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.