Simon Harris is creating videos, blog posts and books
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Simon Harris - Explaining Catalan Language, History and Culture to the World in English

My name is Simon Harris and though I was born in England, I've lived in Barcelona since 1988. Almost as soon as I arrived I became fascinated by Catalan culture, history and language and was amazed at how little the world knew about this fascinating country.

I wrote my first book, Going Native in Catalonia in 2008, and after I lost my university job due the economic crisis in 2012, I began Barcelonas.com with the idea that I'd be able to make a living from advertising on the site. This hasn't really worked but the more I learn, the more passionate I am about explaining Catalan language, history and culture to the world in English.

I wrote my second book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective in November and started my Catalonia Calling VLog on YouTube in September 2015. In February 2016, along with my colleague Jordi Vilanova, I began presenting the current affairs magazine This Week in Catalonia on the Barcelona English language radio station, BarcelonaCityFM.

Now I'm sure all this sounds very impressive but it quite simply does not make enough money to live on. Very occasionally I give Guided History Tours of Barcelona and if I'm really lucky, every now and again someone employs me to help them buy an apartment in Barcelona for which I earn a commission but the truth that I'm slowly eating into my savings.

Plans for the Future

I have so many projects and plans for the future but, apart carrying doing what I'm already doing, my immediate ones for this summer are two.

Firstly, I have already started work on a Catalonia Day by Day project on Barcelonas.com, which aims to list the main Historical Events in Catalonia as well as Birth and Death Anniversaries of famous Catalans and also the major Festivals and Commemorations. This is quite straightforwarrd and just requires time. I'll be using the Catalan Wikipedia page as my starting point but am also have a contact that did a similar project in Catalan for ElPuntAvui newspaper a few years ago.

Secondly, I want to make Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective into an audio book and also make each of the chapters separately available free of charge as YouTube videos. This will give topics such as Catalan Democratic Traditions, The Nueva Planta Decree, The Rise of Political Catalanism and The Estatut and the Independence Movement a much wider audience. You find a full list of the 26 chapter titles here. Obviously this is quite a big job and I'll probably need to invest in a proper professional microphone in order to make the sound quality as good as possible.

Jordi Vilanova and I plan to record This Week in Catalonia every Wednesday throughout the summer for BarcelonaCityFM and in September we've got a tacit go ahead to start recording a weekly TV show, also called This Week in Catalonia, for one of the major Catalan news websites. They'll be providing the production facilities but Jordi and I need to look for advertising sponsors in order to pay for our time.

In the slightly longer term, I plan to overhaul and redesign the Barcelonas.com website and drastically reduce the amount of advertising. This is a mammoth task and may well require the help of a professional web designer.

What I Know Now

It's 2016 now and although I survive, financially the last four years haven't been at all easy and effectively I'm doing a full-time job for very little in return. I know two things now.

1) I want to go on learning and writing about Catalonia for a long time. The beta test is over. It's starting to work. I have a growing number of readers and fans. I'm obsessed with writing it's the most fun I've ever had doing anything. This should continue for a long time, in some form or another.

2) I need to make my projects self-sustaining for this to work. The "fund myself with savings + odd jobs" plan was fine for Phase 1, but it's not sustainable. My savings are unimpressive. If my blogging, writing, video blogging and radio presenting is going to go on for a long time, it has to be able to support itself.

Thinking about the long-term self-sustaining plan, I've decided I'd prefer not to have use ads. Ads are annoying and hurt the user experience, but in order to phase them out of the site I need your help.

How Can You Help

1) Paypal Donations. I have added a Paypal donation button to every page of the Barcelonas.com website so if you find any of the information useful you can make a small donation using the button below.

