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World enough and time

21 May 2007

When I started “The Mex Files” back in 2002, it was more or less for my own, and a few friends and relatives’, amusement. I started to take it seriously about a year ago, when I was at loose ends — and dead broke –after returning from Mexico to try and (unsuccessfully) revive a FUBAR avocado exporting deal.

I had to do something, and the Mex Files was something worth doing. I was hired, based on the blog as it was then (and a damn good resume, if I say so myself), to edit a bi-lingual, on-line publication in the very sparsely populated Texas Big Bend country.

I can’t go into the details (there’s still pending litigation and all that), but things just didn’t quite work out. It wasn’t funny being left high and dry and broke, but there was some comic relief when the publisher threatened to sue me for writing the the Mex Files, claiming it was a competitor. My lawyer laughed at her.

Most of what’s published isn’t even of much interest (unless you’re fascinated by small town political gossip) and as to the Mexican coverage, I think the reporter’s name is Babelfish Altavista:

Manuel Benavides, Chih.- It is gratifying for the government to keep their word because thus recovers the credibility of the population in its authorities and in their own governmental task, affirmed the governor Jos? Kings Baeza Terraces at the inauguration of the highway that now connects the northern Mexican village of Manuel Benavides with the border town of Ojinaga on Wednesday 25 of April.

(Translation of the translation: Chihuahua Governor Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas inaguarated the promised highway linking Manuel Benavides and Ojinaga on Wednesday, April 25)

It was probably just as well I didn’t stay. Apparently, that publication has either gone belly-up, or just ceased production without a by-your-leave to its readers and advertisers.

On my own, and with some backup from Lyn and Lorena, the Mex Files became a useful small circulation publication. I took up freelancing and writing for a few of our local newspapers to get by, and hoped that donations to the Mex Files would at least let me eat and pay rent.

Even though the Mex Files is pretty good at what it intends to accomplish, and gets a relatively healthy 25 to 30,000 hits a month, I can’t afford it any more. It’s not so much living on beans and tortillas, as having to hope the overdraft charges are caught up before the supermarket cashes the checks for the beans and tortillas that bother me.

I’m putting together a project close to what I originally intended out here: a readable bilingual, bi-national regional on-line publication. Right now I’m working on the funding, finding advertisers, writers, etc.

The new publication (name a closely guarded secret until I get the domain registered and the site purchased– obviously, with no connection to the “other” local publication) will be a paid, subscription site for the Big Bend-Coahuila-Chihuahua region.

I’ll still be posting the Mex Files, but I can’t put in 10 or 12 hours of research a day, and write at 2 or 3 in the A.M. (my only excuse for the sometimes glaring editorial errors). I just won’t be posting as much, or as often. If others want to start posting, and find it worthwhile, please let me know.

For those of you out this way, or looking to reach a border market, have I got a deal for you!

I appreciate all the donations the Mex Files received, but there are still have HUGE expenses to cover which still need to be made up, even if the site can’t be updated every day.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 May 2007 10:54 pm

    Rich — sad to no longer check here three times and find three new entries each time, but lots of luck on your new endeavor. I wish you loads of success!

  2. Jerry permalink
    22 May 2007 4:34 am

    I only recently discovered your site. Let me know your ad rates in the new publication.

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