I called Watergirl at around 1pm on my way to run errands, and wanted to let her know that I had thought about it and finally just given up and was willing to go ad free starting the 15th, and that was when I had learned she had posted about it this morning. We had talked about it yesterday, and either through miscommunication or sensing weakness, Watergirl struck while the iron was hot (and I am glad she did).
At any rate, if you are unaware, Watergirl has been on Team No Ad for two years and not hesitant to make the switch or coax me into making the switch. I understand why- they’re ugly, irritate some people, and she thinks the website will function better without them. All of these are valid opinions, and given how much trust I have in her opinions on these matters, not things I dismissed lightly. She is also of the belief that the website can easily be user funded and there will never be liquidity issues.
I, on the other hand, am resistant for a variety of reasons. Obviously, my name is on the bill, so that is one reason. Another reason is that ads simply do not irritate me. I do not see them. I don’t notice them. I guess I just process information differently. I could read an entire NY Times Sunday Edition and then at gunpoint be asked to name an ad, and, well, that would be the end of me. A third reason is that I look at ads as free money, and especially love it when right wing causes advertise here. Fuck yes- spend your donor money on people who will not click on your shit. Less money for you to spend on other onerous stuff.
Additionally, I do not like being reliant on donations for a variety of reasons- first, I’d rather you spend your money on other shit, I don’t want bills I am on the hook paid for by the whims of others, what happens if traffic dies and donors piss off, what happens if people don’t have the spare money, on and on and on. There is also the fact that I absolutely hate asking for money. I wish I was independently wealthy and could just pay for everything and be done with it. This is not the case, though, although were I independently wealthy I would have fucked off into the woods with the pets and picked up some goats and pigs and hens and other critters and I’d leave the website to someone else and maybe posted once a month when I found some morels or something interesting happened around the house.
I’m rambling and this post has already left the tight form I had when I was mentally composing. I suppose there was also some just resistance from me on principle. I can not state how many times I have fielded emails or read complaints in the comments and run my fingers through my hair and just screamed one variation of the following:
JUST INSTALL A FUCKING ADBLOCKER
WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS BURGER KING FUCKING HAVE IT YOUR WAY
I’M FUCKING SORRY IN THE YEAR 2021 YOU ARE NOT HAVING AN OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE ON YOUR 2011 CHROMEBOOK OR 2013 KINDLE USING AIRPORT WIFI
ADS DON’T USE THAT MUCH FUCKING BANDWIDTH
WHY IS BALLOON JUICE THE ONLY WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET WHERE THESE THINGS HAPPEN
Like that reload bug. I simply can not replicate it. The designer for this website can not replicate it. The ad developers can not replicate it. The only time it happened for the designer was if he left a tab open for like an hour and then it refreshed. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying these things don’t happen and you all are lying. It has happened to enough of you that something is going on, but I just don’t understand why we can not fix it or even figure out what is causing it.
I’ve had all these conversations with Watergirl, and she has consistently been on your side saying it is happening and we should go ad free and that we are not like other websites. And I am here to say, fine. I give up. I am raising the white flag. If you all want to pay for this, that’s how we will do it.
Balloon Juice is simultaneously a special place and a “special” place. We are not like other websites, that is for sure. Somehow we have cultivated an odd melange of anachronistic malcontents, cat ladies, artists and lawyers, grumpy codgers, foodies, hopeless romantics, animal lovers, ne’er-do-wells, people here just to not be fucked with, people here just to avoid other websites, pure of heart charitable do-gooders, mainstream Democrats, and my favorite group, do-gooders who secretly harbor murderous intent but know it is not socially acceptable to admit it but who will allude to it whenever possible. All that and more. And I do not say that in a disparaging way, because I fit into several of those groups.
So, as long as I feel that we can pass and maintain a threshold of funding that will pay the monthly bills, all ads are gone. When we need money to pay for random expenses (additional coding, purchasing apps, paying for email providers, etc.- shit piles up), we’ll rattle the cup.
But I am over stressing about this and over fighting what I feel is a rearguard action and just want the site to be able to exist in perpetuity.
I love you all, just some days more than others.