Why we are asking for donations? We wanted to take a moment to try and explain...
You may see we've added some donation buttons to the site. If not here they are:
But why have we resorted to asking for donations?
Well this goes back to our original intentions to make this a completely free information site.
Admittedly some services we provide actually promote businesses in the DR or products that come form the DR and thus help the local economy, and we are very happy, whenever we have the opportunity, to contribute in such a way, especially in these globally difficult economic times. So that is not going to change...
But what has happened is the last few years is that we realized how 'vulnerable' we are to the vagaries of the 'Big Boys' who rule the 'Search Engine' roost! (i.e. the BIG 'G' and we don't mean God -- although they sometimes seem to act as if they are!)
In the Search Engine giant's ongoing objective of weeding out poor internet material and 'improving' search results for all (which, if it actually appeared to be true, would be commendable)-- they have moved to prioritize large websites (such as Wikipedia! and other so-called 'curation' sites despite many of them being dubiously engineered to attract your 'click') and have taken measures that have virtually 'killed off' small-time web-masters, with limited financial resources, like us!
Whilst we were well aware that there were many mediocre and almost worthless 'cloned' websites featuring poorly written or simply 'stolen' material proliferating on the Web (some even stole our own original content!)... we had hoped that our earnest effort to maintain a degree of quality would keep us 'safe enough'. Sadly this has not proven to be the case.
We Do care!
The fact that we have worked hard to be original, real and we do care -- counts for nothing with 'Big G' of course! BUT We hope it MAY mean something to you...
Due to Search Engine changes dating back as far as mid October 2011 (some of you may have heard of Mr.Panda!), and other changes in 2012 (yes the ludicrously named Penguin update!), we lost a lot of our typical regular traffic and many of our coveted and may we say deserved, premier places in many search results. But that traffic is what allows us to maintain and develop the site -- in so far as it generates revenue from advertising clicks.
BUT... We NEVER liked featuring ads, yet it seemed a necessary evil and it did produce enough income to maintain the site, pay the hosting, pay for 'some' of the many hours put into the development of material and article writing, editing, research -- etc., etc., etc...
BUT this has now been cut-off solely through the actions of 'the Big Boys' effectively bullying the little guys like us.
But rather than cry over spilt milk we determined to free ourselves from the shackles of the economic ties with 'they who shall remain nameless'... and work towards getting rid of all advertising from the site (unless it appertains to genuine Dominican products, businesses, arts or crafts -- and are ads created by us for our contacts and friends in the Dominican Republic).
Every Little Helps!
In order to do this we therefore decided that if even if only 20% of our valued visitors to the site could let us have just a tiny donation -- perhaps just a dollar... we could not only afford to maintain the site, promote worthy causes relating to the Dominican Republic and 'give back' more where it counts... we could ALSO dump the 'advertising' platform that now gives so little and may even have been a cause for our site to lose some of its traction in the SERPs!! (What's that you ask? Search Engine Results Pages!!).
If YOU can help us
NOW by throwing in a few cents -- we will be genuinely grateful... And
we will aim to become 'ad free' as soon as it is financially viable.
Should we reach the point where we cover our daily costs in running and maintaining the site -- we will use surplus to 'build out' the site further and make it even better, PLUS we commit to giving 25% of what accrues (above and beyond the daily requirements) directly to Dominican charities working to improve the lives of children in the DR. When this begins to happen we will post the information about where the money has gone and the amounts we have donated (on YOUR behalf) right here on this page.
AND If you can give-a-little right now -- here is that button again:
A BIG Thank you to all who help out -- even if you can 'only spare a oner'! We really do appreciate it.
Al G Smith -- Website Manager