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Open Left Closes, Admits It’s All About The Money

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The liberal blog Open Left suddenly announced today that they’ll stop posting content because…

we have gradually run out of money to maintain operations. It is a difficult decision, but we kept going for as long as we could.

But…

The site will not disappear, and all published content will remain online {…}

Wait…what?

Open Left is run on Soap Blox, which is a blogging platform and hosting service. The blog platform appears to be free and the most expensive hosting costs $40 a month. Sure, there are add ons, but Open Left doesn’t get a ton of traffic. They say they’re going to keep the website up, so it’ll cost $480 at the most every year. If you add in extra storage and overages every month, maybe it costs $1,000 a year…maybe.

So the idea that it was too costly to maintain the site is hard to swallow. Why didn’t they just throw a fundraiser? Think they could get 100 people to pitch in $10…or more? This is, after all, some of the same readers who rocketed Howard Dean from obscurity to the national stage because he was able to raise a ton of money online.

Bottom line…if they really cared about their readers they’d simply tell them that they can’t pay their writers anymore so content contributions will go down. And that’s assuming they paid their writers in the first place. Many political blogs simply invite people to blog and pay them zip. The platform, readership and communication is enough compensation. Also, I’ve been frank with all of you about content dropping in the down years between elections…and our hosting costs more than what they were paying. Do you see us going away?

Just saying…Chris Bowers and crew could easily keep that site up and post to it when they want to. But they’re not making any money. That’s the reason they’re quitting. Not very “open” if you ask me.