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

This Christmas, give the gift of Corrente!



Merry Xmas. I'm not a daily visitor, but I want to help so that you continue to blog. :)

Thank you! But what [lambert chews hands] if this is the first and only?

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I had hoped to launch the annual fundraiser this coming Monday, and not on a Saturday afternoon, but the server people are being quite insistent; not to put too fine a point on it, the PayPal button is to your right!*

Of course, if each of Corrente's 55,303 monthly unique visitors gave just $1.00 just once a year, every day would be Christmas and my plan to blog and grow rich would finally succeed! So if you have never contributed, will you consider doing so now? If only for the cats? And the plants? And the insects?

And now, as I have done in past years, I'm going to review the year and explain something of my hopes for next year. Except...

... for reasons that I think are obvious, I'm going to press the Submit button immediately, and add a much more lengthy UPDATE later.

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A word about goals: I would like 100 donors to contribute to this campaign over the coming week. (It doesn't matter how much you give; $5.00 to someone who is quite poor could mean more than $5.00 to somebody who is rich. It all averages out, and I am grateful for all donations.) As we progress, I will update you all on how we are doing. And if you know somebody who really ought to be reading Corrente, and doesn't yet, please feel free to ask them to join!

Corrente rests on a very narrow base, financially. Corrente doesn't rely on celebrities, and it doesn't rely on any parties or factions. Corrente is supported by a few dedicated individuals, and I am hoping you can offer them your help. Corrente is also gets substantial financial support from me, in addition to being a full time job of writing, moderating, site building, and even programming.

Because Corrente rests on such a narrow base, it's liable to tip over at slight provocation, as when the server people get too insistent, or when real life demands prevent people, including me, from keeping the front page lively enough. This year, I plan to expand Corrente's base. This fundraising campaign should expand Corrente's financial base, and the site re-launch should expand Corrente's base of readers and writers; my goal is to make Corrente the best place on the web for serious independent writers to create, not only because of the many new tools I added to the new site, but because of the excellence of the commentary in the Corrente community.

Adding... Coyote Creek, who is original about these things in a way that I am not, committed to match other people's contributions (to be fair, to a limit) on her FaceBook page. Just put "MB" in the message so I can credit her. The matching idea is certainly one good way to involve new people expand the base!

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Past year
This has been a really strange year for me, marked by major changes, and not as much "Post! Post! Post!" as I am accustomed to, and you deserve. That should shortly change, although thankfully the Corrente community was tough enough to persevere through 2012. (And here I want to give a special shout-out the Plantidotians: It is not easy to sustain a daily posting discipline, and yet they keep coming up with lovely and calming and above all de-stressing pictures. And I don't think I'm talking out of turn -- and do correct me if I'm wrong -- when I say that at one point the Plantidotians had though of bringing the series to a close... But then discovered that it meant too much to them to do that. So thank you, Plantidotians, for your gifts to the Corrente collective experience.) [#2]

That said, the year to me divided into three phases, all of which should pay off in the years to come, even if they did... Well, let me stop apologizing and say that because I was posting a little bit less, other voices could and did enter the conversation.

Non-violence. In early 2012, Corrente did what turned out to be an influential series of posts on non-violence and Occupy, at a time when violence advocacy seemed very much in fashion. This took a lot of work, and for what seemed good reasons at the time, we didn't make the work that led up to the posts public. I don't want to over-state the influence -- obviously, we're "just a blog" and not "on the ground" -- but the influence was real, not least because non-violence advocates are often marginalized by noisier and more dramatic speakers, and so feel alone. The series showed them not only that they were not alone, but they had a strong and important case to make. (Posts are here, here, here, and here. DCblogger, Okanagen, and affinis all helped, and danps took point on the writing.)

Site relaunch. I'll have a much longer discussion of the site relaunch and what I hope to achieve tomorrow. For now, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Now, work is not necessarily valuable in itself -- Don't you hate to hear "I'm sure you worked very hard on that!" -- but if were still a commercial site builder (which I don't want to be, any more; I want to write at Corrente) the billing would easily run into five figures. (For those who experimented with an earlier version in July, I took your feedback into account, did a teardown, and started over.)

Campaign Countdown. I invented the Campaign Countdown format and started writing it on May 1, 2012, and posted six days a week until the night of the election, November 6. From the retrospective:

In terms of process, preparing CC took a ton of work; by the time I was done, I'd curated around 200 sources that I checked every night. I finished with under four hours of writing a few times, but the norm was six hours, and sometimes eight or more, especially when a major story was breaking. Doing CC was like having a real job (and my life isn't really structured around having a job anymore). ... Basically, the whole rhythm of my life ended up being dominated by CC, with knock-on effects on my sleep cycle (bad), my personal space (now a hideous man cave) and my weight (I need to lose the twenty pounds I gained).

But I've cleaned out the man cave! Because you can't run wood stove in a man cave; it's not safe.

Campaign Countdown began as a blank canvas, onto which I placed dots of this or that color from the sources I consulted. I think the picture that resulted -- fracking, charters, corruption, police state -- turned out to be a portrait of the market state, and that should be very useful in the coming year.

More to come, as they used to say on the old Johnny Carson show!

NOTE Hat tip to CD for the headline. I mean "Christmas" in a totally secularist way, of course.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

i'd forgotten those!

tweeted and reddited.