As The Flood Waters Increase In Trump’s Swamp… Soros Eyes Asia Through ISIS

The hottest stories from Newsbud.com in this weekly round up, plus a sneak peak of whats to come.

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Show Notes

Weapons & Energy: Putin-Erdogan Alliance

Space War: Feeding the Military Industrial Complex

American Horror Story: The Shameful Truth About the Government’s Secret Experiments

India Blinks! Soros in Asia; and Pattycake with Miles Kwok

Newsbud Exclusive – After Nuland, “Nuland”: A. Wess Mitchell Nominated to Direct the U.S. European & Eurasian Affairs

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Comments

  1. As a community member who has supported Newsbud from day one, through the first and second Kickstarter campaigns, then pledged to support the third and donated what I’d pledged to the latest campaign after phase three of the Kickstarter campaign failed to meet its goal, I’d like some sort of concrete statement as to what Newsbud’s plans for the funding model are moving forward. It appears that the policy of keeping the vast majority of the content restricted to community members (subscribers) is continuing indefinitely. Others, along with myself, have expressed various concerns with the funding model and, to the best of my knowledge, have gotten no real feedback from the Newsbud team.

    While I’m still appreciating the content that Newsbud has been providing from the excellent contributors, I find myself increasingly dismayed with the growing sense of detachment and disengagement between the staff and the subscribers. My enthusiasm for promoting and “sharing” Newsbud with new viewers is being hampered by this disconnect and particularly the “pay wall”, which I don’t see as a subscription/business model that’s either practical or sustainable in its current form, or beyond that, one which is in tune with my ideals and values when it comes to content being open and accessible to the general public online, particularly not when the purpose of the content is intended to inform and educate the public about critical issues.

    Hopefully this constructive criticism won’t simply fall by the wayside. If there is an attempt on the part of the Newsbud team to engage in this conversation hopefully it can be accompanied by the addition of a feature (as used to be the case at BFP and exists elsewhere) to follow comments via email. I’m not going to hold my breath at this point though. I was a member of the BFP community long before Newsbud and I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of both outlets. That sense of enthusiasm has waned though in the absence of the kind of interaction, particularly with Sibel, which existed in the past and it wouldn’t surprise me if this accounts for the lack of participation I see from many other long time members I used to engage with in critical discussions in the past. I’ve mainly given praise here to the excellent work which has continued and expanded, but a true friend (in my opinion) is someone who not only encourages you when you’re doing well, but isn’t afraid to express concern when it seems you’re going in the wrong direction on certain matters of importance.

    That’s all for now,
    ~Benny

    • Benny:

      As always we appreciate your frank comments as we do those of all Newsbud Community Members.

      In response to your questions/comments regarding Newsbud’s funding model going forward, and the majority of Newsbud’s content being behind a paywall:

      First, we tried the “open to the public” model for over nine months, believing that those, like you, who value the content of the site would subscribe and/or donate to continue to provide the support and funding necessary. The successful Kickstarter campaigns provided setup & initial funding to bring on board our team of excellent producers & editors. However, in order to continue at this level, there needs to be a continuous source of funding, and we look to subscriptions & voluntary donations for that.

      Unfortunately, during the nine months we had content open to all, very few subscribed – far fewer than needed to fund operations. But when we began to put content behind our paywall, subscriptions increased dramatically. You can draw you own conclusions, but for us it is simple – if content is free, very few are willing to subscribe.

      So our choices are very clear. (1) Open up content to all and then close down operations when funding runs out. (2) Continue the present structure with content behind our PayWall, continue operation & add more content in the future. Unfortunately, as much as you, and we, would like to share all our content with the public, the public doesn’t seem to care enough to support it.

      Newsbud Admin

      • Nicely explained, Admin. So very true that, we too would like to bring in as many readers/viewers, however, the history and track record has proved that NOT feasible. Many people (99%) watch/read, say ‘wow’ & ‘kudos’ and don’t bother supporting this immensely valuable information source. To put it in perspective: during the first 9 months (open to all) on average we got 5-to-10 voluntary subscribers. Since last May (2017) that average has gone up to 145 per month (ten folds increase).

