Seven years later.

Many of the people who started reading this site seven years ago are still reading it today. When I really stop to let that sink in, it amazes me. Seven years is a long time. I don't get out much. I don't travel. I've met exactly one of you in person, and that's the guy who lives ten minutes from my house and went out of his way to make it happen. But I've been a part of your life, and you a part of mine, for a while. Up to seven years. Since seven years have passed, I'm seven years … [Read more...]

Let’s pay back Bonaparte’s Retreat

The first good news is that your purchases through Country California's Amazon links in January and February just funded a donation of $39.38 to Bonaparte's Retreat, the Nashville-area dog rescue founded by Emmylou Harris. Keep shopping and I'll keep doing cool stuff with the proceeds. The second good news is that today - May 5, 2015 - Bonaparte's Retreat is participating in The Big Payback, described thusly on the Bonaparte's Retreat website: Hosted by The Community Foundation of Middle … [Read more...]

Who knew dogs could clap?

Bonapartes Retreat letter

Six years ago this month, I lost my best friend. He was 16, well beyond life expectancy for a dog of his size and breed. It still sucked. I'll probably have another dog someday, but I'm not ready yet. Thankfully, you don't have to host a dog to help a dog. Today, I'm thrilled to be able to forward $22.77 in Amazon proceeds from stuff you bought in November/December 2014 to Emmylou Harris' dog rescue, Bonaparte's Retreat. If you're feeling especially charitable, you can (of course) support … [Read more...]

Stayin’ alive in 2-0-1-5

Since I opted out of the race to the bottom months ago, some have reached out to say: Okay, Wilcox. We get it. You removed all the ads. The Amazon affiliate links are helping dogs now. You've removed all financial incentive to kowtow or chase quick hits, so you're free to only write about what you actually find interesting and/or exciting. But does enacting your principles necessarily mean taking a vow of poverty? That seems like a dangerous precedent to set for the future of online music … [Read more...]

New Year Is for the Dogs

December 2014 BR donation

When I removed myself from the race to the bottom back in October, I mentioned in a footnote that earnings from the site's Amazon links would be funneled toward charitable causes. The first nonprofit singled out was Bonaparte's Retreat, Emmylou Harris' dog rescue. Now, thanks to your purchases in October, the first donation has just been made. $12.94 won't change the world, but donations in any amount make it a little better. If you're feeling charitable, consider supporting Bonaparte's … [Read more...]

Race you to the bottom.

(A little long-winded, so feel free to skip to the end for the gist of it.) If you want to have any hope of making a buck in online publishing, you need hits. You don't need hits because they equate to influence (not necessarily so) or because they accurately reflect the quality of your content (they don't, as proven by the rise of the viral list as default content form). You need hits because that's what advertisers care about. You need enough eyeballs looking at your page to make some … [Read more...]

Country California Turns 6

Willie and Dolly got together to wish us a happy birthday, which I thought was especially thoughtful considering that Willie himself turned 81 yesterday and I completely forgot to send him a card. Here's to careening right past every opportunity to quit while we were ahead. http://youtu.be/BKYJMOA_u1s … [Read more...]