The Floor Is Yours

Note: Tuesday I was on the Killstream with Ethan Ralph. It was a fun conversation about a bunch of different things. Here is the link. I arrive at about the three hour mark, so fast forward to 3:37:45.

One of the projects that has been on the drawing board for far too long is to upgrade this site and add some additional features. One reason for this is simply to freshen things up a bit, as the site design is over a decade old. There is something to say for tradition, but people expect websites to freshen up their style every so often. A site that sticks with an old look and feel is often assumed to be abandoned or poorly maintained, so giving this site a refresh is something that is long overdue.

Another motivation behind a refresh is to add some features. The problem with using WordPress is most of the plugins do not work. I am not on the WordPress server so do not mention that for the sixth million time. I host my own site, but I use the open-source WordPress software that anyone can download. Even the plugins you can buy are a roll of the dice in terms of functionality. The people behind them often have names that look like an eye chart and the support is what you would expect.

Moving off of WordPress opens the door for other options that are more professional and have real people supporting the product. One option is Locals, which is connected to Rumble in some way. This is becoming popular with the livestreaming crowd as it offers a paywall service, credit card processing and additional features to go along with the normal livestream chat services. The trouble is that it is intended for video creators, so it lacks the features a writer expects.

Substack is slowly building out its services. They can host audio and video, which people with a green door subs already know. They started out as a writing platform, so they have a lot of useful features for writers. More than a few “magazines” now run on Substack using their custom design features. The risk here is being on a platform that could easily be taken over by lunatics. There is already a war against the site by lunatics, so it is not hard to see where that is headed.

The final service that people use is Gumroad. Paul Ramsey and Keith Woods have been on this platform for a long time. This is a small platform, so they are not throwing people off for heresy. This is a familiar pattern now. The video site D-Live did this until the hammer came down and they lost most of their user base, because they were forced to ban the blasphemers. Given the site is owned by a very strange little man from over the rainbow, one should not be optimistic about its future.

The alternative to using a service is to roll my own site, which avoids many of the problems of using a service and opens the door to customization. I could also keep the Substack and SubscribeStar platforms and allow those users to access pay-per-view content on the main site. Both have API’s for this, which means this site would talk to those sites to see if a user here is a user there. If so, then the user here would be treated as a paid customer here.

This would mean that users can get behind the green door two additional ways, as I can set up crypto and cash payments here. For those too paranoid to use a credit card online, you could send cash, checks, gold doubloons or whatever you have through the mail and get a green door account. The crypto users could also send their favorite form of digital money. I could also integrate GabPay, which I am told works pretty well now, even though they could not service VDare.

If you start with a clean sheet of paper, then it is the time to rethink how something works or does not work. It may be time to rethink some features or add new features, like a better comment section or even a group messaging system. Comment sections have been killed off mostly due to the fact that site owners get the sads when they see the comments, but this site has a lively comment section, so making it better by adding additional features sounds like a good idea.

Right away, I think a better editing system is in order. I have tried a million different plugins for this and all of them are terrible. I tried one that I paid for but I suspect the publisher sabotaged it, as it stopped working for some mysterious reason and they stopped responding to my inquiries. Creating a comment system that works as intended from the start would solve this. That means the ability to format comments and edit them as long as you are a registered user.

Along the same lines, I think green door users should blow past the spam filters, so they never have to wait for moderation. I have to check the moderation queue a dozen times a day, and it is always regular users in there. Not only is that annoying to the user, but it is very annoying to me. It would also be useful for green door users to have the ability to limit the visibility of their posts to other green door users. This is a common feature on sports sites that looks like a good idea.

The final novelty I have in mind is to let green door users create their own page and post their own material. The kook sites like Daily Kos pioneered this years ago and it would add a nice wrinkle to the site. There are commenters who put a lot of time and effort into their commentary, so if they had a way to do long form commentary within the context of the comment stream, it might make for a more dynamic site. Who knows, maybe it would attract other writers.

The point of this post is to solicit ideas and demands. Next month I want to flesh out the basic design and then get to work building it before summer. With the economy slowing down I will have some free time from the day job, so I may as well put the time to good use and upgrade the site. Feel free to send e-mails or comment here about what you would like to see or not like to see. The point of the upgrade is to make the site better for the readers and users, so the floor is yours.

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. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 1047 Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-3047. Thank you for your support!

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142 thoughts on “The Floor Is Yours

  1. What about

    He hosts Steve Sailer and wrote the American Pravda series.

    That’s one website you’ll never be booted from.

    Other than that, maybe keep this website as it is? I think the people who matter really don’t care about the design being outdated.

    After all, I come here to read insights, not to remark on aesthetics.

    • I own my content and if you post on Unz directly, he owns the content, so that could never work.

      • Maybe you can get Unz’s comments software grafted onto a DIY site. It’s probably the best on the Web.

  2. Ethan Ralph? Really Z? Are you carrying on in the spirit of metokur? God bless you.
    Get ’em.

  3. A lot of comments go off topic. An off topic vote icon at the top could be good to keep some focus to the thread or at least know it is not related.

    A header for comments might be helpful, an intro of the comment so to speak.

    Comments being expandable and collapsible would be nice. 100 words and then click to expand or move on.

    Guest writers could be interesting, have their own little section on the website. Fellow scribes. There are a lot of interesting and smart people commenting here so that could be good for them to be able to post some articles and the like with a comments section as well, so the good and bad can be hashed out.

    I like the simple format of your blog. The complexity lives in the content where it belongs.

    Great site, good people… do not need much more.

  4. I would make it more of a platform. Sports guy, media/culture guy, you keep the main stuff.

    Make this what TakiMagcould have been.

