New Year's Message: No One Said It Would Be Easy...

from the a-tough-year dept

Since 2008, my final post of the year tends to be a post where I take a step back and reflect on how the year went. It started, back in 2008, as a response to multiple people asking me why I always seemed so optimistic about the future, despite writing all sorts of articles highlighting all sorts of bad behavior and threats to innovation, free speech and civil liberties. And my argument, in short, has always been that I strongly believe in the forward march of progress and innovation -- and that any anger you see coming through in my writing comes from being annoyed and frustrated at people and events that slow it down. That is, my anger is at the pace of change, but my optimism is for the inevitability of change. And, each year, the message has been more or less the same, often highlighting key events and reasons why we should all be so optimistic, even in the face of various challenges. Here are those past messages if you'd like to see them: The last few years, I've noted that it felt like a lot of really bad stuff had happened -- but when you looked back at things as a whole, a lot of really wonderful stuff had happened that more than made up for the bad stuff. For the first time in writing these end of the year messages... I'm not so sure that's true this year. 2016 has been a mess, and I fear that we're in the process of taking numerous steps backwards on a variety of things. Don't get me wrong. I'm still incredibly optimistic about the future. But I fear that the forward progress may slow to a crawl, and it may take a while to get it back going -- and that's frightening.

I know that some will attribute this claim to the election of Donald Trump. I've already explained why I'm pretty sure that a Trump administration will be bad for a variety of issues that we care about at Techdirt. But that's not because I thought Clinton would be much better. She would have been terrible too. In fact, part of the gloom of 2016 is not who won, but who all of the candidates were, in that our political system seems unable to find candidates who can actually support both civil liberties and innovation. And that's truly unfortunate. Of course, the difference with Clinton was that she would have been terrible in fairly expected ways -- ways where many people know how to push back and fight back. With Trump, it's all a giant question mark. Almost everything he's said about these issues is horrible, but no one really knows what he's going to do or how he's going to do it -- and that's frightening in the uncertainty.

And yet, I'm still optimistic. I'm just... annoyed. We have such amazing opportunities to create a better world for everyone -- and not just in the pie-in-the-sky world of Silicon Valley dreamers claiming every new app will "change the world." But the reality is that modern technologies have enabled so much that is powerful, and there's so much potential to do so much more. And I fear that silly partisan squabbling and clueless bureaucrats are going to squander so much in the meantime. But the fact is that there are tons of people around the globe doing really amazing work. Even as many mock new internet services, things that originally appeared to be useless "toys" are turning into powerful disruptions, enabling many people to do so much more than they ever could before. It's opening up opportunities all over the place, and that's not going to stop.

And, yes, this year's message certainly feels more pessimistic. I still think the forward trajectory on these issues is unstoppable, but it feels like, for the first time in a long time, we're likely to be hitting a real hiccup in that march forward. It will continue. Things will move forward. But the headwinds may be stronger for the foreseeable future. And into that mess, we see opportunists of all kinds leaping in. And that's often a recipe for disaster. Legacy industries are ramping up their efforts to shut out competition and kill off innovations and the next year is going to be one where we need to watch out for and support competition and startups and true innovators over legacy players looking to stop that innovation. But, in the end, innovation always wins out. The force and inevitability of innovation is too much to stop -- and that keeps me optimistic, even as I may remain frustrated by efforts to hamstring the pace.

For what it's worth, I should also note that it's been a trying year for us at Techdirt as well. As I've mentioned a few times this year, the advertising business, which has been on the downswing, basically fell off a cliff in the last year. And that impacted a number of the things we've wanted to do. Many of you have stepped up, by supporting us directly via the Insider Shop, our Deals Store, or via our partnership with Private Internet Access. Many of you stepped up earlier this year and supported us via our crowdfunding campaign on Beacon, which is now, sadly, defunct. Others have supported our new Patreon campaign or bought some of our t-shirts (and get ready for more, because we'll be launching some new t-shirts in the near year, after taking the last few months off). And we can't thank all of you enough for helping to keep Techdirt going. It's still been tough. We've seen a number of sites that had similar-sized audiences to ours completely shut down in the last year -- and we completely understand why. It's a different environment out there, and it's difficult.

But we've still been working hard on a bunch of new projects which we'll be launching in the new year, and I'm still excited every morning about coming here and writing stuff and interacting with all of you. Some of the stuff we've got planned is really exciting, and we see it getting closer to fruition (even if we had hoped to launch some of it earlier this year... it's getting closer).

