Hello, As always you can add and remove addresses for ZNet Free Updates at www.zmag.org/weluser.htm -- ZNet's top page. The link, titled Free Updates, is on the left side of the page. There are many new articles and essays online, and many of our watch sites have been updated this past week as well. Visit!
As of this morning the ZNet Poll has accumulated 10,600 responses. We were ready to throw in the towel on getting more replies and about to move on to analyzing the results... BUT... I got a message from ZNet regular contributor and commentator Tim Wise -- saying that he would like to try to communicate with you about the issues raised by the ZNet Daily concept...asking if I could send his comments along to Update recipients -- and so, I am -- below. Before doing so, I checked to see how many of you are getting the Update messages. I expected a considerable fall off...in reaction to all the badgering. Instead, the number of you receiving updates has in fact climbed in the two weeks I have been incessently urging you to take the poll -- from 147,000 at first, to, now, 152.000. Likewise, our credit card donation level for October climbed as well, about five times faster. So we are finding favor with you -- but not getting replies from you. It is a hard combination to comprehend. At any rate, we will be evaluating results at the end of this week and will report back early next week. I thank you all for putting up with the nagging, and I especially thank those who have replied, or who will do so this week. And here is Tim's message... Your Own Personal Newspaper? By Tim Wise What if you could hand-craft your daily newspaper, making sure that the information inside was directly relevant to you, dealt with the issues you wanted to see covered, and provided you with the vital facts and analysis typically missing from mainstream commentary? What if you could choose the writers for your paper's editorial page, making sure that each day you received commentaries only from those writers whose style, subject matter, and analysis you found particularly helpful? And what if you could do all this for only $10 per month, or $5, or $3, or even less if need be? Well of course, in the real world you can't. You don't "own" the paper. But as a ZNet Sustainer, you would collectively "own" ZNet. And now ZNet is hoping to launch the equivalent of a daily paper of sorts, which would allow you to do all of the things mentioned above. You could pick the subject matter you want to read about each day, you could pick the writers who you trust to give you the facts you need. By signing up for ZNet Daily, and entering your preferences online, you could control how many news stories, commentaries and other features you receive, what those stories and commentaries will cover, and even pick your favorite writers from whom to receive this information. As an activist and educator who is always looking for a steady-stream of fresh material to inform my own work and analysis (and frankly, sometimes just to keep from feeling overwhelmed by the constant deluge of right-wing media), I know how important this would be to me, and I believe, to others as well. If you want a tailor-made daily e-zine, it can be yours. You can also choose to receive the standard one commentary per night, as is currently the case with the ZNet Commentary system. It's up to you. The point is, Z Daily will make ZNet more user-friendly than ever before. It may sound complicated but it's not. By simply entering your desires on a simple form--the number of pieces you'd like to receive daily, the preferred subject matter (if you have a preference), and preferred writers (again, if you have favorites)--your job would be done. The rest is up to the staff of Z. They'll deliver the goods every day, like they've already been doing through the ZNet Commentary program. Then every day, based on your preferences (which you can change at any time), you'll receive anywhere from 1 to 20 pieces of news and commentary. Most people who have responded to the online poll (and by the way, if you haven't, please do so at the home page, www.zmag.org), indicate that they would prefer around four pieces nightly, which is four more pieces of progressive/left commentary than you're likely to see in your real daily paper. That's around 120 pieces a month for $10, or $5, or $3. It would be like a daily inoculation of sorts against the blather of the corporate media to which we are regularly subjected: the most inexpensive "medicine" around, if you ask me. Here's the bottom line: Let's say your primary interest is U.S. foreign policy and militarism. Fine. Tell our friends at Z that, and they'll make sure you get a daily dose of usable information on those very subjects. Let's say you're currently focused on the environment, or global economics, or race and gender issues, and really want a concentration of articles dealing with those subjects? No problem. They've got it covered. Middle East politics? Got it. Labor rights? Got it. War on Terrorism? Got it. Corporate media bias and manipulation? That too, plus lots, lots more. Currently, the ZNet Commentary system is already a valuable service, but if you're like me, there are certain pieces you are more interested in than others. That's natural, as we all tend to have particular "categories of concern" on which we focus our activism, or simply find more interesting and inspiring. Well, with ZNet Daily, since you would be able to prioritize the issues about which you wanted to read, you would be able to reduce the amount of time sifting through pieces that, for whatever reason, weren't of as much interest to you. But the good news is that with thousands of sustainers, with many different interests, ZNet Daily would be able to provide the full range of subject matter to its reader base. Even though you might receive a different ZNet Daily than I would, or than others in your circle of friends would, that's all the better: it means an exponential increase in overall volume, which no one person would have to read in its entirety, but which would get spread around far more broadly than is currently the case with the regular commentary program. Most importantly, by signing up for Z Daily, you would help push forward one of the most ambitious media projects being currently undertaken on the left. With several reactionary sources of daily news out there--both in print and online--it is more important than ever for progressives and radicals to fight back. But the folks at Z can't do it without you. In fact, at this point too few people have taken the online poll at www.zmag.org to even ensure that the project will happen at all. I know that taking a poll is never all that exciting, but these poll results are vital if the staff of Z is going to know the speed at which they can enlarge their offerings, expand mail capability, develop software facilities, broaden their bandwidth, increase the staff size, and otherwise lay the foundations to reach out to ever wider audiences with ever more useful information. So, please go to the top page of ZNet and from there examine the proposal and take our policy poll. I did it, and it took me all of ten minutes. Short, simple, and an important first step to creating an important new progressive media resource. Thank you, Tim Wise ===================================This message has been brought to you by ZNet (http://www.zmag.org). Visit our site for subscription options.