Report on the Tip Jar for 2014

 Posted by on 16 January 2015 at 11:00 am  Tip Jar
Jan 162015
 

Over the whole of 2014, I received 912 contributions to Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar from 107 contributors. Lovely! I cannot thank my contributors enough, because without you, I’d just not be motivated to put in all the work that I do for the radio shows and other projects.

I’m far from earning as much as I’d like form the show, and I want to grow my audience more too. So in 2015, I’ll be spending more to advertise the show, as well as offering more premium content available only to contributors.

If you want to support my work, you can contribute a one-time tip or a recurring tip here: Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar

Thanks again to my contributors! You rock!

May 192014
 

Earlier this week, I received the following message with a new recurring monthly tip to Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar:

I value your work and am in favor of your continuing the philosophy of religion podcasts!

Thank you, thank you! Based on that request, plus some other encouragement from regular contributors, I plan to resume and finish that podcast series on philosophy of religion after I finish my podcast series on my book Responsibility & Luck.

I really love when my contributors express an interest in particular projects on my “Maybe” list. That definitely bumps them up in priority for me and makes me excited to work on them. So if you’ve like to have a say in what projects are on my agenda, become a regular contributor!

Apr 302014
 

As April draws to a close, I wanted to share a few of the kind words that I’ve gotten from fans of Philosophy in Action Radio over the past few months. Then, if you’re so inclined, you can throw a bit of love into our tip jar!

Here’s one:

I love listening to your work. As soon as I get some disposable income I will send a piece of it your way. I also just ordered your book on moral luck and am excited to get into it. Keep up the good work! (As long as you enjoy it, that is.)

Thank you! My book on moral luck is available here: Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. I’ll have copies with me at ATLOSCon that I’ll sign and sell for $20.

Here’s another:

I am working through your backlog, slowly catching up to the present. You, Greg and your Weds. interviewees are often my companions while I am cooking and eating. Always interesting, entertaining, and informative. Thanks for the company, beats cable TV!

Awesome! Here’s yet another:

I personally credit your blog and especially your podcasts with helping to ground me in the facts, limit my snap judgments in situations that require more thought and integration, and monitor my tone and word selection in stating my judgments. I have come to respect how difficult it is to consider the facts and form a final judgment, particularly about people! Objectivism is indispensable to understanding the standards, but to judge each particular situation or person requires the identification of the facts specific to that issue, evaluation through thought, and the process of integration. … please accept my gratitude for influencing me to become more careful and deliberate in my judgments, and more effective in delivering them. In other words, thank you for helping me to become more objective.

Thank you for those kind words! I’m so glad that my message has been heard.

Here’s another:

After a prolonged conservation with two Christians I went ahead and listened to all of your philosophy of religion podcasts. They were really helpful in both clarifying their arguments and explaining why they are wrong. For this information, thank you.

Great! You can find those podcasts on philosophy of religion on this page. I never completed that series, but I’d like to do so. If enough people express an interest, that might just happen.

The Tip Jar

Remember, Philosophy in Action depends on the support of fans like you. By contributing, you’re not just helping to make the radio show happen, but also enabling me to work on projects like the major update I’m doing to Explore Atlas Shrugged.

You can contribute online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank’s bill pay service. You can easily create recurring contributions with any of those methods of payment. If you want to pay by some other method, choose “Other” below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Name:
Email:
Tip Amount:
Payment Method:
Payment recurrence:
Comments/Questions:
I’d love to hear what work of mine inspired your generosity in these comments. I want to know what my fans enjoy most, so that I can do that more!
 

If you contribute, we’re happy to answer a question of particular interest to you sooner rather than later. The question must already be in the queue, so if you’ve not done so already, submit it. Then just e-mail me at diana@philosophyinaction.com to make your request.

Dec 312013
 

Before 2013 comes to a close, I want to post a quick year-end report, thank my contributors of 2013, and ask for your support in 2014.

In 2013, I produced 80 episodes of Philosophy in Action Radio. 50 were Q&As, in which I answered 169 questions. 29 were interviews, and just one was a podcast. (Later, I’ll work on compiling a list of some of my favorites.)

