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Sporkful Pledge Drive — Help Keep The Sporkful Growing!

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Jul 13, 2010
The Sporkful

As of this week, The Sporkful is accepting listener donations -- and offering cool stuff in return -- in order to pay for the cost of producing the podcast, and to keep it growing. The first thing we want to say is, we love doing The Sporkful, and are tremendously gratified by the response we've gotten, both to our podcast and to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. We've spent a good portion of the past few months as the #1 food podcast on iTunes, a pretty incredible feat considering we have no backing from any media outlet, and no celebrity status whatsoever. (UPDATE: As of Sept. '10 we have been downloaded in over 100 countries!) And we have you to thank. But here's the thing...

Doing The Sporkful takes A LOT of time, and it costs some money too. Many people who like our podcast say they like the fact that it's well produced and edited, and we appreciate that. But that's a big reason why it takes more time and effort to create than many other podcasts. We have no plans to quit our day jobs, but if we're going to keep The Sporkful going, we do need to start to get some money coming in, not only to cover expenses, but also because of the time commitment involved. Now we could just charge money for the podcast on iTunes, but we don't want to do that. We want to keep it free, to make this as inclusive as possible. We are working towards selling ads, but it takes time for a new-ish indie podcast to get advertisers, and even once you get them, unless you're someone famous, they tend to pay very little. That's why we're asking for your help, in the form of donations. And if we can get some money coming in, we have big plans.

We’ll use the funds to cover expenses like web hosting and server space, but then we'll invest money in making The Sporkful even more better. We'd love to take the show outside, to food fairs, festivals, and restaurants. But to do that, we need portable recording equipment. (It doesn’t have to be top-of-the-line stuff, just some gear to allow us to maintain our quality production in the field.) We'd love to take the show on the road, to do live tapings from cities and towns all over the place, but that requires money for travel and venue space. We want to do more video content, but that requires more equipment too. And we'd love to build the blog into a more vibrant space, but that requires more time and money.

So you see, the listener-supported Sporkful of the future is truly a wonderful and growing enterprise, of which we hope you'll become a part. We love doing it, we want to keep doing it, but we need your help. In fact, to show how committed we are to your involvement, we're doing a show this week comprised entirely of listener calls, a concept we'll do again in two weeks and four weeks.

So how do you donate? Well you can make a one-time donation of any amount – a penny or a dollar or a million dollars – or you can become a monthly subscriber for $10/month. And if you choose to become a subscriber, or if you make a one-time donation of $100 or more, you'll get cool stuff. You'll get a Sporkful T-shirt, not available in stores, and a limited edition digital download album, comprised of two unreleased episodes. One is Sandwich Science (Part 2), featuring Radiolab's Robert Krulwich, a continuation of one of our most popular episodes ever. The other is a prequel, a pilot show we recorded the first time we ever entered the studio to do The Sporkful, even before Episode 1. Until now, this episode has only been shared with a few trusted friends and advisors.

Click here to keep The Sporkful alive by donating. It only takes a minute. Thank you for your contribution, and thanks for listening to The Sporkful!

Dan and Mark

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