The survey is now closed and I am happy to report that 1’067 of you have replied to the questions. What I want to do today is to post all the results question by question along with my evaluation of the results. But first I want to thank you for participating in this survey which is extremely important and interesting for me. Some of the results have surprised me and feel much better now that I know what most of you think about the issues raised.
Now let’s look at the questions one by one:
I had suspected that some of you were not thrilled about the new design. Still a strong majority does like it and another 19% can live with it. I am sorry for the 11% who miss the old blog. What I can say is this: I personally find it *much* easier to work with the new design and I personally do like the presentation. Yes, there is a lot on the first page and sometimes some sections are loading slow, but we are working on that. This problem (loading time) is not really the design fault’s but rather a problem of a partner company to the company which hosts our blogs. The good news is that I now have an extremely competent IT team which is working on this issue and I am sure that a solution will be found.
I might ask my webmaster to make some changes in the future, but these would be incremental and not radical. I think that the basic structure of the blog is sound. For example, it make it possible to keep articles on the home page when in a purely chronological presentation they would get “pushed down” by incoming articles. Word Press is also *infinitely* more flexible and capable than blogger and, for example, makes it possible for me to benefit from the assistance of an entire moderation team. So, let’s look at the issue next:
That sure looks to me like a standing ovation for the moderation team! This makes me very happy. First, the folks doing the moderation are a very nice group of very good people (I wish you could chat with them like I do), and I know that they put a lot of effort into their work. Honestly? I wish they were a tad more strict with Para 2 of the Moderation Policy but maybe they are right in being more flexible and tolerant than I would be. Bottom line: this works and that again proves to me that the move to WordPress was a good one. I wish I could convey to you all how much life has become easier for me now that I do not have to moderate hundreds of comments each day (I even did that from my car!) and how delighted I am to be able to deal with other blog related issues now.
To all the moderators: THANK YOU!!
Next, the Saker Podcasts:
Unlike the moderators, the podcasts are not getting anything near a unanimous support. 17% of you (almost 1/5th!) outright don’t like them, and another 26% are lukewarm about them. Which tells me that I am doing something wrong. One thing which I will consider is to make a thematic podcast rather than a open-ended Q&A with readers. Several friends have already advised me to do so, so I will try that and see if you like that better.
I personally enjoy recording these podcasts. It gives me the feeling of an informal interaction with you and a way to simply put into words my ideas without having to worry about the more formal written expression.
Still, 57% do like these podcasts and I will continue recording them in the hope that this figure will slowly rise. To those who really hate them – my apologies. Please simply ignore them.
I remind you all that the original idea for a regular podcast was to create an opportunity to remind you that you can support my work with your donations, so let’s look at the issue next:
I have to tell you honestly that your replies here totally took me by surprise. I had expected that 50%-60% of you would tell me to stop pestering you with requests for support and instead a whopping 88% of you want me to keep posting reminders. Hmmm. This is weird. So let me be very candid about this.
Your support makes a huge difference to me and my family. Basically, you have made it possible for me to work roughly 6-8 hours per day on the blog (not only the posting here, but all the behind-the-scenes work needed to make it all happen) and pay the bills. At the same time, I am always very embarrassed to raise the topic of money and to make things worse, I have recently been accused by a person I thought of as a friend of being a money-driven hypocrite. Though I know that to be a lie, it still makes it even more uncomfortable for me to address the issue of donations. What I have decided for sure is that I will never post advertisements and I will never post “for pay” only contents. No ads and 100% free contents are a fundamental principle of this blog. I also don’t want to constantly post reminders in big bold red letters on top of the page or on each posted article. My inclination is to post a visible but not obnoxious reminder that you can support my work maybe once a month, something along the “fund-raising drives” organized by Pacifica Radio. What do you think of that idea?
Other ideas such as creating a “Saker store” (with Tshirts or other items) don’t seem very doable to me. I don’t like the “thermometer” idea either. One idea which I would be willing to explore is creating some kind of “Saker Blog Supporter Group” which could coordinate fund-raising for this, and possibly other, Saker blogs. Crowd funding is another option, but it requires an initial investment which I am not able to make right now. So, for the time being, I guess I will have to think about this issue.
