September 30, 2020

Chapter With Your Abbot

I wanted to take a break from my stomach-stretching exercises ahead of Thursday’s feast (pumpkin or pecan pie? The only correct answer is YES.) to update you on a few iMonk items. In a Benedictine monastery, the business meetings are called Chapter. Here at the iMonastery, we call such meetings … Chapter. (Putting the letter “i” in front of everything that has to do with the internet annoys me …)

First of all, we are going to have to postpone this week’s entry in our book club. Craig Bubeck is up against deadlines in his job and won’t be able to lead the discussion this week as planned. But we will be back on track next week, looking at the life of Julian of Norwich, with Damaris Zehner and Martha of Ireland leading the way.

Chaplain Mike is still on sabbatical. Word is he is working on developing his curveball in advance of a tryout with the Cubs. Hey, why not?

If you are new to InternetMonk, you might wonder how we do it. Well, we wonder the same thing. I would love to be paid for what we do here. So would Chaplain Mike. I’d love to pay our writers. But right now, we can only pay to keep the lights on. Our costs are about $150 a month. Where does that come from? Some comes from you, our faithful readers. If you are not already doing so, perhaps you’d be willing to donate to iMonk. I’d love to give something as a Christmas gift to Chap for his hard work. And still be able to pay the hosting bill monthly.

Some of our money comes from the few advertisers we take on. We are very selective as to who gets to talk to you. We will never take money from someone in exchange for them writing a post. (And I get requests for that all of the time.) We could make a lot of money if we aligned with Google AdSense, but then we would have no control over what is displayed on this site. I am considering a new advertiser with excellent products I think you would enjoy. We will know soon if that can be worked out.

I worked in advertising for a long time. The way this is supposed to work is we provide content that will bring a lot of eyeballs to our site, then we sell access to those eyeballs for as much as we can get. But I can’t do that here. (I can’t do that anywhere any longer, which is why I now work at a grocery store in Jenks, Oklahoma, and not in mass media.) I cannot sell access to you like that. To me, that would be like putting ads on the back of pews in church. Or having Hymn 423 on the left page, and an advertisement for Roy’s Rib Joint with all-you-can-eat brisket on Sundays on the right page. To me, InternetMonk is a matter of trust, not opportunity. I’ve been told we should be making $10,000 a month with this site. Most months we don’t make $100. I’d rather sell my stuff to pay for this site than to violate your trust. Just sayin’.

Still, I’d love to be able to give Chaplain Mike something more than a figurative pat-on-the-back. So if you can help us out, thank you. And if you can’t, that’s fine. We welcome all here.

We really do welcome all here. Not everyone agrees with everything I write. Even I don’t agree with everything I say—but that’s what therapists and drugs are for, right? If you are a silent reader, we encourage you to take part in the discussions every once in a while. And if you are a regular commenter, keep up the good work.

Ok. This Chapter is concluded. Time to get in one last pre-Thanksgiving practice nap before the real one is needed. Pass the Cool Whip, will ya?


  1. Hi Jeff, thanks for your dedication to doing what is right, not what is easy, or ‘normal’.

    Maybe you felt it was too pushy to point out that there is a handy ‘Donate’ button in the right hand column, so I’ve done that for you.

    An aside: I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, having to ‘fight’ with PayPal logins is a mild brake on my donating fervour. Is there any way you could include some bank account details so that people can do direct bank-to-bank payments? It’s far easier for me to go into my internet-banking account and do a transfer. And that way I assume more money would end up with you, and less with PayPal. Also, it would make it possible for people to set up recurring payments.

    What say you?

  2. I agree with Ben….I have used the Pay-Pal link to donate in the past, and will continue to use it, but if there was an alternate method, it would be nice. I am guessing that some i-Monks would even prefer to send a check or money order via snail-mail…..

    Otherwise, may I tactfully ask our faithful crew to think about the value we find here and with each other, and think about adding a donation to the site to their CHRISTMAS LIST??? I have already told my dearest husband (not a reader) that I would like a donation here more than another sweater or pair of earrings under the Christmas tree this year.

    And if you can only send prayers….and you alone know in your heart what you can and cannot manage….don’t feel pressured. Luckily, we don’t have to pay to be here.

    But give it some prayerful thought, OK?

  3. Can’t wait to see the posts on Lady Julian…very intriguing figure.

    If I use the paypal button, does that mean I am donating iDollars? Wouldn’t that be iDollartry? Oh, I crack me up!

  4. In small print on the Paypal donation page, on the left side toward the bottom, is a link to donate directly without using a Paypal account. I wouldn’t have noticed it except we recently set up Paypal for our church, and I learned of it then.

  5. It’s probably here someplace but I don’t see it. Is there an address or PO Box to send a check to?

    • There is. You can send checks (or anything else you want to send; no fruitcakes, please!) to:

      Jeff Dunn
      9742 S. Lakewood Ave
      Tulsa OK 74137

      • Payable to? IMonk; Jeff Dunn; Cubs’ Fans’ Support Group?

      • Slow answers here Jeff, is this something to do with not being good at receiving? 🙂

        That aside, I can’t write cheques in dollars. Please do consider adding IBAN (or whatever) details somewhere…

  6. Jeff- Maybe I am missing how to give a reoccurring donation, is there a way that pay pal can take a month to month amount out of checking account? Because I forget to give.

  7. jeff

    you can delete my comment on recurring donations. i see ben s. already covered that.

  8. Since we’re talking about how the sausage is made here, how are you counting eyeballs for advertising purposes? I’m assuming Sitemeter is part of that process, is CompleteXL? Is there a deeper tracker I’m missing?

  9. Jeff, I deeply appreciate your care for this site, it’s contributors and readers and understand your feeling of guardianship over our “eyeballs”. Being someone who has to raise money in order to do the work I do, I know how important it is to carefully consider any possible source of funding. But, speaking for myself, I would also trust you to pick out advertisers for this sight that would, at least, not bother us and, at most, be a helpful resource. It could mean some sort of freedom from the financial stress and a return for your investment, it would not mean selling out or exploiting your readers.

  10. Advertise! I’m smart enough not to click links I don’t like.