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

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Blogging, Money

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.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 4th, 2011 and is filed under Blogging, Money. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Open Left Closes, Admits It’s All About The Money”

  1. Political Byline » Blog Archive » Open Left Ceases Operations Says:

    [...] Blog Donklephant is not buying it: [...]

  2. Solomon Kleinsmith Says:

    Is it just me or are the CATPCHAs getting a TON harder… and you get them wrong and your whole damn comment is gone. Not worth writing the whole dang thing over.

  3. Tillyosu Says:

    I don’t get it. There’s a looming revolution in Egypt, and an historic court case that was decided regarding Obamacare last week, and you choose to blog about…another blog closing? I know it’s your blog and everything, but I just think your readers would rather read about other stuff.

  4. Aaron Says:

    Justin: As a professional web host, I agree that makes little sense. If there’s no money to run things, why is the site staying up? You’re stopping your content flow but not stopping the payment for hosting? Unless they’re getting some deal to have the archive hosted for free (maybe ad supported or something).

    Tilly: I’m sorry as long as you keep calling it Obamacare I can’t take you seriously. :) Making up names for things is the realm of Beck, Limbaugh, and even Olbermann. You want to discuss the content of the bill? By all means. There’s plenty to be talked about and plenty to be improved upon.

  5. Tillyosu Says:

    Google “Obamacare” and tell me what the first two results are. It’s the popularly accepted nomenclature at this point. Plus it’s a lot easier to type than “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” But sure, if you want to discuss the soon-to-be-former bill, I’d be happy to. It’s a lot more interesting than why Open Left shut its doors.

  6. theWord Says:

    If we’re going to use Google we could talk about Santorum…

  7. blackout Says:

    @Tillyosu: “It’s a lot more interesting than why Open Left shut its doors.”

    Such a waste of time that you’ve posted not once, but twice. Shouldn’t you be somewhere discussing Obamacare?

  8. Reality, Sorry Says:

    No, Blackout, Tillyosu simply can’t help himself. He’s been obsessed with political blogs and posting his inane rants for the last 7 or so years. That’s why he attended a scam, wothless law school (OSU), after all, and why he likely now finds himself making these ridiculous post from his parents’ house, rather than doing anything productive for society.

    Or, as he’d really like to word it: OMG A BLOG I CAN’T CONTROL MYSELF FROM POSTING ON ISN’T POSTING SOMETHING I WANT TO TALK ABOUT!!

  9. Tillyosu Says:

    Wow, someone is obviously obsessed with me…

  10. Reality, Sorry Says:

    Haha. Don’t you wish.

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