  5. I was very very active over at returnofkings for years and that comment section was a blast. I remember just commenting dozens of times with everyone live as trump was winning on election night 2016 and we were having such a good time. Then Disqus blocked roosh and the site just died off. Point being, the commenters here are really insightful and sharp guys too. It’d be a shame to lose all this in a migration.

  6. I’m late to this party but my two cents: Substack is a good platform. I understand the issues re: cancellation but it’s hardly inevitable. How about staying there and keeping SubscribeStar as a backup? It seems unlikely that both would cancel you at the same time.

    • Nah, this blog is sometimes too radical for normies. Advocating for return to White America is the third rail for the kumbaya crowd. They may secretly want it, but it rattles them too much for somebody to say it out loud. Thus, I wouldn’t trust any third party given the content of this blog. I’m not saying the content is bad, just that normies can’t handle it.

  7. Hybridized Unz style posts and comments. Allow for accounts and easier replies or up/down votes for those with accounts. He Also can include audio with his posts .

  8. Think about your users. How many need a more complex upgrade, and how many, like me, are non-tech savvy who read your posts and sometimes comment and that’s all we really want. And if you’re the 145th commenter, who’s going to read your comments anyway and will you even see them?

    Your paid service could be a chat or roundtable for your high quality users. I like your thinking and writing. Visuals and gadgets would be lost on me.

    Also, how do people email you? I don’t see an email address.

    • Agree. Keep it simple.

      I like what you write, your thoughts, not how its rendered on a screen.

      Well, I was born in Lagos too. It took about 8 months to figure out you didn’t live in Nigeria. Call me slow.

      The people that comment with War and Peace need to get a room, green door for them.

  9. It would be a relief to read a Z blog post that isn’t a minefield of typos and other errata*. And maybe change the font. Other than that, I’m good.

    *Makes it awkward to forward to various friends unfamiliar with your work.

    • Legitimate complaint. I put it down to his being busy with other stuff, and I do all my “forwarding” in person—recommending the podcast, not the site—so it doesn’t matter to me, but the textual QC level is oddly low.

      The single insight that the Stupid Party vs. Evil Party dichotomy describes the *voters* was worth at least 10,000 typos/AI-isms (seeming).

    • Frankly, I’m at the point now where typos and less than perfect grammar are indicators that the posters are real human beings, not bots.

      Read your submission before you hit the “post comment” button.

      Nobody cares if you have a couple of grammar errors.

      • Remember, back in the old days they used to have a chain of editors and reviewers at newspapers to review the work of professional writers. If professionals need that kind of staff to put out near perfect work, I don’t expect perfection from some guy who puts together his own pieces for limited financial remuneration. And that’s before we even get to the mistakes that are easy to miss when you are talking into a tablet or phone. I’m more interested in the thoughts and ideas presented here.

  10. I’m with a large number of people here in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” wing of the comments section. Although one thing I would like to see is a menu like one would find at the heading of a “word” document. The ability to italicize, embolden, or underline something would be nice.
    I love the pic at the heading of the site. I would love to know what it is and where you found it.

  11. There are a lot of votes for not changing. As much as I like the present (I do have to read comments from bottom up), there is the issue of attracting new readers and having them stick around long enough to be steady customers. A freshening up might not hurt.

  12. You did have a different format for a brief time in the before times. I don’t remember it all that well but do remember that you could change the order from chronological to reverse chronological to most liked and back. This format is stuck in reverse chronological so I have to read from bottom up. It’s a bit annoying.

  13. On the killstream interview: to paraphrase our host – anti-semites are nose pickers and elevator farters, and some of our host’s best friends are black.

  14. Thank you for the lean, clean simplicity of the current format- I can just hit the download page button and save all the great comments and quips; often there are too many to sloppily cut-and-paste into notes.

    So, count me in as one of the “ain’t broke” crowd; this is my favorite bar, comfy as is.
    if site redesign is worth the Zman’s time, would a complementary sideline be more effective, instead?

    Rather than improving current subscriber convenience, I’d like to ask about function.
    What’s the site for?

    I’d prefer the elegance of the clean thought here reach a larger audience.

    As well, possibly a more activist or parallel economy sideline;
    not only as a place to learn how to think, that is, but also

    1. as a place where people worth listening to may speak freely, (as they do)
    2. attracting a high class clientele of deeper experience (as it tends to do)
    3. an eye towards organizing, informing on, or networking projects from small to large (parallel economy, actionable tips, valid orgs)-

    We must build shelters for our own, to offer them something.
    Fraternity is the first shelter, as on offer here;
    get white people together, in virtual or physical, and good things just happen.

    • “Fraternity is the first shelter, as on offer here;
      get white people together, in virtual or physical, and good things just happen.”

      Most days I read a large number of the comments here. It’s just nice being around people who agree with us. The whole society opposes us. It’s a reminder we ain’t crazy.

  15. I would like to edit comments. I would like to follow comment threads better. I would like to block commenters who don’t interest me, or are mostly ignorant and divisive in their commentary (yes, I know this potentially creates a “bubble”, but my time is important to me.)

    I would note that the look and feel of the site is separate from the comment section. Be as fancy as you’d like to the site look and feel, but comment section need not be too fancy—they never are.

  16. Maybe this has been mentioned, so sorry if it’s a repeat:

    On your end of year show (I believe) you mentioned how people on our side of the divide tend to be stingy with money and subscriptions. However, I don’t think this is the case. You briefly touched on the issue in this post here. People on this side of the divide are deeply pessimistic on the future (myself included). Call us paranoid if you like, but I’m trying to not end up on a government list and get debanked, etc. We limit our digital fingerprint on heretical websites by using a vpn and certainly wouldn’t use our credit cards to give to yourself, amren, vdare, etc.