But, as always, the most amazing thing about Techdirt is the community of folks that are here. That includes both the commenters and the lurkers. I'm still amazed that anyone at all reads the site or has heard of it. I've been doing Techdirt for almost two decades now and that's both amazing and scary to me at the same time. But I've never gotten tired of it -- and that's mainly because of the community. You people are amazing.

At a time when so many websites are focused on shutting off their communities, or have no desire to interact at all with them, we've always found that the community of folks here inspires us, makes us think and is always pushing us to be at our best. Everyone here has helped make Techdirt what it is today and I can't thank you enough for that.

Thank you again for being a part of all things Techdirt.

Filed Under: 2016, new year's message, optimism, pessimism


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  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 12:51pm

    Thanks Mike for all you and the team do.

    Happy New Year.

    Keep your stick on the ice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 1:31pm

    Has the income from the TechDirt Shop and Patreon made up for the decreased ad revenue?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 2:12pm

      Re:

      No. Unfortunately, it's not even close. But we're still hopeful it'll grow over time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 4:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Well shit. I tossed in a few extra $, but if I had to guess, is your $2K per month goal on Patreon, when combined with other sources of income for TechDirt, the amount you'd need to get back to your previous income level?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 6:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well shit. I tossed in a few extra $, but if I had to guess, is your $2K per month goal on Patreon, when combined with other sources of income for TechDirt, the amount you'd need to get back to your previous income level?

          Every bit helps, so thank you for whatever support you give. No, we chose the $2k/month level just because we thought it's something that we might actually reach. Our ad revenue used to be significantly higher than that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 6:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Right now I'm donating via both the Techdirt shop and Patreon. I don't know how much you're getting via the TechDirt shop aggregate but I'd hope it's more than you're getting currently with Patreon. It'd make sense to me if it is given how much later the Patreon donation option came after the TechDirt shop opened up.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 11:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Right now I'm donating via both the Techdirt shop and Patreon. I don't know how much you're getting via the TechDirt shop aggregate but I'd hope it's more than you're getting currently with Patreon. It'd make sense to me if it is given how much later the Patreon donation option came after the TechDirt shop opened up.

              Yes, the Techdirt shop definitely brings in more -- but it's still a pretty minimal amount overall (I'll put it this way: the money from such things basically pays for servers/bandwidth, but not anything else). To be honest, we've been shocked at how much direct commerce does. The deals shop and the t-shirts vastly outpace the insider shop/Patreon, and the ads (as of today). But all in, we're still a fraction of where we were a few years ago because of the ad market. Literally, ad rates are pushing less than 10% of what they once were. I'm not saying a 10% decline. I'm saying a 90% decline. Sales of stuff makes up a little bit of it, but we're still way, way down. It's... not great, but (unlike some), I recognize it's my responsibility to figure out ways to fix it. We're trying... and I sincerely appreciate yours and anyone else's support.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2017 @ 3:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It may be that your message and your audience isn't matching to what advertisers want or need. As you have shifted somewhat from tech and more to dirt, and the more you let others write and manage the site, the lower you ad income.

                The site appeals to people who for the most part either block ads or ignore them by habit. The more narrow and angry your message, the more of that group you attract.

                It isn't easy to be stident and appealing to advertisers.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Charles (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 2:30pm

    Keep plugging, Mike. I love the site and truly wish I could afford to be an Insider. I did support Beacon for many months.

    2017 has gotta be better than 2016... doesn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 4:29pm

    Crossposted from the previous "This Week".

    This year we witnessed the demise of copyright trolls - Prenda's destruction came to fruition on the government's part, Malibu Media's own plot began to unravel at the seams, and judges are finally starting to put the kibosh on copyright's ridiculous terms and penalties.

    This year we witnessed the demise of Techdirt trolls - old faithfuls such as out_of_the_blue, average_joe and his ever changing emails, as well as Whatever and his long list of constantly switching identities, and even the new nincompoops like John Mayor (please, email him).

    Happy New Year to you, Mike Masnick, and the rest of the Techdirt team.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 5:08pm

    The pendulum swings the other direction. As pronised,the wild west attitude of the net and connected device makers have crashed onto economic and legal reality.

    The disappointment that you feel is called coming back to earth. There is no magic digital utopia, the laws is starting to catch up with the world wide responsibility shifters, and there are dead unicorns all over the place.

    2017 will likely be a tough year for so many reasons. The net and the world as a whole are splitting into factions, clans, and closed societies. It seems unlikely that the web will ever be as open as it was. Reality has taken it's toll on that dream.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 5:52pm

      Re:

      Laws are not immutable. More effort needs to be done to target the right demographics to become more tech-friendly.

