As regular readers will know, over the last few weeks this blog has morphed into a bit of a news site for what is happening here in Iceland. Writing about it has been very therapeautic for me at times, although sometimes also utterly exhausting. And even though a few of the comments have been rancid and some of the discussion distasteful, for the most part I have enjoyed sharing this forum with people who are clearly interested in what this blog brings to the table and are keen to discuss the various issues, large and small.
It has become obvious to me [because many of you have said so] that there is a great need for an independent site like this one to provide information about what is happening in Icelandic society, particularly as it applies to normal people. Basic stuff, like whether food is actually running out in the supermarkets, or whether British people should expect to be clobbered over the head on arrival in Keflavík. Some of you also want to know about stuff to do with the exchange rate and the krona and the currency markets and suchlike, which I myself am struggling to understand and therefore have a limited ability to answer. Happily, other readers have tended come to the rescue in such instances.
It just so happens that over the past few weeks I’ve had a lot more time to devote to this blog than often in the past, by simple virtue of the fact that work has all but dried up for me. I’ve had a little bit of work, but it has only been a trickle … certainly not enough to live on. And, sadly, I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Things have ground to a halt, businesses and organizations are postponing all they can, and writers and translators who were previously on the payrolls of banks or other businesses have entered the freelance market so there is a greater number of people vying for the assignments that are available.
So, unsurprisingly, like everyone else in Iceland these days I am worried about the future. We are looking at massive unemployment over the next few weeks and most people agree that the full force of the depression will not hit until around December or January. Companies may still have enough money to pay people their salaries at the end of this month, but after that the outlook is very bleak.
Mindful of all this, and of the fact that I’m going to have to get creative and think outside the box if I want to survive this depression, I’ve been hatching a plan. My idea is to create a subscription-based news outlet in English on this website. What this means in practice is that certain content on this site would be accessible only for subscribers. Those subscribers would be privy to the following:
- A daily news summary that tracks the main news stories of particular interest to a foreign audience, including YT’s commentary and perspective, as appropriate.
- THE BUZZ – a daily report on what Icelanders are talking about, what is on people’s minds, what are people writing on blogs, what are the main newspapers saying in their editorials.
- A weekly feature that takes a more in-depth look at some of the things that are happening here. The cool thing about this is that readers are free to suggest the topic and I will write about the topic that gets the greatest amount of votes [on the condition that I have enough knowledge of it to make sense]. Examples might be the debate over whether or not Iceland should apply for EU membership and how that has changed in light of recent events, the incredible [to us] trend of high-ranking officials and businessmen hiring bodyguards [and their reasons for doing so], the old power hierarchies in Iceland and how they are faring in the present circumstances … the list is potentially endless.
- A list of FAQs that is updated regularly. This could be anything from what items are missing from store shelves, to what sorts of new things Icelanders are doing for fun, etc.
- Depending on the amount of discussion generated, a forum in connection with the site is a distinct possibility.
The news summaries would run on regular weekdays, Monday to Friday, the weekly feature would be posted on the weekend [Friday, Saturday or Sunday]. And of course all this would be delivered from YT’s unique perspective – and maybe even with some humour involved! Of course, every subscription would come with the added satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping feed YT and her kin in their hour of need [or at the very least helping to pay AAH’s orthodontist bills].
[I should state before I go any further that if this were to become a reality, I would maintain free content on the blog as well, although posting might be lighter than it is now.]
OK. For all this to become viable, obviously I’d have to have a decent number of subscribers. And that is why, dear reader, I would like to ask you kindly to take a short poll. Please be honest, with yourself and me, and don’t worry – your vote is completely anonymous.
Thank you, everyone! The poll will close on Friday, October 31, and based on the results I shall be able to make my decision.
IT’S STARTED SNOWING
Just thought I’d add that, even though I already reported on the weather earlier today. There is a thin white blanket over everything and the wind is picking up, brr. Sure wouldn’t want to be a family wandering the shopping districts of Reykjavík right now, with no food and thin clothes. Just sayin. Temps currently 1°C [34F], sunrise/sunset same as last post. And incidentally, I have no idea why the above headline is squished up against the previous line … no matter what I do I cannot get a space to appear in there. It’s on account of those poll forms. That’ll teach me to conduct polls, I guess. Harumph.