Support your Wesleying: why contribute?

Here’s a deeper look into our Support Your Wesleying fundraiser.

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?

It’s simple. Visit www.wesleying.org, our future home and current fundraising center, for all the details. Or, click here to make a donation via your credit card, PayPal account, or bank account.

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.

Yours,
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 donations@wesleying.org.

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42 thoughts on “Support your Wesleying: why contribute?

  1. Anonymous

    I agree with Ian. Most of these posts, I just scroll past. I like the format though. You could use the tags to create different sections, that people could select at will. Maybe when you first go to the site, you will see the blog in its entirety, but then there could be buttons on the top that say “click here to see all university related topics” or “click her for political issues” and then just display those. A lot of other blogs do it, and it would be an easy way to solve the problem that Ian is talking about.

  2. Anonymous

    I agree with Ian. Most of these posts, I just scroll past. I like the format though. You could use the tags to create different sections, that people could select at will. Maybe when you first go to the site, you will see the blog in its entirety, but then there could be buttons on the top that say “click here to see all university related topics” or “click her for political issues” and then just display those. A lot of other blogs do it, and it would be an easy way to solve the problem that Ian is talking about.

  3. spazeboy

    Anon 6:01,Because hosting the blog on university servers, user-friendly though they may be, is not a way for this blog to maintain its independence from the university.

  4. spazeboy

    Anon 6:01,

    Because hosting the blog on university servers, user-friendly though they may be, is not a way for this blog to maintain its independence from the university.

  5. Anonymous

    Justin,You already know as well as I do that they’re switching over the web-hosting system at fall of next year into something far more user-friendly. Since you can get a website for FREE from the University, why not just wait it out?

  6. Anonymous

    Justin,

    You already know as well as I do that they’re switching over the web-hosting system at fall of next year into something far more user-friendly. Since you can get a website for FREE from the University, why not just wait it out?

  7. Jacon

    Hey Ian – thanks for the thoughtful feedback, and thanks for taking ownership of it. Personally, I think one of the prime advantages to the WordPress format is that we can organize the content so that people who are looking solely for Wes-related stuff can find it.The downside of this is that one of the main reasons Wesleying is so addictive (in my humble opinion) is that you never know what you’re gonna get at the top of the screen. This is why people refresh it so often. It is certainly a conflict that the staff and the readers will continue to wrestle with as this blog evolves. And the more thoughtful feedback (like yours) that we get, the better we will be able to serve our loyal readers.

  8. Jacon

    Hey Ian – thanks for the thoughtful feedback, and thanks for taking ownership of it. Personally, I think one of the prime advantages to the WordPress format is that we can organize the content so that people who are looking solely for Wes-related stuff can find it.

    The downside of this is that one of the main reasons Wesleying is so addictive (in my humble opinion) is that you never know what you’re gonna get at the top of the screen. This is why people refresh it so often.

    It is certainly a conflict that the staff and the readers will continue to wrestle with as this blog evolves. And the more thoughtful feedback (like yours) that we get, the better we will be able to serve our loyal readers.

