IPR Ownership Change

For those who don’t know, IPR is in the process of changing owners.

I am buying the site and hope to make improvements without screwing it up. I’ve already made some minor changes. If you haven’t noticed, then we’re doing well. One change that will be more noticeable: Coming soon I will be removing the current search box and replacing it with Google Custom Search.

Hopefully we can get more readers and more news about third parties and independent candidates.

I’d love to hear thoughts from contributors and readers, both on what we can do better and what we shouldn’t mess with. Please post comments here or e-mail me at wredlich@gmail.com.

For those who don’t know me …

I was the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York in 2010. During that campaign I worked with Green candidate Howie Hawkins, who is a class act.

It was a fun campaign with some great moments and bad moments. Here’s one of my favorites:

I have run as a Democrat, Green, Liberal (a now defunct NY party), and Republican. I was elected to the Guilderland NY Town Board in 2007 as a Republican. I moved to Florida in 2011 and now serve on the Republican Executive Committee of Palm Beach County, Florida, hoping to carry the Ron Paul message. That’s not going so well. I’m also active with the Palm Beach County LP. I’ve been writing a politics blog for quite a while now: Stop Wasting Money: New York and the original Stop Wasting Money. I recently started a new website, AntiPartisan, but I’m not sure I’m going anywhere with it.

Outside of politics, I’m a trial lawyer doing criminal defense and personal injury. I’m arguably one of the top drug defense lawyers in New York State, having won a very important appeal under the recent drug reforms: People v. DeYoung. If you do a Google search for unlawful possession of marijuana, my law firm website ranks high (pun intended). We’ve also handled over 3000 speeding tickets and a lot of drunk driving cases. I write about my work on the Albany Lawyer blog. I am now also a lawyer in Florida but I have not handled any cases here yet.

You may have figured out by now that I do a lot on the internet. I have dozens of websites and over a hundred domain names. My biggest website is a directory of traffic and criminal courts. It is used by almost 5 million people a year.

On the personal side, I’m fortunate to have been married to my lovely wife for over 17 years and we have two wonderful kids. While officially Jewish, I’m probably closer to being an atheist but lack the passion that faith requires. I’m illiterate in four languages: English, Spanish, Japanese (日本語) and French (un petit peu).

I am a graduate of Guilderland Central High School, Rice University (B.A. Mathematical Economics), Stanford University (A.M. Political Science) and Albany Law School. After law school I taught English for a year in Hiroshima, Japan.

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About wredlich

Warren Redlich is CEO of SpinJ Corporation, which became owner of IPR in November 2012. He was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York, and has run for office as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Liberal.

74 thoughts on “IPR Ownership Change

  1. RINO

    I guess considering your history, Green, liberal, democrat. I guess your really a RINO, even though you back Ron Paul.

  2. Mark Axinn

    Congratulations, Warren.

    I hope this only escalates the terrific exposure that IPR presents to third party politics already.

  3. George Whitfield

    Thanks for your interest and concern for this website. It is one of my favorites that I check daily. Welcome.

  4. Matt Cholko

    The site is pretty damn good as is. Technical tweaks are probably in order (I know nothing about this), but I would prefer that the overall feel and content mix remain the same.

  5. wredlich Post author

    Thanks to all for your kind words.

    Matt – Interested to hear more about what you mean by “content mix”. I’ve heard that from others as well but I’m not sure I’m clear on that.

    What kind of content is undesirable? What kind of content should we have more of?

    One concern I’ve heard is that the site is too libertarian. I’d love to have more from Greens and others.

  6. Matt Cholko

    I’m not sure how to further explain content mix. I mean, I like the stuff that I see on IPR. The articles/posts are primarily (sometimes loosely) news-based, and nearly always 3rd party related. the comments are largely un-moderated. Occasionally, when a comment takes over a thread, that comment becomes it’s own article, as it has then become newsworthy.

