Newsbud Special Announcement

Newsbud founder and editor Sibel Edmonds and Spiro Skouras cover important developments and updates on Newsbud’s Phase 3 Kickstarter Campaign.

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Comments

  1. Michael Norton says:

    I dearly hope that this temporary move behind the pay wall is not counter productive. I have been a contributor in all phases of the kickstarter efforts. I wish the information to be free to everyone. I don’t need anything exclusive for my contribution or subscribition to Newsbud. I just want this info which you prepare with so much care and heart to be for all. Thank you

  2. It’s hard getting funding for something as unsexy as news – geopolitics at that. If even half of the Twitter followers gave $5 each, this Kickstarter would be over.

    Newspapers are falling over because no one wants to pay for news. They tried subscriptions – it didn’t work. They’ve moved to the clickbait model instead.

    I get that people want the internet to be free, and I agree with the concept – but our team lives in the 3D world that isn’t free yet. You are going to need money to transition this world to no momey, as skewed as that sounds. ie. make it work for US for a change.

    Transtion or revolution first requires awareness, and awareness comes from someone doing the information gathering. I don’t mind paying for others either, but it’s not a model that is unsustainable in the long-term, unless the few are all rich, which we’re not A lot of $5 donations add up. It’s not a lot to ask of Newsbud followers.

    Success is 80% perseverance. We’ve had to listen to the rubbish coming out of the so-called elite for a very long time. I believe supporting Newsbud, which is reaching a lot of people, some of them key, giving inspiration to others also trying to get the truth out there, is worth supporting.

    When you look back in history at turning points, it’s the small things, the modest actions that gather momentum into a storm. It’s not about Newsbud, it’s about the intent of everyone, supporting the effort to expose the truths kept from us. For $5 you can give the ‘elites’ the two-fingers.

  3. Correction, should read ‘a model that is sustainable…’
    I don’t mind paying for others either, but it’s not a model that is unsustainable in the long-term,

  4. victor friese says:

    What I wanna know is why is it so hard for people just to sign up? I mean, even I can afford $7 per month, and I am below the poverty level. So it is not the amount demanded that is the problem. You have 30+ thousand youtube subscribers and what 40k twitter followers, yet for some reason you can’t get 5000 paid subscribers?

    Maybe you should just give the non payers a week without news. There is no reason there should not be at least 5000 paid subscribers.

    You may want to emphasize subscription more. That could be some of the problem. $7 per month for no bullshit news. Seems cheap. And per person it is less than I pay Corbett. He gets a full dollar per month!

  5. victor friese says:

    What I wanna know is why is it so hard for people just to sign up? I mean, even I can afford $7 per month, and I am below the poverty level. So it is not the amount demanded that is the problem. You have 30+ thousand youtube subscribers and what 40k twitter followers, yet for some reason you can’t get 5000 paid subscribers?

    Maybe you should just give the non payers a week without news. There is no reason there should not be at least 5000 paid subscribers.

    You may want to emphasize subscription more. That could be some of the problem. $7 per month for no B.S. news. Seems cheap. And per person it is less than I pay Corbett. He gets a full dollar per month!

  6. victor friese says:

    Okay, why is my comment in moderation? There is no cussing… I am very confused… no cussing, no links, WTF?

  7. Dear team,
    Your reasons for exclusive reporting are clear. However.
    For me, the reason to contribute and subscribe is that -highly valued- newsbud is financially unconditionnally accessible to every person on the planet. I am only interested in impact AND scale, or effects are limited.
    You could decide to immediately fedex flyers and adhesives to people who are in the vicinity of universities and/or cities that host governments.
    Please advise.

    • victor friese says:

      You cannot have impact if you cannot pay your bills.

    • Bas Spliet says:

      Hi Jan, I think this is actually a good idea. Sibel/Spiro, maybe it is an idea to produce a flyer in A5 version (so you can print two on an A4 printer) and ask people to distribute those at not just campuses, but just in general everywhere where concerned citizens of the world could be gathering?

      • Bas Spliet says:

        I think committed members are happy to do this. I print flyers like that on my own printer for Palestine stuff (and off scope hip hop events as well) and it’s really cheap.

  8. Although I have concerns about how this move might adversely affect the campaign, I generally support and agree with the idea that it’s necessary to take more drastic action. Each phase of this campaign have been highly stressful for me as an early supporter/contributor, wondering whether enough people will be willing and able to step up and meet the goal. Therefor I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like for the Newsbud team.

