Thursday, April 16, 2009

RootsWorld's future depends on you

RootsWorld needs your help to survive

Back in 1992, the dawn of time by internet reckoning, I decided to do something unheard of, and create an online global music resource. As it grew, I began to call it a "sharezine," an hommage to my many years as a volunteer DJ at various non-commercial radio stations, who share the music for free, and then ask you to voluntarily support it after the fact - free and open to all, access permitted at all times, to everyone. It just seemed like the right way to do it.

As RootsWorld grew over the years, it has been a search engine, a magazine, a juke box and much more, evolving, changing - growing and shrinking and growing again. It was sometimes a part time endeavor, sometimes my life's work. It has been a series of experiments. Some failed, some thrived.

But it has always been, in my opinion, about quality, not quantity, and it still is. We do not publish more reviews than most online resources - we publish more thoughtful reviews. We do not put out a steady stream of reiterated and regurgitated press releases and blurbs - we tell you about things we find interesting, important or inspiring. We do not flood you with content (how I hate that bit of internet phasing!) - we send you good reading and listening, only when we have it to send you - no filler, no dross. The volunteers who contribute to RootsWorld are free to tell you what they think - to enlighten you, not please an advertiser, a record label, an artist or a publicist. They write with passion, with spirit, with wit and intelligence.

So you know what comes now: the pitch.

This is the first time in the history of RootsWorld that I have dedicated this much space and time to asking you for your help, but today is that day. A few years ago, I changed RW's funding to a low-key voluntary system of support, and it has paid some of the bills. I added cdRoots to the mix and it was a successful subsidy for a while, as well, offering you a place to find the music you read about (and much more). But as I am sure you know, things change. CD retailing is waning. The internet is awash in "free information" (judge it as you will for value) delivered amid a sea of visual flotsam. Little discrete text ads and Amazon links do not pay the bills.

SO: The pitch is pretty simple:
Contribute to RootsWorld - I cannot do it without your support.

Many of you have responded over the last year with just that - generous financial support that allows me to continue to publish these newsletters and the web site without blocking it from all who want to read it - that SHAREZINE idea. I thank you for that support.

Now I need to ask YOU to join them, to make a financial contribution in lieu of a formal "subscription" to help me keep RootsWorld 'on the air.'

Please consider making that contribution right now, by clicking the button below, or ssimply drop a check to:
Box 1285
New Haven CT 06505

Let's show the big business analysts, the flash-splash video ad-sellers and commercial nay-sayers that a small community can prosper in the big corporate world of the World Wide Web.

Cliff Furnald
Writer wrangler, code puncher, web rider

If you have not yet decided to contribute, but you would like to be on our mailing list for a while to check it out, please sign up

Your e-mail address will NEVER EVER be given to anyone else, for any purpose.

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