I’ve been getting a lot of comment saying that I should not ask for donations to run this website. Many of the people who say this also say that I should just get a job to support my self and at the same time I should write on this website for free. I have explained it several times before, it is a lot of job to work on this website. Maybe its not a full time job while things are quiet in Iceland. But I do write other things too. I write short stories and put them on the internet for free. I also write about earthquakes in Canary Islands and Europe. I also write about space occasionally. Along with writing about Falkland Islands if I find something interesting to write about there (it’s a small place and is usually quiet).
That is a lot of writing and a lot of material that I am putting on the internet for “free” for people to read and enjoy. It is understandable that I want to get paid for my work. Who doesn’t want to get paid for it’s hard work. I surely do and a I am sure that the people who read this website want to get paid for there hard work in whatever field they work in.
It is also an interesting fact that since I am a low earner in terms of Google Adsense. I don’t get any support from them. If I want to be able to qualify for support from the Google Adsense support I have to earn equal to $20 (or a 109 DKK) a day for several weeks before I qualify for such support that is provided with an email. That is more traffic that I am ever going to see on my website between eruptions or earthquakes swarms in Iceland. It is my best guess that I am never going to reach such traffic levels any time soon. Just to hit the minimal payment threshold each month I have to have traffic of 30,000 page views per month. Something like that has not happened since the year 2011, after the activity in Katla volcano that summer. I have in fact no hope of making a decent living just by having advertisement income. As I did explain in earlier post about this matter. Going advertisement free also makes this site and my other websites easier to read it has less distractions from the advertisements. Overall it makes my website more friendly to people who read it and enjoy it. I also don’t risk having some advertisements that might not be so family friendly after all. It makes me happy to be free of advertisements for good and I am sure that many readers agree with me on that.
Putting up quality content on the internet costs a lot of time and money. This website and every website that I run costs money and time that is connected with working on them. It is true that I don’t spend equal time on the websites that I have, but traffic is not equal between those websites and that is the reason why I spend different amount of time on my websites. I have it as such that websites with more traffic gets updated more often. This website has always gotten the most traffic and for that reason I update it the most. Writing a article takes time, sometimes a really long time. Good example of this is this article here (I update it regularly also). Writing it took close to 9 hours, along with finding the sources and the information about the eruptions in questions. I have not written articles like this often mostly because it takes a long time and I feel that current activity should be watched more closely than historical activity. I do write this type of articles when needed, in connection with an eruption if I feel the need to do so. To explain why a volcano is like or to explain if it has done this in the past for instance. Looking for information, science papers (that often cost money that I don’t have) is a lot of work. I can spend hours just looking for such data, checking to see if it is any good for what I am writing about. So my work is not just writing about volcanoes, it is also checking the information that is available, historical data, studies into the volcano or the earthquake swarm in question to see if this has happened before in historical times.
Most of my work so far has been not paid, in fact I have been volunteering with my self when since I started working on this website. That also explains why I am broke all the time almost every month of the year. I don’t get the income to pay my self a salary for my work. It has been like this since I created this website. I do sometimes get a large donations, but they however often do not mount to nothing more than just one month worth of income and only last me that long. I am always thankful for such donations. They do help, but I need something more stable in the terms of income from this website and my other websites that I run. I cannot continue to live this, being always broke and having to worry if I can buy food this month or not. As is my current status and has been for the past year for me. I do not plan to change this website to subscription website. Since it is my believe that science needs to be available to all. That however does not make it free to publish and running it. Since nothing is free in reality.
I do get income from social welfare in Iceland. But that income is low and I am not even making by with that income since bills and debts needs to be paid. The sad fact is that social welfare is nothing but a poverty trap for people in Iceland that can’t work or are disabled in some way. It has gone so bad now that many people on social welfare in Iceland now cannot buy there medicine or go to the doctors in Iceland. I am on so low income that once I have paid all my bills I often barley have money for food or if something comes up I don’t have money for it.
I have a passion for earthquakes and volcanoes. I also have passion for writing, so I love to write about earthquakes, volcanoes and other geology phenomena out there. But I just can’t keep doing it for free. The world simply does not work like that for any of us. We all get paid for our work regardless what we do. So I find it is not far of some people demanding that I just get a day job and at the same time keep updating this website the same way as I do now. The reason why I did start this website was to keep people informed about what is happening in Icelandic geology as it happens. This was just one year after the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Since information about geological activity in Iceland is most of the time not easy to find in English and people often do not know what is taking place when earthquake swarm happens or a volcano in Iceland makes a noise.
I also want to ask people who say to me “just get a job”, not to say that. It is quite insulting to my work here. As I did explain here above, writing is a lot of work and that is not going to change. I also came across this comment here (Ars Technica article) about the same thing and I agree with the point this comment is making. I’ve been told on several occasions just to get a job in order to keep this website alive. As explained above that would not work. Since it is a lot of work to keep this website up and running and properly updated, same for the other websites if something interesting happens. The Paypal donation button is back, I found an answer (paypal-community.com) that tells me that I can use it without any issue.
If you like my website. Please remember to support it so that I can keep working on it. Thanks.
Update 1: If people want to check Google Adsense policies they can do so here. What they are going to find is that Google Adsense policies are quite strict and hard to comply with.
More reading about world without on-line advertisements
The end of the free lunch—again (The Economist)
Pay Me for My Content (New York Times)
Clive Thompson on the Problem With Online Ads (Wired)
Update on this post
Please see here why I am no longer advertisement free (for the moment at least).
Post updated at 16:20 UTC on 15-Januar-2014.
Post updated at 18:58 UTC on 19-March-2014.