Seeking Input: Fundraising and the Challenge of Finding New Readers When Google Is Out to Disappear You

Your humble blogger is embarrassingly late to thank all of you for what in the end was a successful fundraiser. You may recall we had to hit the panic button because donations were so far behind where they needed to be that it put our ability to operate in question.

Fortunately, and very gratifyingly, readers rallied, and donations rapidly got back on track. But that recovery came about because many of you gave generously a second, or even a third, time. We would greatly prefer never impose on your generosity this way again!

We don’t want to have to go through, and put supporters through, a roller coaster like that. One of the reasons our donations had been down is that some of our big donors didn’t contribute as much in 2023 (two had made exceptional gifts in 2022; sadly, a very loyal and generous supporter, Sarah Henry, died in 2023). So the short version is that in recent years, while our fundraiser totals were more or less keeping pace with inflation, it was happening by virtue of higher average donations on a smaller total donor numbers. So when some big donations didn’t come in, it has an even bigger impact.

So this is a long-winded way of saying that we need to attract more readers, and hopefully some over time will become contributors. But as most of you also know very well, that’s become vastly harder over the years as Google (and most search engines use Google or Google-like plumbing) has been optimized for shopping, and has also systematically downgraded smaller sites, particularly independent news and commentary sites, in search results. Serendipity on search used to be a source of new readers. No more. And, so far, we have managed to evade the attentions of the Censorship Industrial Complex (save our early dust-up with PropOrNot), but that may not continue.

So what to do? One friend of the site weighed in with a lot of McKinsey-sounding ideas. The problem is even if they’d be beneficial, they’d take time and resources we don’t have, meaning site content and frequency of moderation would become casualties. Or in the words of the philosopher Pink:

L.A. told me, “You’ll be a pop star.

All you have change is everything you are.”

We appreciate that many of you have promoted Naked Capitalism to members of your circle. But not surprisingly, we have been told they are regularly PMC or Dem-adjacent, so uptake has not been great. The problem is our market segment, or if you prefer, tribe, does not fall along demographic lines (demographic segmentations are the norm). Ours is what is called psychographic, so it is genuinely not trivial to find the like-minded.

So here are some of the things we are planning:

Greatly revising newsletter to appeal to broader audience, particularly other writers. Readers who volunteer how they found us say most often from another site, as in a link from the proprietor, like Calculated Risk (back in the day of the sainted Tanta), Barry Ritholtz, or by being on Harry Shearer. We also put out a lot of content across an unusually broad range of topics, so it is easy for sites that are more narrow to miss relevant material from us.

Given that writers who might be (or sometimes have been) interested in our content suffer from the same information overload that we do, it’s easy for them to miss posts of ours that they would deem valuable, we are thinking about going to a weekly, shorter, more easily scanned newsletter. If you have any models you like, in layout and ease of scanning content, please send that on.

Our current newsletter is a friends and family-product, intended to bolster reader loyalty. We need something more frequent, ideally weekly, more professional-looking, and more telegraphic. It would also feature posts and (sadly) not much comments, since most people in our target audience are hoovering up information broadly but not deeply. We have a couple of models we like. If you have any to recommend, please pipe up in comments. Better yet if you have layout expertise and could help (Lambert has a background in print publication and so can do a reasonable job of working off a model, but help with fine-tuning would be very much appreciated).1

Beefing up our mailing list. We have lots of allies who probably would not mind being put on a list (if you are in this business, you wind up on all sorts of publicists’ lists, which once is a great while prove useful). I can go through my address history for previous correspondents, and there are journalists whose are on some of the beats we are on (like private equity) who have public e-mails and therefore should be useful. Given that we are now more international in our coverage, there could be some important non-US writers who should get missives from us. Putting together this sort of list is actually a big task, so if you can send us e-mail addresses of candidates (who have public e-mail addresses), it would help considerably. Please send them, with the subject line “Newsletter e-mails” to yves-at-nakedcapitalism-dot-com.

Producing more book reviews. Readers remark that they sometimes find the news overwhelming and so some broader fare could be stimulating in and of itself as well as provide a break in programming. Of course, these could also be a point of entre for new readers. We could also consider having readers review and comment on classics of various sorts.

Having our tech guru Dave engage in selected fixes to appease the Google gods. We do not do SEO, which we regard as snake oil. But Google sometimes sends missives about what they’d like fixed and we can address that on a more punctual basis.

* * *

How you can help. In addition to providing public e-mail addresses of pundits, commentators, and journalists who ought to be receptive to our work would be for readers who frequent reader-comment-driven sites to link to articles germane to the discussion (when there is a fit!). Prime candidates here are Reddit, Ycombinator/Hacker News, and Slashdot.

While these ideas may not seem inspired, we have limited bandwidth and it seems best to focus on activities with reasonable odds of getting more readers, and importantly, links from like-minded sites and writers.

Thanks for your help and support!


1 One reader (rather insistently) suggested we install a pop-up to solicit sign-ups for the newsletter. Lambert and I both rejected the idea vehemently. We and many readers hate popups, they can generally be suppressed, and what we think we need to do is outreach.

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  1. No Party

    Have you ever thought of offering some type of membership for a monthly fee that would give readers access to special offerings or events? Maybe in the vein of the meetups you used to hold pre-COVID, but something virtual and more appropriate for the times and manageable within your resources and time constraints?

    I only mention this because, I love this site because I feel like I’ve found a community of like-minded thinkers, but its cadence feels more geared to those who are retired and can actively respond to and debate the site’s content as it posts throughout the day. Due to my work schedule, I can only read the site early in the mornings and late at night, so by that time the opportunity to participate in the commentariat discussions has already passed me by. So I end up a forever-lurker of the site, yearning for actual real-time engagement with the like-minded community, but never getting it.

    I’m the type of person that would pay a monthly membership fee for access to virtual debates or book circles with the Naked Capitalism writers and community, but I understand that’s an added layer of labor that you may not want to tackle. I just offer my thoughts because I suspect there are a bunch of lurkers of the site like me, passively participating due to their life circumstances, who might pay for the chance to be part of a club of kindred intellectual spirits.

    1. CanCyn

      I like this idea! And events, live interviews, book clubs or whatever could replace an original post so as not to add more work. You folks produce way more than I can read on a daily basis, that is if I want to do other things during the day. Some special features available only to members would be fun.

    2. Winston S

      This comment could have been written by me, because it describes my interaction and relation to NC to a tee. So naturally, I support it wholeheartedly.

      I hope you find ways to increase the readership, and by that, expand the donor base. Both because the world needs it, and I need NC!

    3. Ellery O'Farrell

      To follow up on No Party’s cadence comment, I have the same problem (though for different reasons, as I’m retired but still can’t actively post during the day). What about a button that would allow readers to subscribe to late-breaking comments (for, say, a week after the original post)? Perhaps sorted by the title of the post that’s the subject of the comment? With, perhaps, a few lines from the comment being responded to? (I realize each refinement adds work, and probably there wouldn’t be enough late-breaking comments to justify elaborate sorting.) It might generate a kind of lazy stream of thoughts, perhaps encouraging longer-form comments, directed towards those interested in such an antique form of engagement (similar to circulating letters a few centuries ago)….

      1. Acacia

        I believe this is possible with an RSS reader. There are many clients to choose from. It may look techie, but it’s pretty easy.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      I am sorry but we believe the site should be free for the benefit of those who have no/little money or are going through a bad patch. I do not believe in creating have and have nots based on their ability to pay a certain amount every month.

      Tiered membership would also fragment comments, something to which we are opposed.

      I must also correct your assumption on people woh comment. Many and I believe most are working. But most of those who are working seem to have jobs where whey have some control over their hours, as in they are self employed or are business proprietors.

    5. Nina Hill

      Publishing on Substack would provide the option for a monthly/annual fee subscription as well as one-off donations through Kofi. There are many sites which have both their own site as well as a Substack presence (such as Free Press).

  2. Mark Lutwak

    How could pop ups be worse than the trashy ads that proliferate on your site? I think a handful of broader topics, including book and other culture reviews is a good idea.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks for the positive feedback on the book review idea.

      Re ads, I suggest you visit MSM or even small sites. They have vastly more ad clutter than we do. And most readers hate popups. You have to rouse yourself to get rid of them.

      As for “trashy,” nearly all the ads you get reflect your viewing/shopping patterns.

      1. GF

        How about just a linked message at the top of the Recent Items stating that there is a newsletter and the link would take you to the sign up page? Also maybe place the linked message at the top of each featured article and at the beginning and end of the links themselves.

    2. Vandemonian

      Ads? What ads? I read NC using Brave Browser on an iPad, and don’t see any ads. (Sorry if that impairs your ad revenue, Yves)

        1. cfraenkel

          This started out as snark, but on reflection, maybe not… Google / SEO has trained people to only see what they expect to see. In particular, the huge call to action button in a contrasting color. Maybe you really do need to change the Donate link to a big blue button, just so folks like William can see it.

          1. CanCyn

            Colour is the wrong thing to think about when it comes to webpages. What you need is contrast. Colour blind people may not see the colour on the page but as long as there is enough contrast they can see the button, text etc. whatever is being featured

        2. john

          Red,,, hard to read color for type. The site is not easy on the eye for those of us who rely on glasses. So I often Naked Capitalism in my news reading rounds. If a link pops up when I’m searching a topic I’ll visit the site. But that depends on the search engine.

      1. Dean Falk

        I found your home page web page after reading prop or not basically I started reading your materials because they were unfairly denouncing your information I think real newspaper radio tv and magazine journalist would like your page

  3. Wukchumni

    A couple of things…

    You have one of the few comment sections that is viable and unlike most other places in that the level of commentary is so much higher than elsewhere generally, along with lots of humor.

    What we don’t have is the irritating scramble to be the first comment, it isn’t uncommon for half an hour to elapse before the first missive finally appears.

    We have hundreds of topical really funny songs that pertain to frankly everything going on in not just an economic vein, but across all news, but what we don’t have is somebody to perform them, and word of mouth on clever, cutting songs would defeat Google at their own game, imagine a million new eyeballs watching a video and laughing their arse off, wondering what Naked Capitalism is all about, is it an economic voyeur site? I better check it out.

    Nobody ever read Weird Al’s songs, but they sure caught on when performed on stage…

    1. GramSci

      I could play bass, fiddle, and maybe keyboard. ;-) .

      But we would need meetups to bring the group(s) together. How about a standing virtual meetup page with a web map of the world where commenters could repost Links of local interest and begin to find each other?

      1. Wukchumni

        There appears to be scant musical ability but lots of lyric ability on NC, why not find a musician that can take our songs with familiar lyrics and perform them in front of a camera, and then put it online on YouTube or wherever~

        All it would take is for one of them to go viral, and there’d be so many new eyeballs, we’d be up to our temples in them.

        1. redleg

          Musician here:
          Its an enormous amount of work to record and mix music from scratch, and that assumes that the parties involved know the song and are well rehearsed.
          I suggest acquiring karaoke versions of the songs in question and asking someone skilled in ProTools, Reaper, etc. to mix a vocal track with the karaoke track. For personal use it would work. Publishing that work, however, would require lawyers as the performance of the karaoke band and the original composers of melody would all have rights that would need to be addressed. And yes I understand that parody is fair use, but the composer is still the composer and needs to be set up for their cut of the $0.003 per stream.

          1. CanCyn

            “Publishing that work, however, would require lawyers as the performance of the karaoke band and the original composers of melody would all have rights that would need to be addressed.“ In Canada it would likely fall under ‘fair use’ because satire. Not so familiar with US copyright law.

            1. redleg

              If you perform/record the music from scratch yourself, that removes any performance royalties payable to those who performed the music underlying the lyrics. These would apply if you were use a karaoke track.

              There are also legal distinctions between parody and satire. Making fun of the song itself is parody and protected, but using a song to poke fun at a different subject makes it satire which is only sometimes protected. It might be considered a derivative work which is not protected. Further, my understanding of Canadian and UK laws is that unlike the US fair use carve out, parody is not explicitly protected under fair dealing concepts. As I understand it as a BMI songwriter, Canada and the UK do not have fair use, only fair dealing. If it’s considered a derivative work, no protection there either. Each country might have a separate determination, fair use in USA, derivative work in Canada, etc. Thus the lawyers- they’re the ones who know. You always want to get that legal crap done in advance.

              The composer of the music is still the composer of the music. They can’t stop you from publishing it, at least not in the USA, but they must be added to the satirical track as a composer if the track makes money. This requires coordination with the owners of the publishing rights to get the composer linked to the ISRC of the published track.

      2. Mikel

        If there is are meet-ups for this, go bigger.
        Not only make it about the performance of songs, but a documentary about the site.
        Capture conflict and resolution.

        1. Alex Cox

          A documentary about NC would be very interesting! And it might draw more readers. I can see two difficulties though:
          1. A documentary about an intellectually and morally stimulating written source may lack the ’emotional’ grab factor which people expect from their visual entertainment.
          2. Yves and Lambert would need to appear in it, as protagonists. Since they both (like B, and Simplicitus, and Big Serge, and other valuable writers) prefer a certain anonymity, this might make it a non-starter.
          But if NC want a doc made, I would be happy to help.

  4. furnace

    I’m not sure if it’s viable, given time constraints, but maybe partnerships/mutual benefit agreements with youtube channels (kinda like Michael Hudson does) in the sense of quick interviews or something of the sort could be great for publicity. I have noticed that media-critical channels (Brian Berlectic, Ben Norton, Duran, etc.) have grown a lot the past few years, and they have achieved some very great audiences. Maybe something could be arranged in the sense of mutual publicity? Youtube has kind of become a de facto public square after the collapse of social media into “enshittification” (thanks Doctorow).

    Besides that, I think a weekly newsletter with brief (one-two paragraphs max?) with the articles published during the week could be very helpful. Sometimes I want to return to a piece, but then forget or delay it, which could be mitigated. Also, I think No Party has a point in talking about some way to focus on the community. The fact is that the diversity of perspectives is what makes this site above and beyond the best place to have conversations on complex topics. Maybe an easy thing to do is to have weekly open threads? I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, but perhaps more opportunities for free discussion could be good (Links do provide that, but their short life-cycle means that maybe conversations which could go on for longer end up getting cut short). That does add moderation work, which I’m not sure how viable it is, though.

    In my view there is little sense in trying to become anything else, given that the site is quite great at the moment. Maybe just play your strengths more and try to reach out to alternative media, which is where the real growth is at, in my view.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      although there has been a diminishing interest in Breaking Points/Counter Points but how about an interview with Yves on some subject – or even a segment on a regular basis, once a month? – y’all are looking for brand recognition –

      1. Bsn

        A couple things. Yves has been interviewed a bit on the Duran for example. I am very, very conservative regarding what I do on the ‘net, and in Yves’ interviews (the few I’ve seen) she doesn’t show her face – she uses a logo – again the few I’ve seen. I appreciate her discretion.
        That’s what I do too. I’m very famous, though few people know it.
        Regarding inserting NC into comments on other sites, I never comment on other sites. This is the only site that seems like it’s not harvesting and selling our data and input. I wonder what would happen to the comment archives if NC folded, but I’m willing to chance that.
        Other comment boards are replete with curse words, libtard and anti-this or that nationality, and other illiterate and simpleton verbiage.
        Many thanks to all of NC community especially Yves’ willingness to speak openly about difficulties.

        It’s a tough question that will be on my mind and imagination. Let’s keep brainstorming and fighting for what we appreciate! To the ramparts!

        1. juno mas

          I believe the Library of Congress (or some such public institution) archive the Naked Capitalism website.