As for listening statistics:

  • I had 152,507 listens via BlogTalkRadio, with 6,110 of those being live. That’s an increase of nearly 45% over last year’s total of 105,380.
  • I had 219,114 downloads from my podcast archives. (That’s 152,402 downloads from my old host podbean and 66,712 downloads from my new host libsyn.) That’s an increase of nearly 60% over last year’s total of 137,350.

That’s 371,621 listens from all sources — an increase of over 50% from last year’s total of 242,730. Wowee, that’s even better than I expected! That growth makes me darn happy… and I hope to do even better in 2014!

In addition to those radio shows, I published my first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. That was far, far more work than I expected, but I’m so glad to have that work out in the world.

I’m particularly grateful to all the people who made that work — and more — possible by their financial support. That’s what makes what I do possible, and it keeps me motivated to work even harder on new projects. Here are some of the comments that I’ve received recently from some of those contributors:

I want to thank you for the great podcasts. I’ve been listening since September of 2009, and they just keep getting better! I’m a monthly contributor, and it’s worth every cent.

Diana, Thanks for your webcast, and all your reasoning analyses! I don’t have a good question to accompany this donation, but I may remind you of it when I do submit a question. -) Have a great new year!

I want to say i love your show. I really do enjoy the works and ideas of Ayn Rand, and I considered myself a total objectivist right up until I came in contact with the objectivist community online. Its refreshing to listen to your show and see that rationality is alive and well somewhere.

I have become a regular weekly listener to your show and I have started a regular $5 a month contribution to your tip jar. I know that this isn’t a huge amount but its all i can do for now. I hope that it does help and will continue to promote the show to my more than 1300 twitter followers just as often as I can.

I really enjoyed your recent podcast. You and Paul managed to convince me that personality theory is not just some foo-foo fluff stuff made up by academics, but can actually be quite valuable when formulated and applied in a certain way. This will be very useful for my career, and I think personal relationships as well. I’d be interested in hearing more about personality theory from you in the future. Keep up the great work, and thanks so much!!!

Oh, I love this comment that I just received on a last-minute order of a signed copy of Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame.

I’ve been listening to your Sunday broadcast for about three years now, and have greatly enjoyed the variety of thought-provoking ideas you touch upon. While I’ve always been interested in ethics, I’ve never had a chance to examine moral luck, and am looking forward to reading your book.

Remember, today is the last day to order a signed copy, at least until April! It’s also the last day to contribute to Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar in 2013! Remember…

Amanda Palmer on The Art of Asking

 Posted by on 25 November 2013 at 11:00 am  Economics, Tip Jar
Nov 252013
 

I don’t know anything about Amanda Palmer or her music, but I really enjoyed her TED talk on funding her music through crowdsourcing. “Asking makes you vulnerable.” Indeed.

So much of this resonates so much for me personally — most obviously given that Philosophy in Action Radio is available for free, but supported by contributions from fans. That does give me a great sense of trust and vulnerability… and immense gratitude too.

Crafty People of the World, Unite!

 Posted by on 19 August 2013 at 2:00 pm  Tip Jar
Aug 192013
 

For the past few weeks, the Chinchillas 1957 Etsy Shop has contributed 10% of all sales to Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar! Thank you, thank you! That runs through the rest of August, so spinners and knitters and other crafty people, check out this amazing fiber now!

I learned to knit a few years ago, but I never did much more than my initial project, which was a scarf for the poor bedraggled bear of my childhood. Many years ago, poor Teddy was seriously mauled by some dog. I had to re-capitate him… but plastic surgeon, I am not. Hence, I made him the scarf to cover up the scar on his neck.

I enjoyed knitting, and I’d love to take it up again. Perhaps I’ll make time in a few decades…

Jul 312013
 

As today is the last day of July, I wanted to remind you that you can support my work via Philosophy in Action’s Tip jar. I love the messages that I get with contributions, so I thought I’d share a few with you. First:

Last month I decided to start contributing $10 a month via Dwolla to your show. I’m about to be “poor” as you’ll see below, but I felt you deserved at least that much for the value I have, and will continue to receive in the future.

