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Consider this a “sponsor” ad of sorts. Which actually delves into the reason I’m writing this quick missive. If you listen to Ghion Cast and read the content of what I write, you know that I am always hesitant when it comes to monetizing this website. Now you would think as a person who has an MBA from Johns Hopkins, my first instinct would be to find ways to squeeze out pennies from every inch and space of this website.
Except the idealist in me, the purist I guess one could say, is repulsed at the idea of asking the readers of Ghion Journal and the audience of Ghion Cast to part with their money. Maybe it’s because over my life I have seen countless people pretending to be about “the cause” when in reality the only cause they were chasing were dollars and cents. But an hour long conversation with a good friend led me to the acceptance that my idealism has to be mixed with pragmatism and the practicality of living in the world we live in.
So over the past couple of days, I have been contemplating how I can maintain the overriding purpose of Ghion Journal, which is to be a bridge to disparate people and to reclaim journalism from the corporate shills, all the while realizing that empty pockets is not sustainable let alone sustain the operational costs of running a multi-media entity. My dreams for Ghion Journal are big, while I hope to stay true to the roots of what gave birth to Ghion Journal, I nevertheless want to bring on additional staff at some point and use more than my iPhone to broadcast Ghion Journal. So I’m bowing to reality of sorts but I am going to embark on an unconventional approach to raising funds and defraying operational expenses.
The first rule of Ghion Club, no corporations allowed. This rule, as long as I have a breath in my lungs, is sacrosanct. Ghion Journal and all affiliated ventures will NEVER take a penny from corporations. So that I don’t allow my future self to look for wiggle room in case money and status get to my head and others can keep me accountable as well, what I define by corporation is any business that does not meet one of the following four standards:
- Employs less than 1,000 people
- Is a regional business that serves constituents within the community it is based in
- Is a private company (not publicly owned)
- Is not listed on any exchange (NASDAQ, Dow Jones, S&P)
By the way, let me clarify, most people who work at corporations are good people who are striving to lead fruitful lives. I am not vilifying folk who work in corporations, my stance is against a very few (the Wall Street CEO class & repugnant billionaire gentry) who keep hoarding the resources of the world and leaving less and less for the 99%.
Now here is where the unconventional part comes. I’m going to launch this as a pilot program and see if there is buy-in from the reading and listening audience of Ghion Journal who happen to be entrepreneurs of one sort or another. If you have a business or a going concern that meets one of the four requirements stipulated above, send an email to email@example.com with the following information:
- name of business
- who you serve
- what benefits you provide your clients (what do you do)
- how you do your part to be a part of the community and affect change in your community
Here is the twist, if you meet the Ghion Club rules and articulate how you in fact serve the community you do business in, an ad space will be given to you for free. Now before one of my smart and witty readers points at an article I wrote about free, this particular free has no string attached other than the string that moves your heart. Every month between 10-20 businesses will be selected to receive ad space on Ghion Journal at no cost. I’ve always said that kindness is a treasure that pays back, so I will leave it up to the businesses who are selected to help Ghion Journal through contributions as they see fit. So if a small business just wants to get ad space and is unable to contribute, no worries. Likewise, if there are small businesses who are in the season of plenty, we will be thankful for any amount that is contributed.
Now let me apply a bit of my MBA and consulting acumen here and present a business case for those entrepreneurs who want to know the benefits of advertising on Ghion Journal. Ghion Journal did not exist a month ago, within a span of a couple of weeks we have gone from 0 unique visitors a day to currently banking an average of 300 unique visitors a day. Two weeks ago, Ghion Journal was not ranked according to Alexa, last week Ghion Journal was ranked 12,000,000 in the world, as of today we are ranked 9,702,422 in the world. Let me give that a quick context, there are more than 1 billion websites in the world (link). Within a couple of weeks, Ghion Journal went from nothing to now ranked in the top 1% of websites.
