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Support row2k

If you need row2k, row2k needs you.

Since our modest launch in 1997, just days before the women's Sprints to address the complete lack of online information at that regatta, row2k has exploded into the world's largest and most popular rowing Web site.

We'd like to think we helped to change rowing for the better; more and faster information, results posting without prejudice for the "importance" of the racing, and a little bit of fame for rowers and boats at all levels of racing in our photo galleries, links to all the news fit to print about our sport, and much more, updated almost every day of the year.

As you can imagine, and anyone in the Web business knows, running a Web site of the scale and immediacy of row2k is a tough, expensive proposition.

We've broken our behinds and our banks to get to this point, and countless readers, athletes, and coaches have thanked and encouraged us over time. These folks express their hope that row2k will continue, and dozens have asked how they might contribute to the survival of row2k.

I've come to think it foolhardy not to offer these folks this option, and we can certainly use the help; in fact, we need it to continue to grow. As a result, we are instituting an entirely voluntary "fund drive." If you use row2k regularly, whether for entertainment, to chat among friends, or to use all of the free services we provide at no cost, please consider making a contribution to the survival and continued improvement of row2k.

As one reader wrote us: "I give money to NPR, and I use row2k much more than I listen to NPR. I suppose it only makes sense that I support row2k as well." Swap in whomever you'd like - PBS, NRA, the mailman on the holidays - and we hope it makes sense to you as well.

Very few companies are making Web journalism and niche sites pay for themselves; even giant companies with almost bottomless resources haven't been able to do it. Meager advertising revenues alone won't be enough, but we believe we can beat the odds with your help.

The revenue from Internet advertising has failed to support the Web content industry, and while print publications can survive on a dual revenue stream of advertising and subscriptions, we need to turn to our most faithful readers for their support. And although they're everywhere (and getting worse, sometimes making it so you can't read the site until the ad is over), even on the biggest, most well-funded Websites - AOL/Time Warner magazines, ESPN, and more - we got rid of pop-up ads because you asked us to.

In the past several months, we've continued to enhance our sophisticated, databased results system. We've upgraded to a dedicated server to accommodate the increase in traffic to the results, photos, links, and classifieds sections. We've built and continually update a definitive regatta calendar. We've bought and rented new cameras to get better photos of you rowing. The cost of running the site continues to climb.

We will use your contributions to pay for photos, camera equipment, travel and lodging, software licenses (including the Classifieds and other services), laptops to update from regatta sites, general computer hardware and software, Internet access, gasoline, telephone bills, and hosting, hosting, and more hosting. Once those bills are paid, we'd like to pay the people who write for or work on the site. This is something we've never done. We still maintain day jobs, in 2004. When you see how much content we churn out on row2k, you realize how hard we're working to bring this site to you for very little or no compensation. We need to change that.

If coaches or organizations would prefer we invoice them, we are happy to do so. Simply email the pertinent contact information and the amount you'd like to contribute, and I'll generate an invoice straight away.

We set up options to give as little as $5, and as much as $1000. As an incentive, all contributions over $60 will win you a row2k tee-shirt - be sure to indicate t-shirt size in the Comments.

If you're an occasional reader, consider an annual donation of, say, $12 - $1/month. If you're a regular reader, perhaps $60 will work - it's less than $1/week after we send you your t-shirt! If you're a real fan, feel free to give more; we'll use it well, and to benefit our sport.

Some individuals or organizations may want to be full-scale sponsors. The only reward is our eternal thanks, and the maintenance and expansion of the site. We'd also like to acknowledge you by setting up a page on our site, listing our sponsors and supporters, like any other charity event. Contributors who give more than $100 a year will be listed as a Bronze Sponsor. Contributors who give more than $500 will be listed as a Silver Sponsor. More than $1000, we'll list you as a Gold sponsor. If you'd rather remain anonymous, of course, we'll list you as Anonymous. That doesn't mean we won't be extremely grateful.

If you would prefer to pay by check, send contributions to:

13 Lakeview Avenue
Princeton, NJ 08540

Your support means a great deal to us, and will guarantee the survival and continued growth of row2k.

Ed Hewitt
Founder, Publisher, and Waterboy, row2k

    Yes! I would like to support row2k in the following amount using the fully secure shopping cart:

    $60 - get a row2k t-shirt - not for sale, these go only to row2k supporters!
    $12 - a buck a month
    $25 - couple bucks a month and change
    $50 - a buck a business week
    $100- Bronze Medalist
    $250- Silver Medalist
    $500- Gold Medalist
    $1000- Olympian
    $Other - choose your amount!

    If you want to give a combination of two amounts above, you can click "Continue Shopping" on the next page, and it will send you back here; you can then select a second option, and it will be added to your total.

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