Rob doesn't like to make a big deal out of this, but I will:
Strike The Root is $1,000 in the red.
If you like what you see on STR and want to see more of it -- if you value STR and all the work Rob has done to make this one of the very best pro-freedom, anti-war sites on the Web -- now's the time to show it.
How? Two easy ways:
First, you can buy Strike The Root bumper stickers, either the classic ones or the hot new "Stop Killing People" ribbon stickers.
Or you can make a secure cash donation via PayPal (you don't need a PayPal account, just a credit card), e-Gold, money order, or a personal check.
Why should you? Think about this:
Compared to a lot of other libertarian sites, STR operates on a very small budget. $1,000 may not be much to the bigger sites. But for STR, it's a lot. And it's a lot for Rob to have to bear, especially considering how much time he has to spend working on the site.
Most of this budget goes to paying the writers who contribute columns to STR. It's not a big payment--nobody's getting rich writing for Strike The Root. But it's enough to attract good writers, reward them for their efforts, and keep them coming back.
What value do you place on having high-quality, pro-freedom, anti-war articles available to you here on this site every day? They're here because Rob is able to compensate and reward authors for their efforts.
It's a circular process: Good writers want to be published where they see other good writers being published. Being able to pay for columns means a steady improvement in the quality of what you read here. Not being able to pay will cause the quality of submissions to go down fast.
Rob puts it this way: "Running STR is like feeding birds. If you want to attract a lot of birds, you have to put out a variety of high-quality seed. Cheap seed won't attract many birds. You get what you pay for. If readers want great columns, we need to be able to pay for them."
And if we can't pay for them? Rob mentioned to me that a couple of STR writers have complained in recent months because Rob didn't have enough cash on hand to pay them immediately. If that keeps being a problem, there's a chance some of your favorite writers won't contribute columns to STR anymore.
Other sites ask for gifts in three-, four-, and even five-figures. But you can order STR bumper stickers for just $4 each (or even less if you order more than one), or sign up to be a monthly partner for as little as $10 per month.
The high-quality columns are the most obvious reason to support Strike The Root. But keep in mind too that we're about to add our 2,000th member in the forum, and our blog has been upgraded to block Spam from the comments. STR and its writers are respected, paid attention to, and even cited in important books.
How much is Strike The Root worth to you? Whether you hang out here every day or visit once a week, if you've read something you like, found an author you admire, or picked up a useful idea or phrase, please give something, whatever seems right to you, to STR in return.
If you don't want to make a straight cash donation, you can always buy bumper stickers or T-shirts.
Me, I have three STR stickers: one was on my car (I've dumped the car, but kept the sticker), one's on the wall of my office cube, and one's on a clipboard I take to meetings. I know they've helped turn people into STR-readers, because those people have told me so.
But if we want people to keep coming back, we need to help get Strike The Root back in black, on positive financial ground.
So I'll ask again: What's it worth to you?