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The Shelley Duvall Dr. Phil Interview; 91 Year Old GAY Veteran Sues Air Force; "Escape" Tunnels Under Old San Fran Gay Bars

The Shelley Duvall Dr. Phil Interview

I’ve been reading about the controversial interview that actress Shelley Duvall did with Dr. Phil and many are calling for a boycott of his show because they believe he’s exploiting her situation and mental illness. However, there are different opinions.

This is what I’ve found in a gay press, eloquent as usual:

Of course, not everyone believes mental illness can be cured by an opportunistic gasbag trotting out human vulnerability before an audience of millions like a cash-hungry carnival barker…” 

I haven’t seen the interview so I can’t comment on it. But I do wonder sometimes in a general sense why people treat mental illness as if it’s not something worthy of an open public discussion. In other words, is there still a stigma surrounding mental illness that shouldn’t be there? I don’t think anyone would want to do anything other than support Duvall, or support other people with mental illnesses.

Dr. Drew weighed in on the topic on You Tube. He seems to believe that we shouldn’t put a stigma on mental illness and we shouldn’t treat it differently than any other physical illness.

You can see the video here.

It is interesting to note that the comments in the article I linked to above are mixed this time.

Some may feel that Dr. Phil is “exploiting” her but she is going to get sent to a privately run mental facility likely as opposed to a state run mental hospital. And she has been mentally ill for at least 7 yrs with no help thus far so at least Dr. Phil is actually getting her the help she needs.

91 Year Old GAY Veteran Sues Air Force

I’m having a hard time lately reading news in the usual gay presses I link to. It’s reached a point where I’m looking more to the mainstream to get my gay news. And I think this article about the 91 year old gay veteran is more newsworthy than Trump bashing articles. 

 A 91-year-old man who was discharged from the Air Force nearly 70 years ago for being gay isn’t giving up his fight for equality. 

Ed Spires of Norwalk, filed suit to get his “undesirable discharge” status upgraded, and after spending three weeks in the hospital battling pneumonia, one of his last wishes is to be granted permission for a full military burial.

You can read the rest here. This is what things were like 70 (and more) years ago.

“Escape” Tunnels Under Old San Fran Gay Bars

This is something I never heard about before.

Reports of an extensive network of underground escape tunnels beneath former gay bars threaten to delay a major development project in San Francisco. But tales about the tunnel system appear to be unfounded, CBS SF Bay Area reported.

Evidently, activists are claiming this area is significant to LGBT history. They’re saying that when the police used to raid the gay bars, patrons would allegedly escape through these underground tunnels to keep from getting arrested.

There’s more here, with a video of a huge basement. The problem is no one can find the tunnels…yet. The activists still insist the tunnels are there. I hope there’s a follow up on this one. I think that if there is any hint of historical significance about anything, it should be thoroughly explored. We ignore that too much in the US. If George Washington didn’t sleep there, they knock it down.

 
Unabated



 Amazon



Unabated

Uncertainty


Thank You Amazon…


I just saw a blog post thanking a brick and mortar bookshop, which was clearly meant to promote the bookshop, on a publishing blog. It’s a sneaky little thing I’ve seen alleged publishing professionals do, letting readers know in a subtle way they don’t like or care for digital publishing. Trust me, you never see them promote Amazon, Kobo, or any other form of digital publishing.

So I decided to say my own small thank you to Amazon. They don’t need my help with promotion, but I’m doing it anyway. Last I checked, a good deal of my own sales come from Amazon, so I’m more than qualified to thank them.

I posted earlier about a friend who is re-releasing his novel, which is LGBT fiction set in the year 1961. The title is “Camping in the Backyard Going Forward.” The author is Anthony Zatti. And he’s doing this on Amazon, as a trial promotion with free books.

He’s doing this as a free Kindle download on Amazon for a limited time, and from what I’m hearing the free downloads have been flying off the cyber shelf. Like I said, it’s free, so check it out. And, when the promo is over, the digital price is only $2.79.

No author would ever have been able to do this at a brick and mortar bookshop. And I find it amazing and spectacular to see that authors are now capable of doing this on Amazon. But more than that, it’s also amazing that readers now have options to read for entertainment they never had in the past. And that we don’t have to depend on the questionable taste of a handful of people what goes on our reading lists.

Part Two: Paying to Read Blogs…

When I finished the previous post about paying to read blogs, I looked around and found this interesting post by Jonathan Fields (No relation). Here’s what he has to say, and if you read the comment thread you’ll find some interesting opinions.

All I know is I wouldn’t pay to read a blog, on the internet or on a Kindle…not even for .99. And I wouldn’t advise a beginner with a Kindle e-reader either. We often take for granted that everyone knows the Internet. But that’s not the case. A lot of people are just getting into reading e-books, and I’d hate to think how many of these beginners see a blog for sale on Kindle for .99 and don’t know they can read the very same blog on the internet for free.

This one comment/question sums it all up for me: Could the FT paywall model ever work for a blog other than a mass news source?

