Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you all for your support, not just behind the green door but in the comment section. A recurring theme when people comment about my work is that this site has one of the best comment sections going. Lots of people find it reassuring to see that many smart people hold similar views. In fact, it is usually from academics that I hear the compliments about the comment section. They like reading smart people confirm their private thoughts.
It looks like 2022 will be an exciting year in these parts. We have been in a bit of lull in 2021 with Trump in the wilderness and real life activism on hold. Traffic has actually dipped year over year a bit, which has never happened. Of course, 2020 smashed all previous traffic records for obvious reasons. From the perspective of dissidents, this year has been rather dull, so traffic has declined a bit. This is something you see everywhere, which is to be expected.
Even so, it is a good reason to think about refreshing the site. It has been this format for close to ten years so a facelift is on the 2022 agenda. Nothing radical, just a freshening up of the look and feel. The big change on tap is a move away from WordPress. I am not on the WordPress system. I’m running my own server, but I use the software, mostly because it was free and easy to setup. It has a lot of limitations and WordPress sites are routinely blocked these days by firewalls.
Shifting to a new software means I can add some features. One thing on tap is to improve the comment system here. I’m open to suggestions, so feel free to let me know what you would like. Do so in the comment section, so others can respond with their opinions on the matter. My list of upgrades to the comments thus far include better editing, formatting, a new spam filter and threading. I used to have a plugin that did those things, but it broke and was never fixed by the developer.
Another big change on tap is to bring everything home. Instead of having premium material over on SubscribeStar and BuyMeABeer, I want to have everything here under one roof like the cool kid sites. The idea is to let people sign up anyway they like, SubscribeStar, PayPal, Crypto, eCheck, cash, you name it, but the content will be here behind a firewall for subscribers. That way people don’t have to be chasing me around the internet looking for my stuff.
This will also mean hosting the podcast. Spreaker has been fine for what I needed at the time, but they are not offering me anything I need now. Five years ago, they were targeting small podcasters to help boost their reach. They were bought by iHeart Radio and now mostly cater to the regime friendly podcasters. They also plan to roll out a censorship regime in 2022 so I see no reason to continue with them. Once the site is ready, I will abandon Spreaker entirely.
One idea that I have is to add a community area for people to post whatever they want in a message board style format. Maybe this will be a premium user thing only or a mix of the two, I am not sure at this point. Putting it behind a firewall means it does not have to be moderated for lunacy. The usual suspects like to pollute message boards with garbage, but they tend not to pay for the privilege. It is still a fetus of an idea, so feel free to make suggestions on this topic.
The book I have been working on for ages is close enough to a first draft to think I can sell it next year. The plan is to have nine long essays of about 10,000 words each and one longer essay that is the star of the show. I have six essays done as far as first drafts and the long essay is three fourths complete. By first draft, I mean the consent is right, but it needs to be edited for spelling and grammar. I’ll hire a proofreader when everything is written and then begin the publishing process.
One reason to update the site is to be able to sell the books. An agent contacted me some time ago about taking it to a traditional publisher, but I’m leaning toward doing the whole thing in-house. The reason is I think it would be a fun challenge and I like the idea of building the parallel society. I stay off the regime platforms as much as possible because I do not want to support people who hate me. I still have to think it over a bit to make sure I am not biting off too much, but that is the plan right now.
As far as timing, it is probably mid-year for the new site. It has a lot to do with how the book goes and how the day jobs go. I’m also looking to escape Lagos in the spring so that will take up some time. I put off the move during the Covid stuff, but I cannot put it off any longer. Being a polar bear in Lagos is not a good idea. That means the dance card is already packed for 2022, which means these grand plans I have just laid out are far more ambitious than they look on paper.
Merry Christmas everyone. Posting will resume on Monday and then another little break for the New Year holiday. Again, thank you all for reading, commenting, donating and sending e-mails and letters. I cannot properly express how much I enjoy the interactions with the folks who read the site every day. When I started this, I never imagined I would be in this position and I am grateful for the opportunity. Like all of us, I’m sure, I am thankful to be part of such a great community.
The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!
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