Thanks to our generous readers for making Naked Capitalism a priory despite the distractions of a back to school/back from holiday week! Thanks to the boost from the Tremendous Trio “Double Your Donations” challenge, we accelerated though our first goal and are now over $6,000 towards our second, of investing in the comments section.. Because we met our target at an off hour, Lambert has not been able to swap the thermometer to the new goal.
We are also 279 donations towards the fundraiser target of 1100 donors.
Your donations demonstrate that you value this community and want a better debate and a better society and are game to invest 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 dose of sharp commentary, analysis, news, and cute animal pictures, as well as a place to kibbitz with the like-minded.
However, your humble blogger must introduce a note of realism. We aren’t clipping through our goals at the same pace as in past years. The average donation amount is at a good level, but the number has been running slower than normal. It may be in part due to starting over Labor Day weekend….although we did so last year with a slight slackening of our usual pace. Maybe readers this year found our foundational first goal of infrastructure to be unmotivating. Perhaps many of you are having “back to fall” demands. Or maybe it’s Mercury retrograde, as Lambert keeps saying.1
In 2021, we made a big addition to Naked Capitalism’s services out of the “commentariat” budget, that of our monthly newsletter. As much as we like having you come here every day, we know you have important real world lives and ever if you keen about the site, might take some time off from us. So please take your hats off to moderator katiebird, who is also the major domo of the monthly newsletter.
Readers have been kind messages. From Eric:
Thank you Yves and all,
Naked Capitalism is the first thing I go to in the morning.
So much goodness there I just can’t read it all!
Love the Commentariat!
NC is an everyday read for me.
A big part of my life.
Thanks for your work.
And “dave — just dave”:
with best wishes in the neverending quest for truth, justice, and humane ways to treat people and the planet
And speaking of the like-minded…..
Thanks to Jules Dickson’s, katibird’s, and semperlocuitur’s heavy lifting, comments are freed faster than in the past. But the moderators also play an essential role in adjudicating cases, which are typically discussed among all of the site admins (as in with Lambert and me). You can also see that they clean up broken links that readers have flagged and sometimes intercedes in comments. Katiebird maintains a spreadsheet of who is in various doghouses and why, which is extremely helpful when we reconsider cases.
As a result of the seeming endless rise in bad manners and heated tempers across the Web, it’s taken more work to keep Naked Capitalism an oasis of sanity and civility in a media desert where turning the conflict heat even higher is seen as a path to profits. We’re thus hoping to add another comments jockey soon, so we very much appreciate your financial support to make that happen
So if you appreciate the value of 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. Promote stimulating, vigorous, informative, and often witty debates among members of the commentariat
Managing comments has always come at a cost. Lambert and I once took care of the process 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. If anything, the cost has been rising because we’ve had to impose even more mod rules, given how stressed many people are now, which sadly means more comments go into moderation. So getting to them quickly is even more important than ever.
Managing comments does not mean just handling 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. 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.
The proof of the success of this approach is the fact 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.
We have set a target of $21,000 which frankly only partly covers the total cost of comments moderation and the newsletter. 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 email@example.com 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!
1 A contact who does this sort of thing for a living pooh poohs the fashion magazine party line that everything that starts on a Mercury retrograde will have problems. He agrees that Mercury retrogrades have more potential for mishap and you have to be careful about the particulars of timing and recheck detail work.