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


[Thanks to all! I can't much more now, since RL calls, but you all made a real difference, and the kind words helped. --lambert]

[Again, thanks. I'm closing in on the fall necessities, like cleaning the furnace and fixing a radiator and -- not to tug on your heartstrings too brutally -- next I'll move on to luxuries, like a new pair of trifocals to replace the broken, one-lensed set I have now. Also, do read below the fold for why we fight. --lambert]

[Thanks, everybody. I'm not out of the woods yet, but thanks to so many of you I think I see light between the trees. I'll leave this sticky for now, maybe come up with some kind of zippy promotion.... And do read below the fold, for where I think we can go. --lambert]

* * *

I need your help. Last year, when my main waste pipe burst, your kindness saved me in that desperate situation. Well, my situation today is different -- the toilets flush, and I have increasingly mad Drupal skillz -- but no less precarious. I've got the server to pay for, the chimney to sweep, the furnace to clean, a fuel tank to fill, and, above all, property taxes to pay -- and if I were really lucky, I'd buy a new pair of glasses to replace the ones that the lense fell out of that I could never find, not being able to see. Plus, I'm hoping to travel down to Cambridge, MA for PNHP's annual convention.

And I've got this more than full time job -- At Corrente.....

So, right now, I'm in about the same amount of trouble I was last year: A couple of MacBook Pros. I feel like I'm about to drown just before I reach the shore! So, I'm asking for your help again. The Donate button is to your right. [Hat tip, the "not too stingy" Jeff W.][Hat tip, Valley Girl, for pointing out the debit cards work. Don't let the fear of technology hold you back!]

* * *

Now, let me sing for my supper. These are the technical improvements I've made to the site. The much-missed glossary is back, revised and improved. The long-awaited blogroll is in place. A chat feature -- that translates English into Chinese! -- has been added. In addition, any registered user may now advertise for free on the site, and I've added support for linked data using RDFa (which, for you non-geeks out there, should mean more informed readers, as well as more hits).

More importantly, we've also got new Fellows: BDBlue, Hipparchia, and MsExPat, as well as DCBlogger and danps, have really helped make Corrente the blog that everybody hates and nobody reads! Seriously, that's not true; not only am I told by not especially unreliable authority that Corrente is a guilty and unadmitted pleasure for Beltway staffers, our circulation figures have been slowly and steadily increasing -- we aren't, fortunately, dependent on the A list for hits. Corrente commenters and contributors are, however, to be seen in many A list comment sections, and while not especially deferential, they can be relied upon to be articulate, informed, and armed with linky goodness. We can be proud that we've helped keep single payer alive -- despite all the efforts to deny us oxygen.

* * *

A word on where -- finances permitting -- I think Corrente can go over the next year or so.

I have never forgotten and have never given up on the idea of PB 2.0, and this post by Wampum's Eric Williams makes me think there's a ferment out there in the "Proudly Not Kewl Kidz" blogs like ours:

Rather than try to re-create what we enjoyed for several years, and failed to keep, we should try for something we can create. Something that hasn't been co-opted, yet, and perhaps can be retained for as long, or longer. After all, once burned and all that.

The debate with the print media is over. They're going online. The debate with the A listers is over too. They're going corporate. A marriage made in heaven.

Exactly. We need to make our own way. And I can't help but think that the economic and moral collapse of the press -- the sinking ship onto whose listing decks so many A listers are so cheerfully stepping -- will open tremendous opportunities for blogs like this one (not, almost certainly, financial opportunities, but the chance to live life as it should be lived).

Two of the technical changes I made are meant to support PB 2.0.

The first is the blogroll; this can be our way to reach out to blogs that are even smaller than we are and send them some hits! (And if it's possible, I'd rather have 1000 hits from 1000 small blogs than 1000 hits from 1 large blog. We really need to flatten the power curve.) There is so much good and insightful writing out there that one might think that quality is inversely proportional to the kewl kid nature!

The second change is advertising. It's FREE, and I hope people will start using it. (Otherwise, it's going to be a like a restaurant that nobody goes to!) One thing that PB 2.0 has never had is a business model; to be sustainable, a press that adopts the quest for truth as its method must consider its income statement. I would like the ads to remain free as in the "It's up to you!" (RadioHead) payment model. As I wrote:

[I]t's OK to sell stuff!...

Examples of ads with The OK Nature: Your movie, books, consulting services, heirloom tomato seeds, knitting, ponies, jewelry.

Examples of ads with the Not OK Nature: Liquor, firearms, the scantily clad, torture implements, health insurance ads, anything with animated gifs, anything that plays sound on page load, for fuck's sake, obnoxious rollovers that cover the page, and other stuff that makes the admin want to put his fist through the screen.

I'm hoping that the ads are a two-fer: A way for Corrente to help people in rough times, and also a way to build traffic. (I mean, when you put up an ad here, you are going to link to it, right?)

* * *

So, that's where I am, that's where we are, and that's where I hope we can go. If these seem like good ideas to you, please give what you can to make them come true. The Donate button is to your right.

NOTE Why not Google ads? Tried 'em, but who wants to write for Google?! Better to try to build a sustainable community, or -- if PB 2.0 shakes out that way -- a community of communities.

UPDATE Thanks (in no particular order) to Ian Welsh, Anglachel, and Cannonfire for the links, and for the kind words. And thanks to all who've contributed so far -- but and so I'm going to need to keep this up for a few days. At my back, ever I hear, Time's winged chariot hurrying near. Or, in this case, winter's winged chariot.

