MDN Needs Your Feedback to Continue Publishing

$5Periodically someone will email me privately, or leave a comment on an article, and ask if the MDN website is sponsored by a drilling company or pro-drilling group of some kind. My answer, which is the truth, is always the same: No! I receive no compensation of any kind whatsoever, either in money or trade or services, for what I write on this site. Zippo. Nada.

There are those who don’t believe me. I’m not sure how I can convince you, but I am telling the truth. I think, if you read this site long enough, you’ll know that I always attempt tell the truth. I share my opinions, and from time to time I even own up to some mistakes.

I’ve made my position on drilling clear many times: I believe it can and should be done—safely. No blank checks for drillers to do whatever they want—but equally, we cannot and must not strip away individual property owners’ rights because of the shrill opposition of a relative few. Landowners have the right to allow drilling, or not to allow it, as they see fit. Don’t force people to have drilling happen under their land—even if everyone around them wants it. It’s America! We decide what to do or not to do—not the government, not other people, not environmentalist groups. And don’t force people to allow pipelines and other easements on their land if they don’t want it. But if they do want it—great! I believe my views are consistent. I guess I don’t make some pro-drillers and energy companies happy with some of my views, and I sure don’t make anti-drillers happy. But I’m always faithful to my own viewpoint and that viewpoint is not influenced by compensation of any kind.

My aim with this site has been to find articles of interest to landowners and those with an interest in drilling in the Marcellus (and Utica) Shale formations. I’ve done it regularly for some time now. And as anyone who writes and produces a blog site will tell you—it’s a lot of work. So back to no compensation… I was hoping I might get a few sponsors for the site to underwrite the cost of hosting, the cost of my email service, and to compensate a bit for the time it takes to read mountains of articles and select out the few that I think would be of most interest to those tracking the drilling issue each day. I’ve had no sponsors so far. It seems many businesses are concerned that in sponsoring a “pro-drilling” site they will be targeted by those who oppose drilling. Perhaps they have a point.

So I have a question for the 18,000 of you who visit this site each month: Is MDN worth a small subscription fee to you, to continue to the service? Please think carefully about it, and please be completely truthful. Perhaps the things I do on this site are “nice” and maybe “interesting” but not really vital or “necessary” for most people with an interest in the drilling issue. If that’s the case, I’m wasting my time and can find other things to do with it.

So here’s the deal, think carefully about the question I’m asking, and then please click on your answer in the poll (found on the right side of any page). The question: Would you be willing to pay $5 per month to continue reading MDN? Your answer is anonymous—I won’t know who you are. If enough people say yes, MDN will continue and I’ll ask you to subscribe using a credit card (or Paypal account) and it will be charged $5 per month with the option to cancel at any time. If there’s little response, or if the vast majority say no, time to fold the tent and move on.

Feel free to leave a comment on this post if you have thoughts on how MDN can be useful to you—something that would make it worth $5 a month.


Jim Willis
MDN Editor

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Jim. MDN is an attractive product and you deserve applause, but the economics of the internet work against you. 90% of what is in MDN is available for free from Google in a filtered daily email. Plus, I would never pay $60 a year to read Tea Party rants that are sprinkled like raisins in a cupcake. Now, if you include pictures of  beautiful girls in very small bikinis, that might elevate MDN to a higher intellectual level… 

  • Thanks for making me laugh yet again Paul. I can always count on you!

  • Anonymous

    This is also a good way to create a community of only like-minded readers.  I cringe every time I open this email, I couldn’t see myself paying for it.  As a blogger, I understand the time involved in putting it together.  But basically, it’s like you’re using google’s news aggrigator and then just offering your slant on it.  Thanks for the good times MDN…Sayonara!  

  • You need advertising dollars! I like that you collect all the latest news and publish is one stop shop.

  • Anonymous

    Jim, you do a great job and I very much appreciate your work. I believe you present the issues and both sides fairly. You should search for advertising dollars, yet, I would be willing to pay five bucks per month for the info quickly gleaned from you site. I don’t have the time to search various sites for hours to get the pointed info/feedback you contribute, so, thanks! Keep up the good work, you are appreciated and needed!


  • Thanks Kyle. Much appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate your website very much and read it as often as I can. I am in Texas, but looking to expand my business into the Appalachia’s. I would pay for your website. Good job. 

  • Pingback: MDN Weekly Update – Jun 26, 2011 | Marcellus Drilling News()

  • David Muench

    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!! continue. DON”T STOP. I read MDN almost everyday. I’m in the Southern Tier of NY, and a landowner who is in favor of drilling. Your site helps be stay informed of all the arguments, pro vs con, and the idiots opposing it. I easily waste $5 a week on designer coffee. I’d rather spend it to keep you going.

  • Thanks David. Much appreciated!