Please Convert Your Gratitude To Cash

“Free is just another price, and prices are set by individual actors, in accordance with the aggregated particulars of marketplace power.” –Malcolm Gladwell

Our crowdfunding campaign will wrap up in 15 days. I’ll be relieved when it ends.

I like to experiment with new tools on the web, see how and what works, and why. So, I embrace failure, but I can’t quite imagine anything preparing me for the cold hard numbers on this. Our campaign page on has been viewed 2,287 times, and we have two contributors at this time. This rate of return makes direct mail look efficient, and that’s kind of frightening to consider.

Perhaps the numbers would be better if I “worked my network” via email, describing in detail why a gift to AdPulp at this particular time is so important. I may do that yet, but the core concept of a crowdfunding campaign is to reach out the so-called crowd. In other words, you, dear reader.

So, here we are.


I’m thinking of new ways to say old things, and you, you’re wondering why this is so important to me (or maybe you’re scrolling towards something more interesting already–it’s okay, I understand).

Why is it so important? Because financial support from our readers is the difference between this being a legitimate side project and a highly questionable hobby. Yes, I want the stamp of approval only “customers” can grant. Call me unreasonable. That’s the deal.

Can I ask you something? If we were out camping in the wilderness, would you proactively begin to gather firewood in the late afternoon? Of course you would, because the difference between a fire and no fire when you’re a long ways from the road, a town or home is pretty startling.

I can hear you saying, “this isn’t the woods at night, it’s the internet, and it’s all lit up.” No. We’re either in this thing together or the fabric starts to fray and the outfit falls apart.

Previously on AdPulp: What’s In It For You? Privileged Access For A Song, A.K.A. The V.I.P. Treatment | New Juicers Needed To Keep The Fresh Squeezed Industry Content Coming | Frank Chimero Knows How To Make Things, Money Included | If This Was The Mormon Church We’d Take 10% Of Your Earnings | Something’s Wrong. But What? | Please Help Shape Our Editorial Product

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I don’t see why this frightens you. No one wants to pay for something when they can get it at the cheapest price possible if not “free” People don’t want to subscribe to newspapers on line if they can get it free someplace else and if they don’t get what your printing here for nothing then they’ll get it someplace else or move on.

    Take for instance in the city I dwell in. The local paper decided a month ago that it was only going to allow us viewers five articles over the period of the month to read or they’d block us from reading the paper on-line. They did this after five years of being on-line. So what we do is use more than one browser and delete the cookies overtime we shut the browser down. We still get to read the paper online and for free. This will change in the future since everyone will have their own IP address. It will be like your SIN #.

    • Thanks arti.fact. I do realize that people do not want to pay for something that’s been free from the get go. I also realize how hard it is to put the genie back in the bottle. What’s frightening to me isn’t the big picture here, it’s that I’m unable to motivate even our most ardent supporters, a.k.a. the people who believe we do a better job than anyone else covering the ad biz.