Sasquatch Coffee

The Readers Breathe New Life Into Cryptomundo

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 15th, 2010

I recently posted about the troubling prospect of having to shut down Cryptomundo.

The readers have responded! You apparently don’t want that to happen.

Thanks to the readers of Cryptomundo, many great ideas were brought forth.

Some, such as Cryptomundo themed merchandise has been discussed before and we are working on it.

One reader, Steve Busti, owner of the Museum of the Weird in Austin, TX, will soon be running a banner ad on the site.

Donations came in from the readers, enough that past due bills can be paid and the next month’s hosting fees are partially paid.

I appreciate this immensely.

We will re-focus our attention on cryptozoology.

If you would like to make a donation to continue to assist with the expenses of Cryptomundo, please feel free to donate using the button at the top right corner of the page. Any amount is appreciated.

Readers have suggested that they would pay a subscription fee for premium content.

What would you, the Cryptomundo reader, like to see offered in the way of premium content?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


38 Responses to “The Readers Breathe New Life Into Cryptomundo”

  1. PhotoExpert responds:

    Personally, I would change nothing in the way of premium content. Why fix it if it is not broken?

    I did see some readers respond that they did not like some of the more recent content, but in truth, I never saw any of those readers posting in the past or they are new to the forum. I did not recognize any of their screen names.

    I would like to see more of the same premium content, just more of it if possible.

  2. Andrew responds:

    Premium content might include a podcast, exclusive chats with the authors, or subscriber only articles and essays. I’d pay 5 or so a month for that.

  3. Labyrinth_13 responds:

    I’m sending you a small donation and urge others to do the same. You know, if you guys were to just do an periodic “fund raising drive” on here, similar to what some independent radio shows do, I bet that you would get plenty of people to help out. I’d rather see that than a premium content option, personally.

  4. Kahil responds:

    Do a newsletter that people can sign up for here. Also turn that newsletter into an ebook that you can sell for Kindle and Apple.

    An update of the site wouldn’t hurt either. I’m a web and graphic dev with extensive experience, especially with wordpress.

  5. Parandr0id responds:

    Premium content? Sounds new and exciting.

  6. apithacus responds:

    This is great news! As an artist myself, I would like to see something that features artists and the crypto art they make, I have drawn some creatures just for fun, what about something that would allow readers to post there own created work and at the same time get the views and attention of some new people or atleast open the gates for those who knew nothing of this site. when I posted a link on my facebook page i was surprised how many people did not even know that this site existed. I post my paintings and drawings on a site called deviantART.com along with a link to this very site and the feedback i get back is just great.

  7. gridbug responds:

    How much are you guys paying for this site? I use ixwebhosting for mine and it’s only 65.00 a year! Of course I manage it myself so I don’t have anyone to pay for web design etc, but the price is very reasonable. There’s also a wealth of do it yourself enhancements like flash and template layouts that are very easy to master (and are free) so there are most definitely low cost solutions to keeping Cryptomundo alive and kicking.

    :)

  8. WightSpider responds:

    I agree with photoexpert. I personally like the site the way it is now. I don’t always comment because I usually get here after someone has said what I would say, but I’ve been reading this site since the beginning and I see nothing wrong with it.

  9. korollocke responds:

    Just don’t get all sensationalistic, and everything will be great. As far as merch how about a retro style vinyl figure set of Loren and bigfoot? Not joking this would be pretty cool.

  10. forsakenfuture responds:

    I belong to two different forums that you can pay for. One is a once in a life time fee of 10 dollars to access the forums, the other is 25 dollars a year. The 25 dollars a year one you don’t have to pay it but some consider free loading if you don’t pay it because of all the technical info you can get off of it. On here I wouldn’t mind a one time fee of 10-20 dollars or such for a life time membership.

  11. maxsideburn responds:

    Call me crazy but does it really cost that much to run Cryptomundo??

    I mean I have a blog, it costs me $2.45 a month to host it (2mhost.com), and that’s pretty much the only expense.

    Please don’t take my comment as a criticism, quite the opposite, I’m concerned that Cryptomundo is paying way too much for hosting and that it may be the eventual downfall of the site.

  12. Daedalus responds:

    I vote for the donation drive when you need money, reason for this is I am disabled and I go now a few days with out eating at the end of the month. It is just about all I can do to just pay to stay online as it is, and an other payment will push me over the boundary.