    2. Jams O'Donnell

      Along the same lines as “partnerships/mutual benefit agreements”, quite a few of the sites I read have a list of links to other websites with a similar (or at least an interesting) viewpoint. Perhaps some kind of mutual linking could be arranged with sites which Yves sees as compatible with NC to get an exchange flow of readers?

  5. Bugs

    This might be heretical, but I’d think that some very targeted advertising might be useful, at least to get buzz in some heretofore untouched spaces of the Internet.

  6. Zephyrum

    Yesterday I noticed that Naked Capitalism disappeared from the “Frequently Visited” section of my iPhone Safari web browser, which is surprising since I visit the site at least once a day and the remaining items much less frequently. Could it be Apple doesn’t like the word “naked”?

    As for sending my circle to NC, that’s been a failure despite my sincere efforts. These are largely PMC liberals, and they are perfectly happy soaking in the daily emissions of the NYT without risking any conflict to their comfortable self-reinforcing world views.

    The only insight I can offer on attracting more views is that NC has an excellent track record for getting things right. But only existing readers know that. Might go against the grain, but calling out success in Twitter/X, pointing out the wins, might be attractive.

  7. Speck

    My suggestion would be to act like you’re on a book tour. You don’t have to create your own youtube/ticktock/instagram/podcast but you could be a guest on all of them. (Though it wouldn’t be a bad idea to medium shift your content.) You go to talk about the overarching themes of your work and what you do. I used to read you daily but with a newborn and now toddler I moved over to things I could listen to while doing other tasks. The bulk of my news comes from Breaking Points now. I do value your work as an aggregator and commentators but it’s a bit under the radar and people need a chance to know who you are. Unfortunately, for your privacy and emotional stability, people might need to know the names Yves Smith and Lambert Strether as part of the general popular independent media zeitgeist and thus seek out your work.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Agreed. And why not go for broke and try to appear on podcasts with large audiences? Heck, perhaps even Joe Rogan might be interested.

      Just my US $.02 on a chilly Sunday morning in Tucson.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        Rogan is a brilliant idea and he would probably be open to it – it was going through my head as i scrolled down and then there it was –

        1. ambrit

          But wouldn’t Mz Smith have to physically travel back to California from her present domicile to do an interview with Rogan? We’re talking money here. If such could be arranged, a dedicated fundraiser to underwrite it will be needed.
          As ‘they’ say in Hollywood; “There is no such of a thing as bad publicity.”

          1. Jams O'Donnell

            Hard as it may be to credit, I believe that you can now do a ‘video link’ conversation using futuristic technology developed a decade or so ago.

            1. ambrit

              Zounds! Certes, I be a bit behind ye curve. (Does Rogan do Video Interviews? I don’t remember seeing any on his program. Carlson now, he might go that extra mile.)

      2. jefemt

        Rogan or Tucker!!! I personally ‘do’ neither, but in the continuum of political economy thought and theory, why, it’s almost like a horse shoe that asymptotically comes together…

    2. techpioneer

      I think that adding some audio content would help reach more people. Useful during drive time, jogging, cooking, or other activities that are not amendable to reading. Maybe audio could end up on podcast or other streaming platforms?

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      This is all very flattering but the reason book tours are book tours is the book is promoting the book so you get some doors opened. We don’t have that sort of door opener here and just having a site makes you even more of one of many than having a new book.

      And no one asks me to do interviews, so the idea of Rogan is flattering but is on the order of getting a cameo on a major TV show.

    1. lambert strether

      This might actually be possible automagically with the WP ActvityPub plugin. How this brings clicks back to the site is an open question, however.

      1. fred

        I can’t believe you took me up on that advice.

        > This might actually be possible automagically with the WP ActvityPub plugin.
        ‘Tis the marvel of WP Bumper Cars (plugins run around The Loop, sometimes colliding) that such things function at all.

        > How this brings clicks back to the site is an open question, however.
        It’s up to the click-bait headline and the “more” tag to drive traffic? My experience so far is Mastodon is like all other SocMed, except with more #nsfw thrown into the feed. It’s seems to be a global venue in ways that other sites aren’t. I chose fosstodon to let my freak flag fly.

        I also see more Mondoweiss in your mix. They have the concept of “Donor Briefings”; which time might be a USP for NC.

    2. Federate!

      Maybe even better: set up own mastodon instance.

      Or do both… set up own instance and users at bigger instances can boost the postings from the nakedcapitalism-instance.

      Mastodon is not the only federation network.
      There are others as well… maybe the nakedcapitalism writers prefer other things.

      But in any way: use federation, don’t rely on Google, Facebook and the other big entities, which are inherently against the content, that nakedcapitalism provides.

  8. HH

    Regular posting of article links on X (formerly Twitter) would greatly expand public awareness of NC. Adding graphics and video links to the blog would also give the site more appeal.

    1. Etnograf

      As a passive user of Twitter/X, I would say that one of the current shortcomings here is the relatively limited presence of NC on the platform. I do see the posts of new articles, links, etc. that NC does on Twitter/X, but they tend not to generate discussion because they don’t include actual quotations/material from the articles. Most people find new content/articles via social media and not via Google.

      I understand and appreciate that the goal is to bring people to the NC site so that an actual civilized and intelligent discussion can happen in the comments here (a laudable goal). Still, to attract new readers, it seems critical to get some kind of social media manager of sorts. It may be as simple as doing what Caitlin Johnstone often does: posting the text of a lot of her articles in tweet form so as to attract commentary and liking/retweeting posts or articles of interest. Lambert and Yves already do something quite like this in Links and Water Cooler on the blog, but why not also re-tweet more under the NC Twitter/X handle and reproduce some of the comment there? There are many independent media personalities who are fans of NC and would re-tweet back. Once people see the site a few times on social media, they will be far more likely to click through to the blog. Just my two cents.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > I would say that one of the current shortcomings here is the relatively limited presence of NC on the platform.

        T’ward this point, I asked some time aback if the @nakedcapitalism X/Twitter account belonged to Yves or Lambert, and if it would be possible to start using it more to create more “brand awareness”. Apologies if someone answered, and I didn’t see it.

    2. curlydan

      I agree that a heavier X presence would help. I think Jessica Wildfire is a good example of someone I would probably never read if it weren’t for running across her articles on X (even though they are sometimes posted here). She’s running a much smaller operation.

      Since I’m just an X lurker and not a poster, though, I have no idea how much labor is required to maintain a decent presence on X, or how much monitoring of the comment stream you need to do.

      1. curlydan

        P.S. I was talking to a friend who I hadn’t seen in years a few weeks ago. He asked me where I got most of my news. I said Naked Capitalism. He said, “oh yeah, I used to read that site. Is Ed Harrison still there?” I said, uhhhh, no, he hasn’t been there for a while.

        My point is that maybe get some traffic back with more economic contributions. Or maybe try to highlight and publish the economic articles more heavily. I think a lot of people are interested in greater and somewhat dissident economic analyses but may not like what is perceived as a heavier political and health content. I also suspect that housing, Treasury, Fed actions may be more interesting than CALPERs for a large percent of the population.

    3. Jason Boxman

      The horrid thing about Twitter is a month or two ago, Musk nuked titles for outbound links, so it’s just a photo now without any context. Some tweets now instead have a photo of the whatever would have been linked to, but don’t include the link, so that’s even more frustrating.

      Engaging with people on Twitter and relying on the profile bio link back to this site would be a full time job for someone, unfortunately. There can be interesting discussion there, though. Tons and tons of noise as well.

  9. The Rev Kev

    On the principle that it is better to hang together than hang separately, perhaps it might be an idea to coordinate more with other sites that are like-minded travelers. During that last fundraiser for examle, the Moon of Alabama site was gracious enough to suggest to their readers to send some funds to NC if they could. I haven’t really really gone into this thought that much except perhaps such sites can have shortcuts to them sandwiched between ‘Recent Comments’ and Topics’ proved those sites do the same.

  10. Mr. Magoo

    Wow, maybe if both your external-linked editorials, commentary wasn’t so 100% anti-US, pro-russian, pro-ccp, blah blah and any dissenting comments weren’t slapped down and those people berated all the time. You guys used to provide nice summaries, I could recommend to my colleagues – but the economic and health links aren’t worth wading thru the incessant anti-US blather (often deserved, but almost never equally applied criteria).

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Oh, an excuse to deploy one of my favorite quotes:

      No, I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins.

      Frederick Douglass, via

      I must note you resort to attacking us/the site on what you falsely depict as ideological grounds, and do not dispute our accuracy.

      And contrary to your lazy drive-by shooting, we have argued against some of the views of anti-globalists, such as that the dollar is set to collapse and that BRICS is about to create currencies and/or international financial mechanisms that will soon trounce Western institutions. This sort of plan takes much longer to implement than its proponents believe.

      As to your comment about comments: most who make complaints like yours never read our site Policies, and chose to misconstrue what happened when they violated them. We do not ban or moderate based on content. We moderate based on conduct. But those who are going up a common viewpoint, or merely the well-supported view of a single commentor, very often start engaging in bad faith argumentation when they are outmatched, evidence and/or logic wise. It’s the misconduct that gets them the troll point that result in being put in moderation or being banned.

      1. John R Moffett

        I get the same kind of nonsense from acquaintances who doth protest too much whenever I call out some horrible US policy or actions in the world. The usual epithet is that I “really hate America!”, when in fact, I am obviously critiquing horrendous behavior by US elites who control our foreign policy. I can never understand how people don’t understand the basic fact that current US policy is driven by those currently in power, and that has nothing to do with the rest of the country. I can hate Joe Biden’s policies without hating America. It shows a deep lack of understanding of how the world works. Mr. Magoo (the cartoon) could never see anything clearly, so the moniker is perfect.

  11. Mark Gisleson

    Revise your sidebar to refocus outbound links by major topic then resort your links so that the hottest button topics are on top and the links periodically reshuffled depending on who is most on top of the news. Maybe add another section at the bottom for ‘trusted’ reader site recs (this could gradually grow your reach).

    1. flora

      That’s not a bad idea. I now find myself scrolling past a large number of the links to find one or two that look promising to me, and past more that half the WC links. I didn’t do this a few months ago, but now I do because time limitations. But that’s just me.

  12. mrsyk

    I’ve been thinking about how the “antidote” might offer an angle. I wager our PMC family members would have a gander at Links if a photo of their favorite pet was gracing the page.

  13. You're soaking in it!

    I check Ian Welsh and his weekly “news update” post is always chock full of links, with attribution naturally, to content from here, so much so that I usually skip it. Does this drive much traffic?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have no doubt it helps us but it’s a bit short of ideal. The best are when someone has a text post and they quote or cite us with a link. That is a stronger and more memorable endorsement.

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      Technically speaking, the Weekly Wrap-Up which Ian Welsh runs is Anthony Wikrent’s Weekly Wrap-Up which Anthony Wikrent runs his own self and which Ian Welsh also runs.

      So Wikrent and Welsh are both featuring the name Naked Capitalism multiple times each Sunday.

  14. Vicky Cookies

    I probably wouldn’t be alone in my interest in a book review feature, especially with a focus on classics. Educating myself about, and through classic literature has been my healthiest escape from current affairs. The work of those who maintain and contribute to this site is precious; it is a little island of reason. I am also likely not alone in saying that I would be gratified to be of any help I could. I have a backlog of essays, and some book reviews of the type readers here might enjoy; if these can be of any use please reach out.

  15. .Tom

    Find someone to read NC’s original articles and make the recordings available so that people can listen to them in the car, on a bus, or in a waiting room, etc. Make them available in all the podcast apps and platforms. I would subscribe.

    I don’t think it’s very expensive to hire voice talent to do this but it’s possible NC already has fans in the comments who would like to volunteer to do it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We could not get that done on a remotely fast enough basis given news cycles. And this creates way more management complexity for questionable payoff (we have to get involved with apps stores, etc).

      We used to have a WordPress plugin that would read text. Readers liked that but it stopped working because whoever developed it didn’t update it.

      1. Speck

        Tools like this are decent and will get better over time. I would subscribe to a podcast with these machine learning generated voices. If it’s really successful you could move into real people doing a weekly roundup type thing which allows for personality and humor and such. People create parasocial relationships with you and that really helps bring in donations.

    2. ambrit

      That is an excellent idea. The only “serious” constraint would be timeliness.
      NC Podcasts can be integrated into the site easily. One click on a link and you are soon concernedly driving a hundred miles an hour down the Jersey Turnpike.
      I know little about “voice talent,” but I do remember the shock I felt the first time I heard my own voice replayed via an old reel to reel portable tape recorder. “Who is that twit???” I asked. I feel that the ‘old guard’ commenters possess humility enough to take criticism of their speaking voices in good grace.
      So, perhaps an NC Voice Talent contest? Friend of the site Mr. Shearer would be a natural judge for that endeavour. A rotating schedule of volunteer voice “talents” could be managed. Indeed, such could easily become self managed. (An Anarchist’s Talent Agency?)
      Anyway, stay safe all.

  16. ambrit

    File this under “Department of Demented Ideas,” but perhaps a NC Hasbara Cadre?
    This brings up the question of exactly what kind of “attention” the site wishes to attract.
    Is the site ‘tolerated’ by the Powers, or is it an insurgent in the ongoing culture wars? The Prop or Not experience showed how a little bit of overreach on the part of the Powers tripped them up. Why? Because “they” went after too broad a swathe of ‘opposition’ to begin with. The sample size of the initially ‘targeted’ non-standard entities was so large that backlash was almost built in.
    So, even given the present financial constraints, is the extant size of the site optimal for it’s survival?
    On the commentariat, much as I personally enjoy commenting here, a part of me, way back in my mind, admits that I am a low value commenter. Humour, (for some definition of the word,) goes only so far. The focus of the site is really the transfer of useful information. As such, the comment by No Party above has merit in that there probably are more than one types of reader of the site. No Party’s comment that “…its cadence feels more geared to those who are retired and can actively respond to and debate…” suggests that a two tier site architecture could be beneficial. The present form, perhaps truncated, or made semi-regular, and a second, and eventually larger form of shorter “news snippets” with links to the longer form treatments embedded.
    I have read that most ‘people’ read the headline and the first paragraph of an article and then move on to another story. This could be adapted to this site. A daily “News You Can Use” broadsheet form and a semi-weekly long form treatment of subjects, similar to items like the London Review of Books or the Times Literary Supplement.
    Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We cannot control the size of the site. Our peak traffic was in the foreclosure crisis. We can’t create major news stories that remain major news for a protracted period that play particularly to our strengths.

      PropOrNot was not helpful to us, not in the slightest. Yes, we had people run to our (and the other 198 sites) defense but that was because the attack was very clumsy and very early in the Russiagate line of demonization. But now attacks on individuals and sites are common and pushback as a result is not very strong.

      1. Alex Cox

        Prop or Not was helpful, as it backfired and drew new readers to NC. I was one, and am sure there were others.

        1. johnnyme

          Count me in here. I knew of this site before PropOrNot but became a regular reader (and later a supporter) after that hit piece was published.

  17. Socal Rhino

    Comment policy involves trade-offs IMO. I’ve observed that many “alternative”news sites attract people with a cluster of contrary opinions including views on things like gold, Covid, and immigration. Hosts of these sites allow the posting of comments of very fringe views as long as some level of civility is maintained. MoA is an example as are Larry Johnson and Andrej Martyanov’s blogs. NC comments have always been an echo chamber — that probably attracts those looking for like minded views and is ignored by people who otherwise find value, but may be offputting to potential new readers.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, you misrepresent our site Policies. I suggest you read them.

      We do not moderate based on content. We moderate based on behavior. And our stated, overarching view is promoting critical thinking.

      People with fringe views are regularly Making Shit Up, and when challenged engage in bad faith (doubling down on unsubstantiated assertion, shifting grounds of argument, getting nasty).