    Long story short, if you could really flesh out a cash option and detail the steps to do it where we send you cash for a green door account then you give us a login and password somewhere, I think you’d see more money roll in.

    • 100% This. You needn’t look farther than Bank of America rolling over with NO pushback for the Feds after J6 to see how this goes.

      It is just too easy in our currently hostile environment for this to occur. Until a -true- alternate economy arises, like think “Bank of Elon” or something of a similar magnitude you are not safe. And yes, I realize Elon isn’t really /ourguy/ but I am making a point you’d need an institution that is multi-billion dollar & highly liquid and also doesn’t dance to the globohomo tune. This is unobtanium in 2024 that I can see.

    • The Greek-

      You nailed the reason I don’t give to any dissidents via electronic means.

      I know that at one point our host had a P.O. Box where you could send a card with cash. I did that a couple times, which I know isn’t enough.

      Even that is not foolproof because one typically has to use a card to buy Forever stamps with a QR code. The post office also scans and photographs every piece of mail that passes through their system.

      It might take a bit more effort, but those bits of information could eventually be mapped back to any one of us posting here.

  17. Website appearance: less is more. Not everyone codes. Even when people were able to Read The Screen, few did. Now no one does. So easy on the bling. The rather monochrome deal you got going on now works.

    Podcast: I miss the old door slamming sounds or whatever they were in between segements. On those rare times when the content was less-than-riveting, they were a good wake-up.  

    Since you are now, per the Hardest Working Man In Show Bidness (RIP), Living In AM-erica, you need to get the show on Liberty News in the slot before TPC. Some of our best people do not use the internets. More important: If there is hope, it lies in the midwits. This will be a baby step towards live radio which is your ultimate density.

    • “If there is hope, it lies in the midwits.”

      Absolutely. The toffs may want to strut and preen, but somebody’s got to brew coffee and put the cookies in the oven.

  18. This site has it’s issues, but it’s good enough.

    The weird formatting when people comment on a comment to a comment about another comment? Eyes are glazing over by that point anyway. It’s a self correcting mechanism.

    Upvotes are great; downvotes arguably better. Forces the regulars to read the room. Keeping it anonymous prevents regulars from “ganging up” on bad actors who might otherwise be convinced to rethink things.

    Only the Zman can answer the real question: What is the point and purpose of this site?

    Monetization? Catharsis? Education? Clearer thinking? Persuasion? Ego? Just to know that there are like-minded people out in the ether? Total World Domination?

    It’s a great blog, look forward to reading it daily.

    • ‘’Monetization? Catharsis? Education? Clearer thinking? Persuasion? Ego? Just to know that there are like-minded people out in the ether? Total World Domination?‘’

      Don’t play coy here, it’s always been about world domination.

      • “What are we going to do tonight, Z-Man?!”

        “The same thing we do every night — try to take over the world!”

        • Alas I’m not the Brain but had a colleague 20 years ago who was the spitting image of Pinky. And he wasn’t much smarter either.

  19. I’m with the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” crowd. For my level of interest, the site is not missing anything. Web designers have been dumbing down the internet for a decade or more. The more content they strip out they dumber the web becomes. I can’t stand web pages with 3 acres of white space, a photo, and a 36 pt headline. I can’t stand scrolling down 3 miles to get to the content. Adding features if they make sense is fine, but don’t screw up the design. Keep it compact, non-distracting, and functional.

    There are numerous writers I follow on Substack, Mark Wauk for instance, but the Substack design takes the award for most white space. It’s awful. Dr. Michael Eades was on Substack, but got frustrated with it’s limitations for content management. He just moved to something new that looks like Substack but is supposed to be superior.

    Don’t mess up a good thing.

  20. As long as you don’t disallow comments like the morons at Takimag did a few years ago – I’m happy and suppose that puts me in the ‘if it ain’t broke…’ camp.

    • SiSL —

      Takimag, best commentariat on the net. Then we got a bit to bone-close about the distaff, and voila! sir yatch owner’s princess dotter (remember the masthead?) got a titch too Offended at the Offensive expressions of . . . gasp ‘n whars the shurruf? , , , the truth.

      Twas ever thus.

  21. Thank you for the floor, Z-Man. I have some general remarks on the current topic.

    For about the last 9 years or so, I have done almost all of my online commenting at the Steve Sailer blog on Unz. This is the result of the unfortunate accident that it is one of the few places where non-mainstream views are accepted, and since I had built up an identity there, and didn’t really want to change places and start all over again elsewhere.

    However, I don’t care for Sailer or many of his sycophantic, auto-approved commenters. In fact, I have never once in my life ever read anything Sailer has written and found it edifying. I was calling Sailer out for his shallow, low-effort, un-insightful, fame-seeking posts long before it became cool for dissidents to do so after Covid and Ukraine hit. I have always known that Sailer is a strange and mediocre man, and now the rest of the world is seeing that, too.

    I certainly don’t agree with the Z-Man on many things, either. HBD and Darwinism are two of the absolute worst ideas to ever hit the dissident space, and the movement is not going to go anywhere until they are excised. It is very unfortunate that Z-Man actually seems to believe this stuff. However, it does not seem to form the central tenets of the discussion here to the same extent that it does at Sailer’s blog.

    Dissidents need someplace to go. And, as several commenters below have already mentioned, Ron Unz has already developed one of the best commenting platforms on the Internet. I’m sure that’s the primary reason why people keep coming back to iSteve—it certainly isn’t Sailer’s lazy and idiotic blogging.
    If the Z-Man were to replicate an Unz-style commenting system here, I’m sure he would see a massive influx of disgusted ex-Sailerites looking for a new home. This place could very easily become the main hub for dissident commenting on the net.

    I hope you are ready for it. Good luck with the site.

