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Announcement: If this was my Day Job....

Discussion in 'CWT Announcements' started by civilwartalk, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. civilwartalk

    civilwartalk Lieutenant General Owner & Webmaster

    Apr 1, 1999
    Martinsburg, WV
    All is well here on CivilWarTalk... generally speaking....

    I've been watching as everyone has been generally keeping discussions going every day. Each day new members join and keep the discussions and learning going. Good job and thanks for participating! We love your friendly discussions, this is why we made this site!

    CivilWarTalk has been my passion nearly 20 years now, and the love and support I get from all of you, I could never thank you all enough. What you all have given me though this site has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I can't explain how much I appreciate everyone here, past and present.

    So I just wanted to start with that... thanks for helping me to make this the best Civil War community to be found anywhere on the internet.​

    Unfortunately, all is not well here at CivilWarTalk headquarters. It's very embarrassing for me. I recently was fired from my job, and I'm on the lookout for a new one. My old job gave me the flexibility to check-in on CivilWarTalk several times throughout the day, my next job may not.

    As you can guess, money has suddenly become a challenge with our family, and while I don't expect it to impact CivilWarTalk day to day operations anytime soon, it has put some of my plans to do upgrades to the site on hold until things become more stable.

    Complicating things for me, I've been working for companies who do time & attendance tracking for over 22 years, and I am really good at it, but there just aren't that many companies that sell that type of system.


    I've been considering a career change, or perhaps a pivot to another job that better fits my talents. My search continues...

    CivilWarTalk has been a hobby for a long time. As a forum, this site has time and again beat the odds by becoming one of the last successful Civil War communities outside of Facebook, and not just survive, but thrive! Can I now beat the odds with CivilWarTalk yet again?

    One option Ami and I discussed was turning my focus around and working more with CivilWarTalk and taking that on as my my job. That would mean that this site would become one of my focuses, but at the same time I would need to earn enough money every week to pay my bills. Is this really possible?

    Ami is terrified of this idea, she really wants to make sure the bills get paid and that we don't have to deal with unemployment and being in poverty. I can't blame her for being scared. We have a lot to loose.

    I'm not sure myself... How can I ask you to just give me more money? You all have already given an wonderful amount to keep CivilWarTalk going, and it's really not fair to ask you to give even more.

    However, I need to do something to keep my home, and my car, and keep us all fed, warm, and happy.

    What if I could offer you something? What if I asked you to be my boss?


    Would you like me to work for you? What if I created for you some new Civil War related content? How much would you be willing to send me to support me and my family if I made CivilWarTalk one of my jobs?

    What if I made feature articles for you? Brought you all the latest Civil War news from around the country? Would you watch if I made new and interesting videos about Civil War battlefields and equipment?

    Would you pay a few dollars to me every month if I did that for you?


    If I had time every day to work on CivilWarTalk, and money wasn't a concern, I could add so much to CivilWarTalk.

    I would spend a lot more time on Civil War battlefields, doing photography for CivilWarTalk, and coming up with video content for the site.

    I could do more interviews with people, like my video with artist Gary Casteel from years ago...

    Or my visit to Grant's Tomb in NYC....

    Or I could report on reenactments and live shooting events like those seen in the N-SSA...

    I filmed and produced each of those videos, and I'd be thrilled to do that every day. Other things I'd like to work on and improve...

    The Wiki has so much promise, but I haven't been able to give it the love it really deserves. It could one day be one of the best resources on Civil War history, but I'd need to put in hundreds of hours of time to get it updated to where I'd like it to be.

    Skirmish Notes could be revitalized and relaunched as my blog, tracking all the things I would be doing as far as battlefield visits and N-SSA events I attend...

    That's really just scratching the surface, I'd like to do so many more things, stuff I have dreamed about doing for CivilWarTalk, but today it's only a dream.


    I believe we would need to take our current Patron numbers and multiply that by somewhere between 5 and 10. That's a lot!

    Right now to support CivilWarTalk we have about 40 patrons who support CivilWarTalk every month. The money sent by those patrons pays for all the server fees and licenses I need to keep CivilWarTalk working every month with a bit left over, and we usually save the extra to pay for upgrades to the forum and new features when we can.

    My old job used to pay me about $2800 each month. So okay, reality check, I'll probably need to get some kind of real job, maybe something part time. But the remaining time I could work on this site and provide new content, good rich content.

    I'm not going to pretend that CivilWarTalk can replace my old job, but maybe if you help me and and give me a job, I can be happy and provide you with more of the content I know you love, and give my family the stability it needs.


    If you haven't already you will need to join CivilWarTalk.com: https://civilwartalk.com/login/

    Go here to become a Patron: https://civilwartalk.com/account/upgrades

    Unfortunately our Patron System only takes Paypal, but if that doesn't work for you, please contact me or use this page: https://civilwartalk.com/pages/Contribute/


    Even if this idea does not work out, I still want to thank you for supporting me and my family all these years. Your generous Holiday donations, your helpful patron donations, helping my boys go to summer camp by buying popcorn, and all the supporting messages we get, we appreciate and love you all for everything you've done.
    War Horse, byron ed, gem and 14 others like this.