  9. Ian

    I’ve also sent this comment in as an email, to make sure it does get “taken seriously”I’ll come out first and be honest: I’m one of the anonymous complainers in Wesleying comments. Have been, for weeks/months now. My personal issue is what I see as a larger degree of non-Wesleyan related posts, concerning the election or other issues, or worse (in my humble opinion) just amusing/weird things found on the Internet. To me, this goes against Wesleying’s original stated point: to be a blog for students, about student issues. When I first started reading it, as a lowly freshman, it contained interesting Wesleyan trivia, facts about the school that I and others didn’t know, and even helpful advice about all sorts of campus issues. Comparing that to, say, a notice about the already widely publicized fact that Sarah Palin didn’t know if Africa was a continent or a country, it just seems that Wesleying is moving away (however slightly) from its focus on Wesleyan issues. Given that there are already numerous websites that contain political commentary or, say, amusing videos, I personally think Wesleying needs to reconsider what the purpose of a blog “for and by Wesleyan students” actually is.Now, I understand that there are other people out there who enjoy and welcome more diverse posts on Wesleying, no matter how non-Wes related they may be. But I’m sure there are other lingering malcontents like myself disgruntled by random Obama information when they look for info about what’s up on campus. So I guess what I’m really asking for, in the end, is a clearly defined mission statement, a goal that Wesleying is trying to accomplish, so any trouble about this can be ended. Is this a place where Wes students go for their campus (and Middletown) news, event information, and Wesleyan-related accomplishments, or is it that plus a spot where Wesleying staff can post funny things they’ve found recently? What does everyone actually want? I think establishing this would help make posting criteria clearer, and cut down on complaints from people about what’s Wesleying-worthy or not.Regardless of what decision is come to, I will say that I do value and thank all of the Wesleying staff for their hard work, and hell, I’ll still come back for my campus news even if the whole site accepts a controversial merge with Digg or Reddit.Thanks to everyone who helps contribute to this absolutely fantastic website.I remain, respectfully yours,Ian Pylvainen

  10. Ian

    I’ve also sent this comment in as an email, to make sure it does get “taken seriously”

    I’ll come out first and be honest: I’m one of the anonymous complainers in Wesleying comments. Have been, for weeks/months now. My personal issue is what I see as a larger degree of non-Wesleyan related posts, concerning the election or other issues, or worse (in my humble opinion) just amusing/weird things found on the Internet. To me, this goes against Wesleying’s original stated point: to be a blog for students, about student issues. When I first started reading it, as a lowly freshman, it contained interesting Wesleyan trivia, facts about the school that I and others didn’t know, and even helpful advice about all sorts of campus issues. Comparing that to, say, a notice about the already widely publicized fact that Sarah Palin didn’t know if Africa was a continent or a country, it just seems that Wesleying is moving away (however slightly) from its focus on Wesleyan issues. Given that there are already numerous websites that contain political commentary or, say, amusing videos, I personally think Wesleying needs to reconsider what the purpose of a blog “for and by Wesleyan students” actually is.

    Now, I understand that there are other people out there who enjoy and welcome more diverse posts on Wesleying, no matter how non-Wes related they may be. But I’m sure there are other lingering malcontents like myself disgruntled by random Obama information when they look for info about what’s up on campus. So I guess what I’m really asking for, in the end, is a clearly defined mission statement, a goal that Wesleying is trying to accomplish, so any trouble about this can be ended. Is this a place where Wes students go for their campus (and Middletown) news, event information, and Wesleyan-related accomplishments, or is it that plus a spot where Wesleying staff can post funny things they’ve found recently? What does everyone actually want? I think establishing this would help make posting criteria clearer, and cut down on complaints from people about what’s Wesleying-worthy or not.

    Regardless of what decision is come to, I will say that I do value and thank all of the Wesleying staff for their hard work, and hell, I’ll still come back for my campus news even if the whole site accepts a controversial merge with Digg or Reddit.Thanks to everyone who helps contribute to this absolutely fantastic website.
    I remain, respectfully yours,
    Ian Pylvainen

  11. Sam

    12:05: Because part of what makes Wesleying great is that it is independent. If we wanted to we could get funding as a student group, but we don’t want to be one, for reasons that have been explained.11:42 and 9:04: I (and some other contributors) agree with you on this. I personally think comments that this is what comments are made for. If you do have comments/concerns and you do post them here they will not be ignored (at least, they won’t if you aren’t obnoxious about it–one or two word comments like ‘FAIL’ and ‘EPIC FAIL’ are not especially constructive).10:28: We’re still figuring out t-shirt prices, because we haven’t settled on where and what we’re ordering yet. Not more than $15, quite possibly a bit less.11:16: Thank you for your opinion :). We’re definitely not planning on putting the majority of posts below folds, but for certain posts (say, this one) that go on for several screens worth of scrolling I personally think it would be useful so that they don’t end up taking up such a disproportionate amount of space.