2) Patreon Crowdfunding. I have also now created this Patreon crowdfunding campaign. The way Patreon works is a reader can donate whatever they want per month and the donation is recurring each month after that. So anything, from $1/month up, is hugely helpful to the cause.
Goals
$1 – reached! per month
Please donate a dollar a month to help me with my work in general and in return I'll mention your name on the sponsors page I'll create on my website barcelonas.com
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Simon Harris - Explaining Catalan Language, History and Culture to the World in English

My name is Simon Harris and though I was born in England, I've lived in Barcelona since 1988. Almost as soon as I arrived I became fascinated by Catalan culture, history and language and was amazed at how little the world knew about this fascinating country.

I wrote my first book, Going Native in Catalonia in 2008, and after I lost my university job due the economic crisis in 2012, I began Barcelonas.com with the idea that I'd be able to make a living from advertising on the site. This hasn't really worked but the more I learn, the more passionate I am about explaining Catalan language, history and culture to the world in English.

I wrote my second book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective in November and started my Catalonia Calling VLog on YouTube in September 2015. In February 2016, along with my colleague Jordi Vilanova, I began presenting the current affairs magazine This Week in Catalonia on the Barcelona English language radio station, BarcelonaCityFM.

Now I'm sure all this sounds very impressive but it quite simply does not make enough money to live on. Very occasionally I give Guided History Tours of Barcelona and if I'm really lucky, every now and again someone employs me to help them buy an apartment in Barcelona for which I earn a commission but the truth that I'm slowly eating into my savings.

Plans for the Future

I have so many projects and plans for the future but, apart carrying doing what I'm already doing, my immediate ones for this summer are two.

Firstly, I have already started work on a Catalonia Day by Day project on Barcelonas.com, which aims to list the main Historical Events in Catalonia as well as Birth and Death Anniversaries of famous Catalans and also the major Festivals and Commemorations. This is quite straightforwarrd and just requires time. I'll be using the Catalan Wikipedia page as my starting point but am also have a contact that did a similar project in Catalan for ElPuntAvui newspaper a few years ago.

Secondly, I want to make Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective into an audio book and also make each of the chapters separately available free of charge as YouTube videos. This will give topics such as Catalan Democratic Traditions, The Nueva Planta Decree, The Rise of Political Catalanism and The Estatut and the Independence Movement a much wider audience. You find a full list of the 26 chapter titles here. Obviously this is quite a big job and I'll probably need to invest in a proper professional microphone in order to make the sound quality as good as possible.

Jordi Vilanova and I plan to record This Week in Catalonia every Wednesday throughout the summer for BarcelonaCityFM and in September we've got a tacit go ahead to start recording a weekly TV show, also called This Week in Catalonia, for one of the major Catalan news websites. They'll be providing the production facilities but Jordi and I need to look for advertising sponsors in order to pay for our time.

In the slightly longer term, I plan to overhaul and redesign the Barcelonas.com website and drastically reduce the amount of advertising. This is a mammoth task and may well require the help of a professional web designer.

What I Know Now

It's 2016 now and although I survive, financially the last four years haven't been at all easy and effectively I'm doing a full-time job for very little in return. I know two things now.

1) I want to go on learning and writing about Catalonia for a long time. The beta test is over. It's starting to work. I have a growing number of readers and fans. I'm obsessed with writing it's the most fun I've ever had doing anything. This should continue for a long time, in some form or another.

2) I need to make my projects self-sustaining for this to work. The "fund myself with savings + odd jobs" plan was fine for Phase 1, but it's not sustainable. My savings are unimpressive. If my blogging, writing, video blogging and radio presenting is going to go on for a long time, it has to be able to support itself.

Thinking about the long-term self-sustaining plan, I've decided I'd prefer not to have use ads. Ads are annoying and hurt the user experience, but in order to phase them out of the site I need your help.

How Can You Help

1) Paypal Donations. I have added a Paypal donation button to every page of the Barcelonas.com website so if you find any of the information useful you can make a small donation using the button below.

2) Patreon Crowdfunding. I have also now created this Patreon crowdfunding campaign. The way Patreon works is a reader can donate whatever they want per month and the donation is recurring each month after that. So anything, from $1/month up, is hugely helpful to the cause.

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