Free Media vs. We the People.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 21, 2011
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elephant is independent—and reader-supported, mostly. Ads do very little for us, and hopefully as we grow we’ll be able to work with only those advertisers who want what our readers want: a greener, fun, adventureful, ethical, uplifting, wakeful society.

But, for now, there’s some push and pull with advertisers. They want you. That’s right and fair. But we don’t want to use you. That’s not the way to have a long-term relationship. We’re fine to show you like-minded, useful offers from the kind of socially-responsible businesses we admire.

But it’s a point of pride, to me, that while we may be broke for now, we’re breaking even—and we’re doing so because of our astounding, voluntary reader subscriptions. Soon, that support might mean that we can pay some writers and (at least one or two) editors. We’re working it out, and having open-ended internal debates. But, for now, we are what we are: you. We’re not using you, we’re written by you, and volunteer edited by you, and shared by you.

And at the end of the day, and in 10 years’ time, our mission will be the same: to be of benefit. Yes, I and we want to make money, and be happily sustainable. “Abundance,” the yoga community calls it, is something to celebrate. “Poverty mentality,” as the Buddhists call it, isn’t a virtue. We can only change the world if we can show other businesses that ethics and be not only equally but more successful, because one’s customers or community will support your mission, and bottomline, both—avidly, actively, and longterm.


Mostly fascinating discussion re: the above image on Reddit, here.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & 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. | | | | | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom


17 Responses to “Free Media vs. We the People.”

  1. Debs Monaham says:

    Well if a site is making close to $100,000 a year and you don't have any costs or overheads e.g. no staff… when do you start to break even and start to make a healthy profit? But all power to the man. Elephant is still a business so all power to him for keeping it all running in his hard dark days!

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Same old tune because media, done in eco-responsible manner, is a dumb business—there's far easier ways to make money. Thanks.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Via Lynn on :

    What is "For now, we are what we are: you. We’re not using you, we’re written by you, and volunteer edited by you, and shared by you." ~ Waylon Lewis What is elephant to you? (intro/link via Lynn H.)

    Rebecca Apone A place to be elevated and humbled. Love the yogis. BE

  4. Pamala says:

    Oh wow, is it true according to the link above that you live in a $800,000 home? No wonder you can't afford to pay your writers and editors. Maybe you should move into cheaper digs if you are telling the truth about paying them. Just saying.

  5. Jim says:

    Good luck!

  6. Brandon says:

    You profess to be open to dialogue and yet you delete the link above to an article critical of your blog. Sounds like you want to control information just like the main stream media. Just saying.

  7. Mat says:

    This is not about grand ideas about "Free Media" or "The People". If you look at how the whole thing is legally structured I think the title of this post should be: "Waylon vs. the over-composed elite". Compare: The model is broken. How to fix? If Elej wants to put money where its mouth is – Waylon Enterprises LLC should convert to an L3C company. Until then – the suspicion surronding motive will always be there – no matter how many solar panel he installs at his private residence and no matter how many months he is behind wih the mortgage payments. So Get To It. End Of.

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