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Management Update 9, and Accounts for 2005-6

Site statistics

Site traffic measures in June were around 20% down from May, partly reflecting the transition from a staffed to volunteer-run site, and partly the shorter working month. We published 24 new articles in June, down from 38 in May, and 1129 comments, down from 1413 in May. We didn’t publish 51 abusive, content-free or incomprehensible comments, and 8 under the 5-post rule: total intended for publication and not published 59/1188=5%.

Since the launch of the independent site in August 2005, we have published 588 articles and somewhat over 24,000 comments. All of these remain on the site.

Finances for June / July

Income in June was $1561.66 in total (including $255.57 from Google AdSense), versus expenditure of $1395.66. Forward costs from July on are now reduced to around $600 per month, or $20 per day. As you can see, we took up the reader suggestion for keeping a running indication of how the funds are going under the "Donate to Webdiary" heading.

Full Accounts for 2005-6 Financial Year

The following table summarises the full unaudited accounts for the year to 30 June 2006. This purely summarises what has been published on the site before, with the exception that some major donors took up an offer to use the donation to pay for adverts for a cause or organisation of their choice, leading to a reclassification of the income. We also received some helpful advice from a Webdiarist on classifications etc following the last half-year accounts, which is reflected here. All figures exclude GST, except where noted.

When we started in August, we inherited the ongoing costs of the editing staff (Hamish and Kerri) contracted by Margo, and almost immediately added the costs of contracting with Wayne Sanderson for The Daily Briefing. This meant that we had committed outgoings approaching $11,000 per month and no income. Detailed examination of the 'innovative' plans of the Finance team suggested that they didn't hold water, leading us to a more normal mix of ads and donations as revenue sources. Although Webdiarists have been incredibly generous, as can be seen from the totals below, the sustainable revenues did not justify the outgoings, and we have cut costs to suit the income.

Donations        $18,344.00
Advertising        $8,494.75
Interest                       $0.30
Total                 $26,839.05

- Project Syndicate        $5,161.51
- Daily Briefing             $12,499.66
Editorial staff                $44,500.00
Typepad site costs           $116.16
Advertising (Crikey Ad)    $838.60
Office equipment               $952.00
Nielsen NetRatings       $1,500.00
Bank & credit card fees  $1,101.71
Total                                $66,669.64

Funds from shareholder (Margo)     $42,136.30 (All in 2005)
Loss attributable to shareholder     -$39,830.59
Equity available to shareholder         $2,305.71
(=Cash in hand + net input GST reclaimable)

Note: these cash-basis accounts do not include a liability to Project Syndicate for articles supplied in June (which cannot be exactly quantified until the US$-based invoice is received and paid) - hence the difference between the Equity / Cash in hand figure and the estimated date for which current funds in hand will last ...

David Roffey,
Managing Director,
Webdiary P/L

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