Wow! Met Our First Goal in Record Time! On to the Second: Supporting the Comments Section
Thanks to our loyal readers for such prompt and generous responses! We hit our first goal in nine hours, two hours faster than our previous best! Because Lambert, the Master of the Fundraiser Thermometers, is off the grid, our thermometer is very much behind where we are. He will get it more current when he comes back on duty.
We’ve already just shy of 300 donations towards fundraiser target of 1100 donors. It was particularly gratifying seeing donations start coming in right as the fundraiser post went live and to see such a strong response all day. And we are already $3665 towards our second goal, investing in the comments section.
Your donations are a statement that you value this community and want a better debate and a better society and are willing 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 diet of incisive commentary, analysis, news, and cute animal pictures, as well as a place to hang out with the like-minded.
Readers have also been sending notes of support. For example, from Sukh H:
You have no idea how valuable your site has been in regards to being a resource that confirms my understandingof how the world works, political economy and global geopolitics wise.
I love you guys.
And speaking of the like-minded…..
Thanks to Jules Dickson’s heavy lifting, not only are comments liberated more quickly, but Jules plays an essential role in adjudicating cases, which are typically discussed among all of the site admins (Lambert and me). You can also see that Jules cleans up defective links that readers have flagged and sometimes intercedes in comments.
So we hope you won’t just give Jules a round of applause, but will also keep funding this critical task. As a result of how temperatures have risen in the press and all across social media thanks to the war over Trump, Covid-19 dislocations, protests and protests over protests, it’s taken even more work to keep Naked Capitalism a refuge of sanity in a media environment where pushing hot buttons is seen as the path to profit
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. Contribute to maintaining intellectually stimulating, vigorous, informative, and often witty debates among members of the commentariat
Managing comments has always come at a cost, in the sense that Lambert and I historically 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, or for which we cut undue slack. And that’s before we get to trolling and non-organic drive-bys. (Skynet catches most bots, fortunately.)
This oversight cumulatively takes a lot of time but is a critical investment, since it helps keep the comments at a generally high level. Our efforts also help assure readers that they can express their views and supply important information as long as they adhere to guidelines meant to encourage not just communication but high standards of accuracy and rigor.
In what is often a fog of incomplete, mis-, and dis-information, the commentariat plays a crucial role in vetting what is presented as fact and testing the logic of arguments, including those of posts (as readers hopefully know, we work hard to be accurate and timely, but even we sometimes get it wrong and welcome corrections or additional information that fills in gaps in stories).
The proof of the success of this approach is 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.
Mind you, even what we have paid Jules does not cover the full costs of moderation. Jules is also overstretched and we are looking to bring on a second moderator but that has not jelled yet. Things have gotten so intense that I’ve also been paying Lambert to do Links more often than in the past.
We have set a target of $17,500 which frankly only partly covers the cost of comments moderation. So please do your part and chip in pronto! The Tip Jar tells you how to give by check, credit or debit card. And if you do send a check, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Check is in the mail” in the subject line so we can include it in our running tally.
Again, please invest in the commentariat! This goal is for all of us!