      The result is that certain viewpoints like goldbuggery and sovereign citizenship and “Obama birth certificate was faked” don’t get far here because the readers beat them up and their proponents usually start misbehaving big time. It’s a pretty predictable cycle.

      Another way topic discussion gets truncated is when it is thread-jacking (introducing something off topic). Since Links is about news, we do allow a lot of new stories to be introduced. But there are some old issues that sometimes get hauled in, like a rotting corpse, such as 9/11. All that does is lead to arguments that go nowhere and do not provide insight on current topics.

      1. Socal Rhino

        I think you just reinforced my point,in response to a good faith attempt at constructive feedback from a long time reader to a request for feedback. No offense taken, free advice is worth what you pay for it after all.

        My other ideas have been covered by others.

      2. S.D., M.D.

        “goldbuggery and sovereign citizenship and “Obama birth certificate was faked””
        Bravo for extremely clever name-calling and guilt by association directed at advocates of sound money.

        Scratch one donor.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’m so used to gilt by association, I didn’t even notice the demonization of when you get right down to it, savings.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Goldbugs advocate gold as money. Gold as money led to lower growth rates and repeated depressions plus borderline and actual deflation. Deflation is far more destructive than inflation (ex hyperinflation, which is the result of serious destruction of productive capacity(.

          2. skippy

            I once was talking too you and referenced Greaber, your response was “I” did not like it.

            How does one have an informed discussion about anything when they have to contend with deep seated environmental/emotional biases mate. How you feel about things is not compelling.

            Being honest here, been years of watching some burnishing a personality yet at the end of the day there is an ideological undertow and the persona facilitates the the advancement of the ideological world view. I find this intellectually dishonest = looks out the window on a world folding in on itself. Then you will watch your nature and the personal pleasure it affords you ….

            1. Wukchumni

              Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber & Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, by Liaquat Ahamed, were both ordered online the same day about a decade ago, and I read both of them, and frankly Ahamed’s book was superior, and so thought the Pullitzer committee who awarded him their annual prize.

              Graeber’s tome could have been condensed into 1/2 the book it was-a lot of repetition there, but that said I recently purchased his last effort co-written with others The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity and am using it as a temporary doorstop, as its about 23 books back, in the queue.

              1. skippy

                Firstly Ahamed only covers around 100 yrs of CB antics w/main theme being gold or so called sound money theory orthodox policies.

                Graeber, well its not called 5,000 years of debt for nothing … ;] or in my pursuit of economics I did not study one school but, all of them.

                  1. skippy

                    See what I mean Wuk.

                    Ahamed is not pro monetarist, not quasi monetarist post abandoning gold standard, and disagrees with orthodox economic administration.

                    My point has always been economics proceeds both the money and political thing. Hence ideas about fiddling with money does nothing to change the economic paradigm.

                    Heck even with MMT I will take it with a side of Kaldor, not rusted on about anything mate.

        2. skippy

          I am going to respond as I would have liked this morning, but had other commitments and don’t want it to look like dog piling. S.D. please explain too me how those terms you comport to name calling and some emotional state of guilt by association and most of all how it all ends up at the door stop of Sound Money proponents.

          I find the umbrage forced, worse a emotional special plea e.g. victimized and then use that in the Royal “WE” sense – am I to be informed you speak for all – ????

          Its almost like you’re saying all three terms are synonymous with Sound Money in – your mind – and then knee jerk too it.

          Personally I can debate the pit falls of so called Sound Money from a historical and functional level, did not see you take up that and then resorted to a emotive stance highlighted by the notion that you will take your money else where if you don’t get what you want. Argument is proceeded by where you spend[tm] your monies, waves at Citizens United and looks out the window at wobbly and out of whole cloth philosophy and ideology is now at a dead end and some just think more purity[tm] will fix it all. Cheers.

      3. Old Builder

        To be fair, Lambert once axed a comment I made criticizing Corsi-Rosenthall boxes as more of a middle-class craft-time activity than a genuine money-saving, health-benefiting stroke of genius.
        I simply pointed out that there are purifiers on the market with better spec and far quieter for less than the price he outlined for the diy version.

        Your audience is primarily independently minded, literate readers. This is a shrinking pool because of social media, because we are becoming collectively more illiterate. I personally do not engage in social or video or podcasts. I am under 40. You say people are absorbing broadly as opposed to with depth, the reality is people have no attention span and merely wish to sound clever. Cater to them and you’ll lose what you have.

        Sell some of your commercial portfolio to tide yourself over until the revolution or old age moots the issue.

        I read the site everyday and see it as your contribution to working class intellectuals like myself, slightly negating the damage you do to my ilk, enriching yourself in the field of ‘consulting’. Hows that for an alternative opinion?

      4. CanCyn

        I have noticed a lot more ‘thread jacking’ lately. People seem to be adding their own links and highlighting news stories that are not featured in Links or Water Cooler. And moderators don’t seem to chastise or comment, maybe more are being removed? I suppose they are generally topical and sometimes I find them interesting but there is more than enough to read here every day w/o people adding links in the commentary.

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    Reading all the comments together, the response feeling/impression that comes to me is that NakedCapitalism is not a product and readers are not a marketplace. I do not have any good suggestions for how to increase the number of readers. My sense of the public in the small parts of the world I know is that people are frightened and cannot face what they know is happening deep down in their assessment of things to come. The u.s. Empire is dying and thrashing about damaging itself and the rest of the world. People know that but they do not want to think about it or acknowledge what it means. I do believe this feeling afflicts the PMC, Trump supporters — a wide spectrum of the public. People know fossil fuels and other resources are running out — but they do not want to know and put the knowledge out of their mind. People know the climate is making a transition to a much less comfortable condition, but they do not want to know or think about it. Few people I have met want to think too hard about anything.

    I suppose what I am trying to say refers back to the words of Pink:
    L.A. told me, “You’ll be a pop star.
    All you have change is everything you are.”

    I believe NakedCapitalism consistently strives and often succeeds at presenting the u.s. and the world as it is and that is not comfortable to a lot of people. NakedCapitalism points out and discusses issues and problems on a wide range of topics that are not comfortable to a lot of people. I do not know how to change people from that mindset. Strangely, being right is often worse than being wrong because of the unspoken “I told you so” people hear in their mind.

    1. Joe Well

      Maybe a niche to move into is prepping for people who can’t stand the people who are usually preppers.

      But monetizing is hard when the site avoids sponsorships and affiliate links.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        NaCap’s steady covid coverage is very valuable and probably unique in its many-threads-and-sources-brought-together comprehensiveness and completeness. Some people may be coming here specifically for that. And the safety-against-covid advice may be considered a kind of prepping-for-nonpreppers material . . . prepping for covid.

        Perhaps a special and specific once-a-week feature aimed at being ” the thinking man’s/woman’s preppersite”? Perhaps a weekly anti-Jackpot review? The “Anti-Jackpot Defense Report”? The ” Weekly anti-Jackpot Immunity Report”?

        Just some thoughts . . .

    2. Wukchumni

      NC is kind of a Debbie downer place with redeeming flora & fauna after you’ve just about got to the point in reading the links where you’ve tied the noose and are looking for a rafter…

      In the run-up to 2007-8 I tried my damnedest to let everybody know what was coming down the pike, and I nailed it pretty much, but at the cost of family & friends thinking maybe there were a number of loose wingnuts floating around in my noggin. A few afterwards were astonished at what I had predicted, but that’s as far as it went and in the aftermath of Big Gov bailing out all the major players and to my astonishment the recurdling of the real estate bubble-it wasn’t worth the effort, so I never bother being a Debbie downer in polite company, but let me loose anonymously online and i’d win most every doom-off.

      There’s only so many doomeratti out there though, we need fresh blood of the oh negative type.

  19. lambert strether

    We could run a diff on donors from last year vs donors for a few years back, then ask those who dropped out why they left. Some might answer. It would be good to have actual data. And eliminate some selection bias.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Given what I can surmise about the demographic of NakedCapitalism readers, I suspect a lot of the people who dropped off will not be able to respond. Of those that contributed before but did not contribute this time around I suspect their economic situation has taken a turn for the worse.

    2. jsn

      Jim Grant at Grants Interest Rate Observer has been doing exactly that for the 25 years I’ve known him.

      Whenever a subscriber quits, he schedules a call, and has a specific acoustically padded cell from which he makes the call.

      As I recall, he does it at a specific time with a specific recovery routine that follows: very unpleasant but useful he says.

      1. lambert strether

        I don’t know if we can be making any calls. But generating an email to “drop-outs” would not be hard technically; we might give the option to them of an exit interview of some kind (or include a survey?).

        1. jsn

          Jim says his interviews are invaluable for improving his paper.

          But his offering is quite different, tailored to conservative financiers who pay a lot for his staff’s analysis and for his editorial.

          I would guess a structured questionnaire with some text boxes for comment would provide some clarity plus some nuance to think about.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I already know why readers quit giving. I get e-mails.

        1. $ downturn

        2. They hate our Covid coverage

        3. They hate our Ukraine coverage.

        4. A few want us to do what we did in 2007-2008, which is like asking a war photographer to do war photography again when there are no wars on.

        5. They got offended by our moderation. Often that is a misapprehension, as in they got moderated because they used a mod word, but they assume they were personally put in moderation. No talking them out of it once they are angry. Others picked a fight and can’t be salvaged.

        As Barry Ritholtz said many years ago, embrace the churn.

        1. Varthlokur

          In the 90’s and early aughts was a fundraiser and professional for the Boy Scouts of America. Literally sold the outdoors and citizenship values. Please consider your approach to fundraising, also expect and plan for 30% year over year decline from all sustaining members. By this post Naked Capitalism (NC) has shared what is called “angels” and they have moved on. To my knowledge NC scratches coin two ways. First, a direct appeal to readers via tip jars and second to monetize via programmatic advertising. There are several more ways to scratch coin to support your mission…. As one example, IC5 campaigns from those who believe in what you are doing — quite frankly having your loyal readers evangelize for NC rewards both them and the NC mission. Second, and cannot stress this enough, you have to thank contributors by more than an email, or a verbal thank you — you need swag (including shipping less than 8% of donation value). As anecdotal, I handed you, Yves, a sleeve of silver about a decade ago in a meet up in Texas…. worth it then and worth it now. Currently a SME in an adjacent advertising space to display (the only advertising I have seen at NC), and you have my email and am available to chat with your staff.

        2. jsn

          Do you get emails from all canceled subscriptions?

          Or is it a text box you can fill out if you choose when you cancel? (I would never try such a thing, so I don’t know!)

          Or is it the self selected who either feel bad for unsubscribing or want you to? It seems like there may be useful information to be gleaned by formalizing an ask for all if its the latter.

    3. mahleria

      I guess I’ll put my thoughts down since I am technically in this demographic. I have been reading this site since 2008 with only short breaks. I very rarely comment, however. About a year ago, I took a longer break. The immediate trigger was that I found a good source on covid information via a serendipitous web search (they do still happen). And covid information is what’s most important to me. This site was my single source for covid info until that lucky web search. However, once I found the alternative source for covid, I realized there are certain voices I feel uncomfortable boosting both by reading and donating. First on covid. I felt like the site became too skeptical of vaccines at one point. My read on vaccines is that they are far from perfect, but much better than the disease. Overall, they are a necessary layer, but cannot be the only one. I saw some GBD adjacent voices linked approvingly (it was a year ago so no I can’t provide a link) as long as they doubted vaccines and I felt better taking a break. For the record, my family and I mask indoors outside the home consistently still. So we don’t rely on vaccine only. The layered strategy aligns with Lambert’s view I think, so I am well aware Naked Capitalism does not speak with one voice.

      The other discomfort is with the Ukraine war coverage. I appreciate that Yves and others here were right about it from the start. But I find the implied rooting for Russia grating. I don’t think either side are the good guys, so again, I find a bit of discomfort in reading some explicitly pro-Russia coverage. My feelings are most aligned with Yasha Levine’s, who, incidentally, I discovered via this site.

      I will also add to the others’ thoughts on sharing the site with friends. I used to share direct links to the site but stopped around the time of the Ukraine war. My links were either for covid or economic analysis, but it’s really hard now to justify the politics of the site to my friends. I guess I am closer to the politics than I would ever like to admit to my friends. But also, I don’t want to explain my disagreement with the Russia coverage which is where my personal politics veers off significantly from this site’s.

      I know and fully embrace that this site is all about critical thinking. But when my own analysis gets me to different conclusions (even if slightly), it becomes a question of how much dissonance I am willing to tolerate. I have come back to reading the site regularly over the past month or so. I am likely to donate in the next round too. I don’t really want the site to change to please my particular views so the above is just distillation of my personal thoughts/feelings. I am not so sure it helps.

      1. Anon

        I was perplexed by Yasha’s perspective, which I’ve admittedly seen little of, as he is mostly behind a paywall. What I did observe of his complaints were about as vague as yours, and seemed curiously naive/underdeveloped: So Putin is an asshole, and Russia is an empire that does imperial things, ok… but within the context of ridiculous western propaganda (Russiagate, demonizing Putin, etc) which should offend both your patriotism and common sense (they blew up their own pipeline!), there is certainly a place for humanizing the Russians to show them as rational actors instead of crazed despots itching to vaporize us. In that sense I see NC as pro-truth, not pro-Russian.

      2. mahleria

        For what it’s worth I put my money where my mouth is and just donated once again. So I am no longer part of the demographic of those that stopped.

        I would like to moderate my words on Russia coverage. It does make me uncomfortable, but I appreciate it more that the writers here stay true to themselves and are not easily influenced. The discomfort is not something I hold against the site.

  20. Joe Well

    Three types of WordPress plugins I have seen that might help:

    1. Newsletter signup widget that is not an overlay but simply inserts itself somewhere on the page like above the comments or sometimes in the middle of the main post. I assume your so theme isn’t extremely custom coded and can handle recent plugins.

    2. Plugin to turn the posts into podcasts through TTS which could possibly help maintain loyalty of existing readers or could be sold with a subscription. This should work even if the theme is heavily customized. You could always try it out as a beta option.

    3. Plugin to make an ebook or even paper book out of the year’s or quarter’s posts. Or all posts from a given tag and author in a given time period. Use as a fundraising incentive or even sell on Amazon. Calpers could be its own book.

    1. Joe Well

      Also, for encouraging newsletter signups, offering an ebook signup incentive for the newsletter, like “when you sign up, as a bonus, you can download our ebook on pension fund management.” It also gives people a reason to click on the link in the first email they receive, which helps deliverability.

      Also, feeling really bad about not donating in years, and even then it was like candy money. I have been as Baroque as Bach for a while now.

  21. Saving myself

    Over the years I have noticed that this site and others have moved from providing “useful” advice to “we have a problem with _______ and here is the 300th article telling us just how bad the problem is but never ever having an article that addresses what precisely the reader could do today in a practical way to ameliorate the problem. For example, count the number of articles regarding climate change that endlessly prove it is real. Now before you attack me as a climate change denier, I am not. I think it is real. I also think there are NEVER any articles of equal length provided practical useful advice that can be implemented today to take admittedly tiny tiny steps but if a billion tiny steps were taken just maybe something would change. Again using climate change articles as an example, extolling the virtues of electric cars and heat pumps and similar items costing tens of thousands of dollars only gives the reader another reason to nod in agreement and do absolutely nothing. The exact same criticism applies to “the drug price crisis” and the “health care for elders crisis” and on and on.

    If you want more readers who are committed to reading and supporting this site, then forgive my blatant verbiage – Support the reader with something the reader can use today to effect however a small of change. If all you support the reader with is confirmation basis material, you will ultimately bore the reader into finding another place where the wording is more inflammatory thus reinforcing the existing bias.