    I have a couple of angles I want to express/address. One, you might regard as “philosophical”, which I’ll continue with below. The other will be strategic suggestions which I’ll include in a separate comment to ensure a greater likelihood that the Newbud team in particular may take these ideas which I think deserve to be taken into serious consideration as practical matters which potentially have a substantial impact on the success of this campaign and hopefully the future of Newsbud as a whole. I’m opting to separate the two knowing that the typically (and perhaps overly) verbose nature of my comments may lead to them being overlooked on a TLDR basis.

    So first…

    Many community members have expressed from the start that their desire and partial motivation for supporting Newsbud has been the goal that this information be free and accessible to all. While I agree with the underlying motive in the importance of exposing as many people as possible to this critical, under reported, and suppressed information I think I differ in my interpretation of what it means to be a 100% people funded organization.

    In the digital age we’ve become accustomed to the idea of a great deal of content, particularly news media, being free, but the devil is in the details. It’s not free for the content creators to produce and publish this media. Particularly not for Newsbud, who have a multi contributor platform that produces high quality professional content which requires extensive expenditures on equipment and even more extensive expenditures of time and effort to produce each program. Most reasonable people wouldn’t expect that the contributors and editors of Newsbud should be doing this work for free, but the current landscape of media models obfuscates this issue and allows us to consume content without considering the underlying costs associated with this production.

    The “costs” are both literal and figurative. I won’t even bother outlining this when it comes to the MSM, but when it comes to alternative news platforms (both good and bad) the cost comes in the form of the inherent compromise which is the result of advertisements or foundation money. The compromise is more transparent in some cases than in others and I imagine the conscious awareness of this compromise is more pronounced in the minds of some producers over others. I don’t think it necessarily reflects poorly on these producers in terms of their moral integrity, but Sibel in particular has really done a superb job explaining the various ways in which this reliance on outside funding compromises the integrity of the content in one way or another.

    I want as many people as possible to be exposed to the topics covered at Newsbud, but I’d also like people to begin to conceptualize the ways in which “free” comes at a cost. At least to the point where they’re willing to recognize that not everything that we’ve come to expect to be free ought to be, or realistically can be. We’re paying a price as a society for the luxury of not having to pay for so much of what we consume on the internet. I’m not saying I think having things free and open to the public is bad by any means, but with respect to Newsbud I feel that recognizing that the quality of the content is worth voluntarily contributing to financially, ultimately on a subscription basis, is not just worthwhile, it’s a statement in and of itself. How to effectively make that a reality while still making this information as accessible to as many people as possible is something we need to figure out. I have some suggestions on this matter that I’ll put forth in a subsequent comment, but for the time being, long term goals are all for not if we can’t meet the goal of the current Kickstarter campaign.

  9. (This is a followup to my previous comment)

    As I stated, I agree with the idea that it’s necessary to take some sort of dramatic action to meet the goal of the current funding drive, yet I partially agree with concerns as to whether this might be counterproductive. I have a couple of proposals which I hope might be worth taking into consideration as a means to minimize any of the ways in which the decision to temporarily restrict access to new content to subscribers can help, not hurt the current campaign and the future of Newsbud.

    First, I know there are various packages that include subscription options for contributors to the current Kickstarter campaign, but why not offer a special; something like a $10-$15 donation which includes an immediate one month subscription. If there are enough people watching the free content who realize that they miss it now that it’s not available, but hadn’t yet felt willing to commit to a subscription, let alone a contribution, $10-$15 sets the bar low enough that people might decide that it’s worth it and my guess is that it’s likely that at least half of those people will choose to continue to subscribe moving forward, recognizing that they value the exclusive content, the chance to interact with other community members in the comments section, and feel a sense of being “invested” in the future and sustainability of Newsbud moving forward.

    Second, and this is critical, the quality of the playback of the member exclusive content needs to be addressed immediately. This has been a problem which other community members and I have addressed, but for the plan I’ve outlined above to be successful, it’s critical that people who’ve opted perhaps less enthusiastically than others to subscribe in order to gain access to the content they were previously watching for free are able to do so without encountering playback issues. I stated previously that I think it’s worth getting people to recognize that there’s content out there that’s worth paying to support, but few people out there, myself included, are going to be willing to sit around and wait while the video pauses to buffer. That may sound snobby, but that’s the truth and the state of affairs for many if not most.

    Whether you like it or not Youtube currently has the most universally reliable video playback plugin interface on the web. There are certainly other alternatives, but I would say that until some more testing and experimenting takes place with the video playback plugin currently being used for the member exclusive content it might be a necessary evil to upload the videos to Youtube, but designate in the settings that the video is “private” and require that users access it through a specific link instead of through the general Newsbud channel. Sure, people can share the link with others, but that’s not even necessarily such a bad thing if they’re subscribers themselves.

