Sunday, March 08, 2015

News and Stuff

A couple of big personal news items to share -- one about C4SS, one about the Garrison Center.

Those who listened to yesterday's podcast know this; those who didn't probably don't:

I'm stepping down as media coordinator at The Center for a Stateless Society effective March 31. Here's why (from my email to C4SS director James Tuttle explaining why):

I am burnt out and don't feel like I'm doing justice to the work lately. I had planned on giving [it] until May -- my fifth anniversary in the position -- to make sure it wasn't just a cycle I'm going through, but I'm convinced it's not. I'm not looking forward to, or enjoying, the work the way that I used to. And when I don't look forward to it and enjoy it, I don't do it as well as it should be done. So it's time to move on.

There's also the simple fact that the Center and I are obviously diverging ideologically. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, nor has my freedom to explore things I want to explore in the way I want to explore them been inhibited here. I would probably be interested in continuing to write material for C4SS. But from an editorial standpoint, for someone who's sort of the "final checkpoint" before publication, it's better to have someone who's more on board with the approaches that enjoy strong consensus around the table.

So I'm not going away mad or anything. Heck, I may not even be "going away" as such. I hope to write an occasional C4SS piece in the future, and I may remain on the C4SS masthead (or that of its parent organization, the The Molinari Institute) in some sort of advisory capacity. Preferably one where I'm not expected to regularly participate in internal governance issues so much, as those have been a source of tension in the past. Not my reason for leaving, though.

Now some news about The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism, where I am high muckety-muck, don't have to work and play well with others so much, and have a broader ideological playground:

If you look over in the sidebar here at KN@PPSTER (pretty quickly -- it will disappear soon), you'll see that the top of the fundraiser thermometer is busted out. No, it's not a coding error or anything.

The goal -- this was a "personal fundraiser" but intended to allow me to focus on Garrison Center work for the first quarter of 2015 -- was $500. The total, from three contributors (Stephen Meier, Rex Bell and a Californian who requests anonymity) who all have my heartfelt thanks, was $1,040. And the anonymous supporter, who wants you to know that parts of California are not San Franciso, has made an additional four-figure commitment to be fulfilled over the next six months.

That doesn't mean I get to stop raising funds, but it does constitute "seed money" that lets me worry a little bit less about doing so right this minute. My goal is to get enough money coming in regularly via Patreon and those other channels in the sidebar that, when the anonymous benefactor's commitment ends, I don't have to run desperate fundraisers to keep things going as they are going (actually, as I expect them to be going, which is even better than they're going now). So if you like what you're seeing at the Garrison Center, why not throw a buck or five a month at it?

A bit about how things are going now and how I expect them to be going later. As of now:

  • In February, Garrison Center content was picked up by "mainstream" and/or "non-libertarian political,"  media 23 times that I know of, in newspapers in most regions of the country. I was also interviewed as a "policy expert" on the Keystone XL pipeline by El Espectador, one of Colombia's largest newspapers, presumably based on the early February Garrison op-ed I wrote on the topic.
  • So far in March I've identified six such pickups of the Center's material and I suspect my two most recent columns will do quite well as such things go.
  • Using the aforementioned money raised, I've paid Joel Schlosberg for the two op-eds he's written so far for the Center, and also paid up the site's domain name several years in advance.

Coming up:

  • Yes, I was happy to get 23 pickups in February. But that's not a number I'll be happy to stay at over time. There are three ways to increase it: Putting out more material,  submitting it to more newspapers, and giving those newspapers more time to notice that they're getting good stuff. I'm already working on the first two problems; the third one I'll have no control over unless Doc Brown shows up in his DeLorean. No promises -- they're just not possible -- but I hope to be hitting the 50 pickups per month mark before the end of the year.
  • It's been nearly a decade and a half since I wrote and released Writing the Libertarian Op-Ed. Readers told me they found it useful. I've learned more about the subject since writing that little pamphlet than I knew when I wrote it. So one thing I plan to invest some time in is writing a second, expanded edition, as a Garrison Center project. Naturally it will be published under a public domain dedication and made freely available in e-format (maybe a cheap physical edition, too!).
  • I've got some ideas for content in other formats. Audio. Maybe video. I'll be looking into what it would take both to create that content in a quality way and to make it effective out in the big, wide world. Stay tuned.
And oh, before I forget, here are the Garrison Center op-eds for so far in March!

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