March 3, 2011

Them and Us

Justin Katz

Via Ian Donnis's Tip Sheet comes the news that Brian Hull is increasingly eager to offload RIFuture:

Brian Hull, who purchased the site in 2009, says he's willing to transfer the site to someone for no financial gain.

"What's most important to me is rebuilding the RI Future blog to what it was when I was running it full time. There are a couple people I'm in touch with about running the blog full time, but nothing as of yet. Things are still fluid right now, and my main concern is getting it back live," he said via email Wednesday.

Ian paraphrases that as "he'll hand over the blog for free," which seems to assume more than the text allows — although Ian is certainly in a position to have additional insight.

Essentially, it sounds as if all of the folks who've run RIFuture have determined it to be more work than they've been willing to invest. By contrast, much of my activity over the past few months has been geared toward spending more time on this sort of activity. I let off the requests for full-time funding because (1) the regular pitches don't appear to do much good, and (2) a couple of other opportunities arose that, although not entailing full-time AR work, would have opened up more time.

Those opportunities have not yet borne fruit, though, with one falling away entirely and the other in limbo, so I'll venture the brief comment that it really wouldn't take all that much to get Anchor Rising rolling as an honest-to-goodness media operation. Just a few generous investors could make it happen. It would stand as something of a vindication of our efforts if we managed to go professional at the same time that a site that is ostensibly more in keeping with the state's political culture (and bolstered by union interests) struggles to remain in operation.

In the meantime, I do want to express gratitude to those who've joined our "subscriber" list in recent weeks. Every bit helps, and we're getting to the point that the regular revenue should ensure that Anchor Rising doesn't ever again become host to the young lady currently representing our progressive counterpart.


The penultimate paragraph didn't come out as I'd intended, so I've rewritten it to better capture my meaning. I don't particularly wish RIFuture gone or revel in its struggles. At the same time, the blogs are part of a larger social context, and at that level of competition, our side is hardly dominant.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Can't sell what he doesn't own anymore.

Posted by: Bob at March 3, 2011 6:56 PM

Sell what?
He's dark and out, just like his Stalinistic "progressive" ideology.

Maybe I can sell the Cranston Drive-In?

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at March 3, 2011 7:49 PM

"Those opportunities have not yet borne fruit, though, with one falling away entirely and the other in limbo, so I'll venture the brief comment that it really wouldn't take all that much to get Anchor Rising rolling as an honest-to-goodness media operation. Just a few generous investors could make it happen. Wouldn't it be sweet if Anchor Rising were to go professional during the same period that RIFuture evaporated?"

You guys done gloating?
I never cared for the site. Yours is much more engaging.
Are you looking for sugar daddys? Koch brothers?
I always thought you guys were earnest in your wanting a dialogue and debate. Now you are snickering behind your hands like ( I hate to piss off BobN) immature schoolchildren.

Posted by: David S at March 3, 2011 8:52 PM

Posted by David S at March 3, 2011 8:52 PM
"I never cared for the site. Yours is much more engaging.
Are you looking for sugar daddys? Koch brothers?
I always thought you guys were earnest in your wanting a dialogue and debate. Now you are snickering behind your hands like ( I hate to piss off BobN) immature schoolchildren."

Well, Mr. S, I assume you believe that the debates at the Harvard School of Communist Government are not "sponsored". I expect that means they are debating in the subway stop in Harvard Square. Since you mention the Koch interests, it makes me wonder why Mr. Soros didn't step in to save RI Future. Maybe he doubts Rhode Island's future.

"snickering" I think you are seeing pretty "good winners".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 3, 2011 10:12 PM

Boy,I must be out of the loop-when I heard the name "Koch"being thrown around all I could think of is the ex-Mayor of NYC who sure isn't conservative.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 3, 2011 10:54 PM

Just throwing it out there guys -- I sincerely don't think Brian or any of the other folks who run RIFuture would be dancing in the streets nearly so much if you guys "lost" your domain. I don't agree with you, but I respect your right to speak about your ideals and to convince others that you're right. Why can't you find the same respect for your fellow man?

In case you weren't aware, Brian is going to school Full-Time while also trying to run RIPDA and probably 10 other projects I don't even know about.

What is so "sweet" about the other side of the argument disappearing, Justin? Or are you for a government controlled by a single ideology with no dissenting voices? Does Anchor Rising have a vested interest in the demise of RIFuture.

I know we disagree ideologically, but routing for someone else to "lose by default"? Frankly, I think it's a scumbag move, kicking a man when he's down.

I had you pegged as a more honorable person. Either way, you'll be seeing RIFuture's return soon enough, sorry to disappoint.

Jake W. Paris

Posted by: Jake Paris at March 3, 2011 11:07 PM

I have no problem basking in their misery with how I was treated. Not by commenters, I didn't care much about that. People like Malachi and Shaun the Communist were exactly what you expect when you go somewhere like that. You bring that on to yourself. It was the total inhospitable atmosphere of the RIFUTURE username (and quite often Crowley too) that makes me extremely happy that they got their hat handed to them. Good riddance, a-hole.

Posted by: Patrick at March 3, 2011 11:07 PM

@ Patrick: So wait, some people were mean to you on a site you admit to vehemently disagreeing with, so you're happy when misfortune befalls them?

I similarly find this place full of rhetoric that sometimes pisses me off -- and yet here I don't sit wishing for your destruction.

If you get happy because others are sad, you have deeper problems than your political ideology.

Posted by: Jake Paris at March 3, 2011 11:12 PM

When they are rude? When I'm in the middle of a conversation with a couple people and one person repeatedly, on multiple threads, interjects "You're stupid." and that person is the main username on the blog?

Yes, that makes me happy.