    I have already had to leave other sites as they have done the same.

    So if at all possible try to go for the Drives as I can sometimes find money for that ,but I can not go for another payment as it is now.

    I know this is not the fault of anyone here, but I am sure that there are others just like me who like this site but who cannot afford any more monthly payments! And with the economy as it is I can not find the extra work like I used to that I supplemented my Web site payments so I could be apart of all of this.

    Anyway I do not post much as most say what I would have said, but I do hope we can come up with a way that the site can be kept up so all can enjoy what we like, and this site I like.

  13. DWA responds:

    I think there’s too much here about marginal players and not enough about the evidentiary basis for crypitds.

    And contrary to what seems to be popular belief, there’s a lot of evidence.

    I’d like to see that discussed more than the latest nut trying to cash in on crypto.

    Much could be put up here about the observations and theories of such as Meldrum; Swindler; Shackley; Schaller; Krantz; Green; Alley et al.

    Of course, keep posting about the real-life discoveries going on every day.

  14. BoyintheMachine responds:

    Premium members should each get a decoder ring! :)

    Other good ideas:

    A membership card

    Access to features unavailable to non-premium members such as special interviews with experts in the field, access to videos on your site, and a chat room in which you and others in the field appear to answer any questions and meet-and-greet with members.

    A t-shirt!!!!!!

    A discount at your online store when you get it up and running!!!

  15. TheForthcoming responds:

    Good Luck Loren and Co.!!

    I support you guys with whatever you decide and this is one of the best websites on the internet.

    Godspeed.

    :)

  16. mikfoss responds:

    I would pay a small fee for a virtual tour of the ICM, as I live in AZ and it isn’t likely I’ll get a chance to stop by anytime soon. Also I would buy some cryptomundo shirts and hats to help support the cause as well.

  17. skeptik responds:

    Don’t lock out your readers.
    Premium content has never paid off. The only viable online premium content services are some scientific journals and university papers, but its main contents are mostly re-published in other non-premium pages instants later..

    Check out the news.google.com cases. Ridiculous.

  18. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    I am one of those readers that do not comment often but I have been an avid reader of this site for a few years now. Lunch time at work would not be the same without good ole cryptomundo. I agree with many of the ideas listed here but I am with photoExpert on this one. If the site stayed the same I would gladly pay a few bucks a month to keep it from going away. This is THE only site like it out there. Cryptomundo is in a class by itself not only for the content but for the readers’ comments as well. In my opinion this in itself is premium content. Keep us all posted. I think we can keep gem going for quite some time. Oh and thanks to the folks that donated!!

  19. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Premium members should get a TANGIBLE item, like a signed copy of one of Loren’s books, a Cryptomundo t-shirt or a keychain.

    Or maybe a special vinyl figurine? There are a lot of creative independent toy makers who might be happy to produce special products for Cryptomundo.

    Any other ‘exclusive’ content that is in digital form will slowly find its way into public forums. That’s just the way it is.

    PS: Platinum members should get genuine Bigfoot hair! Or at least, one of those cool Bigfoot statues that drive women crazy —you know the ones ;)

  20. tropicalwolf responds:

    Swag & merchandise = buy…
    Paid content = by…

  21. springheeledjack responds:

    All of these ideas are good. I think adding a newsletter would be good…selling shirts, merchandise is always a good thing. And I think an annual or semi-annual fundraiser can help things too. This is a community and I think we need to support our community, financially because the dollars are not there to keep sites like this going.

    Personally, I’d be willing to pay a fee for the site in some way, though I think you need to be careful because it’s a detriment to getting new readers and posters for the site which is how we keep cryptozoology strong.

    And I think the content is basically okay…I like the addition of guest bloggers like MM. I’m not real hip on the articles that only have to do with peripheral tie ins like the “movies” and horror monster stuff. While I enjoy those things, I don’t think this is the forum for it.

    I would love to see a lot more personal bios and interviews here with other researchers…people from the BFRO, Meldrum, and anyone else who’s into the crypto world…especially those in the hunt for USO’s. Give those people a forum and a chance to keep us updated on the latest hunts, excursions and plans for the future.

