What are you doing?
Put simply, we want to make Wesleying more useful, more powerful, easier to maintain, and more likely to become a permanent fixture of student life at Wesleyan. Our current setup, using Google’s underpowered yet free Blogger software, is showing its weaknesses, both because we aren’t able to bring you the kind of content we want, and because it’s increasingly cumbersome for us to maintain the blog. When it’s inconvenient to use our blogging software, we’re less inclined to use it. And that’s not good for you, or us.
We’re moving to our own, paid domain name, and will pay a professional web hosting company to serve the blog. This will remove virtually all limitations on the future expansion of Wesleying, making it more useful for you, and easier to maintain for us. It also establishes a secure, stable base that gives current and future contributors the incentive to continue what has become a venerable—but relatively recent and still fragile—tradition at Wesleyan.
We have a plan in place and we’re confident in its benefits. While it’s too soon to announce the specifics—you’ll see the results of our reconstruction early next semester—we are looking to raise at least $200, which will secure us hosting for a year or two, and allow us a cushion for years ahead.
Two of the many useful things our move will enable are “folds” on our posts, and automatic weekend roundups. The first will enable us to “clip” giant posts like this one, and only show a summary of them on the front page, allowing you to see more posts and scroll less. The second will mean a weekend roundup every week, since it’ll be so much easier to compile than it is currently.
How are you doing all that?
We’ve been thinking this through for a while. In the end, we decided that we wanted to engage you, our loyal readers, in improving Wesleying. We wanted a grassroots effort in which every student felt like ze had a share in improving and continuing the purely student-driven Wesleying experience.
We decided to keep it local, and organic, and as widely participatory as possible. We’re asking for small donations from a large portion of our readership. Send us your quarters, send us your dollar bills, or make a donation online, conveniently and securely.
We’re also bringing Wesleying into the real world. We’re hosting our first-ever bake sale on Sunday night, from 9:00 to midnight, at Olin. Come and meet us, tell us what you think of Wesleying, and buy some delicious snacks at the same time. After that, we’ll be taking pre-orders for some kickin’ Wesleying T-shirts. Show your Wesleyan and Wesleying spirit, and be a part of the community that we’ve been trying to build since Wesleying was born.
If even 7% of our readers donate just one dollar each, we’ll have received what we need to start off. It should be clear: we’re not asking you to empty your wallet. We’re asking you to invest in the future of the Wesleyan community.
What aren’t you doing?
Our fundraiser is predicated on the idea that the community has a vested interest in making sure Wesleying not only continues, but improves. For that reason, we’ve rejected the easiest methods of raising funds.
We won’t host advertisements on our site. Wesleying is a community resource, full of pure student opinion and news, unadulterated by the presence of corporate spin and annoying banners. And, with no ads, we have more space for content that’s directly relevant to you.
Nor will we apply for money from the University, through the WSA. Wesleying has always been a fiercely independent voice, one that is sometimes critical of University policy. Accepting University funds gives the administration a level of involvement that would diminish our freedom. We’re not seeking corporate sponsorships or media tie-ins, for the same reason.
So, why should I contribute?
Being a Wesleying contributor is largely a thankless job. We spend hours each week posting your events, reporting on your campus community, bringing you fun and interesting political news, entertainment info, updates on alumni, and more. Sometimes, we even take your anonymous abuse in the comments.
Why do we do it? For me, the answer has always been clear.
Back in 2006 when I joined this blog, the kind of campus community we have today did not exist. There was no central place to see what was going on around campus. There was no collection of names and class years and groups and identities and genders, all in one place, all interacting and opening themselves up to the rest of the community. There was no place to get instant news, to get a diversity of views… nothing through which you could feel connected to everything that was going on around campus even while sitting in your dorm room.
Thanks to Wesleying, we now have that. Wesleying has made me feel more connected to people and groups that I would never even have known existed. It’s organic, it’s local, it’s small, it’s student-driven, it’s free of profit and financial gain, and it exists as a resource for everyone.
Wesleying is real students, and real student life at Wesleyan.
If you think we provide a useful service; if you make use of the site to see what’s going on around campus; if you send us your events and announcements and auditions, and benefit from the entire campus seeing your submissions… if you appreciate our opinion and reporting on campus and Middletown news; if you think Wesleying should remain a viable and, yes, ever-improving part of your campus life… that’s why you should contribute.
How do I contribute?
Finally, and most importantly, thanks for your donation! We wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the phenomenal support—in so many forms—that you, our fellow students, have offered us.
Justin LaSelva ’09
on behalf of the staff of Wesleying
P.S. We are interested in your thoughts and questions. If you want to make suggestions or complain, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.