Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

Help!!!

[Readers:

For those of you who have not yet contributed (the PayPal buttons are to your right), here's the all-important Avedon endorsement:

I really think, if you can afford to throw a little money their way, Corrente deserves your support. And even if you can't afford to give money, you should read it and talk it up, because it's got some terrific stuff going there, it presses the important issues hard, it actually creates great activism, and, most importantly, it really irritates the more establishment "progressive" types when people pay attention to what these outrageous lefties have to say.

So won't you help keep the server hamsters in kibble? And help put a "blue tarp" over lambert's head? If blogs like Corrente are to be sustainable, it's only going to be through your help because, dammit, the check from the Soros Foundation got lost in the mailroom, and nobody can find it. And if you're a whale, you get comped at the wet bar in The Mighty Corrente Building!

For those of you who are new to Corrente, and might not want to read the entire annual report -- which even has footnotes! -- I'd like to try a little harder sell. [And since I like points 1-8 below so much, I don't want to rewrite them for an even harder sell. Just think of a donation as your feedback for a solid year's work, and also as, er, very tangible proof that blogs like Corrente are sustainable. Since that really is what's at stake. Thanks to helpful people yesterday, I'm about 2/3 of the way to where I would like to be. And the operational definition of where I would like to be is mere gnawing, daily "Never pay the bill until the shut-off notice comes" anxiety instead of outright panic. --lambert]

Corrente, proudly, is an old-school C list blog[0]. Although our readership numbers and influence numbers are high in the blogosphere considered as a whole, those numbers are distributed on a power curve, that curve follows a logarithmic scale, and so the "left" bloggers and career "progressives" on the legacy party-oriented A list have orders of magnitude more readers -- and funding -- than we do. However, if you look at the ratio of readers -- and funding -- to deliverables, Corrente ranks very high; we punch far above our weight, as I shall now show:

1. Correntian posters organized the Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In Counter-Conference on MMT. This was the only on-the-ground left counterpoint to Pete Peterson's Social Security-gutting Cat Food Conference.

2. Correntian MsExPat produced actual on-the-ground reporting and commentary during the recent Red Shirt/Yellow Shirt upheavals in Thailand.

3. At Corrente, not one, but two candidates for emergent parties are active commenters and posters, putting Corrente firmly in the mainstream of American public opinion, where 58% support a third party (although some would say a second).

4. Correntians produce consistently excellent serial content, like Vast Left's American Extremists, the Plantidotians' Plantidote of the Day [hat tip for concept, Yves], and the Corrente Review of Games.

5. Corrente knew Obama was a fraud before it was cool and said so, loudly and often [hat tip, John Smart]

6. Corrente has delivered live blog after live blog from writers and organizers doing real work on the ground (Dr. Margaret Flowers and Kip Sullivan on single payer; Yves Smith on FinReg, to name a few).

7. Corrente has assembled an excellent list of long-form guest posters of whom I would single out Stirling Newberry, danps, David Swanson, Tony Wikrent, and letsgetitdone (now a Fellow).

8. Corrente has been consistently ahead of the curve on Depression Era/Peak Oil topics like gardening, growing your own food, and home maintenance.

And that's before we get to [lambert blushes modestly] consistently excellent daily commentary and a Darwinian comments section whose painfully evolved moderation policies kill trolls fast. And that's before you consider our policy that all posters get front paged, because at Corrente we have the confidence to fight policy issues out on the basis of evidence and reasoning. And that's before you consider the guilty pleasure we give to D staffers and access bloggers, who read us consistently, and chatter amongst themselves on their lists about the latest outrage, but don't want to give people like us any oxygen. Please don't decrease their pleasure, their guilt, or their chatter, and help keep Corrente viable!

And all for... pennies a day! You get a very big bang for your buck by helping Corrente. And you can also strike a blow for diversity of opinion, because we also consistently link to the blogs who are even smaller than we are, listed in the "Random Links" box in the right sidebar.

