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FEEDBACK RESPONSE

The SLED DOGGER – Message From The Publisher

RESPONSE to “Reader Feedback E-mail” including my SINCERE APOLOGIES IF AND WHERE DUE!  

Unfortunately, Drama seems to find its way into everything.  Now it’s our turn and I want to address it and get it over with.  I will say this ONCE and ONLY ONCE as I don’t want it to linger like a bad scent, yet I won’t ignore it and turn my back on it.  Why?  Because it came in via reader e-mails to our FEEDBACK@TheSledDogger.com E-Mail address.  That address is where we ask our readers to give us their input and we take every letter serious; or serious enough to address it anyway in this case.  And, because there was no other feedback e-mail to gauge what our readers really thinks, we had to act on what they wrote.  In doing so, we have stopped taking Donations for the Magazine through the Facebook Page and Only will take them through the website until I remove that page.  We WILL NOT ask for donations anymore.  As for the Fundraiser, that is withdrawn and I’ve sent e-mail to those who donated to get their donations back to them in full.   I never intended to offend anyone or make anyone feel like they owed us a donation to read the magazine.  And the Fundraiser, I suppose it was just a bad idea.

If anyone was Offended or made to feel Guilty and that you “owed” me a donation to the magazine or the fundraiser, I PROFUSELY APOLOGIZE!!  When I mentioned my handicap, if that seemed like a ploy to make you feel bad for me and donate money, again, I Apologize! And, if anyone out there feels I started this magazine to “Leach Off”  the mushing community as a “lucrative Market,” again, I am truly sorry!  None of those things were my intention.

As Editor/Publisher of The Sled Dogger Magazine, I started this publication in an effort to learn more myself, and, to support, educate, inform, and entertain readers who were involved as mushers, fans and to enlighten prospective fans!  Yes, IT IS a FREE Magazine!  With LOW AD RATES to make it affordable to get exposure!  We even developed a Website Building Arm that builds High-Quality Responsive Websites for a small fraction of the cost of having a site built for you anywhere else.  As to save you money and support the Sled Dog Community.

I did not start this publication to “Stroke my Ego” and surely NOT to “leach from the dog sledding community” as I was accused of in the two e-mails I received.  Based on the large number of events that we sponsor and therefore have our name/logo tied in with them, along with the number of people who volunteer their time and efforts to bring you a great publication, I strongly believe the 2 e-mails I received (possibly from the same person) are NOT the “overall feelings” or “consensus” of our readership.  However, they are Feedback E-mails and we take them serious.

I won’t get into ALL the filthy language, personal attacks, and hurtful comments they sent but if, even when cleaned up a bit, (translated from moron to English) if there are any truths in what they say, I feel it is my duty to act on it and, at least, respond.  So, I will go into the reasons they sent the e-mails and I will quote two of the very worst comments they made so you all have an idea of why I’ve been a little off over the last few days and why I am writing this response as I am.

OK, these disgusting e-mail all came about for what seems like a couple reasons…..  1) We ask for Donations for the Magazine and 2) I started that fundraiser to get me to Alaska for 3 days to cover the Yukon Quest for the magazine with cheap flights and motels and no extras.  3 days in Fairbanks!  Not an “Extravagant Vacation Throughout Alaska” as they kept saying.  In asking for Donations for the magazine and the Fundraiser, I have mentioned I have a disability and that, I guess, was a bad thing to do.  These things seemed to be the catalyst that lead to some of the harshest and hurtful things I’ve ever heard because I do a volunteer based magazine that is FREE for the mushing community.  Is it a “Feedback E-mail” and I usually print those.  This one was too harsh, vulgar and disgusting.  I’ve cleaned up a couple of the comments to give you a clear understanding why I am writing this and stopped all fundraising and donations.