    • Darwinism is reality, found in biology from single genes to eco systems and in economics, technology and all other competitive, complex systems. It is one step short of denying basic math

      • Darwinism is shallow, 19th century English materialist metaphysics, nothing more. It has nothing to do with reality whatsoever.

        It is, as you allude, highly amenable to mathematical modelling, and this very fact has deceived many people into thinking that since the math is correct, the theory must be correct, too. Obviously, though, science does not actually work that way, and this trick is never pulled except in situations when the subject has been politicized or the proponents are being disingenuous.

        Darwinism has some of the most disingenuous proponents in the world. The question is not whether the mathematical models in the theory are formally valid, but whether the theory itself is sound. Since Darwinism is ontologically disallowed on other grounds, it cannot ever be sound and the arguments in its favor are obscurantist.

        • Darwinism is neither a mathematical nor a materialist theory. It is related to free market theories although I don’t know if ecomics informed the Victorian biologists who described it. But honestly it seems very fruitless to dig into a deeper discussion here: anyone who has “seen the truth” has surrendered their mind to a mind mirage. Reality is not that simple. And since I think you have “found the truth” I think your anchor to reality is strained. No offense intended

        • Premise: “Darwinism has some of the most disingenuous proponents in the world.”

          Conclusion: Evolution is hogwash

          Verdict: non-sequitur.

          Punishment: 4 hours browsing Daily Kos. I was going to say 8 hours but I think the death penalty is too harsh in this case.

      • I don’t object to Darwinism on philosophical grounds, like @Intelligent Daesign does, but rather that it applies only at the margin and ignores feedback loops.

        One example that is oft-cited is the giraffe who has a longer neck has an advantage over his shorter-necked competition. But that’s only true at the margin, when there are enough giraffes that all the lower leaves are gone and the longer neck becomes an advantage. But long before we reach that stage, the lion population grows in response to the more abundant food, weeding out the slow, sick or old, removing the advantage that reaching higher leaves is supposed to provide. Or so Darwinism predicts.

        Which is why Gould’s Punctuated Equilibrium is the much better model for most of the observations we have made. Between that and artificial selection, we easily cover most of recorded history. And before recorded history, we have to mostly guess conditions from proxies.

        • There are a million refinements on darwinism, the basic principle is extremely sound

          • Punk Eek is one of the major “refinements”. Mostly what we see in microbiology (where reproduction rate is fast enough) is just a continual rebalancing of alleles, not mutations creating new traits. Antibiotics, for example, simply allow a set of alleles with better resistance to become the dominant strain. Rarely is it enough to wipe out the lesser resistant strains, and when the antibiotics are stopped, another equilibrium population develops, not the one that was resistant, nor the same population that existed prior, but almost always something different.

            That’s something we see in strip mining reclamation. You cannot simply plant the species that existed prior in the same concentration and get the prior equilibrium. It turns out to be path dependent. Going through the phase of primary invader species like ragweed turns out to be necessary to get to equilibrium. Which is rarely the same as before, without some very heavy-handed management.

        • “Proof” by contradiction: survival of the unfittest?? Maybe we should then redefine fitness

    • How is HBD one of the worst ideas in the dissident space. It’s practically THE defining idea in the dissident space.

      Honest question.

      • Well, as a scientific theory, HBD is terrible because it simply isn’t true.

        As a platform in dissident political discussions, HBD is terrible because it takes a number of perfectly legitimate and urgent grievances—viz. the racialization of American law and the distortion of the welfare state into a racial spoils system—and reformulates them into a bizarre, pseudoscientific debate with Darwinian underpinnings.

        One does not need to be a Darwinian to know that, for example, Affirmative Action is a bad idea. One does not need to swallow the whole materialist metaphysics implicit in evolutionary theory in order to realize that Civil Rights legislation is unconstitutional. Most people are not Darwinians at heart and they aren’t going to find the courage to oppose the establishment’s egalitarian excesses armed only with something as weird, spergy, and demonstrably false as “HBD.”

        The fact that HBD is THE defining idea in the dissident space is THE problem in the dissident space.

        • More gratuitous assertions regarding HBD—a field you’ve repeatedly demonstrated no knowledge about.

          You’d be more persuasive if you just once expressed a specific component of HBD science and took it to task—with references—for this audience to comment upon. But of course, that would expose your lack of understanding in the field.

          • His chief gravamen is with Darwinism, and because he believes HBD is Darwinian, he opposes it.

            There’s a certain epistemological or even intellectual insecurity at work here that is common among the religious. And I say that as a strong Christian, myself. However, because my faith is not threatened by Darwinism, I feel no need whatsoever to deny the patently obvious reality of HBD.

          • Thanks Ostei. Actually, for the life of me as a person of science, I can’t see the conflict between HBD/Darwinism and a strong religious belief, albeit I am aware of early conflicts when Darwin published.

            Even such an acknowledgement on the part of ID would open up discussion in a useful sense.

      • IMO, the only question about HBD is the degree to which it applies. I think it’s probably inarguable that nature and nurture both have an effect.

        However, I have seen the look in the eye of my late pit bull when I pulled her out of a fight, and know damn well she’d have taken some of my fingers off if I’d not had the grip on her collar that I did. Once she calmed back down, she was as sweet and loving as ever. Her nature was only ever one “disrespek” away.

        • When my dogs were injured via attack by Javalina, I dragged them away finally and got them in a safe location. Then came the task of cleaning and sewing. I needed to run water into large gapping holes to wash out crap. They whined and whimpered and bit me hard, then whined some more *as* they bit me—they were sorry/scared to bite me—and feared retribution from the pack leader. Bite, clean, bite until finished. You get used to it.

          That’s the nature of the animal as was the nature of the animal to attack a herd of pigs. Their learned behavior, to be called off and return, vanish as soon as they were attacked.

