This is the first in what will be an evolving series of updates on this initiative. None of this is set in stone. Please read it in its entirety, even if it’s disjointed – thanks!
I started this website in 2006 and continue to write original content on a fairly frequent basis. I love it. Readers seem to enjoy it. It has very rarely felt like work to me. Traveling around the state, meeting new and interesting people, learning cool stuff, forging new friendships and soon, hoping to develop new partnerships.
I write about far, FAR more than museums. This is an incredibly sticky site. People come here for one thing and end up staying for far longer than intended. I’m proud of that.
I have also been proud of the fact that I’ve never had advertisements on the site. I’ve been approached many, many times to create some revenue here. Or, “monetize the site” in proper parlance. I’ve resisted.
Resisted out of laziness as much as due to any integrity, I must admit.
To put ads on here, I have to (or have someone else) re-format the site. It was built with big sidebars on purpose, but I’m not sure they’re big enough. The whole skeleton of this monster is from 2006. It’s not responsive to your mobile devices – and it certainly needs to be.
Additionally, There are hundreds of dead links, typos, outdated information, general mistakes… you get the point. CTMQ is a hobby. I have written every single word on here. There are well over 1,300 pages of content as of today (December 3, 2013) and I certainly don’t have time to begin editing this site. It is a website and not a blog. Readers are as likely to land on any one of those 1,300 pages as any other. Noting is time-sensitive on CTMQ. That is a huge difference from a typical blog.
No one wants the AdSense ads or the Google ads here. Although that may be a first step, or integrated in some unobtrusive way, I would want REAL ads from REAL local entities who pay REAL money for the space. I believe CTMQ is worth it. (Ok, lots of other people have slowly convinced me of that, and I’d love to have evidence at some point.) Each content page is one page. I don’t play link-bait games or click-though games. I respect my readers too much – and I hope advertisers respect that.
Which brings up another problem: How in the world am I going to court and secure these theoretical advertisers? TBD at this point. (Although feel free to contact me if interested or have experience with such things!)
Oh, and no way will I ever write paid content. Period. Nor will I change or shape content based upon advertising dollars – the money won’t even go to me (keep reading). I just can’t ever do that and if you’re a business that asks for or expects that, please go elsewhere.
Several years ago I wrote the CTMQ Mission Statement. On that page I wrote, “When I figure out how best to do it, I also want this site to serve as a vehicle to increase awareness of special needs issues and rare genetic disorder support. I have used it to help me deal with parenting Damian (his story here) and it will ultimately encompass many years’ worth of his growth.”
Well folks, I’m now at that point. All of CTMQ’s advertising revenue and donations will go directly to the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research Foundation. I don’t know if this will be $2 or $20,000, but I’m eager to find out. My son has SMS and I am close friends with the Foundation. In its short existence, the foundation has raised over $200,000 – all of which has gone directly to research. Baylor College of Medicine and the SMSRF have entered into a partnership which is really just an amazing feat.
The SMSRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Perhaps CTMQ can become an official one as well. For now, it’s just me looking for you to donate to them. Once I implement ads and stuff, I may need to do this more properly.
I want to help the effort. I want YOU to want to help the effort. Please consider donating and/or advertising on the site. Please let me know if you have any ideas of how to make this effort work really well or if you have other revenue generating ideas. I’m all ears.
For now, you can donate through PayPal here.