Media Coordinator Update, 07/08/11

Dear C4SS Supporters,

Hey, I’m back! I was on vacation (if you can call jury conscription and catching up with some menial household affairs “vacation”) last week, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t have good stats for what happened during that week.

I know I submitted 5,448 Center op-eds to 1,842 publications (even on vacation), but I didn’t track “pickups,” and I’m having problems targeting date range well enough in the search engines to get an idea of how that went. I detected at least one pickup (in the Dhaka, Bangladesh New Age), but it appears to have subsequently disappeared.

So, to this week — and it’s a pretty good week! I’ve submitted 10,823 Center op-eds to 1,804 publications, and have 11 “pickups” to report — including three from publications that have never published C4SS material before, and several that have but aren’t in the “frequent picker-uppers” category.

Eleven is a great week for us — especially since we had no internationally submitted articles this week. All of our content happened to be “US-centric,” meaning that it only got submitted to about 60% of the publications in my media lists. We’ll try to get some global balance back into things this coming week.

As of this moment, we are three short of 300 verified “pickups” of C4SS op-eds. I’m still optimistic that we’ll break 500 by the end of 2011.

And with that, it’s time for a note about fundraising. We’re still well short of our 3rd quarter goal, and someone brought up an interesting issue with me the other day. Some people, this person theorized, see how far we are from our fundraising goals, wonder if we’re about to go “out of business,” and decide to put away the checkbook instead of throwing money at a potentially fly-by-night enterprise.

That’s a concern worth addressing, so I will.

The Center for a Stateless Society has existed since 2006. That’s five years “in business.”

It wasn’t until 2008 that an anonymous donor put up $500 and said “go forth and pay for content.” That’s three years of things like budgets and payrolls and such.

It wasn’t until mid-2010 that we decided we were ready to tackle “the mainstream media” with market anarchist op-eds. That’s 13 months in full bloom as a “media center” — and so far we’ve averaged 22.8 media “pickups” per month, or more than one every weekday.

Folks, we’re not going away.

I normally don’t use this column to blow the horns of other projects I’m involved with, but this is relevant:

I’ve been publisher of Rational Review News Digest (“the freedom movement’s daily newspaper”) for nearly nine years now.

We’ve put out nearly 2,300 daily editions (“every non-holiday weekday”), have never missed a scheduled edition (not the day I sat in an ER thinking I’d had a stroke; not the time my power was out for a week; not the time a virus ate my Windows and I had to procure, install, and learn to use Linux in one day), and have taken only one pre-scheduled one-week group vacation.

When I say “we,” I include not only myself and my three fellow editors (Steve Trinward, Mary Lou Seymour and R. Lee Wrights), but Brad Spangler, who joined us as web guy/tech support about seven years ago in 2004.

Why is all that important? I think it proves that when Brad or I get the bit in our teeth for a really good project, there’s no question of it just drying up and blowing away for lack of money. We kept on with RRND even when it brought in a grand total of $6 one month. I still put in 30 hours a week or more on it, usually for less than the government-set “minimum wage.”

You’re not going to see C4SS close up shop because the money doesn’t come in as fast as we’d like it to. We’re not going to play that “our doors will close if you don’t come through!” game that some organizations play.

To put it bluntly, C4SS goes away when they pry the keyboad from my cold, dead fingers — and the cold dead fingers of probably everyone else here. Your decision not to put a little money behind what we do won’t stop us from doing it.

That said, yes, we do need your support to do this right.

We’ve got some of the best polemicists on the planet writing for us. If we can’t pay them, they’ll probably write less (at least for us). After all, they have to eat.

A fast, reliable web host and good tech support costs money. I guess we could set up on one of the “free” hosts, but it would be slower, it would look less professional (newspaper editors do check us out to make sure we’re a “real” organization), and it would require more of Mike Gogulski’s hard work (if we can afford to pay him) to keep in working order than a good host does.

We’ve got a dedicated phone number, and when it rings it’s answered with “Center for a Stateless Society, this is Tom speaking, how may I help you?” And yes, it does ring, more and more frequently as time goes on (see above — the editor of the Union Daily Times called just the other day to verify publication rights on a piece). Usually I make payment for that phone service (and buying a new phone when the old one explodes) part of my own donations to the Center, and I’m glad to do so … but it’s still a cost of doing this “business.”

We do outreach — sending Center personnel to political events and printing literature for them to distribute. Travel costs money. Printing costs money. Booths cost money. Not because we’re riding in limousines and eating caviar, but because There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Revolution.

We’re the market anarchist movement’s media center. We’re your media center. We’re delivering the goods — not as well as we’d like to, but we’re getting better and better at it. Please, help us continue to get better and better instead of letting this effort stagnate.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Have a great weekend!

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory