Jan 31Liked by LaDonna Witmer

Holy crap! I was on the fence about paying as I just found out our firm will have its 4th round of layoffs. But your memoir is painfully close to my own upbringing. Were you ever able to get out from feeling everything you do or think wrong will send you to hell? It’s this cloud that comes with me where ever I go. I’m signing up for paid as I need you to write your memoir and I need to read it. I’m hoping for a happy ending.

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Trig! Wow. Thank you so much and I'm crossing my fingers and holding my breath for you in this round of layoffs. (I've been laid off so many times in my career... the writers usually get the axe first. Even when it's expected, it's painful and scary. I feel you.)

And yes! Yes, I have gotten out from the cloud of feeling everything I do or think "wrong" will send me to hell. It took awhile, but I am free from that. You will be too. Sending you lots of love.

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Feb 1Liked by LaDonna Witmer

We are now officially part of your crew (I subscribed for my partner Julie as well). I am totally bummed about the whole beer thing though ;-). I was seriously hoping to buy you a beer the next time you are over on our side of the river (and we know ALL the good craft beer here in Lisboa!). Now you will have to buy your own beers, unless you have wowed me with one of your missives, in which case, the beer is on me...thanks for being you LaDonna!

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Thanks so much, Glen & Julie! Your support warms the cockles of my little heart.

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Feb 8·edited Feb 8

LaDonna, could you email me with your contact email? I have some very very serious and heartbreaking news to share and didn't want to share it on here so publicly. I can't find your email in my contacts. I've also lost Johanna's email address. I would like to be able to write and share this news to both of you. Thanks. My email is dasextonky@gmail.com

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As a 'consumer' of 'art', I struggle with this issue & conundrum. I have admired your words, and said so publicly in FB-OSC (before being denied access to community by an illiberal liberal), leading me to free-subscribing here, so as to get the emails (an infinitely more reliable mechanism than FB's algorithm anyway).

I was an enthusiastic subscriber to - I now forget it's name - a decade+ ago, a micropayments system where my $X/month would be shared across all of the writers / bloggers / media outlets I read, in proportion to my actual consumption, but that was a failed experiment. "Flattr" likewise lasted longer, but also is gone. At the bottom of Flattr's wikipedia article is a list of 'payment processors' whose number should lead us to conclude that "maybe just one more will get it right!?" isn't dealing with the core problem/challenge that's prevented all of them from serving the needs of this situation...

Micropayments haven't taken off also in no small part because we're beholden to a Visa/Mastercard payments system duopoly (and a network of connective-tissue middlemen behind them) that ensures each transaction sees a dollar going their way. Europe seems to have a few more options, but they're regionally focussed: well-meaning diversity can sometimes turn duopoly into balkanisation, and still no one wins.

Cryptocurrency, too, is - at least for the foreseeable future - a failed experiment which could've served this micropayments niche very well, on a global scale, but was subverted by greedy criminals who'd make Gordon Gecko blush, who've left a trail of wreckage and countless $billions lost to fraud, or theft via inconceivably poor infosec by people who were supposed to know better.

I am a 'patron' of a dozen+ YouTubers & podcasters via Patreon, have been for many years, one of the "less than 1%" who do, so that those creators aren't/are less at the mercy of Youtube's ever-ratcheting-down fees paid to creators, with an ever more obnoxious level of advertising inserted into videos; basically I'm paying 100x what I would if everyone who viewed their content paid something. I'm also paying for Youtube Premium, so that I don't have those videos interrupted mid-sentence with Youtube advertising, at least a significant chunk of which also goes to those creators - what a scam! lol

We subscribe to a few mainstream newspapers, because we believe in the importance of professional journalism.

We've had Netflix and Hulu subscriptions since their early days, tech early-adopters; but after that technical know-how spread, the movie/tv-studios thought they could return to the days of $100-150/household cable-tv subscription income levels by withdrawing their content from the vendor-agnostic market of Netflix/Hulu/et.al.and sell them only on their own brand's streaming service (which they refer to as "competition", absurd doublespeak that would make the GOP feel at home), and now we're back to paying half a dozen subscription services 10-20$ each per month.

This has been feeling more and more like "death by a thousand paper cuts", lemon-soaked ones at that knowing that I'm the 1 paying for the 99 who won't. I'm actually starting to feel a bit resentful about the whole thing, because this 'landscape', being one of those 1 in 100, doesn't seem to have gotten much better for the past 2 decades of our Web 2.0 new-media gatekeeper-less user-created-content "utopia".

One more perspective: As a life-long technologist, I've seen the rise and rise of the "free and open-source" paradigm, kinda starting with a little operating system called 'Linux' in the 90s and spread like a seedling growing into a forest, one which now powers an inconceivably large proportion of our computerised world, from the biggest internet servers to the tiniest of internet-connected things in our homes and pockets. Linux and other open-source operating systems sit amidst a forest of other software that billions of people also use every day without having the slightest clue of its existence, it's just there glueing everything together, and all of it is 100% free forever, for anyone to use. ALL of this has come about by software developers, primarily in their "spare time" but occasionally from the good will of commercial interests who recognise they've been saved from having to write an enormous body of software themselves and so 'give back' some of their own development efforts for everyone else to benefit from. This is absolutely extraordinary on one hand, but it in fact represents the lack of commercial potential in most 'generic' and 'glue' software; it's hard to make money selling something which someone else could "write themselves" if they so chose to put in tens or hundreds or thousands of hours of effort in re-inventing something which already exists. Thus springs the open-source software ecosystem, each developer committed to nurturing their own little branch of that dense forest ecosystem, pouring countless hours of their mostly-spare time into its development and maintenance (while working their day-job), and collectively offering a smorgasbord of software for the entire world to do amazing things with, freed to focus on developing the software which is core or unique to their product / business / need.

I know, the utilitarian open-source software ecosystem, consumed unconsciously by almost everyone everywhere, all day every day, isn't the same thing as an artist toiling over their unique snowflake piece of 'art' to be 'enjoyed' by a usually-tiny slice of the the world. But I think it does speak to the reality that "artists" aren't the only ones who toil without compensation, for the betterment of all.

I applaud your choice to find and offer a 'freemium' way forward.

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