Upcoming Site Changes

[Bump and Update from Friday. Thanks to those of you who donated over the weekend, I'll be sending thank you e-mails later this week.]

New Years is always the time I re-assess blogging. Should I continue? Have I been doing this too long? (TalkLeft has been publishing daily for 11 1/2 years.) Should I keep paying hundreds of dollars a month for a dedicated server? Should I pay thousands on a professionally done site overhaul to get it off Scoop and onto Wordpress or another blogging platform? Should I go back to taking ads or start charging for full, premium access? Should I keep the site as is but invest in making a mobile version of the site, compatible with mobile devices?

I've finally made a few tentative decisions. I want to keep blogging. I don't want to charge people for reading the site or clutter the site with ads. I want to be done with Scoop and move to Wordpress. I want to be able to write using easy to read Google-type fonts. I want to stop having to check for spammer registrations every few days. I don't want to keep paying hundreds of dollars a month to keep the site going.

So changes are coming, here's what's in store: [More....]

Very shortly, I will begin posting on Wordpress, using the premium site I set up last year, which will be moved to TalkLeft.com so the web address doesn't change. You can view it here. (Keep in mind I've ignored it for months, so it will be freshened up and may not look exactly the same as it does now.)

How I decided this: As I was designing and setting up Marijuana Laws the past few weeks, I realized just how outdated this site has become since 2002, when it began. It is also too loaded down. There are well over 1 million comments as of this week, and 11 years' worth of posts.

What remains to be seen is whether I start fresh with the Wordpress version, and just flatten and close this Scoop version of TalkLeft, moving it and the Duke and Z. forums to a shared server at a fraction of the current hosting cost, or attempt to have the many thousands of posts here imported to the Wordpress version, so there is just one complete version of TalkLeft.

The answer to that question, in great part, is up to readers. Since there no longer is ad revenue and I don't want to charge for reading, reader donations are essential to cover the cost of importing the posts here into Wordpress. Colin, our webmaster, thinks it can be done. (There's no guarantee.)

For the past several years, I have asked for reader donations for the site about twice a year. It's been 7 months since I last asked, so it's time.

As regular readers of this site know, I took a hiatus from blogging from October to Christmas, just posting open threads so readers could continue to communicate with each other. Obviously, site traffic sharply declined because of it, so there are fewer people who will see this message. That makes it more important that those who are still here and appreciate TalkLeft contribute now. Otherwise, there certainly won't be sufficient funds to merge the sites, and there will be a TalkLeft archive site and a new site.

Some other things you should now:

1. Either way, I intend to eliminate comments posted before 2011, keeping only those from 2011 through 2013. There's just no reason to keep the site bogged down with more than a million comments. (I last purged comments in 2006 or 2007.) If you want to preserve your comments, you should start reviewing them and saving those you want to your hard drive now.

2. You have to re-register your screen name at the new site. User registrations can't be transferred. To compensate for the inconvenience, if in the future I decide to charge for premium access, I will give all those who register before the site moves to Wordpress a free pass for at least a year. Since the Wordpress site has been up for months, you can register there now.

Some advantages to readers once I start posting on the Wordpress version:

  • You can subscribe to comments on any particular post, being notified when new ones are posted on a thread you are interested in.
  • While I still discourage it, you can post url's in comments without using html. They won't skew the site as they do here.
  • There will be virtually zero spam, as I have Akismet, Stop Spammers and Wangguard installed on it. I can also block user registrations by country. Thousands of attempts have been blocked and none have gotten through since since the wordpress site went up last year.
  • There will be no comment-rating system. There's also a plugin I'm looking at where I can put specific users on comment probation. That would avoid my having to entirely ban those users who forget that personal insults aren't allowed here.
  • The site has a responsive layout, which means it will display nicely on your desktop, laptop and mobile device. The fonts are also larger and much easier to read.
  • There is the option, if I decide to do it, of including forums on the main site. With forums, readers can start their own discussions without concern for being "off-topic". They can also "private-message" each other, and if they want, share their contact info or thoughts with one or more other users. (The forum decision also depends on donations, as styling them is a huge project which will consume a lot of my time and probably some paid expert assistance. The same is true for incorporating the existing Duke and Z. forums into the site.)
As to whether the site will be just me and almost exclusively related to crime, civil liberties and major elections and legislative initiatives, or whether Big Tent Democrat will return to regular posting, of course I hope so, but that's up to him. He says he will continue his sports posting here, and he will write on other topics when he has something to say and has the time. In other words, he'll write here when he feels like it. I know a lot of readers wish he would post more. My suggestion to them is that when he does post, readers leave positive comments, or at least thoughtful ones, and if they disagree with him, they do it without personally attacking him. No one wants to spend an hour or more writing a post only to have their views attacked or challenged with false information, or their remarks misinterpreted by a string of commenters.

