Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog news: migration, moderation, new incarnations and donors

Dear friends,

I have finally found a few minutes in this totally hectic time to give you a short update about the future of this blog.

1) Thanks to the most generous help of a donor ('A') and the help of some very skilled IT specialists a dedicated server has been selected in Iceland to host this blog.

2) The migration will probably begin in mid-August and it will take some time to iron out the various technical kinks. 

3) Two good friends have agreed to become "pre-moderators".  What this means is the following:  Every day I get 100-150 comments posted.  About 80% of them are ok.  About 15% are so-so.  5% are terrible.  This is the general outline of the plan (to be amended and refined):  The task of the two pre-moderators would be to only pick out the obviously good ones and allow them through.  And I would have to deal with the remaining ones.  In other words, they would act like a policemen, "detaining" "suspects" and I would have the final say on their future, just like a "judge".  For me, that would mean a massive reduction in the sheer number of comments to read because I would not have to deal with a majority of "innocents" and only have to focus on the "suspects".  Also, this way no post would be rejected unless a) it is flagged by the pre-moderators and b) rejected by me.  I will also introduce an official comments/moderation policy (which I will outline in a few weeks).  Finally, no comment will ever be rejected automatically and anonymous comments will remain allowed.

4) There is a very real possibility that the blog will soon become available in one more European language (but I don't want to make that official until they are ready).

5) If all goes well, a new weekly SITREP focused on the Boko Haram movement in Nigeria will be published here soon.

6) I have officially ditched Flattr for donations as in the past few months donation through it have not even added to 10 dollars (which is the minimum).

7) Instead, I have now posted the instructions on how to make a donation through the giftcard program: it can be done from anywhere in the world, and the donation arrives in the form of a emailed code (see box on the left side of the page).

8) I am still so insanely swamped that I have not have the time or possibility to personally thank the following people for their donations via PayPal: SF, NE, DS, RM, MB, ND, BG, MM, WM and, of course, HJ without whose weekly help we would simply not be able to make it right now.  To all of you, my sincere apologies for not being able to thank you in person and my heartfelt thanks for helping me and my family make ends meet.

One the blog moves to the new server and my future pre-moderators begin by helping me, I hope to have a little more time to do research and write analytical reports.  Right now, my lifestyle is truly crazy-hectic and I dream of a 36 hour day to get it all done.

Question: I am looking for one or two people with a good working experience of the WordPress blog publishing platform (under GNU/Linux) who would be willing to help with the daily tasks of  webmastering the blog once it moves to its dedicated server.  If you have such skill and want to help me, please send me an email at or (though the latter seems to be regularly blocked by western ISP and email services).

I wish you all a super-wonderful week end, kind regards,

The Saker