Can you help–optimism and reality

17 May

About a week ago, I had posted pleas for funds on here as well as our website.  We were desperate, and looking at the strong probability that we would be going off of the air at the end of the month, as we struggled to come up with the money we needed to keep everything running.  It was a depressing moment, both GM and & I are a bit arrogant, and tend to want to just do things ourselves, I suppose.   It’s never easy for anyone to admit that they are struggling financially, and to do so in a public forum is really uncomfortable.

A few days later, we managed to find a way to come up with $200 of the $510 we needed, bringing our “need” amount down to $310.  We hadn’t received any donations or other feedback, but we were feeling a bit more optimistic after having successfully obtained nearly half of what we needed ourselves.  The days passed by, and a new reality has begun to sink in.

Not only were there no donations at all the first few days, there still have not been any donations.

There have been no emails saying anyone enjoyed a particular guest or topic or program either.

There hasn’t even been any  emails telling us we’re awful.

Part of me wonders about what we’re doing and why we are doing it, and whether the apathy is truly there, or merely a perceived apathy right now on our part, due to the lack of feedback even more so than the requests for donations.  Is it the economy that has everyone struggling to make ends meet, and donating $5 or $10 for the show is just too much for their budgets?  Do they not LIKE the show?

I know many people who spend the bulk of their entertainment money on cable television, often over $100 per month.  They will let other bills go unpaid before they will even consider downsizing their cable package or heaven forbid, disconnecting from cable television.  They need those movie channels or sports channels like an addict needs their fix.  They have no idea what they would do with their time if that box in their living room didn’t entertain them every day, all day and most of the evening.  Some people will not go out with friends or entertain friends on certain nights of the week, as their favorite programs come on the air.  If they are spending $120 per month for their television package, during the course of a year, they have spent $1440 and typically have watched about 4 hours of television per day, or about 1460 hours during the year.  That means that television costs them about $.99 per hour.

During the course of a year, Dawn of Shades usually produces 50 shows, depending on which days of the week are holidays.  We’re always off the air during Mardi Gras, as the radio station is based in New Orleans.  For a $5 donation, that means that the radio program costs you $.05 per hour–a very economical option!  On the other hand, that 100 hours of programming has cost us $6120 annually or $61.20 per hour to produce, and the radio station has their own production costs, separate from ours.  In addition, we have invested hours of our unpaid time in website maintenance, preparation, research, emails, telephone calls, and other miscellaneous unseen and often tedious tasks.

We must be crazy.  We added a second program to our line up this year, which spreads the cost out among the two programs rather than one, but even so, it’s more man hours than ever.

Why would we do something like that when we’re already struggling to fund what we were doing initially?

Because we believe in what we’re doing. 

We believe we are doing our part to help everyone find the information they need when they are in search of the Truth, whatever that Truth turns out to be.  The Truth is no Secret, but it’s also not marching up to our front door and pounding while demanding to be let in.  It’s out there, everywhere, and all we have to do is recognize it.

We believe we’re bringing in many new ideas and sharing them with our listening audience, which is the whole meaning behind Exogeny anyhow.  (Take a minute, look up the word.  It’s often used in reference to breeding programs too, but that’s not the context it is used in here.)  That’s why our programs are done the way they are, they are about sharing.  We don’t preach or evangelize or lecture…we bring the ideas to you, and let you, the listening audience decide.

That’s the point at which my natural optimism is being assaulted.  I’m not sure the audience likes what they are hearing, from me or from Greg.  I struggle to find the things that they are most interested in, and then bring those topics onto upcoming programs.  Granted, I’m interested in them too, but I’m also interested in many things that I seriously doubt the listening audience would enjoy much at all.  (Soapmaking anyone?  Imagining a two hour program on the topic, during which a batch of soap was made…well, let’s just say few people would listen through it.  Waiting for the point of saponification can be rather tedious!)

We aren’t giving up.  Yes, we still have $310 to come up with.  I hope for donations, and keep crossing my fingers that people will say that our programs are worth $5 or $10 of their hard earned money.  The reality of paid archives is looming larger as both the radio station and Exogeny Network cope with shrinking budgets and rising costs in a depressed economy.  We won’t be the first either, Coast to Coast went to paid listening years ago now.  Granted, I’m not as exciting as George Noory or Art Bell, I’m a much quieter sort of host who does a conversational style program that is never scripted by either the guest or myself.  Greg is the same, although his personality makes his program unique too.  We don’t have corporate sponsors either, but if you are interested, please…get in touch with us!

We believe both the Voice of the People and the Dawn of Shades are programs with merit, programs that deliver a very unique, eclectic, and esoteric array of topics in a conversation every week.  We take audience suggestions very seriously.  Granted, I’m not thrilled when I get critical emails, but even those are taken seriously.  We try very hard to deliver a program each and every time that not only is fun and interesting, but informative and thought provoking too.

Won’t you help us?  Granted, we’d love  a donation, and that would go a long ways towards helping, but even more important, send us an email, tell us what you think and what you’d like to hear in the future.

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