So for this new year, the direction of TalkLeft is largely up to readers. I will keep blogging, I still have lots to say about the topics and cases I'm interested in. But I do view reader response to my donation requests as a measure of appreciation for the time and effort I put into blogging, and response to this request for donations could well affect the frequency and depth of my blogging. (Translation: If almost no one donates, I'm not going to feel obliged to blog multiple times a day, or perhaps even daily.) Big Tent Democrat will join in when he wants to, regardless of donations.

It hasn't mattered to me for a long time how many readers we have, since traffic stats are mostly useful for ad purposes, and I'm keeping the site ad-free and access-free for now. But personal funding of the site is another matter, and I'm not willing to keep paying thousands of dollars a year in hosting or professional web developer fees, when I can flatten this site and keep it for posterity at a shared server at almost no cost, and do the same with a new and fresh Wordpress version of the site.

If you'd like to donate, you can do so at the links below. You don't need a Paypal account, you can use a credit card. Or you can use the links on the right hand side of the site. All amounts, even a few dollars, are welcome, and please don't give more than you can comfortably afford.

Happy New Year to all of you, and thanks especially to those of you who kept the conversation going here during my hiatus. If you have questions, post them in comments and I'll try to answer. Constructive suggestions are also welcome.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I registered (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by the capstan on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 09:56:37 PM EST
    but I hope that the layout is not too different from this:  I have visual problems that mean finding my way around new stuff is difficult.  I took a look at the new site--obviously can read your posts.  Comments?  We will see, I suppose.

    Why archive any comments? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:52:01 PM EST

    Don't you want to be able to prove people wrong (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:19:49 PM EST
    5 years later? :-)

    All Sounds Good (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:53:03 AM EST
    Thanks Jeralyn for thinking about how to keep TL going so it works for both you and your readers/commenters (us).

    And keep up the great blogging!

    Site changes-all good (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:05:01 AM EST
    *The site has a responsive layout, which means it will display nicely on your desktop, laptop and mobile device. The fonts are also larger and much easier to read. Good

    *There will be no comment-rating system. Good

    Assuming BTD is considering again posting (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:36:23 PM EST
    His non-sports opinions here, perhaps a "no comments" feature could be made available for his discretionary use. . [This is not snark.]

    I'm not all that sure (none / 0) (#22)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:15:07 PM EST
    That it's just the comments responding to his own posts that seem to aggravate him so much. He may just be scrolling around the site to get a flavor of what's going on, and, after reading some of the totally unnecessary, and combative posts some commenters seem to thrive on he just says, "yuch," and moves on.

    I do the same. I, probably, lurk 95% of the time when I sign on to TL. And, too often, there's no discussion, no debate, no conversation; it's just a cat fight between a couple of people, each determined to have the last word. They have no regard for the others signed on and seem to feel that if they can just come up with cleverest snark-flame everyone will jump up, applauding and demanding on encore. Instead, maybe BTD, like some of us others, just signs off.  


    I don't know... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ZtoA on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:48:52 AM EST
    It seems to me that there is debate. At least there is not mass agreement like there is on most sites. J and BTD censor when it is good for the site and for discussion which I appreciate. Mostly people commenting here agree in large part and that is what is so perplexing to me -- those who are usually allied on issues and politics fighting over, frankly, minor disagreements - and stupid ratings (not going to miss those). Wherever the overton window on this site is, the ones who are on the right of it don't seem to annoy, it is the ones who are to the left of it who seem to really get the ire. C'mon...big tent and all.

    I personally love this site. Love reading J's posts which have greatly opened up my thinking and BTD has an amazing mind and I always am greatly interested in what he has to say. Jeralyn's posts have importance way beyond her fields of interests - when she puts it out there many parts of society are impacted. Wish I had more to donate.


    Well, regarding your comment (none / 0) (#24)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:11:01 AM EST
    there is no debate;

    I agree with everything you said.


    Hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Angel on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:42:19 PM EST
    I tried to register at the premium site but it tells me my username is already registered.  Is there someone else posting under my username, or does that mean I registered a while back and I'm still in good standing with my chosen username?  Can anyone help? Thanks.

    You may have (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:19:57 PM EST
    registered there before.  Put in your username, and hit the "forgot password?" or "reset password" button, whichever one they have, then give them your username or your email and they will send you a link to change your password.
    Alternatively, are you registered with WordPress already?  If so, I would imagine that you use your current WordPress information.

    Thanks, I logged into WordPress and it (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Angel on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:28:36 PM EST
    recognized me.  Appreciate the help!

    And thank you, as well, Angel (none / 0) (#16)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:19:39 PM EST
    I hadn't logged in yet over there, but since I have had a WordPress account for several years, I used that log-in information, myself.
    I figured that it was a good bet.  WordPress is WordPress, after all.  Just as my Disqus account is good across all the different Disqus websites, WordPress works the same way.
    And have a wonderful 2014, my sister.   :-)

    Happy New Year to you, sista! (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Angel on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:24:20 PM EST
    Thanks for the update, J (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:16:24 PM EST
    And extra thanks, as always, for the time and effort you put in. Always appreciated. I just tossed a few sawbucks into TL kitty, hope it helps.

    You've created a sweet little intellectual haven here, IMHO. Sure it gets heated sometimes, but it's mostly free American passions or very mild "that's what your mama said" level stuff. Even with that, TL is so much more heady and mature than any other site you could find when it comes to posts and comments combined. So, once again, I tip my cap to you.


    Me too... (none / 0) (#26)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:06:55 AM EST
    I just tossed my shekels into the kitty.
    As you have said Dadler, Jeralyn has created a unique haven here. Jeralyn's posts are filled with information, incredibly researched and documented.

    And I have become accustomed to read the reactions and posts of other members of this community and think of them as a family of sorts. I thank Jeralyn for that opportunity as well.

    Best wishes for the coming incarnation of TalkLeft.


    Personally, (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:49:50 AM EST
    I will miss the ratings system.

    Not so much because of the 1 to 5 scale, (I only rate 5s except for an occasional 1 for something out and out defamatory) but because it is the only way to acknowledge to someone that you have read and appreciated their post - without having to add a reply.

    It also is the only means to know if anyone has read something that you have posted yourself.

    Nevertheless, if it is to be shelved, so be it.

    Agreed. I feel that (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:37:03 PM EST
    the advantages of the rating system outweigh the disadvantages.  In large measure, the ratings are used judiciously, certainly enough so to counter those  mis-appications.  But, it seems we are in the  minority, and, like you, if it is to be shelved, that's OK with me.

    I also agree with that comment (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 03:24:28 PM EST
    Whether or not it is a true "ratings" system, I'd like to continue to have a way to say, "Well said; I agree; thanks for saying so," without having to add an entire (nonsubstantive) comment of my own.  And to be honest, when I do write a comment, I appreciate the support (generally) of those who take the time to rate it; it lets me know, at least, that folks have read it and thus that it was worth the effort I put into researching (soemtimes), writing and editing.

    Please clarify re "generally." (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 03:52:46 PM EST
    I said "generally" so as to recognize (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 04:10:06 PM EST
    that not all comments or ratings by others on my own comments have been favorable. I think I have enjoyed a high ratio of favorable reactions from this community, but hardly unanimous.

    Ok. Now I get it. I do wish you (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:21:17 PM EST
    would contribute feature posts.

    I second that wish (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:36:20 PM EST
    In MLB (none / 0) (#91)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:14:12 PM EST
    a lifetime average of .400 gets you in the Hall of Fame.

    And on the Road, a .08 (none / 0) (#92)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:17:08 PM EST
    ...gets you thrown in jail and runs about $10k.

    Rated this a 5 for agreement, just as you describe (none / 0) (#90)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:19:37 PM EST
    and feel it's too often used in a childish manner.

    And the arguments some have over some other person's down-rating is a ridiculous way to chew up TL bandwidth.

    The day I discovered that I could disable the rating system in my settings, and the TL comments would then display on my screen without the bulky rating system appearing after each comment, was a happy day for me.

    So much cleaner and more efficient w/o them.