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  3. FarawayFriend

    FarawayFriend Major Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

    Aug 25, 2013
    Hannover, Germany
    ONLY 40??? :eek:

    What a gigantic shame!! 18682 members as of today, and only 40 are willing to pay at least 3 Dollars per month for something that for many of us has become such a big part of their lives!
    I'm not speaking of those who only drop in now and then, or those having a hard time getting around, or those with health issues or with kids in college, but I think there should be more than 40 who could afford to pay at least the equivalent of a coffee or a magazine or a ticket for the movies each month for all the fun they get here!
    I think we can do better than that, no matter if @civilwartalk will make the administration of this site his job or not!

    Good luck with the job search, Mike, if you decide on looking for another job - and should you decide on making this your day job, I think it is a great idea to provide more videos and interviews and generally be visible more often in the forums.

    How to become a patron
  4. lelliott19

    lelliott19 1st Lieutenant Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

    Mar 15, 2013
    I'd love to be your boss! Who wants to help me? :D

    Mike, being let go from a job is nothing to be embarrassed about. Lots of companies are reorganizing their workforce and downsizing. When it happens, it usually presents an opportunity to do just what you are doing now - explore other options that may be a better fit for your talents and your situation. Try to look at it as a positive thing. Take your time to make the decision that is best for you and your family.

    I'm already a patron (at a very low level) but I'm going to upgrade my patron status and monthly amount to something more appropriate. :thumbsup:

    Suggestion: I know the featured articles change pretty quickly here at CWT, so I'd suggest leaving this one pinned for at least a week to be sure that everyone sees it and has the opportunity to decide if they'd like to be your boss. :D
  5. John Hartwell

    John Hartwell Major Forum Host

    Aug 27, 2011
    Central Massachusetts
    Mike, I'll be upgrading next week (it has to be after the date my pension clears). It's minimal, and I wish I could do more because I really do appreciate all you do for all of us here. For me, personally, CWT is a very important part of my every day, and I want to thank you and Ami both.

    PS: if I win the lottery I'll let you know [but don't hold your breath in anticipation!]

  6. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

    Jul 7, 2015
    South west England
    It’s nice to read a post from your good self, I will certainly continue with my patronage. I would also encourage others to sign up to become a patron, it’s definitely worth it.
    I wish you all the very best in your endeavours and I’m sure that with enough support you will achieve your dream.
  7. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger 1st Lieutenant Silver Patron

    Jan 24, 2017
    Thank you for a very heartfelt post, and that includes all the other posters who have responded.

    I think, in life, there are many things we take for granted, and for me this site has been one of them. Not that I haven't appreciated it, but I've been unaware of the effort it takes to keep it ticking over on a daily basis, though not everyone is a computer illiterate as I am :laugh:

    My education and understanding regarding the CW would be nowhere near where it is today without this site, and the interactions I have enjoyed here almost everyday have increased my overall satisfaction with life. Yep. It's amazing how people here have begun to feel very much like family to me, and the care and concern shown by members for one another and the issues at hand is what keeps me here.

    So, the site is about the Civil War and so much more.

    I take my hat off to you, Mike and Ami, in the efforts you have expended. And we all know what an effort it is to keep a family these days. The fear is real. But so is the family you have helped to create here.

    I will be happy to contribute as a way of saying thanks, and 'keep up the good work'.

    I wish you all the best in whatever your future endeavours bring, and I hope this continues to be one of them.

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  8. John Winn

    John Winn Captain

    Mar 13, 2014
    State of Jefferson
    I'm really sorry to hear you lost your job Mike. You aren't alone in today's economy but I doubt it helps much to have company. I hope you can find something that works for you and your family soon.

    As to paying for membership I do think if you were able to add the types of features you mentioned that I'd be willing to pay for it. Not sure just now what my limit would be but I'd certainly pay for content if it was good. I hope that answers your question.

    My best to you.
  9. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l

    Jan 23, 2010
    State of Jefferson
    Mike, very sorry about your job but it would be wonderful to make a living doing what you love to do! It may be a disguised blessing. A career change is always scary - we left the ranching we'd done all our lives and it was rough. However, it was also the best choice we ever made. There's been some lumps and bumps on the forum during the last year but things seem to be mellowing out of late. There are lots of good friends here, wonderful people with wonderful things to contribute, lots of people who want to keep a good thing going. I know CWT is a big part of my life and appreciate the work you do to keep it the best there is. It's hard for some of us to come up with even a sawbuck at the end of the month but your proposals are very promising. Chopping off the TV cable and sending the savings here wouldn't be a bad idea at all...and it would raise one's brain power quite a bit!
  10. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 Captain Trivia Game Winner

    May 1, 2015
    Upstate N.Y.
    Hi Mike, Sorry to hear of your employment situation. I hope you pursue what you feel comfortable doing. I have just upgraded my membership a little. I know that is no substitute for your job , but every little can help.
  11. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

    Jul 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    As a member, host, moderator and patron I will support you in whatever you decide. That includes increased financially if needed. Let me know and I’m good with it.

