Hammer of Truth Feedback Request

bright ideaSome of the old-timers who read this blog will remember when it was just one solitary dude writing this stuff — me. I posted maybe once a day at best and would wander off and not blog for weeks at a time when I was burnt out (from blogging, work, life). Well, there’s seven of us now and several posts a day on several different topics that catch our eye.

Recently, we were even added as an official Google News source, which is giving us some major visibility and traffic to boot.

I want to ask you, faithful readers, how are we doing so far? How can we do better?

Beyond those questions, I have another: the direction of the site. My goal is to slowly transform Hammer of Truth into the biggest libertarian community blog that exists. I’d like to move in the direction of mega-site DailyKos, allowing anyone to join the site and start their own blog/journal, with frontpage linkage being decided on meritocracy, and to a lesser extent, my own prerogative. And I’d like to implement some form of threaded commenting with community moderation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and I’d like to know exactly what kind of community features you think would be a must-have.

Have your say in the comments.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. That sounds good. I love your blog. However, don’t put too many posts on it, because at least for me, I won’t have time to really read them all. I can read 2-3 a day but not 10 a day. But as far as letting other people have their “mini-blogs” with linkage, that’s a great idea. Good luck, you guys are doing a great job.

  2. I actually like more posts, but maybe that’s because I’m “between jobs” right now. (I really am between jobs–I start a new one on November 14th.)

    Anyway, I definitely support your growth ideas. The bigger the site–the better.

    How did you become an official Google News source? Did you pass a traffic threshold? Did you apply? Did they let you know (could you decline)?

  3. I know other sites have such features, but I think it’d be neat to consolidate the following here:

    * a list of Libertarian and/or libertarian (you know what I mean) candidates (nationwide) worth supporting (financially or otherwise)
    * a transparent measure of site traffic and [hopefully] growth
    * libertarian merchandise
    – some from Bureaucrash (assuming they let you)
    – some from individual submissions–ideally we’d have our own little cafepress

  4. You are my favorite blog, and that is partly because of the relevance of your posts are partly because of your unfailing humor. Make sure any additions to the blog mantain its original character in some form. Don’t get rid of what makes it great.

  5. Ben,

    Do you like a little ranting as well? :)

    My wishlist item would be an “e-mail this article button”. Too often I feel we miss an opportunity to outreach to others because we are merely preaching to the choir and not expanding the “Hammer” to others. A simple button reminder might encourage others to pass around our stuff.

  6. I think getting a female voice on the blog would be nice as well. No, i’m not hell bent on the “diversity” crap, but it’ll help round out perspectives a little bit, as well as prove that female libertarians do exist ;)

  7. I have studied the Libertarian Party platform and the original founders. I have problems with some of the philosophy of the Libertarian Party and believe if it were more encompassing of the disenfranchised and dissatisfied voting citizens, it would be more successful.

    Why not have more information about what the LP is all about and how the Party can square some of its philosophies in today’s political climate? I believe the best approach may be promotion by attraction which means the parts of the Party that are “smelly” should be up to debate for eventual refutal and change.

    This may be the forum to get the ball rolling.

  8. Julian,

    That sounds like a great idea. I guess a good point to start would be the LP’s issues and positions page.

    The only problem I see is that Hammer of Truth posts are generally 500 words or less. They are mostly quick comments with 1-2 thoughts rather than 2000+ word articles that really get into the nitty gritty. I actually a longer format a little better myself, and think it can be done without mucking up the system here. Basically, one could write a quick little 300 word overview with a “click here to read more” for the full article. At that point, the author can bring up all relevant points without leaving out anything, and then the issue can be debated in the comments section.

    This would be particularly useful now that we are google cached. We can have a set of longer articles that will get more hits over time as people find them weeks to months after.

    Any other thoughts on this issue?

  9. The easiest way to improve this blog is to quit letting Jake Porter post – the whole being-a-twelve-year-old thing isn’t cute when you’re looking to read the kind of thought-provoking shit that used to be posted here pre-9/11 Conspiracy Day.

    Better content control is really all I’m wishing for. The DailyKos method, although I’m mostly unfamiliar with the site, seems like a better idea than giving everyone equal grounds to post and thus make asses of themselves.

  10. G3K,

    First, Jake is more like 17.
    Second, I posted the 9/11 article, which you seem to holding quite the grudge about.

    You’re last comment was more helpful. Yes, it will be nice, once we get more people on board and more content, to push better article to the top and others will be off to the side for those that want more than just head lines.

    Lastly, you’re more likely to be taken seriously without the name calling.



  11. G3K,

    If you can convince Stephen V. to tell me to stop posting I will do so.

    I never made any conspiracy theory post that I can think of unless you think Real ID is a conspiracy theory.

    I was also born in 1988 not 1993 which makes me 17.

    Even with your rude manner I still like to know what readers think so why don’t you like my posts? And does anyone agree or disagree with G3K and why or why not?

    Thanks Rick.

  12. Jake Porter

    Age has nothing to do with intelligence and very little to do with maturity. Look at some of my comments. You would think I was 6 going on 12 with some of my rantings. I am 59 and believe it is up to you and your generation to affect change. Cheers to you and don’t let some jerk get to you. Keep up the good work.

  13. Feature suggestion:

    A “Topic of the Week” that would have a link at the top of the page similar to the ‘feedback’ link you currently have that links to this very post. The “Topic of the Week” (or whatever you want to call it) would be about some pertinent issue, but not super specific. Maybe something like, “What’s a reasonable first step in reforming taxes in the U.S.? The FairTax? A flat tax?” The post would enjoy a prominent link for a week and then after that would be relegated to its normal archive position.

  14. Feature suggestion:

    Something where people vote on some current event, law, or policty idea to plot it on the Nolan chart (the chart used in the World’s Smallest Political Quiz). You could vote something as +1 or +2 in each of the quadrants, and the weighted average of all the votes would result in a plot on the Nolan chart. This would serve as a quick way for readers to see how good/bad something proposed by actual politicians is.