1. Zero Advertising
The costs of running the podcast and the various tools and plug-ins I use for the web site are fairly modest. Just a few hundred pounds per year.
However, when it’s all money going out, and nothing coming in, I have to so something to offset the cost.
I already have Google ads running in the sidebar of the blog, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to accept some of the advertising offers that have begun to trickle in for the podcast.
Adverts, in any medium are ugly, annoying and distracting. Your donation will help keep the web site and podcast completely ad-free.
2. Guaranteed Weekly Podcasts
Right now, I publish a new episode about once every two-and-a-half weeks on average. It’s not bad, but I’d like to be able to guarantee at least one episode every single week.
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving this goal is the ability to book reputable guests, both quickly and reliably.
So far, all my guests have generously donated their time for zero compensation.
Although relying on people’s generosity is cost effective, it leaves me in a fairly weak position in terms of negotiation.
Reputable people are busy people. It’s not uncommon for me to find myself waiting weeks between email correspondence, months for a booking date, and sometimes even having interviews cancelled at the very last minute.
If I could offer my guests a donation to a charity of their choice for their appearance, I could press for more rapidity and commitment during the booking process.
3. More Challenging Content
Mental health research is rife with contradiction, disagreement, controversy and partisanship.
Having people donate their time makes me feel obligated to refrain from asking certain questions or challenging particular ideas, for fear of seeming unappreciative of their generosity.
The contractual nature of paid-for appearances would free me up to explore more challenging topics, and thus produce more engaging content.
I’d also like to facilitate debates between academics with opposing viewpoints.
4. Future Growth
I’m currently experimenting with video interviews. It’s going okay, but I lack decent recording/lighting equipment, and thus the video quality of the final product is lacking.
I’d also like to hire academics and researchers to write evidence-based self-help guides exclusively for our readers.