Experimenting with a Little Less Cranky

You guys know that I love writing Cranky, but there’s one problem. I’m spending too much time writing it and not making enough money in return. So, I’m going to do a little experiment between now and the end of the year. Instead of daily Cranky, I’m going to cut back a little and see how things go.

Beginning next week, I’ll write posts Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (with Saturday having “Cranky on the Web”). Wednesday will now be dark, and I’m going to try something a little different on Friday. Instead of writing a post, I’m just going to put up an open thread. Quite the community has developed around this site, so I figure that every Friday, it’ll be a good place to get together and talk about anything you’d like in this industry in the comments section. For example, want to talk about Star inviting Avianca-Taca and Copa to join? Start the thread down below. Besides, sometimes the comments sections is far more interesting than the post. (Look at the body scanner radiation thread this week for proof.) I’ll certainly jump in, but I won’t be leading the discussion on Fridays as I usually do with my posts.

Let’s see how things go until the end of the year and then I’ll re-evaluate to see if it’s something to continue.

As I mentioned, though I love writing Cranky, it’s not easy to make much money directly from the site. (I really hate ad sales.) Though I have no doubt that nearly all of my success in writing, consulting, and Cranky Concierging (let’s pretend that’s a real word) has stemmed from writing the blog, I just can’t commit to writing as much as I do without being able to, frankly, make more money. I need to spend more time focusing on things like Cranky Concierge (and I have some exciting stuff in the pipeline over there).

That being said, I can’t imagine simply abandoning the blog. I love it too much. I could try charging readers, but let’s be honest, 99% of you wouldn’t pay. I don’t blame you. That’s how things go in the age of the internet. And if 99% of you leave, then this stops being much fun.

So let’s see how things go between now and the end of the year. I’m going to try to put together a reader survey in the next couple of weeks to get some feedback from you, so I hope you’ll participate. But for now, consider this the first open thread. Start your comments below.

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47 Comments on "Experimenting with a Little Less Cranky"

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A
Guest

No hard feelings. Hope you can profit from some more free time. Looking forward to the new open thread Friday.

Jeffc
Guest

Hey Brett,
I always enjoy the posts but “you gotta take care of business first”. Totally understand where you are coming from. I’ll look forward to your future posts and the open thread on Fridays. Thanks

Sanjeev M
Guest

Well if I may be the first to start the thread, couple of thoughts.

Now that British Airways is pulling in Kingfisher to oneworld, what are the chances that they will reroute the Kangaroo route over Delhi or Mumbai instead of BKK? Will the have 5th freedoms, etc.?

Do you think because of Avianca/TACA, GOL will eventually go to SkyTeam?

Sanjeev

Jason H
Guest

Something that has been bugging me about the new “advanced pat downs” from the TSA is how are they handling minors? I haven’t seen any statement from the TSA about it. A child is much more susceptible to the effects of radiation, so they shouldn’t be going into the AIT machines no matter the dosage levels. Does that mean we are letting TSA fondle small children in our society in order to keep up the illusion of safety?

David SF eastbay
Member

I wonder how many people will refuse the machine because they WANT to be fondled by TSA in a pat-down search in front of a bunch of strangers. That could slow things down even more…….LOL

Sanjeev M
Guest

I’m 17, and when I fly they clearly mark my boarding pass as a minor (MS or something they write). When it comes to minors, sometimes they just let us through after we go through the regular metal detector. No touchy feely arms out or anything.

mb5377
Member

For a bit of tongue in cheek humor on this, check out despair.com’s t-shirts:
“TSA: Your naked photos are safe with us”, and
“TSA: We’re making air travel a touching experience”. Not a bad commentary.

SAN Greg
Guest

No worries Brett. Although it’s true that most would not pay to read a blog, I think many of us loyal followers are game to support you in other ways (i.e. your book) if we can. Even though your blog may not be the ticket to financial riches, I have no doubt that you’ll find your success (and hopefully you can continue your blog as a hobby – it’s an enjoyable read, and look at the network you can draw on for moral support and the airline bennies you get!).

David SF eastbay
Member
The one thing about not having an actual blog with a theme, is that some people may not want to read a bunch of comments looking for something they might be interested in to join the conversation. Brett maybe try a week where on Friday you post just say three or five (whatever) topics and see what happens with comments on those topics. Like for example: JFK, Delta, Star Alliance, Bad Weather, Inflight service. That would be quite to post and give people a start and give others a guide as to what the comments might be about. Just a… Read more »
Eric in ICT
Guest

Not much I can add that hasn’t been said already, but know that you have my support and readership (for what that’s worth). I hope you’re able to find ways to pay the bills and keep the blog alive, too. All the best!

Ted
Guest

How much time can it possibly take to write a blog? Don’t you just wake up, pull something out of your you-know-what and post it? Oh wait, that’s Swelbar. :-)

I’ll miss starting every day with your spot-on analysis but know you have to make an income.

Sanjeev M
Guest

Agreed.

RDimperio
Guest

Add a theme and I’ll pay attention; contribute, if I can. I will surely miss the fewer opportunities to poke fun at Alitalia and others, for seeing child-like stick figures and annotations. Thanks for the daily notes. I’m a regular reader.

