Announcement: IPR is Under New Ownership

Greetings!  My name is Austin Cassidy and I am the new owner of Independent Political Report.

A few of you may remember me as the guy who founded a blog called Third Party Watch back in 2005 and who subsequently sold that site several years later. That sale, for a variety of complicated reasons, would eventually lead to the creation of IPR back in 2008.

For a time in the early days of this website I was a contributing writer, minority owner and briefly held the ceremonial title of Publisher. But IPR really got off the ground and grew year after year because of the tireless work of founder Jason Seagraves (aka G.E.) and the dozens of other writers and contributors who have come and gone over the nearly 13 years that we’ve been online.

Folks like Paul Frankel, Trent Hill, William Saturn, Kimberly Wilder, Ross Levin, Red Phillips, Andy Craig, Caryn Ann Harlos, David Doonan, Damon Eris, Darcy Richardson, Gregg Jocoy, Fred Church Ortiz, Tom Knapp, Warren Redlich and the many other writers and frequent commenters have made IPR into what it is today. Since launching in May of 2008 we have published nearly 20,000 posts which have attracted more than 300,000 comments and tens of millions of unique visits!

Independent Political Report has changed hands a few times over the years and most recently was part of the SpinJ Corporation, which is owned by Warren Redlich and his brother Steve. Warren, as most of you know, is an attorney, realtor, entrepreneur and former New York gubernatorial candidate. He has many irons in the fire and recently expressed an interest in finding a new owner for IPR. I jumped at the opportunity.

I’ll be making another post in the next couple of days with some more details, so please stay tuned!

19 thoughts on “Announcement: IPR is Under New Ownership

  1. Thomas L Knapp

    Austin,

    No need to ban Milnes on my account. I don’t read his comments and won’t be engaging with him under any circumstances. If whatever he’s ranting about is bad for the site, of course, that’s your call.

    Personally, I suggest implementing a modern commenting system such as Disqus, which allows users to mute each other. Nobody sees anything he or she doesn’t want to see, and then there’s little need for intervention.

  2. SocraticGadfly

    Austin, as someone who is listed under “reader blogs,” how does one become a contributor? Like Fernando, I bat “left,” but have a somewhat different perspective on some Green Party issues than him. Given Rhode Island, what’s in the process of happening to Alaska, and whether or not this is a deliberate set of dominoes focused on the Georgia GP next, there’s things to write.

  3. Austin Cassidy Post author

    Thanks to you all for the well wishes!

    Tom — It’s not just you. I think Robert doesn’t like this site or most of the main contributors very much and it sounds like he would be happier spending his energy elsewhere. Probably best for everyone.

    EDIT: Great idea about Disqus, I’ll look into that for the redesign. Thanks!

  4. Austin Cassidy Post author

    SocraticGadfly —

    Check your email, you should (hopefully) be getting a username and password to get started. If not, drop me an email at afcassidy – at- gmail and I will walk you through it.

  5. Fernando Mercado

    I will do the same by emailing u Austin. I have been tryin 2 do this for a couple days now lol.

    And SocraticGadfly, we should probably get together and find out what the differences in the GP stuff, their may be more agreement as the story develops

  6. Shawn Levasseur

    Let me second Tom’s recommendation for using Disqus as the commenting system.

    And it’s a very easy process to integrate it with WordPress. Disqus has a WP Plug in that handles all that nicely, even importing the old comments, If I recall correctly.

    It has the benefit to commenters that we get notified when people respond to our comments.

  7. Thomas L Knapp

    To me the main benefits of Disqus include:

    1) The ability of one user to “block” another. Instead of complaining that so-and-so is a such-and-such who should not be permitted to comment, if someone doesn’t want to see my comments, he or she can just block me — and those of us who DO want to talk to each other can continue doing so. The site owner may still want to engage in moderation for this or that reason, but petty complaints can be met with “block if you want, but we’re not going to.”

    2) Nesting of comments. Paulie hated this idea, but it makes conversations a lot more organized. If someone replies to me, their reply comes immediately after my comment instead of 80 comments down after numerous other non-reply comments. It’s possible to follow a conversation within comments much more easily.

    3) With Disqus, you’re using Other People’s Storage and Bandwidth. Depending on site traffic and hosting package, this might save you money on server costs, or increase the times between needing to upgrade hosting/server. It should also make site loading faster, since the comments aren’t being loaded on your CPU/bandwidth.

  8. dL

    To me the main benefits of Disqus include:

    The downside is that you are entrusting your commentary to a 3rd party system that has ultimate editorial/moderation control over user comments and which can be tracked by other 3rd parties. That would seem to be a fairly relevant concern these days. WordPress has its own comment system w/ plugins that works just fine. The stale cache issue is a separate issue from the comments.

    their reply comes immediately after my comment instead of 80 comments down after numerous other non-reply comments. It’s possible to follow a conversation within comments much more easily.

    Depends on the device and the layout. On phones and narrow layouts, it makes it harder to follow comments. And I despise Google Captcha.

  9. SocraticGadfly

    @Fernando, agreed. Should the national committee boot Georgia Greens, I’m officially an “independent leftist.”

  10. SocraticGadfly

    To all above, re Disqus:

    I’m of two minds. I agree with the benefits and downsides both list.

    I do like nesting, as the main plus. If bandwidth is a worry on server costs, yeah, that’s important, too. Blocking, also. I don’t do it a lot to general trolls, but I do it hot and heavy to major conspiracy theorists. As for login privacy issues? I just use one of my Twitter accounts on Disqus.

    ==

    Sidebar … when did the “edit comment” time period change from 5 to 10 minutes?

  11. Austin Cassidy Post author

    You all make some excellent points in favor of Disqus, I’m leaning *very heavily* towards adopting it for the redesigned site.

    I changed the edit time from 5 mins to 10 mins… is the more generous time a mistake? I can easily switch it back to 5 mins if there’s a reason to.

  12. Thomas L Knapp

    SocraticGadfly,

    The higher unemployment numbers are being blamed on COVID-19.

    Chances are, they should be blamed on the COVID-19 lockdowns in a number of states.

    Trump isn’t responsible for the consequences of the policies of Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, et al.

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