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I have something very important to ask

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.

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.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Skúli October 28, 2008, 11:30 pm

    Þetta líst mér á: finna tækifæri í kreppunni! Er ekki til málsháttur á ensku um það?

  • Doesn't matter October 28, 2008, 11:57 pm

    I am an expat living in Iceland. This blog gives me a lot of insight into the situation here as I have almost no knowledge in Icelandic. I have my worries, the kreppa hit me too, so I’d prefer to have free access to the news. I voted no, however I could consider paying if it is in kronur and less than 1000.

  • Andrew October 29, 2008, 1:12 am

    I think what we would like is to know what you are doing, and how you respond to all this. If there is any news, it should be your own take on it.

  • Bluegrass Mama October 29, 2008, 1:35 am

    As a long-time reader, I’m here more for what’s-going-on-with-Alda than the news. To be honest, I’ve skimmed a lot of the recent posts, just to see how they’re affecting you. So probably no subscription for me. But I would certainly understand if you wanted to load up on more ads, etc.

  • Professor Batty October 29, 2008, 4:43 am

    That’s a lot of money- more than I spend on internet access. I’d go for a yearly rate at about $40. I love you Alda, but the budget is tight. Now if you could bundle that offer with ordabok.is somehow…

  • joseph October 29, 2008, 5:16 am

    I voted no. But, by way of an explanation…

    The internet is awash with breaking news, including niche market news, 99% of it free. I’m not arguing that it can’t be done, only that I think it’s a tough sell to get people to pay for news on the net. You need to be selling high value content to people who really need it that day.

    Right now Iceland’s financial woes have grabbed world headlines. But will this still be the case 6 months from now, or a year from now?

    I work for a newspaper in the US. Newspapers here are in dire financial straits. Our print editions are struggling for circulation and revenue. Readership is rising with our online editions but none of us has figured out how to make money on the web. Even major papers such as the New York Times are backing away from attaching fees to their online content.

    Anyway, I don’t want to discourage you on this, only to give my 2 cents. I’ve been reading your blog for years and I love the writing, perspective and spirit you bring to it. The Iceland Weather Report is a must read for me every day and I don’t doubt that there is a way you could make that work for you. I’m just doubtful that reporting on Iceland’s current financial crisis is the ticket. Go with your strengths.

    All the best to you and everyone in Iceland right now 🙂

  • pierre l October 29, 2008, 6:11 am

    I would be happy to subscribe for, say, six months. I happily read every one of your posts, but I am a private individual with no commercial interest in knowing what goes on in Iceland. I am very sorry about the situation in your country, and hope you, Alda, will be OK in the end.

  • maja October 29, 2008, 6:14 am

    I would pay to read your news, Alda, I think it’s a good idea.

    I subscribe to crikey.com for my aussie news and it costs $140 per year.

  • howdoyoulikeiceland October 29, 2008, 6:15 am

    As a long time reader, i’d like to say thankyou for all the posts you’ve taken time to write. Unfortunately i think you’ll find that most people won’t be prepared to subscribe as the internet generally is a place for people to see free content, and people generally shy away from any subscriptions (even if it was tiny like 10ISK). Your best bet is to include google ads on the site to get some revenue, and maybe include a paypal link for people to donate. I think you’ll get more money that way, plus more people would be exposed to the site.

    Best of luck!

  • Dan October 29, 2008, 6:54 am

    Hi Alda,

    I am a new reader to your blog. I am impressed
    with your good writing, and appreciate your candid
    views. I visited Iceland in 2000, and have felt a connection to the place ever since.

    I must agree with Bluegrass Mama and howdoyoulikeiceland that it may be difficult to find enough people interested in subscriptions to make it worthwhile, no matter how good the content.

    However, I also agree that adding something like Google Ads would not be obtrusive, and would also not alter the great content on your site.

    One thing that might be worth trying is to have a virtual tip jar that accepts payment via PayPal. This might be the best of both worlds, in that many people who appreciate your content will pay, while not restricting the visibility of your content.

    All the best to you in this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to continue asking these kinds of questions in the future. 🙂

    Dan in California

  • Keera October 29, 2008, 7:30 am

    I voted “no”. Like some others, I’m here for the Alda stuff, and “Iceland news only” wouldn’t pull me in.

