Here in America, we voted last week. That meant making a good faith effort to survey the range of issues faced by our nation and register our opinions about how they should be handled, in one decisive act of voting on one day. November 6. Months (nay, years) of campaigning led to one day, then to one highlight reel of moments when the winners and losers of this latest election became clear.
We voted, and now we’re done. Some people are pleased and others aren’t, but the voting part is over. We can do something else for a while now, right?
Wrong. Because just as important as anything you did on November 6 are the votes you cast on a day-to-day basis, whether you think of them in those terms or not:
Where you shop, and which business practices and policies you endorse by doing so. How you choose to treat others. How you allow yourself and those around you to be treated. What values you instill in your children. What you deem worthy of your attention.
In fact, you’re voting right now.
By reading a non-corporate country blog by one nutty guy in California, you’re saying that independent voices matter. That major media companies like AOL, Yahoo!, Viacom, and Townsquare Media shouldn’t have the final say on what’s important in country music. That big advertising budgets and industry connections and seas of anonymous interns shouldn’t be the automatic winners in the media arms race.
As you may recall, I recently launched a campaign (through December) called Reboot the Blog. Basically, it’s a plea for folks who believe in the site to throw their support behind it in any way they can, such that we can build the best possible future for Country California.
There have been encouraging signs. The first Reboot the Blog appeal was retweeted by Gretchen Peters, a songwriter whose opinion (and work) I hold in especially high regard. Some readers wrote awfully nice things in the comment thread on that initial post. Others have been making more of an effort to let their presence be known by commenting and sharing all over the site, which I’ve noticed and appreciated. Thoughtful messages have found their way to my inbox.
One element of the campaign is financial. Given the everything-for-free nature of the internet, that’s bound to rub some people the wrong way. Is this site actually worth more than others that aren’t requesting donations? Maybe, maybe not. I can’t concern myself with what others are doing. I can only concern myself with what’s necessary for this site, given my own set of circumstances. Trusting that those who’ve enjoyed Country California during its first 4+ years will understand the value in helping it move forward.
While the call for modest pledges of $5 or $10 netted some of those and a few that went far beyond, there’s still quite a ways to go toward planned upgrades and goals. Hundreds of people are receiving our articles in their inboxes and feed readers – people who’ve opted in – so it’s unfair for the burden to fall on the few. We’re going to need a broader base of support to keep the site growing and improving. We’re going to need you, if you appreciate what we do, to pitch in as you are able.
If you already have, you’ve been thanked individually. But thanks again, truly. It’s appreciated.
If you haven’t yet, here’s the link for your consideration.
(Depending on the response, there might be one or two more reminders before year’s end. But there won’t be if it proves unnecessary. Perhaps avoiding another post like this is incentive enough to act soon?)