Bigger and better things for IPR

I founded IPR in May because there needs to be a site that covers third-party news without pulling punches and allows people to discuss issues openly, without any political censorship or regulation. I wanted there to be such a site, but I didn’t necessarily want to be the one in charge of it!

My plan for IPR was always for the writers to share revenues in proportion to their contributions to the site’s success. That’s a good idea in theory, but after five months, we still haven’t been able to put it into practice.

None of us write at IPR “for the money” (which would be laughable considering the revenue it has generated in comparison to the effort that all of us have put forth), and no one (except me) has ever given the revenue-sharing plan any thought. But as the one who collects IPR’s relatively meager receipts, figuring out a fair way to dole them out has been stressing me since Day One.

And THAT is why, after much discussion by all involved, we have decided to engage in a pretty unique experiment: We are selling IPR on eBay.

What is the site worth? DNScoop says $5,400. SmartPageRanker says over $13,000. We’ve already had offline offers for up to $1,000, so I started the bidding at $1,099 (which would generate around $1,000 after fees). I think it will be interesting to see how things turn out.

I do not fear a new owner trying to use the site for political purposes — like the Barr campaign did with TPW — because there is so much time between now and the next election, AND anyone who would have an interest in doing that would see how completely ineffective it was for Barr.

The new owner(s) of IPR, whomever he/she/they may be, will have every incentive to leave the site as it is — or improve it. But under the extremely unlikely scenario that the new owner is a jerk, fear not: just as IPR replaced TPW, a new site could replace IPR. As with any business, it’s the consumers — you — who are really in charge. And the new owners will know that if they take the site in a direction that you don’t like, you won’t generate those page views and visits that they plan to monetize.

65 thoughts on “Bigger and better things for IPR

  1. Libertarian Joseph

    The Barr campaign took over TPW? Looked like Baldwin watch for months. Cody Quirk has been posting anti-Barr pro-Baldwin articles for months now.

    You must be delusional if you ever think it was used as a political tool for Barr. I think the owner abandoned it, the bible humping [no typo] Cody Quirk [retarded name] has been using it as a political tool for the CP and a vehicle for their fascist ideals.

  2. G.E. Post author

    You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not posing a theory — I’m stating a well-known fact. Where were you when this was happening? It’s WHY IPR was founded in the first place.

  3. Libertarian Joseph

    Paulie, we both know you voiced some support for mob rule on the other article. Maybe that’s why you’re so aggressive now.

  4. G.E. Post author

    LJ – Fair question. He’s a token, I guess. But more truthfully, the Barr campaign’s (or at least its axuilaries’) purpose in buying TPW was to censor anti-Barr comments and articles and put out pro-Barr “news” (via Google News) in the run-up to the Denver convention. It all sort of fell apart after that.

    Again, this is NOT a theory.

  5. Trent Hill

    Joseph Libertarian is actually accidentally correct. TPW has basically been abandoned by Vigueri and Company. Cody Quirk has full rain of the thing,lol.

  6. G.E. Post author

    Trent – What you say above is correct. But it WASN’T correct in May. The Barr backers achieved what they wanted and then let TPW rot; a disgrace to the great Austin Cassidy’s legacy.

  7. paulie cannoli

    Quirk does not have full run of it. Franke and Holtz post what they want, Quirk posts what he wants.

    I can still post what I want there, although they can hold it up and change it, but I haven’t tried because

    A) It violates my terms for participating here

    B) I don’t want to run the risk of them altering my articles

    C) They removed the link to my blog (now Next Free Voice)

  8. G.E. Post author

    Holtz is a very good writer, an astute thinker, and a persuasive debater… However, the last time I gave him a compliment, he thought I was being sarcastic, so I’ll hold my tongue from further extolling his virtues.

  9. Dodge Landesman

    As much as I hate the Constitution Party (and I do hate their racist, homophobic ideals. Not the people, but they are fascists that refuse to compromise), I don’t think they had control of Third Party Watch. It was Stephen Gordon who first had it (a Barr campaign member) and then sold it to Barr campaign people.

  10. JimDavidson

    Auction ends in 6 days, 20 hours. Zero bids. The free shipping sticker is funny.

    Is there a quick-buy price?

  11. JimDavidson

    Red, racism is sick and disgusting. It isn’t about PC. It is about conservatives using government to advance a racist agenda. Marriage licenses for white people but not for inter-racial couples, not for gays, not for people you don’t like. Conservatives have a lot to answer for. Like: why did you sick filth get us into so many wars? Why are you such disgusting authoritarians? Why do you support spying and torture and rendition? What the h3ll are you conserving, anyway?

    When conservatism stops meaning militarism, I’ll think about it again.

  12. G.E. Post author

    And, oh yeah, “isellhiphop” really?

    Yep.

    Wanna buy some? I still have an entire wall full of records and a walk-in closet full of CDs, tapes, videos, and t-shirts from my last big business.

    Auction ends in 6 days, 20 hours. Zero bids.

