shareto determine the absoluate potential independence of a personal internet publisher.i was thinking of my varied abilities to garner income:
i will graduate from college (lord willing) in june 1997.
i want to be independent, paid to do what i love.
i have been paid as much as a dollar a word to write freelance articles. i have been contacted by book publishers with book offers.
couldn't i just leave school and write a few freelance pieces a month to pay the bills? now there's freedom. pick a subject, talk to an editor, work from home, or the road, or wherever. build up a portfolio of different writings, different venues. after a while, i'd probably have enough material/prestige for a good book deal.
i could work on my web site on the side. i'd insist on electronic rights for all my pieces.
or maybe i could consult to big technology companies! i went to a microsoft career meeting at swarthmore, i could definitely offer them some suggestions. R&D type stuff. then i'd get a chance to talk with the big brains, and develop different skill sets.
(i also considered fashion school and divinity school).
here were two priorities, freedom and learning.
what would i do with my time if i could? i am self-motivated: i would visit with people, build things, visit companies and places. i would write about it and share it with anyone.freelance writing facilitates that, but in exchange for some access to prestigous gigs, i would have to tailor my materials to external standards. (maybe the editing would be good for me).
i would do what i wanted and write about it on my web site.
how could i get paid for that?
in 1996, when i needed money to pay for my web site, i asked people for donations. for a few months, i recieved on average, between $400-500 a month in personal cheques, mailed to me.
it ain't all i need, but it's a large solid start.
so how do i get from $500 a month to the estimated $1500/month it will cost me to live in san francisco with my baby?
if i made living off and on my web site my full time job, i just might be able to support myself here.
two sorts of sharing:
with a donation;
pay for a physical object/appearance
i'd love to come talk to you, an individual or a group.
and maybe some day i'll sell pamphlets or CDRoms or something.
problems i imagine with this at the outset:
i would be wedded to my website; what happens if i need to leave it? (rsi, for example)
simple, i do something else.it wouldn't be terribly secure, taking donations every month. if the site goes down for two weeks, you could be out on the street!
so i will start raising money now, six or seven months in advance. that money will go into a bank account to provide for rainy months in the future.