    I know this may not be ideal for various reasons, but I’m of the opinion that enough people can be enticed to support Newsbud if you set the bar for entry low enough, so to speak, that it’s something they feel like they can afford to support, that you don’t have to twist their arm.

    By all means this is intended to be constructive feedback. Hopefully it may be useful.

  10. victor friese says:

    I think the $15 for one month subscription option on kickstarter along with a closing down of the content to all non subscribers until a total of 10,000 subscribers has been reached and sustained for a period of 3 months would be best.

    I like the idea of making the vids private on youtube. I prefer to download them and watch them offline. Although, if you do see people start sharing them without you subscriber base increasing then you could go back to the current way. Also, I would publish certain stories for all. Like the Mr. Ethical stuff, since you are helping him get elected. Just make 90% of it pay only. There is no reason that you should not have 10,000 paid subscribers. It is bizarre. 30-40k twitter and youtube followers, but less than 2k paid subscribers is just silly.

    Also, on youtube you can do a paid option, maybe 50 cents per vid?

    • The Twitter numbers don’t translate into subscriber numbers as the nature of Twitter and FB is to produce a shallow participation in everything.

      It only takes a second to like or not like or retweet or share something. Actually putting money where your mouse is, that takes an attention span and a deep interest. We are all guilty of this. We all have a limited amount of money, a pet project. It’s nothing new, pre-digital we would take flyers in the street, be interested for 5 seconds then toss them in the bin. Or be outraged at something on the tv news, but have mentally moved on by the time the sports segment starts. The Twitter followers might be supporting something else and just can’t afford another project.

      As for employing a fundraiser….I think we know what suggestions they would make and we’ve all agree as a community not to go down that road. What we need is someone experienced willing to offer their time for a reduced rate. Newsbud falls between the cracks. It’s not a business, it’s not a charity.

      The truth, by its nature is not something you can commercialize without devaluing it.

      I think we need to look at subscription drives again, offering a sliding scale. ie. $2/month gets you aggregated news and 1 video a week. $5/month gets you agg.news and 5 videos. Top scale gets you access all areas. I would prefer an egalitarian model, but no point holding out for that if it’s crossing people’s price threshold and they drop right out.

      Grocers’ economics = better to sell 50 at 10c, than 10 at 20c.

      I love the daily videos, but if we can’t increase income, we need to decrease expenditure.

      Sibel and Team, I feel your frustration. We can but persevere.

  11. Mark Ribbit says:

    I don’t think there will be enough time to implement this suggestion now, but it’s
    worth mentioning again.

    The last fundraising campaign I suggested hiring a professional fundraiser(s) to do this
    tedious task. We all know that left in expert hands, fundraising of this magnitude
    can be accomplished with a lot less aggravation and hair-pulling.

  12. The videos are Newbud’s biggest selling point, and all of them need to be on YouTube (pay wall/private). They are useful teaching tools for students in secondary school, which have been used in classrooms already, with good results (they are short enough to include in other activities within the 50 minute instructional hour, and are loaded with pithy info). Their expanded use for educational purposes could continue if the videos stayed on YouTube.

  13. Rich Winkel says:

    I’m sure you’ve looked at alternative funding models such as what Alex Jones uses. The reason Jones’ model is so robust is that people can use real health information in their daily lives. They can buy supplements and alternatives to toxic medicine and see the difference immediately. The content of your site is just as valuable if not more so, but not as applicable to everyday living.

    Alex takes good nutritional supplements and rebrands them under the infowars label and markets them in segments on his news show. It works very well and it helps people improve their lives immediately. People have short time horizons because they’re backed into a corner and don’t have the luxury of thinking about geopolitics to the exclusion of their own well being, which is increasingly under attack. A robust funding model would provide for both long term and short term necessities. Think about it.

    Something else to consider: a “sub-economy” of mutually supportive alternative media platforms that provide both information and merchandise to the increasingly info-hungry and health-hungry subset of the population. Lots of possibilities for this, you could have cross-fertilization of both merchandise and information. Diverse economies are far more resilient and robust than monocultures precisely because of their complexity. You should think biologically, like a bacteria. Think of biofilms and why they work so well: they create mutually supportive ecologies.

    Rockefeller said that competition is a sin. In some situations (like the adverse political and economic climate we find ourselves in) he was probably right. Stop trying to do it alone. You have natural allies. Join with them.

  14. As for raising brand awareness, I think the Newsbud army could mention Newsbud on social media or in the 3D world whenever someone laments fake news and how hard it is to know what to believe.

    i.e not on any fake news lists (yes people actually believe those), no advertising ever, non-partisan

Speak Your Mind

 

Newsbud Phase 3 Kickstarter Campaign has launched!

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Thank you for all your support,
Sibel Edmond