    • It seems there’s an epistemological problem here. Do you believe blacks, whites, amerindians, and Asians are all a blank slate? Or do you concede that genetics and heritability have at least SOME influence on ability, particularly cognitive and behavioral? Nobody here cares if you believe in tadpole evolution from the primordial soup.

      • Nobody is a blank slate (which do not exist), but neither does that question matter. You will find people with widely diverging temperaments and abilities not only in every race, but in every family. That is not important.

        What’s important is whether or not you are free to respond to such facts appropriately. A separate canon of Civil Rights law that requires special treatment for some individuals based on their race is a violation of that freedom, and that is the real problem, not the blank slate vs. genetics silliness.

  22. I’ll never register for a dissident website. Or leave any evidence that I contributed money to it.

    • I know how you feel. But otho, risk, like expense and effort, is also something that should be shared a little more than it is. Said from a guilty conscience. They can’t exclude or arrest us all and some are taking the disproportionate risk

  23. An edit button would be nice. And this place has become an important dissident node, which is a reason to be careful about external platforms. I feel guilty about not paying up and I admit I’m paranoid about sending money across international borders.

    About open vs anonymous up and down votes, I feel people pay too much attention to votes. Some of the best comments don’t get a lot of votes and sometimes strange comments get heaps.

    No one likes a down vote but people shouldn’t care that much. If people think down votes are emotional pain, just wait and see what’s coming. I do think the down votes help keep the trolls under control so definitely good to have. But our enemies are emotional wrecks. For us it has to be about whether an argument makes sense or not. I don’t think I ever got more down votes than when I insisted that AI is the most powerful technology in history. So now I say it again; AI is the greatest threat to freedom and sanity in history. It is the Katusha’s Grandmother of tyranny technologies. And now, ladies, you know where to find the down button 😝😝😝

    • My only issue with downvote is that basic common courtesy requires an explanation. Why is that opinion in error? I’m open to argument and amendment of my opinion, but a downvote alone does not accomplish that.

      I feel largely the same about upvotes. Biden got 83 million upvotes.

      • All the hair splitting if people had to explain everything could clog up the comments section. I rarely use the down vote, mostly if I think ppl are trolls. But you could see it as mild disagreement not worth an elaborated counterpoint. I’m surprised how much attention down votes get here. I think we’ll have much bigger things to feel bad about in the future, unfortunately. The bad signs on the macro sky are starting to worry me.

    • I don’t give a down vote because I have little knowledge of the AI field. But if I did, you’d get a down vote because you’ve made what amounts to a “gratuitous” assert wrt AI. An “argument from authority” sort of. I am not wiser wrt AI by reading your comment.

      Now I respect you’ve made it fairly explicit that your post is simply an opinion and you’ve right to that, and your previous posts have earned you much respect and credibility in this forum. Nonetheless if—when appropriate—you take an example of the science/concept and its possible potential misuse I’d gain more understanding from your thread.

      BTW, I tend to side with you, but keep such to myself, lest I display my ignorance of the field.

      • Thank you for the kind words and likewise. Re AI it was tongue in cheek provocation here, not so much intended as opening an AI discussion. AI scares me and what I said above was a guesstimate of how it will become increasingly dangerous. But the point here was to build pain tolerance through down votes 😆😆

        • If AI frightens you, do not read Nick Bostrom’s “Superintelligence.” You might lose some shut-eye.

  24. I am here for the articles content and the fact that most of the commenters on this site are intelligent and thoughtful. I learn stuff here. So I say to Zman do what is the best for you. If there are modifications to the site that make it easier for you to publish or save you time, then that would probably be a great idea.

    I enjoy the articles so I will come here no matter the sites’ features.

  25. Well Z I’m sure you’ll figure it out. I just love the people here and I really appreciate the way you think and present yourself. When it’s time to rebuild America it is people like these that will do it.

  26. This may be a bridge too far, but it would be useful if commenters could access tools for improving their text so as to be more concise and clear (theoretically, a large language model plugin could serve this purpose). I love reading the comments, but more than a few are long-winded and rambling, and I tend to skip over them if they don’t grab my attention in the first few sentences.

    On a similar note, a lot of the topics covered here (and almost nowhere else) are “controversial” and draw the ire of government trolls. The only way around this is to write in the form of benign analogy and allow inference to do the heavy lifting. Another tactic is the use of double entendre for certain types of phraseology. This is age-old tradecraft but requires some education and finesse to use properly. A tool that aids in establishing a common understanding of these references could be interesting. Perhaps a dictionary for dissidents is the answer.

  27. About the only thing I would add to the comments section is the ability to sort comments in the usual methods — sort by Newest to Oldest, Oldest to Newest, Most Popular, Number of Reply Posts to Original Post, et cetera.

    • Agreed. Other than the ability to sort comments, I would vote to keep the site as it is. The current site is streamlined, easy to use, easy on the eyes, and not overly complicated. IMO, most redesigns aren’t an improvement, and as others have said, there’s no need to fix something that’s not broken.

      Thanks, ZMan, for all you do to provide terrific content and a space for us dissidents to hang out. Regardless of which route you take, I will remain thankful for all of the great content and discussions.

  28. here is a game-changer…
    If you are really concerned about the site looking abandoned, increase the font size on the “posted on” date.
    Perhaps a calendar or menu with a 1-2 line description that makes finding and accessing previous posts easier.
    the site is comfortable and simple…which is great. I get here and know that the article and comments (largely) are clear of idiocracy. that legacy thing has value for this old man.

  29. I kinda like the feature where you can directly reply to someone’s post and they see you’ve replied. I also agree with the ability to edit before a comment becomes etched in stone.

