Dear friends,

I was hoping to be able to put off this post, in fact I did begin and then sent it to trash it several times.  But now things are getting critical.  I need your help or something will have to change, and not for the better.  Let me explain:

You must have noticed that even though the blog is full of features, everything loads really well and really fast (including the bandwidth-heavy media sections).  What you do not know, is that for security reasons we also have another server with a full backup.  So what we are providing is convenience (speed) and service (minimal downtime).  However, this does come at a very real cost.  So, after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to share these figure with you, so you know what I am talking about.  Here are our basic IT costs:

Hivelocity for 6 Saker blogs:  $138.00 a month
Hivelocity for HOP Project:  $ 89.00 a month
Advania Backup server  $ 67.00 a month: (381 Euros for 6 months)
Amazon Web Services cloudfront  $108.00 a month
Google could storage  $09.00 a month
TOTAL:  $411.00 a month

YEARLY TOTAL: $4932
Add to this the expense of keeping an Limited Liability Company (needed for legal reasons):

Company hosting: $115.00 a month or $1380 a year
Registering agent: $656.00 a year

YEARLY TOTAL: $5703

In the past I had a kind supporter pay for the IT costs.  He has now retired and moved and now I have to shoulder this heavy burden myself.

In other words, even before paying my own bills, I now have to pay over 10’000 dollars out of pocket just to cover these basic fixed costs.  To this I could add somewhere in between $4’000 and $5’000 which I pay to some members of our community (to help them pay for their own bills).  In other words, my strictly personal costs begin with something in the range of $15’000.

I also feel that I need to clarify and remind you all of three basic facts:

  1. I get no money from Russia, or Iran, or any other country or government or political movement (I wish I did!  I would love to be a “paid Putin agent”.  But I don’t).
  2. if I wanted to make money, I could *easily* make much more money doing something else (like working for the Dark Side).
  3. if I did that for the money I could easily monetize this blog with advertisements, paywalls, member-only features, etc.

But now I also need to confess something: I am IMMENSELY frustrated by the lack of support I get.  Let me be blunt: if it was not for the regular help of two, yes only two, supporters I could never afford to keep up this blog.  Honestly, I think I provide an absolutely unique product (a blog with original analyses, not “recycled” like on news aggregators) with no commercial compromises (no ads).  And I do that while paying for well over 10’000 dollars a year of out of my own (already pretty empty) pockets.  The readership is constantly growing and yet the donations are down.  Which means that the vast majority of readers don’t contribute anything.  So yeah, I am having a very hard time and I need your help.  Badly!

We are in an “information war”, you know that, and I have already written many times in the past that the “ammunition” of this war is money.  I hate it, you hate it, but that this a simple fact which cannot be denied away.  Please don’t send me into battle with an empty gun!

Now, I know that most of you are also barely making ends meet.  This is why I am not, repeat, NOT asking those whose means are limited to send me more money.   Say a prayer for me and consider that you have made your donation and I will be immensely grateful to you.  Another way of helping me would be to volunteer as a moderator: we are in dire need of more moderators. Right now, we don’t have enough moderators to cover all the time slots, so if you can help us with this, even for a few hours each week, please contact the chief moderator at this email address: vineyard.mod_hs@unseen.is

But I also know that some of you are well-off and a few even very well-off.  So my appeal is primarily to you: if you are really opposed to the AngloZionist Empire then do something about it and help me fight on your behalf!  Send me the “ammo” needed to at least pay for my costs and even do better.  You simply cannot expect me to work 3-5 hours a day (after I am done with my regular full-time job) and spend thousands of dollars out of pocket on pure enthusiasm and idealism.  Eventually something will have to give: either you, or the blog.

As far as I can see everybody else has either put up a paywall or placed advertisements on their websites/blogs.  I will never do that, on principle (even though I get regular offers and advice to do just that).  But unless I get the kind of help I need I will start cutting costs and reduce the time I allocate to this blog.  It would break my heart, but I have bills to pay.

Out of sheer despair, I want to make three suggestions (not sure how good or realistic they are).

  1. If you also have a hard time making ends meet, maybe you know somebody who has an easier time: could you try to approach this person (or corporation) and see if they would be willing to step in and help?  Surely you must know of somebody who has the mean to help and the desire to do so?
  2. Maybe you can organize some kind of fund raiser amongst your friends, colleagues or family?
  3. Third, if you have experience in fund-raising (which, as you can tell, I clearly don’t) you could volunteer you expertise to help me?  You can tell by my post today that I am a total incompetent amateur and have no idea how to finance a project like mine.  Your help could therefore be priceless.

These are just desperate ideas about how a large community like the Saker Community could help.  So far, every time I needed help the Community delivered it.  I really hope that this will happen again this time around.

I want to end this post with a special to Russian people, especially religious ones: you all know about the Orthodox desiatina or the Islamic zakat.  Now, I am not claiming that this blog is a religious institution  – it is not – but it is a place where spirituality and religion are not only tolerated or accepted, but truly respected and pro-actively promoted.  And this blog most evidently and undeniably is at the forefront of the battle to explain Russia and the Russian policies to the rest of the world.  Then how is it that I get NO help from Russia, none at all?!  Look at the cost of the average office party in Moscow and explain to me, and to yourself, whether that money is better spend on vodka with zakuski than on defending Russia?

To those who will call me naive I will simply say this: I make no apologies for being naive.  All my life, I have always privileged the naive, romantic and pure over the pragmatic, compromising and cynical.  I have never regretted it.  Not once.  There are those who will laugh at my naive attempts to raise money by being simply honest and direct about it, and that’s fine.  Let them keep their advertisements and their paywalls.  I rather remain penniless and idealistic than join those who accepted the rules of the capitalist market game.

The way I see this is extremely simple: funding this blog should not be my problem.  It should be our community’s problem.  After all, this blog serves the community, not me.

You tell me – am I right?

Right now, funding this blog has been my problem, not our community’s.  How can we change that?  Any ideas?

While I will carefully read your comments below (and any emails to me), I would like to make this a community discussion.  By this I mean that you will discuss this issue amongst each other and that maybe some consensus will emerge as to best go ahead.  Please use the comments section to exchange ideas and to brainstorm this issue.

I will end this appeal with an apology.  I am sorry, very sorry, but I see no other way to raise the attention of our community than to post this appeal not in the section were it would normally belong (in the “Blog, Community News and Announcements” section down the page) but in the most visible part of the page: in the “analyses” part.  And I intend to leave it there until the end of the month.  My hope is that in placing this appeal in the section normally reserved for the best of what this blog has to offer I will draw your attention to the value of what you have been getting for free and with no strings or conditions attached.  I hope that this will motivate you to become a much more determined supporter of my work.

In the first days of April I will come to some kind of decision and let you know.  This is also when I will reply to any specific offers or suggestions.  I really hope that this will leave us all enough time to find a way out.

Hugs, cheers and thanks to all,

The Saker

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world