Friday, June 7, 2013

What Is Time Worth?
As I write this, my phone says 3:19 AM. I just got home from Death Ray Comics, and the sound of a famished Sherman wolfing down a late dinner, fills my cozy home.

Today, I created a mental grocery list of all the projects I was going to finish when I got home, done with work for the evening:
-Edit and publish a now 12 day-old zeros n heroes podcast.
-Design and write more signage for DRC.
-Edit and publish a now 17 day-old "Making the Most" podcast.
-Layout the content for the DRC zine.
-Eat dinner.
-Read some comic books.
and the list goes on...
However, when the rubber meets the road, it's hard to break away from projects that have potential in paying for themselves to complete projects that aren't self-sustaining.

Having listened to an interesting episode of "On the Media" (DOWNLOAD) which tackles the problems of financing content on the internet, I've gone back and started tracking the amount of money I put into this hobby, and my can of chili a deal meal plan is making more sense. The "On the Media" episode doesn't really even breach the subject of making money from online content, but just paying for the content to be created and distributed.

Making and sharing creative content is what I love. It's what keeps me sane. But it does take time and money. (I guess that creates a quantitative equation for the cost of sanity ...)

I'm playing with a couple of models and ideas that could help support these  podcasts.

But I'd really like to hear from media consumers. What moves you to contribute to the culture you love? Do you contribute? And if you do, what is your preferred model (pay for special content, open donation, reward based giving, etc)?

Preemptively I say thank you for your honest thoughts and comments.

And if you wonder how much the time it took me to write this was worth, well ... I started writing this on the toilet, and now finish in my bed... So I guess this post's time is worth a shit - and maybe a little sleep.


I feel like I need to qualify that I am not feeling sorry for myself. And I'm not thinking of cutting out podcasting. I am trying to think of how I can create great content without shoulder all of the cost alone. If you have contributed to a like cause in the past (Public Radio / Podcast / Publicly Financed Films / etc.), why did you contribute and how did you do it?  Thanks again.


  1. I'm not sure if my thoughts will help, but here it goes.
    Until very recently, I have not had access to any media that I really enjoyed. I had no internet save for what I could get on my android device, which I can barely afford as it is. To that end, I am a latecomer to the world of podcasting. Still, my device doesn't work well with iTunes or any of the paid podcast content hosts out there.
    That being said, I have already dipped my toe into paying for content. At one time I set up a monthly $1 subscription with a Smodco app, which I later discovered was in no way Smod related [and hence cancelled the subscription].
    My girlfriend and I have only recently become hooked up to the web, which was a major decision in our finances. Hashtag broke. But the more think about it, our brokeness doesn't have us tied to a cable provider, or even Netflix for that matter. So...if say in the future I came across a podcast or special that costs less than $20, I will likely buy it because more than half of my entertainment comes from podcasts or other web series.
    But then there was the ComicBookGirl119 Kickstarter. It was awesome. I did not contribute. I have mulled over why over and over again. I like her stuff a lot, and I am a shithead for passing up the opportunity to even throw in a buck.
    Maybe it was the reward tiers. Here was my line of thinking as I looked over the kickstarter page. ---I convinced myself that in order to matter, I had to give $50. That way I'd get some cool shit, too. I can give her $50. Wait. I have to pay my car insurance. If I give her $50 then I don't have gas money. And I'd feel dumb if I only sent $3 or something. I'll pay her next check. Oh wait. Now it is fully funded. Damn---
    That is a really petty way to think on my part. I know that the small donations matter just like the big ones.
    I do think I would be more likely to give anything at all if I didn't give myself unrealistic goals. I might even respond better if I had no idea if there is a reward chart. Like selling candy in school. You knew if you sold 10,000 bards you would get the limo ride to pizza hut...but you quickly realize you can't sell that many bars. And the reward for selling 20 bars is a shitty Trapper Keeper. So you don't try and the school's band doesn't get new instruments.
    So I guess it all breaks down into 3 categories of contribution.
    1.Pay per feature episode
    2.Pay into a lump sum
    3.Pay a monthly subscription

    1. Comicbookgirl19~ Gah, that's a great model! If I ask for help, I feel that I need to be as transparent as possible and I really appreciate your honesty in your personal finances. It's like looking in a mirror. Thank you!

  2. I feel like I have spent a good majority of my life doing things I didn't enjoy, for money, in hopes of having enough money to do the things that I enjoy doing.

    The problem I always ran in to, was never having the time, nor the energy to do the things I wanted to do after I finished doing the things I had to do for money. I eventually realized that I was aging, not getting old.. not yet at least, but getting older and decided I'd rather struggle spending my time doing things that I enjoy, with people who I enjoy, than not.

    Trent's, you're incredibly talented, caring, and funny. My world is a better place for having met you, as is, I'm sure, everyone else you've come in contact with, whether in person or online via podcasting. There's a tremendous value in that, that probably goes unnoticed, but it's real value.

    I have so many friends who always say, "one day, I'm going to do this," or, "I'd really like to do that sometime." You are doing what you've always wanted to do and I appreciate that, and I admire that.

    Lastly, it may result in long nights and low pay right now, but those things that you're creating are YOURS. They're not wasted effort or talent spent on someone else's product. No one, at the end of their life is going to look back and be grateful for all of the cell phones they've sold, or however many whatever it is you do at the University.

    Keep up the awesome work.

  3. Dear Friend. I've worked a full-time job since 1998, and it was always to keep busy. I used that money to buy movies and videogames; so you can easily say that my young adulthood was a very happy second childhood. some 15 years later I'm 32 years old and recently unemployed for the first time since 1998.
    5 years ago I started teaching martial arts, and since I was earning descent coin in my full-time job I was able to rent a little place and converted it into a cozy taekwondo school. For the last couple of years I've been struggling to pay rent on the school because it was always more than a hobby than work, and I really never tried to "make it work" as a business.
    Now things are different and as much as I'm enjoying not having to sleep only 3 hours and waking up at 2am; I have to say that it also sucks not to have that 60k a year job.
    I have more "free" time now. I only hope that I can use this newly acquired time to help my business grow, and hopefully live off it.
    I'm probably as happy as I've ever been because my time is being used mainly in only things that make me truly happy.
    I admit to you that not having that money sucks, but was I really using that money for things that I needed or wasting it on things only because I had that "extra money".
    The little money I have is now spend on thing I really need like food, gas for the car to drive me to the school, and it's the first time that I think I'm spending my money wisely.
    But, the hell! with spending my money wisely; I'm happy and for the first time in many years... I'm spending my time wisely.

    One love.