      Right now the best thing that can be done is to get more tech-savvy lawyers into the judiciary.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 6:08pm

      Re:

      The disappointment that you feel is called coming back to earth. There is no magic digital utopia, the laws is starting to catch up with the world wide responsibility shifters, and there are dead unicorns all over the place.

      Nah. History shows a very different story. Progress and innovation always win out. It's just a question of how long it will take. But, wow, it must be seriously depressing to be in your head, rooting against progress and innovation. I feel sorry for someone with such a dark soul.

      2017 will likely be a tough year for so many reasons. The net and the world as a whole are splitting into factions, clans, and closed societies. It seems unlikely that the web will ever be as open as it was. Reality has taken it's toll on that dream.

      As the zen master said: we'll see.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 8:40pm

        Re: Re:

        I am not against progress, that is a nice way to try ti dismiss the point. Its much more a question that progress on the ability side - things we can do - has outpaced legality and societal norms. What you see is a fairly rapid correction as the laws and the morals catch up.

        As someone else mentioned, yhe rich getting richer thing is also part of it. A small band of billionaires and their tax avoiding companies keeping everyone else disenfranchised will drive the pendulum even more quickly away from what you consider progress. The cost of that progress is visibly too high.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 11:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I am not against progress, that is a nice way to try ti dismiss the point. Its much more a question that progress on the ability side - things we can do - has outpaced legality and societal norms. What you see is a fairly rapid correction as the laws and the morals catch up.

          I don't think that's true. And history suggests things tend to go the other way -- which is that societal norms and laws are what change to catch up to progress. However, we shall see.

          As someone else mentioned, yhe rich getting richer thing is also part of it. A small band of billionaires and their tax avoiding companies keeping everyone else disenfranchised will drive the pendulum even more quickly away from what you consider progress. The cost of that progress is visibly too high.

          I'm with you on the tax avoidance part, and think it's a shame that many tech companies play that game as well. Stupid of them, really. But the idea that the public is becoming more and more disenfranchised because of tax avoidance by big companies doesn't really pass the sniff test.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 1 Jan 2017 @ 9:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As someone else mentioned, the rich getting richer thing is also part of it. A small band of billionaires and their tax avoiding companies keeping everyone else disenfranchised will drive the pendulum even more quickly away from what you consider progress. The cost of that progress is visibly too high.

            I'm with you on the tax avoidance part, and think it's a shame that many tech companies play that game as well. Stupid of them, really. But the idea that the public is becoming more and more disenfranchised because of tax avoidance by big companies doesn't really pass the sniff test.

            I think the "inevitablity of progress" thing has to be allowed a long timescale - if it is even true.

            I grew up in the sixties, and at that time a big part of the "inevitability of progress" related to increasing equality of incomes and improvement in terms and conditions at work for ordinary people. Starting around 1980 (Thatcher-Reagan years) that went into reverse.

            The combination of improving technology and globalisation has indeed been tough on the ordinary man in the west.

            The public has become more and more disenfranchised by the same forces that have allowed tax avoidance. The one did not cause the other - they are both consequences of the shift in power caused by globalisation/technology. (To be fair that is also what the previous commenter really said - but you misread it). Just to make sure that there is no democratic check on this processes the main stream media are constantly bleating the line that there is no alternative and demonising anyone who suggests one. Even if the populist forces on the left manage to win and have smart people in charge (as in Greece) they are blocked at every turn. More commonly the media succeeds in misdirecting the public's discontent either deliberately (as in Brexit) or accidentally (as in Trump)

            Now we have been here before. The late 18th and early 19th century were definitely a worse time to be poor than the late middle ages. This was also a consequence of technology and globalisation and we did get out of it that time but it took a hundred years.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2017 @ 3:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Progress is not a straight line thing. Consider the whole British train rysh if the 1800s, and what happened there. While you can stand today and say "see, progress wins", there was a point if consolidation and failure that played against that.

            There is a great possibility on the way to the future that we take steps which appear to be going backwards. They are perhaps the switchbacks that get you up a steeper mountain.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      KeillRandor (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 8:28pm

      Re:

      No, the underlying problems are far more fundamental than that.

      The pendulum that you see swinging, has in fact been swinging this way for decades in the US, and has only been held at bay for some of the rest of the world for such a time, too. This particular pendulum has existed for millennia - for as long as civilization itself, for it is the basic conflict that enables its existence.

      This pendulum is one of economics - that only a rich minority can ever pay for civilization to exist, and have always resisted and hated doing so, even as they benefit greatly from its existence. (The original minority were the land and farm owners that produced the food everyone else needed to survive.)

