What’s Your Preference?

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Dom and I are trying to fine-tune the site, to make it interesting – and valuable – to as many readers as possible. We’d like your input. What kinds of articles/topics do you prefer? Is there something you’d like to see here that’s not?question pic

Any suggestions for categories – or changes to the site layout?

Do you have any problems accessing the site? Posting? Does it load slowly for you? Is there anything about it that could be made more user-friendly?

I have a friend who is a professional mechanic – and owns his own repair shop. I’ve been thinking about asking him to contribute articles, maybe even do some live (or at least interactive) “Q&A” – giving people who come here the opportunity to ask a pro car repair questions/advice.

Would that be of interest/value?

Also, is anyone out there interested in becoming our “Hero Cop” editor? What we need is a person who can regularly (ideally, daily) post links/excerpts from news stories about Hero Cops running amok. The editor would be free to add his own commentary, too.

Finally, I’d like to ask a favor – of all of you. We could really use your help getting the word out. If you could mention/recommend EPautos to your friends, colleagues and families – forward links to articles you read here that you like – and so on – it would be immensely appreciated.

One of the major obstacles we’re trying to surmount is increasing the visibility/prominence of the site. It’s been a real challenge for us because of the Google shivving and because we are not Facebook friendly nor do we “Tweet” (god help me).

Maybe that’s dumb of us – ox-headed of me, to be fair to Dom.

But I despise Facebook and all it stands for; the data-mining, the vacuity, the herding of people onto a digital feedlot (and you know where that leads). As for Twitter: I’m a middle-aged man; I don’t “Tweet” – and never will.

Anyhow, please chime in with your thoughts, observations and anything else that comes to mind.

By the way: We’ve made a little progress on Donations. See the thermometer on the top right of the main page. We are at 55 percent of goal with a week left in the month. Both fingers crossed, we’ll have a good week and make up the remaining 45 percent – so we don’t end the month on a sour note and have to begin March in the red.

Thanks, as always –

E

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Eric – I think your idea to have a pro mechanic do a Q&A for the mechanically inclined out here is a good one. I’ve had trouble with my Jeep Wrangler lately and spend a good bit of time at Jeepforum asking questions and gleaning troubleshooting info and that data stream has been a big help (sometimes the factory service manual alone won’t cut it).

    As far the site goes, being an Amazon affiliate like Lew Rockwell isn’t a bad thing. I buy a lot of things off Amazon, so if I launch off Lew’s site, he gets a cut, however miniscule. I wouldn’t consider you a sell out if you do the same (I’d just have to launch from here 50% of the time). That’s coming from a guy that only believes in one website enough to support it financially on a recurring monthly basis; yours.

  2. Dear Helot,

    I think the gold standard here, is that we’re not absolutists. Without exception. (note, the last sentence is an absolute, no? disregard?)

    Vegas used be the 10th busiest world airport, now it’s 24th. If I want to make an absolute claim on chemtrails, I’d drive over to LAS and take a sample, Find someone to do a test to see if there’s just visible exhaust because it’s cold up in the sky, or if it is indeed a 50/50% mix of Soma and BoyNamedSue brand Estrogen by Monsanto.

    In general, were I to say somethings like “guns kill people”, “drugs are bad”, or “airplanes should be grounded”. I would be seen as comically absolute, and potentially subject to merciless derision, should anyone care enought to assail and deflate such blanket statement pronouncements.

    An absolutist would ask, what does this have to do with the “What’s Your Preference” article. Why must every post be such random non-sequitur?

    An absolutist would say, “you mustn’t watch Duck Dynasty, or mention them, because they don’t adhere to the Non-aggression Principle.”

    Or an absolutist would say, if you don’t adhere to the scripture in a certain way, they you are going to go to Hell. Please drop whatever you are doing, it’s imperative you take a look at these important bible passages immediately.

    Or an absolutist would say, if you aren’t participating in clandestine meetings to overthrow your local city hall you’re not really doing all you can to fight for your freedom.

    Or that you can’t be a firefighter, or a police man, or work for googul or facebook and believe in freedom. That voting in elections is verboten. And so on.

    I think for the most part, none of mean to have our posts read as if they’re written in the omniscient authorial voice.

    Of course we may all concur that A, B, C, and D are best practices. And there may be a strong, overwhelming consensus on a great many things. Nevertheless, nothing is an absolute, for all people in all cases. If every day you drink soda, eat doritos, play Halo on XBox, cash welfare checks, and make babies with every Pretty Mama in the projects. Well that’s you’re prerogative.