  7. Matt Cholko

    The main piece of advice I would give you Warren….. resist the urge to change things. Obviously, there are always improvements to be made. However, when someone finds themselves in charge of a new entity, they tend to want to put their own stamp on it. I’d be very careful about doing so, if I were you. I’d suggest that you take a couple months and hang out on the site as it is. Making notes the whole time, of course. Then SLOWLY, and with lots of community input, implement whatever changes you, and the rest of us, believe are necessary.

  8. Warren Redlich

    Which is exactly what third parties would do if elected, right? :-)

    Seriously, great comments. I’ll do my best. Please let me know if you think I’m screwing something up.

  9. Trent Hill

    “The main piece of advice I would give you Warren….. resist the urge to change things.”

    I’m going to take this as a big compliment. Thanks Matt. :D

  10. Rebel Alliance

    “I am buying the site and hope to make improvements without screwing it up.”

    No banal “we hope to serve you better” statements, just straight talk. I like him already.

    Very refreshing to see Mr Redlich’s willingness to seek suggestions on what to or not to change. Obviously he’s realized something Mr Zuckerburg has not, with Facebook’s continuous jacking around with the platform and changes forced upon people even when they push back, which has made Facebook one of the most disliked companies. It’s a company just waiting for a viable competitor to step up.

  11. Matt Cholko

    Trent, you should take it as a compliment. IPR is great, and you’e played a large roll in making it so. Now, I hope that Warren can keep the site great, while making it profitable.

  12. Jill Pyeatt

    There are a couple technical suggestions which I’ll email to you, Warren, but I have heard that we tend to be heavy in Libertarian news, although it’s been less so lately since the smaller parties have been more active due to the recent election. Hopefully we can recruit some new people to contribute more news of other parties besides the LP.

    Welcome, Mr. Redlich!

  13. wredlich Post author

    “a lot more room for advertising”

    There will be minor changes in that regard. I will try to do the Google ads better.

    Changing from the current 3-column format to 2 columns with a wider left column would help, but I think that’s probably too big of a change for most people.

    I suspect advertising revenue will never amount to much. The site does not serve a niche that attracts high-paying advertisers..

    I didn’t buy it to make money on ads. Most of my activity on the internet is focused on promoting views alternative to the mainstream. IPR is a great vehicle for doing that.

    Also, I will probably discontinue individually placed banner ads after the current ad (left column) finishes its run. Google ads – done well – tend to generate more revenue with less hassle. Of course I’ll always consider offers. :-)

  14. Curt Boyd

    I haven’t notice major changes, so you’re not screwing anything up! :-)

    I’m glad you have a great interest in this site…I also check it daily for news and goings on in the world of minor party politics. Obviously, the Libertarian Party is well represented, but I’d like to see more Greens and Constitution Party members contribute…that’s not necessarily anything you can change, but I’d like to see other parties get involved in spreading news as well.

    If I go to Quebec for a hockey trip anytime soon, I’ll hit you up for some crash course basic French lessons!

  15. Brian Holtz

    Was this the first sale of IPR? My memory fails me…

    What was the sale price? How did it compare to previous prices, going back to the sale of Third Party Watch in 2008?

    I recommend installing the “Comment Images” plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/comment-images/

    It’s not fair that we moderators/contributors get to post images, but others cannot. The feature can be turned off if abused, but surely we can figure out a way for the community to self-police.

  16. NewFederalist

    Thus far all changes are great. I would suggest a way be found to allow posters to edit their own post within a reasonable time. I really hate it when I misspell or make some other goof up and cannot correct it without a new post. Thanks for stepping up and buying this site! It really is a fun place to visit and interact with generally responsible people.

  17. Peter Gemma

    I look forward to more of the same with IPR. Maybe a few tweaks around the edges – more coverage of non LP parties for being the biggest – but IPR fills its niche quite nicely. Terrific people here, and now Warren Redlich is among the mix … congrats and welcome aboard.

  18. Zapper

    “Eric Sundwall // Nov 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Let Milnes speak!”

    I thought “Eric Sundwall” was Milnes’s latest alias …

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’d hate to see any huge changes in the CHARACTER of IPR, but it seems like about time for a new visual theme. This one is coming up on five years old, and looks like it.

