Wow! Met First Goal Pronto. On to the Second: Supporting the Commentariat

Wow! Met First Goal Pronto. On to the Second: Supporting the Commentariat 1

Thanks to our loyal readers for making Naked Capitalism a priory on a major holiday! We hit our first goal a bit over a day, despite the hindrance of a bigger target and in the middle of the Labor Day weekend.

We are 236 donations towards fundraiser target of 1100 donors. It was particularly gratifying seeing donations that the donations started coming in right as the fundraiser post went live and get strong and steady response. And we are already $405 towards our second goal, investing in the comments section.

Your donations demonstrate that you value this community and want a better debate and a better society and will to invest to have us do more to make Naked Capitalism an even more effective voice for you. If you haven’t had time to give yet, please visit our Tip Jar to support our efforts. Whatever you can give, whether $10 or $1000, helps us provide you with your daily dose of incisive commentary, analysis, news, and cute animal pictures, as well as a place to hang out with the like-minded.

Note that last year we made a big addition to Naked Capitalism’s services out of the “commentariat” budget, that of our monthly newletter. As much as we like having you come here every day, we know you have important real world lives. Things like vacations, work duties, family responsibilities, and even needing a break from the news can lead you to take some time off from us. So please take your hats off to moderator katiebird, who is also the major domo of the monthly newsletter.

Readers have been sending notes of appreciation. From Richard G

Thank you for your tireless effort, your “naked” fellows and the only commentariat worth reading.

And Hickory:

A few words of thanks: If I had to summarize Naked Capitalism in a catchphrase, it go something like, “Come for the news, stay for the sanity.” Between Covid and Ukraine, it’s easy to feel even more alienated from most of my friends and family than I used to, given how differently we see the world. And I don’t always see things the same on NC as you or other commenters, but I know essays are worth my time if the topic interests me, and your forum moderation is sharp, making that a worthwhile place to spend time too. It was so weird last year doing text-searches to see if IM-Doc had posted some new insight in comments, and reflecting that that was a significant source of insight for me into the pandemic. Thanks for everything you do to make Naked Capitalism such a special resource.

And Claire H:

NC keeps me from feeling I am alone in my take on the economy, the nation, the planet.

And speaking of the like-minded…..

Thanks to Jules Dickson’s and katibird’s, heavy lifting, not only are comments liberated more quickly, but the moderators plays an essential role in adjudicating cases, which are typically discussed among all of the site admins (as in with Lambert and me). You can also see that they clean up broken links that readers have flagged and sometimes intercedes in comments. Katiebird maintains a spreadsheet of who is in various doghouses and why, which is extremely helpful when we reconsider cases.

As a result of the seeming endless slide in the caliber of discourse across the Web, it’s taken more work to keep Naked Capitalism an oasis of sanity and civility in a media desert where turning the conflict heat even higher is seen as a path to profits. We’re thus planning to add another comments jockey soon, so we very much appreciate your financial support in making that happen

So if you appreciate the value of comments at Naked Capitalism, feel free to skip the rest of this post, go straight to the Tip Jar which tell you how to give by check, credit or debit card. Promote stimulating, vigorous, informative, and often witty debates among members of the commentariat

Managing comments has always come at a cost. Lambert and I once took care of the process at the expense of other activities. The fact that we try to be as light-touch about it as possible doesn’t change the fact that it takes real effort. If anything, the cost has been rising because we’ve had to impose even more mod rules, given how stressed many people are now, which sadly means more comments go into moderation. So getting to them quickly is even more important than ever.

Managing comments does not mean just handling the moderation queue, setting up and tweaking the various rules (that sometimes, as you also know too well, operate in a Skynet-like manner, despite our best intent). That also means reading the comments, often multiple times a day, and wading in as necessary, sometimes to de-escalate fights, sometimes to act as referees on argumentation strategies, sometimes to clear up benign- or malign-looking mischaracterizations of what the posts or readers said.

We also spend more time than you think in dealing with borderline comments. We often discuss those decisions together, and review a commenter’s history to see if he/she is just having an off day, or whether the comment under consideration is part of a not-good pattern that we’d missed. And that’s before we get to trolling and non-organic drive-bys. (Skynet catches most bots, fortunately.)

This oversight cumulatively takes a lot of time but is a critical investment, since it helps keep the comments at a generally high level. Our efforts also help assure readers that they can express their views and supply important information as long as they adhere to guidelines meant to encourage not just communication but high standards of accuracy and rigor.

The proof of the success of this approach is the fact that we have a real community at Naked Capitalism where many voices can and do express themselves, despite the widely-recognized deterioration of quality of discourse across the Web. Naked Capitalism is even cited in journalism courses as an example of the sort of engaged audience that major media outlets think they want to have (and which they could have, if they’d stop toeing the line of important advertisers and elite interests). So to support these efforts, please give now. Whether it’s $5, $50, or $5000, all help meet our goals.

We have set a target of $20,500 which frankly only partly covers the cost of comments moderation and the newsletter. So please do your part and chip in pronto! The Tip Jar tells you how to give by check, credit or debit card. And if you do send a check, please send an e-mail to yves@nakedcapitalism.com with “Check is in the mail” in the subject line so we can include it in our running tally.

Again, please invest in the commentariat! This goal is for all of us!

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