End of hard sell. The PayPal buttons are to your right. And you can also use the Tweet button at the bottom of this post to get help from more people. DCblogger suggests using the tagline "Please support the best political blog ever!" She's not wrong, is she? And readers! What would you add to that? --lambert]

But wait! There's more!

* * *

[I'm leaving this sticky... [And still sticky... Because "the left" needs a left, and that left needs your help!] Welcome, Susie Madrak readers! Welcome, agonist readers! Welcome, Stop Me Before I Vote Again readers! Welcome, Reclusive Leftist readers! Welcome, Naked Capitalism readers! Welcome, Ian Welsh readers! Welcome, Sideshow readers! Welcome, Brad Reed readers! --lambert]

Readers: Once again, I need your help with the annual fundraiser, which helps pay for the server and my salary for the work of the last year.

I wanted to wait to ask until I finished the chores, but up here in Zone 5b, we can feel the winter approaching, with its associated requirements for heat, light, and maintenance, as I button up the house for the winter. Oh, and property taxes [chews hands]. And putting a blue tarp on part of my roof (Mainers know what that means). So I think that now is the time.[1] Now, my situation is not as desperate as it was when my main waste pipe burst in a January freeze, and your kindness saved me, and it's marginally less precarious than it was last year, thanks to my mad Drupal skillz, but still:

Corrente is my job, 24/7, and your help with this annual fundraiser for the work I've done over the past year forms a substantial part of my cash flow stream, which is, shall we say, barely above four figures. The PayPal buttons to contribute are to your right.[2] (You don't need an account to donate!) Basically, just like last year, I could use enough to pick up a couple three Mac Book Pros. [As of Thursday, today, we're at a about one and a half. --lambert] My simple plan to blog and grow rich hasn't worked out financially (though I'm now incredibly rich in friends, in the world of ideas, and in work to do, for which I am grateful). I know times are tough, so I'm not asking for anybody to do more than they can! So zero out that annoying balance on the VISA and MasterCard gift cards your relatives keep giving you! [Hat tip, Paul Lukasiak]

* * *

And now let me sing for my supper. Consider this an annual report, and [lambert blushes modestly] a very favorable one:

First, I want to welcome new Fellow letsgetitdone, Western Correspondent CoyoteCreek, and the Plantidotes group moderator twig [3] (as well as the Plantidotians). In their different ways, all are showing that even the blog that everybody hates and nobody reads can have an impact, on the ground, in RL. letsgetitdone was the driving force behind the Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In Counter Conference, where a number of Correntians (preserving anonymity here) helped put on an actual, honest-to-gosh conference in DC at GWU, which was the only non-virtual countervailing force to Pete Peterson's Catfood Summit of the same date. Coyotecreek helped to organize the Denver Meetup of western Correntians, which was awesome, and I hope leads to the same kind of friendships and ties I've come to have with so many of you. And twig has organized a group to create Plantidotes of the Day, with spectacular results. (I would name all the group members, but being able to run that query is part of my chores!)

And speaking of chores, many of the technical changes to the Corrente Platform made in the last wave of minor site improvements are intended to support more such group efforts -- virtually, or on the ground -- in the coming year: Communications tools like Corrente Mail, Event posts and an Event calendar to publicize what's happening, maps to show where events are happening, Groups so that people can come together, online or on the ground for organizing .... Even file uploading, so that photographs and documents are easy to upload! So, I hope to see many more people using the Corrente platform in the coming year for self-organizing ventures. More groups can be established, just like Plantidotians: Cookians, Knitians, Construction-ians... Feminist erotic literature-ians...[4] (though those last two are a little awkward). Perhaps we could hold another conference in DC are the precise nature of the mid-terms debacle becomes clear! And just as anyone with an account can post and be front-paged, so anyone with an account can start a group.