    What other bloggers earn money on are the ads on their site, selling prints of their photos, offering T-shirts and calendars, etc., not subscriptions. If you were to build a news network (with ads)/add on to this blog and get it known and used, you may find that it generates enough hits to make the ads pay. What you need is traffic.

    Also, Dan’s idea of a PayPal tip jar isn’t bad. It’s easy and people can choose the amount.

  • James October 29, 2008, 7:35 am

    My suggestion would be to raise small amounts of money in reader-friendly ways instead. For example, a small banner inviting readers to support your blog by buying an Iceland Weather Report product, such as mug/T-shirt/sweatshirt. As you’re probably aware, there are third-party companies that will process everything from initial buyer click-through to global product despatch – and simply provide you with commissions. I could imagine ordering a T-shirt if your range included a cool custom graphic along with your logo… 🙂

  • neil October 29, 2008, 8:08 am

    I love the current content, but I do think the price is a little high for news As far as English language websites, you provide the best insight into the issues handsdown yet the problem with the pricing is that it happens to be more than any other subscription service I have now. That makes it a little tough to swallow. My wish would be a pay as you go scheme monthly. A teaser rate of maybe $14.99 for 3 months might get me hooked.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  • Kathryn October 29, 2008, 8:41 am

    Hi Alda,
    I think James’ idea about the Iceland Weather Report t-shirts and
    merchandise is fantastic.

  • Chris October 29, 2008, 9:14 am

    I voted yes – but as already mentioned, I would prefer to be able to pay in ISK, since I am in Iceland. I already get some news and comments (from my colleagues for example), but having a second source of information is always good.

  • SOe October 29, 2008, 9:14 am

    I´m sorry, but I voted with no. I just have not so much money at the moment (lost already most of my money that I earned in the last 2 years working in Iceland ;-( ) and time that I could read it every day. I like the donation-idea.

  • alda October 29, 2008, 10:15 am

    Thanks everyone, for your feedback – it is very much appreciated.

    This is just an idea and the poll is there to help me determine what my options are. I won’t be crushed if most people vote no. I’m aware of the fact that people don’t like to pay for content on the Internet and if this isn’t viable, then perhaps something else is. Which is why I appreciate your tips and suggestions – keep them coming!!

    For those of you who suggest Google ads – I guess you haven’t looked for a while — I’ve had them up for over a year. They bring in about, oh, 10 dollars a month, something like that. But since you haven’t noticed them, I guess they’re not obtrusive, which is good.

  • wally October 29, 2008, 10:43 am

    Heya Alda
    Living in Iceland with limited Icelandic skills and a healthy distrust of the oligarchy owned media on this isle, I have always looked to your blog to provide me with gossip and analysis of the news news here.
    It is truly invaluable to me. And probably alot of other expats living here. I voted yes, I dont have a problem paying you for what you provide.
    I do have a problem paying in US dollars.
    If you were to set something up I would think that two prices would be appropriate. A price for the folks here in Iceland and a price for the people abroad. US15 would be a tough sell to my wife. ISK1000 I could argue. I can see future foreign currency issues continuing here so everything that I can use my Icelandic paper for would be appreciated.
    Things always cost so much more in both time and money when they involve changing currencies.
    Good idea for thinking outside the box, a tip jar wouldnt be that bad an idea. I also think that while you are probably recieving an an awful lot of international traffic now that will taper off as the next big thing happens in the world. You have by what I can see a loyal readership who you probably dont want to alienate, they will still be reading next year no matter what happens.
    What ever you choose to do, all the best. Thanks so much for writing. I remember how much my heart sang when I found myself blogged about by you after June 17 last year. It was one of my goals when I arrived in Iceland to meet you and having you see me is just the same almost, because you write about life.

  • alda October 29, 2008, 11:06 am

    Hey Wally
    Thanks for the message. I’d forgotten that I’d written about you but I’ve seen your shows (and once you came and poked me in the back in IKEA when they were having some kind of festival) and they are just excellent. So mutual admiration society all the way! 🙂

    As to what you write about the Icelandic currency – and also the person who claims his name ‘doesn’t matter’ upthread – I totally see the logic in that and it’s something I would be very open to doing if this thing becomes a reality (which at the moment doesn’t look to be very likely). With all due respect to those living abroad and on a tight budget, I’m all for giving a special deal for those living in Iceland because I know just how tough it is here now – and we all have to stick together.