This last week I noticed I spend at least $5 a week on food that is less than good for me, and I heard you mention the idea of contributing $5 a week rather than a lump sum once a month. Sounded like a good idea, so now I am eating healthier and contributing your suggested amount. You definitely deserve it. I hope one day to be able to bribe you with even more and get some super-meaty questions answered.

I love that win-win… and as I told this person, that amount is certainly enough to bribe me to answer his preferred questions. (I have so many questions pending in the queue now that bribery via the tip jar — or supporting my work by sharing it on social media — is pretty much the only way to ensure that your question will be answered anytime soon!)

Second:

I’ve written you before and mentioned that I really like your show, but that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. The simple truth is that your show helps me be a better thinker. I’ve always been proud of my ability to use my head as more than just a mobile hat stand, so the fact that your show helps me improve that capability means a lot to me. A lot of the time, I will find myself agreeing with the things you say and the reasons you say them. But there are a lot of times where I sit back and say, “huh, I had no idea this issue was that complex. I’ll have to remember to consider X, Y, and Z when I think about these kinds of things.” And there are also quite a few times where I will realize that I was confused about some issues, and that hearing a different perspective let’s me take the step back I need to consider things from other angles and reach clarity.

And then there’s your podcast from this past December (I think) where you talked about the good in American culture. [DH: Yes, that's here.] I’ve listened to that podcast at least three times, and I think I’m due for another listen. I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed to hear that and didn’t realize it. It’s sooo easy to get yourself in a funk when you focus on everything that’s going wrong these days. Listening to that podcast was a total eye opener. It was like someone walked up to me, smacked me on the arm, and said, “Hey! Haven’t you noticed? The world is a pretty awesome place!” And then I looked around and saw that it was true. So far, that one is my favorite podcast. Maybe that’s the “secret weapon” to advocacy: the life’s-pretty-good-but-applying-rational-principles-makes-it-better approach. Or something like that. I’m still thinking on that one. And I’m so glad I setup a recurring monthly contribution. In fact, I think you deserve a raise; I’ll have to do something about that.

That comment makes me feel… well… darn visible! I don’t aim to just give “The Right Answer” in my broadcasts. That’s not helpful to listeners: it teaches dogmatism and rationalism, and the world already has enough of that, including from Objectivists! That would be downright boring for me too. Instead, what’s interesting to me and helpful to my listeners is for me to untangle the complexity required to judge rightly and choose wisely in various facets of life. By doing that again and again — in a supportive and positive way — my listeners will be better able to do that for themselves.

Third, here’s an example of just that:

Hey, Diana! I was wandering through your archives today and came across the question about prayers for atheists from March 2012. [DH: That's here.] This is a sticky subject that I have pondered over how best to handle for a long time, and I really appreciate the advice you gave. I have often wanted to respond with more honesty and integrity to theists after offers of prayer, but have been advised by many friends to just “let it go” and thank them. I now see why this is not beneficial for either party, and will feel free from now on to present my authentic feelings on the situation. So thankful you took the time to answer that question, and left a little love in your Tip Jar for it. Keep up the good work!

If you enjoy my blogging and radio shows but you’ve not yet contributed (or you’ve not contributed lately), please consider throwing some love in the tip jar. That really makes a dig difference to me, financially and spiritually.

You’ll find the buttons to contribute below. You can contribute via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail. (I recommend that you use Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.)

However… I know that some of you aren’t financially able to contribute, even though you enjoy and appreciate my work. In that case, please know that I notice and cheer whenever you share the announcements of upcoming shows, as well link to podcasts of past shows and blog posts, on Facebook and Twitter. That helps grow my audience, and I appreciate that show of support too.

Contribute Via PayPal

Using PayPal, you can make a one-time contribution or create a monthly contribution:

If you’d like to make a one-time contribution in an amount not listed, use this link.

Contribute Via Dwolla

Using Dwolla, you can make a one-time contribution or create a recurring contribution in any amount.

