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The Challenge

I was minding my own business one afternoon when a Lockergnome subscriber emailed me from out of the blue. He felt that my publication was worth more than “free,” so he offered to send me one American dollar. On top of this, he issued a “challenge” for all the other subscribers to do the same. I was extremely surprised with the results; although I didn't make a mint from his proposal, I am now the proud owner of a large box filled with envelopes from just about every country on the globe. Each piece of mail arrived with at least a dollar (some included up to $100). But the most impressive—and heartwarming—part of this situation was seeing the handwritten notes or letters thanking me for my services. When people try to tell me that the Internet is a cold, unprofitable place, I show them my challenge box. The Internet exists because people exist. Remember that.

If you publish without charging your subscribers, a voluntary donation drive might not be out of the question. I even set up a Web page for Lockergnome Challengers, to give them an incentive to help: http://www.lockergnome.com/challenge.html. They enjoy seeing their name “up in lights,” and I enjoy reading their personal letters to me. They let me know that I'm truly making a difference. Good luck and fortune have nothing to do with it. You can't pay for or buy a contented subscriber.


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