So What Now, Honest Answer?

Well, it’s raining right now. Hard. The wind is blowing the (expletive deleted) bamboo in the yard all over the place. Y’all may have noticed that there is a hurricane named Irma that is beating up the southeastern United States. Here in northeast Bama, we are only feeling the slightest edge of the storm, but it’s still pretty impressive.

If the transmitters or any other equipment at the radio station where Marty is Chief Operator and Engineer even blinks, it’s likely that he’ll have to spend the night at the radio station to try to keep it on the air through the winds that we are expecting.

Regardless of wind or rain, The Honest Answer, live shows, blog, etc. must be maintained, too…maintained and improved.

As we discussed on last week’s show, we have moved our broadcast platform away from Spreaker. Spreaker has done nothing wrong; we ain’t mad. We promised at the beginning of the year that some positive changes were in the works, and so….

The changes will be coming faster and faster, from this point. This week’s show will be broadcast from our VERY OWN website, the usual Honest Answer Radio link. It ain’t YouTube Live…it’s Honest Answer live. A few days ago, Marty activated a script to run with our WordPress engine, and that’s just a beginning point. Soon we will offer others the opportunity to use our video broadcast platform to do their own thing, too, through our normal website. We are working on Terms of Service and that sort of thing at the moment; so there will be a slight delay before that feature becomes active.

Soon, (and very soon, actually) we will begin offering Premium content, that will require those who desire that content to pay us a small subscription fee. Everything about Honest Answer Radio that has always been free to access will remain free. Our live show and blog will continue to be free to access, in other words, so don’t worry about us getting too big for our britches.

The new Premium content will be additional video blogs from Marty and I, and maybe even Tina, when she feels like doing a little ranting. I have written a couple of novels, as well, which I’ve been meaning to publish through someplace like Amazon or Google Play….however, distrust of huge corporations has grown among the Honest Answer crew over the last couple of years, so I’ve been letting the novels sit idle. With Marty’s discovery of Linux K’ung Fu, and all that, our ability to set up a pay wall and serialize the novels has emerged, and so very soon, y’all will be able to read those novels. We have every intention of keeping the Premium price low; most likely it will be under five bucks per month, if we can swing that.

Why charge anything at all? That’s a question that deserves a very direct and honest answer. (see what I did there?) The script to run video from our own website costs us money to use, as will the pay wall, too. Our bandwidth use will probably go up, too, which means that we’ll have to pay the Internet Service Provider more money. In the past, we’ve carried all our costs ourselves, and only offered a small “Donate” button to help fund what we do. The thing is, though, that we want to do more than we have been doing, and it’s going to cost us more to produce content and post it on the website.

I’ve seen lots of pitches from others in the Conservative world, where content-producers talk about increasing production quality, and a lot of other things that don’t make sense to me. I don’t want a Patreon account, or a GoFundMe page, I really don’t. Marty and Tina and I have observed how those funding platforms have treated Conservatives lately, and we don’t want to mess around. Ours, and every other content-producer on YouTube’s content, is cheap to do. Our costs are relatively low, in the grand scheme of things, and pleading for donations while promising to increase production quality and stuff like that don’t make sense for us to do.

What we’ve decided to do is just offer more content, and ask a small amount of money for the additional content to cover some basic costs. We don’t even want to redesign the website, and so you won’t see much of a change there, either.

Ads are another thing that we don’t want to mess with. I like to do our internet show without commercials, and so do Marty and Tina. I don’t want ads popping up when people are trying to read the blog, either. We’ve kept that stuff to a minimum ever since we started the website, and have no intention of doing otherwise in the future.

We DO, however need to make a little money from what we do online. There are various reasons for this, which I will lay out for y’all. Since we began broadcasting on NowLive waaaaaay back in 2007, we’ve made less than 500 dollars from affiliate ads and donations. Neither Marty, Tina, or I have made one thin dime for our live shows, not even the ones we did on terrestrial radio. The last terrestrial gig that we did last year was supposed to generate revenue, but the radio station never sold a single ad for us, due to things that make me cuss and I won’t go into at this time.

Ever since 2007, we have made all kinds of investments in sound boards, computer upgrades, microphones, cables for the mics, cameras. We’ve also paid what I think are hideous fees to our internet provider(s) because, apparently, uploading content (the live shows, and any archived material) eats up more bandwidth than downloading movies, and we have been charged, at times, over 300 bucks per month to maintain internet service.

Doing our live show isn’t much of a problem, financially, but it does cost us some. In addition to paying for broadband internet, we also paid Spreaker 20 bucks/month, and our internet hosting fee for the Honest Answer website is 15 bucks/month. We are now doubling that last bit by offering video. You see, it isn’t as expensive to do what we do as some on the internet would have you believe, but there ARE costs involved.

On the home front, both Marty and Tina work full-time jobs outside the home. I stay here and do caregiver duties to my Mama, who has Alzheimer’s. This week, we’ve got a guy coming out to give us a quote on how much it’s gonna cost us to remove five large trees next to our house and power lines. The house in which we live is old. Half of the house was built just before WWII, and the other half was added on in 1971. There are some ISSUES with this old house that must be addressed, and done within a year or so.

In short, we need more revenue than we have. Okay. The only way that either Marty or Tina, or I, know to get more money is to do more work. That’s why we are going to do the Premium Content thing. This way, nobody who visits the blog or comes to the live show will be asked to pay for what we’ve already been doing for free all these years. The live show and the blog will always be free, period. The Honest Answer Crew are just working a little harder, now, and so the extra stuff is going to be our additional revenue stream. Details of how it will all work are being worked out already, and should be appearing soon. We’ll keep you posted.