You can adjust the amount and frequency of your contribution on the next page — or you can use this link. You can cancel a monthly contribution at any time using your list of Recurring Payments.

Contribute Via U.S. Mail

To contribute via check or money order, please mail it to:

Diana Hsieh
P.O. Box 851
Sedalia, CO 80135

Please write “P/A Radio” in the memo field.

Again, my hearty thanks to everyone who has contributed to Philosophy in Action in July… and before! You make my work possible, and I appreciate that more than I can properly express!

Jun 042013
 

I received this most fabulous message a few days ago… and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Plus, it raises some serious points about my approach that I discuss below too.

SO! I quit listening to P/A a few months ago because (hear me out) – I started noticing that I agreed with *everything* that was coming out of your lovely face. I started growing a little worried that I was getting super lazy and losing (or worse, ignoring) the whole critical thinking thing.

Naturally, being a mad social scientist, I decided to test the theory. I followed the questions for a few weeks and jotted down what I thought the correct responses should be, and for the past few days I’ve been listening to podcasts at work (productivity soared). So guess what! My worryworting was totally unjustified. I got the gist of plenty of the questions spot on, although with a miserable fraction of the detail you provided. I’m so damn proud.

Anyhoo, the shamefully unreciprocated consumption of your podcasts on my part is over. As soon as Dwolla verifies my bank account the donations should be coming in biweekly. I adore your work, and not just because it gives me some vain sense of self-righteousness. That’s just a perk.

If you’re ever back home in Maryland and would like me to donate some steak and bacon, just drop me a line, chica!

The style of this email put me into fabulous fits of giggles, but I very much enjoyed its serious point too.

If you’re a fellow Objectivist, the basic answers to the questions I answer on Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Radio aren’t terribly difficult. In most cases, I know that basic answer when I choose the questions, and I bet many of you do too. If my goal were just to inform listeners — Objectivist or not — of the right answer, I’d answer six questions in fifteen minutes… and then shoot myself in the head.

Instead, the goal of the show is to work through the actual thinking required to answer such questions — meaning, to develop and apply relevant principles, to test those principles via real-world examples, to consider objections, and so on. That’s why the show consistently runs over an hour each week. It’s also why preparation for each show usually requires thinking through the issues involved, then some reading and research, then discussion with Greg, Tammy, and Paul, then more in-depth thinking, then hours of writing and organizing those thoughts.

By taking that approach, I’m able to explain my reasons for my answer in sufficient depth that people can (and do) change their minds — rationally, not rationalistically or dogmatically. Moreover, I’m teaching them — implicitly and explicitly — the principles and tools they need to think through new issues on their own in a rational way.

I’m very pleased — and proud — to be doing that. I’m also so grateful that so many others see the value in my approach, particularly when they help spread the word about the show and support it financially. That means the world to me.

May 282013
 

As May draws to a close, I wanted to remind y’all that you can support my work via Philosophy in Action’s Tip jar. (That “y’all” is thanks to the unbelievable fabulousness that was ATLOSCon 2013.)

That support enables Philosophy in Action Radio to reach an ever-wider audience. Recently, that includes 19,861 listens and downloads for April 28th’s radio show, where I answered questions on self-interest in marriage, atheists attending religious ceremonies, multigenerational space travel, drugs as treatment for mental illness, and more. It includes 4530 listens and downloads for May 12th’s radio show, where I answered questions on taxes versus slavery, infanticide after abortion, emergency medical care, and more.

Mostly though, I hope that people contribute to the tip jar because they find value in my work. Here’s a few comments that I got with tips lately that I particularly enjoyed. I received this first one after my April 14th radio show, in which I discussed moral judgments of obese people, among other topics.

This second one references my December 30th radio show on the good in American culture.

Finally, this third one is talking about my May 15th interview with Paul McKeever, which I agree was fabulous!

Oh wait, I just found another… about my February 20th interview with Chris Mortensen:

If you enjoy my blogging and radio shows but you’ve not yet contributed (or you’ve not contributed lately), please consider throwing some love in the tip jar. That really makes a dig difference to me, financially and spiritually.

