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As you guys already know, Cheers & Jeers is on hiatus with its return in doubt. Bill in Portland Maine lost his job, which had previously given him the flexibility to dedicate a significant amount of time to writing what clearly was a time-consuming and wildly popular daily feature. Not only was the stresses of finding a new job to support himself and his family too much to be "funny" and creative, but the chances of finding a new job with similar flexibilities was a long-shot.

The C&J community has rallied on his behalf and has asked for permission to support C&J. And after giving it some thought, BIPM has agreed to give it a shot.

So here's the deal: you guys can have Bill and C&J -- all of him, 100% -- if you can raise the money for his salary. He would be the first reader-supported writer on the site.

I'm not talking a fellowship, here. I'm talking about you guys directly supporting Bill's efforts.

To that end, I created a brand new PayPal account that would be "his". The fundraising goal is $50,000 for salary and benefits, which while a significant pay cut from what he was previously making, would be offset by the fun of hanging out with you guys on a "full-time" basis.

I wish I could create a neat subscription page like the one Jeremy (ct) did for the site subscriptions, but Jeremy is on paternity leave and my efforts yesterday crashed and burned. I'll figure it out eventually, but for now, here are some low-tech links:

One time contribution: click here

$5 monthly contribution: click here

$10 monthly contribution: click here

$20 monthly contribution: click here

Added by BiPM: To send a check via snail mail, the address is: Bill Harnsberger, 16 Pitt Street, Portland, ME, 04103.

For my part, I'm in for a one-time $500 contribution, plus a $20 monthly recurring. It's up to you guys to cover the rest, so do what you need to do to save this beloved feature.

I will update the totals regularly (I wish PayPal did a fundraising thermometer). With my contribution, we're starting off with $740. If we don't reach the goal within a week or so and BIPM has to go find that corporate job, I will refund everyone's contributions.

The pressure is on you guys to make this happen. But even though you C&Jers are a motley crew, I definitely predict success!

Update: Not even an hour has gone by, and we're at $4,042, and that doesn't include computing future recurring payments (which unfortunately PayPal makes difficult to calculate). But an educated guess puts that at an additional $2,000 or so. So we're over 10 percent of our goal.

Update II at 10:26 PT: We're at $5,419. 42 recurring, and 92 one-time. One generous soul gave $1,000. Averaging the recurrings at $10, that's about another $4,200, getting us close to $10,000. I could theoretically get a more accurate count of the recurrings by scrolling through pages and individually adding up the subscription levels, but that started to look suspiciously like "math", and my fingers locked up in terror.

Update III at 11:10 a.m. PT. We're at $6,793. I just realized that I was double counting subscribers above. The actually tally is 53 recurring, and 84 one-time contributors. Assuming a recurring average of $10, that means we're closing in on $11K in two hours. You guys must love Bill or something.

I've got to step out for a few hours for a lunch appointment. I'll update again when I return this afternoon.

And yes, the contribution links (and eventually, the contribution page) will be easily findable over the next week or two. We're clearly off to a good start, and I'm extra confident now that we'll hit our targets and save C&J.

Update IV at 1:33 p.m. PT. We're at $9,556. 85 recurring and 169 one-time contributors. The recurrings should average out to about another $9,000 for the year. That means we're closing in on 40% of our goal.

Update V at 5:30 p.m. PT. Last one for the day since I've got a family demanding attention: We're at $11,877. 123 recurring and 205 one-time contributions.

Originally posted to kos on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 09:08 AM PDT.

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