Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Help Needless Things!

Good morning, Phantomaniacs!

Today I am here to do something I am very uncomfortable doing - I'm going to ask for money. Not a lot of money, just some. Whatever you might be willing to spare or think that the toy reviews, movie reviews, con recaps, and various other original content that is provided on Needless Things five days a week might be worth.

I don't like doing this at all, but the bottom line is that the more popular this website gets, the more things cost. I received this e-mail from the site that hosts the Needless Things Podcast the other day:

"Dear needlessthings

Your Podbean account bandwidth usage has reached 80% of your monthly bandwidth quota. Your files will be blocked from public access when your account bandwidth usage reaches 100%. We recommend you to upgrade your account to avoid service interruption.


The Podbean Team"

This took me utterly by surprise. I have to admit to not being all that savvy when it comes to gigabytes and bandwidth and stuff like that, but I never imagined the Needless Things Podcast would exceed any sort of limits from anybody. At least, not within the first few years.

This leaves me in a difficult position. 

I have a job that pays me well to be good at something that is very difficult. But I am by no means a rich man. I can take care of my family and I can spend more on toys than is probably reasonable. But the level of popularity that Needless Things is (apparently) achieving is getting expensive. The costs are not much individually - photo hosting, site hosting, podcast hosting - but when they all add up... well, they add up. And I'm not making any money on this thing. Or anywhere. 

I don't know if you guys know this, but when I do a panel at a con it costs me time and money. We don't get paid for that. We do it because we love it. But travel, boarding, materials, and whatever else comes out of my pocket. I gave away a bunch of Doctor Who figures at TimeGate last year. Because I bought a bunch of Doctor Who figures from Billy's Toys to give away.

I fucking love doing all of the things I do, but I need a little help to keep doing them.

If you want actual stuff for helping out (which I totally understand), go to my Store Evny store and buy some things:

 Other than that, this is where things get awkward because I don't actually produce anything with all of the time and money I pour into the site. So all I can ask is that you evaluate the content you get and throw a little something at your ol' pal Phantom by donating through PayPal:

So here's the deal with that: I want to up my level at Podbean to unlimited bandwidth. If I am able to do that I will also get more upload space, which has been a problem from the start. I have had massive scheduling headaches because I only have 100 MB per month. So if I can up my level to "Pro Gold" I won't have to worry about bandwidth or upload limits anymore. I can't guarantee Needless Things will become a weekly show (though I'd love that) because I still have a job and a family. But I can tell you that you will get a lot more episodes and that I will be more likely to record spur-of-the-moment stuff.
"Pro Gold" is $18 a month (or $216 a year). Eighteen bucks a month may not seem like a lot, but it's more than I can cover when it's lumped in with everything else.

If I can make that $216 through shirt, print, and sticker sales on Storenvy that would be great. And anything over that I make would obviously go towards the show - new equipment, new merchandise, whatever.

I hate this. I don't want to ask you folks for money. But the bottom line is that it costs a lot to provide what I want to provide and when I am at 80% of my bandwidth limit only halfway through the month (and with only one new episode so far this month), I am not going to be able to do that for much longer.

Kickstarter has been suggested to me as a possible route for fundraising, but that would mean coming up with rewards that people want and I don;t know how capable I am of doing that. What would you want? Let me know and I'll look into it. Or if you have any other ideas or suggestions, let me know. You can best contact me through the Facebook thing over there on the right.

You can also help out by sharing this sad, pathetic post EVERYWHERE. Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, whatever.

That's all I've got. If you love Needless Things and want not just the podcast you've been getting but even more, click one of those links and gimme some money.


  1. Your store is not working. I was going to buy a shirt! Also, add 2 bucks to those. I would still totally buy a shirt for 12 bucks.

    1. I think I've got everything working now. If not, there is some internet conspiracy against me. Which would not surprise me one bit.