    Using the USD amount was just because the plugin I would use to process the payments only accepts USD amounts (I think – I’d have to look into the configuration more), but I’m sure something could be worked out for private individuals who are here and who don’t have a lot of money right now. I agree – USD 15 suddenly seems like a lot of money to us.

  • Marc October 29, 2008, 11:11 am

    Hi Alda,

    I haven’t voted. The way I see it you have a skill (good english writing skills) and you face increased competition in a declining market. That’s tough. I second the suggestion of other readers that your web-traffic is likely to fall off a cliff if you make it subscription fee only. People have gotten accustomed to getting information for free on the web. I don’t think a subscription only part of your weblog is such a bad idea, but you mustn’t get ahead of yourself. First you need your webtraffic to increase a lot and you will need to convince readers that what you have to offer is worth their subscription fee.

    Here’s my idea. Given that Iceland tourism is likely to break records next year and probably the year after, there will be a need for helping out those clueless foreigners with language, accomodation, car rental etc. I notice you have traveled a bit around the island and have stayed in several hotels. Hotel reviews are worth something. You could also negotiate a referral fee with some hotels (say – they offer a 5% reduction on the room rate, paying you half of that, thus the real reduction is 7,5%). You could do the same with car rentals, day trip bookings, …

    In the long run, you could ask browsers a one off fee of say 10 € to get access to all your reviewed hotels, links to daytrips and the discounts!

    I would pay such a fee.

  • alda October 29, 2008, 11:25 am

    Good suggestions, Marc. Thanks!

  • Magnús October 29, 2008, 11:45 am

    Hi Alda

    Perhaps it would be a better idea to rely on ads, banners and such rather than subscriptions. You might even be able to get sponsors, the icelandic tourism board, Icelandair etc. to start or even maintain your site.

    You have a proven track record with your blog site as well as dozens of regular readers who all seem to be interested in visiting.

    Might I also point out that you might be able to solicit contributions from you readers.

    I once was a reglular reader of a blog written by a woman in the US. She was perhaps around 35 years old and wrote mostly about her live as a single woman etc. A little bit like Sex in the City. I had been a regular reader for about 2 years when she revealed that she wanted to finish her college studies (pshycology if I remember correctly) but she had no way to fund it except for asking for contributions. So I gave 10$ through Paypal.

    About 3 months later she revealed she had actually gotten married a month ago and she would indeed not be going to college anytime soon. In fact she would shut down her blog since there were more people involved now and she didn’t want to reveal her identity.

    Did I feel cheated ? No..not really…it wasn’t a whole lot of money and the blog had been a good read for two years.

    I think you would be in a much better position than this woman with your site. At least you will be providing a valuable service.

    Best wishes,

  • Marc October 29, 2008, 12:41 pm

    I was thinking over my earlier suggestion and thought it was not a bad idea, but a bit uncertain on any account. You could consider the following too: write to Nordic focused travel agencies (pref. Canadian perhaps), explain your background and tell them you can be hired to plan trips, work as a guide etc. Ask them for an interview to find out how such a cooperation would work out. Before you contact any of them you should already have one or two tours of iceland worked out already, so they know you are not tossing around trying to make a quick buck. Offer your services at a healthy rate/day. Somewhere between 300 $ and 500 $ per day, depending on what’s included. Also arrange for backup guides, as the tourism season is probably only short. Ask them for a referral fee.

    Make sure that what you can offer makes a difference. Obviously your perfect english is an important asset (so focus on the US/CA/UK market). Also, say you do a tour around the volcanoes, then it would be so much better if the tourists could get an explanation of a volcanologist (there must be some in Iceland). If you do a Credit Crisis tour (would not be such a bad idea) get some laid off person of one of your banks to do some explaining. You get the drift.