UPDATE Thanks to BTD at TalkLeft.

No votes yet


Submitted by hipparchia on

how about graduates of the corrente winemaking school? they couldn't advertise here?


told by not especially unreliable authority that Corrente is a guilty and unadmitted pleasure for Beltway staffers

dude! you can totally thank me for this one! ok, so that's totally self-aggrandizing, but i have been emailing links to various corrente posts to various congresscritters for some time now.


the google ads really sucked. thank you 1000x for getting rid of them.

Submitted by lambert on

... but they could certainly sell winemaking supplies! Or we could turn their posts into a PDF book, and they could sell the download.

* * *

I'm glad you mail links, Hipparchia, I think that's great. One small way to try to prick the bubble...

Gabriele Droz's picture
Submitted by Gabriele Droz on

Hi Lambert,

I've tried to join in the past, but it was difficult, and I never succeeded.

I've been reading Correntewire daily for about two years and thoroughly appreciate/align myself with your (and other blog author's here ) take on things. I'm also in your neck of the woods (SoCal).

I won't be posting a hell of a lot, as there's already a massive blogging verbage that keeps us busy looking for kernels of truth. I appreciate your short, to the point, entries that stimulate thought without a whole lot of extra verbage. It allows one to approach the links independently.

I'm glad to be here, at last, and I'll pitch in when I think I have something important to say.

And, I forgot, I'll be pitching in a few dollars after I get my next non-profit worker paycheck in a few days.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm sorry it was hard to get in -- I had a bit of overload on my administrative duties for awhile...

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

I'd be happy to share my meager funds with you, Lambert, but I don't PayPal. Is there an old-fashioned U.S. Postal Service address to which I can send a check? And, should said check be made out to Lambert Strether or to Corrente?

Submitted by lambert on

I like to preserve the last shreds of my pseudonymity. Plus, PayPal is easy for me to track, and I'm very bad with paperwork.

You could give the check to someone who has PayPay and they could handle it; or you could just give the check to somebody local and hope that the good karma comes round, which it does tend to do.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Well, there's this if you click the Donate button:

Don't have a PayPal account?
Use your credit card or bank account (where available).

I don't know what happens if you choose that option, though, but you can try it.

Or, like lambert suggests, just launder the funds through someone who has PayPal.

It's all doable.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

You don't have to have PayPal- I don't, and thus was put off at first. But, then...

HOWEVER, I discovered there is no requirement for PP account- -

it was easy except the first few tries I didn't notice the "update total" button at the top right (after you enter the $ amt), so I had to re-enter info. DU'UH! Small $, but hope it helps.

Submitted by lambert on

As do the kind words, to which I am not impervious.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

"Yes, you can donate using a credit or debit card without having a PayPal account"

Or something like that? I really don't want to get a PP account. But, I'm okay with using my debit/ credit for online "purchases"/ donations.

As I indicated, at first I assumed (who knows why) that I had to have a PP account to donate but then read JeffW comment above, and thought, okay, let's see what happens.

OH- simple version of text below Donate button "No PayPal Account required"

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

I'm glad my comment helped.

I'm glad that wording is changed to Click the Donate button also (it could be the even shorter Microsoftese Click Donate), if only because the button's labeled, well, Donate. Whatever works.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

THE text of your post says:

"The PayPal button is to your right"

So, I guess that's why I "first assumed" (LOL)

Instead, you should say: "The donate button is to your right"

The receipt I got was from PayPal, BUT I absolutely did not have to get a PP account to join.

btw, the "donate" feature at BradBlog is, as far as I can tell, set up the same way, and given that BB was my "first blog", like years ago, I've used that "donate" thingy there to contribute in the same way (occasionally, as I can) for 4+ years, without any untoward consequences.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I realized I made a mistake

"no PP account required to join"

shoulda been

"no PP account required to donate"

but I couldn't edit my comment.

First time I tried I got "access denied" when I tried to edit, and then, no "edit" link showing up.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Now that I don't have to remember my Paypal log in, it was easy and painless.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Well, I don't know Anglachel and Cannonfire—I mean, I've never read their sites (perhaps, I should)—but I have the impression that Ian Welsh is a complete mensch. (I figure if I bury that compliment here in the comments it won't embarrass him too much.)

That said, any blog that gives a promo like those did deserves accolades.

Submitted by lambert on

These are three very different blogs, but all thoughtful.

Submitted by lambert on

Regular subscriptions reduce angst and keep the hamster's coats glossy.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Before I clicked it right now, I vaguely thought that the Subscribe button was for some regular "subscription service" for the site—like, you get a monthly email message or a digest of posts or something. It's not that.

It's a way of making donations as installment payments via PayPal. Maybe it would be a good idea to clarify that with a little text, lambert, for the denser readers, if any, like myself as well as for anyone else.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm grateful to you all for making the buttons, well, actually work....

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

consider it done! A small subscription for now. And someday, maybe I'll get one of things ... what's it called, where you get paid for doing stuff ... oh, right -- a JOB. If I ever get a job, it'll be more.

Meanwhile, may I assume the hamsters are available to provide references?

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

its way to you through the magic of the intertubes. Thanks for the note by the "donate" button advising that PayPal account is not required.

Wish it could be more; hope it helps.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on


I had the exact same first reaction you did- snail mail? until the parameters were clarified.

For whatever reason, rational or irrational, I just don't want to mess with having a PayPal account, myself.

And, then when I worked it out, I sent a donation in the same vein- "wish it could be more", but Lambert assured me that every bit helps.