    I Agree, But... (3.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:48:57 AM EST
    ...as mentioned below, a like/dislike or agree/disagree button would be nice.  And I gave you a 5 just because.

    I use it, but very sparingly and only '5' or nothing, pretty sure I never used the '1' and what is the point of giving someone 2,3,or 4.


    I think there's also a lot of TL'rs (4.00 / 1) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:00:41 PM EST
    who are in the habit of seeing/using the rating system. So, for them, for a short time, it will seem weird to not have it.

    But, we humans adapt pretty quickly.


    By the second paragraph... (none / 0) (#2)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:08:36 PM EST
    ...I was all set to ask how big a bribe it would take to keep from going over to WP, but I see that ship done sailed.  : - (

    All signed up at the new place. (none / 0) (#3)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:30:15 PM EST
    The changes sound interesting. I am so happy to see comment rating go.

    WordPress does not (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:26:30 PM EST
    use comment ratings.  At least, none of the WordPress sites I have gone to for quite awhile, have ratings.
    If you agree or disagree, you have to make a comment and tell people so.    
    It will probably help.  But, OTOH, it may also lead to more back and forth arguments and sniping.  There are pluses and minuses on both sides.        ;-)

    wordrpess has plugins (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:59:56 PM EST
    with user ratings.

    I was searching for the comment modification box that adds a subject line for each comment like there is here, and the only one I can find also adds user ratings. I tried to modify it and crashed it.

    WP comments also don't have the buttons on top, and the plugins for them are pretty old.

    I also found one for a comment preview button but it covers the "post" button so you can't do it all in one screen.

    So comment ratings may or may not end up back here. On open threads particularly, a subject line for comments would be nice.


    I wouldn't worry about it, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#19)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:26:51 PM EST
    It will be what it will be.  Your readers will get used to it.

    I very much hope... (none / 0) (#20)
    by unitron on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:02:11 PM EST
    ...the the preview feature can be retained.

    The lack of it is one of my chief complaints against WP on other sites where WP is used, although I think it's not there because they use the "cheap" version.


    I can live w/o comment ratings (none / 0) (#44)
    by Coral on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:49:58 AM EST
    Thanks for continuing to blog, Jeralyn. This is one of my favorite sites. Registered at wordpress. Will add to the kitty this week.

    Since the ratings... (none / 0) (#6)
    by unitron on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:40:36 AM EST
    ...to which I never paid any attention, messed with chronological layout, I'll be happier without them as well.

    You can set your preferences (none / 0) (#8)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:40:29 AM EST
    to avoid that issue.

    Go to (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:46:56 AM EST
    "Your Preferences"

    Where it says: "Unitron's  Email and Password User Info Interface Comments"...click on comments.

    Where it says: "Sorting based on comment ratings:"...change to ignore ratings


    Happy New Year & Thank You! (none / 0) (#12)
    by robrecht on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 01:24:31 PM EST
    Happy New Year and thanks for blogging! If I understand the issues correctly, I wouldn't bother transferring older posts and comments to the new site and new format. Sounds like they will still be available in a much less expensive archive, which should serve most people's purposes.

    I have always appreciated your perspective and hope you will continue blogging.

    WordPress (none / 0) (#27)
    by polizeros on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    You can have a mobile site on WordPress for $40 with WPTouchPro. It's highly configurable. You can also turn off comments prior to a given time.

    You probably have great Google juice with all your postings. Seems a shame to lose that.

    You might check if gconverter.com has a Scoop to WordPress option. It's not listed, however they may have ideas. We used them to convert Agonist from Drupal to WordPress.


    If the comment ratings could hide comments.... (none / 0) (#29)
    by magster on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:11:35 PM EST
    like at Kos, I'd favor them.

    I would love an "ignore" feature that (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:11:38 PM EST
    would allow us to not have to see any of the comments of those on our individual "ignore" lists - we'd be able to see that a comment had been made, but not the content of it.  You could always take someone off your ignore list if you had some desire to read what he or she was saying.

    It could - possibly - cut down on some of the sniping and bickering, I think.


    I have tried hiding comments of (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:54:18 PM EST
    Facebook friends whose comments annoy me. Super conservative or constantly posting nostalgia for stuff from the '50s (!!!!), or excessive pet postings. But Facebook then tells me I will automatically "defriend" said person.

    Imagine their hurt feelings!  Let's hope that doesn't happen here.


