from the running-out-the-clock dept
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?