Support Sepia Mutiny — Without It Costing You a Dime

Chuck D once described Hip Hop as the “black CNN,” and he was briefly right. (Nowadays, sadly, it is closer to QVC — i.e., all product placement, all the time.)

Sepia Mutiny was, I think, conceived of by its original members along similar lines: a “desi CNN,” if you will. Over time, of course, it’s evolved, and while nowadays it might occasionally seem more like “Desi NPR” than “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” we do try and throw in The Great Khali and some ritualized baby-throwing to keep things lively. (Yeah, boyeeee.)

Abhi, who’s planning to formally kick off a fundraising drive in a couple of days in a separate post, tells me that a site with Sepia Mutiny’s level of traffic costs $1200 a year to maintain. Since we don’t use ads (on purpose — being ad-free lets us be more honest & independent), we try and rely on support from readers to help defray that cost.

One way you can help us, if you like, is to use our Amazon Associates account number if/when you shop at Amazon. It doesn’t need to be attached to a particular purchase; as long as you enter the site through a click from a Sepia Mutiny link, like this one, we can potentially get a small commission off of any purchase you make on Amazon following that click-through. And it won’t cost you anything.

(Using Amazon Associates is, admittedly, a form of advertising, but it’s really advertising for Amazon.com, not for a particular product.)

We probably won’t be able to raise enough money to cover all our costs this way, and a direct “PayPal” appeal will probably happen all the same, but we did want to make sure readers were aware of this option. Here, for instance, are some of the books we’ve talked about recently (all the links below are keyed into Sepia Mutiny’s Amazon Associates account): Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World, Manil Suri, Age of Shiva, Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures, V.V. Ganeshananthan, Love Marriage, Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth, Chetan Bhagat, One Night @ the Call Center (which, admittedly, I hated), and Tahmima Anam, A Golden Age.

We do this site for fun. While there is the occasional small perk, the truth is, when we review desi-themed books, movies, plays, the performing arts, and so on, we’re doing it because we’re passionate about it. When we start up discussions about issues relating to politics, identity, economics, science & health, and Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, we’re doing it because we love the conversation with you readers (the cheerleaders, not so much… ok, a little).

And finally, when we talk about life and death matters — such as Bone Marrow drives that could potentially save lives — we do it of course because we care (indeed, this issue hits closer to home for some of us bloggers than most of you know). But it’s also important to talk about those things because the mainstream media would likely never bother to cover something so “particular” to one ethnic group: the South Asian community.

Thanks in advance, guys.

33 thoughts on “Support Sepia Mutiny — Without It Costing You a Dime

  1. can you put an amazon button somewhere on the sidebar, so i can make sepia my permanent gateway to amazon? does that work?

  2. I shop on amazon all the time! Good to know I can do it through SM and help!! :)

  3. Amardeep – maybe you guys can add a tab/link for the amazon thing. Thus it’s a little more prominent and people wont forget as easily. And as we discuss books, etc here, you guys can add links to those items on the ‘Amazon’ tab.

  4. Not an Amazon shopper having a BN right across the street I tend to spend time in there browsing before buying. However if I do get anything from them I will certainly do it via SM. I will however donate next week when the drive is on :-)

  5. Rahul S., I seem to remember that we have one already, which was the primary donation method we used two years ago, during the last fundraising drive. (See June 19, 2006) But before I give the link to that PayPal URL, wait until I confirm that the info. there is correct.

  6. on purpose — being ad-free lets us be more honest & independent

    Not so sure abt that! I think there are ways to put ads and be honest, say by leaving the ad maintenance to a third party say Google AdSense or doubleclick.

  7. Not so sure abt that! I think there are ways to put ads and be honest, say by leaving the ad maintenance to a third party say Google AdSense or doubleclick.

    The problem with not being able to choose (on AdSense) is that you sometimes see ads for things that go against what you might strongly believe. Another problem is, some of the sites that advertise themselves using AdSense use Spyware/Adware/Malware. Third, I’ve been told that simple text ads are also not very effective.

  8. is this just for amazon.com?? and not for the other amazons such as amazon.co.uk?? cos i have made purchases from info from SM so it would be more then handy!

  9. 10 · Amardeep said

    Not so sure abt that! I think there are ways to put ads and be honest, say by leaving the ad maintenance to a third party say Google AdSense or doubleclick. The problem with not being able to choose (on AdSense) is that you sometimes see ads for things that go against what you might strongly believe.

    What’s wrong with that?

    Another problem is, some of the sites that advertise themselves using AdSense use Spyware/Adware/Malware. Third, I’ve been told that simple text ads are also not very effective.

    Spyware is everywhere. I haven’t read (I read 10′s of tech blogs everyday) a site that went down or having an issue using AdSense. Check out this post from Amit Agarwal, who is a big earner from AdSense. From his post, here are some sites that use AdSense: LinkedIn, CNN, About.com, AOL or MySpace. Maybe that will convince you guys to use AdSense? :)

  10. I mostly lurk, but definitely enjoy reading the blog. I no longer shop at Amazon (too many independent booksellers on the brink of extinction in my area), but I will happily donate as soon as you put the paypal button up.

  11. repeating for emphasis: please put up an amazon tab/button permanently on the site. i also use amazon a lot.

  12. Sepia Mutiny was, I think, conceived of by its original members along similar lines: a “desi CNN,” if you will. Over time, of course, it’s evolved, and while nowadays it might occasionally seem more like “Desi NPR” than “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” we do try and throw in The Great Khali and some ritualized baby-throwing to keep things lively. (Yeah, boyeeee.)