    I don’t believe we are here to win arguments by achieving dominance over each other through threats of punishment and violence.

    Absolutism
    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=absolutism

    Of course, I can’t say anything for sure and argue from conclusion and declare anything settled and an absolute set in stone. At least not without being a flamingly delusional hypocrite.

    Plane Exhausts Kills More Than Plane Crashes
    http://www.european-lung-foundation.org/16281-plane-exhaust-kills-more-people-than-plane-crashes.htm

    Sunlight May Turn Jet Exhaust Into Toxic Particles
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/airplane-exhaust-oil-toxins/

    You and I shouldn’t believe everything we read, right?

  3. Also, Hey, I gave Duck Dynasty hell awhile back. But then I caught the deleted scenes. It was nice to see Phil out on a cruise with his woman when she drug out a handgun from his glove compartment box and held it up, and another one from his armrest console.

  4. Just a word of caution… if you attempt to appeal to everyone, you wind up diluting your message until it appeals to nobody. Stay focused on your original message, I suggest.

    One of the big problems for everyone on the web is the mere fact that there is SO MUCH available. I spend a large part of most days just trying to take a quick look into a few worthy websites, read a FEW of the many hundreds of worthy articles and news analysis pieces, write a few comments, and help administer some fora and other blogs to help those folks spread the message of liberty. Once in a while I get time to write something for my own blog. 🙂

    One of the real problems with doing a “freedom” site is the fact that the available pool of readers is still very small. The facebook and twitter crowd is not likely to include many who would even be interested. And this is even more obvious when the website in question is trying to gain any income beyond simple maintenance. Really rough, and I don’t know too many that manage it, at least not for long. Even Lew Rockwell has to beg for contributions often, and has now become an Amazon affiliate, flogging that constantly as well.

    I don’t have a perfect answer for you, unfortunately, but I think it would be sadly easy to destroy what you have here in the quest for “more.”

    • Hi Mama,

      Good advice (as always).

      The dilemma for me is I’ve got to earn a living. If I can’t do it with my keyboard, I’ve got no choice but to consider other options.

      Things have gone from decent to desperate in the publishing world. I sometimes can’t believe that just ten years ago I was earning a stable middle-class income as a writer/editor. Not rich, but no worries, financially, provided I didn’t spend money foolishly (which I did not). I have always lived below my means. But increasingly, even that’s not enough to stay afloat, to stay viable.

      I don’t want to dilute the site, either – much less pollute it with obnoxious Google-esque ads. But I am not independently wealthy – and I need to pay the proverbial rent, which insofar as this site is concerned includes Dom’s pay and the cost of servers and domains and all the rest of it. We could move to a low-cost/amateur blogger server – but then the site would crash constantly and for many people, at times of high use, it would either be slow-loading or not load at all. We invested in a serious server/hosting company to keep things stable – and to do this right (that is, professionally). But, it costs money.

      We’re trying to figure out a balance – if a balance is feasible.

      Maybe it’s not possible for us to make it without selling out to some corporate entity; to become part of the Facebook and Twitter feedlot.

      I dunno.

      And I hope not!

      • I hear you, Eric. I know I don’t understand all of the dynamics of your situation, but I do wonder why this site would require two full time people. I’ve had a website/blog for ten years with no paid help, and I have never been part of any corporate entity, nor paid a great deal for server space and domain name. I’ve never even accepted donations, and I’m not in the least wealthy. 🙂 In fact, the cost of servers and domain name has gone down remarkably since I started, currently about $120. a year.

        I was the managing editor for “The Sierra Times” in the early years of 1990, and our costs were very high then. The owner and I did all of the html work at first, and then I took it all on myself, doing a full update five days a week… while holding down a more than full time job nursing. We had high traffic to that site, and only a few hacker problems that were easily resolved by a volunteer “geek” who did that stuff. I KNOW the hacker, spammer BS is worse these days, but the software and security features are also so much better.

        Making a living writing alone is very difficult, off line or on – or any combination. Most writers I know just naturally have to keep a “day job” to make ends meet. The only reason I can write and edit is that I’m retired and have at least a tiny income.

        Perhaps a little less new daily content would put out the message and yet leave you time to find renumeration elsewhere. Would that it was not necessary… but you have to do what you have to do, obviously.