Now, the cleaned up version of a couple of their comments are as follows:

  • (Note: I’ve cleaned it up somewhat) “People are sick of your asking for donations for the magazine! Now you have the balls to start your “pathetic guilt trip Fund Raiser” asking people to donate for your trip to Alaska. WTF have you done for anyone else that gives you the right to ask for or expect anything like that?” They went on to say “You started a magazine which you keep saying is FREE but, in the same breath, you ask for donations. You are a liar and you can’t even do that well!! The Sled Dogger is a laughing stalk and talk of the events as a pathetic attempt to break into a market and make money with absolutely no knowledge of the sport!”

OK, ready, there were several that got progressively worse and lead up to this one…..

  • “You even had the sleaze ball ethics to mention your health and disability in an obviously feeble attempt to guilt people into donating to your F**ken fund raiser! Who do you think you are trying to get your readers to pay for a luxury vacation throughout Alaska!!! We know you are disabled and maybe retarded people should just keep their mouths shut and thoughts to themselves. If you are going to be a leach on the Dog Sledding Community trying to suck money out of everyone, you can’t do it with a mental illness as retards are never successful. You and those like you should be euthanized as you are a drain on society!”

Now, I can’t imagine what I or this magazine has done to piss someone off this bad.  My goal was to help!  Be honest, positive, informational, entertaining and to get more people involved!  I kept it free even though it has been a struggle and we offer the lowest advertising rates and work with people!   As I’ve said before, I even started a Web Design arm of The Sled Dogger so kennels and dog sled related business could get a pro site for hundreds and not thousands of dollars.  All kinds of websites ask for donations to help cover costs.  The Fundraiser?  OK, maybe that took it too far.  There have been less than $15 in Donation to the magazine in the last 6 months.  Yes, there was $105 in the Fundraiser.   If that is me leaching and “raking in all kinds of cash” I must be missing something because I surely can’t live on it and it rarely covers our operating expenses.  This brings me to the Fundraiser.

The Fundraiser came about after The Sled Dogger became an Official Sponsor of The Yukon Quest.  That was after a string of top level accomplishments this FREE and Volunteer staffed magazine have managed to attain in just under 1 year since the magazine was nothing more than a discussion over beers and a fireplace in the yard!  So, I never forced anyone to donate to the fundraiser, all I did was want to two things that are both kinda the same….  1) Fulfill a Dream of Mine to go to Alaska, even if only a couple days and in a crappy motel and 2) Be there to represent The Sled Dogger at the start of the Yukon Quest.  Maybe it was wrong, but I asked for anyone that could help get me there to toss a few bucks at the Fundraiser.  No harm or insult meant and I never meant for it offend anyone.

There was no need for the comments they wrote.  I’ll have you know, if someone writes me and disagrees with something, doesn’t like the magazine, a story, the layout or thinks I should or shouldn’t cover something, I’m fine with that and I utilize constructive criticism!  I DO NOT belittle and call them names.  However, the people who wrote these e-mails are sick, demented gutless and even blocked me or disabled the e-mail address they wrote from so I couldn’t address it with them.   Unfortunately however, though the magazine may be praised when we bump into people, rarely do we get a Feedback E-Mail with a praise or a complaint.  Therefore, we don’t know how people are really feeling.  So, when something as rancid as this comes in, we do have to consider that some people may feel this way and what can we do to make what we do better.

So PLEASE, take a few moments once or twice a year and write us (after any story, pictorial or issue you loved) at Feedback@TheSledDogger.com and let us know what you think!  We work very hard and a compliment or positive comment goes a long way in making the entire staff feel like we’re doing something great for the sport.  So PLEASE, write us!  Praise, complaint, suggestion, idea, whatever…    Just write us so we have something other than e-mails like the two nasty ones we received to gauge our readership’s impression of the magazine.  WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Thank you so much for listening and I hope you start to use our Reader Feedback and see now, just how important it is!

FEEDBACK@THESLEDDOGGER.COM

Thanks!
Bob Donovan
The Sled Dogger

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