      This rich minority are now winning, globally, against the majority in a way that has rarely been seen before - they are forcing people to pay for civilization that can simply never afford to. That they use many things, such as racism, xenophobia, religion etc. as tools to generate conflict (whether directly or indirectly) to distract people from the theft that is happening, only causes greater problems for everyone.

      That's not to say that there is a great plan or conspiracy at work, only that it's extremely easy for such a minority to behave in a similar manner to support similar goals, with similar outcomes - its what they've always done. But this is why the most important role of government - the primary reason it exists, is to regulate the economic produce and wealth of such a minority for the benefit of everyone, which is the last thing such people want everyone to understand.

      The western world as a whole, tbh, is overdue a revolution or two, and the reason why the US is in such a bad situation, is that it's own civil war was not fought for such an outcome, and the previous war of independence only exchanged one (distant) minority for another (local).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2017 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re:

        @KeillRandor

        Nice summary.

        Can you recommend any websites that discuss world events in terms of the paradigm you describe?

        Also, you might enjoy a book by Michael Parenti titled, 'The Face of Imperialism' in which he describes what that "rich minority" has been up to recently. He also has many other excellent books that cover various aspects of that same menace minority.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 11:01pm

      Re:

      And out of curiosity, exactly how are you defining 'responsibility shifters'? And what is the 'wild west attitude' of the net you speak of?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2016 @ 11:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Think gig economy companies, those who attempt business models that mive responsibilities diwn the chain and awsy from the company itself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 11:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No idea what you mean by 'gig economy companies', that's the first I've ever run across that term, but as for the responsibilities, which ones are those?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2017 @ 12:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You might want to consider posting when you're not giddily punching fantasies into your cellphone.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2017 @ 12:47am

      Re:

      And how would extensions to copyright help resolve this?

      You seem to want to portray tech companies as some sort of bogeyman that the planet will rise up against as we head into another cycle of economic downturn. The funny thing is, people did rise up - when the bankers who caused the 2008 downturn were not only not punished, but rewarded. And what did your side do? Whine about the young people for daring to complain about the rich getting richer.

      Meanwhile the ones heading your cause are still getting richer without paying the artists - but you don't seem to be commenting on those. Wonder why that is?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 1 Jan 2017 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Speaking of copyright extensions...

        Happy Public Domain Day everyone! Every January 1st a vast number of movies, TV shows, books and musical works enter the public domain.

        The US excepted, of course.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 1 Jan 2017 @ 1:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which reminds me, looks like the latest 'Because Screw The Public' retroactive copyright extension(Sonny Bonno Act) was 19 years ago as of this year, so guess it's about time for yet another push for another retroactive expansion to copyright, lest the sky fall upon all our heads, puppies turn polka dotted, and creativity itself cease to exist due to something maybe entering the public domain in the US.

          Should make for some depressing entertainment I suppose, as the usual tools go on and on about how no one would ever create anything with a copyright lasting only seven decades after their death, and how it's only right that copyright last at least nine decades(or more) after death, in order to provide the needed incentive to create.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 9:52pm

      Re:

      You were wrong.

      Hilarious, and unsurprising.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 31 Dec 2016 @ 5:51pm

    Happy New Year, Techdirt. Good luck to everyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2017 @ 2:43am

    Musing on the quality of our selections for office

    The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

    • ...our political system seems unable to find candidates who can actually support both civil liberties and innovation.*

    And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

    Well, for those that have never experienced the joy of the Internet Oracle, who Lisa is, and why you never, not ever talk about woodchucks if you don't want to get Zott'ed, do a search.

    Second, the Oracle sez "thanks for TechDirt, Mike. Happy New Year."

    Third, to answer your unstated question of why we don't have candidates worth getting out in a rain storm to vote for, Lisa says the answer is obvious once one looks at the whole enchilada.

    To be worthy to trouble to elect, a candidate has to be

    Smart, Sane, Honest, Truthful, Empathetic, Energetic, Willing to sacrifice personal gain for the good of all, and Born an American

    Now, given those qualities, and given how opponents treat them, and how many (even most) denigrate them, why on earth would someone with those qualities ever run for public office at all? I mean, just raising your hand to run gets a shit storm directed right at your face.

    To quote Cassius, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

    So, the source of the blame I place squarely on the people, in that we have lost, or refuse to display the ability or willingness to air our differences in a civil manner, that we attribute the worst possible interpretation on any action or course, throw dead cats and worse at our office holders, do not insist that while differing with others that we do not descend into the depths of pejoratives, ad hominem, bloody shirt, gringo transference, loud mouthed, sloped forehead simple stupidity. We won't even get into the subject of even thinking of asking for intellectual honesty, that ship left the dock long ago.