    You could test the idea out by offering ‘a night out in Reykjavik’ (if that is near where you live) type of tours to businessmen staying in the fancy hotels. There should be quite a few IMF people…

  • Rachael October 29, 2008, 12:50 pm

    I do enjoy and very much value this blog and the information and insight I get from it; I wouldn’t much mind paying if the amount were small (I don’t have much disposable income at the best of times, and these are not those!). There are some useful suggestion re. possible alternative ways of raising money posted here too though, which could prove more popular!

  • alda October 29, 2008, 12:54 pm

    Magnús – thanks for the ideas. Believe it or not, I have contacted Icelandair and the Iceland Tourist Board, as well as others, but in typical Icelandic fashion this has gone nowhere. I’m firmly in line with most of my foreign readers that Icelanders are impossible to do business with, even when the idea is good. I honestly wonder how many great opportunities have been squandered in this way.

    Marc – thanks for the suggestion, but there is a very strong tour guide’s union here and I would not like to step on their toes.

  • trev london October 29, 2008, 1:24 pm

    I can understand your reticence re the tour guides’ union – I read recently that Iceland has the most heavily unionised workforce in the western world!

    I agree with a lot that has been said, though I did vote yes, and for the smaller amount. I probably represent many of the recently arrived readers – always had an interest in the country, and fascinated by the current situation. I don’t mean that in a prurient way. Like many, I suspect we are on the way there too (hopefully not the whole way) and seeing how Iceland copes is an education. I’ve enjoyed catching up through your archives, as your writing is wonderful.

    Merchandise is OK, but you need volume to make it economic and only you will know whether your traffic would warrant it.

    The tip jar is a good idea. You’ve nothing to lose. Despite the fact we’re told never to tip in Iceland, I certainly would!

    Your blog is a source of interest and joy for many, and I’m sure there must be a way to extract revenue from it in some way.

  • Karen October 29, 2008, 1:29 pm

    I voted yes and choose the smallest amount, but in all honesty, I think it’s a bit expensive. I don’t know how long a commitment I could make to continuing.

    My interest in Iceland isn’t really the stuff that’s currently in the news – it’s the people, the culture, the history, and your fantastic landscapes.
    I have a particular interest in the Viking Era, and how today’s Icelanders view their own history.

    I found it fascinating in May to finally understand that there is a significant difference in perspective between those of us who study history from outside a particular region, and those folks who have lived in that culture continuously for the last thousand years – even if I still don’t really understand what those differences mean!

    Anyway, your restaurant and hotel reviews are useful when we come as tourists, and Neil and I are planning on coming back next summer. Discounts at hotels and restaurants for dropping your name would be a great plus! And I love your perspectives on tourists so we know how to behave politely when we come. 🙂

  • Marc October 29, 2008, 1:48 pm

    I guess that puts yesterdays headline of the Union Chief complaining about intrest rates in a different light. I already frowned when I read he was defending small businesses… In Belgium, where I live, they would rather choke than defend small business owners. Probably their role in society is a lot bigger in Iceland than in my country.

  • Karen October 29, 2008, 2:11 pm

    Just wanted to add – I miss the “My Iceland” posts!

  • Maggie Gean October 29, 2008, 2:36 pm

    I enjoy your blog, and will continue to read it but I made the choice to take a job change in plant and gave up all the overtime earnings we have this time of year to have the long term ability to continue working with far less risk of becoming physically unable to work. Jobs in the meat processing industry are very hard on the human body, many of us there end up with un-repairable work related, cumalative injuries. Being single and now 52 I know I have many years to keep paying the bills and feeding myself..along with the basics like clothes and heat. So, paying for a subscription is out for me at this time. But I do take interest in what is happening in Niceland, a place I have always wanted to visit–not for the topless pools, LOL but for the history and the scenery and oh, ya, the sheep and fiber related crafts and skills..thus dreams the knitter…Maggie in Illinois USA

  • Horseman of the Apocalypse October 29, 2008, 3:31 pm

    I don’t know about a regular subscription each month — people all over are worried about their jobs and reluctant to commit to anything. That said, you should put up a PayPal donation button. I think your readers are probably pretty generous people. Good luck to you!

