JMG Turns Fourteen (And News Of Upcoming Changes)

This week marks the fourteenth blogiversary of this here website thingy. Counting this one, we’re at 75,285 posts over 14 years, the last ten of which have been without a day off. Whether I am insanely committed or am insane and should be committed – that is your call. The actual launch date anniversary comes this weekend, but since more of you are here on a weekday, it makes sense to lay out some coming changes today.

FORUMS: The continuing popularity of our daily overnight open thread has prompted some of you to nudge me again to install reader forums devoted to specific topics of interest to our horde of flying monkeys. Among the suggested forum topics are cooking, gardening, pets, travel, home improvement, health, employment, and senior issues. Depending on which forum plug-in we settle on in the next few days, we may call on faithful volunteers as moderators.

NEWSLETTER: Our new tech Russ has built a MailChimp-based digital newsletter that compiles each day’s JMG headlines into a single email blast delivered every morning to your inbox. Your subscription to the newsletter cannot be shared or sold and it will contain a one-click unsubscribe function. Of course, for some of you that already visit multiple times a day, a newsletter might not be useful, but at least half of JMG’s visitors arrive less than daily.

JMG T-SHIRTS: Yes kids, JMG T-shirts are coming back in their original style! I’ve ordered test samples from two reasonably priced print-to-order companies and when they arrive I’ll decide which one is most like the soft comfy shirts that everybody loved. I’ll set the price point as close to cost as they let me. And if you wear your shirt to Pride this year, be sure to send us a photo!

IOS APP: As some of you have noted, some WordPress-based sites are plagued with reloading glitches when viewed on Apple devices. The WordPress support forums are buzzing with demands for a fix, but so far we’ve seen nothing and that’s the kick in the ass we needed to finally build a JMG app. The tech guys are taking bids for a custom app, but in the meantime regular JMG readers have noted that the Puffin browser, which is free in the Apple App Store, seems to work perfectly.

We’ve been brainstorming these changes for weeks and will be rolling out them one-by-one over the next couple of weeks so that we can pinpoint the source if something goes funky. I’ll alert you as each of them becomes available, of course.

And now to the sordid topic of coin. As I noted last week, revenues for the traditional banner and display ads seen here on JMG have utterly cratered over the last six months as advertisers stampede to all manner of intrusive pop-up videos, sidebar videos, autoplay in-post videos, and total page takeovers.

Every week I get multiple pitches from agencies wanting to “more effectively monetize” JMG traffic by making this joint as annoying as every other news site. One even goaded me to sign with them by snarking that “your plummeting rev is not a sustainable model.” (Yeah, fuck that guy.)

Therefore, after many years of very kind offers of support from longtime readers, I now finally put out my tin cup in order to keep the lights on.

If you have already have a PayPal account, you can hit the JMG tip jar at this link. If you don’t, you can still use the “Buy Now” button below and insert any amount. (PayPal rules now stipulate that their “Donate” button is for non-profits only.)

As always, you have my eternal thanks for being part of JMG. Help yourself to some punch and cookies and please don’t let the cat out. And onward to year fifteen!