    Also you can give groups a chance to advertise here with banners, and maybe spotlight crytpid groups around the nation and world…information breeds support, and our cause needs all the help it can get.

    Personally, I am thankful for this site and I visit here more than any other. We’ve had some great posts, discussions and all kinds of interesting topics.

    Alright, I’m off to support the place…

  22. zobo1942 responds:

    How about a quarterly ebook (pdf, or .epub) summarizing the site news and any developments? That could be offered for sale for $4 or $5 which could be used to help support the site. Also, people that purchased the book would have a handy reference.

  23. DWA responds:

    Another thing this site could do much more of is “debunking” the frames of mind that have relegated crypto to the fringe.

    I have said often here that scientists seem to forget their science – to forget even that they are scientists – when the sasquatch and yeti are the topic. The literature is ripe with mainstream quotes that richly illustrate this failing. How about putting those up for discussion?

    I understand that the institutional-skeptic community tries to engage children, in print and online, to teach them the institutional brand of skepticism. If what I read of institutional skepticism – at least as it addresses crypto – is any guide, they are not teaching properly critical thinking. This site could teach that. The proper approach to cryptozoology is the exact same approach science applies to everything else under its purview. But that doesn’t seem to be clearly understood. (Most especially by scientists. Including some who are actually open-minded on cryptids.)

    Making that understood? NOW you’re talking premium content.

    Examples? Sure. The skeptical reviews of Meldrum’s “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” and the Eugenie Scott/sasquatch blogs are great opportunities for those of us who understand the plausibility of marquee cryptids to educate those – very prominently scientists like Daegling and Scott – who don’t. Meldrum’s book actually responds to pseudo-skeptical attitudes extremely well. Discussions of passages from thoughtful, science-based work like his are a great way to illustrate the scientific approach to studying cryptids.

    More of that stuff, please.

  24. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    Your site is just fine the way it is, Loren.
    And I agree with you on the fact that you are male.
    Too bad, but then—we can’t ALL be perfect.

  25. wuffing responds:

    As this thread is turning into a “what I like and what I don’t and what I’d like to see added” I’ll offer my 2c worth.

    I like the “crypto evidence” stories, like Olsen, Greene and similar where there is real material to study and measure and reason with. Readers can contribute something to threads like these.

    I’m not interested in monster movies, celebrities, or tee-shirts.

    I dislike the way half the screen is given to ads for slimming scams and hate the talking ads for dishwasher cleaners – I think these are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    I dislike the way contributors email addresses are hidden, preventing them communicating with each other, and I think the “posting guidelines” are too restrictive.

    I think that one possible route to financial security with such a high cost service provider is for the webmaster to consider selling E-versions of the more recent crypto books by authors like Radford, Kirk, the Colemans, and other more scientific analyses in collaboration with the publishers on a percentage basis.

    “Premium Content” in this field is probably limited to the P/G and Dinsdale Films, and as max-res versions of these are unavailable and everything else is there for free the idea is probably a non-starter.

    It is obvious that serious changes are needed if the site is to survive – which I hope it does – and I offer these suggestions in that spirit. You need to offer something which other sites do not, and e-books might be the answer.

  26. slappy responds:

    i have disabled my adblocker for cryptomundo and now spend a little time on each visit clicking through a whole bunch of ads. I hope this helps.

  27. jerrywayne responds:

    Cryptomundo is here for our edification and entertainment. It seems unfair for Mr. Woolheater to be the only one footing the bill. Perhaps a fund drive a few times a year will help defray the costs of operating the site. Such a drive might bring smirks to some, but I would bet it would increase a sense of loyalty among others.

    I would like to see more posts that challenge us to think about issues surrounding cryptozoology. For instance this posting: “What do you consider the single most intriguing piece of crypto evidence?” (Note “intriguing” and not “compelling”). Or “Are eyewitness reports always trustworthy? What about the latest studies in eyewitness testimonies?” “Are the classic Nessie photos still compelling all these years later?” “Can the chupacobra phenomena be explained better by social science rather than biology?” “Which anomalous ape phenomena seems most innately plausible; which has the best evidence?”

    I agree partly with mi amigo DWA’s ideas about commenting on various arguments put forth by trained scientists concerning cryptids. I suggest we not restrict such analysis to skeptical scientific points of view, however, lest we engage in mere “skeptic bashing”. We should include arguments made by cryptid advocates such as Dr. Meldrum as well.

