This site is a labour of love for me. If I never received a single donation, I’d still be working away at this site at my own pace. However, donations can really come in handy in several ways, which I’ll describe shortly. More important, though, is why you should consider donating.
The main reason to donate is that you appreciate the content on the site and feel that many people would benefit from this material. Opening people’s eyes to the complexities of the world and how other people think is important to help people understand each other. From that, tolerance and negotiation—given and take—should evolve. If people could just get along with each other, tolerate their differences, and learn to celebrate their similarities, this would be a much better place.
We live in a world that tries very hard to divide us into different tribes. It could be along political lines, religious lines, racial lines, or any of hundreds of other lines that can be used to divide us. It becomes very important, then, to remember that we share far more things in common than those that differentiate us. Almost everyone belongs to a family. Parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, aunts and uncles unite us all. The desire to live in a free and just society is another, even if we have different ideas of what that looks like. The deep and nourishing love for a partner. These are fundamental values that we all recognize and understand. It is very important to always remember these universally shared goals and values. The differences, then, don’t seem so large. If you’d like to see more articles that explore these issues, please consider donating.
How Do Donations Help?
The first way donating can help is by defraying the costs of running the site. There are mundane things like paying for the hosting of the site and the URLs that get you to it (agrayworld.com gets you here as easily as agreyworld.com). These are relatively minor costs but they have to be paid nonetheless.
Donating also helps pay the production costs of articles and, especially, video. The written articles always have graphics or photos of some sort. For the most part, these are freely available in the clip-art libraries I’ve purchased over time. Sometimes, though, a stock photo—taken by someone else but available for sale—can be just the perfect way to illustrate a concept.
Finally, donations can amplify the site by allowing the site to hire other people to contribute either articles, video, or contribute to the overall video process. That might be writing the scripts, capturing video, editing video, working on the sound, and so on. We can do produce more content if we can afford to hire more people to contribute it.
The Costs of Video Production
Video really does adds to the costs. Let’s consider the video from the posting, The Freedom Con. The video opens with stock video of someone using their credit card on a mobile phone, and then switches to someone delivering the package that, presumably, was just ordered. Then, there’s a shot of an urban city with heavy traffic. All of this is stock video that has to be purchased. In this case, I already owned the footage, but sometime new footage has to be purchased.
After those three shots, there’s a title shot over footage of the so-called Freedom Convoy protest in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. The footage—along with all the other footage of the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa—was shot by Christopher Paine. Normally, Chris would expect to be paid for the work he does because that’s his profession. I was fortunate that, in this case, Chris offered me free use of the shots. But, in general, if you ask people to shoot footage for you, you should pay them.
My friend, Garth Gullekson, also contributed to the video. Specifically, he allowed me free use of the selfie he took in front of the Vaccine Superhero poster near the end of the video. Normally, as a freelance photographer, he expects to be paid for his work.
Another friend of mine, Joe May, spent countless hours reviewing all the drafts of the video, and there were twenty-three drafts before the twenty-fourth was finally designated as “Final”.
The opening and closing The Freedom Con titles were generated by a plugin I purchased for the video. There are also many animated graphics in charts illustrating various statistics and also slides with bullet points on them. Those graphics and bullet points, too, are generated by plugins that I purchased for the video. There are many other software costs, as well.
Of course, it’s not just what you see in the video. There’s also what you hear. There is a music bed throughout the video. It is from a royalty-free music package along with content for it that I’ve purchased over the years. However, sometimes the perfect music isn’t music I already own . In that case, I might want to purchase more royalty-free music content.
These aren’t the usual travel costs that might come to your mind. So far, anyway, I haven’t needed to travel anywhere to get video or do an interview. However, because we’re retired, my wife and I travel a lot in our trailer. Given that I can do the work that I do anywhere, this isn’t a big deal. However, I’m frequently uploading 400 MB video files and that’s hard to do when you’re in a campground with, usually, pretty poor Wi-Fi. So, we use a cellular hotspot to provide connectivity. Adding to that, we’re often out of the country. In country or out, it gets expensive and can cost hundreds of dollars a month and more to be uploading gigabytes of video per month.
I’ve listed just a few of the costs we incur as we do our work here at A Grey World. These are all good reasons to consider donating to the site. But the most important reason is that you believe in the type of content this site produces and you want to see more of it. Regardless of your motivation, we profoundly thank for visiting our site and, especially, should you choose to donate.