And this is pretty much what I said in yesterday’s post before I’d ever read Jonathan Fields’s post: And, I wonder, too, what does that tell us about the state of the blogosphere?

Whose Blog Would You Pay to Read?

ShareAround the same time I shared my thoughts on the New York Times’ decision to put up a paywall last week, Fred Wilson shared his thoughts:

I like the subscription model the FT (Financial Times) has been using for some time now. I may get the exact details wrong but its the idea that’s important anyway. You can visit the ft.com domain something like nine times per month for free. They cookie you and when you stop by the tenth time in a month, they ask you to pay. And many do.

This model recognizes a few fundamental facts about the internet. First, you need to make your content available for search engines and social media linking. That drives as much as half or more of the visits these days. And if you have an ad model at all, and most newspapers do, then you need those visits and that audience.

Its also true that the ‘drive by’ visits will bring new audiences, some of whom will become loyal and ultimately paid audience members.

The other thing I like about the FT’s model is that its an elegant implementation of freemium. The best freemium models allow anyone to use the service for free and then convert the most serious/frequent/power users to paying customers.

It’s an interesting model, too, because it sidesteps the near impossible task of allocating which content is good enough to be paid for and which should be given away free, basing payment not on content, but on usage.

But, it also made me wonder…

Could the FT paywall model ever work for a blog other than a mass news source?

So, my question FOR YOU is –

Is there any blog, whether run by an individual or team of contributors, that you believe offers such astonishingly good and unique content you’d actually be willing to pay to be able to visit it more than 9 times a month?

I love many of the blogs I read, but, sad to say, I don’t know if I’d pay to read any (attention brown-nosers, no need to name mine, I don’t even think I’d pay to read it, lol!). Not that they don’t add value, just not enough for me to pay for the privilege of opening my wallet after the ninth visit.

And, I wonder, too, what does that tell us about the state of the blogosphere?

What about you? Is there any blog you’d pay to be able to read every day?

Why Pay to Read a Blog on Kindle When You Can Read it For Free on the Internet?

There’s no denying we’re living in hard times now. Last night on the evening news I saw people line up for miles just to get a full tank of gas at ten cents a gallon. It was a promotional thing offered by a large company. And as the people were filling their tanks, I watched their grateful faces closely. I’ve never seen so many genuine, thrilled smiles on the evening news. For once, the regular people were getting a break…their own mini stimulus…instead of big banks and large corporations.

One of the things I’ve always loved about blogs are they are free. Agree with them or not, wonderful literary agents have been blogging publishing advice for years…advice that’s helped millions of authors learn how to query, how to write a decent book description, and how to be a publishing professional. Janet Reid is one of these bloggers: she doesn’t charge a dime. Lori Perkins is another agent who blogs for free, offering her many years of advice.

I wouldn’t think of charging anyone to read my blog. I’d rather stop blogging altogether than charge people to read mine. I’ve even made a note of this on my sidebar!! Advertising is another story. I don’t do it here on my blog, but I don’t care one way or the other about what other bloggers do when it comes to ads. If you’re a small personal blogger and you want to do ads, have a blast. I don’t think they work, and we’re only talking about making pennies, but they don’t hurt anyone.

But I recently saw a small personal blogger charging people .99 on amazon to read their blog on Kindle. And I mean a small blogger, not a large news service or someone famous. I’m assuming the only way to read a blog on kindle is by charging for it…at least I hope that’s the case. But this is an assumption and I could be wrong. And if I were going to charge people to read my blog on Kindle, I’d charge one cent instead of .99. And I’d give them a huge, huge break in the spirit of personal blogging. And if someone asked me to charge .99 to read my blog on Kindle, I’d tell them, “You can read my blog on the internet for free. Give that .99 to your favorite charity instead.”

For me, and millions of other personal bloggers, blogging isn’t about making money on readers. I know .99 isn’t a huge amount. But it’s cheesy, and it reminds me of agents who charge reading fees. Personal blogging is about informing readers, entertaining readers, and tracking the daily changes in all of our lives. Especially with small blogs, where amateur bloggers like me share everything from our opinions on books, our own new book releases, and our thoughts on how goddamn tacky it is to charge people to read blogs.

And why anyone would pay .99 to read a personal blog on a Kindle passes me by. Small, personal blogs are free all over the Internet; you don’t need to pay a dime for them. And the bloggers like me who write them are more than happy to entertain you without charging you as much as a dime. And if you do have to pay, there’d better be something extremely professional and spectacular about them. And I’m thinking along the lines of a famous bestselling author sharing their personal thoughts, not someone like me who’s just writing what comes to him first thing in the morning.

I honestly hope this isn’t going to be a new trend in blogging. I hope it’s just a few opportunistic personal bloggers…with illusions of granduer…trying to cash in on the ever so popular .99 Kindle thing that’s been making the headlines everywhere these past few months. Because if paying for small, personal blogs…on Kindle or anywhere else…is going to catch on, personal blogging will never be the same again.

If I’m missing something here, please feel free to enlighten me on the comment thread. Because I honestly don’t get why anyone would pay anything to read something they can get for free.