Category - Agonist Site Issues

Blogging 3.0

Quo Vadis again again

Blogging 1.0 often replaced the plethora of special purpose forums that were apparently everywhere.

Blogging 2.0 consisted of some special-purpose sites, but the real blogosphere was comprised of many sites very much like The Agonist: covering a wide range of topics, multiple viewpoints, meaningful (and sometimes heated) discussion, generally outside of and frequently in opposition to the MSM.

It seems to me it’s time to ask, “What will Blogging 3.0 bring?” As has been noted elsewhere, the drop-off in activity is not limited to The Agonist but blogs with a specialized focus are still healthy. Generalized blogs are either attached to some other money-making entity, independently funded or dependent on reader contributions.
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The More Things Change…

   Just to keep everyone in the loop, I wanted to let you all know that has a new owner.

   There will be some technical improvements coming soon, primarily to make the site more responsive and mobile-friendly, since web access is increasingly being done via mobile devices.

   The editorial policy will not change. We will still be free to post & comment as we always have.

   In preparation, I will soon be simplifying the existing site, removing unnecessary clutter.

   We would like to solicit feedback from bloggers and readers and a feedback form will be made available for that purpose.

   Once the site is repackaged for better service and functionality, we will explore ways to attract more bloggers and blogging.

      Stay tuned.

Agonist: The Book

   For over a decade of ups and downs, chaos and dedication, arguments and agreements, The Agonist has earned a place in the blogging community. We have had some marvelous writing, outstanding posts and spirited (to say the least) conversations.

   We are contemplating compiling a Best Of Agonist ebook, to be made available free of charge.

   We are investigating several distribution methods and will pick whatever provides the widest availabilty.

   To that end, we hereby invite all members to submit their favorite posts/writers and let us know via the site Contact Page, since relying on comments here might result in overloading the comment system and emails are easier for me to keep track of.

   Once we have assembled a reasonable list of posts, I will copy/paste/edit them by hand, since all the software I’ve seen to automate this process creates a very ugly and nearly-unreadable product. It will therefore take some time to put together.

   If there are those who specifically do not want their own posts to be included, we will certainly respect their wishes.
Furthermore, we will only publish comments on an Opt-In basis.
Your comments will NOT be included unless you specifically give us permission.

Nota Bene: There may be posts whose names you recall and which show up in a search but turn up missing when clicked on. (We have an issue in the site database). I may be able to retrieve some of these posts from the clone site, as the export/import seemed to have resolved the issue on the clone site. If your favorite post doesn’t display, note it anyway and I’ll try to track it down.

   In addition to providing the posts/comments, we may also ‘blurb’ the writers if requested, so that those who blog or write elsewhere may get a little ‘boost’ in visibility for their non-Agonist world. If that category includes you, feel free to provide us any bio or links you would like us to include.

Call for Diaries!

(originally published Dec 9, 2013)

Agonist Diaries are back!

One of the best features of the old Agonist was USER DIARIES. After considerable effort, we’ve restored that function to the new WordPress platform.

All Agonist registered users can now create their own Diary entries.  Posts can be on any subject but are subject to respecting the copyright of others and a few other obvious rules. Read More

Dust Has Settled

    The site changes have been in effect for a week, with minor tinkering here and there.
If there are questions not addressed in Rules or FAQ, comment here or via Contact or Messages.

    Beyond that, now that we’ve all had a chance to get used to it, please feel free to suggest any additions or improvements you would like to see to content or functionality.


Agonist 2014

Regular visitors will have noticed recent changes to this site. Some were aimed at improving performance, some at providing additional functionality. The most recent changes add more functions, provide a consistent method of navigating the site and improve the appearance.

Old habits die hard and we expect the new site will taking some getting used to. Part of the problem is that the ads on top and to the right take up a lot of ‘real estate’, which limits our options. We will continue to work on functions and cosmetics. If you have suggestions, comments are welcome and the Contact Page proves a means of communicating privately, as does the new Messages Page.
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Current “Rules of this Site”

One Agonist tradition is that Agonists seldom know where the rules of the site are written, but often refer to them in the heat of battle.

Recently, in our last pre-SP-redux incarnation, Steeleweed published a set of Rules (click “Rules” on the top header row). So you know they exist and where to find them, at least for now – including “ad hominem” -brought up just today.

At this point. we welcome your comments and suggestions for changes to these Rules.

