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You probably received an e-mail today from us pleading for donations. Well, there was a little error in it. For some reason, the url attached to the headline of the piece directed to this blog.

We make little technical mistakes like that all of the time. There are links broken way too often. I get e-mails from some of you very early in the morning. (How early do you people wake up anyway? Wow.)

We’ll soon be changing the website to a whole new system. It probably won’t morph the look and feel of it too much (you won’t get lost) but it will make it more manageable for us and there’ll be a blossoming of new features about which I’m very excited.

But this highlights an important point: We pour every last dollar and piece of energy we have into the stories and posts we put up. Every ounce of everything we do has been directed to writing the best possible investigative stories and doing the most interesting interviews and profiles we can possibly find. We’ve never had a full-time web person on staff. We’ve only rarely had the assistance of a professional.

This will hopefully change in coming months as well. But I wanted to make something clear: When you give us money to operate, you’re funding an organization that is ferociously focused on its mission. And the mission is simple: to provide investigative and in-depth news coverage and commentary to San Diego so residents can hold their institutions accountable and have the best information available to make decisions.

You get to see every day how we perform in this effort.

And then, when you see a glitch in the website programming, a mistake in a link, you can e-mail me directly (at 3 a.m. if you want). I’ll try to get back to you but if you’ve mentioned an error, you can be sure I won’t sleep until it’s been fixed.

But there’s a great point I want to get to here: What makes me so happy is how many of you see yourselves as part of this effort — part of the process of getting and delivering the news. You e-mail me your thoughts and I eat them up.

Almost exactly 800 of you have personally donated hard-earned money to watch this thing grow. And your enthusiasm makes me work sometimes so long I can hardly focus my eyes.

For those of you who have given, we can’t be more thankful. People here are working their tails off to do nothing more than just write good stories. You have communicated to them that your support them.

For those of you who haven’t yet had the opportunity to give, but might have a little room in the budget, please consider it. Whether it’s $35 or $5,000, it can go a long way.

What the news industry is discovering quite quickly is that readers will have to be asked to support the reporting efforts they find valuable. And what the nonprofit model allows is for you to name your price.

Every month, we invite those who have donated for the first time or renewed a chance to come by and have coffee and talk about everything from current events to what we do here every day. I’d love to meet you at one of the upcoming gatherings — to hear your thoughts; to learn of a technical issue that has long frustrated you on the site; and generally to learn from you.

You only have to answer two questions: How valuable do you believe the work that goes on here is? How much can you afford to give?

If you’ve thought about it for a second, click here and join us.

SCOTT LEWIS

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