Thanks to your speedy and generous responses, we’ve met our first four targets: funding for more IT improvements and essentials; travel and site coverage expenses for meetups and conferences; and bonuses to site writers like Lambert, Jerri-Lynn Scofield, and Outis, and funding to support the comments section.
We are humbled by the way many people have given us small donations even though they have limited budgets. So that is a reminder to those of you who are better off to dig deep if you are having a good year and can give generously. Please give now at our Tip Jar if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, by check, credit or debit card, or PayPal.
And remember, if you aren’t in a position to chip in financially, you can help by sharing what you’ve learned here with the people you know.
As you have probably learned from Links, Water Cooler, reader comments, and visits to other sites, smaller sites and even the mainstream media is under attack. Google and Facebook get 63% of all targeted online ads. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all been expunging sites and individuals that are deemed to be too far from the orthodoxy. Google has also been downranking smaller sites. We took a big traffic hit from their “Panda” algo change in 2014, which hurt sites that did aggregation like our daily Links (which competes with Google News and Google searches). In 2017, Google again changed its search parameters to favor more “authoritative” sites, meaning mainstream media over smaller sites. Readers who use European search engines, which are required to be neutral, find that Naked Capitalism will show up well on the first page of certain searches, while it is relegated to the netherlands on Google. On April 26 of this year, Google again changed its algo and it hurt the search traffic of many left-leaning sites, with WSWS, Counterpunch, and The Intercept showing big declines.
Thanks to the loyalty of our readership, our overall traffic has held steady this year, even in July and August when it generally falls all over the Web. But that means if Google weren’t hostile to us, we’d almost certainly be showing strong growth in pageviews.
So we’d like you to help us engage in more offense and defense to keep Naked Capitalism an important destination and therefore an effective voice. Yves’ New York Magazine articles should help raise awareness of the site, but NC needs to be more pro-active. Like Nero Wolfe, Yves is loath to leave the house for business, mainly for needing to run the site. As a result, she regularly turns down invites to meet from allies and influencers like fellow journalists and activists. While sessions like this seldom pay off in the short term, have a wide web of fellow travelers is clearly a plus over the long haul. But even going out for a drink means Yves needs to arrange for someone else to fill in for her.
A second area of both offense and defense is using attorneys. Although we can’t prove it, we thinks our CalPERS and private equity work has helped NC’s profile with other journalists, and may have stemmed a further decline in our Google status (although we were already getting so little traffic from Google that is an open question). There are stories we have been unable to pursue further because se’ve been stymied on Public Records Act requests. Nastygrams (where we’ve sometimes funded having influential parties in California send them in) will shake more documents loose, but even when we’ve done drafting to reduce costs, a couple of rounds of letters, which also winds up including an initial briefing of the lawyer and his reading some background to get up to speed, has cost $2000+.
Similarly, we’ve also had to spend legal dollars on the defense. For instance, just in the last two month, Adam Ashton of the Sacramento Bee sent a prosecutorial line of questioning on which he sought comment. He clearly intended to depict Yves as a paid political operative, which is completely false. We had to confer with our attorney and write a couple of long and firm e-mails to the McClatchy regional editor explaining why the approach Ashton was taking looked defamatory.
Given the time that elapsed between our missives and when the piece finally came out, and its fairly ho-hum conclusions suggests that the saber-rattling was a prudent move. As one reporter said via e-mail,
They don’t like your style, so they circle the wagons against you? You’re not from California, so why should you care about a $360-billion pension fund that invests in securities from all over the world? You’ve been in touch with board members? Hoo boy.
In other words, what was intended to be a hit piece came out as a damp squib.
There are multiple ways to give. The first is here on the blog, the Tip Jar, which takes you to PayPal. There you can use a debit card, a credit card or a PayPal account (the charge will be in the name of Aurora Advisors).
You can also send a check (or multiple post dated checks, if you want to spread out payments) in the name of Aurora Advisors Incorporated to
Aurora Advisors Incorporated
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Please also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) so we can count your contribution in the total number of donations.
Our target for these additional resources is $10,000. We are already $1450 towards that goal. Please give generously!
It really stinks that you have to fight off libelous smears. On the other hand, it shows that you hit a nerve.