        Another simple fact of life ‘many’ don’t pause to consider: We have not come across a SINGLE reputable professional/expert who’s been willing to produce, edit, analyze for free. Not one. Same goes for web admin cost, cloud servers cost, dedicated web server cost, accounting …

        With the last Kickstarter we tried keeping 90% of the site content open to all, but not enough people valued it enough to back it. Thus, this site exists and operates based on those who value it. Very simple. Very clear. I will never run advertisement (unethical and journalistically unacceptable conflict of interest). I will never accept foundation sugar-daddies grants. This is the ONLY model we have left in order to maintain integrity and independence. We appreciate every single subscriber support. This model is here to stay unless we win lottery, or somehow raise the needed amount to sustain and expand this operation without a need for reliable funding…

        • Thank you Sibel (and Company:) for responding to my comment and addressing my concerns.

          I’m encouraged to hear that subscriptions have increased dramatically since introducing the paywall. To be clear, I’ve never been opposed to the idea of restricting access to content as a means of enticing new members to subscribe and become members of the community. As a matter of fact, I’ve stated otherwise at different points when this was being debated here in the past that that I think actually think there’s some value in designating a certain amount of content as exclusive to subscribers, not just as a practical necessity, but to underline the concept that what constitutes as “free” most places on the web actually comes at a “cost” when it comes to foundation or advertising revenue sponsored content and that the difference between this content and what Newsbud offers is worth investing in by subscribing.

          The question in my mind is just a matter of how you strike a balance where you’re making enough content accessible to a non-subscription based audience; both to raise awareness of the specific issues Newsbud is covering and to attract a wider audience and subscriber base, to the extent where Newsbud is able to sustain and expand the current cost of operations (to paraphrase Spiro 🙂

          As a subscriber, having 90 percent of the content behind the paywall limits my capacity to share articles and podcasts with people who I think might appreciate them and, in turn, limits capacity to promote Newsbud to a wider audience who might then opt to become members of the community in order to gain full access to the exclusive content. I just think there needs to be enough that can be accessed without a subscription to entice people to join if they weren’t just “freeloading” in the past. I’m not in favor of returning to the “open to the public” model and I agree that, having given that option more than a fair shake, experience has demonstrated that this isn’t a viable strategy.

          I appreciate not only the quality of the content that Newsbud offers, but the time and effort which goes into all stages of production and editing. Not everybody out there is going to appreciate that and that’s fine. What’s covered here serves the public interest but it’s not like this is a charity. Still, I think there are enough people out there who are willing to support Newsbud to make the subscription model viable in the long run. It’s just a matter of finding the right strategy. Hopefully I can contribute in some way constructively in that effort. For now, I’m glad to have a response from the team and I’m happy to continue supporting Newsbud as a subscriber.

          Thanks and keep up the great work =]

          ~B

          • Banny, thank you for all your support and these suggestions.

            We’ve been discussing two possible approaches/ways: 1) Make one video per producer/show open-to-all every week (One week Kovacevic, the next week Nimmo, etc.); or, 2) every week release (make public) 1 archive show (Week one 1 archived/old Kovacevic video, week 2 one old Nimmo video, etc.).

            Anyhow, we’ve been discussing this among ourselves, and welcome your suggestions/ideas on which approach.

            On a more positive front: We are organizing a couple of interesting (controversial topics) Webinars with very interesting outside guests starting this September. Right now we are familiarizing ourselves with the software and delivery (live stream, interactive, by registration). It is amazing how time-consuming and tedious all the tech related issues can get. We’ve been moving speedily on the learning curve … from administrative payroll issues to darn accounting/tax related headaches. Thankfully we’ve done pretty good for a first-year startup. I cannot wait to get all these little (but important) mechanics on track so that I can focus on my articles/videos (even my 1/3 finished book- Lone Gladio Part 2). Sigh.

            Thanks, Sibel

            Thanks, Sibel

          • Sibel,

            Once again, always nice to hear from you and get your take on things. In this case, what’s been going on behind the scenes on a logistical day to day operational level. While I know handling things like payroll and taxes on top of learning and becoming proficient with new software is tedious, time consuming, exhausting, and frankly probably a detour from some of the things like writing articles, participating in podcasts, and working on The Lone Gladio, among other things that you’re most passionate about, my hats off to you for always rolling up your sleeves and getting things done.