    Since I don’t know how successful Trent has been in monetizing the site, it’s hard to know what improvements can be made there, but I’ve always thought that Blogads would be a good fit.

  20. Zapper

    Apropos of @30:

    Perhaps an addition to the sidebar column for political cartoons, jokes and humor … reader generated or links … a number of the crabby old men posting here could use a laugh … although a few of them might need a sense of humor first.

  21. Jill Pyeatt

    Zapper @ 33: “A number of the crabby old men posting here could use a laugh … although a few of them might need a sense of humor first.”

    LOL–and of course we won’t be naming names!

  22. Warren Redlich

    “I’d change the archives to a drop-down box – would save sidebar space.”

    I’ll see if I can do that. I would like to prune the sidebars a little.

    “Also, Free Patriot Press changed to Free Press Publications over the summer, but is still listed under the old name under “Readers’ Blogs” And a secessionist party formed in NH in September, the NH Liberty Party”

    I’ll look at those.

  23. Warren Redlich

    “I recommend installing the “Comment Images” plugin”

    I don’t love that idea but I’m willing to consider it if I hear from more people. I believe commenters can add images by using the html code img, but it would have to link to an image hosted on another website.

    Images place a heavier demand on the server and I’d like to keep the site running well.

  24. Warren Redlich

    “I would suggest a way be found to allow posters to edit their own post within a reasonable time. I really hate it when I misspell or make some other goof up and cannot correct it without a new post.”

    You are the second person to suggest that so I would say that makes it a priority. I think you’re referring to being able to edit comments posted onto an article (like this one).

    There is a plugin that allows people to comment using their facebook login. I believe that may also allow editing of the comments. I’ll look into that.

  25. Darryl W. Perry

    “I’d change the archives to a drop-down box – would save sidebar space.”

    I’ll see if I can do that. I would like to prune the sidebars a little.

    I use wordpress for FPP – you can use a drop-down box for archives.

  26. wredlich Post author

    How do people feel about the long list of stuff on the left column. Certain things I would let go (but am open to hearing other opinions):

    Tag Cloud (dated and rarely used – less than 1% of page views are tag pages and I’d guess that less than half of those come from the tag cloud)

    Calendar (even fewer page views)

    I just noticed there’s a second search box on the left column. I will probably replace both with a new Google Custom Search prominently placed at the top.

    Tech links?

    Why are some of the same widgets on the left side and again the same widgets on the right side? How would people feel about a 2-column format with a wider column for the articles and all the widgets on the narrow column?

    I have a feeling the 2-column format is asking a little much. :-)

  27. wredlich Post author

    Question for those who want to be able to edit comments:

    Can you point me to a blog or website that has this feature?

    I found a couple plugins but I’m not sure they’ll work. I tried one on my other blog and it did not.

    I found some fairly simple WordPress code but I don’t know where to put it. Please point me to a blog that has this and I’ll see how they implement it.

  28. Trent Hill

    Get rid of the tech links for sure. That was sometihng for our company on the back-end, it would be utterly useless to you.

    Priority #1 for me would be more unique content and getting back into GoogleNews. I assure you that’s easier said than done, unfortunately. I hope you can manage it.

  29. Trent Hill

    “Was this the first sale of IPR? My memory fails me…

    What was the sale price? How did it compare to previous prices, going back to the sale of Third Party Watch in 2008?”

    It was the second sale of IPR. My boss bought it previously from Jason Seagraves. Sale prices seem like an inappropriate thing to share on a public forum.

  30. Jeremy C. Young

    Warren, thanks for posting about this — I really appreciate the transparency. It bodes well for the future of the site. I personally would encourage you to consider banner ads, because I’ve found them pretty lucrative in my previous ventures, but you have experience and are welcome to a differing opinion. I also think that if you want to insert your own opinion on the front page, that’s a perfectly legitimate thing to do as the site owner, so long as you mark it “Opinion.” There’s a long tradition in journalism of doing just that.

