Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting

from the running-out-the-clock dept

Please support our net neutrality reporting today »

We’re in the final days of our big crowd funding campaign for our net neutrality reporting. We’re about 65% of the way there as I type this, which is amazing… but not yet enough to get us over the hurdle to actually get the funding — or the matching funds from our matching donors, Namecheap and Twitch (and we may have another one to announce soon…).

I know that we live in an age where everyone’s asking for money, and you have an infinite number of places where you can spend that money. Hell, every week, in this very spot, we put up three or four interesting and compelling crowdfunding campaigns that I know many of you end up supporting. But, hopefully you also recognize just how important all of this net neutrality business really is to the future of the internet you love. And you also realize how complex this topic is — partly on purpose by the very broadband providers and bureaucrats who are trying to confuse everyone to get what they want. To really fight back, we need to be out there digging for the truth, looking at what people are saying and what it really means — so that we can report back to you and everyone else, so that we’re informed and can really take part in this process.

And we can’t do that without your help.

As I mentioned in the past, our reporting on SOPA was toxic to many advertisers. On the advertising side of things, the blog went from profitable to unprofitable as a result of the SOPA fight — even as our traffic doubled. Our revenue from advertising was cut by more than 50%. And the net neutrality fight is the same way for many as well. I’m not complaining about it, because we knew that was a risk of standing up for what we believe in, and we wouldn’t change a thing. But, because of that I need to ask directly for your help today. If we can reach this goal, it will allow us to do a variety of things, including bringing in some additional writers and guests, spending more time digging through various FCC filings and other paperwork for important details (rather than spending time trying to find advertisers). It will hopefully give us the time to conduct interviews with a variety of key players in the fight, including bringing them to the blog to answer you r questions. By digging in, we can bring you details about how lobbyists are funneling money to minority groups to get them to speak out against their own best interests. We can discuss how the broadband players claim to be so against Title II, but beg to be classified under Title II when it gives them tax breaks and subsidies.

We have a lot more of those kinds of reports we’ve wanted to do. In the last week, I, personally, have dug out over a dozen very questionable filings to the FCC from individuals parroting telco talking points in a curious way. And I’ve reached out to a few of those writers to find out who they are and why they’re saying what they’re saying. There’s an interesting story there, but I simply haven’t had the time to work on it. If we can reach our goal, it’ll free us up to do a lot more, and to dig a lot deeper. But we need your help.

In the sixteen years of doing Techdirt, we’ve offered you a few ways that you can support us, but we’ve never made a strong push or given a deadline. This time, I’m asking you to support our campaign, to tell your friends and family, and to share with them just how important true independent reporting on the net neutrality fight is going to be to the future of the internet.

Or, you know, you can give your money to the dude doing a potato salad Kickstarter campaign. But, in the future, which one do you think is going to be more important?

Please support our net neutrality reporting today »

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Comments on “Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Just a personal note to Mike and the crew: I became a reader during the SOPA debacle. While the MPAA continues their usual self entitled bleating about Google, I think Techdirt had more to do with that than anyone. Yeah, Reddit did quite a bit, but they were standing behind you, using your reporting. No one else came close to analyzing SOPA in as much depth as you guys did, and I’ve been coming here to keep an eye on those sneaky bastards ever since. Since you started this drive regarding net neutrality, I decided to formally become a subscriber. Since you’re still not where you need to be, I made another donation today and might again if this goes down to the wire. Thanks for all you do.

andypandy says:


Are donators effectively paying to install a pay-wall on techdirt, seriously!!!! why is techdirt looking at putting up paywalls when they are so against them in almost every post, surely this whole project should be being used to tear down the paywalls and enable visitors to view all the interesting stuff on techdirt. or am I wrong is this going to give normal visitors like me more content every day I visit without paying. Damn I purposefully disabled Add blockplus on techdirt to enable them to make a little from my browsing their site every day, now they do this, hopefully I am wrong but I suspect not.

Surely there is anther way to make money from visitors, I thought that is what this site is all about , coming up with ways to monetise content without locking down content.

Anonymous Coward says:

It has come to this; Mike Masnick, virtual squeegee boy?

I’m having a hard time understanding this. You talk like this is an existential threat to the future of the internet yet after 28 days and countless articles you’re still 30% short? So what’s the issue, is it regarded by your readers as Chicken Little hyperbole like putting Justin Bieber in prison or folks see it more like global warming (yeah , it’s a problem but, y’know, whatever). Or is this the hard lesson of the freeloader, confident that they’ll get what they’re getting now without paying for it? I’m guessing the latter. There are a lot of people who talk anarchy, revolution and how they’ll do this and that. But when it comes time to back shit up, they scatter like cockroaches when the light goes on.

I happen to generally agree with the TD position on this. But I also feel like my long-held view that most of this community is largely entitled freeloaders is being proven right before my eyes. This is a classic example of selling nothing for something (you’re being asked to fund the same content that will be available whether you pay or not). I’m sure not surprised by the outcome.

BernardoVerda says:

I'm not a USA-ian, but then this isn't really just a USA issue. So...

I just donated (not a lot — the $30 non-renewing was the best I could justify right now) earlier today. I didn’t link it to my screen name, because I didn’t figure that part out till after I hit “send” — but that’s OK.

And I found the info about how the SOPA coverage impacted Techdirt’s advert revenues especially enlightening.

Keep up the good work!

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