    I am not saying that this site should be turned into a “how to fix the _____” but rather if you want to have yet another climate change is real article, then pair it with a second article explaining precisely what you the reader could do today in a practical way to take a tiny step towards fixing _______.

    You want me to support you? No problem. Support me. Don’t just feed my confirmation bias.

    1. Tom Pfotzer

      I second this comment, wholeheartedly. Many of us long-time NC readers are now pretty well up to speed on the situation, and that’s partly because NC does a great job of perfecting one’s situational awareness.

      Now that I’m situationally aware, I need how-to-fix it info, targeted at me the individual. That is by far what I need most now.

      1. cfraenkel

        I’m going to dissent on this one. Where such advice to readers is possible, Covid-19 comes to mind, this site is already the only place I can think of that has consistently been a voice of reason and useful warnings. (Mask up, don’t use baggy blues, pay attention to vaccination testing data, avoid crowds, avoid the group-think etc.)

        For topics like foreign affairs, finance, and the GP’s climate change, individual actions are close to meaningless (unless you’re a private jet, where can I park my third yacht kind of guy – in which case you can solve the sites funding problems yourself, hint hint.)

        Climate change in particular will only get fixed by changing our society – replacing cars with transit, getting everyone to want smaller homes, scrapping aircraft carriers and fighter jet wings, and most importantly – reworking the economy to get rid of compound interest fueled debt and corporate greed.

        If you’re looking for what-you-can-do content, that’s already out there – look at, as an example. But also look at the enormous amount of work involved to generate that much content. (and also realize that most of this community dismisses it out of hand as missing the forest for the trees.

        1. Acacia

          I’ll dissent as well, for regarding SARS-CoV-2 coverage here at NC there has been all kinds of useful “how to fix it” info on masks, on nasal sprays, on povidone, on air purifiers, either using negative ions, or C-R boxes, PC fans, etc. There have been numerous articles provided on research on air quality in workplaces, schools, etc. etc.

          I have personally managed to avoid catching SARS 2 thus far, and I feel the “how to protect yourself” info via NC is largely to thank.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      There was a pretty decent answer for your dilemma given 250 years ago in Voltaire’s Candide. After traveling the world, finding that there is so much badness in it, and wanting an answer for what is to be done, the protagonist finally comes across an old sage who tells him simply to tend to his own garden.

      That advice can be taken both figuratively and literally, and I have to say that while it is likely not always done as a deliberate remedy to the ills of the day, NC does an excellent job with the literal treatment. I always enjoy the plantidotes and I’ve gotten a number of good gardening tips from Water Cooler posts and comments over the years, and while I may not be able to bring about the transformation of industrial capitalism into socialism, or bring peace to the Middle East, or even find a decent candidate to cast a ballot for, I can still grow a bunch of beans and flowers in my yard and share them with family, friends and neighbors.

      If you look closely enough, there are practical solutions given here that allow one to make a small difference – they just don’t always immediately follow the posts about the problems of the day.

      As you noted, the problems of the day can be overwhelming. But there isn’t always a direct and viable solution. I’d definitely be open to more frequent posts about gardening, living simply, and self sufficiency in general. Maybe more frequent book reviews, and not just on political and economic topics. I’ve also enjoyed the infrequent music posts where Yves will highlight a new-to-me artist. Maybe try more of those type of posts, which in their way show that another world is possible. Highlight the little practical things people can do themselves, along with the beauty people can create.

      I first came here for the economic news but there are a lot of sites that do that. I made it my daily goto website in large part because of the other topics considered here and the community it fostered.

      1. Zanshin

        Regarding music posts where Yves will highlight a new-to-me artist.
        Currently I am very impressed by the artist Ren with songs like Hi Ren and the song Moneygames

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Unfortunately, I for one do not believe there are any things you or I could do today in a practical way to take a tiny step towards fixing X,Y, or Z. We are past the point where much could be accomplished in tiny steps. The best thing you can do is be aware of what is coming and duck as far down as you can when the shit hits the fan. There were possibilities in the past, we all voted for “Change.”

      Take the climate transition for consideration — if you like you can become a vegan, walk or bicycle everywhere you can, change you sleep patterns to get up with the first light and go to bed after a small dinner, build a cold keep for your vegetables and get rid of your refrigerator and freezer, and start taking only short cold showers, shut off your heat and wear thick clothing in Winter, and shut off your air conditioning in Summer and wear little thin cool clothing — get a Hawaiian shirt from a Goodwill store, get rid of your tv, computer, stereo, DVD player, and entertain yourself reading. These are all tiny steps you can take to fix climate change.

      Before you start your project of tiny steps you should sit down and read the Hansen et al. paper “Global Warming in the Pipeline”. Subscribe to Hansen’s Communications => => “Sign up for my occasional Communications here.” On Hansen’s homepage there is a link on ‘here’. Read some of Hansen et al. 2016 “Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming coul…”
      See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at:

    4. Rubicon

      Saving Myself “If you want more readers who are committed to reading and supporting this site, then forgive my blatant verbiage – Support the reader with something the reader can use today to effect however a small of change. If all you support the reader with is confirmation basis material, you will ultimately bore the reader into finding another place where the wording is more inflammatory thus reinforcing the existing bias.

      We think Saving Myself has a good point here. Provide useful techniques in reducing the very high rental, food, electric/natural gas and credit card costs.
      1. Reducing food costs by cooking at home; taking that food to one’s work site.(Show the average costs of eating out vs cooking costs at home.”
      2. Super high costs in heating your home during winter?? Buy small electrical heaters; use curtain to close off the areas of the house most trafficked.
      3. Too many tech toys (cellulars/etc) in the house? Throw away the kid’s cellular/laptop. Reduce household cellulars to maybe two and not five.
      4.Fix-it problems in the household: do not hire very expensive electricians, HVAC companies, plumbers, etc: instead ask your neighbors of a “general handyman” in the area who is an overall Fix It person who is known for his/her honesty and care for you.

      Show these cost-cutting ideas can go into paying off their auto loans, and credit card debts.

    5. CanCyn

      You’re looking for ‘News you can Use’. I’m pretty sure if it were put there, links to it would be here. Am mostly just echoing cfraenkel’s comment here but Lambert and NC’s COVID coverage has been nothing short of amazing and extremely useful.
      And that leads me to the Debbie Doomer side of things – friends and family express amazement about my COVID knowledge, I tell almost all gleaned from NC but ASFAIK, not one of them has started reading it. Jerry Seinfeld once asked about hecklers, “How big do you have to be to just be allowed to do your gig?” I have to wonder just how right you have to be to get people to pay attention.

  22. IM

    I wonder if Substack would be a good place to land. You could post periodic long form content there (like Big Serge) that would drive paid subscriptions, then benefit from Substack cross-recommendations. Keep x to feed the website and Substack.

    1. nippersdad

      This was the concept I was thinking of. There is already a lot of original content provided on this site, so why not further monetize that? It is very good and needs a larger audience, something that substack has provided for many journalists already.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        It would operate to the detriment of the comments section. It would fragment comments across 2 sites and undermine the caliber of the discussions.

        See also:

        As you may already know, Substack is a tool for publishing email newsletters like this one. The idea is that anyone can start a newsletter, using Substack’s (very nice) interface, and we have the option to charge subscribers. Substack advertises itself as a tool, an app, that functions like a marketplace. Using the app, readers can find topics of interest, and creators can get compensated for the labor we put into our creations. All that Substack asks is for a percentage of our subscription income, to pay for maintaining the site, support, etc. Honestly, a fair deal.

        Except Substack is not merely an app. It’s actually a publication. Why do I say that? Because Substack’s leadership pays a secret, select group of people to write for the platform. They call this group of writers the “Substack Pro” group, and they are rewarded with “advances” that Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie calls “an upfront sum to cover their first year on the platform [that’s] more attractive to a writer than a salary, so they don’t have to stay in a job (or take one) that’s less interesting to them than being independent.” In other words, it’s enough money to quit their day jobs. They also get exposure through Substack’s now-considerable online reach.

        By doing this, Substack is creating a de facto editorial policy. Their leadership — let’s call them editors — are deciding what kinds of writing and writers are worthy of financial compensation. And you don’t know who those people are. That’s right — Substack is taking an editorial stance, paying writers who fit that stance, and refusing to be transparent about who those people are….

        One of the most important elements of ethical journalism is transparency at all levels. Writers should share who their sources are, or in those few cases where they can’t share, they should be honest about why they can’t reveal them. Writers should be explicit about any bias they have, too. Editors, for their part, must be honest about what their publication’s policies are, including who they are paying and what kinds of gatekeeping they do to hire those writers. This kind of openness is not complex. For example, newspapers generally share the names of their editorial staff, with ways to contact them, so that anyone can contact an editor with a story idea or question. There is a masthead with staff writers’ names on it.

        All of this is to say that when a story appears in a publication, we know that’s because it has passed through an editorial process — usually involving payment, but possibly some other arrangement — and that publication is putting its brand or imprimatur on the story. The publication takes responsibility for what it publishes, in both ethical and legal ways. When this process breaks down, it’s a big deal. People get fired.

        Not at Substack, where their editorial policy is to cover up who writes for them. How can Substack be held accountable for what they pay to publish if the writers they pay — let’s call them staff writers — could be literally anyone on the site? The answer is that they can’t.

        But, you might be saying, Substack mostly publishes tons of people who are not staff writers. Look at the thousands of newsletters on the site that are clearly not written by staff! No, it does not matter that technically anyone can jump on Substack and get paid by subscribers. Technically anyone can sing on the street corner and get paid by passerby, but that doesn’t mean they are on a level playing field with Megan Thee Stallion. An elite group of Substack Pro staffers, handpicked by editors, have been given the resources to write full time. Everyone else on Substack has to do it for free until they manage to claw and scrape their way into a subscriber base that pays.

        Realistically, almost nobody will reach that point.

        In other words, we’d be having to do the same sort of traffic building effort we do here at NC, without the benefit of our marquee Links and Water Cooler to bring in traffic every day, and we give up 10% for the privilege of having no help from Substack.

  23. Cynthia

    My $0.02 is: Substack. I’ve read NC on and off for years, I think I discovered it during the ’08 mess. On and off because I was using the RSS feed with Feedly which only pulled in the first part of each article, then I’d have to click over to this site and use the screen reader. I started using Omnivore which can actually pull in the whole article from the RSS feed and has reliable text to speech.

    I’ve never sent money until this year. Why did I do it? Because Substack somehow changed my mindset about paying for content, and as above, I was actually consuming whole articles regularly. I never got into Medium where I’m paying the company and have no idea how much the authors were getting. With Substack I pay each author directly and can interact with them.

    Trying out Substack doesn’t mean you have to give up this site. You could turn off comments on the articles posted there, and drive people here to participate. It’s basically another social media site now that they have Notes. See what happens.

    The Bulwark and The Rational Walk are two ‘stacks that are somewhat similar to NC. I think The Rational Walk has linked to NC at least once, though it might have been Kingswell if it was something about Buffet.

    I see someone above also mentioned audio — it doesn’t need to be human produced. There are widgets you can add to the website that will speak the text such as

    Having your own app is another option. With it only being a website, it is very easy to forget it’s here and wander off being distracted by the 1001 other content sources that are able to catch our attention more easily.

    1. jonboinAR

      My problem with Substack subscriptions has been that the minimum has been $5/month. I’m sorry. That’s too much. I could give $1 a month to, like, 15 authors. If that were an option, perhaps several of the authors over there would actually earn more money. I would however, give NC $5/mo at Substack if your whole site were there, as y’all offer a lot more content.

      Except for that, however, I don’t know what advice I can give. I don’t know what you mean when you talk of a “newsletter”. Is that the same as your daily “links” and “Water Cooler”?

  24. Susan the other

    Local solutions. Local radio and newspaper PSA spots to ask for input. For a broad overarching goal like environmental progress at the grass roots. Or sampling changes in attitudes. Maybe forecasting from a large network of observers. Might be interesting to see how simpler local solutions are better than huge hyper investments in things like the BRI. The trend for news, information, and commentary has gone from local to global. That’s part of the reason we are locked into assuming someone else with unlimited means or knowledge is going to solve our problems at a time when good ecology requires lots of intricate diversity.

    1. Wukchumni

      It isn’t uncommon for stories in the newspapers in Cali to stick around for weeks online, so you just know they are starved for content, but would they be willing to use a story on CAlPERS or something with a pretty plain to see, anti-Zionist attitude?

      1. Susan the other

        Well maybe not, but you never know now that all politics are global because we really do have to admit how critical it is becoming to save the environment. That is the trump card imo. Hating each other for reasons lost in the fog of history aren’t as important as all the work we need to start doing. Might bring lots of old rivals together.

  25. Utah

    You’ve gotten some good ideas, and I’m going to throw another out and see if it sticks: merchandise page. There are companies that will run them for you. You can tie membership to it, so if you’ve been a monthly donor for, say, 6 months you get a link for a free or discounted T-shirt or ball cap. I’d absolutely wear a naked capitalism T-shirt or hoodie and would happily buy one. You could add some slogans that are regularly said like “news you can use.”

    1. Bsn

      Utah, good call, nice state. I agree. I’ve tried a couple times to buy Duran “swag” but it didn’t work as it was via Crete or some other place and I gave up. I would buy, wear and give away NC swag. People want to take away memorabilia and spread the word.
      I vote for NC trinkets (hopefully not made in a foreign country). Personally I’d support a $20 mug from a craft creator as opposed to a $5 mug from elsewhere.

      1. It must fit...

        I also wanted to propose the idea of NC-T-Shirts and mugs… and wanted to mention The Duran.
        It’s clear, that such merchendise stuff has to have a higher price then the T-Shirts and Mugs from the supermarket around the corner…

        …but the prices of The Duran are only for fanboys of a certain kind, and have prevented me from buying them. The 10%-off and 20%-off that they offer in their videos does not convince me…
        …it makes me even more thinking that I would be duped, when buying this stuff.

        So, if the prices are exorbitant and only for fanatic fanboys, don’t expect me buying it…
        …it might be even contraproductive, when the way the merchendising is handled, contradicts what is written in the blog…

    2. CanCyn

      I like the Tshirt/merchandise idea too. My husband and I keep a list of quotes, funny, pithy, profound, etc that we joke about making into Tshirts. Some of them are NC comments. An NC tshirt featuring a quote from the commentariat is absolutely something I would buy. Or a profile image of Yves saying “Huh?”, I’d wear that in a heartbeat.
      But you run into the whole ethical merchandise thing, where was the T made, were people well paid along the chain, etc. And really, I have no idea how much money people make from these things. Maria Popova, who writes The Marginalian (linked to occasionally by Lambert) has a Society 6 site where she sells things ‘curated’ by her Not sure how that works but maybe another way to go?
      I might be interested in doing more digging, and perhaps helping to get something up and running. My Canadian locale may be a hindrance at some point but reach out if this idea appeals.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      We tried this once. You can’t charge enough to make money. All you get is a small % from the fulfillment house, and that’;s for stuff they can make in onesies affordably (T-shirts and tote bags). Mugs they make in fixed #s and the proprietor has to pay for that and then they are all gone.

      It is however a feel good for readers.

  26. Irrational

    I don’t think I can add much to the above from a European perspective. As far as I can see most of your readers here are expats, either from the US or within Europe and I suspect many people prefer to read/listen to content in their mother-tongue. There are of course those who are not or do not, not trying to stereo-type.
    This could be a good time for NC to be thinking about how to get more readers, though. I sense much more openness to and interest in non-MSM news sources and analysis on Israel-Gaza than on e.g. Ukraine, where you are not allowed to have alternative views. For example, we have formed a Teams group at work for those of us with a dim view of the Israeli government’s approach in Gaza and I recommended NC to the group. Hope some of them show up and maybe stay.

