I promise, this is the last appeal for donations of 2004. We’ve been going for about two and a half years now. Initially the site was set up as a research resource, but it has since grown much larger than that.
In that time the site has achieved an international respectablity that was hard to oncieve at the beginning and is a key reference on Northern Ireland by over two hundred other blogs in Northern Ireland and across the world. It has featured in various online media, from the Irish Times to the BBC and continues to draw in (even when the news has been less than gripping) thousands of unique visitors a day.
Much of the recent improvements have been possible because of readers donations. These donations too have enabled the site to take an entirely independent line on news events in a way that would be difficult by other more commercial means.
Ongoing technical support has been provided by River Path Associates, and in particular the very patient and gifted services of Abi, whose work prevented the site going permanently offline in the wake of the spam invasion of the site this summer.
Lastly, I’d like to put in a word for myself. Over the last year or so Slugger has provided me with some incredible opportunities, not least the enervating experience of on-the-ground reporting on the Assembly elections of November 2003. And indeed I now have a three year tenure as a visiting research associate at Queens to look forward to -largely as a result of the Slugger experience.
However, it has come at a cost. In order to pursue the Northern Ireland issues, I’ve deliberately moved away from some of the more lucrative commerical work that previously sustained my freelance practice. Although my occasional journalism and research projects bring a modest income, the biggest consumer of my working time is Slugger.
And of course none of this time (in busy periods it can amount to half a working day) is paid for! In fairly modest terms, that’s about £1000 worth of work every month. So if you like what we’re doing, or it is valueable to you and your organisation (cue the Bob Geldoff moment), do what you can to help us keep it going and, give us your f***ing money!
Whatever you send will be fine, but we will instigate (a la Nuzhound) a patron’s page for those who send us anything over £100 ($190 or Euro 145) mark. You can send it by cheque directly to me here at Slugger Central. Or if you have a paypal account, just hit the donate button on the left hand side.