the house. Or, maybe, copy the jamaat al fuqra guys and set up an army. :D Maybe not...

Beyond that I'm out of ideas.

El said...

wish i had something clever to suggest, but i can only reiterate what others have said about finding a wealthy sponsor. i don't know how much you need trickling in from such sources to make ends meet, but a single interested party with a healthy enough bank balance could make all the difference.

problem is, if such people existed, you would probably already know about them, of course.

Czechmade said...

Baron,

You might move to Europe. Losing jobs all around means also a new educated migration within the West itself. We might organize and enlist people with special talents.

Connecting the dots within Europe would be an easy and rewarding job.

The ranks of people thinking our way are growing. We might identify spots in Europe to give us a special education in our sense - on regular volunteer or other basis.

In dire times the culture and self-education - self-association gets more importance. Think of the changing climate and our fast reactions - immediate anticipations.

I do not think we can really use our current political tools. We need education and meetings - to create a specific milieu giving tested powers and honesty to the future political folks.

Czechmade said...

Imagine how many doors in Europe are open for you. Free. Count on Prague.

A movement means moving.

Czechmade said...

An educated American is perfectly neutral all over Europe. Overall pro-European indeed. Very few people think of such a moderating job. They do not have your contacts and education.

The leftists are very good at moving and organizing with little money - within North America/Europe.
They influence even people with no real leftist background through arts, movies, fun, events, lectures, happenings etc.

We should be better at it.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Dear Dymphna, what's the difference between a "cakehole" and a "piehole?"

Another possibility for the Baron - unemployment insurance.

Dymphna said...

@Czechmade

I read a beautiful description of Prague recently...made it sound like a great place to live.

And the Baron claims that if I werer ever to visit Denmark or the north of England, he'd have a hard time getting me home.

Our family rule, though, is that we bloom where we're planted as a family. He feels there is too much isolation when people move far away from one another and aren't able to see their kin on a fairly regular basis, or be there to help out as only family can.

Thus,the Baron's family and mine are all within a few hours of where we live. The only exception are some cousins I grew up with and they are all scattered every which where.

That rule may fade in the next generation, but I hope not since it's been in place for a few generations already (except for me, being a first generation American).

BTW, this is a very inexpensive place to live, except for the large bite our ravenous government takes out of everything.

Baron Bodissey said...

Thanks to everybody for all the ideas, suggestions, and entertaining commentary.

Nodrog -- Unemployment insurance is not open to me, since I am a contractor, and not an employee. I shall have to continue to live on my wits, as I have done for 27 of the last 31 years (I was an employee for 4 of those years).

Czechmade --

I love Europe, but I would pine for Virginia if I had to leave permanently. I found this out when I lived in England during my adolescence. Even though I became very attached to Yorkshire, I pined for my homeland.

When I had to work up in The Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (that is, Northern Virginia), I used to pine for the backcountry. Driving home every weekend brought a sense of liberation.

The ideal job would require me to travel to various European countries several times a year, but not to actually live there. Best of both worlds.

Avery Bullard said...

It's an awkward situation. You would like to make some money from your blog but you also want to influence the general public. If you require paid registration then you will only be speaking to the choir.

What about becoming an Amazon Affiliate with direct links to specific books? Or contacting publishers of books you like an asking them to advertise here? You could keep the blog material open to the public but charge a couple of dollars a year for the right to comment. None of these ideas will bring in much money but it might help a little.

Zenster said...

Baron, please check your inbox. I have sent you a message detailing several different fund raising methods.

Included are references to a few other long term projects that have the potential to go out to six or nine figures. Dymphna expressed interest in my idea about how creating wealth in the Third World could discourage immigration to the West. I have included my PowerPoint presentation that details this novel program.

The idea has need of some very basic programming skills and the eventual creation of an idea exchange board, much like this one, save with some security features.

Nodrog: ... what's the difference between a "cakehole" and a "piehole?".

I would venture that either one is located at the opposite end of the orifice you normally speak out of.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Dear Dymphna,

If you want less money taken out of your paychecks, you should assuredly NOT move to Europe. Or to anywhere else in the "civilized" world, for that matter, unless you move to Italy and cheat on your taxes like many Italians do (including the Prime Minister apparently).

I've heard Somalia and Sudan have low tax rates ... If you moved to the former, perhaps you and the Baron could take up positions in the maritime commerce industry ...

T said...

"I’ve been fortunate with my latest job: the people I work with are easygoing and professional, the hours are flexible, and my boss is a right-wing extremist like me, so hiding my Islamophobic tendencies at work has not been required."

Well, you lucky b******!

"But who in the world would advertise in such a xenophobic rag? Gun dealers, ammo manufacturers, and Christian bookstores — that would be about it."

