It’s a critical time for our nation and planet. But the news isn’t all bad.
On Monday the Snopes.com editorial team, cut off from revenue by offshore owners, asked for help from readers to continue operations. (If you haven’t been following this insane story, Alexis C. Madrigal provides a great rundown in The Atlantic.) The team asked for $500,000, and as of this writing on Wednesday, they have received more than $625,000.
The emergency campaign for Snopes shows that we’re willing to pay for content we care about. In fact, and importantly, it shows that we’re willing to pay more for content we care about than it can earn from digital advertising. The Atlantic estimates operating costs for Snopes.com at $100,000 per month. If that’s the case, we all just paid for six months of operations in a single day.
We’re willing to pay and give. The problem, as Paul Ford of Postlight notes in this article about giving to 30 different charity sites in one day and a follow-up, is that giving is harder than it needs to be.
Last week we launched Dumo
Dumo is a new platform that aims to make giving easier and more accessible. We’ve been working on it since November, and we’re very excited about opening it up.
If you have a moment to play around with it, we’d love to hear your thoughts. You can fund non-profits, publications, and people on Dumo — anything or anyone with a domain or @ username is fundable. You can fund anything on the platform with just $1 per month, and your email address isn’t shared with recipients.
In addition to making it easier to give, we’re determined to build a viable alternative to digital advertising, that’s not paywalls — which are rarely viable in any case. If you’re a person or publisher interested in building this with us, please be in touch.
This release of our platform is an open beta, so please expect a bug or two. If you have the time, we really appreciate bug reports emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us in supporting Snopes.com
Along with many of you, we’re supporting Snopes.com on GoFundMe. It’s an emergency situation, or at least it was on Monday.
But if we want to emerge from a state of perpetual emergency, we need to do more than jump into each breach as it opens. We need to make a of habit of supporting what we care about, the same way we make a habit of having a Netflix subscription.
It sounds so simple. Support what you care about. Stand up for what you believe. But actually, it’s not an easy thing to do. Right now it carries steep time and privacy penalties, and the empty gestures we make on social platforms help us feel like we already do it.
We hope Dumo makes actual support easier, and we know Dumo makes it more real. So we hope you’ll join us in supporting Snopes on Dumo as well, maybe along with something else that matters to you, that’s not already in a state of emergency, that’s just a wonderful thing.
(I keep re-editing this post. The most edits were made on July 29, 2017.)