    Professor-ji, while I adore any intro which refs Public Enemy and Black CNN, I’m going to interrupt to type that I always thought of this as a Desi NPR. I was never interested in writing for a blog with advertising. From the moment in mid-2004 when Abhi asked if I’d be down to get all brown online, i.e. before the first post was written, I saw Sepia Mutiny as being an oasis from blinking ocular assaults, pop-ups and yes, the text-ads which some of you think are no big deal. I do love the idea of being the Sepia CNN, in that nostalgic hip-hop context, though; I remember when those songs dropped, and how revolutionary they seemed. I’ll never forget when JSA’s 1989 Spring State conference ended with a fiery closing speech and one defiant click to a huge boom box which immediately blared “Fight the Power”. I know I wasn’t the only 14-year old to rush out of that ballroom exhilarated, and ready to get political.

    9 · yugan said

    Not so sure abt that! I think there are ways to put ads and be honest, say by leaving the ad maintenance to a third party say Google AdSense or doubleclick.

    As one of the founding bloggers of SM, I can tell you that it wasn’t just me– we discussed and dismissed advertising when the site went up four years ago; I even said I’d rather divide up the costs among ourselves than blog for a site that had ads. I think many of our readers agree that our being ad-free is part of what makes us mutinous, and I hope that for as long as I’m a blogger for this site, we keep our sidebars so fresh and so clean. I’m grateful that every year that we have asked, we’ve been able to hit our goal quickly. We do this for fun, not for a paycheck; when paypal donations start pouring in, it is a very clear acknowledgment that you mutineers dig what we do, and let me tell you, that love from you is much more precious than getting our server costs paid via a trickle of checks from text ads.

  13. Please do post up the Amazon link. I had no clue and spend thousands on Amazon for work related expenses.

  14. Promise to post a full head shot of Cicatrix in return for the money and we will get it done….

  15. 20 · Cicatrix Fan said

    Promise to post a full head shot of Cicatrix in return for the money and we will get it done….

    hehehehe. May be we can do an SM Calendar. What say Abhi? Ready to Model? I’ll get my camera!

  16. I think with the average profile of SM reader being an elite desi 30 something hipster (average income of reader: $135,000) (average number of degrees: 1.5 Masters) you should have no problem raising $5,000 – $10,000 in a week!

  17. I love this blog and am a regular lurker, will be glad to donate for your cause, will wait for your paypal link.

  18. With you Anna.. keep it clean, you guys have done a good job on this blog. SM shouldn’t have trouble raising the needed capital or (volunteer) labor hours to help.

  19. It’s great to see that A N N A line. You’ve been missed.

    Since there was a mention of Public Enemy, may I suggest that when you put up the post with the PayPal info, you create a List of Demands. I’m down to support the cause, where else can I get behind on my work when reading on topics ranging from Suleman Mirza to Fat Americans to Rafta Rafta. Thanks for the deliciously eclectic set of posts.

  20. Sepia Mutiny was, I think, conceived of by its original members along similar lines: a “desi CNN,” if you will. Over time, of course, it’s evolved, and while nowadays it might occasionally seem more like “Desi NPR”

    I sense some real business potential in any such venture.

    I think many of our readers agree that our being ad-free is part of what makes us mutinous, and I hope that for as long as I’m a blogger for this site, we keep our sidebars so fresh and so clean

    Well if not sidebar there can be another tab like the News, Events …something like “Ads for Desis”

  21. 22 · Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said

    I think with the average profile of SM reader being an elite desi 30 something hipster (average income of reader: $135,000) (average number of degrees: 1.5 Masters) you should have no problem raising $5,000 – $10,000 in a week!

    hah! some of us go to the library to get our books. . .but I’ll do my part to support an ad-free site when the paypal account is up.

  22. Professor-ji, while I adore any intro which refs Public Enemy and Black CNN, I’m going to interrupt to type that I always thought of this as a Desi NPR

    I always thought it was jit. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Thanks to all the bloggers for the site. I’m unemployed, but will give you what little I can right now.

  23. I truly love your services, and I love all the contributing members of SM. I think that it’s so selfless of you guys to post very thought-provoking and enlightened articles, and then you humbly ask us for our comments/opinions. Moreover, we’re allowed to talk about topics which are taboo in many circles, such as racism, religion, sex, etc.

    Here are my suggestions for you: 1. sell SP t-shirts with any one of those logos at the top of your page which refreshes. 2. partner up with NETIP or something. create some ubiquity for the 2 of you. 3. Sell rotis with Gandhi’s face on it on Ebay. 4. have a youtube feature.

    Keep up the good work. Where can we make the check to? I’d like to give about Rs.200.

  24. adsense is evil no doubt, but an amazon button is certainly advertising. Put the button up and you will lose religion, little by little.

    Anyways, your site has been good for our’s, bring on your paypal number. Ask for recurring donations, will help you plan. Will not stop you from dieing very poor though.

  25. I see posts critical of the comment policy have disappeared… not surprising since Anna is participating.

  26. 29 · boston_mahesh said

    Here are my suggestions for you: 1. sell SP t-shirts with any one of those logos at the top of your page which refreshes.

    Would looove to have a couple of those!! :)

    unrelated:a bug in comment submission: when you preview the comment, you lose the name and “brown” that should be an easy fix and would be relieving to a lotta commenters. thanks