Farewell DNN

On September 9th, the derby world was shocked to learn the Derby News Network (DNN) was retiring after seven years of fantastic coverage. DNN has been around nearly as long as the current incarnation of roller derby. They’ve seen starting on the pivot line come and go (and recently start to make an appearance again). They’ve kept up with the rules changes. They’ve seen men begin to enter the sport. They’ve covered the athletic aspects of the sport on the main DNN site, and covered the culture through Derby Life (which will still continue). It was grass roots. It was learn-as-you-go. DNN had the same ethos as the roller derby itself. It wasn’t for money,  it was a passion.

With this background, it’s no surprise that everyone in the derby community was upset about DNN’s retirement. Frisky Sour has the best piece I’ve seen about it. And honestly, I agree with her 100%. It takes so much time to have even a small blog like Pure Geekery. (Claire and I joke we traded one hobby that took all our time for another hobby that took all our time.) I can’t imagine the logistics behind DNN. Frisky brings up the point of “where do I get free news on the Internet.” And I think that is the root of the problem.  We demand free information all the time. You can cry “But there are ads” all you want, but that really only covers costs IF YOU’RE LUCKY.  With a site as massive and as loaded with media and video as DNN, it would be hard to get that kind of coverage.

We’ve gotten used to “free” content. We don’t think of the time that’s put into creating that content. We get upset when newspapers charge for the digital edition. We get frustrated with biased cable news programs, who listen to shareholders who fund the content. We get upset when a news source for our hobby goes away. We want to donate when we’re suddenly faced with the reality that these things take time and money to produce. When that reality finally impacts us. By that time, it’s probably too late.

I encourage all of you to look at what sites you access daily. At the podcasts you listen to. At bare minimum make sure your ads are enabled for those sites. Even click-through on them. Buy stuff from their affiliate links. If they have a way to donate, then donate. Support those you rely on, if you don’t then you might notice a void sooner than later.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s about time I donated to TWiT

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