    1. Jams O'Donnell

      Some websites have some sort of translation set-up so that you can choose between ten or twenty different languages for an instant translation. I have no idea how good the translations are, or how difficult and expensive it would be to set this up, though. If it was feasible would, I suppose, gradually bring in more readers.

  27. Aurelien

    Couple of points.
    NC’s great advantage is its combination of highly-informed and well-written analysis on complex and important topics, buttressed by often equally highly-informed commentary. That’s why, when people ask me where to go for information about such topics, I immediately point them at you. However, it’s important to remember the gulf that separates the average NC reader from the average MSM reader, not only in terms of knowledge, but also in terms of attitudes. Are you interested in attracting the average, fair-minded and quite well-educated reader who doesn’t believe everything in the MSM, but nonetheless broadly shares consensual PMC opinions? The kind of person who is starting to have doubts about Ukraine, for example, but wouldn’t read more than a few paragraphs of an article suggesting it was all just a western conspiracy since 1997? Or the kind of person who was horrified by what was going on in Gaza, but would be put off by this or that commentator accusing their own government of complicity in genocide, for example?

    I’ve been very struck by how comments on other sites which have very educated readers (Slate Star Codex is a good example) nonetheless very often display a terrible naivety and lack of knowledge about many of the subjects NC covers. I made a few comments on that site (called something else now) last year, just pointing out what some respected commentators had said about Ukraine, and was greeted not even with real hostility, but just with total incomprehension. (What do you mean the Russians are winning?) But some of the readers you want to attract will be of that type.

    So I think it would be worth marketing NC as a place to go for quick, expert commentary on complex issues, but in a way that doesn’t leave new readers bewildered by the impressive degree of coverage, but also the distance from many of the opinions and analyses they habitually read. Which is a long-winded way of saying that you might want to set up some “Introduction” pages, where you take an issue like Covid or Ukraine or the US Elections, and produce a “new readers start here” guide. This would provide links to a manageable number of stories, perhaps arranged by sub-theme, with a chapeau explaining briefly the history of NC coverage, why it features a wider range of opinions than is often found in the MSM, and a few points to take away. There could then be a separate link to Comments, because the sheer length and complexity of some of them could frighten new readers, who would do better to read and absorb the article itself first. If you have the effort, then presenting selected comments only might also be a solution. Such a page, which would be updated from time to time, could be sent as a link to very large numbers of people, with the recommendation to “educate yourself here” or something, and be suitable for passing on.

    On book reviews, yes, I’ve published some myself. But do we mean critical reviews of new books also reviewed elsewhere, recommendations for books that have been overlooked, or just recommendations of books we like, or all of them?

    1. cfraenkel

      I like this! It overlaps with some ideas previously mentioned (ie single topic ebook compilations) and some nice to have capabilities I’ve wished for.

      It would be nice, and is currently challenging, to go back to find previous posts about a topic. Yes, you can search, but you have to already know it’s there to begin with, so not very discoverable. Something along the lines of tagged content, perhaps?

      So, maybe a Calpers page (a view?), or a Covid page, or a Ukraine page. Lambert already does some of this for Covid, but the history is mixed in with the new. Us regulars are used to the format, but it’s likely confusing for newcomers.

      (and he keeps promising to update the Democrats are a rotting corpse post ; )

      1. No automatism to achieve accurate knowledge

        Well, I found the “Topics” on the NC startpage quite useful.
        Some people asked for recommended Blogs.
        They also can be found on the startpage (Blog Roll).

        Adding special features and Starter-Docs is a lot of work.
        So this will add extra work to the NC people.
        How many people will read that?

        More than once I did content compilations on some topics and sent them to some poeple I knew.
        Even in that case the feedback is quite low. If one or two thank you, thats a lot.
        And some people just ignore the facts-compilation, if they are already too adversely biased to certain topics.
        It’s not always about facts.
        And: you can write and prepare and publish more and more… if there is no openness by the potential readers, this does help nothing.
        Yes, good intoductions can help the interested readers, who are new to a topic.
        But this is not working for the big mass of people, who just consume the MSM.

        (Let me add: the MSM from time to time (or from topic to topic) tell the truth… so just taking the opposition stance to anything the MSM spreads does not lead into more accurate knowledge. Many so called ‘alternative media’ fall into the trap of just reversing anything from the MSM – some kind of ‘ad hominem’ applied to media institutions.)

    2. Vodkatom

      I like the idea of the “start here” guides or topic intros. Since Yves’ post for suggestions came out, i’ve been thinking about something similar all morning. The “gold” of this site is a framework for understanding (based on both critical thinking, and I’d say a moral voice – queue lambert’s “concrete material benefits”). But its hard to just stop by and get it.

      Two ideas, one from the devil

      First, to add to Aurelien’s suggestion. I remember finding NC around the 2008 financial crisis. But only after constant reading of many blogs at that time, trying to make sense of things, did it click NC was for real. But it took time to understand the value of NC. This time to get up to speed on complex topics is probably common for average readers with a basic impulse to critical thinking. When I want to share something like ideas about MMT, I try to find articles from NC. But its harder than it seems. The ideas are infused in many things, pithy passages are often embedded into articles on other topis. MMT is one example where a section with the best post on the topic would be handy. There is a text book hidden in these pages. Help new readers find this “gold”

      Ok now a suggestion from the devil. You do have a product. And you can market it. NC gets rated as a top financial blogs. My god, its more than that, but I think finance (or political-economy) is the hook. Understanding the financial world is a selfish activity to make good financial decisions (both with our own money, and how we think about politics). Market NC as that. Some possible “highlight” section for new readers: MMT, the Bezzle, Economic Fundamentals.

      These could useful in and of themselves to bring new readers on board.

      Now don’t hate me: buy google search ads on key words related to these topics. People looking for financial information might be a good place to start looking for new readers. I can see the ads now “NC – One of the most influential financial blogs. What is the bezzle in the world of finance?” – click into new reader section / best of on that topics.

  28. Tom Pfotzer

    I suggest:

    a. modify your product-delivery system so that your readers and commenters can build you content, and organize that content into a form that’s easily disseminated. The Links section already does a lot of the heavy-lifting. Add a “one-line summary” field, gather the links into a database, select the best ones for the week, and press “Publish”.

    b. Your readers are commenting because they want to impact the situation. Give them more impact, more credit/recognition. If you can’t give them money, give them attention. Find a way to help _them_ make better use of their commenting energy. You did that with the last iteration of the newsletter, and I thought that was one of the key functions it performed.

    c. Make some little e-books, and sell them. Or podcasts – I second others’ recommendations on this score. Merch is a decent income-generator, and nobody has better merch than NC. Ya got the merch, now Merchandise it; display it, promote it, put a automatic cash register on it, and gen some revenue. All the thinking and effort that goes into writing an article (some, not all articles) could be pushed just a little further to produce a booklet. Charge $5 for it. Let people buy one, and distribute many (the lost rev is made up by increased brand awareness). Ask your article-writers to publish one of these little bookets, and share the rev with them.

    d. Narrow your focus some. The fire-hose of subject matter makes it harder to be really good at promotion: what’s your message? What’s your value-add? What’s the value proposition (what you give in effort and money .vs. what you get back as a reader/commenter). And NC needs promotion. It’s not just the task of delivering your message to the right person, your message (which expresses the value prop) has to be compelling in order to cut thru the barrage of info overload we’re all experiencing. What is the unique contribution NC makes? I know it, but does your as-yet-unaware target market know it?

    e. Collaborate more. Every non-MSM outlet has the same prob NC does, and most of them aren’t solving it. Can you build a mechanism to take content/links from other authors, integrate it into a common offering, and get it delivered to all the contributors’ audiences? Everyone keeps their own mailing list, but all have the right to distribute the content to their list.

    In sum: NC already does a huge amount of stuff right: Great readers, commenters, authors, subject matter. You already have content. Organize it into a distributable form, and make merchandise out of it. Be the aggregator / distributor that all the rest of the NC-alikes need and don’t have. Give your offering a monster of a value proposition, and sell it for way less than it’s worth. And give the commenters / collaborating authors a way to build you perfecto-ready-to-publish content.

    1. CanCyn

      “ d. Narrow your focus some. The fire-hose of subject matter makes it harder to be really good at promotion: what’s your message?” I tend to agree with this. A little local bakery & take out food place that we frequent recently changed up what they do. The menu is smaller and each week day has a special feature based on the featured ‘main’ of the day, so that people know what to expect and anticipate. Along with regular menu items, Monday is turkey day, Tuesday is pasta day, Wednesday is cheese day, Thursday is Burger day and of course Friday is fish day. NC might not be able to totally narrow by day and folks will always want some variety but No Party’s problem could be solved by a regular daily topic feature e.g. one day being for COVID news (which doesn’t negate featuring big COVID news when it hits) and info so that commentary flowed all day. As I said above, I could never possibly read every thing here every day and there are some things I don’t read at all ie the Ukraine and Gaza content (simply can’t stomach it). I know the current list format makes it easy to gather comments all in one place but maybe the regular categories like The Bezzle, COVID, Class Warfare, etc. could be links at the top of the page? There is something about the style and organization of a site that draws people in and those of us who understand NC can navigate well but newbies might be put off by scrolling through text and X links – from a web style perspective it is a somewhat old fashioned look. Somehow the firehose needs to be converted into a series of more user friendly drinking fountains. But of course maybe this just takes us back to Pink’s dilemma – change everything that you do??

  29. JustTheFacts

    Slashdot and Hacker News are tech focused. Spamming them with non-tech information would probably backfire. Reddit is fair game.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I never never never suggested spamming. i said relevant stories and we do have relevant stories.

      We have occasional posts on digital currencies, once in a while on bank technology, and on various blockchain/crypto scams. Those are all in the tech wheelhouse. Slashdot and Ycombinator also have posts on anti-trust since Big Tech is in the crosshairs. We have not had the bandwidth to do that given Ukraine and Gaza. but it we were to do an analysis of a new filing, that would also be germane.

      1. JustTheFacts

        Yes, that’s fair. For instance your coverage of Uber was quite relevant.

        Another thought: You could commission some articles that might really interest them. E.g.: how CBDCs might affect bitcoin; how generative AI (that is to say ChatGPT, Copilot, mid-journey, et al) could affect the economy, and how it could concentrate power in the hands of a few (Microsoft). For instance the recent Sam Altman saga demonstrated where power truly lies.

        Bare in mind that many technologists do not understand the banking sector deeply, as I discovered during the Silicon Valley Bank saga, so clear explanations of the underlying assumptions would be helpful. (Of course the reverse is true too, so be sure to get your tech facts right, or many will presume your website incompetent and won’t revisit it).

  30. Jason Boxman

    For what it’s worth, I’d recommend (I know it’s Google, but) making changes suggested by PageSpeed Insights in regards to page loading speed. Both Mobile and Desktop show some possible improvements.

    For third party scripts, it’s possible to use something called PartyTown, which loads third party scripts in background thread WebWorkers. I haven’t used this, so ymmv. I don’t know if it’s possible to optimize DOM elements at all; Comments add a ton of DOM elements, which the browser needs to parse and render.

    Looks like semantic HTML; It might be possible to do stuff like instead of header, cite, b for the author, just use a cite and CSS to make it bold. On a page with hundreds of comments, which is very common, this’ll save 12 bytes per comment, plus element an extra DOM element per comment. (Granted those bytes are going to be gzip compressed, but it’s still fewer DOM element per comment and that affects render speed, particularly on slower mobile devices.)

    Adding width and height on the few images that are missing it would be an easy win. On high traffic sites, the little things can help.

    1. ChrisPacific

      A bit of attention to page sizes might help. I actually stopped reading it on mobile data because the page loads were so enormous.

      I figured it was because of the long comment threads, but actually it seems like it’s the ad scripts. On the current links, something called predictive.js from is taking up nearly a megabyte. Twitter has several objects adding up to around 600kB, and Clover is next at around 300kB (could this be loaded just on the donate page?) The comments themselves clock in at around 250kB, large but not unreasonable.

      On this page Twitter doesn’t appear (so it must be the embeds doing it) but investingchannel is even worse than I realized, with uat-internal.js and uat-tag.js eating up nearly another half a meg. Why do UAT assets need to be loaded in a production site? Something is not right here.

      Source: right click, Inspect, network tab, reload page, sort by size column.

    2. Acacia

      Every time I have looked at the browser developer panel to see why NC was loading slowly, the issue was always Twitter embeds loading at glacial speed. Idk if there’s any solution to this, but if you want to try and optimize site performance that would IMHO be the place to start, rather than trying to micro-optimize the CSS representation of comments.

  31. GramSci

    NC is a community of people who care about what is happening. As Jeremy Grimm says above, most people can’t face this. But there are people like No Party, Tom Pfotzer, and myself who are overwhelmed by the firehose of Links. Used to be I could read all of today’s Links and then go on to comment. Now I must read the Comments first to see where I can comment and expect to get feedback on my thoughts. I see this ability to get informed, constructive feedback as the single most valuable feature of the NC community. But I must do it before the community moves over to Water Cooler at 2 p.m. EST. Often I will see an interesting link at 3 p.m., or 11 p.m. on Water Cooler, but if I leave a comment or a question, few if any readers will come back to that day’s Links or WC to reply.

    On the assumption that frequency-of-comment is positively correlated with sense-of-community and level-of-donation, I don’t see easy ways of growing the community and donations that doesn’t entail increased moderation.

    Since all politics is local, I raised the topic of virtual meetups by nation or Metro Area, not merely to organize an NC Songbook Band, but to possibly increase participation while minimizing moderation. Frequently-commented Links and Comments could be distributed to these areas and persisted for a few days, allowing for more sustained discussion, possibly with reduced moderation. (No doubt comment frequency would need to be adjusted for comment length. As ambrit notes, humor is a bonding element for the community, but I doubt it alone significantly drives donations.)

    I think Mark Gisleson suggested another reorganization along these lines, by Topic. But topics strike me as more difficult. They can be multi-dimensional, and this could require difficult curation and/or some kind of tf/idf clustering.

    If community members were willing to declare a geographic “allegiance”, comments could also be sorted by locality. Such “virtual meetups” could increase a sense of community commitment and, perhaps, donations.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I usually backtrack to check whether I need to reply to any comments to my comments from earlier. I usually/often start from the bottom of the comments track to read newer comments that came in since my last reading. Like you I enjoy feedback and especially enjoy arguing. I am not as able as I would like to be and enjoy banging heads for mutual enlightenment … as I believe you do.

      I tend to skip over current politics as of interest but no longer within the domain of events I can change or have any influence upon. Commenting seems pointless where the vanishingly small impact my political voice once have had has indeed diminished to a tiny epsilon that vanishes at infinity.

      Keep commenting and be ready for a tussle when I disagree with you on a subject that interests me.

      1. ambrit

        Looking for my verbal sparring equipment bag.
        I too have found myself slacking off on much national political news due to the “learned helplessness” involved with engagement at the State and National level. I keep checking myself and employing ‘self censoring’ due to the extreme ideas that come up as the only “feasible” change mechanisms on offer. The John Kennedy quote about what happens when you deny people a method of dissent comes to mind.
        The Fire Hose analogy is a bit misleading. I have adopted a pick and chose method of engagement with the Links Section and Water Cooler. There is only so much one can deal with in a day, and the news cycle seems to have developed along the lines of becoming a daily phenomenon.

  32. Burritonomics

    My thought is to publish your newsletter and/or original content on Substack. May be some opportunity there for subscribers and visibility.

  33. dogwood

    If I came across the naked capitalism name in my general reading, I would be much more inclined to click through to your site if your descriptor Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power was also visible.