By the way, I want to remind you all that each Saker blog is totally independent not only editorially but also financially. So please, if you can, try to support the work of the other Saker blogs!
By the way (-: and since you asked me to remind you of this :-) please support my work by making a donation today if you have not done so yet!
Now let’s look at the interviews:
Unlike the Saker podcasts, this one does get a quasi-unanimous endorsement. Okay – I hear you and I will try to do more of these interviews. I can tell you that I have one quite amazing one in the works, but you will have to be patient as the person I interviewed has agreed to record a video of his replies! I am also interested in your suggestions about whom you would want me to interview.
As you know, a member of the Saker Community will be traveling to the Donbass next week and I have high hopes that this will be a perfect opportunity to create some contacts with local personalities which can then result in interesting interviews. I can also tell you that I have high hopes that another member of the Saker Community will be invited to the May 9th Parade in Moscow and will officially represent our Community at that event. Since this is still very much to be confirmed, I cannot go into details, but let’s just say that I hope that this will also result into some fruitful contacts for us all.
Next, the issue of priorities for the blog:
My reply is simple: I agree. The war in the Ukraine is the single most important event on the planet right now. This is the first frontal confrontation between the AngloZionist Empire and post-Soviet Russia and what is at stake is nothing short of the future of our planet. If Russia caves in, then that is the end, at least for the foreseeable future, of the worldwide resistance to Empire. Likewise, if the USA is clearly defeated in the Ukraine (i.e. if a neutral Ukrainian Federation is created), then that will be the end for the US planetary hegemony. Both sides understand that fully and both sides will put everything they have to prevail. There is no doubt in my mind at all that Russia will prevail, not because I am a ultra-nationalist flag-waving Russian hurray-patriot, but because I truly believe that the USA completely miscalculated its Ukrainian policy and that now nothing can save it. However, this will be a long process and a very dangerous one. This is why I think that the war in the Ukraine is THE crucial topic I must continue to focus on. That is not to say I will neglect other important developments (the resistance to Empire in the Middle-East, Latin America or even Western Europe), but that my main focus of efforts will remain the Ukraine, at least for the foreseeable future.
Lastly, the issue of what my own priorities should be:
Pretty even results. So, first, let me apologize to those who rightly feel that I have neglected the discussions in the comments section. This is true. The reason for this is that I have been overwhelmed with behind-the-scenes problems including the departure of my webmaster, the time-consuming task of arranging interviews, discussion with the Saker Community Executive Committee (SCEC) on various organizational issues, etc. I have also had personal meetings with people who could help the blog in the future. So there is a lot of work which needs to be done but which is never visible on the pages of this blog. The reality is that this one-man-blog has turned into a large community with no less than 100 people very directly involved to support 7 blogs in 5 languages. Furthermore, I am also working on regular contacts with our 7 “brothers in arms” to try to coordinate our work. So while we are all together making a difference, I promise you that the amount of work behind-the-scenes is at least equal to the amount of work I put in the “visible” part of the blog.
Still, once various “balls” start “rolling” I hope to have some more free time to participate in the discussions. Frankly, this is one thing I miss from the old blog – our conversations. So while I think I did the right thing by considering that providing you with information is priority #1, I will try my utmost to balance out my workload in a way which allows me to participate more actively to the (often very interesting) discussions.
One last thing about this issue of priorities: I have hired three volunteers to work as my research assistants for the Ukraine and they have been providing me with daily SITREPs. All three are very sharp and fully bi-lingual specialists who have already done a great job. There are still a few kinks that need to be addressed here and there, but my hope is that eventually these three research assistants will be able to produce a daily fact-centered Ukraine SITREP directly, without my supervision, leaving me with the responsibility for analysis. We are not quite there yet, but I have good hopes that this will happen in a not too distant future.
I am delighted with the results of this survey and I thank you all for participating.
Now, please feel free to comment and share you reactions, ideas and suggestions and I will make an extra effort to participate in the conversation and reply to questions or comments.
Many thanks and kind regards,