One month later…

Silver Anchor, Zephyrhills Florida 1980s

Silver Anchor, Zephyrhills Florida 1980s

Consider a piece of body jewelry.
Not some piece of mass produced low quality mall kiosk belly button ring with vibrating dolphin charm, but a beautiful handmade piece of wearable art made by an artisan company that takes pride in producing the finest jewelry available. Each piece takes time to be realized, created and quality checked before it moves to the next step in the chain- the folks who pack it up with care and send it to you knowing that you’re sitting around your mailbox counting the seconds until it arrives.

It’s a process with a lot of moving parts that works well in harmony and leaves both ends of the transaction happy.

Consider Sacred Debris.
Today is our one month anniversary. In that time, we’ve had almost 10,000 visitors. The most popular post for unique page views was Evolution of a Subculture: ModCon, the most traffic from a referring link was from Luis Garcia’s tumblr and we’ve had contributions from myself, Allen Falkner, Ron Garza and Luna Duran. During our first month I think we’ve managed to set a tone for what you can expect in the coming weeks.

As readers, you folks have left 214 comments on the 21 posts we’ve created. One of my main worries in starting a new project (with SPCOnline and Scarwars.net under my belt) was that it would be a one sided thing. Our team (which is mostly me right now) doing all of the work and having nothing to show for it in the end. I’ve been pleased to see that level of interaction- of community- with the Sacred Debris project. It may seem to be an afterthought, but discussing the articles really does make a difference. It shows us that the content is being read and appreciated, that there’s a market for something as incredibly niche as Body Modification history. The reblogs on tumblr, twitter and Facebook are also incredibly helpful in bringing visibility to what we’re doing, so keep that up. We’re going to be doing random contests for comments and reblogs- tshirts, original photographs from the SPC archive, posters- so there’s going to be some fun stuff coming (starting tonight with the ‘Do you remember your first PA’ contest) so stay tuned.

That brings us to the little button beneath this post. DONATE. Both sides- reader and editors- working together.
We’re never going to do a ‘hard sell’ on donations; this is not a paid site (our PG rated videos come with google ads and we may accept paid ads from reputable shops/jewelry in the future, but there will never be a fee to view content) but the site does cost money to create and maintain. At the moment, our server space and bandwidth is being donated but we have no escrow account if that were to ever change. Given the explicit content of our site we can’t run on WordPress.com’s servers, so should we lose our server we lose our site.

wd-cloudThen there’s the hardware.
To date, most of the videos I’ve added- of Body Modification icons like Jack Yount, Ed Fenster and Til of Cardiff- has been content I’ve previously captured for other projects- videos that were sitting on DVDrs unedited. Capturing new content means needing storage space. Capturing an hour long video (such as Sailor Sid’s Guide to Safe Piercing) at full resolution for archival clocks in somewhere around 30-60gb depending on the settings. When they’re uploaded they’re considerably smaller, but to preserve these tapes for future generations requires storage- more storage than I have.

We also need to purchase- or arrange donations- for a variety of media players including mini-dv and 8mm, as well as negative scanners for old analog 35mm print archival.

Last but certainly not least is time. With my current setup, adding a 10 minute video to Sacred Debris takes as much as ten hours to get online. Sorting the tapes that are often unlabeled. Scanning them from start to finish to make sure that all the content on the tape is accounted for. Importing it into my macbook. Cleaning up or removing audio, editing it down into a usable movie when then has to render and get uploaded before I sit down to write the article that accompanies it.

As a reader, you then sit down, watch a five-ten minute video, possibly leave a comment, share on social media and wait for the next update.

My hope is that the folks who care about this kind of content will want to see the project continue and will throw a few bucks into the hat to keep it going. If every viewer who checked us out in the first month would have dropped $1 into the pot- we’d have a workable budget for years to come.

So. I’m asking you folks for a little help.

The donation button is here in this entry as well as on the sidebar of the main site. If you see an update you really love and think it’s worth a buck or two… please feel free. Trust me, every little bit helps.

Thank you all so much for a great first month, and here’s hoping for more where that came from!

oi8iul-g

 

 




 

 

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Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his Italian Greyhound, Bailey, and his wife Julia.

4 comments

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Gauge.
      I might do tshirts in the future, but this is more a ‘we appreciate the word and expenses’ thing. A show of good faith that the content is worth having available and worth the time I’m putting into it and the expenses that come as a result of it. Making t-shirts is more steps- getting the artwork is always a problem, then there’s the pre-order solicitation so I don’t go out of pocket/have a bunch of shirts that didn’t sell, getting the mailers, dealing with lost shirts, etc. It becomes a second job on top of the existing work of making the site exist and ultimately more trouble than it’s worth.

      And I’m going to be honest- part of my worry with SD has been the expectation of everything just being handed to people. Getting a shirt because you donated means that you don’t think that the site itself is what you get for your money; that all of the work that goes into it isn’t worth even $1 unless you get a shirt or sticker or something. Not saying you feel that way, but that would be lurking in the back of my mind as I busted ass to make the shirts happen.

      Hopefully that doesn’t come off too harsh.

  1. Luis Garcia! I live a spittin distance from the shop he works at :). I’m pretty fortunate, Philadelphia has alot of talented artists, & sometimes I forget that not everyone can just walk a mile or so & find some of the best piercers (because there’s not just Luis’s shop, but also another wonderful shop on the very same block!) in the area. But I love anything where I can get information about artists, artisans, & body modification in general. LOL & I’ve definitely been there, anxiously awaiting a piece of hand crafted jewelry, checking the tracking several times a day & looking out the window for the postman. Back in the 90s, it wasn’t easy to come by great quality stuff, so the possibilities now are wonderful! At one time, I used to go for quantity over quality, but then realizing I never wore most of it, I decided it would be more sensible to have fewer pieces, but pieces that I loved & cherished, & enjoyed wearing. I may not have the biggest collection, but I take pride in it!

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