    Thank you for so many great years and many more to come.
  12. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

    Jun 1, 2015
    North Balt Co., MD
    Seems like an obvious career change would be to go into IT?...I hope all goes well for you.
    rbasin and FarawayFriend like this.
  13. bdtex

    bdtex Brigadier General Moderator Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018

    Jul 21, 2015
    Houston,TX area
    I am currently a "Hardtack Without the Worms!" patron. My subscription expires in January. I'd certainly be willing to upgrade that in January.
  14. Eric Wittenberg

    Eric Wittenberg 2nd Lieutenant

    Jun 2, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    I take it for granted that I have been my own boss since 1994. It gives me a vast amount of latitude to do as I please, and it's easy for me to forget that not everyone has the luxury that I have. Mike, I hope that you get sufficient support to make a go of it. It's very, very difficult to make a living with a hobby, but if you can find a way, that would be fantastic.
    FarawayFriend, Waterloo50 and PeterT like this.
  15. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    May 12, 2010
    Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
    I wish you the best. I know hard when you loss a job. This has happened to several in my family, including our son and my cousin at the present time. My son is now employed and doing well. My cousin is still looking.

    I do enjoy civil war talk so much and have learned so much from the members.

    Thanks for all you do and good luck .
  16. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Colonel

    May 27, 2011
    los angeles ca
    Being unemployed is no fun been there done that. If you have military, security or law enforcement experience PM me for some good job opportunities.
    I am thinking set a rate per user per month say between ten to fifteen dollars.
    Good Luck,
    gem and FarawayFriend like this.
  17. Jamieva

    Jamieva 1st Lieutenant

    Feb 7, 2006
    Midlothian, VA
    I will be upgrading to become a patron later tonight. I was unemployed for 5 months at the end of 2017 and my family is still recovering from it. I feel your pain as a fellow husband and father. I wish you the best of luck finding something soon. Do whatever little things you can in the meantime to make anything you can here and there. I drove for Uber/Lyft etc
  18. lelliott19

    lelliott19 1st Lieutenant Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

    Mar 15, 2013
    My patron level was set up to expire tomorrow anyway. So I went ahead and upgraded now.

    I believe you can upgrade at any time. It is not necessary to wait until your current patron level expires. The available patron levels (or upgrades above your present level if you have one) will automatically display when you click the link. https://civilwartalk.com/account/upgrades
  19. 22ndGa

    22ndGa Private

    Oct 28, 2016
    Ocala, Florida
    Mike, best of luck and I hope it works out that you can do for a living what you enjoy. I too am feeling the pressure from "management", if you can call them that, to get gone. I am the senior law enforcement officer and pilot for a large state resource protection agency. I am 62 and have been in this business for 41 years. When I finish working this hurricane fixing to hit us I will turn in my papers. With 2 retirements I will be just fine.

    I want to support you Mike, and Civil War Talk! I enjoy this site immensely and I want it to succeed. I upgraded my account just minutes ago. Good Luck!
  20. alan polk

    alan polk Sergeant Major

    Jun 11, 2012
    Just a quick brainstorm...

    Is it possible with your experiences and connections you’ve made creating and running this site that you might be uniquely situated to offer particular services? I ask this in addition to what you are presently offering. You might be specifically situated to offer certain services in a number of areas but you don’t yet know it. As I see it, you already have a handy client list by virtue of members here and, thus, potential sources of paying customers. You have a data base of people who already share a common interest. What sort of potential value for you and your family exists in that shared interest easily identifiable to you and that you already have access too?

    How Can I Make You Money? Could be a method you could explore and eventually advertise.

    For instance: How many authors or potential authors can you help because of your experience here and connections elsewhere? Do you have unique abilities to expand their potential readership by virtue of what you have here (status of this site)? Maybe better than a publisher or in addition to a publisher? If so, can those talents and connections you already have now be made valuable enough for authors or potential authors to pay you money to put their book in front of new sets of eyes? Things like that may be something for your consideration.

    How Can I Make the War Real? People might pay to experience that if you remove the typical obstacles for them. I think you might have already done this but....
    For instance: Is it not folks here who use this site as a conduit to putting on tours of Gettysburg and other places for their own shared enjoyment? Is it possible you could do this in a way that people would pay you to organize such things? Could you offer something different? You already have access to people interested. That would certainly have some sort of value, you just have to figure out how much. I always read on this site from members here (your potential customers) who would like to include the Trans-Mississippi or Vicksburg in such a thing. Your data base is already here for you to find out and explore such potential. You just never know.

    Anyway, just some quick thoughts. Good luck.

    Alan Polk
  21. Zella

    Zella First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

    May 23, 2018
    Sorry to hear about your job! Best of luck while you sort out your next move! I'm all for people doing what they love as work, so I don't mind upgrading at all--just did.

    Figure it's like PBS. It's something I enjoy, so something I should help support. :smile:

    For what it's worth, just piggy backing off @alan polk's great suggestions. You mentioned your blog. I don't know what your blog traffic numbers are like, but CWT is definitely one of the more active forums I have encountered on the web. Seems like it could be the start of a pretty good platform for helping to develop the blog as another source of income. At the very least, between here and the FB page, you could do a lot of cross-promoting.

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