What Andrew Sullivan and Amanda Palmer have in common: a fanatical devotion to users

Both Andrew Sullivan — the conservative blogger who recently announced that he is going independent — and former Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer are taking the same approach to media: connect with your fans, and then ask for help.

In many ways, conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan and alternative musician Amanda Palmer couldn’t be more different: the former writes about the Obama administration and the intricacies of U.S. foreign policy, while the latter is the former lead singer of a punk band called The Dresden Dolls and sports hand-painted eyebrows, among other things. Their approach to their respective businesses, however — in both cases a very personal form of publishing — are similar in one crucial way: they succeed or fail based on how well they connect with and serve their fans. Is this the future of media?

Just a few weeks ago, Sullivan announced that he was severing his relationship with The Daily Beast and launching a standalone website, and asked for reader support in the form of a $19.99-per-year subscription. In just a matter of days, Sullivan managed to raise more than $300,000 and said recently that he has a total of almost $500,000 now — and that more than half of those who contributed to his campaign paid more than they had to (one anonymous subscriber contributed $10,000).

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