Outside The Beltway

is creating an online politics and foreign affairs community.

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This is the greatest blog ever. Well, at least in the top ten. 




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OTB started way back in January 2003, in the early days of blogging. We've published more than 51,000 posts over the years and drawn over 1.2 million comments. While some degree of trolling and infighting is almost unavoidable on the Internet—and especially on sites debating contentious political issues—we've built a strong community of people interested in informed, reasoned debate on public policy.

Like most websites, we've tried a variety of funding streams but advertising networks are far and away the most reliable. Unfortunately, the rate of return on ads has plummetted. This has led publishers to stuff more ad units onto their pages and ad networks to make the ads increasingly obnoxious to get clickthroughs. We followed this pattern but have decided that it's counterproductive. It makes the site ugly and, more importantly, interferes with the user experience. So, we pared way back on the ads with our February 2018 site refresh and finally did away with them altogether in April 2019. 

Back in the old days of blogging, many sites had a "tip jar" for readers to donate. Once the ads went up, though, it seemed a bit greedy to ask readers to both endure the visual clutter and fork over money. Now that the ads are gone, we're bringing back an old tradition. We're trying Patreon because it has a reputation for uniting content creators with patrons who appreciate their work. Their typical model has tiers of membership, with each level associated with more content available only to those in those tiers. It's possible that we'll go that route in the future but really want to keep OTB's content available to everyone.

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