    OMG! No bids after four hours! Clearly it isn’t going to sell. But regardless, there is an offline bid of $1,000.

    Quickbuy price = Make me an offer. I think you have my email, Jim.

    why did you sick filth get us into so many wars? Why are you such disgusting authoritarians? Why do you support spying and torture and rendition? What the h3ll are you conserving, anyway?

    You have the wrong kind of conservative. Red has his faults but those are not among them.

  13. Trent Hill

    ” Like: why did you sick filth get us into so many wars? Why are you such disgusting authoritarians? Why do you support spying and torture and rendition? ”

    Red Phillips is a paleoconservative. You can critique them in many ways, but none of these things apply to his beliefs.

  14. JimDavidson

    Then he shouldn’t be offended. I am having a rip snorting 66 comment “status” thread on my Facebook profile over whether conservatives can be libertarians.

    I don’t care what the word means to him. To me, the word conservative means authoritarian, racist, nativist, homophobic, militarist with a penchant for persecuting religious minorities. I am with Lew Rockwell.

    “It is long past time for every right thinking American to reject conservatism as a self-description. It stands for war, for power, for spying, jailing without trial…” Lew at 9:19

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49oZDvTKXv0

  15. G.E. Post author

    To me, the word conservative means authoritarian, racist, nativist, homophobic, militarist with a penchant for persecuting religious minorities. I am with Lew Rockwell.

    Me too. Red Phillips embodies some of the detestable elements of classical conservatism, and he is NOT a classical liberal or libertarian in any way, but he definitely is not militarist (in just one example). He’s sort of Kirkian, I guess; a uniquely American take on classical conservatism that differs from the European brand in that it exalts family life to an extent that it hates anything that disrupts it — most notably, war.

  16. JimDavidson

    Paulie, the free shipping sticker is on the image of the site, a circle at top right. The other info is just…there. Use “search in this page” in your browser to find the text.

    Red, if you are against war, I am glad you are in the world.

  17. G.E. Post author

    Yeah, Jim. There’s no option for “THIS IS A WEB SITE, YOU MORON, AND YOU KNOW THIS – IT DOESN’T SHIP!”

    Got another offline bite that prompted me to add a Buy-It-Now price to the site: $6,900. This offer will disappear as soon as (if) someone places a bid.

  18. G.E. Post author

    Jeremy – We never pursued ads. Not much just came to us (a few hundred bucks in five months). But based on our traffic numbers, we should be able to generate a MINIMUM of $200/month in ads; and TPW, with less traffic than IPR, earned around $1,500/month in the run-up to the LP convention.

  19. Jeremy Young

    Yeah, the key would be to get it out of political candidates. However, to do that the new owner will have to take an active role in continuing to build the site, or else have a lot of liquid cash to pay Austin or someone else to run it for the next three years until the ad revenue really starts to pour in. That’s not the role I was envisioning for myself (I have neither the time nor the money to pull it off), but it’s an excellent opportunity for the person that gets it. That person is going to make a killing four years from now.

    Good luck with the auction.

  20. Catholic Trotskyist

    I am strongly considering buying this site, and then making it into primarily a vehicle for the Catholic Trotskyist Party of America, and I would also invite John Lowell to be a major writer, for a more non-ideological Catholic presence. However, I would still allow all of you to write here and would keep the uncensored comments. It would be ironic if I, as an anti-capitalist, used the capitalist system to that end. However, I am unlikely to raise enough funds for this project. I will ask the pope to pray that the new owner allows this site to continue as it is, however. It is a great site, and it is spreading important messages, especially through my commentary.

    God bless the pope, God bless the New World Order, God bless the Federal Reserve, and God bless Proposition 8, amen.

  21. Trent Hill

    Peter,

    I suspect you’ll be able to work with the buyer. I suspect everyone will. If the person is smart, they’ll just not touch anything, except to monetize the site. In the runup to the 2010 elections, they’ll make the money back that they bought it with. By 2012, they’ll have made significant money off of it. The runup to the Libertarian Party convention, in particular, is of use.

  22. G.E. Post author

    However, to do that the new owner will have to take an active role in continuing to build the site, or else have a lot of liquid cash to pay Austin or someone else to run it for the next three years until the ad revenue really starts to pour in.

    I don’t think so.

    Honestly, Austin doesn’t do too much right now. Almost nothing, as far as I know, in the capacity of “editor.” If he chooses to leave after three months, paulie or someone else could easily step in and do the job for free — just as the have been since day one.

    So the owner is most certainly NOT going to need a lot of cash. Nor is he going to have to “take an active role” in building the site if he doesn’t want to. The writers will continue doing that, too. They had no real financial incentive before — they did it because they wanted to. The same will continue to apply.

    Of course, the new owner COULD (and hopefully will) take an active role in improving the site so that it draws even more visitors. But this is NOT necessary. The new owner could just put paulie or Peter or Trent or whomever in charge and let the site go. If he/she knows what he/she is doing, he/she should be able to generate a good $200-250 a month in ads even during lean times. The $6900 Buy-It Now price is based on that rate of revenue for 2.5 years (the industry standard evaluation method).