    That very strange little man looks like someone who would not have survived birth a 100 years ago…

      • Completely tangential, but Twin Peaks: The Return is my favorite TV program. So many of the episodes are awful, but two things made the series incredible.
        1) The pacing. We wanted revelation. Week after week, the slow or non-existent drip teased. One hour released per week, but a clear end goal of 18 hours.
        2) The refusal to conform. The first three hours, the eighth hour, and the last hour and a half are simply some of the best moments ever captured on film.

        The show’s greatness is the same greatness that is found in Moby Dick.
        Oh, Twin Peaks! what shall be grand in thee, it must needs be plucked at from the skies, and dived for in the deep, and featured in the unbodied air!

  30. I like the clean minimalist style of the current Z-Man website. Sometimes, adding new features simply because you can will backfire. For instance, National Review rolled out a massive upgrade of their NR Online website a few years back. The site before was a relatively Spartan affair. After the upgrade, there were bells and whistles aplenty. The reader would open an article and be bombarded by ads, audio and video clips playing in the background — the works. It had become an unreadable mess.

  31. I know this ain’t no democracy, but I vote no change. The site works pretty well and it’s fast enough. New software will likely be buggy and slow and worse in functionality, at least from the reader’s point of view.

    • That’s an excellent point about speed. Too many bells and whistles crap up pages for people who don’t have the latest iPhones and premium level tablets. I have a decent Lenovo tablet, maybe about a year old, and lately Chrome has been freezing up all the time. I don’t know what’s coming in to make it freeze so much, but it’s annoying as hell because I have to push the button to go to a dark screen and then reopen the tablet to get it to reset. Then it craps out again. And pages with video off and run like crap.

  32. I’m with the “if it ain’t broke crowd.” I read and skim quite rapidly so long threads are no inconvenience to me. While upvotes are always nice, I don’t comment to seek them and generally stand by what I’ve written, even if it proves unpopular. Whatever you do, I greatly appreciate your content and this forum.

    • I’m with you on this, willing to give the benefit of the doubt gratefully and hope for the best. I’ll be staying no matter what.

  33. “The floor is yours.”

    Grabs claw hammer, chisel, looks at floor, thinks “Hmmm, real hardwood!” 🤔

    Seriously though, put me in the camp of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” To channel SNL’s “Grumpy Old Man” “I’m old and I don’t like change!”

    (Actually I’ve spent my career in IT. Change for change’s sake never works out well. See Microsoft.)

    Just my $.02, which isn’t worth that much due to Bidenflation.

  34. “One option is Locals”

    Locals is founded and by the Jewish, homosexual, baby-buyer Dave Rubin and run by Assaf Lev. At some level, you’d be answering to people like that about the boundaries of acceptable discourse. That seems like a huge mistake.

  35. “There is something to say for tradition, but people expect websites to freshen up their style every so often.”

    No, I don’t. I swear I don’t. That’s progressive “change because change is good and we’re always moving forward to Utopia” thinking.

    The Lord’s Prayer doesn’t need an update, and neither does this site, for the most part.

    • Yes, we know each other from InstaPundit and Glenn Reynolds takes the position of, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. He has had the same look for 20 years maybe.

  36. I would vote for a search function in comment section to make searching for posts easier other than that make your content as bullet proof from the lunatics as possible.

  37. I miss the old ranking system in the comments section. You get a lot of comments so no one is going to read or even scan them all. The rankings based on likes was nice to scan through some of the top liked comments. Granted, that ranking is a bit biased, but your readers are discerning bunch so I trust their judgement.

    Interesting idea to give commenters the ability to create their own page. You have a lot of very good commenters that I’m sure readers seek out, so why not make it easy to find them.

  38. I’m with the “if it ain’t broke” commenters, but “80/20 rule” changes that have little risk but big rewards would be nice. For example, I miss the comment sort function you once had, so if I am pressed for time I can view the highest rated comments first.

  39. I like the mid-2000s vibe of the site, myself. The comment section could use some enhancements in terms of threading – I’ve noticed that a few replies means that the post has less space and tends to become more difficult to read. We definitely don’t need any fancy formatting but maybe a way that people can reply to posts and form a “side conversation” without it getting unreadable. On the other hand, the simplicity of the site as is means that the conversation tends to stay on topic, whereas with something like Unz there are definitely trolls that exist to redirect the conversation, as I mentioned a couple days ago.

    Definitely stay away from the platform sites, because the hammer could come down at any moment. We all know the feds are looking for any excuse to crack down on Substack and Rumble.

  40. I think the thing I would like to see improved most is fostering discussions that may or may not be related to the post of the day. A discussion forum with many sub topics would be great. It narrows the field within which someone may be looking for something. Also, people get to the articles at different times, and usually, if that person posts a comment the day after a post was made, no one really gets to see it because it is over taken by the newest post. Like it or not, but this place has bloomed into a place where dissidents can go to discuss the issues at hand with fellow dissidents. It’s not just about the current day’s post. Plus, If a post has 250 comments, there’s no way to read through them all or even filter out what you want to read so you end up not seeing good commentary at all.

    Outside of that, an edit feature is a must, and seeing who upvotes or downvotes is nice too.

      • Message boards tend to get a bit out of hand too. They require more moderation and maintenance than a blog. Otherwise, they are great.

        • Hopefully, since the vast majority of us are sympatico and sane–reasonably so, anyway (-;–the message board would be fairly low-maintenance.

      • The death (literal) of MyPostingCareer and /pol/ (by successful subversion) has shut down the righty idea factory. Namefags, or whatever the kids are calling self-doxxers (Twitter personalities, etc.) now, really do just copy anons/poasters. Absent weirdo inspiration, ConInc. and Thielbux fully run/thwart the show.