            Newsbud has accomplished a lot in a short period of time and I’ve never doubted the amount of work it’s taken on all of your parts to make that happen. Particularly without surplus add revenue and foundation slush funds to hire more staff to spread out the workload. Still, given your relative level of visibility and interactivity in the past, Sibel, it’s nice to get an update from you directly, just to get a better appreciation of what’s going on behind the scenes and, beyond that in turn, to have an opportunity to express my appreciation and offer some sort of encouragement on a personal level (for what it’s worth 🙂 )

            You’ve taken a lot on and stayed true to your mission with this venture. Despite concerns at times when the show of financial support has seemed sluggish at best and more unnerving as in the most recent campaigns (I’m not even going to pretend I can truly appreciate what it’s like for you and the team), where questions I’ve had in my own mind about whether there are things within your control that could build or deter momentum towards operational sustainability; questions which I’ve asked and suggestions which I’ve at least attempted to address at different stages constructively. Being reminded of the fact that Newsbud is still in the phase of a start up (to use your phrasing) and seeing as you have no intension other than to see this through (after all, this is Sibel Edmonds we’re talking about, one of the most steadfast and resilient individuals I can think of — seriously; foolish of me for a moment’s doubt 😉 )

            One word of encouragement that comes to mind is the fact that I can only imagine that going through the headaches and strain of the learning curve associated with the startup process will at least be a rough passage that you only really have to pass through in earnest once. That’s not to say you’re guaranteed smooth sailing after that but, at least theoretically you’ll have a significant amount more leeway to fasten up any loose ends, clear off the deck a bit, and adjust your coordinates if need be without worrying about anybody going overboard, taking in to much water, or veering towards the rocks.

            (Yeah, I know I’m like a bad “Captain Metaphor”, with an eyepatch, hook, and decrepit parrot, but at this point I’m resigned that the suit fits. I just try to rock it with enough finesse to avoid losing credibility when I go overboard 😉

            Now… regarding striking a balance with the “open to the public” vs community exclusive I have an idea; take it or leave it.

            I was thinking that maybe, instead of releasing one video in its entirety on rotation each week (which isn’t a bad idea), just having shortened versions of each show released for each program. I know you already have this in the form of the previews. However, these are sort of like trailers. There could be different variations, but for example with shows like China Watch and Russian Newspaper Monitor, the shows are usually broken up into maybe three or four segments with a short overview at the beginning. Maybe you could try having the preview just consist of the intro and the first “segment” followed by a message to subscribe to Newsbud for access to the full episode in addition to full access to all the programs like (listed examples “and more”) at Newsbud.com.

            To me, in this case with a relatively short podcast program format, the desire to continue watching something that you’re already enjoying, particularly if you’ve done the same with other editions, is a pretty compelling way to convince people to join. This allows you to provide a pretty precise example of what it is that people are missing on a weekly basis with each program and it also serves the purpose promoting some of the information covered to a wider audience and the general public at large in a way which has a sort of “stand alone” value (if you will). This also provides subscribers with a large enough portion of content and information that passing it along to someone who might appreciate it doesn’t have to feel explicitly like a bid to get them to join (not that this is bad thing, in and of itself), opposed to simply sharing information and letting them decide for themselves, either then or over time.

            This also holds the added benefit of minimizing the amount of time required where additional recording, production, or alternate editing is required to be tailored to make use as a preview. I think this could apply to articles as well.

            There’s a certain expectation in the state of the web as it exists where much, if not most information is “free”. I’ve expressed my objections to aspects of the problems and hidden “costs” with this already, but I do generally tend to believe in the idea of the virtues of having a certain amount of content free and accessible internet to share ideas and information. In the case I’ve described above, I think the proposal fits the bill and, at least theoretically, could serve as a more affective strategy for Newsbud to reach a wider audience and, more importantly, build a stronger subscriber base. Some may remain “freeloaders” of the short format of the presentation and articles, but the more people are viewing content, number wise, the higher the visibility of the content and in the long run, the more likely it will be that some of those freeloaders will decide (or find themselves in a position financially where they’re able) to support and get all of what Newsbud has to offer.

