Two years ago I mentioned to my readers that FluTrackers – a non-profit, all volunteer group of infectious disease newshounds – could really use your financial support. No one receives a salary, but the server (and other) costs run more than $700 a month, most of which is donated by the volunteers there.
Most of my readers also frequent FluTrackers . . . and those that don’t, well much of what I do here is dependant upon the work of the newshounds there. I couldn’t possibly cover the vast expanse of media outlets and journals all by myself (see Newshounds: They Cover The Pandemic Front)
After 8 years of self-funding, the ability of FluTrackers to continue as it does today is in jeopardy. Editor-in-Chief & President (and principal financial contributor) Sharon Sanders penned an appeal this morning asking for financial support, which I have reproduced below.
I know how tough things are financially right now for everyone, but I’m hoping that some of my readers will find a way to help.
It is expensive to carry the traffic to the FluTrackers server. While all of us donate our time, FluTrackers has fixed expenses that are incurred to remain independent. We maintain 1 dedicated server and 1 shared server (as a backup). We could let facebook and the various blog programs carry us for free but they do not provide the flexibility of the software that we use.
This year we have had incredible traffic on the server - over 50 million page views by users. Some of these page views are from denial of service attacks. I am not sure of the amount - maybe 10%. But, nevertheless, it is a cost to retain capacity on the server to sustain these attacks and still stay online.
There are still 11 days remaining in the year so the year end numbers will be a bit larger.
The above number DO NOT include bots from the google, msn, yahoo, baidu, etc. search engines. So the traffic to the server is actually higher. For instance, in November there were an additional 2,645,455 page views from search engine bots not including the user viewed pages of 1,252,138. The server worked to provide service for a total of 3,897,593 page views in November.
I know everyone is experiencing financial hardship in these depression/recession years. If you have $10 that you can spare, and you use our service, please consider donating to us. If you pay United States income taxes, it may be possible to deduct a donation to us on your tax form as we are a 503(c)(3) charity. Please check with your tax adviser.
We are all volunteers. FluTrackers does not pay any salaries. We do not accept any government or corporate money. We do not accept advertisements.
And we do not sell anything.
We are an independent media. One of the few in the world.
Thank you to the entire team here at FluTrackers. It remains an honor to work among you.
To everyone who views us, thank you for everything that you are doing to promote public health and human rights.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.