June 17.

Via on Apr 24, 2010

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Helpephant!

Get your name, business or favorite cause on the bottom of every page of elephantjournal.com for $9/month

See very bottom of this page to see who’s already joined.

Why become an elephant by June 17?

Click here to join our Grassroots Network that will enable us to stay in business, our editorial content to improve and to become truly independent for the first time.

“Become an elephant’ by June 17—it’s grassroots, independent sustainability or bust for elephantjournal.com + Walk the Talk Show. If you don’t have any cash, you can still ‘become an Ambassador’ by spreading the word to three new elephants.

~

Please consider helping—the money doesn’t go to me (WL) but

> 1/3 to our beginning to pay writers for quality content,

> 1/3 operations,

> 1/3 staff.

I will be paid by ads. Our loan runs out June 17. If we have a foundation of support by then (our breakeven point is 10,000 a month, we’re already at 1500) by then, we’ll continue. If not, well, we’ll stay positive for now (if we do fail, no one will be charged after July 1st).

If you support, we support back by giving name on bottom of every page of our site. You can donate your link to a good cause of your choice, or link your business, or twitter page, or Facebook Page. Only $9/month, and the company we’re going through (not Paypal) is competitive, local, independent, and gives a percentage to good causes as well.

As Treehugger said in their Earth Day shoutout to elephant (they featured WL along with 20 other leading green media types, asking if Earth Day still matters)…

Sustainability or bust!

Click to join: Picture 441

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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15 Responses to “June 17.”

  1. Folsom says:

    So, I really like the idea of Elephant. But lately it seems like your content is uninspired gossip. It says nothing of merit and does little to help with any issues facing our world. It simply says yoga is cool and being quasi-Buddhist is cool and check out how many times we can post something about nudity or sex. Why would I donate money to a for-profit that puts out a lot of uninteresting drivel? I think the only reason I still come back is that I hope you return to the quality work that used to be in your print journal. This is the problem with journalism today – it isn't journalism.

    There are some exceptions of course, you currently have a well-written, worthwhile piece about Bananas and occasionally I see other decent essays.

    Also, it is my opinion that all your pleading for support is only working against you. You should be demonstrating strength as a business, but instead you are telling us how poorly your run your company. Which leads me to ask, why would anyone want to put money into a sinking ship?

    • Folsom, thanks for your honesty. In many ways I agree with you on the first point—blogs generally do have reduced editorial standards, and ours is no exception. To answer your question in the second paragraph, your $9/month will help us pay writers to do quality work.

      • PS: maybe you're only picking up on our articles via Facebook? In which case the gossipy, sexy, silly ones (ironically) are likely the only ones catching your eye. I just reviewed our home page
        http://www.elephantjournal.com/

        and there are 19 articles I'm proud of, at present, only one or two by myself. Being able to pay our writers, and staff to do editing, will only increase the quality of what we can do. As in our days in the magazine, when we had an income (advertising income, which is less available online, still—thus the grassroots appeal that is already nearly 20% sustainable).

        We're far from a sinking ship, unless you and other readers decide we should be so. We can improve, rather, with your support. Let me know what you decide.

    • Hi Folsom.

      As per your comment concerning "Yoga is Cool" articles. Check any of the posts written by myself or the other amazing columnists here at Elephant. Sometimes my posts hit and sometimes they don't but I never post to just post and produce drivel. I try to produce material that engages me as a writer and others as a reader. Often they are produced quickly and during a break at work but that is the life of an unpaid blogger.

      Personally, I don't think of supporting Elephant as "donating" anything. I consider is supporting a media that remains true to its goal and vision of self-sustainability rather than swindling readers into a false perception of strength. I admire the amount of honesty that Waylon has shown. I call it radical transperancy and I love it. As per the gossip and posts that go up on Elephant. I think it is up to the particular writers to decide what is important to them to post and up to Waylon what to promote. I wrote on shitting and Zen practice and wrote a scathing critique of the Buddhist media and Waylon gave them open air to play in.

    • cont..

      cont…

      The ship isn't sinking. It's surviving. But it can only survive by reader support. Support will lead to the vision of having an online publication that breaks away from the standard blog into something that is independant and of the same quality you expected from the print version. But understand they are two different mediums.

      My personal goal in my posts here at Elephant is to provide information that may or may not be getting out there any other way. Bill Schwartz engages readers in conversation and debate. That is the beauty of this publication and something we wish (as writers) to see continue.

      I appreciate your opinion and honesty and I hope I clarified what I see as important at Elephant and what inspires me as a blogger.

      Cheers,

      John Pappas
      Buddhist Ass

    • Greg says:

      Your response caught me by surprise.

      The variety of articles, some whimsical and some serious, has been one feature that has attracted me to Elephant. There has been plenty of substance in many of the articles, enough to keep me interested. Where else, I wonder, would I find articles by and about Pema Chodron, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Robert Thurman, and the Bhagavad Gita? And plenty of dialogue on other spiritual topics.

      While my political views may differ from others who visit, the coverage has been excellent in most instances. And as an old fart who missed both the green and dietary revolutions, the site offers plenty of helpful suggestions and information that makes a difference.

      Forking out nine bucks on a regular basis is not something I regularly do — in fact, something I never do — but I have become a fan of the good work Waylon is doing. So…my surprise at your dissatisfaction. Oh, well, each publication finds its niche.

    • Folsom says:

      First, I just want to say that I re-read my comment and I think it came off harsher than I intended. I think I was voicing my frustration with media as a whole and projecting entirely onto Elephant. That wasn't particularly fair so I apologize for that.