    I’ve gotten a number of people to listen to you via podcast interview/discussion and that in turn seemed to be what was needed to get them to check out your site. You’ve got such a great site, hope you come up with effective new ideas to keep it all going and growing Yves.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I strongly agree that the descriptor: “Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power” might prove compelling to entice newcomers. I also believe the name NakedCapitalism is easy to remember which is important to the name of a webpage. [I believe some other commenter[s] similarly noted the impact of the site’s descriptor.]

  34. juno mas

    From my perspective, NC is not readily digestible by many. It requires substantial effort/time to comprehend the diversity of Links. Most folks today consume their information in videos. NC is a word/text dominated site because the ideas presented require accurate description (nuance). I, personally, like the mental concentration that it takes to comprehend NC content. Others, no so much.

    I do visit YouToob sites for info, but find them essentially time wasting: Mercouris has a marvelous vocabulary but dances around his topics; The Duran is better, but only slightly so; Michael Hudson is better—but I find his books/writing to be more instructive than the video fare. Give me insightful, elegant writing and I’m in heaven. (Thank you Commentariat for taking your time to present coherent comments.)

    1. Acacia

      Give me insightful, elegant writing and I’m in heaven.

      Ditto. Video is far too slow to absorb. It’s easy for producers to just talk and record, but shifts the burden and time requirement to all listeners.

  35. Mikel

    There will be places people go to interact with and hear from actual people and places people go to be propagandized by bots and algos.

    1. ambrit

      The problem here is that “bots and algos” are ‘upping their game’ and can now often be mistaken for “real” people. The other variable is that many people have been cozened into accepting Propaganda as “really” being Entertainment.
      I propose a meme. #DeepFakeWorld.

  36. Wukchumni

    A WaPo article on Dave Barry, and why humor is so important, and as far as i’m concerned, I prefer the dark meat-which has always been prominent around these parts.

    Though Barry isn’t an opinion writer, he manages to convey what he thinks while also making us laugh. Does the awfulness of news put a damper on humor? On the contrary, terrible times mean humor is necessary.

    “People love to laugh,” Barry said, “but it’s gotten harder and harder to find places where it’s allowed.”

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I especially enjoy your comments for their humor. I believe many coffee spitters share my enjoyment.

  37. Clwydshire

    Sorry if this is long and rambles. It does end with a suggestion.

    Like “furnace” said above, play to your strengths. Given that you want to keep your own high standards, you are, as you explain, seeking to find people who belong in your audience, rather than trying to garner more views from people who don’t.

    I think I came to NC from hearing about it on the Duran (which I subscribed to after listening to a single (!) program on Youtube). The MSM is so horrible that people are actively looking for something better. And as a result there is beginning to be more of a community of high quality alternatives, ranging from the Duran, to Judge Napolitano, to Glen Greenwald and Moon of Alabama and various Substack writers. It’s great when you get a mention, as you do from time to time, on one of these independent sites or programs. I thought it was marvelous publicity when you joined one of the Duran’s discussions. NC is also, without peer, I think, the best guide to what is going on in this broader community of independent journalists. For me this is important because I don’t always want to listen to a long video, or read another Substack article, but if if something really important turns up, it will almost certainly get a mention on NC.

    But the community I described above is all about national and international news. There is a whole other realm in people are also moving away from the mainstream media: Local news. I noticed the other day (still winding our way toward an actual suggestion) that you referenced a Flatwater Free Press story about the corporate buy up of Nebraska farmland. I live in Nebraska, where the two largest newspapers, the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World Herald, are now controlled by Lee Enterprises. Furthermore, the state’s smaller newspapers are in some sort of consortium with the larger ones, so that the news they publish is all filtered through Lee Enterprises. Lee Enterprises’ newspapers suck. They actively promote ignorance. Flatwater Free Press is just about the only high quality regular Nebraska news source that will engage with controversial topics. (Sometimes the local reporting from NPR stations and Harvest Public Media will contribute, but not so regularly and they suffer some reluctance to engage in controversy).

    On occasion, I have found similar high quality independent local or regional news sites in other states.

    So my suggestion would be to set up a page at NC, let’s call it “Links to Local” that has a map of the U.S. states. If you click on Nebraska you get links to the Flat Water Free Press site, and maybe a mention of its now defunct predecessor (still important for the articles it contained) Prairie Fire Newspaper, now available only through the Internet Archive’s Wayback machine. Here’s a sample from that:

    This could be done for many states… take a look for example at West Virginia’s Mountain State Spotlight: as another example.

    Maybe after a while you could also link to the “three top stories in November” for each state… And those too could come up, along with the outlets themselves, when you click on a state.

    The point of doing this is that the writers and readers at such outlets are often your kind of people. If people find their own links on a site, they are more likely to mention the site, and spread the word about it. Such a page would also be a very interesting resource on its own, it if were well curated. You will have to think about whether the extra trouble would be worth it.

  38. Gulag

    NC might be able to build a bigger audience by gradually becoming known as the place to go for exciting discussions, debates and articles about an emerging new politics beyond traditional left and right.

    For example, based on my reading of the recent Steve Keen Michael Hudson conversation, the issue of the future direction of capitalism (finance gone from being a servant of capitalism to a parasite of capitalism, or they make their rent without enterprise, without earning) in itself has the potential to generate a much larger readership, if these types of insights are highlighted and discussed and expanded upon.

    Do not align yourself with sites like Moon of Alabama but instead become known as the place to go to articulate what is now largely unarticulated–that traditional left and right thinking is inadequate to what we are now facing on a political, economic and cultural level.

    I”m betting that the audience for this type of analysis is already huge and will only continue to grow.

    1. aletheia33

      i agree with this idea, which others have also mentioned. below are my thoughts on what i’ll call “the mission” (a term beloved of marketers, i know). what is NC’s mission? the strategy of attracting readers should, i would think, arise mainly out of the sense of the mission; should be determined by it. (or am i wrong? or is this too obvious to need saying?)

      this approach (gulag’s suggestion) also could embrace a site-to-share-ideas-and-what’s-working-and-not-working approach on local on-the-ground practical/realistic non-NGO-centered things readers can actually do.
      even just some more detailed guidance on, say, how to “reach out to one’s neighbors”. how to begin to break down the isolating norms of USA society that keep us from helping/even interacting with one another, locally. it’s not like all of us have lots of actual practice under our belts in this area.

      a national-level site where local actors (i do not mean professional “activists” though there is some mutuality) can converse with other local actors far away. this is hard info to get when you’re in the midst of trying something new (or reviving something very old), maybe not knowing someone else in colorado or in queensland is trying it too and has discovered some things you need to know.
      the comment on the lack of local news in nebraska (above) is on point. it takes work and time just to find these stories and there are way too darn few of them being published anywhere any more.
      this is an urgent need.
      what could be more important right now than to enable this kind of info to circulate around the localities?
      i think susan the other (above) is right on this.

      there are plenty of places to find great art, great music old and new, beautiful animals, on the net. and personally, if i can’t find people worth discussing things with locally (e.g. a local book group or neighborhood meetup for some purpose) then finding it on the net is not going to give me real satisfaction. it’s not going to move me, it’s not going to engage me, for real. i need to find actual people to work with and share ideas with in order to actively participate in my own future and that of my neighbors.

      i’m not saying NC should give up these “cultural” (awful word) items up–just, what is sorely needed (i think–i hope i’ll be corrected on this if i’m wrong) is a more effective way of communicating about all the local activity that is in fact happening, more and more, but here and there, widely scattered–it’s a big country and a big world. the net does help with this, but there are too many competing interests taking more and more ownership of the net, especially the behemoth of greed and power-lust that resides in silicon valley, the rapidly developing surveillance system and police state, and the like. we have to find new ways to swim upstream against the current, not just in doing stuff but in circulating information.

      for what it’s worth, my current commenters whose comments i never skip are:

      amfortas the hippie. he is walking the walk. there’s plenty of people up my way in new england who are working stuff out on the ground the way he is, but i don’t see many of them commenting at NC. amfortas clearly feels isolated, as hard as he works to connect locally. but he is not alone in what he is doing and thinking.

      henry moon pie, who answered a question i had about where he thinks we’re all headed, realistically, especially with all the nuclear facilities that won’t be minded after a certain point of social collapse. his answer, and a lot of thinking that he has clearly done, has been useful to me in enduring the current early-stage collapse situation. i’m not sure he’s still showing up as much around here as he was–if not, i’d ask him why.

      susan the other is “an-other” whose comments i never skip. she has really good ideas and expresses them succinctly. i wish she commented more often and her ideas got more attention.

      finally, for what it’s worth, here’s how i got started with NC and why i keep coming back, bottom line:

      1. 2008: i was underwater the minute i bought my first home, a condo, in the fall of 2007, at age 53. on NC i stumbled upon the reporting that gave me the info i needed to obtain a HAMP refi. it took persistence, refusing to give up, knowledge of how the loan servicers would try to deep-six my application. i fondly rememeber saying: “i sent you that information via fedex, your office signed it was received, so i know it is somewhere in your building, so could you please go and find it and then call me.” she did. as the next recession approaches, i have hope that NC once again will report the facts that may help me stay in my home–inside information that allowed me to work the system to get what i needed. a surprising amount of USG $$ never reaches desperate people because they lack this kind of knowledge and there’s no one to guide them in getting what they’re entitled to. not to mention the cost in time and effort involved in applying for any kind of assistance, an impossible cost for so many hard working people. there were lots of people who could have gotten a few years’ mortgage help if they just knew enough to persist the way i did.

      2. 2011: occupy wall street. i think i first read about occupy at NC–i seem to recall that yves was at the very first action skeptical that stopping traffic in lower manhattan would do anything more than annoy new yorkers (apologies yves if i’ve misrepresented you!). but very soon, she was fully on board, and NC was actively reporting on occupy. i inhaled everything NC published on occupy, and this led me to make a pilgrimage to NYC to the original site. occupy is not over. one of the things NC could do along the lines i mention above is track what some of the occupiers are doing now. many of them did not go by their official names. do they have a network of some kind, off the surveillance “grid”? anonymous interviews would be necessary. such info could be inspiring and useful to the rest of us.

      3. 2016: in brief–lambert did not formally “call” the election, but more than once expressed the sense, based on his careful tracking of the signs, that trump’s win was fully possible. who else did? in general, lambert’s persistent skepticism toward all groupthink and mass persuasion keeps me grounded in reality, regarding the local, the national, and the international level scenes. this is essential.

      4. 2020: the pandemic. the covid reporting on NC has kept me alive, infection free, and feeling safe and fully informed about what to expect in my daily life around living (one hopes) through a pandemic. this fall several of my most careful friends got infected for the first time. they had let their guards down, briefly. some had a rough time with it. some may still “have” it–it’s too soon to tell. i’ve seen similar reports this fall in the comments on NC. armed with NC info, i went through 3 surgeries in 2022-23 and insisted, whenever within facilities, on staying masked (throughout my times in the OR) myself and on all those working on me staying masked. my requests were all honored. so: if i had only 10 minutes/day to read NC, i would make sure to check the COVID info.

      in case it’s relevan–about me and what keeps me coming back to NC: i am 68, still working. i have no savings, due to decades of chronic illness (CFS, disability status not obtainable; also, i can work, part time, at home). SSA alone won’t amount to much when i can no longer work; i’ll be dependent on whatever basic state social services may still exist as i age out. i am not looking forward to the end game. at the same time, i’ve not given up on my neighbors or my community–and not while knowing that people like amfortas, henry, susan, yves, lambert, and others whose advice and stories on NC have helped keep my spirits up, are out there, and are walking the walk with me. but to my point–so far, NC gives me info, ideas, and a sense of camaraderie in the face of disaster that i can’t get any other way. i think NC has quite a few readers of my ilk, who depend on NC yet cannot provide much $$ support.

      just a personal take on what makes NC invaluable to one reader.
      sorry, i’m working on a deadline (!) and do not have time to edit it.
      thanks for your patience in reading it.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Thanks for the kind words, aletheia33. I have been commenting less, but that has nothing to do with any unhappiness with NC. I’ve been dealing with some health issues and have been able to comment less frequently. For the next couple of weeks, that will be even more the case, I hope to be back around on a regular basis before Christmas.

        I like to urge my kids to think of life as a float trip rather than a camping expedition. Lately, on my little journey down the river, I’ve been hearing a roar, at first distant but becoming closer and closer. I had decided I was headed over Niagara Falls without a barrel, but it turns out it’s only a Class 5 rapids, and there are some smart people ready to help me navigate it, albeit in an inner tube. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ll be thinking about your kind words and those from others over the years at NC over the coming days.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > a more effective way of communicating about all the local activity that is in fact happening, more and more, but here and there, widely scattered–it’s a big country and a big world.

        I have been wracking my brains about this and have no answers. I believe that yes, something is percolating “out there” and its not bad (which may be one reason it’s not being covered).

        Also, [lambert blushes modestly].

    2. Lambert Strether

      > become known as the place to go to articulate what is now largely unarticulated–that traditional left and right thinking is inadequate to what we are now facing on a political, economic and cultural level.

      I”m betting that the audience for this type of analysis is already huge and will only continue to grow.

      I think this is helpful (particularly the “articulate what is now largely unarticulated” part).

  39. oliverks

    I find the search function kind of weak on nakedcapitalism. I don’t think it is unique to this site.

    How about a generative AI bot that is trained on the material from this site, and other independent sites. This could then become a collective knowledge that smaller news sites could host and help promote historical and current content from high quality smaller sites to a larger range of viewer.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Do you read any of the links, posts, or discussion about AI on this site?

      My opinion of AI is that it is little more than a number of pattern recognition technologies being pushed beyond their capacity for profit. Read up on learning algorithms and decide if that is what you regard as learning. Is that remotely close to how you learn? I believe there is much more to learn about learning and intelligence before I start giving much credence to the possibility of any “Singularity” as predicted in SciFi. When the “Sinularity” comes up I think about the movie “Automata ” or “Transcendence” … not the movie “ex Machina”.

      1. oliverks

        I do read about it on this site. There are valid points, but for search it is clearly superior by now over google or other search engines.

        The reason why it is superior, is its ability to fuzzy match is so much better, and its ability to understand context in an interactive session is much better.

        There is a reason Google is so panicked about AI. It will erode their moat for search.

        Anyway my idea is just a suggestion, and I think its utility for attracting new readers would be limited, unless other sites sign up and support the search function.

    2. Acacia

      No AI is needed for this.

      Non-AI, standard-issue advanced search of the NC database would be just fine. The site uses a SQL database and everything is already in there. No doubt articles and comments are in different tables, etc.

      That way, we could search NC content without having to use Google or some other lousy search engine.

  40. NYMutza

    This may seem like a bizarre suggestion (and perhaps it is) – is there a way to get NC on Tik Tok? Is there a way to broaden the appeal of NC beyond what seems to be an older demographic? Younger people seem to be getting more engaged in world affairs, and they still use social media, so perhaps social media can provide an entre to a younger demographic. One day Yves may be able to pass the baton to someone who can carry on the good work of NC for future decades.

    1. lambert strether

      > This may seem like a bizarre suggestion (and perhaps it is) – is there a way to get NC on Tik Tok? Is there a way to broaden the appeal of NC beyond what seems to be an older demographic?

      I don’t think any of the writers will be making videos anytime soon. But you are correct on both counts, not bizarre at all.

      However, IIRC on YouTube there was some sort of text-to-animation program with IIRC talking bears.

      Is there anything similar for TikTok?

      The only requirement fir us, then, would be to produce some zingers…. Optimized for the younger psychographic, of course.