This is what happens when fresh ideas capture the imagination of free thinkers. The growth of Ghion Journal is powered by a dedicated group of readers that has been cultivated in a short time who have made it their goal to help us grow. At the present growth rate, within a month Ghion Journal will get over 1,000 unique visitors a day with a reader/listener demographic that is 25-45 (according to Google analytics) that is diverse in ethnicity, age, and skews towards a highly educated (free thinking as I call it) demographic. The business case is there for Ghion Journal to reach out to corporations, instead I turn to people just like you and disavow corporate cash and traps.
What I am trying to create is a community of partners who have a common purpose and a united mission to help others as they climb. In Ethiopia, this notion is called Hebret, where two or more help each other—as one climbs he helps another climb and in this united effort they are able to accomplish more together than they can apart. I’ve talked about finding “seconds” in previous articles, this is me trying to find seconds in the small business community and offer my services as they in return offer as they can. I know I’m not the only person who values making a difference more than making money. So this is my way of connecting like minded entrepreneurs with like minded readers of Ghion Journal and listeners of Ghion Cast.
This approach also allows me to retain my independence, the reason why the Main Stream Media has become a joke is because their primary motive is the profit motive. And the minute they take a penny from corporations, they let sponsor money become their overriding concern. In the process, they lose all journalistic integrity and become indentured servants of big business. At Ghion Journal and Ghion Cast, by erecting a firewall to not only corporations but also getting advertisement money, I hope to avoid this pitfall and in the process retain autonomy to write, report, and to opine on the issues of the day without giving businesses or outside forces a veto power over my journalistic standards.
I hope to foster a sense of community in this space and most important, for diverse audiences and divergent ideas to have a place to exchange thoughts and to share a dialogue. I do not seek a following of partisans, what I hope to do is cultivate an audience of thinkers who question dogma instead of digesting it without question. So if you are a small and/or a regional business who serves your clients, customers and most important your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about yourself and within a week five businesses a week will be highlighted in the ad space on the right. The ads will not be intrusive, nothing grates at me more than going to the various MSM sites and having to skip over eye sore ads just to read the content. The ads here will always be on the right hand side and you will never see more than ONE ad at a time in the corresponding space. The rest of this website is dedicated to thought and ideas.
So the motto, corporations not here, people hear hear! This is a site for the people, standing with the people, and powered by the people. Corporations are making trillions already, they don’t need yet another website indebted to the “largess” of Wall Street. Instead I am reserving this website for us, we the people, and trusting people just like me—fellow sojourners in this journey called life—to empower Ghion Journal and give wings to my audacious dreams.
So if you are a small business, go ahead and tell us about your company and why you want to ad space given what I articulated above. Also include your ad in the email, the dimensions should be 300 x 250 and where you want the ads to link back to. Go ahead and send us the email and an acknowledgement will be sent with 24 hours.
For the readers of Ghion Journal and listening audience of Ghion Cast, let me know what you think of the proposal I outlined above. Moreover, the same message goes out to you as well, if you want to contribute to the Ghion Journal, the link below lets you contribute any amount you are able to contribute. Look forward to your feedback, you can either comment below or send an email to email@example.com with your input. And for those who have contributed already and those who will in the future, thank you in advance, who knows, maybe one day Ghion Journal can go from a droplet into a river—just like the River Ghion.
For more information about Ghion Journal, it’s mission and vision and a bit more about me, click here. Thank you for visiting us and make sure you bookmark this space. I’m always in search of another “second”. The most important way of course you can empower us is to keep being part of the family and letting others know about Ghion Journal. Like us and follow us using the various social media icons under the “on fire article” section on the right side of this website. Peace and togetherness.
If you like this idea and think it is a workable way to pursue the endeavor of journalism instead of the broken business model of our crony media, share this article far and wide by either using the share icons below or just copy and paste the URL in your social media posts if you are old school like I am and use #GhionClub when you share this.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.