Since I set the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 as a time for taking stock of where Country California is at and how much energy I can afford to invest in it moving forward, I figure I owe you an update.
The first thing that became evident, upon launching my little Reboot the Blog effort, is that there is some number of people to whom this site matters very much. A loyal cadre of college students and grandmothers, regular working stiffs and members of the Swedish royal family. Okay, no members of the Swedish royal family. Lots of regular folks willing to offer a kind word and contribute as they were able, in amounts small and large. Lots of touching individual acts of generosity.
The second is that, the remarkable kindness of so many readers notwithstanding, I am actually a terrible fundraiser. In fact, I’m almost constitutionally unfit for it – naturally reluctant to trouble anyone or campaign too heartily on my own behalf. Perhaps as a result, my little Reboot the Blog effort never quite achieved the critical mass of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Basically, it generated enough to provide for some of the site’s immediate needs – without which continuing might not have even been an option – but not enough to enable many of my grander schemes. A status quo election, you might say.
But the reason I started this little campaign in the first place is that I’m not real interested in preserving the status quo indefinitely. There have to be new challenges and opportunities, and Country California has to be in a position to seize them as they come. We’re not quite there yet.
Still, the donations that did come in were nothing to sneeze at.
Since the fundraising effort didn’t provide the clearest of answers, I ended up going back to the messages received over the course of the past year – many in response to the “Most people don’t get it” post of February – to remind myself of the passion that has fueled our first four (going on five) years.
I just wanted to let you know I check your site almost daily, though I’m not sure I’ve ever commented. Quotable Country is definitely one of the highlights of my week. I’ve been a lifelong country fan but commercial country has really let me down in recent years, and thanks to your site I’ve discovered some great alternatives.
I just wanted to let you know that I DO receive and enjoy your emails. Your comments (and criticisms) are spot-on, and I really appreciate the wit, sarcasm, and obvious passion you have for Country music (you know, the REAL stuff!).
Country fans aren’t the most numerous music fans out there, and those of us who are serious students of the genre are even fewer in number. Blogs like CC provide an invaluable service in that they help promote lesser-known artists and provide a forum in which we can converse with like-minded people. As a country music blogger, you might never attract an overwhelmingly large audience, but I can guarantee that the readers you do have will be immeasurably appreciative of your efforts.
I get several emails a day that I don’t ever open, but I can honestly say I read everything you write!
I read your site every day; the fake news is honestly some of the best comedy I ever come across, the haiku are hilarious, the blog posts are interesting, and I don’t love every prime cut but I always listen to them and I enjoy most of them. Your site has turned me on to a few artists I didn’t already know about, including Kasey Chambers, who’s now one of my absolute favourites. I really look forward to Quotable Country every week, and I appreciate the convenient collection of so many interesting articles. I follow a few different country blogs, but yours is my favourite.
I haven’t told you lately how much I enjoy reading your emails. You crack me up!
Plus, a world without Country California would be like a turkey sandwich without mustard or a Reba concert where she doesn’t do her MGM lion, pseudo face-eating jaw swivels.
Even though I find mustard on turkey sandwiches abominable, your messages made a clear enough case that Country California is a good thing. Could be better, certainly – and if you haven’t yet, you can still donate to help make it so – but even good things are relatively rare. If there remains here a potential for affecting someone in a positive way – for spreading joy or laughter, or helping to enrich someone’s musical life by getting their ears on something new – it’d be silly to cast that aside. Good things are too rare.
Which is a roundabout way of saying: I think you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future.
Sorry about that.