Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nitpicker fund drive

Recently, I began a series entitled "Writers who got Iraq right," in which I will be interviewing those pundits, columnists and other writers who have been proven correct in predicting the Iraq War would be disastrous.

I have received numerous e-mailed comments on the first interview in the series, in which I interviewed Atlantic Monthly senior editor Jack Beatty (who was correct before the war and, in my view, is still dead on in his diagnosis of our sick, foolish media). The comments have been uniformly positive in regards to the content of the interview, but commenters have complained about the interview's audio format.
Why not use Quicktime or some other multi-platform technology that doesn't suck? Why not include a podcast on itunes if you want to reach a larger audience. These things are simple nowadays.
The commenter is right. Such things are simple nowadays. They are not, however, free. The format I used was the result of relying upon the charity of While a fine service, I uploaded a 10 MB mp3 and the WMA file was what the system spit out. I would have preferred a better format, but, right now, I've gotta go with the cheaper route.

The truth is, there are plenty of new products I would like to offer readers of this blog in the coming year. The "Writers who got Iraq right" series will continue and I have six installments in some stage of production (in fact, I completed my interview with Paul Krugman about an hour ago and will post it tomorrow). I would like to spend some time in war zones later this year--either returning to Afghanistan, where I served, or traveling to Iraq (the groundwork for this trip is currently being laid). And, finally, a full site move and the addition of original audio and video are on the wish list for 2007.

That all costs money, however.

That's where you come in.

I have infrequently requested donations since this site began in September 2002. When I have, I have received several kind donations from readers. Every cent was a reminder Nitpicker was providing something my readers weren't getting elsewhere and that, scruffy blogger or no, I had a responsibility to continue providing that content. Every cent made me want to give those readers more. I am a father and husband, however, and my family already suffers from the loss of the time blogging requires. And, without the benefit of funding from sugar daddies and/or think tanks--yeah, I'm looking at you, Jonah "The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense" Goldberg--I simply can't justify adding those features if they have to be funded out-of-pocket and the trip overseas simply won't happen.


I'm putting out the call once again for donations. If you find this site useful and would like to see it grow, please click on the donation button on the right. The response will drive my ability to make this site better.

P.S. If you would like the mp3 version of the Beatty interview and you have an e-mail which will accept a nearly 10 MB file (Gmail will), please send an e-mail to with "Beatty" in the subject line.


Blogger Elayne said...

Is there a way to earmark donations so they only go towards the war-zone fund and not towards supporting a hobby (i.e., a blog) that can, after all, be done for free?

11:11 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...


All of the funds will sit in my paypal account until I figure I can afford to take the trip. If enough money doesn't come in to make the trip and make the changes, I'll simply kick back the donations to those who've submitted them.

1:53 PM  

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