            Okay… that made me feel a little bit like a marketing executive type, but I suppose that doesn’t have to feel “dirty” (even if it’s inescapable for me personally on a reflexive level). I guess it’s safe to say that I believe in Newsbud, content wise and conceptually as a media model and (to beat a dead horse) I feel compelled to contribute what ideas I can to be constructive.

            So, as usual, that’s more than enough from me, but if you made it through; cheers, and I hope there’s at least one or two positive things that can be taken away from it 🙂

            As always, much respect and keep up the great work =]

            ~Benny

          • Benny, thank you so very much for this encouraging (needed) and constructive note.

            I really like your proposal. I am going to send our video editors the link to this comment, and have them come up with the best implementation.

            Now, to clarify: Let’s say we are dealing with Prof. Kovacevic RNM weekly show. The show is approximately 25 minutes long. We will combine the summary (what we are currently using in trailer) where he lists the topics (Usually 3 to 4) he will be discussing, then, add the segment 1 (Topic one), and then stop there, and have a section that says: To watch the complete/full segment log in or subscribe to Newsbud … So basically, we are looking at a 5-to-6 minutes long videos that will be open to the public (At YouTube). Is that what you had in mind? The same concept will apply to Peter Lee’s show (Similar format).

            Now, the question: How about singular-topic videos? Let’s say with Battlefield America (John Whitehead) usually 10-12 minutes long? Or, Kurt Nimmo’s shows- 15-18 minutes long? How do we implement the same concept without abruptly cutting the video segment around 4-5 minute section? Same with Pye Ian’s biweekly show (on one financial/econ topic with geopolitical implications)? We’d love to get your (and others’)suggestions on this category of Newsbud videos.

            Yours, Sibel

  2. spiro skouras says:

    Thank you Benny for your support and suggestions, this is exactly what the whole idea of the Newsbud community is about. This may prove to be a very constructive conversation.

    Spiro

    • Sprio,

      Thanks for your feedback. I agree with the spirit of coming together as a community and discussing strategies for best utilizing the content to build momentum and reach a wider audience without simply giving the majority of it for free. I feel invested in the longterm success of Newsbud so I’m happy to have an opportunity to offer suggestions which appear to seem constructive to the team.

      Sibel,

      Addressing your questions: here would be my suggestions for potential break points which could mark where the preview portions could end, using the most recent set of videos for each of the regular shows as examples. These would be taken from the full versions, as they are, minus the community exclusive intro. The outros are fine and I think can be inserted after the suggested break points without feeling artificially abrupt. In the case of Kurt Nimmo, John Whitehead, and Pye Ian’s videos there’s no real “formula”, my suggestions are simply based on an assessment of what feels like enough to suffice for a standalone portion of content which gives you an adequate taste of what you can expect, where it’s satisfying and informative, but leaves you wanting more and leaves enough to justify the expenditure on a membership for those who are on the fence about joining.

      I think programs like Tales From The Russian Intelligence with Prof. Kovacevic and Peter Lee’s Asia Brief could be designated as community exclusives in their entirety along with some others on a case per case basis.

      So, here are my suggestions for the latest of each series respectively:

      =======================
      Battlefield America:
      4:16 minutes

      Geopolitical Report:
      7:23 minutes

      Russian Newspapers Monitor:
      7:00 minutes
      – default intro and first article

      China Watch:
      8:38 minutes
      – default intro with break point inserted at what feels like a reasonable portion of the first segment

      Money and Fear:
      4:34 minutes
      =======================

      Articles from various contributors could be handled in a similar fashion.

      Like I said, these are just suggestions, but see what you think.

      ~B

  3. victor friese says:

    Just make key videos available when the big stuff hits the fan. As far as the single topic vids just cut them off at 4-5 minutes and slap a message on the screen saying “We can’t keep running without money! We don’t take from advertisers or foundation, foundations being corporate fronts, as it would compromise our honesty by coloring our perspective with the understanding that we could not offend the ad and corp/foundation funders. We do not wish to be big money pets (frankly I would used the term bi$#%es here but…), so, we must encourage you to subscribe by cutting this video off here and making the rest available only to subscribers.”.

