Twenty Bucks a Year?
posted: April 10, 2006
This note from Luc got my attention. I'll quote:

"Some folks have told me they're not keen on paying $20/year for a blog when Blogger and other places offer them for free. How about a full-service Drawger Blog for $20 (which I think is totally reasonable, considering hosting fees for a single site), and a limited-feature free option? Maybe even a student-artists section? Maybe not. cheers! Luc"

. . . . .

Luc is right, there are plenty of places to blog from for free. Blogger is of course owned by Google, who make their money on AdWords. MySpace makes money by selling hideous ads.

I figure the people who are here and any that follow will figure out whether it's worth $20 a year. If it isn't worth it, then that's okay. I'm not selling hideous ads, ever.

It's also a private club. Any junk that shows up here will be shown the door. I don't want their crummy $20.

I do plan on making a seperate free section just for students. I have this whole "adopt a newbie" idea that I think would be a real kick. An online mentor program of sorts. It will happen.

Also on the board, a section for Flash animations for everyone, a central gallery spot with themed shows that everyone can contribute to from time to time, a central movie spot where everyone can contribute animations.... heck I've got a long upgrade list that doesn't include raising annual dues.

The money - if I ever make any - will simply go straight back into the site and make itself known with more capabilities to communicate for everyone here.

I pay for band-width and hosting and beyond that I have Josh Carpenter on staff who wrote the majority of the code we use here every day. I'd at least like him to be able to take his excellent girl friend out for a nice dinner once a year. Right now, I pay him enough so they can do that semi-annually...

I'd appreciate feedback.

. . . . .
Elwood H. Smith April 11, 2006
I've done a bit of blogging over at DRAWN! and Sugar Frosted Goodness, but this blog is a completely different animal. Other blogs may work similarly to this one, but I LOVE it here. Surrounded by High-Grade talent and a place to ramble on till my heart's content about anything that strikes my fancy. Thank you Zimm for making this wonderful space available. And for your generosity in helping us greenhorns figure out how the damned thing works. I'm onboard for the long haul. -E
Jeff Moores April 11, 2006
$20 a year in (my opinion) is worth every penny for the ability to upload MB after MB to "our little heart's content" Thanks Zimm! ps- we're heading "south of the border" so keep the peace here at drawger, for when I return, I'll shed the lameness, for "I have not yet begun to blog!"
Nancy Stahl April 11, 2006
Drawger is what's keeping me sane these days (or relatively). Let's see, $20/yr vs. $175/hr X 48 weeks X 2 times a week for therapy....? Drawger is a bargain..! Thanks, Zimm for all you do and thanks daveB for inviting me here.
Leo Espinosa April 11, 2006
Boy, what can you buy with $20 these days? I can tell you that if you are addicted to coffee, not much. I just think it's part of the culture to complain, and if I may say, there's a big group of illustrators that are really good at it. What I'm getting from Drawer is kind of the same vitamin juice Nancy was talking about: Not only I get to read really cool articles, and make comments about them if I want, but also, I can share my work and ideas with a very talented group and get feedback from them. That to me is worth WAY more than any stinky $20, considering I (like most of us) don't get to hang out with other pro-doodlelers regularly. I see project like Drawger as the missing link of our profession, the communication between illustrators at this very small and personal level was something I was craving for the longest time. So, thanks again Zimm. I do hope the student section you are thinking about works independently from this part of Drawger. Don't get me wrong, I love to talk to students, but I kind of want to be a little selfish here and devote my time in the blog to share ideas with people that have more experience (in the field, of course ;-)
David Gothard April 11, 2006
I frankly cannot believe that $20 frogskins would be an issue for anyone. What is offered here is so much more selective in service and quality. It is with a certain amount of hypocritical zeal that i log on to Drawger ever day to see what everyone's up to. I've been critical of my kids for the very same activity. I only regret not taking the time outta my crazy day to welcome some of the amazing new drawgers properly. So if yer reading this...I'm watching and enjoying and will eventually comment on how much I'm enjoying all your works and comments. Keep on Drawgin! Since moving out from NYC to the vast cultural wasteland of Eastern PA, I've felt very detached from other illers (18 years now). Drawger pulls us all in under one umbrella. My hat's (if I wore them) off to you, Zimmer. DG
Robert Zimmerman April 11, 2006
Well, Luc - I think the answer to your email has arrived. The Drawger idea is fairly simple - the code that runs this joint is written so that the people who are here decide whether it's worth $20 or not. If it's not, then they will wander off to somewhere else. That's cool. The code is also written so that the people who are here decide what Drawger is. I haven't got any clue if it's worth it and I'm only just starting to realize what it is... Thanks to everyone who jumped on this.
David Bamundo April 11, 2006
Far be it from me to tell people what to do with their money - but I think most would agree that they get plenty of enjoyment from drawger - well worth the 20 bucks - and wait 'til Art Directors hear about it and start hiring people they see on drawger - then do you think it will be worth a nickel a day?
Bob Staake April 11, 2006
I almost hesitate to dignify the comment with a response of any kind, but here goes: The world is FILLED with creative people who are too lazy, too selfish, too unimaginative to build something as ambitious and labor-intensive as Drawger -- and they seem to think that ideas spontaneously and magically come to being like B.F. Skinner's mice in a box of wet rags. Things cost time, money, vision and committment. As someone who has a little experience in these areas, twenty bucks a year just barely covers the bandwidth charges for Drawger. Robert SHOULD be charging all of us a hundred annually -- and THAT would be a steal. Never ceases to amaze me how some people think those who put in the blood, sweat, tears and creative juice to build something like this aren't entitled to having their costs covered -- and even (heaven forbid) what would amount to $1.65 an hour (some "profit", huh?) for their time. Frankly, anyone lofting the "I feel uncomfortable paying $20 a year" flag should be shown the door, drop-kicked and fileted with a rusty butter knife. But that's just me.
Rob Dunlavey April 11, 2006
Zimm, What a ludicrous debate. This is a very special thing and we should contribute. I don't care if other services are free. They aren't Drawger! Students, I can take 'em or leave 'em. Mostly leave 'em but I s'pose we should be moderately charitable. I like the simplicity of this place. That's what makes it so good and fun. Keep up the good work. Charge what you need to charge. You get what you pay for. --RD
Steve Wacksman April 12, 2006
At a measley Jackson a year, you can count me in. Where else could I whine and complain to my heart's content and not wind up friendless and divorced? This is the place for me. And twenty bucks? That's only the cost of a quarter page full color illo ( overnight turnaround) in a major glossy!
Luc Latulippe April 12, 2006
It's a comment-a-palooza! Didn't mean to start such a heated debate. I just want point out again that the comment I sent Zimm was the sum of the comments from a few other illustrators to whom I had extended a Drawger invitation. I have no problem with paying a fee to use Drawger (although since last week when our new place flooded right before we were supposed to move in, I'm suddenly pinching pennies like never before) and truly value the uniqueness of this site. But having said that, I do know a few insanely talented illustrators who can barely afford a cup of coffee these days (I'm sure many of us know one or more artists in this situation), through no fault of their own, and it seems unfortunate to think they'd have to be excluded from something so cool just for being broke. cheers! Luc