Editorial: I Need to Become More Business Minded About This Blog

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

I really do owe an apology to the truly wonderful folks over at Sine Wave Entertainment, the company behind the virtual world/social VR platform Sinespace, and its corporate cousin, Breakroom.

You see, it was almost exactly one year ago today that I entered into an agreement with them, where I would become an “embedded reporter” for Sinespace, and write sponsored blogposts about the people, news and events on that platform.

And while I got off to a rather strong start, I have really fallen down on the job over the past four months. My last real sponsored blogpost for Sinespace (a report on the Geek Weekly event at the Localhost Connection Café) was back in July, and since then I have only done one blogpost—and I screwed that one up! (Sorry, Sinespace.)

There are a couple of reasons for that lapse (the coronavirus pandemic, and the demands of my full-time paying job with the University of Manitoba Libraries), but part of the problem is that I have not been paying sufficient attention to the company or its products, so this is an apology, and a promise to do a better job!

I just find it ironic that I am writing much more about Second Life (when they aren’t paying me) and next to nothing about Sinespace and Breakroom (when they are!). It’s time to pull up my socks, pull my head out of SL, and focus. What started out as a tiny little hobby blog devoted to Sansar has grown and evolved over the past three years, and is turning into a business.

And if I really do intend to to follow through on my dream to become a full-time blogger and vlogger covering “News and Views on Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse” after I retire from the University of Manitoba Libraries, then I need to become a little more business-minded about what I do here.

As I say on my Patreon page:

My plan is to earn a side-income from my blog containing “news and views on social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse” (which is the tagline of my blog) when I finally do decide (hopefully, at some age before 65) to take my retirement. I already have a small but devoted following, and I want to grow that audience.

And yes, another thing I need to do is completely rethink the benefits that I do offer my Patreon supporters (another group of people to whom I owe an apology). And I want to once again, express my gratitude and appreciation for my existing patrons.

Part of my business on the RyanSchultz.com blog is writing sponsored blogposts and selling advertising space, which (in addition to the financial support of my wonderful Patreon patrons) allows me to cover the cost of hosting this blog on WordPress, among other things. I also run WordAds on my blog, after I had finally given up on Google Ads in frustration (you can read through my misadventures in dealing with Google’s automated system in this series of blogposts).

Between all of these ventures, I make a small amount of money (but you aren’t going to see me on the cover of Forbes anytime soon!). And I may tinker a bit with other ways to monetize what I do here, more often. For example, did you know that you can express your support by something as simple as buying me a coffee?

You can show your support by something as simple as buying me a coffee!
(Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash)

A Special Thank You to My Patreon Supporters—And How You Can Become One (Or Just Buy Me a Coffee!)

You can show your support by something as simple as buying me a coffee!
(Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash)

On November 22nd, 2018, emulating a couple of bloggers whom I admired, I set up a Patreon page to support my work on this blog and on the Metaverse Newscast show on YouTube.

Well, today I just checked my Patreon page and I was happy to discover that I have reached my first Patreon goal: $30 per month, which almost exactly meets my blog hosting costs on WordPress!

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank all of my Patreon supporters, both past and present, both those named on my Patreon patrons list and those who wish to remain anonymous. Your support means the world to me, and it is very much appreciated!

I know that I need to rack my brains to come up with even more perks and benefits for my wonderful Patreon supporters—a new project for a new decade! And I will always welcome anybody who wants to support my work via Patreon.

A tech blogger whom I recently have started following, Lily Snyder, has set up something I had not seen before. At the end of her blogposts (like this one, which mentions one of my recent editorials), she mentions that the reader can buy her a coffee!

You can buy Lily Snyder a coffee!

How it works is, you can set it up to use either PayPal, Stripe, or both, to allow users to make a single, one-time donation of $3.00—just enough to cover the cost of a coffee! I think this is a great idea, so I went and set one up for myself (although you can certainly make a one-time donation through my Patreon page, if you wish). Coffee is always greatly appreciated!

