This Site Will Be Shutting Down…
Originally posted on September 21, 2014 @ 4:40 PM
Unless YOU Can Help!
We will be shutting JKI down permanently unless we can figure out a way to make this site pay for itself. The good news is, we think we have a way to do this. Read on. The bad news, at least for some readers, is that the long free ride is soon to be over.
Because if we can't fix this problem soon, the best readers can hope for is that John may (or may not) continue to publish the occasional article via a free blog platform.
And not incidentally, the bad guys will win, too. JKI is one of the few places left in the world where you can get the unvarnished truth from someone who is not afraid to call it as he sees it – without influence from the “money men” (and others) who seek total information control on this planet.
So why has it reached this point?
In short, it's too expensive and time consuming to run JKI as a full time hobby. And basically, that's what it's been for most of it's duration.
As some of you know well, for the better part of two years now, JKI has put out incredible, never-before-seen material. John has broken stories nobody else could – or would – and provided exclusive info and intel only he has access to. This content could (and probably should) be going into books, rather than “given away.” Though, of course, some of it is very topical and is totally appropriate for immediate release. In any event, JKI is a very unique, one-of-a-kind site and we feel it's about time it stops bleeding us dry. Either that, or we walk away for good.
It's really that simple.
Our original game plan had been to make money from John's books, and let the site be a side project. Unfortunately (from a time/money standpoint), the site has taken on a life of it's own. In some ways, especially for John, it's become all consuming.
JKI has actually become a hindrance to getting books out, among other things. And since John feels an obligation to his loyal site readers, we either have to find a way to make this work or stop doing it all together.
Books are much, much harder to write, assemble and release than blog posts. Books require a team of people to put out, and that takes time and money. The site that was supposed to be an adjunct to the books has actually made it nearly impossible to get books out, because while it takes enormous amounts of time and a fair amount of money just to run, it generates very little revenue in return.
As a result of this Catch 22, the book projects have been stalled out for quite some time. But even successful book projects don't necessarily pay for a site that gets the amount of traffic JKI gets. Unless you are lucky enough to pen a long-term best seller, books tend to be hot for a few months, then die off.
We have felt – since the beginning – that the site needs to pay for itself and cover the additional costs associated with it. That means not just hosting and related online expenses, but things like overhead, our time and (gasp) maybe even something beyond that. You know, the kind of totally unreasonable expectations other businesses have (sarcasm!). It's incredibly hard to do much more than the bare minimum when the cash flow simply isn't there.
For a time, the site was able to eek out a living with donations. But with the exception of a few diehards, donations have almost completely dried up, despite the fact that the traffic and readership is still there. This is due, we feel, to donor fatigue, among other factors.
But it's really because the vast majority of visitors have had and continue to have a free ride!
To those of you have contributed and/or continue to donate to JKI, we are incredibly grateful. If not for your generous support, this site would not have lasted as long as it has. But something has to give. It's unfair to ask a handful of donors to prop up a site that gets thousands of visitors every week.
Major news sites the world over are going (or have gone) to the pay-to-play model. They've seen the same thing we have: trying to sell the cow when you're giving away the milk is a very bad and ultimately unsustainable business model. Further, expecting a few Google Adsense ads to pay the freight isn't going to cut it (it hasn't). And I've explained how donations aren't working either.
Our plan now is to follow The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, etc. – not to mention countless investment, intelligence and specialty sites – and charge for full access. Some content will continue to be provided for free. But total access will require a paid membership, via a reasonable monthly subscription. We're thinking on the order of $7.95 per month, with a substantial discount for those who buy a full year at a time.
We want JKI to be affordable to those who have stuck with us all these many months, but we also feel it's time for the rest of the world to step up. If only a small percentage of readers pay for a subscription, we would find ourselves in a very different financial situation. Our hope is that enough of you see real value in what John does to come along with us. So here's the deal…
If YOU want to see JKI survive, then let us know what you think of this plan. We really do need to hear from you!
Setting up this new paradigm will require further investment in time and software, and we have no intention of going down that road if the interest isn't there to support the changeover. In addition, since we've got a number of substantial expenses about to hit, your feedback is not just valuable, but necessary.
We're going to make a final decision about the fate of JKI in the coming weeks. The many readers of this site – of which there are thousands – now have the opportunity to decide whether JKI lives or dies. If we get a lot of positive feedback (and even “commitments”) then we will move forward with the changeover. If not, one day soon you will come to this site and find… nothing.
It really is up to you.
Karl the Webmaster (and John)