Now, a word about Corrente as a beacon, a soapbox, and an online community. As a beacon: I changed the HTML title of the site from Boldly Shrill... (how true, how true) to If you have "no place to go," come here! This is, of course, a riff on how "the left" has always come crawling back to the Ds, no matter how much abuse the Ds dished out.[5] Well, if you don't want to be that kind of person any more, "... come here" sends the message that Corrente is a good place for you to be. Further, "... come here" sends a welcome message to readers and writers whose convictions and postings have brought them to the attention of the business model enforcers at the access blogs. Since, in good Versailles fashion, I'd expect access blogs like DK, FDL, and OL to double-down on censorship and shunning, "... come here" is a very important message to send. This year, we've been experiencing a slow but steady increase in readership, and I believe it's Corrente's welcoming beacon that has allowed this to happen (as long as we can maintain Corrente's moderation policies by avoiding, say, "any stick to beat a dog"-style argumentation).

Now, Corrente as a soapbox. Unbelievable as it may seem, Corrente is actually read, and by influencers. Although it may feel that we are shouting into the void, that feeling is in fact the result of the Internet's lack of feedback. I have it on reasonably reliable authority that we're a guilty pleasure for staffers on the Hill, as well as for the access bloggers and Town House types. We also get links from Paul Krugman, despite regularly chewing his ankles. And we also got an admission of error from Brad Reed at C&L: "You were right about Obama! I was wrong." Whatever else Reed's mea culpa might have been, it was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or a slap in the belly with a wet fish![6] And if Reed was willing to own up, you can believe that there are many more like him who, for whatever reason, aren't willing to speak up. Now, if we could get the same kind of admission on single payer!

More importantly, Corrente has moved from being "political" blog (for some definition of political) to -- IMNSHO -- a more interesting and resilient platform. Time was, we lived or died by links from the A list of political bloggers. No more; we've been shunned by FDL, DK, OL in as long as I can remember, although (given their business models) that is as it should be. Therefore, we can say what we like without worrying about what they think! Interestingly, the links that we do get are from econobloggers like Yves (!), who are refreshingly old school in their approach. However, our steady growth in readership is organic, and not driven by links at all. People come here, like what they read, and stick around to comment and post. This, again, is as it should be. And even better, Correntians -- informed by the Darwinian combat of our comments section, with its constant demand for evidence and reasoning, and its ethos that "your argument is not you" -- tend to fan out across the blogosphere, spreading the work that is done here, and bringing traffic back, too.

Finally, as an online community, Corrente has been increasing its ability to render mutual aid, whether virtually, or on the ground. That's what gardening posts are about; that's what Common Household Remedy Requests are all about. And others -- myself among them! -- have given and received mutual aid in our own lives.

A word about what's next:

PB 2.0 needs at least the following: (1) people, (2) organizing tools, and (3) funding. It seems clear to me that over the last year, we've gradually evolved the first two, and are closing in on the third. Last year, at this time, I tried to create a funding model using advertising; that just flopped. This year, I'm going to try again, by creating a Corrente marketplace. I see this marketplace as offering mutual aid in two ways: (1) By offering those of us who have products to sell a place to do that; and (2) by devoting a percentage of the proceeds -- which don't have to be large to be worthwhile -- for microloans, voted on by Correntians, as FrenchDoc advocated long ago. Expect me to contact many more of you for advice and help, and look for the rollout in the coming weeks! And this idea was one reason for the server upgrade, besides my desire for a better reader experience: Bigger hamsters, bigger cages to handle the load of the marketplace.

* * *

So, sorry for the length of this (dread word) bleg, but that's my annual report. Again, the Paypal Buttons are to your right in the sidebar. You don't have to be a Paypal member to give!

Oh, and one more thing: The site should now be much faster, after the server upgrade -- especially if you aren't logged in. And the amount a professional would get paid to do the kind of technical work that I'm doing here.... Well, let's say that I'm asking for a year what they might ask for a week or two (depending on the client). Not to go all hard sell on you!

