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I’m really excited to announce that I’ve been invited to write at Beacon, an innovative website which crowd-sources funding to support reporting by freelance writers (like me!). The idea is simple. Readers pay $5 a month to fund a writer on Beacon; in exchange, you get access to the writer’s work and every other story by every other writer on Beacon. It’s like Netflix, but for writing. I think it’s a great idea, and I’m really excited to be a part of it, but I need your help to make it happen.

My project launched today, but for it to get the green light I need to reach 25 subscribers in the next two weeks. If you want to see more of my writing and can spare $5 a month to support it, consider signing up. In addition to the monthly subscription, you can sign up for six months, a year, or two years. I’ve committed to producing at least two stories a month for Beacon, but I’m aiming to post weekly, if I can. So for just the price of a sandwich, you’ll get several articles from me each month, as well as lots of other great writing from around the world, covering everything from politics to LGBT issues to sports. It’s a great deal.

The other way you can help out is by spreading the word. Use the social media buttons on my Beacon project page or this blog post to share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or anywhere else you hang out. Email the link to friends who might be interested. Anything you can do to build momentum will help!

So what will I be covering on Beacon? I’ll write about all of the amazing creatures that share this planet with us and the weird, wonderful, and incredible things they do! I want to broaden our horizons a bit by making people more aware of the fantastic fruits of billions of years of evolution on Earth. I’m hope that by telling the stories of some of Earth’s other inhabitants, I can help change our view of the planet.

Don’t worry about Inspiring Science; nothing will change here. I’m really grateful for the encouragement, feedback, and interest I’ve gotten from all of you over the last couple of years, and I’ll keep writing here — hopefully even more frequently, if this full-time freelancing thing works out. Everything I post here will still be available for free and under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND) license. If you do want to support my writing, though, the best way to do that at the moment is to fund my Beacon project.

This is the first time I’ve tried anything like this, so I hope it works out. I genuinely believe that projects like Beacon are the way forward in publishing and communication; they connect writers and readers directly, give you great value for your money, and help build an actual community. I’m excited to be a part of that future, and to build it together with you!

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