  41. Guilliam

    I suspect you’ve already considered this, but I think a lot of the listeners to the radio war nerd podcast and members of the associated Facebook group would be interested in this site. (I think I initially discovered it via its predecessor, the website exiledonline)

  42. Glen

    I’m getting to be an old duffer so I’ll probably stick to sending out emails, but I’m going to target my kid’s peer group because I think reaching out to my own peers is a bit of a dead end. They seem to have all settled into various pockets of the PMC which can self identify as left or right, but seem to be firmly stuck around the year 2000 as to the state of the world and our country. I suppose that’s not a bad place to be stuck if you have the money and the assets to pull it off, and many of them do (mostly due to inherited family wealth/real estate, but all firmly believe the path to being a millionaire is just around the corner for anyone).

    As to advice on how to reach more people – I’m not competent to recommend the means to do so, but judging from (again) conversations with my daughter and her peers, target young people. They seem to be completely aware that the American Dream that your kids do better than the parents is by now a complete myth, but most of them can barely remember 9/11, and have no memory of the 60’s-80’s for comparison to the present day or as a road map of how we got where we are.

    Given that many of us found your site during the GFC, I would not be surprised if we’re all a bit on the old side. Bringing in new content contributors has been very good. Would it be possible to find like minded younger people using newer platforms (X, YT, TikTok, etc) and cross pollinate a bit?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      “They seem to be completely aware that the American Dream that your kids do better than the parents is by now a complete myth, but most of them can barely remember 9/11, and have no memory of the 60’s-80’s for comparison to the present day or as a road map of how we got where we are.”

      I agree that many of our young are aware of the declines in the Empire, and all too aware of their implications for their future. The problem is that many of the young are burdened with two and three jobs to pay their rent and manifold other obligations, and answer the strong maddening call of mating and building a new generation. I think the best way to expand the readership of this site might be if more of us among the present readers made efforts to mingle with and listen to the young. Find out what is really going on among those who will soon take our places in world and subtly communicate some of what we have experienced. My Grandparents, whom I was extremely fortunate to know and talk with at length, contributed immeasurably to my understanding of the world and events.

      Perhaps growing the number of NakedCapitalism’s readers … really rests on the shoulders of those of us reading and commenting now. Care for the things you love.

      1. Alena Shahadat

        Greetings Jeremy,

        I am just now in the middle of “Fall of Trantor” and your post sounds as a page directly taken from the book… Unfortunately or fortunately ? Naked Capitalism is part of what we need to know to rebuild a better system.

  43. BrooklinBridge

    Something as good as NC is tricky to change. One of the things that makes it trustworthy, or at least avoids those nagging little “in whose interest” question marks, for instance, is its non commercial non marketing approach. Combine that with the caliber of posts and that of the comment section, (not necessarily in that order) it’s a very compelling environment in which one is more willing than might otherwise be the case to learn from as well as simply to examine the ideas and content presented.

    I don’t need to go on here, everyone knows what I”m talking about, but then you have the problem of how to communicate this to others who know nothing about NC and it’s not as simple as it sounds. The minute that evangelical glint comes into your eye, never mind your voice, people say, “Well, gotta run, but great talking to you,… etc., etc., not quite that blunt but you get the idea. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so. I wonder if a more casual way of pointing to NC as an interesting site worth a visit wouldn’t get better results. I don’t know the answer, but the issue has puzzled me for quite a while.

    1. ambrit

      I too have experienced that eye glazing phenomena when I have bought up Naked Capitalism in conversation. Could this be the result of a combination of tribalism and anti-intellectualism?
      I’m tending towards the suggestions made that forays into “X” and Tik Tok would be of benefit to the site. Today, perhaps always, it has been about ‘visibility.’ The younger cohorts, with their supposed shorter attention spans would, of necessity, need to be ‘hooked’ on the site via short, catchy snippets on various social media sites. That is where my initial suggestion of a NC Hasbara could work. Sure, it will come across as trolling, but, essentially, Trolls function out of the desire to be noticed, so, what’s to worry about? (There are ethical considerations, but I prefer here to keep to utilitarian thinking in this case.)
      Stay safe.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I cannot claim any successes, but try — when possible — to reference a particular post from the near present or past discussions on NakedCapitalism of concerns at the heart of whatever conversation you are having with a potential new visitor. Just a thought …

      This raises the issue of difficulties searching the NakedCapitalism[NC] site. Rather than put the search burden on NC, perhaps we must assume the burden ourselves through the links we save on our browsers.

    3. LilD

      Understanding reality is hard work,
      Satisfying confirmation bias is not

      I’ve got a few people reading, but most people I’ve shared posts with don’t regularly come back. (N < 6)

      I don’t comment much, usually because I’m a day behind… but love to learn from the give and take of the comments

      I do agree that actionable advice would be great. Doesn’t have to be a lot.

      1. ambrit

        Perhaps a syndic of like minded “content creators.” The Alt Reuters would function as a clearing house for posts and “news” items. Not to publish the items on any particular site, but to broaden the supply of items for a group of sites. The site admins would pick the items they wished to publish on their proprietary sites from out of the pool of available posts. So, a RSS for sites?
        Strength lies in numbers.

  44. DJG, Reality Czar

    This is going to be fairly long, because I am writing from my experience as a managing editor of periodicals as well as an acquiring and developmental editor (most of my career) for textbooks in the sciences, math, statistics, law, and history.

    It is no secret that I read Fatto Quotidiano each morning here in the Undisclosed Region, largely because it is influential, well written, and an unrelenting critic of softheaded right/left wingers, the Ukrainian government, Meloni and famiglia, Russia, Israel, Hamas, and Ursula van der Leyen.

    Sound familiar?

    Now, FQ has been aggressive in many media and in “outreach” to its readers. I am going to mention a few here and would like to elicit responses.

    FQ has a paper edition each day. It has a web site that changes throughout the day. FQ has an on-line magazine plus a monthly paper magazine of ideas called Millennium. FQ has a school for citizens, which was run by a distinguished sociologist, who died recently, unfortunately. (The replacements look good.) The school for citizens centers on critical thinking and on the Italian constitution, which is a remarkable document.

    FQ has a yearly “festival,” al fresco in Roma, where many prominent politicians (Conte, Fratoianni, Schlein, even Crosetto) as well as writers / intellectuals come to speak in front of crowds.

    I can think of a Naked Capitalism school. It is a service that NC already offers in the form of interviews with Michael Hudson and Tom Frank.

    FQ has an extensive presence on YouTube. There is a Fatto Quotidiano channel. Several of the editors and writers, but especially co-founder Marco Travaglio and “master putinist” Alessandro Orsini are often found on La7 with Lilli Gruber. There is also a discussion channel related to FQ run by Luca Sommi.

    FQ has three daily newsletters. This is aggressive. It also has seven topical weekly newsletters. Consult this link. It isn’t in English. But do you like what you see? Would a newsletter landing page for Naked Capitalism work?

    Note the directness of their newsletters:

    A weekly dose of an important topic. Economics, Italian and international.

    All of which is to say: What outlets does Naked Capitalism have the resources to explore and produce in?

    Naked Capitalism might have a daily “Here’s the News” newsletter. Then, weekly
    —U.S. politics (the horserace),
    –Econned, the scandal of economics,
    –the New World Majority,
    –Trends (?), such as climate change, ecology, “simple living,” the joys of gardening,
    –deep dive into European issues,
    –Latin American developments.
    –Plus a War Bulletin.

    That’s seven weekly newsletters.

    Which would take a full-time employee. Let’s keep staffing in mind.

    I’d also consider a YouTube presence, maybe Rumble. But Yves Smith and Lambert Strether have been writing under their noms de blog for years and aren’t the likely hosts, unless they want the public unveiling. Yet what about Conor Gallagher and Nick Corbishley? Deliver the reports as video, place the transcripts here on-line.

    The problem with YouTube is that it is like old-school blogging. You have to post every day. It is possible that the YouTube channel for Naked Capitalism could interview (and post transcripts here) from some rising journalists and commenters like Sabrina Salvati (Sabby Sabs), Katie Halper, Abby Martin, Rania Khalek, Rhyd Wildermuth, and Garland Nixon.

    Yet that requires a producer with a background in video production.

    But it can be done. The question in product development in the media, though, is always: Do we require this extra doo-dad? Does the textbook have to have a workbook for students?

    The big problem is that every one of these media outlets requires much content. Some can be used and reused. Sometimes, one cannot do so.

    The only “influencer” I know of who gets away with posting videos every month or two almost randomly—and then getting 3 million views—is ShoeOnHead (June Lapine)—who is a goddess, of course.

    It’s a lot of work to take things to the next level—which would be a bigger presence across several media, it seems to me. And there’s the problem of having to spend money to increase visibility.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Seriously? !!!!! ?????
      To me, this site is an irreplaceable resource of Knowledge — not just yet another effort at Media presentation of ‘news’ … … which is what I fear your suggestion would lead to. Should Yves sell out to the highest bidder from the world of Murdoch, Musk, or … friends of Allen Dulles?

      1. CanCyn

        Re shoe on head – In the famous words of Jay Leno’s father ‘I’ve never heard of her’. Seriously though, the FQ site that DJG refers to is pretty slick looking. To go that route would almost require a ‘If we were starting this site from scratch today, how would we do it?’ approach. Would changes
        it increase readership and donations? IDK. My own need for info about the GFC overcame any qualms I had about the look of the site as I quickly realized what a treasure trove of information it is. I found you via Ian Welsh and I no longer recall how I found his site. I will start asking friends and family to whom I’ve recommended the site about why they haven’t engaged, will send along any worthy information that I glean if any. It could be that it just doesn’t have enough Canadian content. I will add that the well moderated commentary is gold for me. Most MSM an and other sites’ comments sections are full of trolls and rubbish, I often wonder why they bother.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        Lambert Strether: Sorry. I kept meaning to answer your question, and life creeps in on its stealthy feet to interrupt me.

        ShoeOnHead is an example I used to make a strong contrast. Why does June Lapine attract four million views? First, she is a small woman with an outsized personality. She is wildly funny, and she also knows how to maintain her linguistic register–from F-bombs to serious leftist analysis and synthesis.

        Yep: She is a serious leftist who cuts through the crap.

        Her funniest line (at least to me and for obvious reasons) was in a long hilarious rant about identity politics wrecking the left.

        Shoe: Heck, I’m Italian. That counts as a disability, doesn’t it?

        [[Much hilarity then reigned in the comments (the zillions of comments) with Italian-Americans and Italians from Italy weighing in, You bet being Italian is a disability.]]

        You can watch her and think of her as the Left at its most charming, amusing, crap-free-est, youthful, and seriouser-than-shit.

        And she has excellent production values for an influencer.

        Naked Capitalism can’t follow suit. Which is why my long message above goes into so many options. You have enough time and money to exploit one or two options the way that Fatto Quotidiano does.

        You don’t have the resources. (Which is why many of the suggestions above and below in various comments are not feasible.)

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Shoe: Heck, I’m Italian. That counts as a disability, doesn’t it?


          One thing we’ve never considered is a humor column (or cartoons). The left is not noted for humor, which is why Shoe on Head is so interesting.

  45. Mikel

    I think introducing people without as much historical context also would need to include a bit of guidance. Better chance of them sticking around.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Knowledge does not come cheaply. I can understand difficulties coming up to speed with this site … but some things require effort and strangely, only acquire their value through effort. I can understand the idea of an introduction to this site and its community. That introduction, which Yves et al. already provides to some extent, might be augmented by readers like us. I want Yves and the limited staff at NC to continue working hard at producing the best content and comment moderation they can. The commentariat should actively promote this site in ways I know I have been less than sufficiently active in promoting it. I think it is also very important to remember the key to good salesmanship — DO NOT PUSH. Once they take a look at an excellent product most people are convinced by what they see.

  46. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    How about pairing your written content with video?

    Have a YouTube/Rumble/TikTok account on which you’d post someone reading the daily links and water cooler. Not necessarily word for word but pack in some great content in 10 minutes or less.

    Another idea I’ve always like is hosting a sports debate style show ala Around the Horn where you have a moderator and 4 panelists (which could be made up of the NC Commentariat) talk about daily topics. There’s some cool OBS software out there.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It takes a half hour to put on studio makeup for someone my age to look passable (you have no idea how much eye liner and shadow it takes and they are super fussy), and I have to do my hair. There is tremendous unconscious bias v. women, and worse v. old women, so this is necessary. Look at how all the YT figures are guys except the very pretty and much younger than me Polish Alina, which proves the point.

      It’s a big time sink and I am chronically time stressed. It would mean giving up original posts.

      1. Anon

        Excuses. This little boy has had a crush on you since the last video of you he saw, lol, maybe that was the makeup, but it was the authority with which you spoke that made me listen.

        That said, the state of technology, effortlessly accessible by the LAYMAN, can turn the image of a hideous man into a beautiful woman, in real time. ‘Filters’ are disturbing, and disingenuous, but then so is make-up.

      2. Glen

        Yeah, that does not sound like any fun at all. But maybe you can find some people who already have a YT or TikTok presence that would collaborate to get what you have – a blog where long, thoughtful articles/papers can be presented, and debated/commented. Plus, you can lean into those topics which must be shunned by the MSM.

        My impression is younger people are missing the history, the critical studies, and thinking to understand why their world has gone haywire. You cannot get that from a 30 second TikTok, but it could have a link to a long term thoughtful article with a great discussion here.

  47. Oldtimer

    Specialize on book reviews text/video will do the trick, your subjects are too broad to cover with enough competency.
    There are lots of people out there with no time to read a 400 pages book but would love to get the essence and unbiased critique in 20 min. Specialize on it and be good at it, you will be surprised at the interest. Ignore the rest, or maybe once a month you can explore some current politics, it will give a better perspective also. And do not ban any comments unless absolutely necessary.

  48. Anon

    I discovered NC from a cross-post at BoingBoing back when (I think) Cory Doctorow was there, before they became a partisan, propagandist wasteland (10+ years now, cheers NC)…

    This site could use a redesign; I don’t believe it has changed much since its inception. Someone I once directed to it complained the format was confusing, I.e. not user-friendly, and I’m inclined to agree. The orange theme is garish and hard on the eyes, the “recent items” list at the top of every page is very distracting from the content and on mobile takes up the entire screen when it loads. There isn’t enough separation between regular-article posts and our mainstays “links” + “water cooler”, so when you encounter them you are simply overwhelmed, without a true appreciation for the value they offer.

    That said, the only people in America being educated at a standard to approach this content now, are those who stand to benefit from what it condemns.

    The internet landscape has changed markedly… and if you are not on social media, you are unlikely to be seen. I follow the Howard Zinn Education Project on instagram, and I think they might be a good model to follow.

    1. Anon

      On second thought, given the difference in format/message perhaps Zinn is not a model, but just an example of positive reach on social media… and likeminded presence there. Plenty of activist influencers such as @hazelisonline that might be willing to give a shoutout and draw a crowd.

      1. Anon

        Indeed, I abandoned facebook long ago. When they bought Instagram (which I used to promote my photography) AND WhatsApp (which I use to talk internationally) I gave up fighting.

        The idea is to grow the community, which we cannot do from the safety of our obscure corner of the internet.

        1. Acacia

          Needless to say, there are quite a few other non-Meta messaging apps and there are new federated platforms that will be the future of the free Internet.

          I’d say look at the future instead of throwing in the towel and accepting the Zuckerberg cartel. Personally, I no longer feel inclined to really engage with people who submit to the Z cartel, as it suggests they have already accepted the status quo at a much deeper level and I might just be wasting my time.

          E.g., I routinely meet people who ask if I’m on WhatsApp, and when I say “no, but I have email” they lose interest. This used to bother me, but over time I realized they are mostly not serious about communication and what they are really looking for is the ability to get an instant response whenever they want to say something. Email doesn’t serve this purpose.