NOTE [0] How can you tell we're old school? Who is IOZ explains:

Listen, the dudes and dudettes at Corrente not only kindly link us all the goddamn time, but they are authentically not a gaggle of fuckers and sellouts.

We're not tools of party factions, we create memes instead of laundering them, we struggle to minimize tribalism, and we say Fuck. Proudly (though the list from that post in 2007 does need an update...). Oh, and I'm starting the list from zero as an in-joke for techies....

NOTE [1] I've been castigating myself for putting this post off, but when I went to look at my fundraiser post from last year, I found it was on the exact same date: September 27. Serendipity!

NOTE [2] To my regular contributors: I appreciate your contributions so much; they really decrease my level of anxiety, and having that little bit extra available has helped me so many times. So don't feel that you need to dig deep again; you're already doing that! However, if you wanted to induce others to join the fold....

NOTE [3] Also, group moderator Julia Williams, whose group is private.

NOTE [4] I know we discussed this, but I can't find the link!

NOTE [5] And I wish I had the original link to this, too. Which D politician first said that, anyhow?

NOTE [6] Another data point: I can go on Eschaton comments without being smeared as a racist any more! I hope the same is true for you all.

UPDATE I forgot [lambert tearfully effaces himself in ritual condemnation] to mention two efforts: First, the Corrente Review of Games, now up to the 12th issue of Volume I, which is a collaborative effort by DCBlue, danps, and extremely alert reader Aeryl. True, video games are teh suxx0r, and the worst time sink since Al Gore invented the Internet (kidding!) but the foolish misdirectedness of the effort in no way detracts from the value of the commitment. MR SUBLIMINAL Haw! In fact [lambert returns to his normal, nice guy self] I'm thinking that the CRG was really the first collaborative effort here. Am I right, or am I forgetting somebody? If so, please correct me! Second, we actually have community members who've posted here running for office, and not as legacy party candidates, either: Julia Williams (Greeen) and Warren Mosler (Independent). That's pretty amazing, when you think about it.

UPDATE With LA 113 in the shade, Arthur, too, still needs your help. Hat tip, Coyote Creek. Ditto Welcome Back to Pottersville.

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Comments

danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

the Corrente Review of Gaming is beyond me, but I'm too big to take such a deliberate snub personally. You asshole.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Beyond video games, thanks to our new tabletop correspondent.....Me!! So for all you video game poopers(*cough*CD*cough*), there will be something old school for you!!

NOTE: And it's about Buffy!!!

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

that'll leave a mark. ;-)

Submitted by lambert on

You are absolutely right and I will remedy the omission immediately. I can only plead that my RL demands are tremendous right now and I'm exhausted to the "suitcases under my eyes" point.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i hate gaming with the passion only an ex-gamer can have. you get that, right? part of me is still Preppy enough to be ashamed of my Geekster elements. which are many. heh.

and lambert, i can only assume your "lack of feedback" comment was ironic humor. there's plenty of feedback related to Corrente; it's just private and kept to emails between members of that class. you cowards! /looks at legacy party readers/

this year my emasculating fishwife style comment is this: we're not capitalist pigs, right? so we can all agree that there are many, many people providing a valuable social service that our "capitalist" system does not reward because of ideological bias. housewives and stay at home moms; people who care for the dying, the sick, the orphaned but for little or no pay; govt inspectors who put in massive unpaid overtime/effort in order to keep the general public safe... the list goes on and on and probably includes you, Gentle Reader. yet, all of society benefits from these efforts, in countless ways. so. /fancy latin poetic saying here/

if you're lucky enough to retain a position in The Franchise, but are a secret liberal hoping for real change- cough it up. you know who you are, and lambert is risking his stones so you don't have to. if you are poor and been determined to be a loser by our predatory system, you've still got five bucks, right? NPR has ruined the phrase, but in LB's case it's utterly true that every little bit helps. i bet 90% of Corrente readers pay for (uncontrollable vomiting by CD) television. well then you can *certainly* come up with a frakking ten spot for your man LB. cause he's way more interesting and entertaining, no?

