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Hi, I'm Drew Wilson.  Some of you may remember me as IceCube or Frozen IceCube.  I've written news articles for major websites such as Slyck in the mid 2000's and ZeroPaid in the mid 2000's to mid 2010's.  I've also made appearances in various programs such as Australia's The Fourth Estate and the podcast TechTalk by PuzzlePants.  I've even had my own radio show called Soundwave which lasted nearly 100 shows.

Now, I am pioneering a new initiative: Freezenet.  At first, it was a small blog with not a lot going for it back in 2013.  Just a default theme with very few features.  However, it had a lot of potential.  Over the course of five years, I not only maintained the site, but gradually added compelling features.  Few believed I could ever succeed, but as I've told people at the very beginning, I intend on building something big brick by brick.

Hard work and long hours into the night have paid off.  Now, that simple little blog has grown into a fully functional news website capable of a lot of things.  This Patreon is the final piece of a massive jigsaw puzzle that has been assembled.

Some of you may be asking, why now?  Why did you wait more than 5 long years before initiating a Patreon account?  I listen and observe to how these things play out.  That initial skepticism did play a role in what order I wound up building this project, but it wasn't the only influence.  I've seen plenty of projects go around promising big and grand things only to under-deliver.

I personally did not want Freezenet to come off as just another project promising big things.  So, the question is, how does one show that this isn't just another quick promising project that will only disappear?  Proof of concept.

1. Will this project be a lasting one?  Yes.  I've been going on since January of 2013 and still going strong.
2. Does this project deliver? Yes.  The site publishes articles on a regular basis.  Back in November, the first podcast was also released.  If you browse either of the reviews section, you'll likely see that reviews have been postdated for as long as 5 years in advance.  The content is finished and ready to go on that front, requiring no further user input.  Bare minimum, you'll see high quality content published 3 days a week on the site (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, time zones depending).

The natural next question: What will the money be used for?
1. Top priority is server costs.  Currently, the ad revenue does not pay enough to pay the bills (it falls just barely short), so the extra expenses (albeit few) comes out of pocket from me.
2. Second priority is a rainy day fund.  There will be lean years and there will be strong years, so having enough to pay the bills even if the site isn't making anything will be ideal.
3. Third priority is split between a few things.  First are various premium services that will help with website functionality.  Some would come from the current host itself while others will come from third parties.  Additionally, the funds at this point will be used to, well, feed me.  It will be a percentage of the revenue up to a certain cap.  After that, 100% of the funds will be re-invested in the site itself.
4. The fourth priority will be to re-invest the money to hire additional staff for website maintenance.  Whether that is someone dedicated to back-end work, hiring additional journalists, paying moderators, or anything else, anyone available willing to dedicate their time to shouldering some of the work to maintain the site will be an asset.  I would be happy to pay for those kinds of services if the funds are available.
5. The fifth and final priority, depending on how things shake out with the other priorities, is to devote the money to purchasing additional equipment.  Examples might be dedicated sound equipment for the podcast (who knows?  Maybe even turning it into a vidcast at some point?), updated premium software products, modern gaming systems for the purposes of reviewing more modern games, and even additional computer equipment to dedicate to other projects used for the site itself.

Additional money after that, if that ever happens, will continue to be re-invested into the site itself for other possible services that could potentially benefit the website.

I want to see a dedicated and thriving website and podcast devoted to covering news that affects digital rights.  Whether this affects privacy rights, Internet censorship, the bumpy world of copyright, security, or other technology related stories anywhere in the world, I feel a devoted news website and podcast will make people's lives better in the long run.

I've already taken this site as far as I can take it.  Now, it is up to you to help take this project to the next level.  Will you help take this project all the way up to the next level?  I hope you can say yes and join me on this journey to see where it will take us next.

Thank you.
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