        So there’s a large unsatisfied need/audience for a publicly accessible bad-guy messageboard, but it’s for good reason that nobody makes one. It’s hazardous, and it takes a rare combination of contrarian principle and actual autism to make it work at all. If you do it, know that it brings trouble. Feds gonna fed in surprising ways, and their volunteer corp is gigantic.

        Checking with KiwiFarms guy for advice/assistance might be a good idea. You’d probably want to use his software anyway.

    • “…seeing who upvotes or downvotes is nice too.”

      Wouldn’t this mean you’d have to be signed in to upvote or downvote? While scrolling through the comments on Unz, I often run into comments that I like or dislike, but I can’t/don’t vote on them because I’m not signed in and/or don’t have an account there. This makes it difficult to get a sense of whether or not a comment is popular or not. Even in a very long, lively comment thread, very few Unz comments get more than a handful of likes/dislikes.

      In contrast, here at the ZBlog, readers can easily scroll through the comment section and see that 43 readers liked or disliked a particular comment. If users had to sign in to do this, those numbers of likes/dislikes would be much lower, making this place less interesting, not more, IMO.

      To me, the quantity of likes/dislikes on a particular comment provide more insight than the identity of the likers/dislikers.

    • If Z built his own website, a general bulletin board where Z and his readers could discuss whatever they like would be a good thing. We all love the political, philosophical and current events convo, but it would also be cool to know how other users prefer to cook their steaks or what they think about the movie Amadeus. We could actually get to know one another a bit and perhaps even have the occasional meet-up, although they would need to be pretty clandestine for obvious reasons.

      • It definitely builds community, and that is what we need more than anything now.

        For example, I love getting advice on places to visit or even to live from like minded folks.

      • but it would also be cool to know how other users prefer to cook their steaks…

        You guys cook your steaks?

        • I’ve never smoked a steak. I season with salt, pepper and olive oil, grill over pecan wood, and usually finish with some sort of homemade sauce, salsa or compound butter.

    • Edit = absolutely needed. Seeing upvotes/downvotes raises my authoritarian antenna a bit. Yes, “Disqus”, do that, but they do lots of stuff I don’t agree with. Anonymity is, on the balance, a positive and one of the things that the current authoritarians in charge despise, the more you chip away at it, even in little ways, the more you go down that rabbit hole.

      If someone could make a compelling argument for a reason why this would be beneficial I could possibly be moved in the other direction but nothing comes to my mind.

      My unsolicited .02€


  41. I like this site as is. Maybe I am old fashioned. One specific thing I like here is that all comments are loaded at once. Other websites tend to load as you scroll down, which is very crappy from usability point of view, but was very cool 15 years ago.

    • I hate that scroll feature. It is a great example of just because you can do something it does not follow that you should do it. The coder who came up with that should be sent to the Congo with the guy who created two factor authentication.

      • The only good thing about that is that it allows for the ability to add a “jump to next new comment” or “flag new comment” or some such.

        Still could be done by just adding a widget that allows you to save a cookie of last time loaded.

        Is it worth the effort? Maybe not. The comment section of the previous post dies when the new post goes up. Maybe the message board fixes that, but holy cow if people think the comment section gets cluttered…

  42. Speaking of rolling your own site, here is something to keep in mind. The code needs to be simple enough so that you can load it into your brain on a moment’s notice. Complexity creates frustation. Do you have any programming language and platform in mind?

    I do agree with you about substack and other investor-funded sites. The boards and bankers control those companies, and they can force the executives to change policy on a dime. If they do not follow, most likely they will be troubled by Letitias and Fanis. If everything else fails, Ergoron will pass a $500M judgement and that will terminate the job of any disoedient CEO.

    • One non-mainstream system that you may check is dreamwidth. John Michael Greer had been using it for a while, and I find their comment section easy to navigate through –

      I think if you integrate a bunch of decentralized small robust systems instead of operating a highly centralized self-built platform, you may avoid a lot of headache in the future.

        • Good idea !

          Can you keep a separate blog with it?

          Also, how do you integrate payment? Does VBulletin has a payment module? I have not looked into it since 2013 or so.

    • Hosting your own site does not guarantee immunity from cancellation. Anglin is a good example. Cancelled by hosts, banks, domain registries etc.

      • He is an -extreme- example though. Yes that -could- happen but there are people who say things as egregious as anything he ever did but did not have the exposure and hit count he did. It was a combination of that absurd edginess and the high profile that did him in.

  43. I’ve been meaning to say for a long time that you’ve outgrown your current comments system, Zman. For example, if an early comment gets a lot of replies, it hijacks the whole thread, and long thread “conversations” eventually result in those weird narrow columns of text that are unreadable.

    Also, some commenters do put effort into their writing (as you say), and are worth reading even long after the initial post. A feature that preserved and archived commenters efforts, and made them searchable, would be valuable. Even more valuable if it could be done retroactively, so that comments someone left in, say, 2021, could be found and read.

    I comment on Steve Sailer’s blog, as do many here, and Unz seems to have figured out the best system that accommodates the matters above, while sustaining a lively conversation. I think when commenting reaches a certain level of sophistication, which it has here, the host benefits and encourages his audience by adding value to the commenting experience.

  44. My only suggestion would be to expand the capabilities of the search function. You have amassed a great amount of content and searching key words or phrases would be helpful in looking up older articles.


  45. Build your own and make it incredible. Build it with building the parallel site that will never be taken down. The only thing to do is to figure out the payment mechanism. Perhaps an oligarch is working on a behind the scenes payment system that dissidents could leverage. In any case, I think if you build your own the right way, it could in time benefit from the inevitable purge of Substack.