      • Things have gone from decent to desperate in the publishing world. I sometimes can’t believe that just ten years ago I was earning a stable middle-class income as a writer/editor. Not rich, but no worries, financially, provided I didn’t spend money foolishly (which I did not). I have always lived below my means. But increasingly, even that’s not enough to stay afloat, to stay viable.

        eric, I think the above lines from your post tell a very apt tale. It’s not just the publishing world, it’s the whole damned economy in this country. I fear, the 50 million people getting food stamps are not nearly the entire problem of not being fed properly. Even people who are not getting food stamps are hard pressed to make end meet these days. It’s tough to fund the federal govt., state govt. county govt. and the banksters at the same time. People are tapped out in more ways than fiscally. Everybody I know is working their butts off, and contrary to what you hear about the great economy in Texas, the mainstay of workers aren’t knocking down the supposedly great wages touted by oil field work. And those oil field wages are good because people are working really long hours. RR’s trickle down is still not working for the working class. I know the answer but am fain to say it outright and I think most people who can ‘think’ know the answer too, it’s just not something anyone wants to say.

        I saw an article today about a nearby town getting a new police station. Where is the money coming from? More taxes no doubt. And to make matters worse, the “dirt” they were about to shovel with their chrome shovels was hauled in by a dump truck since the ground around it was so hard you’d have to blast it to get a shovel full since we haven’t had a decent rain in several years…….and that could be for many reasons including the “chemtrail” crew who are affecting the environment for their own purposes. I saw plenty of them today and they weren’t headed in the direction freight haulers and people haulers use. That leads me back to those things I’d rather not say.

          • Tor, in a recent worldwide assessment of our environment, Texas was singled out as the state where every waterway and stream was polluted with SSRI’s, effectively changing the sex of aquatic creatures and possibly the sex of everything else, mammal or otherwise that lived off those aquifers. In my private forum I recently posted something another member said showed my sensitive side, a very good sonnet as he described it. Fine with me and he didn’t say it was my feminine side although that wouldn’t have offended me either. I grew up with a bunch of women, know how they operate, understand them and desire them. And they know how I desire them and why and that’s all good. OTOH, my male friends know I don’t desire them in any way close to the way I desire women. I don’t worry about masculinity since it’s the only way I actually have of looking at things. I don’t quite understand men who don’t have that same way of seeing them. I don’t knock them but I think somehow over the years there’s been a disconnect. Growing up there were two ways of being. You took on the role of doing things and making things happen and protecting those who weren’t good at that or you were gay(not the word we use, k”different’ was mostly what was said)and that was an aberration of a sort that was accepted but not condoned. The world was different. We had clearly defined roles and you just grew up to be a man or a woman, not macho men or helpless women, just a man or woman. Women could work cows and men could cook or take care of the kids. At the end of the day though we loved each other for our differences. This androgyny is something that’s been brought on by forces I’m not sure I understand. I think it’s something TPTB along with corporatism has created for the elite. I believe it’s elite European perversion gleaned from centuries of having no clearly defined rolls and being so much more wealthy they had time to dabble and no clear duties to perform. I am much a believer of what big pharm is doing also with it’s chemicals it changes everything, people included, at a DNA level.

          • Ya, that’s some freaky shtuff, Tor.

            SSRI’s in the sky?

            When he/she said the preference was to be called, ‘they’. I thought of the Borg.

            It’s their choice, for sure. But the question is, is it really their choice? I mean, is it imposed upon them by others without them knowing? …It sure wouldn’t surprise me.

        • Hi Eight,

          Yup – it is everywhere… except DC (and Wall Street). They’re doing just fine. Grift Works.

          I’ve mentioned this before, but: Pre-2008, I didn’t personally know anyone who was really, seriously sweating money. All my friends, people I knew, had jobs – real ones, not Starbucks part-timers or Wal Mart “associates.” People were happy, we had free time. We got together, we did things.

          Now?

          The stress is palpable. The fear, too.

          No one has time for anything except work – if they have it. And if they don’t, they’re spending all their time trying to get it, or mired in a depressive fugue. We never get together anymore, barely talk on the phone. There’s this inchoate sense that things are very wrong and that it cannot go on. People are trying to hold it together, brace themselves for what they sense is coming and which has become inevitable.

          The feel of the country, the vibe, is now very dark.

          It brings to mind a lifeboat lost in the middle of the Pacific with too many people in it and not enough drinking water or food…

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