JOHN MENADUE. The Transition of Pearls & Irritations

To readers and supporters

With good content and only word of mouth promotion we have over 6500 subscribers and about 5000 daily readers. There is steady growth. P and I helps set the agenda on important public issues.It will not come as a surprise to you that we are looking to migrate P & I to a safe home, either an individual(s) or an organisation that shares our values and beliefs.

P & I doesn’t attempt ‘balance’. It has a point of view.  

The reason for the ‘migration’ are fairly obvious. Susie and I rely on writers, family and friends who generously provide extensive and free personal and technical support.

We are not getting any younger!

Our work load is rapidly increasing . That increase has been in part self inflicted as well as by the very encouraging response to the blog. About half the articles come in unsolicited.

P & I is not a commercial enterprise. We have deliberately steered clear of advertising and subscription revenue. We do not pay contributors. We have no paid staff. In  future, that non-commercial approach may need to change as a new operator(s) takes over.

We are actively seeking to reduce our workload. We have dropped most Saturday postings. We will reduce the number of postings.  We are also developing a more collegial approach whereby some colleagues are assisting in sourcing articles in subject areas. We  need to get the balance right between original material and reposted articles from other media. We also hope soon to encourage more contributors to ‘draft post’ directly to the site. I will continue to make the final decision when and whether to publish.

There are several possibilities for the future.

  • A compatible individual or organisation could progressively ‘take over’ P & I. I would continue to write occasional articles and hopefully contributors would continue to support P & I.
  • We could raise, say $100,000 p.a. through a benefactor(s) or as the Guardian and others do, with small contributions. Funds would be used to contract a Blog Manager. (It would add to our work if Susie and I had to set up a company structure, bank account and payroll for such employment. We need an ‘arms length’ arrangement. Perhaps a supporting organisation could arrange this and we would contract with that organisation.)
  • Reduce P & I to  three days a week. Perhaps we post too much anyhow!
  •  The least attractive option would be to close P & I when Susie and/or I find it impossible to continue. That would happen immediately if Susie or I became seriously ill. Perhaps social media like P and I have a short shelf life and must make way for new people with new ideas and enthusiasm

We would be interested in your comments, practical suggestions or possible offers as to how we should best proceed. Please reply to [email protected]

Regards,
John Menadue

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John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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