    One of the reasons The Internet Oracle hangs around here is that it's one of the few places where (mostly) folks are not too freakin' rude.

    So, there you have it, right from the Internet Oracle.

    You owe the Oracle a pair of paisley lederhosen, Limburger cheese, and a good brain bleach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 1 Jan 2017 @ 9:41am

      Re: Musing on the quality of our selections for office

      "our political system seems unable to find candidates who can actually support both civil liberties and innovation.*"

      Type that into google - and once you get past the references to this page you get President Kennedy - interesting?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    3301, 1 Jan 2017 @ 11:10am

    Let's just say that Donald Trump will be a catalyzer for the changes. During his term everything bad that you think will happen and then some.

    But, after it, he'd have extremely low chances of reelection and extremely high probability of public lynch at the first opportunity because all of the uproar his changes will make.

    The people will simply push towards actual progress, dismantling actual monopolies after Trump is not POTUS anymore. Monopolies, including MPAA/RIAA will be dismantled, non-commercial filesharing will be decriminalized, and copyright will be dialed back to good old 15 years with everything suddenly becoming public domain, including certain mouse.

    All we need to do is to survive next 4 years. It won't be easy, but it won't be hard either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Glenn D. Jones (profile), 1 Jan 2017 @ 11:42am

    Good things in 2016 and 2017

    Whenever I get discouraged by lawyers, lobbyists and politicians, I try to remember three things:

    1. There are many, many people around the world who feel the same way I do.

    2. By supporting organizations like the FSF, EFF, Wikipedia and Techdirt, I'm contributing to the cause in my own small way.

    3. Brooding is a waste of time, it is more effective to trust in these people and organizations to achieve the best possible result for the time being.


    -------------


    Good things from 2016:
    - Google beat Oracle in the jury trial
    - Samsung beat Apple at Supreme Court
    - release of games like The Witness, Obduction, Tyranny

    Expanding on that last point: When all else fails, it can be helpful to focus on recreational pursuits you're looking forward to in 2017:

    - Star Wars Episode VIII
    - new Game of Thrones season 7 (I've given up on ever reading TWOW, so I'm just going to watch the show. It's actually liberating!)
    - Torment: Tides of Numenara

    -----------

    A very Happy New Year to everyone in the community from Techdirt and around the world!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:51am

    FUCK HILLARY CLINTON AND FUCK THIS STUPID WEBSITE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    timlash (profile), 2 Jan 2017 @ 5:41am

    Thanks Techdirt!

    Mike,

    Thanks for holding on to, and sharing, your optimistic vision through both the toughening news and financial trends. I can't remember the last CwF+RtB story, but perhaps 2017 can be the year this community brainstorms on how best to apply that principle to Techdirt. As a multi-year Insider shop subscriber, I challenge all in the loyal community to join me. If you're a fan connected to this site, what better reason to buy than the well being of this outlet? Consider the $5/mo Watercooler level if you can. It's just five bucks and it would give Mike and team a bit of certainty about future revenues. I count my subscription as a most worthwhile expenditure. Cheers to all in 2017!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2017 @ 9:46am

      Re: Thanks Techdirt!

      I moved from USD 5 per year Crystal Ball to USD 5 per month Watercooler when Beacon stopped. I prefer this to Patreon, since Patreon is forced to add VAT, which means I pay 6.25 for a USD 5 subscription.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 2 Jan 2017 @ 6:34am

    Thank you too!

    I would like to be doing more to help but this last 1 and a half year have been pretty harsh on me. In any case you have my thanks for all the work and for enabling Techdirt with all its articles and the community. This is one of the very few sites I engage with passion.

    I wish all of us here, writers, readers, lurkers, trolls, partisan folks and so on a much better 2017.

    As for the article, I believe humanity evolves like a coil or an ascending spire. We are now facing a downward movement that will meet the 'bottom of the pit' with bad consequences. But this bottom of the pit is in a higher and more evolved position than the last time we hit it. And I also believe it will be a much more intense downward movement but the recovery will also happen in a much quicker way. So I agree with you. Dark times ahead but the future will inevitably be better.

    Cheers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2017 @ 9:39am

    I guess that legacy business model of selling ads and t-shirts just isn't cutting it, though I'm glad to see you take responsibility for your own failure. It's too bad you don't actually create something that lots of people would actually pay for. You know, something you could sell as part of a tried-and-true business model. Nerd harder, bro!

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