'Lo again, Elsha here, hoping to get her article published...
About the Why-Passes. I've heard why their good and I've heard why their bad, but what I haven't heard are the excuses. I only hear, "I don't have a Why-Pass, I think they're stoopid!" Why would anyone just say that? I mean, sure, we all don't have a Why-Pass and we all want one, but that doesn't cut it.
My parents are overprotective of me. They barely agreed to me chatting at all for like a month, and then I convinced them that Whyville was different and they have tools for blocking the people who make me feel uncomfortable. So they let me on Whyville. Now, though, I can never get on without a Pass, so what's the use? I asked and begged and bribed for a Why-Pass, I even said that I'd buy one myself. But they said it was a scam. That Whyville was only taking our money and (takes a big breath) spends it on themselves. I know, what a lie! But my parents are convinced. They will not let me have a Why-Pass at all.
Maybe Whyville could let people like me get their parents to e-mail Whyville staff, and tell them their problems with spending money to someone they don't know. Then Whyville could do something about it, and maybe even convince my parents to let me have one.
This is Elsha, wishing her heart out
Editor's Note: Thank you for your kind wishes, Elsha.
I wish I knew the magic words. The incantation to make clear to everyone just how much Whyville needs and deserves your support. I wish I could show everything to anyone who doubts.
I would show you our office -- a rented room, without useable computers or desks or office materials, just a table, a whiteboard, a phone and a fax machine. That's it. Everybody works from home, because we have to. We don't even own our servers; we rent them from a "server farm" across the country from us.
I would show you how little money would keep Whyville afloat for a whole year -- in comparison, I have a friend who works for a *small* aerospace company that goes through that much money in one MONTH.
I would show you the list of big-name companies who don't want to invest in us because they're scared of children chatting on the internet. I kid you not. They're scared of you.
I would show you our ONE artist: show you how she works weekends, how she worries over details in spite of looming deadlines, how excited she gets when she hears even the slightest compliment, the smallest word of encouragement from YOU, the citizens of Whyville.
I'd show you the bike that one worker uses to get to our staff meetings -- he can't afford a car with what we pay him. I'd show you the family (with the cutest toddler in the world) whose mortgage payments rely on an uncertain "contract" salary. I'd show you the hardest working businessman you've ever met, who gave so much of himself to keep Whyville alive that he burned out and had to leave -- and I'd show you how much we all miss him.
And then, then I'd show you the employee -- the heart and soul of this company -- who was still trying to get to our staff meeting, right up until the doctors sent her to the hospital -- her baby was coming, but she was still thinking of Whyville. The very next day, she was sending us all email about the next task list....
Tell your parents I'm sorry they think we're trying to rip you off. I'm sorry that anyone can't see the dedication, persistence, and passion of the incredible folks that I work with. I'm sorry that we live in a world where your parents have to expect a scam -- and I'm sorry that I don't and can't blame them for doubting us.
For those who don't see how Why-Passes will expand Whyville, check out Zoey100's Too Many Why-Passes? For those who don't understand why a website has to charge money at all, I encourage you to read City Hall's article, History of the Why-Pass. And for any parents who need to hear a human voice explain our situation, they can call us at (626) 568-3385. Most of the time, they'll get an answering service -- as I've said, we can't afford an office of our own -- but we'll do our best to get back to them as soon as possible.
Thanks for understanding, everyone.