That's only a matter of time Baron. Suddenly, in a not so distant future, they will all come running. Everybody. Looking for answers to why most european cities have decended into civil war. Urban slaughter houses. Clueless as they are as to 'what happened'. Then they will read. And some of them would might even understand.

You are sitting on a intellectual first-class goldmine of discussions and analysis. Off course, in financial terms, thats irrelevant since your problem is of a short run character. It takes time to dig out the gold.

Anyway, as a start, compiling some of the best discussions and contributions from your blog in books for sale (on the internet) could be ONE (out of many) initiative. I dont know what it could generate but it would be a brillant way to materialize a lot of important issues and points brought forward by Fjordman, El Ingles, yourself and others (if they agree off course). Hell, you could even sign them getting an extra fee....:o)

I dont know. But please dont do anything stupid before asking permission from all of us. The army of midgets.

TB

Czechmade said...

Then create Virginia fan club in Europe.

Many years ago I was thinking of breaking the black magic of US active in Europe by associating with various locations there. It is easy to hate US, but very difficult to do the same if you deal with various states, hating Minnesota or Nevada is a difficult job. How to hate Missouri or Colorado? Impossible. Total failure. Some people wish to hate Europe. But hating Moldavia or Silesia is a really tough job. How to hate Slovenia? Are you ready to sacrifice few years of your life to learn everything including the language for hating them proprely? And how many are ready to appreciate your faithful hate? Can you make some living out of it and get some friends?

I know to some extent India and Germany. I have some idea how to distribute my love or attention there. But generally I have a problem with bigger countries. Where should I focus?

Even Czech Rep. is too big. I am not able to en-com-pass it. I like details...informations and personal contacts. An incredibly tough job.
To say the least.

Robin Shadowes said...

Prague is one of those places I would like to see IRL before I throw in my towel for good if you know what I mean. Seems like Prague has become popular in later years by the Holluweird-crowd since many movies is actually shot on location there. Hostel and Wanted immediately springs to mind. Romania also seems popular but I really hate those movies mostly because it shows so clearly it is shot there because of the overall decay of the place. Looks like the chechz and hungarians has taken better care of their infrastructure and cultural heritage than the romanians.

kitman said...

You need to make an internet shop here at GoV, selling all kinds of counterjihad books and Dvds. And then throw in a bit of the cool merchandising with each package you sell...

I think one of the problems is that europeans don^t find it as natural to tip as americans. Europeans prefer "paying more" to "giving tips"... don^t ask me why, its psychological.

Anyway I am sure that all your readers would love to buy all kinds of books, and materials from GoV - especially if it could be somewhat coordinated with reviews by some of the usual contributors, such as fjordman ingles etc....

In a wider perspective this kind of bookshop, would also pave the way for targeted marketing which also benefits readers, because it is within their field of interest...

I think it might work very well, and it doesn^t involve that much risk or cash upfront

all the best kitman

Baron Bodissey said...

kitman --

That's a good idea. We could upgrade our Cafe Press site to "premium", which would allow us to sell a wider range of products.

costin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
costin said...

Baron, you could make a with a "must see/must reed" section with reviews made by you/fjordman/etc of books and documentaries (i have, like... 100 in mind right now, you know them) to convince people they are worth the money.

And the book, oh yes! I would love to see one about what GoV does!
About the donations, I know Romanians did a lot of stealing on the internet, so I really dont know if they are accepted, but I would for sure buy a T-Shirt with Holder Danske, or 2. What I would love is one those GoV tin cups to drink my beer from it!

Anyway, life without GoV would be strange, so you have to think of something! :)

I am totaly not the kind of person to give business advise, but you dont need me for that.

islam o' phobe said...

kitman,

You're right about tipping, I think.

I always feel awkward giving a tip - not because I'm tight with money but because to me it's the kind of thing a character in a movie would do and I don't feel much like Humphrey Bogart most days.

Conversely, James Lileks recently documented an instance, during the Great Depression I think, wherein an American business assured its customers that they need not give tips, going so far as to call it "un-American".

Clearly tipping is American or there would be no need to assert otherwise. It's not like anyone needs to be reminded that tipping is un-Spanish or un-Welsh.

As far as business ideas go I would suggest selling postcards online. Virginia is a beautiful place (I imagine) so why not photograph it for others?

kitman said...

I just had another idea for the bookshop.

Somewhere down the road I think it would be good if GoV looked into the different kinds of online-publishing.
I think a Counterjihad Summit yearbook. Complete with all speeches and transcripts of the debates (ommiting sensitive information off course) would appeal to many readers in a nice hardback with vilks sobiesky drawing priding the cover.

It would also be natural if fjordmans books and books by other anonymous writers were bought through GoV.
A "GoV readers digest" once a year with the best and most intense debates, is also something I might buy...

Anyway, I rambling now.

All the best

kitman