  23. G.E. Post author

    Peter – The potential buyers need to know that they can’t piss off the contributors or the readers and expect the site to be worth anything. Just look at TPW.

  24. johncjackson

    GE still has a lot of stuff left from HHI?

    Cool.

    I would consider buying it but I’ve run into the same issues with blogs. I had blogs with multiple writers with the whole revenue sharing model in mind. And it turned out the blogs people wanted to write for didn’t make any money. I had other blogs I was begging to pay people to write for. They didnt want to do that but then wanted to get paid for blogs not worth monetizing. A big headache.

    It’s good that the writers here enjoy making content at their leisure.

    My problem is I would have a hard time monetizing this site as a stand-alone. And I don’t have any other related sites. No link-injecting or cross promoting potential either. Hmm.

    I buy a few hundred domains a year ( there’s a guy who comments here who controls like half a million) but rarely sites. The last one I bought was actually one I sold 2 years ago for a few grand. The new owners wasted it and got it back on the drop auction.

  25. johncjackson

    BTW, while the “Free Shipping” thing should be obvious to most people it actually has a very significant purpose on eBay.

    And personally I would never pay for 2.5 years of revenue for a site without much in the way of natural monetization options and the unreliability of contextual ads. Not to mention the unpredictability of search engines and everything else. But if you can get that, congratulations.

  26. RedPhillips

    Thanks for the clarifications.

    Jim, I am a conservative. Conservatism is not about an ideology. It is about conserving something. (Go figure.) It is about conserving a particular people, place, culture, religion, etc.

    Conserving things is the default response of man. It took a bunch of head in the clouds philosophizers and years of relentless browbeating to convince Western Man that he should be dedicated to abstractions rather than maintaining a good and stable society for his progeny.

    It is probably fair to say I am a Burkean/Kirkean although Kirk and Burke were more about slow change. At this point, conservatives must be about restoring what has been lost. Not slowing the rate of “progress.”

    That militarism is today associated with “conservatism” is an abomination. There are few things less conservative than war. Unless you are being invaded.

    I believe in significantly less federal government than Barr. If Thomas Fleming and Murray Rothbard could agree to put aside differences, then so can modern day paleos and libertarians of a certain sort.

    Hostility and generalizations are not helpful.

  27. G.E. Post author

    Does anyone know how much Richard Viguerie paid for ThirdPartyWatch?

    It was five figures. That leaves a lot of room for speculation.

  28. Bill Lussenheide

    –(spoken in a loud Billy Mays Voice)…

    SPECIAL BONUS OFFER!
    Operators Now Waiting!

    If you buy IPR withiin the next FIVE MINUTES , we will include at no extra cost…

    A SHAMWOW CHAMOIS for cleaning your computer screen while reading IPR…

    But thats not all…

    You will also receive a classic Third Party replica GEORGE WALLACE/ CURTIS LeMAY 1968 “Bumper Sticker “for home or automobile use!

    CALL NOWWWWW!

  29. rdupuy

    I’ve placed a bid, to remove the BIN option. I will also buy the site, if I win.

    But, for now I have some more questions.

    What is the content management system.
    What is the database server back end.

    Why do you use wordpress to manage accounts.

    Any additional technical details would be helpful.

    P.S. if I did win, which is unlikely because I will only purchase it for a good value, and someone else will probably outbid me…but lets say I did win, I would only use the site to be a service provider of independent political news, and to monetize the site.

    I would not do much in the way of editing the site, i.e. whatever happened at tpw, would not be of any interest to me. I would, of course, keep anything strictly illegal or causing great financial liability, off the site.

  30. G.E. Post author

    Bill – Thanks for that link. I never knew how many truly unique people (17,000, the site says) viewed IPR on a monthly basis. Only that about 4,000 did so each day. That means there’s a substantial repeat viewing audience, which is not surprising. The average person views IPR once every four days.

  31. G.E. Post author

    Yeah, Peter, it was rdupuy, who commented above.

    He asked:

    (1)What is the content management system.

    (2)What is the database server back end.

    (3)Why do you use wordpress to manage accounts.

    (4) Any additional technical details would be helpful.

    1. WordPress
    2. MySQL (?)
    3. Because it was the easiest to set up (IPR was up and running within 24 hours of the Viguerie buy)
    4. We don’t know any more details, which is why we’re unfit to own the site.

  32. paulie cannoli

    There’s been more than one bid, and I’m pretty sure some of them are higher than that, but I don’t think they are all posted on ebay. At least not yet.

  33. citizen1

    Does Richard Winger’s question mean tht he is interested?
    Whoever buys it should first reformat the category links in the blue type on the left. Please use regular size type this would make it easier to view on my phone.
    I would think about buying this site but I would have no idea how to do it.

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