“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
― Seth Godin,
Greetings, Teller Tribe
thestoreyteller.online was set up in February to serve a single purpose; fight the Recall effort of Sheriff Antinoro.
My objective was to counter Team Gilman’s message delivered in the mailbox and through the “newspapers” that merged together to form a personal cheer leading squad for Team Gilman, TRIC and CMI.
Using a $15 url, a $30 “theme” and an surprising number of hours, I got things rolling.
I fully intended to let it die after the election, win or lose, and focus my attentions elsewhere.
A funny thing happened as the effort unfolded; spontaneously, a tribe was born. In his spectacular book “Tribes” author Seth Godin spells out the nexus of a tribe and how we have, in today’s era of the Internet, remarkably accessible tools to build them out of thin air.
Without forethought or planning on my part, thestoreyteller.online has attracted a tribe that hungers for accountability and genuinely wants to improve the condition our little slice of heaven.
It has given voice for those who have a well founded fear of the “establishment” and needs a fearless voice to speak by proxy so they can be heard without repercurssion.
After the election was over, I figured people would get off the street, put the pitchfork and the torch back in the shed and get back to business as usual. But the tribe has collected and the tribe insists their voice be heard.
And in recent weeks, the reach of The Teller has surpassed the reach of the local fish wrapper, now exceeding twice the reach in terms of stories read. The Tribe is active and the Tribe is growing.
So today I would like to have a chat with the tribe.
Three competing forces in my life are pulling me.
I returned to the Comstock to be near my dad so we could enjoy this bonus round together. Life changes in California have unbound to the Golden State for the first time in 32 years. My dad needs help with his website and I happily took an $80,000 pay cut to pitch in.
My daughter turned 18 last week and is about to deliver a miracle into the world. As in could happen today. Because of her circumstance, for all intents and purposes, I will be having my 5th child. I will be the sole bread winner and instantly have two dependents tomorrow where one exists today. And I can’t wait!
Those two competing forces above have conspired to create a third force; revenue generation.
I hope to start a new business to provide a set of services that are clearly needed in Storey County. And given my vision skill set and drive, I know I can make a steady income stream by delivering value to Storey County merchants that is nearly 100% ignored by the people who are paid by the taxpayer to deliver this value.
But that means thestoreyteller.online would suffer.
And that would suck.
So what do I do?
I don’t want to sell ads in the traditional sense. For this past week a single at has rested atop the sidebar and I am not really comfortable with it as I don’t want the site to turn into a swirling morass of clickbait death.
My proposal to you, the tribe, is to crowdfund the effort. I send 40 dollars a month to four different content providers because I believe in their work. I get way more than $40 worth of value from these guys. And they all for the most part use the pay as you play crowdfunding model.
If the work The Teller delivers up to this point is valuable to you, I would like your financial support. The Comstock Chronicle asks $50 per year to subscribe (and I can tell you that is a money loser for them as $50 does not cover the price of sending a copy every week). I suspect the reason they hovered around 100 subscribers is because most folks do not consider the value delivered they deliver to be worth $50 bucks a year.
So knowing I have 6 investigative pieces under development and will continue to unearth curious trends at the courthouse and around the county, I would like you to consider what your idea of the value statement of The Teller is to you.
I attended a happy event in Gold Hill yesterday; the union of Gerald and Laura Antinoro. At that event, people who I have never met approached me and shared their gratitude to me for the work I have put into The Teller.
Their kind words humbled me.
And they assured me I would receive contributions if I asked.
So today I am asking.
A dollar a month? 5 bucks? 10? 20?
Is The Teller worth half a tank of gas a month?
A vente nonfat wet flat white cafe Americana with a twist and half whip?
To quote my friend Dan Carlin of Common Sense with Dan Carlin and perhaps the single finest podcast out there Hardcore History “A Buck A Show, it’s all I Ask.”
A buck an article might be a bit much for some folks. But if 100 people subscribe for $10 a month, I can just about support the teenager and her about to be freshly minted human (for now). And more motivated than ever to keep the flame of accountability burning in Storey County Governance.
So Please lick on the paypal button to spread the love, motivation and skrilla.
A sincere thank you for anything you can contribute.
From the bottom of my two sizes too small heart.
Something on equal footing with funding in terms of delivering the change to our little slice of heaven is growing the tribe. Share thestoreyteller.online with at least two people who might enjoy it. If you do social media, share our stories with your tribe.
Our tribe gathered around the electrons that make up thestoreyteller.online hit a new record yesterday with over 500 (!) stories read by the tribe. And rest assured, people in the Courthouse are both reading the stories and feeling the impact. By organically growing the tribe, we all benefit and we become a stronger force.
In closing I’ll share another quote by Seth from Tribes (<–click for his TED talk):
“In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn’t necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.”
I remain obediently yours,
Sam Toll, firstname.lastname@example.org