The 2021 Slouch Fund
At this point you probably clicked on the title to see what we were slouching about about, and have since discovered that the title was missing the word “fund.” You are probably thinking, “You could have just said that, Zax.”
Yes, I could have, but let’s be real honest….would you be reading this right now? Not really click bait, although maybe just a little deceiving, but sadly that is just the way the internet works. There are lots of things I could have done to outright trick you to come see what I am on about. I could have titled this “You are an asshole,” or “Free Beer,” that would have definitely delivered some views; but I am not trying to trick anyone here. I am just trying to gently lure you here.
Who doesn’t like a good slouch?
Galactic Hitchhikers defines a Slouch as the gathering of two or more towel toting froods. At present there are 42,612 of the hoopiest traveling with us in our Facebook group. You’ll hear me wax on constantly about this ever increasing number of people aboard our little starship of love. It sincerely amazes me that so many people have joined us. When I started the community back in 2011 it was just to round up the friends I had made during my first run for Towel Day Ambassador.
This growth has not been easy. Our fantastic mod team has had to work very hard to keep our community the great place it is. We fend off the space herpes that would take away from the hoopy vibe every day. We do everything we can, and then some to make sure that everyone enjoys a smooth ride with us. Our goals are lofty, but we are dedicated and believe it is within our reach to make Galactic Hitchhikers a safe and welcoming place for everyone.
Leading a Community
Over the years, Facebook’s algorithm has changed, and with every increasing numbers in our community it has become almost impossible to address even a small majority of the people with us. We have found increasing difficulty it getting the important bits seen.
This site exists as a front page for our efforts, but thanks to Facebook the links we share are all but covered in an S.E.P. field. (Unless we use an inflammatory title, i.e. The 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide Movie was Fine, You are Just a Jerk.) Frankly I hate doing that just for the views, and really try to avoid such nonsense, but in today’s media saturated internet we have to catch people’s attention somehow and unfortunately a straightforward approach doesn’t always work.
A community needs leadership, and a leader cannot lead without being heard. The lack of being heard is the most frustrating thing with the massive growth our group has enjoyed. We add more and more members to the shin-dig every day, yet I can’y help thinking back to the “good ‘ol days,” when I could really feel the sense of community. Sometimes now I think that community only exists in my mind.
So why do we need money?
To start, websites are not free. We have yearly upkeep to take care of. Full disclosure here, this site would not be possible if not for PayPal credit. Prizes for the Worst Dressed Sentient Being in the Known Universe Contest set us back a pretty Pu, and site upgrades leave us with only a few Ningis to spare. A lot of this ends up coming out of my pocket. We run a fundraiser every year, to pay for the previous year’s debt, and then spend 200% more, and repeat the cycle. It’s been working, but it really isn’t the best business model. After a decade you would think I would have come up with a way to actually make money on all of this, but it has never been the goal. I am, in fact, quite terrible at making money.
Community has always been the goal, and now more than ever I am want of better ways to bind us together. Alongside our other site upgrades and improvements this year I plan to add membership to this site. Froods that join will be able to have profiles, instant messaging, the ability to make groups based on interest a lot like Facebook. There will be an activity feed to scroll, and a number of rewards earned via gaining points by posting and commenting. Eventually we plan on having membership cards available, and some other really neat swag. Membership will always be free, with the option to donate when you join. The notion here is not profit, rather a transition to a more sustainable future.
(Teaser here, but I have a really exciting project coming as soon as next Sunday A.D. involving the Tao of the Towel that will rely on site membership. Stay tuned and subscribe for more on that.)
We can do this without funding. We can’t do this without you. I know that this last year has been ridiculously difficult for everyone, so if you can’t lend a hand by the way of loot, a share of this post is just as good a way to help out as any. So far this year we have quietly reached almost 2/3rds of our goal, thanks to some really fantastic froods, can you spare some bread to get us all the way there? Not everyone has a million dollars, but can you spare a few?
It is an important and popular fact that we would not mind exceeding our funding goal whatsoever. Share and Enjoy!