Thanks to the speedy responses of over 570 members of the Naked Capitalism community, we’ve met our first target, a critical budget for site improvements and IT infrastructure support, and the second, funding for meetups, travel, and related site coverage, even faster than we did last year! We are already nearly $1000 toward our third goal, supporting the comments section.
Your donations demonstrate that you value this community and want a better debate and a better society. You are investing to have us do more to make Naked Capitalism an even more effective voice for you. If you haven’t had time to give yet, please visit our Tip Jar to support our efforts. Whatever you can give, whether $10 or $1000, helps us provide you with your daily diet of incisive commentary, analysis, news, and cute animal pictures, as well as a place to hang out with the like-minded.
And speaking of the like-minded…..
Two years ago was the first time we made support for the comments section a fundraising goal and it has paid off. We brought in Outis and later Jules and crittermom. The result has been not just that comments are liberated more quickly, but comments jockeys play an essential role in adjudicating cases, which are typically discussed among all of the site admins (Lambert, Jules, me, and on some posts, Clive). They also graciously correct typos and errors in links.
So we hope you won’t just give them a round of applause, but will also keep funding this critical task. As a result of more open conflict in the press and all across social media thanks to Trump along with with growing economic and social rifts, it’s taken even more work to keep Naked Capitalism an oasis of sanity in a media environment where pushing hot buttons is the sport of the day.
As reader Timotheus said:
I feel close to the NC community, which is a rare thing in this cyberworld.
So if you are a fan of the comments at Naked Capitalism, feel free to skip the rest of this post, go straight to the Tip Jar which tell you how to give by check, credit or debit card. Contribute to maintaining intellectually stimulating, vigorous, informative, and often witty debates among members of the commentariat
Managing comments has always come at a cost. Historically, Lambert and I handled them at the expense of other activities. The fact that we try to be as light-touch about it as possible doesn’t change the fact that it takes real effort. That does not mean just managing the moderation queue, setting up and tweaking the various rules (that sometimes, as you also know too well, operate in a Skynet-like manner, despite our best intent). That also means reading the comments, often multiple times a day, and wading in as necessary, sometimes to de-escalate fights, sometimes to act as referees on argumentation strategies, sometimes to clear up benign- or malign-looking mischaracterizations of what the posts or readers said.
We also spend more time than you think in dealing with borderline comments. We often discuss those decisions together, and review a commenter’s history to see if he/she is just having an off day, or whether the comment under consideration is part of a not-good pattern that we’d missed, or for which we cut undue slack. And that’s before we get to trolling and non-organic drive-bys. (Skynet catches most bots, fortunately.)
This oversight cumulatively takes a lot of time but is a critical investment, since it helps keep the comments at a generally high level. Our efforts also help assure readers that they can express their views and supply important information as long as they adhere to guidelines meant to encourage not just communication but high standards of accuracy and rigor.
In what is often a fog of incomplete, mis-, and dis-information, the commentariat plays a crucial role in vetting what is presented as fact and testing the logic of arguments, including those of posts (as readers hopefully know, we work hard to be accurate and timely, but even we sometimes get it wrong and welcome corrections or additional information that fills in gaps in stories).
The proof of the success of this approach is that we have a real community at Naked Capitalism where many voices can and do express themselves, despite the widely-recognized deterioration of quality of discourse across the Web. Naked Capitalism is even cited in journalism courses as an example of the sort of engaged audience that major media outlets think they want to have (and which they could have, if they’d stop toeing the line of important advertisers and elite interests). So to support these efforts, please give now. Whether it’s $5, $50, or $5000, all help meet our goals.
Mind you, some of what you give will go for Jules in this past year, who started as a volunteer but has been putting in way too many hours for that to be a fair arrangement. We’d also like to bring in a second person again (crittermom had a major operation that went well, a big move too, and is now so busy with the demands of her life that having her moderate isn’t realistic). Things have gotten so intense that I’ve also been paying Lambert to do Links more often than in the past.
We have set a target of $17,500 which frankly only partly covers the cost of comments moderation. So please do your part and chip in pronto! The Tip Jar tells you how to give by check, credit or debit card. And if you do send a check, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Check is in the mail” in the subject line so we can include it in our running tally.
Again, please invest in the commentariat! This goal is for all of us!