    The only real suggestion I had was to make that tweak Paulie’s always talking about so you can see the post author’s name on the post page — but I see you’ve already done that. Also, I definitely agree about the need to get more Green authors, but they seem to have been resistant to using the site in the past (for reasons I don’t understand). Maybe Ben Manski would be able to provide you with some names of people who would help.

    Out of curiosity, are you going to be editing the site yourself, or will Trent continue on in that capacity?

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    Warren,

    I moderate comments on a number of blogs (both my own and some owned by others), and have used most of the competing commenting systems. I highly recommend Disqus.

  32. wredlich Post author

    I’m testing Disqus on my other site:
    http://westbocanews.com/2012/11/tuesday-west-boca-council-meeting/

    I will probably implement this on IPR unless I hear objections. But I’ll wait a few days. Maybe I’ll do a separate post asking readers what they think.

    “are you going to be editing the site yourself, or will Trent continue on in that capacity?”

    We haven’t talked about that. For now I’m hoping Trent will continue, but as owner I guess it falls on me.

    I have been asking others for advice as I get into this, especially Trent and Paulie. I hope they will continue to help me (and us) get through this process and make the site better.

  33. Trent Hill

    I’ll be staying on board in whatever capacity Warren will have me. For the next couple of weeks, I’ll keep a low profile as I want to adjust to my new position of not being “in charge” and allow Warren to get an idea of how he wants to utilize me.

  34. wredlich Post author

    “I’ll be staying on board in whatever capacity Warren will have me.”

    That sound you all just heard was me going “Whew!!”

  35. Austin Battenberg

    I made a comment in the other post, but I wanted to repeat it here. Facebook and Twitter are valuable tools, and I believe it is a lost opportunity not being able to link to the Facebook page (both the group and the page) and the Twitter feed. Let people link up and watch the site grow.

    Also, I like a lot of the ideas people are throwing around here. You asked why there is too little news for non-libertarians. When it comes to the Greens, They have the Green Party Watch, and a lot of potential traffic goes there. As for other minor parties I guess it all comes down to what the writers look at personally. On the days I try to post on IPR I do what I can to even it out by posting multiple stuff, but when I am viewing news personally, without any intention of re-posting it, I generally look at news from a libertarian perspective, and care mostly about libertarian leaning candidates, and I think that is the main focus of the other writers as well. So I think you would need to really try to find people who are passionate liberals or conservatives to be able to fill the gaps between the libertarian news the site tends to focus on.

    To be fair, libertarian news ends up being few and far between compared to news for liberals and conservatives, but on IPR, all third parties should be given an equal shake, and I am glad you are hear to try and change things and make the site grow. Kudos to you.

  36. Jeremy C. Young

    The problem with Green Party Watch is that the community there is nonexistent. I’m much more closely Green-aligned than I am Libertarian-aligned (and I voted for Jill Stein this cycle), but I read IPR instead of GPW because the community here is great. I want to interact with smart third-party activists from all across the ideological spectrum, not just people who agree with me about policy. I really enjoy discussions with Red Phillips, for instance, and he and I basically agree about nothing except the need for electoral reform. You can’t have that sort of conversation over at GPW.

  37. Sam Sloan

    This is no doubt because there are many derogatory remarks about Warren Redlich on this website, so he is “buying” it so that he can remove them.

  38. NewFederalist

    Jeremy @ 54… I suspect you and Red agree about withdrawing from all our foreign wars which is a biggie IMHO!

  39. john c jackson

    This is cool. I’ve been a reader some of the blogs- especially “Albany Lawyer”, and been somewhat aware of the name and at least the LP campaign, but never put that all together.

    I’ve come across interesting people from other worlds here and on TPW previously. For example, I was customer/user of “GE/UA’s” ( not sure if that guy is still around) music site over a dozen years ago, and I’ve come across some “domainers” and similar biz people here that I knew or knew of outside of politics.

  40. Rob Power

    Warren, congrats on buying IPR. Don’t worry about those who say it’s too Libertarian. That’s like saying a third party drum circle is too Green or that a third party tent revival is too Constitutionalist. :-) Libertarian nerds like websites (and blog comment debates), and we tend to dominate them. You’re not doing anything wrong just because Libertarians post more — as long as you’re editorially neutral.