  12. Sam

    12:05: Because part of what makes Wesleying great is that it is independent. If we wanted to we could get funding as a student group, but we don’t want to be one, for reasons that have been explained.

    11:42 and 9:04: I (and some other contributors) agree with you on this. I personally think comments that this is what comments are made for. If you do have comments/concerns and you do post them here they will not be ignored (at least, they won’t if you aren’t obnoxious about it–one or two word comments like ‘FAIL’ and ‘EPIC FAIL’ are not especially constructive).

    10:28: We’re still figuring out t-shirt prices, because we haven’t settled on where and what we’re ordering yet. Not more than $15, quite possibly a bit less.

    11:16: Thank you for your opinion :). We’re definitely not planning on putting the majority of posts below folds, but for certain posts (say, this one) that go on for several screens worth of scrolling I personally think it would be useful so that they don’t end up taking up such a disproportionate amount of space.

  13. Anonymous

    Why don’t you guys just partner with the Argus, Wesleyan’s real and official news sources, and use their Web site?

  14. Anonymous

    Why don’t you guys just partner with the Argus, Wesleyan’s real and official news sources, and use their Web site?

  15. Anonymous

    I think questions should be posted in the comments. It’s helpful to see what other people are thinking about in addition to Wesleying’s responses. Sending questions to donations@wesleying would take that away.

  16. Anonymous

    I think questions should be posted in the comments. It’s helpful to see what other people are thinking about in addition to Wesleying’s responses. Sending questions to donations@wesleying would take that away.

  17. Anonymous

    One thing — Just an opinion, but I’d vote against introducing folds. I think of the best things about Wesleying is that it’s just a continuous stream of posts and events that I can quickly browse through. Hiding half of the posts into extended posts makes that more difficult.

  18. Anonymous

    One thing — Just an opinion, but I’d vote against introducing folds. I think of the best things about Wesleying is that it’s just a continuous stream of posts and events that I can quickly browse through. Hiding half of the posts into extended posts makes that more difficult.

  19. Anonymous

    I think you should post a four page essay right at the top of Wesleying before the weekend. Not like we were planning on using this thing for its original purpose, or anything.

  20. Anonymous

    I think you should post a four page essay right at the top of Wesleying before the weekend. Not like we were planning on using this thing for its original purpose, or anything.

  21. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 6:48:We’ve always welcomed students who want to join our team, and our staff is reflective of that: it spans seniors, juniors, and sophomores, and our contributors are invested in many activities outside of Wesleying, as well.Now that freshmen have had some time to become more involved and informed in the Wesleyan community, we’ll be looking for them to contribute, as well.We’ll be leading a recruitment drive over Winter Break, or shortly thereafter. Watch for an announcement next month or in January.

  22. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 6:48:

    We’ve always welcomed students who want to join our team, and our staff is reflective of that: it spans seniors, juniors, and sophomores, and our contributors are invested in many activities outside of Wesleying, as well.

    Now that freshmen have had some time to become more involved and informed in the Wesleyan community, we’ll be looking for them to contribute, as well.

    We’ll be leading a recruitment drive over Winter Break, or shortly thereafter. Watch for an announcement next month or in January.

  23. Anonymous

    Hey,Great post. Can you explain how students can join Wesleying as contributors? You talk about this decision as something “we” have been discussing, but who is “we”? You’re a senior, so how will the transition work next year? There a bunch more questions I’d like to ask, but please take this opportunity, this turning point in Wesleying’s history, to give readers some insight into blog operations.Thanks

  24. Anonymous

    Hey,

    Great post. Can you explain how students can join Wesleying as contributors? You talk about this decision as something “we” have been discussing, but who is “we”? You’re a senior, so how will the transition work next year? There a bunch more questions I’d like to ask, but please take this opportunity, this turning point in Wesleying’s history, to give readers some insight into blog operations.

    Thanks

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