          In this way, the “are you on WhatsApp?” question has become a kind of filter, in that I see they are likely not serious about communication anyway so I can just let it go without concern.

    2. Acacia

      P.S., I personally don’t mind the orange colors at all, and Optima is a very tasteful font.

      If the colors of NC or any other site really bother you, there are all sorts of CSS script tweaks that you can add to your browser, to give your favorite site whatever color scheme you like, or dark mode, etc. E.g., for Firefox, check out Stylus.

  49. Rick

    Great to see so much interest in keeping things going.

    I wonder what it would be like if it were possible to tap into the NC psychographic. One thing the internet – potentially, anyway – can do is connect geographically and maybe even demographically disparate groups (as long as one stays away from algorithmically driven sites). Pandemic aware folk and those who don’t accept the idea that voting tribalism is the solution to problems seem like possible candidates. I was surprised at some of the people I saw attend a local meetup.

    I would support a subscription based solution since.

  50. Eric

    Naked Capitalism is the old London coffee house. Frequented by rarified IQs, moderated with established norms and fueled by incessant curiosity. The proprietors are asking for business advice. Methinks, serve the coffee in improved ways and raise the price.

  51. neurodivergence is awesome!

    I don’t have any short-term answers to the question of increasing readership other than litigation against Google. My hope is that some of these cases working through the court system will ease some of your suffering. A robust Supreme Court ruling on the censorship case may be all that is needed to reverse the trend. As others have stated, I have widely spread the magnificence of NC to everyone I know and not one has engaged–they have their bubble worlds and reality is a downer.

    The one thing I wish NC did that you don’t already do is allow me to find a way to connect locally with other NC readers. A Meet-Up type function where readers could input their zip-code and find others in their area would foster the type of community that I need and a follow-on result of those local communities might be an increased reader base. Many here have commented on the sense of community they find at NC and are looking for ways to increase that aspect as a means of drawing more people in. I say take that one step further and have some sort of opt-in system where we can find each other off-line to form real systems of solidarity.

    We are in a crisis of loneliness and solitude because we have moved our social interactions online. It has weakened our ability to fight back against the powers like Google who can simply press a button and silence us. Isn’t it time for us to reconnect, form real bonds that last, and take back our power? I think the long-term way to increase the impact of NC and bring in more eyeballs is to do something the other sites aren’t doing, to challenge the existing system of siloed interactions and start the process of reminding us that we are a social species.

    When I invite NC readers to my home to teach stained-glass, or bread baking, or go for a long hike, the conversations will not need moderating, there will be no trolls, and we will all re-learn how to engage in civil discussions again, how to disagree again without shooting each other in the face. People who are critical thinkers will seek out these types of social interactions and in return NC will benefit from a stronger, more connected readership simply by fostering humanity. This is no short-term fix but it could be a long-term game changer when it comes to limiting the power of Google. And it doesn’t seem like it would require much in the way of resources to make this happen. Simply let us connect to each other off-line and in return you get an army of free-thinkers who’s gratitude may result in real and long-term revenue security. I know this is not your goal for NC but if not you then who? If not now then when? Who will be the first to take an online community and make it real, touchable, solid?

  52. Alice X

    I imagine I’m rather useless on this point since I like the site the way it is, and appreciate it enormously.

    1. Frank

      I have a similar take, selfish and unfair to the site’s proprietors as it may be. I like how the readership is culled down to the intelligent, well informed, intellectually honest and thick skinned (I know people who have left after getting dressed down by Yves), and wouldn’t want it any other way, really. The unfortunate truth is, there just aren’t many people like this out there, so the club is somehow de facto small.

      The comment above about how a reader is put off by the site’s stance on the war in Ukraine is a perfect example. If you are emotionally triggered by a stance, and cannot offered a rational and reasoned counterargument, chances are you’re the problem, not the site. I have categorical differences of opinion with certain takes here and relish the opportunity to offer calm rebuttals to an intelligent crowd.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > the club is somehow de facto small

        Yes, but absolute numbers are the ones that count. We aren’t trying to “scale” in the Silicon Valley sense. I think there are enough potential readers out there, reachable with a level of effort, that would make old club members take notice of all the new faces — even if the numbers were quite small in relative terms.

  53. Sutter Cane

    I think one of the things that makes NC difficult for new readers is that it is hard to get a feel for the site when visiting for the first time. There are a lot of things that regular readers are familiar with and take for granted that can be confusing or a little arcane for someone who has never visited the site before.

    For example, while the links pages are obvious to regular readers, a newcomer could benefit from a simple blurb at the top stating “Recent news links from around the web suggested by NC readers, arranged by general category. Inclusion here does not necessarily indicate approval of the views expressed or of the source by NC, but are simply taking the temperature around the web on a given topic” or something to that effect. Including “Suggested by ______” instead of just including the commenter’s name in parentheses would be helpful, because a new reader won’t know what (furzy) or (Userfriendly) means. Lambert’s repeated text regarding his backdated post about the Democrat party could benefit from some context or a short sentence of explanation, as well. Even the “antidote du jour” could use a bit of explanation. New readers might wonder why random nature photos are featured repeatedly on an economics and politics site.

    Basically, add some explanation and context to everything that I find myself having to explain to people when I try to recommend the site to them.

  54. JustTheFacts

    I was thinking about how I use /. , Hacker news (YC), and your link section (NC): I have a base (/., YC, NC) and I look at an article at the targeted website. I do not visit the targeted website beyond that page, because I expect to get the most value from the base. (Indeed, as you probably know yourselves, many people don’t even read the fine article at the target website, and just stay at the base.)

    So when you are the target, not the base, your task is to demonstrate to people who come from a different base, that you provide value that would be of interest to them… that you have sufficient content value that it’s worth remembering you exist, and checking you out from time to time.

    This means that instead of just having links up top to recent articles, you have links to articles relevant to visitors from other bases, at the end of the page, or interspersed with it (not at the top, because they’ll just skip them there, since their goal is to get to the content their base got them interested in, whereas at the bottom, they are looking for the next thing). What articles should you link to? Obviously articles on the same topic, but also you can probably use the referrer metadata provided by their browser to determine where they came from, and therefore what kinds of articles might be of greater interest to them (/. / YC: tech, history, : finance, etc).

    People who came from your own front page could be shown the same layout as today… they’re used to it.

    1. lambert strether

      This suggestion at least doesn’t involve labor on our part, beyond set-up.

      Assuming that there is a WP plugin for this functionality, isn’t this an awful lot like a “For You” list? I’m not sure we have enough data on our own post content to do the referrer-topic mapping that you suggest. Further, people have varied interests.

      1. fjallstrom

        “For you” often goes astray, but you could (assuming there is a plug-in) list the last 3 of the same author and/or the last 3 on the same topic (using the cathegories you already have). You at least know that the reader was interested in the topic and may be interested in the author. I am thinking if people read more then one article and realise the one the read first wasn’t an exception, they should be more likely to re-visit the site.

  55. je

    The one thing I can think of is building a collection of ‘educational posts’ based on old content that are designed to appeal to new readers without a long history with the site. Topics like CALPERs and MMT and UBER come to mind. The posts from the IM doc would be a story in itself — his commentary on the studies behind the COVID vaccine still stands out to me.

    The goal would not be to promote them directly but to give me and others something to share with my friends and family who might become readers. I personally rely on NC as a new aggregator as much as anything else but that’s not what I think would draw people in. It is really the depth on certain topics that stands out from other sources.

    1. Alena Shahadat

      I second this idea, your website is already educational, with the series on Uber and from Michael Hudson. It would take some ordering of the material that is already there and make Naked Capitalism even more of a reference for others on the internet, hopefully getting you more links. Which Google loves.

      I would add that simple “how to” or “tutorial” articles, based upon experts advice could attract a lot of people who then could get hooked when browsing around to see what else is there. I was thinking about the advice on surviving hot temperatures, surviving Covid and how to make air cleaners for our homes. You got it all it is just how to present the material.

  56. Frank Little

    Apologies if I’m repeating suggestions. I came to use NC about 5 years ago following Yves being interviewed by Harry Shearer on Le Show. A few thoughts:
    1. The site format may be tweaked:
    A. I commonly read NC on my phone. I work on a laptop for at least 8 hours a day and use my phone is for personal browsing. When the site opens the screen is filled entirely with the banner and Recent Items. The first time I used the site I clicked on one of these links but the screen didn’t change. I thought something was wrong and it took a moment to realize there was a change – the link color changed! I then scrolled down and found the article. Whenever I forward articles to friends it’s usually in a text message (I use no social media), and I need to mention to scroll down for the start of the article. Perhaps reduce the number of Recent Items displayed (only that day’s, or three) so the article title shows.
    B. When it’s fund raising time, I suggest adding that to the banner so it’s prominently displayed at the top of every page. Something short with contrasting text as the link: It’s Our Fundraiser! We Need You! Please DONATE! Repeat this donation link in the middle of the daily Links; reading may become routine for some, focusing only on the links and not noticing there is a fund raiser.
    C. Move the Tip Jar to immediately follow the article. It’s currently after the comments, and keeps getting pushed down further out of sight (by the stellar comments!).
    2. As a possible new feature that may bring in traffic, how about creating a curated timeline of articles for certain important topics? For example, what if after the Hamas attacks there was a timeline of relevant articles (those provided as links within Links and Water Cooler) that would expand each day on the subject of Gaza? There is a fire hose of news every day and having a source for such a reference would be helpful. I appreciate that Topics are already offered, and that determining a topic to expand in this way would be difficult…but certainly better than anything Google does!
    3. Reader supplied articles? Forgive me if the policy on this is stated (I’ve not looked), but perhaps articles from readers that are outside the normal content would help bring in outside traffic. Last xmas we rented a Tesla from Hertz and I took detailed notes on the experience. Total charging costs and miles traveled, battery use for nearly every trip made and the corresponding miles and air temp. I’ve not had time to compile, but I’ve wondered if there would be interest is such an article at NC.

    Lastly, while I certainly would like to see NC expand its offerings and increase its funding, if NC was only Links, Water Cooler and Comments, it would continue to be my main source of news and my funding would continue unchanged. Many thanks to Yves and Lambert and the others that have produced a very special site!

  57. q7t

    Just one person here, but I’ve an extreme aversion to PayPal- that being said I just subscribed at the $30 tier as I never realized I could create a subscription without registering for PayPal.

    My only suggestion would be using GumRoad or an alternative where I can name-my-price for subscriptions.

    Would love to pay to remove ads and enable a dark mode feature for the entire website.

    As far as long term viability ideas; I can only say play to & don’t discount the site’s strengths/secret sauce. I got here from Monthly Review myself, if that tidbit helps.

  58. Victor Sciamarelli

    In the interest of increasing readership, as well as begin solving a problem by exhausting the simplest solutions, I have to imagine myself seeing the website for the first time. Quite frankly, it’s rather drab.
    When I open the NC page, at the top is NC spelled out in black old fashioned typewriter letters. Below that in shadow letters is “Fearless commentary…” This tells me “what you are” but it doesn’t tell me “why you are.” Is it for ending political corruption, free press, politics for the people, a new political party, or to paraphrase Obama, “an economy you can believe in.” I think the “why” is what makes people want to be a part of something.
    When I view YouTube, adds pop-up which you can normally cancel after 5-seconds. Personally, I’m fascinated how much effort and cleverness goes in to those first 5-seconds to keep your attention. I imagine you have, at most, 1 or 2-minutes to convince some first time viewer that you are a source of fearless commentary.
    When I continue with NC, you first see Recent Items—which I think can be moved—replaced with a bold headline or two. At the top is Links which by itself, for a first time viewer, means nothing, followed by other bullets.
    The first article is “Europe Is Getting Record Amounts of Russian Gas Through TurkStream. So Who Keeps Trying to Blow It Up?” However, above it is a photo of some sea creature, as part of Links, when you could easily have an interesting photo of Biden, CIA Director Burns, or some other public figure.
    I like the animal photos and I admire Hudson and Keen, but again, above the article “How Finance Capitalism Ruined the World – Dr. Michael Hudson & Dr. Steve Keen,” has a photo of a handsome cat who looks like it’s living better than I am. A photo of people living in their car or a bombed out building might quickly and better convey the phrase “Ruined the World” to a first time viewer.
    Below “Blow It Up” there is a subheading but you could also include text from the story itself like,”Ukraine Energy Minister German Galushchenko declared…Ukraine fully aims to attack Russia’s oil and gas infrastructure.” Try turning up the volume to 11.

  59. Henry Moon Pie

    One thing I see working among websites for dissidents is cross-promotion. Nate Hagens will host a roundtable discussion with Kate Raworth and Vandana Shiva and others. Those two will jump on their various social media accounts and promote the discussion, their followers come to Nate’s site to watch the roundtable, some of them stick and Nate’s subscription numbers grow.

    I would love to see Yves interview or moderate a discussion with Raworth, Shiva, or Hagens. It would be great if Lambert would interview Leonardi or Frank. Conor could do interviews as well. It would require a Rumble or Youtube channel and time to set up and prepare for each interview. I’ll bet a lot of people would be ready to find time to be interviewed by the NC brain trust, and it would be a way to expose the site to the kind of people who would be inclined to become NC regulars and supporters.

    One off the wall idea: Lambert’s debate skills might be a draw if he were to invite some Covid minimizers or PMC defenders of the status quo. A big time demand, I know, but controversy draws eyeballs these days.

  60. Robert Hahl

    It seems to me that Twitter is where your demographic can be found. I would experiment by picking one or two of your established beats, find the relevant hashtags, and start tweeting and also retweeting others. I know, bandwidth. But if you are going to start doing anything extra, Twitter could be high reward.

  61. Sporte Jordan

    Make a dark-mode version of the site.

    Add a message board.

    Make some merchandise. (T-shirts, hats, mugs, hoodies, pens, notepads, phone/iPad protectors)

    Create a Twitter account, build a following and post daily updates on your timeline.

    1. Alena Shahadat

      Yes, stickers for our laptops ! With a possibility to donate more not just the price of a sticker…

  62. truly

    The number of times that “coverage of Ukraine” was mentioned as a reason to leave the site, or the site being “pro Russian” as a reason to not share links just goes to show how incredibly effective the Russia Russia Russia propaganda was. So dreadful.
    Lambert asked in an email a few weeks ago for thoughts on improvements that could be made. I have few ideas, none really worth mentioning. I think you stick to your guns. Cover what you want and cover it how you want. Stick with longform style. You style and content is right on.
    The real question is a business question, not a style or content question. How to get more exposure? More traffic. No ideas on that. But I would like to encourage you to not deviate from what makes so many of us like (and value) you all so much.

  63. Roxan

    How about an occasional ‘themed’ NC, all health/medical items, or climate, economics, etc. Now and then, mostly cats or animals, something ‘fun’? These could easily be compiled into small ebooks. People love ‘swag’ used as rewards for donations. I would love a calendar of antidote photos.

  64. Acacia

    I think others have mentioned this, but I’ll add also that the site could be tweaked a bit to help newcomers get oriented.

    (1) For example, there are a number of key concepts that are essentially “assumed knowledge” for readers of NC, e.g., PMC, MMT, symbol manipulation, Jackpot, etc. I have seen people repeatedly get tripped up over these, posting “what does this mean?” comments. It would not be a lot of work to add introductory overviews of each of these concepts — say, two articles per month —, and gather them under a new section on the right sidebar.

    (2) Encourage readers to subscribe, instead of only donating, to get a more steady revenue stream.

  65. MarkT

    Most times I visit the site, I don’t go through email links but a web search. Probably naive and farting against thunder, but at least my search for you registers somewhere?

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