you may not want to hear this, but there's a good chance the government will someday try to come and "take him away" for this work. it's already happening to cookie baking grandmoms and other dangerous DFHs. LB needs to be protected, and the best way he can be is by having basic security. it's much easier to convince a court not to sacrifice you on the altar of neofascism if you appear at least marginally prosperous. somebody has to run this site and allow the things that are said here to flourish and prosper, or there really is no hope for the future. quality wise, there are only a handful of places on the internets (and practically none in the SCLM) who can compete with this place in terms of quality, analytics, honesty, integrity and/or diversity of opinion. hell, i'll go so far as to demand you not only give our man some dough, but that you also tell at least one person who doesn't know about Corrente today. my personal motto is "no one will save you but you" (borne from the hellfires of my marriage).

well, that's true for you too, for all of us, as individuals and as a collective (heh). the "you" in this case is both individual and plural. we can get dragged to gitmo separately, or we can hang some superrich people together. Corrente is the early nails in the construction of that scaffolding. LB is the carpenter, but you are the hammer he needs to do his job.

shorter me: don't make me come over there and spank you. or rather, slap you on the belly with my fish, cause i guess some people don't like that. /confused expression on face/ ;-)

Submitted by lambert on

800px-goya-guerra_36.jpg
The history of the 20th C doesn't make me confident on topic of gibbets, hanging, and so forth. There really is not a lot to recommend the Bolsheviks over the Czars, for example. And it's not clear to me that Napoleon was better than Louis Whatever, really. Germany unified itself as a result of Napoleonic invasion, and look at the outcome there....

So, please, no nails, eh?

As for feedback, feedback closes a loop. If there's chatter on Townhouse about Corrente, but it never reaches our ears, it's not feedback. In a way, that's dangerous, because we could recreate our own echo chamber. Hopefully, constant demand for evidence and reasoning gives us some immunity to that, and the richer our contacts in RL and virtually (hence, groups, marketplace), the better, for the same reason.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

very public. I have found a "home" here, like no other, and it's because of lambert and his energy, intellect, wisdom, and unrelenting search for "truth, justice, and the American way" LOL. Seriously, I go thru corrente withdrawal when I can't access the site for whatever reason, and it's because it gives me news, links to news, intelligent commentary, and links to more, and above all,
a committment to factual, reasoned discourse that, BTW has helped propel me towards my political career. and the assistance, both intellectually and supportively, that I've received here, has served to inform and energize a campaign that began, almost literally, here. So, huzzah, lambert!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

but a few bucks is worth getting rid of that annoying "you got mail" message ;).

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Corrente is the 42nd most influential blog in lefty blogosphere. lambert has built a community where any member can be a front pager and have real influence. The opportunity cost of building a community like this is huge. If you appreciate the commentary you see here and have some disposable income, please send lambert some change. Your willingness to support this blog is just another step, but crucially important step, in taking our country back.

Submitted by lambert on

It's the answer to everything!

Submitted by lambert on

Towel? Huh?

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

$50 . And told a great montana activist about this site. He challenged Jon Tester and lost. But he was the liberal and Jon Tester was a fake. His insight is deep. Hope he posts here. He was the youngest state legislator ever elected in the US in 1976.

Submitted by lambert on

I already thanked you in mail, but that's only because everybody gets a thank you note -- I really only know handles....

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Giving to Corrente is one of the easiest ways to get rid of those annoying balances on the VISA and MasterCard gift cards your relatives keep giving you. I just zeroed out my last card from Christmas....you can too!

Submitted by gob on

and I've donated so little I'm ashamed to name the amount. However, it's the most I've spent on things not quite necessary for survival in several months.

