Why we are asking for donations -- however small? We wanted to take a moment to try and explain...
You may see we've added some micro-donation buttons to the site. If not here they are:
We want to work towards making this website 'ad free', so we're asking for a TINY bit of help!
Please can you make a micro donation, right now? If just half our daily visitors can spare between a 'dime' and 'half-a-dollar' we can soon remove advertising and still afford the development, maintenance and management fees for our website. A BIG THANKYOU in advance for helping us reach our goal:
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 two year or so 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 act like they may be one!)
In the Search Engine giant's everlasting (supposed) objective of weeding out poor internet material and 'improving' search results for all -- they have moved to prioritize large websites (such as Wikipedia! and other so-called 'curation' sites) and have taken measures that have virtually 'killed' small-time web-masters 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.. we had hoped that our earnest effort to maintain a degree of quality would keep us safe enough. Sadly this has not been the case.
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 spots in the search results. And 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 every visitor to the site could let us have just a tiny donation -- or micro-donation as it is called -- of perhaps up to 50 cents... 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 eternally 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 will give 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.
This update was posted on Feb 6th 2013 (the day we launched our micro-funding initiative) -- so we'll make the next update when we reach our first target and let you know how the new initiative goes.
AND If you can give-a-little right now -- here are those buttons again:
A BIG Thank you to all who help out -- even if you can 'only spare a dime'! We really do appreciate it.
Ruth, Al, Esther & Aimee!