  28. springheeledjack responds:

    DWA,

    I like that idea too. Cryptomundo is a perfect place to teach–new cryptos, young, old, and how to objectively look at evidence and make a judgement based on the facts available.

    Here, we should be encouraging people to get interested in cryptozoology, but also being a role model in how to investigate, how to examine, and how to evaluate pictures, movies, hair, sightings, etc.

    That will make us stronger as a community, using science and processes as our tools to sift through all of the sightings, hoaxes and evidence that comes our way–make all of us more savvy when it comes to sniffing out the hoaxes when they surface.

  29. springheeledjack responds:

    Adding an addendum…and being redundant…

    To give fair due, Loren has done a lot of this–throwing pictures at us and letting the populace debate and take things apart. I appreciate that, because it shows us how to be discerning in what we’re looking at, and in the past, it has shown how many ways people can interpret data (I was thinking of the supposed “thunderbird” over the Wal-mart parking lot pic in particular).

    However, I think we can take that another step and take apart the process of coming to a conclusion and spelling out the proper methods to examine and “See” what’s really there.

  30. Mandigo responds:

    Long time reader, I comment very infrequently – as many others have said, someone else always seems to comment reflecting my view.

    Can’t find the original post from Craig about funding issues with Cryptomundo – I understand some responses were negative about some of the more recent changes to Cryptomundo (movie monsters / reviews / T-shirts etc.). Similar views are also expressed above, and I agree with this feedback.

    It is clear from the above that many view this site as Loren’s, but recently that has become less true (if it ever was).

    I have to say it is the ‘critical thinking’ (to quote a recent post) that Loren brought, along with a lack of sensationalism / drum beating, which first hooked me to this site.

    Recently some of the guest blogging has been the opposite of the above approach, and it is worrying – I can almost see a spat developing between Loren and some of the guest bloggers in question.

    I should say, however, that the archive pieces courtesy of Jerome Clarke are excellent and should perhaps be introduced as a weekly / bi-weekly treat if possible.

    My view is premium content would have turned me off when I first came across Cryptomundo, and we need to grow awareness, not hide the best stuff in a shiny box.

    I think that there are lots of merchandising opportunities that could close the funding gap, and sell through may also be very lucrative (the Cryptomundo / Loren seal of approval on a model / footcast etc. would certainly reassure me of quality).

    A yearly funding drive would also raise funds; from postings on the topic I believe the ICM received reasonable results from a similar drive.

    All in all Cryptomundo is currently best in class, and therefore extremely well positioned for, what seems to me, to be a burgeoning interest in the Cryptozoological.

  31. DWA responds:

    jerrywayne: actually we’re in complete agreement.

    I did include the skeptical reviews of Meldrum as examples of the kind of discussion I’m talking about. In fact, it probably doesn’t matter which way you start; we always seem to have the whole spectrum of opinion show up, whether we’re analyzing skeptic or proponent. And every opinion stated here is prima facie subject to critical response.

    That said, I think that the main reason we haven’t confirmed, say, the sasquatch and the yeti is that skeptical takes on their existence go largely unchallenged; and most of those I’ve read are more than ripe for challenge, simply by presenting the evidence.

    Really, it’s difficult to challenge a true skeptic, other than by presenting the evidence. Because a true skeptic questions with an open mind. The things that need to be challenged – and parsed by critical thinkers – are the screeds of scoftics on the one hand and true believers on the other, neither of which have a true place in the debate because neither is truly debating.

    (And both of which seem to come all too often from folks who should know better.)

    I didn’t include in my previous post the discussions of bigfoot-habituation accounts. They are, perusal suggests, excellent places to develop critical thinking habits.

  32. Desert Dave responds:

    I enjoy the cryptomundo site although I do not comment often. As a member and writer on other forums i.e. photographic there are some suggestions.

    It has been mentioned to feature the art work of artist participating on the forum. A gallery would be a nice idea. Percentage of sales could go to site management and the major contributors who keep Cryptomundo alive.

    Crypto Collectibles for sale or trade or discussion forum with gallery.

    A system enabling forum members to more easily communicate with each other.

    The best model of this type of forum that I am familiar with is APUG.

