Recently in one of my weekly blog posts I mentioned how few people contribute on a regular basis. I received a number of emails apologising on behalf of those who enjoy the weekly challenge but aren’t inclined to give, and some even offered up ideas on different models that could help me receive more income. I must make it clear that I don’t do it for money, and there’s no complusion to give – I enjoy keeping my hand in and offering a world-class cryptic crossword to make up for the standard that has become the norm in Australian papers. There is also a faction that wish to establish an Australian cryptic style that is completely off-beam and contrary to what’s needed to help the growth of cryptics in Australia. I believe I’m the only person who is standing in the way of this faction, and, as a result, I must keep flying the cryptic flag. Having said all that, it is nice to feel appreciated whether it be in the form of contributions, blog posts or emails.
One financial model suggestion from a regular poster revolved around solvers effectively raising a prescribed amount each week to enable the publication of the next Stickler Weekly. That is, I would set a price, and if that price is given through contributions by the next publishing date the Stickler Weekly gets published. If not, it’s held over to the next publishing date where the same condition applies. Each time a Stickler Weekly gets published, the amount resets, and the process continues. It doesn’t matter how much is given, it’s just whether the goal has been reached at publishing time. How do you all feel about this idea? It has flaws (like what about contributions already given and those who contribute once a year etc) and technically might be complicated for me to implement, but it’s an idea.
A model that stemmed from this one is similiar (credit to my wife for this): If you add up all the contributions since I started the Stickler Weekly (including almost $2000 raised for the Cancer Council’s Seven Bridges Walk last year), the average contribution per Stickler Weekly is $40. Using that as a starting point, and drawing a chronological line at the start of the year, the goal would be to gradually lift the average contribution per crossword according to a schedule that would end up at a reasonable average price probably in line with that of the first model. If the average hasn’t been lifted by the planned date, the Stickler Weekly would stop until it does. This model, too, has its problems, as it could be that I’m asking too much of solvers and those faithful contributors will suffer as the result of inaction from others. It could be that the Stickler Weekly simply isn’t sustainable.
These are just ideas – I’d like SOMETHING to happen, but for the moment the Stickler Weekly will continue. Please let me know what you think either publicly through the website or privately through email. If you have another idea, feel free to let me know.