Go thou and do likewise.

Submitted by lambert on

I don't think you need to be ashamed. Why?

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

(Lambert knows that).

But, I wanted to say that publicly, just to encourage others to help support Corrente, even if what you can manage to give seems to you as if it is so tiny, you may as well not bother, perhaps because it would be somehow unworthy, or whatever. My donation wasn't all that huge, that's not my point in saying "I donated". Small donations, $5, $10, from many really do add up.

Thus, I agree with Lambert's comment that no one need be ashamed of giving what they see as "too little".

Submitted by lambert on

... this year, I'm not getting the links from outside Corrente that I got last year, for whatever reason. So it's a bit more up to us than it was. So, small donations are just fine. 100 * $10 is a lot better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

is a character in a Henry James novel. Thanks, I came back to edit this as I thought better of it.

Submitted by lambert on

"Live all you can. It's a mistake not to."

michaelwb's picture
Submitted by michaelwb on

Alright you sold me even without a tote bag! I just donated.

Making you and Democracy Now the only two media/news groups I give to.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

Collect your money from PayPal ASAP....see the front page post on how they are holding some funds if you collect money there.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Been postponing to check the funds availability, if ya know what I mean(and I'm sure many of you do!), but finally donated today.

So don't apologize for leaving this sticky lambert, it's been my daily reminder that I haven't donated yet!! If it were me, I'd run a few of these things a year, and not just when you need something.

This is your job, and we should pay you for it. Bad liberal that I am, I forget that all year long until you mention it. Yea, you might get a few complaints from ingrates who don't really appreciate the work you do, but I can almost guarantee a few more dollars a year to put in the breadbox(or furnace, as the case may be!) every year.

Submitted by lambert on

Yeah, it's a WASP thing. Don't talk about money, and put off the "ask" 'til the last possible minute....

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

about the more than once a year thing. I understand why you might be hesitant, but there must be new people coming here all the time.

Plus people's situations change. In a few months, they might have extra cash (and gift cards!) they didn't have earlier.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

Maybe we need a Contributions Committee to run these things periodically on behalf of the site.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

It's not every month, so people are feeling hassled like they do with magazine subscriptions(I hate those fucking cards!!), but it's often enough to provide some real relief to the hamsters.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

And more when I can spare it.

I think of it less as a donation and more as an investment. Corrente helps contribute to what will hopefully be a better, brighter future. That's money well spent.

Submitted by lambert on

Lots of people are saying more or less the same thing, and it's certainly a more constructive and sustainable position than acting out of a sense of personal desperation.

And I have to say, when I made that list of 8 items for the "harder sell" -- that's pretty astonishing. Not a bad little blog, not at all.....

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

And, it didn't happen "by accident". Gag. Not a good phrase but I hope you know what I mean. At the risk of being too obscure, people who read here and comment here know other people.... etc. Six degrees of separation and all that.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Are at least a few who used to give thousands, or at least hundreds dollars to political candidates who no longer do that because they are disillusioned. Please send some of that to lambert instead. Corrente plays a key role in restoring reason to our political discourse.

Winter is upon us. Unless lambert can buy heat for the winter, at least $1,400 between now and April, he will not be able to maintain Corrente. Somewhere out there we have 14 readers who could donate $100 each, or possibly someone who could donate $1,400 and take care of the heat in one fell swoop. This would be a incredibly positive thing to do and I hope that someone in the position to do this will be so moved.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

sorry to be so late in responding. is there a snail mail way to contribute, lambert? If not I will push through my cyber phobia with a modest and belated but very grateful donation. Thanks for everything.

the site is inspiring, educational, provocative, supportive, challenging, so pleasant on the eyes, too ... visiting and sharing is like playing tennis with superior players! one stretches!

thanks for the inspiring report! be proud, be very proud!

thanks again for taking me in as cyber refugee! :)

ll