    On Cryptomundo I especially appreciate the substantial contributions of Loren Coleman. He writes not only with a good sense of humor but displays the knowledge, skills and ability to put the subject matter in the perspective light of verifiable academic research.

  33. BunniesLair responds:

    I will be honest, I thought this site was Loren’s, until a few weeks ago when the format seemingly changed, and I lost interest.

    I wondered why the format changed. I figured that Loren had his hands full with the Museum. But it nagged at me, because I really love this site. It is one of only 2 blogs I visit regularly. So I dug around in the fine print and noticed Loren was a ‘Contributing Writer’ (I forget the except wording).

    Then I thought, well it is the right of the owner to change his contributing authors if he wants. Who am I to complain? From daily my visits trickled down eventually to once every week or so.

    I happened to come on the Mr. Mike thing at the tail end. I honestly didn’t feel like going back and reading it, because a lot of the posters had already expressed displeasure, I saw it as not worth my time.

    I do have a point, just bear with me please.

    1. I noticed another comment that said “Ms. Lee has taken down her post”, and it sorta hit me, that my main irk about Cryptomundo is that I found it hard to put posts together. If I read a post, and something in it triggered my memory and I wanted to re-read a previous post, it was hard for me to find it.

    2. Then I noticed ‘comments’ closed. Done I am sure so things did not escalate and become an insulting match. But it reminded me of where else I had seen “comments closed”; it was on a forum on proboards.

    So my suggestion, would be to add a forum to Cryptomundo. Forums have a way of making regular readers and posters become a community or family, if you will. I believe Dave mentioned a forum as well, but I am unfamiliar with Apug.

    With a forum you can have sections dedicated to particular subjects “Newly Discovered Cryptids”, “Mythical Cryptids”, “Discussion on Cryptids”, etc. But you also get a profile of all the members who join and post. Which I would find extremely informative. There are several authors on here that post. their profiles could list the different books or articles they wrote, their particular field of crypto interest, and so on.

    P.S. I liked the idea someone had of merchandise too

  34. debonair responds:

    Instead of t-shirts, would it be worthwhile to sell signed copies of your books?

    I’d be more than willing to pay $50 for a paperback signed by you, knowing that my money is going directly to you and this blog, rather than Amazon.

  35. loopstheloop responds:

    I have to say, I’m not sure you’ve taken the best path here with vulgar flashing banners, and endless auto-play adverts selling cleaning products (from what I’ve seen, I’m not sure where anybody got the idea that people interested in cryptozoology would also be interested in domestic chores).

    I understand the site was in financial peril, but I do think these hasty choices made have been unwise, and do cheapen the site to a large degree. It now seems that ‘doing your bit’ to support the site means putting your computer on mute to make it navigable, instead of simply not coming back.

    Must go- apparently I’m the 1,000,000th visitor to this page, and I’ve won some kind of massive prize!!! Oh joy.

  36. camperwoman responds:

    Chris Muir, who runs and draws the comic website “Day by Day,” announced a couple of years ago that as much as he loved drawing the daily comic, he would have to stop and get a “real” job if we, his fans, didn’t kick in and help out. He figured out a minimum amount, in the range of an annual salary, that he required to be able to live and keep drawing, then had a sponsorship drive lasting about a month. Just like donations for a charity, he offered artwork, mugs, etc., for each level of donation. This was very successful for him, and it is now an annual summer event.

    Check out his web page http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/ as his annual donation drive is going on now. He’s a great guy, and I expect he would be willing to discuss how he arrived at his figures.

  37. geeker responds:

    okay.
    i have been coming here for years, this has been my favourite crypto site. however, there are things that i do think can be improved on. organization. like areas where you could specifically put old new paper articles… a section for new animals found… another with related articles about cryptozoologists and their work now and in the past..
    another problem i have is 1/2 the time i go to check this site it is unavailable for some reason or another.
    even some contest and prizes would generate more interest.. like a copy of the comic featuring you autographed by you yourself.
    all of these are only suggestions.. whether or not you agree or take them i will always return to cryptomundo because it is one of my top ten sights.
    thank you for all the information you have given all of us and keeping us excited about cryptids!

  38. Craig Woolheater responds:

    loopstheloop,

    The audio ads have been blocked from the site so you won’t be audibly assaulted anymore.



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