    Just take them out of your feed (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 04:34:25 PM EST
    Go to their page, it will say that you are friends but it also will say you are following them.  Hover over the following button, it will then give you the option to unfollow them and then ta-da.  They aren't in your feed, AND you are still "friends".  Makes life great :). You don't see what they post unless you go to their page.

    Thank you, Tracy! (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 04:46:06 PM EST
    I didn't know this.
    Facebook is not the most user friendly site.  This information is helpful.  ;-)

    A social networking pro! (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 05:52:02 PM EST
    I disabled that feature years ago (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 09:07:05 PM EST
    I'm the only one who can hide comments and I don't use that function -- instead I delete objectionable comments.

    Mobile (none / 0) (#37)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 04:29:00 PM EST
    I read this site on an iPhone. It works fine.

    Might be a silly question (none / 0) (#40)
    by Nowonmai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:40:56 PM EST
    I'm already registered at Wordpress, but not on the TalkLeft blog.  I take it will need a 2nd registration for your site?

    You just register at the new site (none / 0) (#41)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:07:10 PM EST
    using your existing WordPress login info.

    Signed up (none / 0) (#43)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:35:12 AM EST
    Not sure if I am the same wordpress as other places.

    Deleting comments keeps it tidy, but I like the option to see what is deleted. NPR drove me nuts with the everything moderated, and things just never show up. I started writing all my comments offline just so I could keep track of what I had said and what did or did not ever appear.

    I decided it wasn't worth the struggle, and just use my writing efforts to ask politicians to defund NPR, rather than hope for some sense of balance to content.

    Some kibbles have been sent (none / 0) (#45)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:59:21 AM EST
    Thanks for all you do!

    The New Site is Awesome... (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:40:30 AM EST
    ...here is POST I had over there.

    -That we can add a picture.
    -That the preview is instant.
    -Just in general the formatting is superior, like the long links looking more like footnotes, beats the H out of big link in the middle of a paragraph.
    -So everything I would say, great job, much appreciated.

    -No rating, that is huge, even if it's a like or dislike, it a good way to get feedback when nothing more needs to be said.  It would be nice for the author as well, feedback IMO is critical for anyone posting and for the authors.  Geting a '1' from someone I respect, while not sure it ever happened, would surely have me rethinking things a bit.  Same with the one time BTD game me a '5', really let me know it was appreciated an made my day.  Otherwise, we are going to have a lot of posts with "+1" or something of that nature to let people know we really like it.
    -Almost not worth mentioning, the help areas has no explanation for what all the buttons do, or the requirements for posting a pic.  I posted the pic of Jeralyn from the About Page, it showed in preview but did not post.  It's a small 18k file, so doesn't seem to me like size was an issue.  Not a big deal at all, just something I didn't like and there are buttons that I don't understand.  Myabe wordpress folks can help or if there is page explaining, that would be good.

    -Keep unpaid users to a maximum number of posts per thread or day.  That IMO would keep the trolls at bay while giving people who paid, something additional, an incentive to get people to pay which in the long run, would make TL better.
    -Maybe a button to report violations, not sure how they work, but the large news websites all have them.  And maybe if they get so many clicks, grey it out or collapse it, so we can still see what was written.  It really sucks when a post is completely deleted in that it screws up the genealogy of the subsequent posts.  Let us self regulate without having to send an email about violators/spammers, let us do a little of the dirty work, especially when the authors are busy.  
    -If possible, an option to change a post that is available for like 3 mins.  How many times does someone post, read it, and want to change a "can" to a "can not" or some other small change that is critical to the post.
    -Otherwise, the site is a great improvement, even though I think we will miss this format a lot, there is nothing wrong with it, but progressives should always be moving forward.

    One last note
    If possible, I would love to have a report from this system in regards to when ID's were created and what they overall rating were.  Who has the most 5's and the most 1's in all of TL history, that would be fricken awesome.  I was one of the original, but I left for a couple years and when I returned (I think) I got an new ID because I couldn't remember the old one and my email was different so I couldn't retrieve it, again not 100% on that.

    I would love to know who is the oldest, as in signed up the earliest, member posting regularly, or who has had the most posts here, ever.  If I recall I tried to go back, but after X amount of years, the threads were blank.  I really like looking at stuff like that I am positive I am not the only one.  Same with the authors, when did the TL kid start/leave, how many articles have been written by Jeralyn, are there any threads from authors other than those 3, how many articles posted here, a thousand, ten thousand, and just a bunch of other little TL factoids I would love to view.

    fYI: Jeralyn, using my iPad mini, (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:23:10 PM EST
    the only option to donate was PayPal.