  41. From Der Sidelines

    @53:

    “To be fair, libertarian news ends up being few and far between compared to news for liberals and conservatives, but on IPR, all third parties should be given an equal shake”

    To be fair, they are, but the other parties are guppies in the trout pond, while the LP is at least a bluegill.

    Problem is the pond is toxic and polluted and needs cleaning. And the bluegill has gotten whirling disease.

  42. wredlich Post author

    Paulie posted this comment, which seems to have been lost in the server transition:

    Welcome Warren! As posted on another post

    Somewhere in the code is a setting that lets only people at a certain level edit their own comments or include videos and images in comments.

    Right now we have

    Administrator (5) | Editor (34) | Author (1) | Subscriber (925)

    Most of the subscribers are from 2008 when you had to log in to post a comment.

    If Warren can find where that setting is, he can set it so subscribers can perform those actions also.

    You’d have to have a log in and actually log in to be able to do those things, which you don’t have to do to leave comments in general, but it would be better than the current system.

    I’m not sure what level you have to be at right now – either Author or Editor.

    As far as I know this comment subscriber level is unrelated to the new subscribe to posts by email feature.

  43. wredlich Post author

    @Paulie – I don’t see anything in the settings that would allow that. Not saying it’s not there, just that I don’t see it.

  44. wredlich Post author

    I’m an admin and I don’t see anything that would let me edit my own comments, unless I’m on the admin interface maybe.
    See, this is an edit I added from the admin interface. But I don’t see how to do this from the regular user interface.

  45. wredlich Post author

    Another Paulie comment that was lost:
    —-
    One concern I’ve heard is that the site is too libertarian. I’d love to have more from Greens and others.

    I wrote to our past and present Green correspondents to see if I can bring them back on board and/or make them more active again.

    I’ve asked others at Green Party Watch before and most of them have not been interested, at least yet.

    Maybe we should also ask on the Green Party Watch facebook.

    I’ve written a lot of GP posts myself, but given that I am less knowledgeable, well-connected or opinionated on Green Party factional issues most of them have been cut and paste from GP.org, Green Party Watch, On The Wilder Side and a few others. If and when I am posting more there tend to be more Green Party stories, but it’s hard for me to come up with original ones.

    Unfortunately, even when we have had more Green Party stories, they have never attracted much in the way of a Green commenting community as the Libertarian ones have.

  46. paulie

    @69 We can post images (admins, editors, not sure about authors)

    Others can’t. Brian’s plugin suggestion would fix that. I am in favor of implementing that, many people have complained about it before.

    I just didn’t know a solution until now.

  47. paulie

    One concern I’ve heard is that the site is too libertarian. I’d love to have more from Greens and others.

    That part was a quote. The italics got lost on reposting.

  48. paulie

    “GE/UA’s” ( not sure if that guy is still around)

    Jason is still around – he’s active on facebook. He is now an anti-voting anarchist, so he hardly ever pops up here anymore.

    Site changes:

    Since the list of archive months has gotten long, I understand changing that to a drop down and I don’t miss the tag cloud (or tags at all for that matter – I quit using them a little while back).

    I’d prefer to have the calendar of days of the present month, it motivates me personally to post at least one story a day.

    I’d like to have the list of categories – new users may find it useful.

    I’m glad the duplicate categories of links on the left and right columns got cleaned up. Wouldn’t mind moving to 2-column if we can do that without screwing up other things.

    I don’t miss tech links.

    I understand why the social networking buttons got pared down, but I’d keep a separate twitter button. Maybe instead of delicious?

    8 articles on the front page does not seem like enough to me. When I am on a good roll I post more articles than that in a day – sometimes close to 20, a few times more than 20 – just by myself. I’ve posted more than 8 an hour before.

    On the other hand, if we are going to be enforcing “original article” guidelines more stringently, that cuts out a lot of what I post.

  49. paulie

    That would be great if you can find it. It seems that my idea that it’s just a permission level thing with WordPress was wrong – Link @ 67 shows it’s built in with wordpress.

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