1. LW user Bakkot has written a comment highlighter for SSC that shows you which comments are new since your last visit (think the purple squares that sometimes appear around comments on LW). The installation looks pretty easy, but if anyone can figure out how to automate it by putting it on the blog itself, let me know and I’ll give you access.
2. I request that people not tell me things like “Why are you wasting your time writing about issue X? Aren’t there more important / less politicized things to talk about?” The failure mode of LW was that everyone with interesting but less than maximally virtuous and important things to say felt bad saying them in a place whose standards for discussion might be too high, and so went off somewhere with lower standards (lowering LW’s standards would also have a failure mode and not be a tradeoff-free solution; I can expand on this if it’s unclear). The potential failure mode of this blog is that I feel like my commenters’ standards for discussion are too high and so I go to Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or GetStungByMillionsOfWasps.com instead. It’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want; if you think it’s a waste of time, don’t read it.
3. I briefly experimented with AdSense ads in the sidebar. I found that with 7000 average page views daily, I made…just under a dollar per day. This is less than I was led to believe, but probably involves readers here being web-savvy enough to tune out ads. The extra dollar doesn’t seem worth the annoyance to readers, especially if reader annoyability is a limited political-capital-style resource I can spend on (for example) posts with fifty terrible puns in them. I figure the things that might increase revenue – putting ads directly in posts, really big flashing ads everywhere – would also increase reader annoyance and aesthetic disruption, so that the overall tradeoff of annoyance for money is linear at an exchange rate I’m not willing to take.
4. Instead I’ve been trying the Amazon affiliates program. There’s a tab on the top of the blog explaining exactly how it works. There is also a link to Amazon on the sidebar. If you click on that link to make your Amazon purchases, then it will not cost you any more money, but a certain amount will go to me and help pay for site maintenance (plus hopefully some left over).
5. I continue to be terrible at answering emails and Facebook messages. The preferred way to get in contact with me about this blog (as opposed to if I know you in real life and we’re setting something up) is comments here.
6. Comment of the month is this analysis of subway building costs.
PS: NO RACE OR GENDER ON THE OPEN THREAD THAT NEVER HELPS