You’ll find the buttons to contribute below. You can contribute via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail. (I recommend that you use Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.)

However… I know that some of you aren’t financially able to contribute, even though you enjoy and appreciate my work. In that case, please know that I notice and cheer whenever you share the announcements of upcoming shows, as well link to podcasts of past shows and blog posts, on Facebook and Twitter. That helps grow my audience, and I appreciate that show of support too.

Contribute Via PayPal

Using PayPal, you can make a one-time contribution or create a monthly contribution:

If you’d like to make a one-time contribution in an amount not listed, use this link.

Contribute Via Dwolla

Using Dwolla, you can make a one-time contribution or create a recurring contribution in any amount.

You can adjust the amount and frequency of your contribution on the next page — or you can use this link. You can cancel a monthly contribution at any time using your list of Recurring Payments.

Contribute Via U.S. Mail

To contribute via check or money order, please mail it to:

Diana Hsieh
P.O. Box 851
Sedalia, CO 80135

Please write “P/A Radio” in the memo field.

Again, my hearty thanks to everyone who has contributed to Philosophy in Action in May, including those of you at ATLOSCon. I couldn’t do what I do without your support!

Apr 252013
 

As y’all know, Philosophy in Action is financially powered by the enthusiastic support of our generous fans. Although I don’t yet earn nearly as much as I’d like, the radio show couldn’t survive without those tips. Heck, I couldn’t motivate myself to prepare and broadcast every week — even knowing that thousands are listening — without the moral support of people implicitly saying, by their contributions, “Hey, I really value the work that you’re doing. Really!”

I have tons and tons and tons of development work to do with Philosophy in Action in future, including offering more in writing and more exclusive benefits to contributors. That work is underway, albeit slowly. I hope that will grow my audience, as well as my revenue.

In the meantime, I can’t properly express how much I appreciate contributions with with messages like this one:

I’ve been reading NoodleFood for many years, and it has been a huge boon to my life. I started reading it just after I read Atlas Shrugged, back when I was an Objectivist infant. You’ve helped clarify my thinking on so many issues. And the work you’re doing now in your podcasts is better equipping me to pursue my own life and happiness. I’m thrilled to support your work in whatever small way I can. Thank you so much.

And:

Diana, Thank you for your continued work in presenting well thought out answers to questions that are relevant today. You and Greg do an excellent job, and I am a happy listener.

Here’s another, recently received via the old-fashioned method of snail mail:

See? That’s just awesome.

As April draws to a close, I just want to remind you not to neglect the hard work of your personal philosopher. If you enjoy my blogging and radio shows but you’ve not yet contributed (or you’ve not contributed lately), please consider throwing some love in the tip jar. That really makes a dig difference to me, financially and spiritually.

You’ll find the buttons to contribute below. You can contribute via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail. (I recommend that you use Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.)

However… I know that some of you aren’t financially able to contribute, even though you enjoy and appreciate my work. In that case, please know that I notice and cheer whenever you share the announcements of upcoming shows, as well link to podcasts of past shows and blog posts, on Facebook and Twitter. That helps grow my audience, and I appreciate that show of support too.

Contribute Via PayPal

Using PayPal, you can make a one-time contribution or create a monthly contribution:

If you’d like to make a one-time contribution in an amount not listed, use this link. You can cancel a monthly contribution at any time using your list of Pre-approved PayPal Payments. To change the amount of a monthly contribution, you must cancel the existing monthly payment in your list of Pre-approved PayPal Payments, then you can create a new monthly payment using the button above.

Contribute Via Dwolla

Using Dwolla, you can make a one-time contribution or create a recurring contribution in any amount.

You can adjust the amount and frequency of your contribution on the next page — or you can use this link. You can cancel a monthly contribution at any time using your list of Recurring Payments.

Contribute Via U.S. Mail

To contribute via check or money order, please mail it to:

Diana Hsieh
P.O. Box 851
Sedalia, CO 80135

Please write “P/A Radio” in the memo field.

Again, my hearty thanks to everyone who has contributed to Philosophy in Action of late. I couldn’t do what I do without your support!

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