Shane
Guest

Or perhaps the same number of Alitalia posts per year, which would translate into a higher proportion of the overall!

Marvin S.
Guest

Perhaps try a semi-paid model. Three days a week can be paid content (with appropriate teasers) and three days (including Cranky on the Web) could be free. Even just a moderate charge, say $25/year, would probably get a good number of subscribers.

Doug Swalen
Guest

Well ya gotta make a living so you gotta do what you gotta do. Though I’ll be sad to see less Cranky…

David Z
Guest

Have you tried Google Adsense, CF? :)

A.C.
Guest

I read your blog religious.. every day.. and I really look forward to all your posts, because unlike many other news outlets, you actually put analysis and insight into a simple piece of news. I wish that you will still write your blog, knowing that many people reading it and is making a difference. In terms of financial, why don’t you start a “donation” box, or sell google ads, I just don’t want to see money coming in the way of good content.

JT
Guest

So now all I get to look forward to daily is my Groupon?
Kidding – Makes sense. Maybe you can cut out your trip reports. ;)

Nick Barnard
Member

Aww, but I love the trip reports! They’re one of the best parts of CF..

benjamin.foley
Member

umm..i’d pay for it.

Lasrat1
Member

Cranky,

Keep the subscriber fee modest, and keep somefree content. You have built a base.

David SF eastbay
Member

Brett the obivious thing to do is have the wife get a second job ag night and then you can spend more time on CF blog……LOL

Mark
Guest

I wouldn’t pay, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love Brett–I’d just seek out the next best alternative. I support your move, bud. Its hard to make a buck blogging. However, if you can parlay it in to a book.. well now that’s a different story.

Part of Brett’s biggest asset is his passion, a passion that many of us can noticeably detect and share.

jaybru
Member
Give it a rest! I’m surprised you hadn’t cut back a little bit some time ago. Twice a week, or 3 times, would be fine. Truth be told, I simply can’t read you every day as it is. I would hope somehow this blog continues to represent you, above all. Gosh, we all have our issues we love to spout off on, but I’m not here for that. There are other blogs/forums to do that. And, I’m not here to read stuff the guest hosts want to make. You first, although your commentors are great reads, too. I think that’s… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

How about a post on Wednesdays that solicits discussion topics for Friday, and then you pick one of them for the open discussion on Friday? Not significant effort, but would channel the discussion towards one topic… And there would still be something to do on the site each day :)

eagertraveler
Guest

I guess if you can’t write it I can’t read it. Will delete for now and check back in a couple of months (if I remember).

travelnate
Guest

Gotta do what it takes to pay bills!

Try not to let the forums get out of whack though. Talk to Holly H over @ Plane Business.. she had a message board for years and had to take it down because it was just taking up too much time to moderate, plus it always had some very heated debates going on there, some that went a bit too personal.

Kimberly
Guest

Good luck! You need to start to think about business to keep this through=)

kelty
Member

Do what you need to do. We’ll stick with you.
Odd question: How is it that the press reports on every rivet out of place on an airplane, but nothing about how a cruise ship manages to have a disabling fire? No redundancy in their engines? No fire supression that limits damage? No word on who screwed up? I am glad aviation is kept on its toes, but wish other transportation was monitored as well. Shucks — that would be more big government intervention!

Axelsarkiss
Member

Personally, If paying for cranky is what it is, I will pay. I love reading to much. I do understand where you come from, money does not grow on trees. By the way, what happened to the “donate” button?

Debi S.
Guest
As a flight attendant for a major carrier, I love your analysis Brett. I have felt free to “contact” you on many issues. Hope you will soon take up the union issue…. Delta voted the AFA down for the THIRD time since 2002. They called for an election two years ago, then when NWA flight attendants realized they would never win, they went crying to the Obama-heavy National Mediation Board (that consists of the former president of the flight attendant union and another union insider appointed by Obama). Next thing we know, they decided that the rules for election that… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

Debi, sounds like you should start a union to get some support for your cause ;)

Gary
Guest

I understand your need to make money. I wish there was a way for you to make more money writing this blog, but obviously you have to spend the lion share of your time on tasks that bring in more revenue. Have you written a book about the airline industry? If so, my credit card is waiting to go. Just tell me if I can purchase a copy at Barnes & Noble, or download one to my Nook ereader. Good luck to you.

David
Guest

Why not have other regular contributors? This is one of the most intelligent air travel blogs out there. When you are away, you have had good guest contributions. Have you considered recruiting a couple other people who might want to write once a week or once every other week?

Darren
Guest
I agree… guest posts provide different perspectives so I’d think it may be a better approach to use someone else’s content a day or two a week. Although probably easier said then done because you’d have to edit/coordinate. My fear is that if you start going “dark” your readership may suffer as the blog becomes less of a routine place to visit. But no better way to find out than to try ;-) PS – Your trip reports are awesome. Keep those coming because there is always a nugget or two in them that I enjoy!
jcampbellasu
Member

Gotta have hump day open… I get it.

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