    Also, you people write the most bloated comments… you need to work on your efficiency with the english language.

    Also, what happened to that Vietnam report, the report by Spiro where he actually went to Greece, and that one I recall that someone was supposed to do from the middle east. This on the spot stuff was some of what I was most interested to see.

    Also, Benny is right about the email notifications and interaction. It would be nice to go back to the old way of things. I just didn’t like the bombarbment of emails that was related to the Sibel’s picks stuff from what I recall.

    It would also be nice if the older members would make more effort to comment. I would like to see BennyB, Xicha, cuchulain, that guy with the russian blog… I forgot his name… it would be nice if they would return.

    • Victor,

      Regarding some of the older members playing a more active role in the comment section, I can only speak for myself, but one thing that I’ve mentioned which would really be helpful on that front would be to bring back the feature to receive emails when someone posts a new comment on a post or replies to one of your comments specifically. I find it difficult to keep track of otherwise. As far as the “bombardment” of emails, as you put it, in the past that was just a matter of choosing whether to receive new emails each time there was a new post, which meant any new article or podcast, or to follow replies to a specific post.

      Aside from that, I know that feedback in the comments from the staff, particularly Sibel, is something that’s been important to me and imagine would be the case for many of the other members who were more active when it was Boiling Frogs Post. I’d made a few comments over the last several months expressing some concerns and offering some suggestions which hadn’t elicited any responses, so I was feeling a bit resigned by the time I posted this time, but feedback from Sibel, Spiro, and “Admin”, giving me a window into a bit of what’s been going on behind the scenes, and having an opportunity to make some suggestions has revived a sense of enthusiasm about the sense of community and participation.

      I know time constraints and the magnitude of figuring out the logistical, strategical, and financial components of launching and maintaining Newsbud this year have meant that responding my comments and those of others, whether they were useful or not, simply hasn’t been realistic. Maybe responding sooner without having some comparable data about subscription rates pre and post-paywall would’ve been premature. Whatever the case may be, I know that figuring out how to make the subscription model work is still a work in progress, but I still believe strongly that it can, that concept itself is extremely important, and given the fact that I don’t think a comparable working example exists, demonstrating the value of how that kind of freedom from outside funding allows Newsbud to function differently as an organization is something that will take some time for many people to truly understand and appreciate.

      The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Newsbud is never going to compromise on principal or sell out!

    • Btw, Victor, I just re-read part of your comment above and wanted to say I don’t really appreciate the spirit of your comment about people writing “bloated” comments or needing to learn the English language before commenting.

      First, if writing “bloated” comments was a punishable crime I’d be serving a life sentence under maximum security. Also, your word count here isn’t exactly running “anemic”. I think it’s a good thing that we have a diverse international community contributing to conversations here and I don’t think it’s in anybodies best interest to discourage participation. If there are some sort of specific suggestions you could make concerning the clarity of how something’s being presented by someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language than maybe that would be useful. I’m not even sure it’s anybody’s place here to be doing that though and less so, advising anybody that they ought to be more concise.

      Just saying… =]
      ~B

  4. victor friese says:

    Actually, another thing, not EVERYTHING just HAS to be in video format. Bas, Pye, and maybe Nimmo would all be just fine in written only format. It would take so much effort out of the equation and allow you to focus more on those stupid mundane tasks like accounting (make sure all the numbers add up on paper too as your computers could be sabotaged… they are not above that), until you can hire more people to put up with that mundane stuff.

    Also, that on the ground stuff is important. I am guessing you haven’t had time or money to finish it? At first I thought it was the search engine. Anyway, it would elevate the site to the next level and make it more serious. This may attract more subscribers as well.

    Also, please keep in mind that if no one thought this site was worth anything, you wouldn’t have made it this far. It is just a matter of motivating people to spend 7 dinky little dollars per month. You may want to put something on the front of the site explaining the cost of running the operation and that you do not want to compromise your honest with ad/corp/foundation money. Sympathy will breed payers. I am below poverty level and even I pay it!

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