Someone asked me today a few questions about my article concerning the website fundraiser, so I'll try to clarify a few points for my readers.
Why don't you use something like WordPress for your web design needs?
There are times when "everyone else is doing it" that it might be okay. In the website business, it was clear early on that the traffic to this website is larger than any of us can even imagine. We were on WordPress for a couple of years, and I swear we made our web designer gal almost go bald from pulling her hair out with all of the issues Vinton Today handed her. I think at times she reached through the phone and grabbed a handful of hair of the "professionals" that were supposed to be keeping us safe. They couldn't help us either. Supposedly their firewall was bigger, stronger, the best that there was and STILL we were constantly hacked non-stop and having to rewrite stories, way too often. It was the most miserable couple of years and our designer, as much as she loved working with me, said, "Get lost, this website is a monster!" Well, she didn't actually say that, but the size of the traffic coming into the website made it a larger target than a mom-and-pop website. Vinton Today then called Wesley and said, "Pretty please...would you take this on again?" Now, I'm not a hugger, but that was one time I wanted to give someone a hug. It had been a miserable couple of years. Another advantage to sticking with this design is that we can keep all of the stories that we had from 11 years ago. When there aren't paper copies, that's another pretty good reason.
I still remember insulting Wesley by saying he had built a Cadillac of a website. I was quickly corrected and told it was a Rolls Royce, and he wasn't kidding. I didn't understand the difference between Cadillacs and Rolls Royces until I saw a Rolls Royce in person, and I immediately understood. That's what we have here. Trust me, it's the best place for Vinton Today.
Let's see, what else?
What other expenses do you have?
This is a tough one. I don't keep track of things like that. If something comes up that either Jeff or I need, I buy it and add it to my pile of receipts for tax time. Other expenses that occur are the annual registration for the website names, extra storage for all of the content to sit that we've accumulated over the last 11 years. Miscellaneous camera cards, the wear and tear on vehicles, not to mention all of the time that both Jeff and I put into this website. The occasional equipment replacements. This year there was a longer lens for Jeff's camera, there are computer programs that sometimes we need to update. Writing this just reminded me that I need to order another long lens for my camera. That will cosst another easy hundred. I really need to get another computer, but I can't find one like the one I am used to, so I might spring for some Gorilla Glue to hold it together as long as I possibly can, It's probably 6 or 7 years old and has traveled to numerous supervisor meetings, council meetings, a couple of school board meetings, it's traveled cross country and been dropped so many time because my hands just aren't working as good as they used to after 40 years of typing wear and tear.
There were the several hours and miles taking pictures of the damage caused by the Derecho this year, and flood damage other years, and straight line winds that technically are not paid for when it comes down to it. Any time there is a disaster like that pictures are more important to tell the story than words are. I'm usually out there trying to capture it all, only to return to, "Why didn't you cover OUR town?" So I grin and think, "Okay, I guess the people want more!" Then I hit the road the next day and head to whatever town I missed in the county.
Really this job is fun. I can't wait to see all of the events this summer and see everyone again, it's amazing how I missed you all during this pandemic!
I'll quit rambling on and on now, oh wait. One more question.
Why did you quit using PayPal?
The simple answer, because they take a portion of what you donate and every dime matters. Venmo does not take a cut.
So anyway, if you can, please take a few minutes to sign up for Venmo if you haven't already and consider what you can do to donate. Find @VintonToday.
Or you can mail a check to:
P.O. Box 7
Vinton, Iowa 52349
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your continued support over the last 11 years, thanks for your kind words, your encouragement, and your backing of Vinton Today, I really am humbled by your support of this effort.