This little experiment in blogging about Flint has been unexpectedly fun. I no longer annoy non-Flint people with stories about The Vehicle City because I funnel all my lame recollections about the Dupont Street bus or Sam Isaac's motivational techniques into Flint Expatriates; I've connected with dozens of Flintoids; and I've discovered the identity of a shadowy figure from my past known as Gypsy Jack.
Even better, a surprising number of readers have discovered the blog. Since January 1, 2008, when I started tracking interest on Google Analytics, 268,020 unique visitors have racked up more than 1 million pageviews. And visitors have come from 150 different countries and every state in the union. (Granted, quite a few probably landed on the site accidentally while Googling Semi-Pro t-shirts or a bizarre hobby called flint knapping, but let's not get picky.)
I'd like to blog more, but in order to do that I need to free myself from my less enjoyable — but marginally more profitable — freelance work.Basically, the only blogs that make money off ads involve porn, electronic gizmos, celebrity gossip, or partisan political commentary. Even though some car enthusiasts get turned on by my posts about the Buick Electra 225, my blog doesn't fall into any of those profitable categories.
So like some bloggers, I'm taking the bold step of asking for donations from readers. (I resisted using the term "begging" because I have my pride.) I'm obviously not in this for the money. I just happen to love the town where I grew up, despite all its flaws, and I really enjoy attacking GM executives. But I would welcome the chance to spend more time on Flint Expatriates and do more actual reporting — like my profile of artist Eric Koziol — instead of simply aggregating material on Flint and making occasionally witty/stupid/annoying comments. After all, I am a journalist, even if many of my editors don't always think so.
So if you'd like to help out, just click on the "Donation" tab in the top right corner of the blog. You can donate via credit card or your Paypal account, if you have one. It's all safe and secure. Any amount is welcome, however small. Consider it a voluntary subscription to a free online publication dedicated to keeping the memory of Flint alive.
And if you choose not to donate, don't worry! It's okay. I'll survive. Just keep reading and sending your ideas.