Between my Patreon supporters, my advertising, and becoming a paid embedded reporter for Sinespace, 2020 is shaping up nicely!

Thanks again for all your support—and all the coffee!

Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

You Can Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek at the Next Episode of the Metaverse Newscast

As a special “thank you” to my Patreon supporters, they get an exclusive sneak peek of episode 4 of the Metaverse Newscast, an interview with the well-known Second Life and Sansar avatar clothing designer Solas NaGealai. No waiting for a general release on YouTube!

Here’s a link to my Patreon page if you wish to join and also get in on this exclusive! And in future, I will be offering even more benefits! Stay tuned! And thank you for your support.

NEW: I Have Joined Patreon!

Have you joined the RyanSchultz.com Discord yet? More details here


Ryan Schultz Patreon 21 Nov 2018.png

Well, as you can see, it’s been a week of expansion here on RyanSchultz.com! In addition to launching my new Discord server, I have joined Patreon! Here’s my new Patreon page.

I myself am a proud $5-a-month Patreon supporter of the creator of the wonderful Piggu Second Life mesh avatars, Jonathan and June (here’s a link to her Patreon page). And I’ve finally decided it’s time for me to take the fund-raising plunge myself!

In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for you to contribute to support my blogging (as well as the upcoming Metaverse Newscast show), and get great rewards in return:

Bronze Patron

(if you donate $1 or more per month)

Every single dollar helps support RyanSchultz.com! Your rewards:

  • Read patron-only content on my Patreon page: special messages, news, and views only for my patrons!
  • Participate in special patron-only text Discord channels on my Discord server! Think of it as your own members-only salon 😉

Silver Patron

(if you donate $5 or more per month)

This is where you really start to see benefits! Your rewards:

  • Read patron-only content on my Patreon page
  • Participate in patron-only text Discord channels
  • Participate in regularly-scheduled live Discord voice discussions, with Ryan hosting! PARTY LINE! 🙂

Gold Patron

(if you donate $10 or more per month)

The complete package! Your rewards:

  • Read patron-only content here on my Patreon page
  • Participate in patron-only text Discord channels
  • Participate in regularly-scheduled live Discord voice discussions with Ryan hosting
  • Your name will be included in the Gold and Platinum Patrons page prominently displayed on the RyanSchultz.com blog (along with a photograph/picture of your choice and a personal message)!

Platinum Patron

(if you donate $100 or more per month)

The ULTIMATE package! Your rewards:

  • Read patron-only content here on my Patreon page
  • Participate in patron-only text Discord channels
  • Participate in regularly-scheduled live Discord voice discussions with Ryan hosting
  • Your name will be included in the Gold and Platinum Patrons page prominently displayed on the RyanSchultz.com blog (along with a photograph/picture of your choice and a personal message)
  • An exclusive monthly one-hour consult with Ryan (via voice on Discord or Skype) on any topic relating to social VR platforms and virtual worlds. Pick my brains, ask me questions, find out my opinions about various products. Let me be your personal tour guide to the metaverse, with customized advice and recommendations on where to go, what to do, and what to see!

So, as you can see, membership has its benefits 😉

I hope that you will consider supporting me as I continue to write what some people are calling the best blog on the internet about social VR:

Hey Ryan, I’m an avid reader of your blog… As a fellow VR enthusiast, I share your mix of excitement and trepidation – I’ve spent so much time and money trying to find my own place in this emerging medium, and sometimes it’s great and other times it feels like an uphill battle. I’d just remind you that your blog is, as far as I’ve seen, the number one blog on social VR out there. You have something valuable here, even if it’s not always that clear to you. You have many readers and we all look up to you and look forward to your pieces. You’ve done a great job of sharing much-needed information about all these different worlds and the people in them. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say you are one of the leading experts on social VR.

Jason Moore (in a comment to a recent blogpost)

And whether or not you choose to support me financially, I do want to say, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you for reading this blog! I really do appreciate it!

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Image by geralt on Pixabay

(And a special thank-you to my friend Galen, who provided me with expert advice on how to set up my Patreon page with links to my new Discord server!)