    Also, I had interactions on conservative sites. I once mentioned who trains the FBI in what hate means and mentioned not dual loyalty but a prime loyalty that was probably to true to be permissable. I got into private shouting matches with the moderator. I had already raised eyebrows by being one to bring anti-whitism and white advocacy into the mainstream on their forum. Shortly after that site closed comments. You have an opportunity if you build the best comment section in the business to be the defacto dissident blog.

    I am glad you are steering away from Locals. That was founded by Dave Rubin who sold it to Rumble. I hate the idea of supporting people who do not put our country or our people first.

    Build that great comment section.

    • I’d say that the idea of rolling your own is probably the way to go and could benefit the online dissident community. I think there are enough people here with tech skills (such as myself) who could help you put a custom blog site with comment section together. You could use one of the open source licences and then other dissidents could use the same software. I’m not sure which OSS licences to recommend but I know that many of the original creators of these things were old-school free speech absolutists and libertarians. I know you don’t care for libertarians but OSS is probably one of the few good uses for them. So if you need help building this software let me know. I check the protonmail account regularly.

    • I forgot to mention another thought I had. Curtis Yarvin (aka Moldbug) has this project called Urbit. It’s hard to describe and I’m not suggesting that Z use it. What I think is interesting about it is the unique *architecture*. In brief, to use Urbit, you don’t “log in” to a site. Instead you run a specialized virtual machine on your own computer. The VMs communicate over the net using a special purpose protocol. This means you basically host your own content. It also means you can’t be cancelled because there’s no single chokepoint. Also, Yarvin’s project itself is well… quirky. The basic architectural concept might be useful though. I think a prototype could be quite simple too, basically a chat program with strong cryptography for authentication and maybe some hooks into various crypto blockchains to help people pay each other.

      • Years ago I tried to be an early adopter of Yarvin’s thing, but the “land rush” for worthwhile virtual real estate—of course they’d built the network to be hierarchic-ized in some hyperbolic and unchangeable way—had already happened.

        I don’t remember the details, but it reminded me of the failure of Google+, caused by its being kept invite-only for too long. By the time insiders were satisfied with their “gets” and they opened the gates, it was too late even to *force* people to come in.

        And nobody learned anything.

        • This is Planet Tech. Not only does no one learn anything. It’s forbidden to do so. Urbit was pretty hard to get into. You basically had to pay in crypto to get a key. Mine was like $40. They have this odd system that makes sure your handle (not the key) is pronounceable by a native English speaker. So everybody is named something like glibsnark-woketard. Like I said, the whole thing is pretty quirky. The VM is also just about the oddest design I’ve ever seen. It’s so odd that they had to add these “jets” written in a more conventional way to make the system responsive enough to use. A lot of things in computing are like this. They’re designed by hard core computer science geeks for the sheer fun of playing with some new idea. Then more practical people come along and implement the concept in a way that normals can use.

          If we were to do this, perhaps it could be called Zbit, in honor of our host.

  46. I’d say stay off the platforms. You put yourself at their mercy if you do that. Better integration with the paywall sites would be good, but I use a different username for subscribestar from here, and would like to keep it that way.

    Definitely go for adopting crypto payments. We just had Stripe cancel doing payment processing for on the fediverse for hosting too many bad thinkers. Which means going forward crypto or mailed money orders are the only way users can donate.

    • 1) Purchase your own IP address[es].

      2) Purchase your own physical server[s].

      2a) Get a gear head to load up a basic-bish Linux/FreeBSD server with bulletin board features.

      3) Purchase your own “Business Grade” cable subscription.

      If you own your own IP address[es], and your own server[s], then you should have vastly more freedom than if you’re being hosted on a (((“free” platform))), which is inevitably just an (((intelligence operation))) designed to sniff all of your traffic.

      And the business-class cable connection should be regulated by the FCC, which means the cable company can’t shut you down [at least not for anything this side of ch!ld pr0n or smuggling thermonukular weapons].

      tl;dr == OWN THYSELF

  47. I know my one thought was to offload some ‘Z’ commenting onto an official Z Fedi server, maybe? I dunno now that I said it out loud.

  48. > I arrive at about the three hour mark, so fast forward to 3:37:45.

    Off topic, but when I was young I remember being shocked my old man could listen to three hours of Rush Limbaugh religiously while at work for three hours a day. I figured the next generation wouldn’t have the attention span for that, but instead they managed to make it even longer.

    As for the site:

    – I’ve always liked the uncluttered simplicity of the site, and don’t want that to go away.
    – The “X is in need of help, give him some support here”, notes at the top are great.
    – As we’re reaching the next stage, networking is becoming paramount, so anything that gives someone the tools to become uncancellable is a huge plus. This comes with the risk of the site becoming a grifter-fest though.

  49. I personally don’t need things to freshen up if they are working. I avoid things like swirling backgrounds, pimp chairs, hair dye, makeup, and cowbells.

    • An alternative is Karl Denninger’s site where he takes pride in a completely secure website that he coded himself, and, looks like it was pooped out by a college student in the late 90s (sans frames, alas, so it doesn’t even look good by those standards).

    • I thought that one of the few things that everyone agreed on is that there must always be more cowbell. Maybe there is no universal morality inscribed in every human heart.

      • Hey, Z-man puts his pants on one leg at a time like everybody else. Thing is, once he puts his pants on, he makes solid-gold posts!

  50. I’m of the school of thought that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You’ve been through all the alternatives and they’re all substandard in some ways. So why risk it?

    Plus, selfishly, my website is on WordPress and I really like that you can get to Dark Sport — my site — in an instant just by clicking on my name, Xloveli.

    Keep it the same, Zman. That’s my upvote.

  51. “The final novelty I have in mind is to let green door users create their own page and post their own material.”

    Some variation of this feature would be really neat, especially for those commenters that long-post interesting comments that add to the discussion.

Comments are closed.