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Going Forward

    This is the second time in about a year I find myself unexpectedly promoted on the departure of the EIC. At least this time around I’m retired and can devote more attention to The Agonist, although, like Michael, I too have personal obligations which take precedence from time to time, as we all do.

    I would emphasize that I have no agenda here except to facilitate and preserve The Agonist as a forum for discussing things that matter (or should matter) to all of us.
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It’s been a pleasure – take care

Today will be my last day as editor in chief of the Agonist.  I’ve appreciated and enjoyed serving in that role.  Personal and professional obligations are pressing and I do not have the time required to continue.   The Agonist has the foundation to move forward and a readership that generated close to 800,000 views since February 2013 despite significant challenges.

I would like to thank steeleweed for his technical and systems support that allowed us to begin to tame the WordPress platform; nymoley and Tina for the expert editorial efforts; Raja for the highly reliable Newswire service; and Graham for his contributions.  And, thank you Jillian for her efforts and support.

Don Henry Ford, Jr., Numerian, actor, and Jack Cluth deserve special praise for contributing engaging and provocative posts over time.  The high quality Diaries posts of Synoia and Jayhawk deserve special recognition.   I’d like to add thanks to Brian Downing for his excellent posts during a critical period.

I wish Stirling Newberry the very best on his journey and want to thank him for his graciousness and willingness to return to posting at the Agonist at a critical time.   His posts were compelling and right on target.

I spoke with site publisher/owner Shavkat Karimov after making this decision.  He asked steeleweed (Ray) to step in as the Editor starting Saturday.  Ray agreed.  This is an excellent move.  Shavkat and the Proaxis folks before him have been very helpful and responsive in sorting out higher order system problems.  There has been a hands-off policy on content.  I have not heard a single word implying even a hint of censorship.

I’m saving the best for last.  I’d like to acknowledge and express deep appreciation to four of my all-time favorite commenters (I’ve been using the Internet well before it was called that – 1981):  Skriz, Synoia, Jayhawk, and dude.   Their comments, insights, and humor were always appreciated.

I look forward to seeing where the Agonist goes and contributing material as time allows.

The very best wishes to all of you,

Michael Collins

The Agonist is Global – UK’s NewsNow a top Agonist referral source


From Monday through Thursday of this week, around 20% of Agonist traffic came from the United Kingdom’s news aggregation service,  The website is a consistent source of referrals to Agonist, particularly when our articles focus on  foreign affairs.  The UK  news service produces headlines on a wide variety of topics, site and user search generated.   The referrals from NewsNow to Agonist were to specific articles published on Agonist.

NewsNow has been around since 1998 generating 120 million page views a month. It updates news headlines from around the world every five minutes.  You can search the service with preexisting categories or you can enter your own search terms.  For example, if you enter Obamacare, you get this set of results. The service captures headlines for selected blogs and other alternative news sources.

We appreciate the interest that Agonist generates from the UK and from other NewsNow users.

steeleweed Alert ! Get the bacon sannies’ remark cost Heywood IT contractor dream job

Unverified image of steeleweed with pet pig.

Our fearless Agonist editor steeleweed deserves kudos for his weekly explorations of bacon – More to Life than Bacon. It carries some significant risks, as indicated below.

Manchester Evening News 15 Jun 2013 11:58

An IT contractor claims an off-the-cuff remark about a bacon butty cost him a dream £1,000 a week job.

Clive Hunt, 58, says he was offered the eight month contract with the NHS after attending an interview set up by recruitment firm Reed.

But he says he lost out on the job he should have started last Monday after he told a recruitment consultant he would ‘get the bacon sarnies in’.

The married dad, from Heywood, said he wasn’t aware he had offended recruitment consultant Sharika Sacranie, 29, who he met at the firm’s offices in King Street, Manchester, to finalise paperwork, until he received a phone call from a senior manager. Mr Hunt said: “After we shook hands she said that she would come over to meet me on site with the other contractors and take us for breakfast. My parting words to her were ‘I will buy the bacon sandwiches’.

Allow me to introduce myself.

Profile picture of Jeff Wegerson

I’m a second generation Chicagoan. Live on the north side and work on the west side. I was around in the 70’s as a hippy. What little of Marx I understood then I liked. So when governments are democratic l tend to prefer them especially, of course, over corporations. My standards for democracy are extremely high. At the moment I don’t really count the plutocratic U.S. I believe that the bigger an organization is the more regulations it needs to follow. To me “to big to fail” means way more than big enough to nationalize.

I miss the diary system here at the Agonist….

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