the Web Address
or Love is a Four Letter Word
quick headline: LoveHKFilm.com
will be actively soliciting support from its readership in
the form of the LoveHKFilm.com
Pledge Drive. The basic plea is this: if you feel the
site benefits you, then please help support it. Here are the
is asking for a $12 pledge from its readers.
- Pledges can be purchased
via this PayPal link:
- Pledges can also be purchased
via snail mail. Any personal checks should be addressed
to Ross Chen, and sent to this address:
c/o Jailed Games
2716 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
- All participants in the
pledge drive will be included on the Sponsor Page located
here, unless otherwise
- The pledge drive will last
for two weeks, and at the end of the third week results
will be tallied and presented to the readership.
- The amount earned through
the pledge drive will be applied towards future expenses
meaning it's not intended to make up for any past expenses
incurred by the Webmaster.
- The expenses included in
this are web hosting, bandwidth, technical support, and
hopefully some materials, i.e. DVDs. Other possible expenses
are possible site upgrades.
- Whatever amount that is
earned WILL BE applied to keeping LoveHKFilm.com
online in its current form. What this means is that the
site will exist as is, and won't be downsized for the period
of time that the earnings allow.
- If support is meager, and/or
nonexistent, the site will be reduced to a mostly-text site
to offset the enormous bandwidth. Such a change will likely
happen sometime in the near future with this eventuality.
- The pledge drive IS NOT
a threat to take the site offline. The Webmaster currently
DOES NOT intend to remove LoveHKFilm.com
from the Internet. It may just look less prettyor
even ugly. Depends on your preference.
- If you don't participate,
the Webmaster will not visit your house to berate you. He
will, however, respond to your e-mails with no urgency whatsoever.
for the long story:
Though the actual day and date
of inception is unknown, LoveHKFilm.com
recently turned two years old. Back in 2002, when this site
first premiered, the most-viewed page on the site was the
stats page by yours truly. I wondered: did anybody read the
site besides myself? I originally put the site on the Internet
because I had lots of time on my hands. I had no job, plenty
of savings, and I was content to screw around and pursue my
various interests. I put LoveHKFilm.com
together because it was the site that I wanted to see, loaded
with my own personal thoughts, silly commentary and assorted
pictures of that which I had come to care about: HK Cinema.
As noble pursuits went, the site ranked well below ending
world hunger or even clipping coupons for my money-saving
Now we're at two years later.
The changes: I have no savings, no time, and I do have a job.
The job happens to be a writing consultant and junior game
designer for my brother's start-up video game developer, and
it's not been an easy road. I could go into large detail on
how I feel about it, but in the year I've been doing this,
I've discovered some uncomfortably similar qualities between
the video game business and the movie businessa dream
that died after I attended film school way back when. Also,
the job pays me a salary of nothing. Really. It's a job, sure,
but payday means nothing more to me than a new soup of the
day at the local deli.
Back to the site. LoveHKFilm.com
is also being read by many more people than I ever would have
imagined. At last count, the site pulls in between 10-15K
visitors daily, 30-60K pageviews, and somewhere between 200-300K
hits a day. We get high rankings on Google, Alexa and probably
search engines I've never even heard of. I also get lots of
e-mail, some of it complimentary, some of it derogatory, and
much of it inane. At the same time, I'm compelled to keep
the website going, if for no other reason than I like putting
it together. I enjoy writing, I love the films (And if you
must insert your comment here about how I, Kozo, hate everything
I review, please go visit Aint-it-cool-News.com.), and I like
the site itself. Maybe I'm patting myself on the back when
I say this, but LoveHKFilm.com
is a site that I would want to visit. It's about what I like,
and it also possesses my decidedly not-for-everyone sense
of humor. Honestly, I spend a lot of time reading the site
too, which is probably an admission that seems more egotistical
than quality-minded. No one ever accused me of being totally
But, as in all things, there
is a catch. The above recipe seems like one of success. Lots
of people read the site, I enjoy putting it together, and
even though it's sometimes an emotional drain, I strive to
keep it going. I've met some great people via the site, corresponded
with people I've admired, and even been treated like someone
who actually accomplished something. But the catch is that
through it all, I have very little to show for it other than
the magical intangibles, i.e. satisfaction, pride and probably
annoyance at the crappy e-mail I get. The site earns me nothing,
and in fact costs me moneymoney that's starting to pile
up in a way that I can ill afford.
To put a more concrete face on it, the
site expenses since January of 2003 have been roughly $3000
US, which includes all the assorted web site costs AND the
costs of whatever DVDs/VCDs that were reviewed by myself.
It also includes the fine day in December when it cost me
$220 to have my laptop repaired. It does not include any of
the DVDs purchased that I have yet to review, a cost which
is no one's fault but my own. I must admit, I began to view
reviewing new HK and Asian Cinema as more than a hobby, but
a responsiblity. As a result, I own copies of such movies
as Kung Fu Master is My Grandma, Ghost Office,
and numerous Korean films which I thought I SHOULD be watching.
But I haven't, simply because time and sometimes "bigger"
movies got in the way. When the Twins make 30 movies a year,
somehow those take precedence. If I'm making a mistake here,
then somebody stop me.
But the fact remains that as
the site grows, the more it begins to cost in monthly fees
just to keep it online. Lots of photos, numerous pages, and
that evil thing known as bandwidth theft (IF YOU DO THIS,
THEN STOP IT! IT'S BAD!) have contributed to the realization
that it's not going to get easier. Currently, I'm not totally
upset with the costs I'm incurring, but if the pattern continues
AND the site continues as is, then sooner or later I'm going
to be shelling out three figures a month just so the site
can stay onlineand that figure does not include any
DVDs or VCDs. It's just the actual cost of keeping the site
out there for people to read. Call me selfish, but something
there doesn't compute.
Which brings me to this Pledge
Drive, which is something that I resisted doing for a long
time, but has finally become something of a necessity. I've
already received donations from a number of very generous
individualsmost especially Gray Carper, who I simply
refuse to take any more money from. But in truth, it really
hasn't been enough, and I can't really keep the site as is
without any regular form of support. So, the Pledge Drive
is happening, and I'm going to be asking this question on
more than one occasion: Besides asking for support, is there
any other way for LoveHKFilm.com
to support itself? I'm asking for ideas, thoughts, or anything
which makes senseand I must clarify, I do not believe
affiliate links to be part of the solution. I could go on
for hours about why the deal is a bad one, but won't because
I've already droned on for too long. Yeah, I'm a wordy guy.
So I ask, if you feel this site has
benefitted you in any way, please consider helping keep it
online the way it is. In the event that costs continue to
rise, and if there's no support, then I'll probably have to
turn the site into a mostly-text site, and remove the majority
of the pictures from the pages. I'll also probably remove
lots of the useless content, like the April Fool's pages and
the innane Hong Kong travelogs. Let me say this: I have no
intention of removing the site itself from the Internet. I
really want it to stay onlineeven if I stop updating
it. I've received enough positive comments and well-wishes
to know that some people do view it as a positive resource
which they actually refer to. That's not something I wish
to take away, and even if the site is text-only it'll probably
still be of use to some people.
But honestly, I do prefer LoveHKFilm.com
the way it is right now.
-- Kozo, 3/1/2004