Interview: Dublab's Proton Drive: "Get On The Mic And Ask People To Donate!"

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Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 12:03 PM
click to enlarge labrats unite! - COURTESY DUBLAB
  • courtesy dublab
  • labrats unite!
L.A.'s beloved nonprofit web radio station dublab is celebrating their 11th year of existence, and needs your support! Their bi-annual Sounds of Symmetry Proton Drive fundraiser is well underway, but you've still got til the 19th to tune in and donate. Give a Proton Grant to help keep dublab running, and receive fantastic Flash Packs from Finders Keepers, Ace Hotel, Ubiquity, Poketo, Manimal, Not Not Fun, Cinefamily, Downtown Independent, LACMA, Machine Project, and tons more. In the next few days, the Proton Drive dubstream will broadcast sets by frosty, Ale, Boss Harmony, matthewdavid, Take, Teebs, Holloway, Turquoise Wisdom, Nosaj Thing, Lucky Dragons, Nanny Cantaloupe and more before closing out with a 24 hour "No Sleep Session" Marathon from noon on the 18th to noon on the 19th. Check out the full schedule and donate!

How's the Proton Drive going? How does it compare to previous years, and have you changed anything in terms of strategy?

Alejandro Cohen (treasurer): The Proton Drive is going well! Listeners are donating, so many dublab DJs are coming by to play music, amd we have lots of amazing live performances. All drives are similar in nature and usually don't vary much from one to the other. But the prizes we offer for the donations are always super interesting and exciting. One thing we love is that our audience seems to be ever expanding--we not only see the same supporters that donate over and over, but also new people that just discovered us a month ago. Throughout the years we've gotten better at knowing what works and what doesn't, but that's more in regards to scheduling, length and organization. Besides that, the strategy is pretty simple: we get on the mic and ask people to donate to dublab! Without listener support, we cannot exist.

How'd you put together so many amazing prize packs? What's your favorite prize pack? Which is the most popular?

That is one of the biggest challenges. Twice a year we scratch our heads and think what are we going to do this time around? It always ends up working out. We like to offer prizes that are one of a kind, fun and also connect with the listeners. We are also very fortunate on having a very very supportive community of companies and organizations that are willing to partner up with us to create some of these prizes. My favorite one would be the current one for the $100+ level, which is the dublab Tonalism Playbutton compilation. Playbutton is a new format to release music on and we are the very first ones to ever do it. I think the one prize people always ask about are T-shirts--we used to do them every year, but we decided to switch it for a while to new things.

Have you noticed that people donate more during a particular DJs set? Or during the live broadcast at the Crosby?

Yes, definitely. I think is directly related to how often you get on the microphone and how you ask listeners. It's not constant in regards to the same person; it varies all the time. Sometimes during live broadcasts at remote locations people do donate more--it has that extra feel of excitement.

What kind of donations are people most willing to give this year? Straight cash, prize packs, matching gifts, Amazon wishlist purchases ... ?

This time around there's the same number of people donating--or more!--but I did notice the amounts tend to be smaller. I think everyone is being careful these days, which I totally relate to. Here at dublab we are happy to just get donations regardless of the amount. That shows us that people want us to be around and want dublab to continue. The bulk of the donations are via Paypal, but this time around one person already bought us some of the items from the Amazon wish list. Another new way for donating is via the Flash Packs--you can check them here.

Are there any other ways people can help and support Dublab?

YES! If you have a business that can donate some office supplies, studio equipment, cables, microphones or that sort of thing--that always helps. If you have a computer you are not using anymore, send it to us or bring it over--we will count your donation for the equivalent in value. Also if you donated already, check with your employer--he or she may be able to match your donation. And please remember, your donation is always TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

Visit, listen to and donate to dublab at dublab.com.

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