      Having said that, I stand by some of my criticisms. I acknowledge that there are many good writers and blogs on Elephant. But there is also a lot of throw away posts. But instead of being critical and negative like I was previously maybe I will try to offer some positive ideas instead.

      First, maybe Ele could ask the bloggers to post less, but put more time into each article they do post. This way they can be well-thought out, well-researched, well-written, and worth the time to read. I would be thrilled if Elephant could rise to the standard of other publications like High Country News, who I think are a great example of what Elephant could be like. Good content is worth paying for, which is why I subscribe to High Country News and am not yet willing to donate to Ele. It seems as if your only criteria for what to post is what will get you the most traffic – hence nudity and sex posts. It makes better sense to write for your core audience first and then to get new traffic second. You don't want to lose the peope who really like elephant to get a few click-throughs who will never return.

      Second, perhaps Ele could only promote to the top of the fold the articles that meet their highest standard. This way, it would actually reflect what was worth reading on the site, not what the editors think will get a lot of traffic.

      Third, as a reader, I don't like to be guilt-tripped or see 13 pleas for help every month. I don't have a particular positive suggestion here, just letting you all know what might keep me (maybe others?) from visiting more frequently.

      Lastly, seek out good bloggers, and let bad bloggers go. Nothing says you have to post everything everyone rights

      Hope that is more helpful.

      Cheers.

      • Folsom says:

        Please forgive my typos in the above post! I wrote it quickly.

      • Pllllllease understand that we are mission-focused. I think if you look at our first six months online, you'd see the content was almost completely devoid of anything scintilatting. We also learned the hard way, as have Huff Post etc, that if you don't have clickable titles and images, they don't get clicked. You don't get clicked, not only do you not stay in business (and it's hard to change the world if you're out of business; and you already grudgingly admitted that we have some worthwhile content) but you're not reaching beyond your choir.

        Here's what I've been proud of: even those few (very few, maybe 50 ever out of 10,000 articles in two plus years online) nudity/naked title/image posts have redeeming content. Well, most of them. Search Richard Branson naked–that was one of my faves–you click in, seduced by the title, and there's 12 videos of his work with the Elders, which almost no one I know, including me before that post, knew much if anything about.

        I can assure you we are mission-focused. This Grassroots Network will help free us from dependence on our advertisers, raise our editorial bar (we'll be paying our writers for quality content; free doesn't always allow for much research time) and then we'll never have to ask again. I'd love to ask you to keep this dialogue going until you're satisfied with the response–because if we can't connect with a HCN fan (one of my fave papers) then, you're right, what the hell are we in business for.

        And yes, your draft above, while insightful, might have been a tad harsh..! Uninspiring drivel…uninspired gossip…sinking ship…but it was full of helpful honesty.

    • Folsom says:

      First, I just want to say that I re-read my comment and I think it came off harsher than I intended. I think I was voicing my frustration with media as a whole and projecting entirely onto Elephant. That wasn't particularly fair so I apologize for that.

      Having said that, I stand by some of my criticisms. I acknowledge that there are many good writers and blogs on Elephant. But there is also a lot of throw away posts. But instead of being critical and negative like I was previously maybe I will try to offer some positive ideas instead.

      First, maybe Ele could ask the bloggers to post less, but put more time into each article they do post. This way they can be well-thought out, well-researched, well-written, and worth the time to read. I would be thrilled if Elephant could rise to the standard of other publications like High Country News, who I think are a great example of what Elephant could be like. Good content is worth paying for, which is why I subscribe to High Country News and am not yet willing to donate to Ele. It seems as if your only criteria for what to post is what will get you the most traffic – hence nudity and sex posts. It makes better sense to write for your core audience first and then to get new traffic second. You don't want to lose the peope who really like elephant to get a few click-throughs who will never return.

      Second, perhaps Ele could only promote to the top of the fold the articles that meet their highest standard. This way, it would actually reflect what was worth reading on the site, not what the editors think will get a lot of traffic.

      Third, as a reader, I don't like to be guilt-tripped or see 13 pleas for help every month. I don't have a particular positive suggestion here, just letting you all know what might keep me (maybe others?) from visiting more frequently.

      Lastly, seek out good bloggers, and let bad bloggers go. Nothing says you have to post everything everyone rights

      Hope that is more helpful.

      Cheers.

  2. Definitely, what a great website and instructive posts, I surely will bookmark your website.All the Best!

  3. "What rocks about EJ is the opportunity it offers to people like myself: a yoga teacher, a mom and a regular gal to write about things that move me. I've been able to connect with professionals in my field that I admire and share why I do."

    Agreed! I know nothing of yoga, green or Shambhala and at Elephant I learned so much by engaging with people like Bob, Bill and yourself.

    Thanks for the compliment on my posts. I would include Bill Swchartz in that list of by-lines to check out.

  4. One additional point, Nancy: part of the reason we and other sites are beginning to ask for small donations from those who want us to continue is that readers no longer expect to pay for quality editorial online. So you don't get the same quality! If you buy a newspaper or magazine, you expect to pay for it most of the time, whether subscription or editorial. But Nancy and175,000 others each month who make connections, like reading most of our content, do so for free. So we ask for $9/month from those inspired to do so. It's a way to keep it free to the masses who are less connected but want to read a very occasional article.

    Then, by way of thanks, we put your name on the bottom of every page, like a plaque in a library or something. So we're giving back, even as we ask the only folks who care to let us continue to survive, and improve.

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