  • JoeInVegas October 29, 2008, 3:44 pm

    I come here to keep reading about how Alda is doing. The news of Iceland is interesting but does not really have a bearing on my world, being so far removed from Iceland: interesting to read when you talk about things, but I do not go looking for other news.. It sounds like a paid blog will not do too well, so it looks like you still have to find a job.
    I like the idea of a PayPal tip jar or something similar. I’d throw things in once in a while.

  • bp October 29, 2008, 4:38 pm


    You might want to consider adding a link with houses for sale and take a commission for every house you sell.

    With the falling kroner, some folks from UK, Ireland, US etc. may be interested in buying investment/holiday properties in Iceland, and you might be able to help…?

  • Andrea October 29, 2008, 8:16 pm

    Hi Alda,
    I am a writer too (thankfully still working for now) and I know how tough it is out there. As many others have already expressed here, we are all, globally, too worried to commit to a subscription to anything at the moment. I am relatively new to your blog and am one of those who found you because of this financial crisis. I have stayed because you – and those who have shared their stories in the comment section – lend such a fascinating and human face to the situation. I think you should gather together a proposal to a major book publisher, for an advance, and get agreement to publish the “view into the crisis from Iceland as it developed” as a book collection – blog, comments, and all. This would sell in a way a subscription would not because it is a one-off purchase (usually on impulse) with a far greater distribution potential than a blog subscription. It will cost you nothing but a bit of time to write the proposal. Offer it to one of the major American or UK book publishers and see where you get with it. It could be a major hit, collected altogether as a leisurely browse, with maybe pictures from the scene. Best of luck with it all and I look forward to reading more Iceland Weather reports 🙂

  • Joerg October 29, 2008, 8:29 pm

    I also come here regularly for all the interesting information about Iceland, great photos etc. Would I be ready to pay for it on a regular basis? Probably not – and even if so, probably not more than maybe 5 € per month (I am aware that’s not really a fair amount for the time you’d probably have to invest, unless you find very many potential subscribers). Therefore I’ll vote no.
    I agree that a donation button might work (without the pressure of having to post new stuff on a daily basis that you’d have with the subscription approach) and is probably the best option you have available for making at least some additional money off this blog – just try it out for a while and see how it goes. To create some additional incentive for donating you could maybe send a CD or DVD with a collection of your great photos that you have up on flickr (for private use only, obviously) to those that donate a certain amount (like 30 or 40 €) as an incentive. Or you could raffle such a CD once a month amongst all donors in that month.
    The internet is a place where there’s so much free information available, that people are very hesitant to pay for information – myself included. While the donation approach might result in some additional “income”, I doubt that you’ll be make a real lot of money with it.
    I wish you all the best and hope that you’ll be successful with whatever you decide regarding the blog.

  • Grif October 29, 2008, 10:58 pm

    Hi Alda,

    I kind of agree with the majority here and probably wouldn’t subscribe, at least not for a very long time.

    However, I’d like to toss in another idea that might be interesting…
    HiRes pictures… I truly love the pictures you are so kind to show to us, but sadly, the format is quite small to put is as a desktop background or so. Maybe you could supply people with a full detail picture against a small price. (of course you’d keep copyright and all that).
    And while we’re in that mindset (and keeping the idea of a subscription kind of alive), maybe have some service that people could use to have rotating background images from you. For me, I’d only be interested if the price was low enough as I only see the desktop image of a pc twice a day (once at work and once at home when booting). But once again, I guess you’d have to supply HiRes pictures for this.

  • hildigunnur October 30, 2008, 12:02 am

    Trev, even though the work force is pretty unionized it’s nowhere close to as strict as in f.ex. Denmark, nobody will go after you, even though you work at a job you’re not in a union for. The unions aren’t strong, either, even though most everybody belongs to one. Sadly.

  • Dan October 30, 2008, 7:40 am

    Hi Alda,

    This is Dan again. I have one more idea, inspired by
    the many ideas above. It’s also perfect for this time of year.

    How about publishing a 2009 calendar with 12 of
    your photos in glorious high-resolution reflecting the different months of the year in Iceland? (make sure to add the icelandweatherreport.com logo)

    As James mentioned above, I believe that there are on-line services (maybe Cafepress?) that can do this in an on-demand basis with minimal up-front costs.

    I will be the first in line to buy one.