Let me ask you, if in the middle of you having a conversation here with me, or Joe, or Dan, and for weeks Justin kept interjecting, "Jake, you're stupid, why do you even bother coming here." How would you feel? If Justin then lost the blog, you wouldn't feel like karma finally bit him?

Why, are you "RIFUTURE"?

Posted by: Patrick at March 4, 2011 12:03 AM

To be completely 100% honest with you, I'm pissed at Justin for his post here, but I can't possibly begrudge him his work, craft, and dream that went into the work he puts into this site. It's sort of like when you used to respect your enemy on the battlefield. You don't have to like him, but you can appreciate the work he does.

When some jerk comes out of nowhere that isn't even involved in the battle and pulls a cheap shot, I'd rather go after the jerk than my opponent... but that's just me ;)

You've seen me post both here and on RIFUTURE under my own name -- no pseudonyms here.

Oh and if someone literally just responded to something I wrote in good faith with "your stupid", then I'd certainly have fewer debates with the person, but no, I'm weird I guess... I wouldn't cheer when their website blew up. I'd be indifferent if anything.

In this case I see Anchor Rising an RIFuture as opposite sides of a very valuable coin -- and while I'm not surprised at the lack of solidarity, I figured I'd wag my finger at you all the same, heh.

Posted by: Jake Paris at March 4, 2011 3:49 AM

Jake's right. That sentence didn't come out as I'd intended it. I've tried to better express my point, although I'm not positive that I managed to get it all the way there.

Frankly, I stopped reading RIFuture for the most part during the Crowley era and Brian, although friendly enough, never managed to change my habits. It'd be different, I suppose, if I really felt like the motivation behind RIFuture were more akin to that behind Anchor Rising, as it was when Jerzyk ran it.

Jake, key to my point is that I work full time, participate in multiple groups, and have three children, and I'm still putting in maximal effort, here. Maybe it's because AR's founders are still its operators, but the purpose of the sites appears to differ somewhat.

That said, I'm not particularly happy that RIFuture is having difficulties. But our own longevity and continued readership growth does justify comparison without its being a victory dance on a grave.

Posted by: Justin Katz at March 4, 2011 6:04 AM

I don't feel any emotion either way about the (presumably temporary) demise of RIF. And it would be easy enough for them to reconstitute under another name if they want to.

But I will say this: It sure fits the popular conception of a Liberal/Leftist/Progressive that they don't have enough responsibility to keep track of the basic administrative details of their website. This was an open-field fumble, an unforced error, an unassisted own goal. Making excuses for them or trying to curry sympathy, or baselessly castigating their critics for "dancing in the streets" is merely a pathetic attempt to attack the conservatives here.

Posted by: BobN at March 4, 2011 7:26 AM

I stopped checking in on RIFuture long ago. Oh, every week or so I might look there. But there was never any meaningful, intellectual stimulation. Pick any issue, and you knew what the site operators were going to say. Nothing curios, just the same old failed liberal crap. It's like listening to the union retards this week - that rabid dog Weingarten, read the Wall Street Journal this morning - Richard Trumpka of the AFL-CIO. Crowley, Walsh and the mindless imbeciles at the NEA. It's all the same stupidity, 24/7/365.
You don't have to hear it to know what they are going to say. The pathetic Pavlovian nonsense even got to them, I guess.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at March 4, 2011 9:13 AM

I got no problem with real debate, even if it's obvious that it will end with "let's agree to disagree". I've had that many times with some of the most hard core progressives over there. Heck, I work with mangeek and we frequently debate and discuss issues, sometimes from different sides, as we both think we're pretty moderate on things, though I am definitely to the right and he's to the left of center.

I didn't always agree with Matt or Brian over there, but they sure ran it a whole lot better and more professionally than Crowley or whoever has been running it since Brian left for school. I have to assume that RIFUTURE was running the show. Why else would you let someone have that username in a system that requires logins, if that's not a central "editorial board" type of person. When that person tells you to go away and posts nonsense at you, yes, I get happy when they fail. I look at it this way, if you frequent a local small business where the owner is there every day. And you go to the business and a few times try to buy something from him and he's rude, unhelpful and eventually just tells you to leave. Then a few days later, you see an "out of business" sign on his door. I know I'd certainly feel as though karma bit him on the ass and maybe he got what was deserved. Same here. I'm not looking for a red carpet treatment, even a degree of hostility is to be expected. But commenters and visitors are "the customer". We drive traffic to a site, even send other people through recommendations, which builds up the hit counts in the stats, which in turn drives up ad revenues. So to tell those "customers" to go away, just makes no business sense to me and it is doomed to fail.

Oh wait, progressives failing at a business? I guess I actually should not have been surprised. What was I thinking?

Posted by: Patrick at March 4, 2011 9:22 AM

Oh and the site is back...

Posted by: Patrick at March 4, 2011 9:27 AM

@ Justin:

Thanks for saying what you said. And BTW, I still read Anchor Rising even now that the campaign is over because even though sometimes it infuriates me, I wait and watch for those few areas where we do agree, and consider that more than worth the effort.

Case in point: I'm hoping that RIFuture does take a page from AR's book and finds a way towards better continuity of ownership, activity, and purpose. I've seen it wax and wane too... I'm a liberal, but I'm not blind!

You seem to work your ass off man. Have a nice weekend :)

@ Patrick: I think you and I just see the world in diametrically opposite ways. What you just wrote made me laugh. I owned and operated a successful business at the age of 16. Go check the tax records. What were you doing back then? lol.

Oh and good to be back!

Posted by: Jake Paris at March 4, 2011 4:41 PM

Patrick-I kinda doubt Crowley was "Rhode Island Future"because he always uses his real name.
I have always disagreed with him,but I have to give him credit for standing for what he believes openly.
More than one could say for some other people.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 7, 2011 8:02 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.