State of the blog: On the logo contest, website design, ‘crowdfunding’ and audience-building

Of website-related note:

  1. We are still holding a logo design contest, and as I’m still “building an audience” (to say the least), I’m not putting a deadline on the contest. I’ve got all of one entry after four days, so whenever you feel like trying to post a 500×100 pixel “banner” logo and a 150×150 “watermark,” give ‘er a go–when there are enough entries to vote upon (5-ish? 10-ish?), we’ll hold a vote.

The prize is $50 and a cut of merchandise sales, and yes, the goal is to produce merchandise that’s worth wearing…as well as to capture “the spirit” of TMR.

Entries can be posted in the comments section via your own upload or sent to me at rtxg@yahoo.com, and you can always reach me on Twitter or Facebook as well.

2. Website design will follow the logo/theme contest. I have had two people step forward to discuss possibly designing the website, and I don’t want to leave them in a lurch, but I will admit that if you’re familiar with WordPress or are willing to work for a reasonable rate, I will consider all comers. Again, my email is rtxg@yahoo.com,¬†etc etc.

3. Regarding fundraising, I’m still pushing http://www.patreon.com/themalikreport as the main “crowdfunding” source, but if you’re not cool with Patreon (yes, they do take a cut of the $), you can always go with http://paypal.me/TheMalikReport.

Crowdfunding is basically a euphemism for, “I post content and you pledge $ to support the work,” and the reason I ask for monthly pledges instead of a lump sum is to provide a monthly income (Ideally a monthly income I can live off of, so that I can 1. continue working and 2. reinvest as much $ as possible in the website and YOU)…but however you want to structure the crowdfunding, if you’re kindly considering doing so, is fine.

I will keep my pledge to both keep content free and keep content commercial-free for as long as I possibly can, but as they say, “Freedom isn’t free,” so while I hate to do it, I have to ask for your support to keep doing this. Honest-to-Pete, as little as $1 a month makes a big difference.

4. Finally, the biggest favor I can ask of you is to spread the word that TMR is up and running and that this place is a decent spot for Wings news. The truth of the audience-building matter is that what I expected happened–most of the KK TMR people stayed with KK, which is fine, and most of you are either people who follow on Twitter/Facebook, or you’re new readers. Most of the people who read this blog will consist of Twitter/FB people who’ve already followed me for a while and/or new readers, and I need your help to build a new audience and build a new community of readers.

The unspoken goal of all of this stuff is to build the community of readers and supporters who enjoy/find meaning in/interact with what they’re reading and writing (in the case of Red Wings fans, tolerating, coping with, withstanding, grieving over, etc.) with some sort of sense of, “We’re in this together”-ness. I know that sounds campy, but community-building is the underlying goal of the blog.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.