    -Dan in California

  • alda October 30, 2008, 10:14 am

    Thank you everyone, for your excellent excellent ideas. As soon as I can devote some time I’m going to sort through them and look into everything more closely. I’m really excited about this.

  • France October 30, 2008, 10:30 am

    Hi Alda, [this is a long winded message – the only vaguely interesting advice is at the end – you are warned]
    I only commented once (about books; remember the good ol’ time when that was the real question??:), but here’s my tuppence again.
    In all truthfulness, I don’t think I’d be prepared to pay for content. Like others here, I have found your views extremely interesting and enlightening on the current Icelandic crisis and applaud you for your writing on these issues. Having no direct family or business interest in Iceland though, means I wouldn’t be enclined to pay for content on these issues (and frankly, with all that is free on the internet, including good quality writing and musings, I’d have a hard time paying for internet information in general).
    The Paypal donation is a good idea, though, as would be the Amazon wishlist (or equivalent), and, if you set up a PO box, many of us may like to send a little something your way (I know, I know, you don’t need food packages yet; I was thinking more along the lines of books, or other presents, or crochet doilies in the shape of Alistair Darling or Gordon Brown, you know, something cute and useful to put on your TV;-). But I realise the above suggestions will not be bringing in much cash, which is what we all need to run month to month (unless a friendly dentist out there sends you “Orthodonthy: DIY”).
    [This is FINALLY the relevant part] So my first thought was for your photos, as others suggested too. They’re great: why not try and sell them on Etsy? I also think the 2009 calendar is a great idea (yey Dan!).
    Oh, and the travel advice: great too. Have you thought of contacting non-Icelandic media (Lonely Planet, etc…, and maybe German ones too since I seem to remember you speak it?)?
    Voilà. A long message that doesn’t say that much.

  • sirry October 31, 2008, 5:47 am

    I’m so sorry, but I wouldn’t be able to afford it. I don’t subscribe to cable/internet or any of the ‘luxury’ items so many people take for granted.
    I do think your writing is excellent, and I would love to see you get paid for it.
    Perhaps instead of assigning a monthly fee, have a donation button from paypal. When I’d have the extra cents to share I would do so.

    I think if you were to create bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs or other interesting products on i.e. cafepress.com people might log on there and purchase it. You’d get some of the proceeds.

    It is true, these times call for creative minds.
    Thank You for an excellent blog 🙂

  • Kate October 31, 2008, 12:44 pm

    Hi Alda, voted no but it’s nothing against you, I love the blog, the best one I have come across, I’m here because I’ve been looking for something that could give me a better insight into life in Iceland and now also because of you, as I think you are such a great and talented person. I think the idea is ok but at the moment it’s just a bit too expensive for me. If it was your book or a kind of publication I would have spent money on it. That’s for sure. Alda, I hope bad times will be over soon !

  • martin October 31, 2008, 4:10 pm

    I voted no to a subscription, but I would more than happy to donate via paypal.The outside world is going to be very interested in what is happening in Iceland over the next months and years ,whilst it rebuilds.
    Icelandic online translators are crap and English versions are usually quite sparce and lacking of any real content plus they are usually a day behind.

  • meloukhia November 2, 2008, 1:22 am

    I didn’t weigh in on this discussion earlier because I wasn’t quite sure how to word my response, but basically I agree with a lot of the people who articulated the reasoning behind their “no” votes above. I think that putting content behind a paygate is a bad idea, and it’s also very alienating. Honestly, although I love reading this site and I love hearing your insights as a day-to-day Icelander, I would probably stop reading if there was a paid barrier for content. More and more newspapers and sites are abandoning the paid model, illustrating that it really doesn’t seem to be working.

    That said, I think that some of the monetizing ideas above are great. I would be more inclined to donate directly, to purchase Iceland Weather Report Gear, and so forth. I really hope that you decide not to do this!

  • Bill in DC November 2, 2008, 1:59 am

    I really enjoy your blog as a portal to Icelandic life. I understand the current (and unusual) focus on Iceland, combined with a freelancer’s anxiety (magnified exponentially at the moment), would make the news-based idea seductive. But I agree with those who think it would move you away from your strengths/appeal over the longer term.

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