    Yes, same with (none / 0) (#73)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:02:02 PM EST
    my iPad2.  I set up a PayPal account to donate, but reluctantly (not the donation, the PayPal registration).  I did not link it to my bank account, just to my credit card.
    They also asked for my Social Security number! The heck with that, I ignored it.

    PayPal already had my new credit card (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:06:39 PM EST
    number. Scary.

    Cue the ominous background music here (none / 0) (#80)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:07:13 PM EST
    They see all and know all.  And they're not the only ones.    :-(

    If You Link to a Bank Account... (none / 0) (#85)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 04:47:46 PM EST
    ...you can do more, like sending people money with no fees so long as you are both are linked to a bank account.  I use that function all the time.  It's free, vs my bank that wants $3 to wire money.  They send you a couple cents to your account, you tell them how much was sent, and wholla, verified.

    For some places, you need to be verified to buy stuff, they do this because they know it's a hell of a lot harder to get a fraudulent bank account than a CC.  IOW, they know you are who you way you say you are no need for SS number.

    FYI, I have a 'dummy' bank account that is linked to my debit card.  My actually bank accounts are not, so if I need cash or want to buy something, I use my phone or my computer, transfer some dough, and use the 'dummy' card/account.  I do this so if I get robbed or lose my card, they might get a hundo or two, but will not have access to my accounts.

    My phone works so quick, that last weekend while waiting in line, I was able to move funds to my debit card account in the time it took two people before me to withdraw money.  About a minute.


    Well, I am (none / 0) (#86)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 05:29:23 PM EST
    very nervous about linking anyone to my bank account.  Even a dummy one.
    Maybe kdog has infected me.  
    I don't have the need to send anyone money, except for my kids or relatives on occasion, such as their birthdays, etc., and then I send them an actual check.  Since my checking account is a no-fee account, this does not cost me anything.
    But on the other hand, I may be one of the few remaining fossils who still pays their bills by written check.  And I still pay stores when I shop by check or cash, as well.  
    I do look at my credit card transactions online very frequently, since I don't necessarily trust anybody.    ;-)

    It's Free... (none / 0) (#93)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 03:04:09 PM EST
    ...but I hear you, I did it namely because of my throw down days, getting cash at all hours, sometimes in unsavory parts of town.  Plus I lose my card all the time.

    I look at it like my email, one for a select few, the other for the rest of the scoundrils.  Even got a dummy phone number, Google Voice, that I use namely for Craigslist, but it rings to my phone with a different tone.


    paypal takes credit cards and you don't (none / 0) (#77)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:55:39 PM EST
    need to register for a paypal account.

    J., it wasn't obvious (none / 0) (#79)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:05:08 PM EST
    with PayPal, at least for me on my iPad.  They wanted me to set up an account in order to use my credit card.
    Maybe because I was on a tablet.  I don't know what would have happened if I used the desk top computer.  It has been having glitches, so I didn't even try.

    Yes (none / 0) (#81)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:25:58 PM EST
    Paypal makes more money by debiting your bank account, so they make it harder for you to register with a credit card account.

    At least that is my take..  


    I agree (none / 0) (#82)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:30:45 PM EST
    I would not give them my bank account information, but they did wind up accepting my credit card info.
    I would prefer to use sites that accept your credit card on a secure server, without the PayPal hassle.

    Everybody loves cash...mail an hundo. (none / 0) (#88)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:24:37 PM EST
    is that correct anne?  nobody would say it that way.

    If you click on the link (none / 0) (#89)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:24:54 PM EST
    with the picture of the credit card, it goes to Paypal, but there's a place on the page where Paypal says

    Don't have a PayPal account?
    Use your credit card or bank account (where available). Continue.

    When you click on  "continue" you can enter your credit card without being asked for your bank account information.

    For anyone who'd rather send cash or a check, here's the address but please make it out to me, not TL or I can't deposit it.

    Thanks again everyone, your contributions are a huge help and I really appreciate them. I will send individual thank yous later this week or this weekend.


    Thread cleaned of (none / 0) (#78)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:56:00 PM EST
    sniping and off-topic comments.