January 1, 2014

Fundraiser for History Commons 2.0

Filed under: community,fundraising,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 3:59 pm

It’s officially on. 🙂 http://www.razoo.com/story/Historycommons

The new application and paradigm for the History Commons is in development right now (currently in alpha, soon to go into private beta). But to make this happen, the History Commons needs your help.

We don’t like to solicit donations, and we have largely refrained from doing so in the past. But the History Commons 2.0 is too important not to happen because of financial shortfalls.

From the fundraising page:

A new version of the History Commons crowdsource journalism app is under development now. The app will make the History Commons an increasingly important tool in empowering the public to keep tabs on the very powerful interests that are destroying our planet and impoverishing most of its inhabitants.

The new app will make it very easy for people to collaborate with each other on investigative efforts to shine a bright light on the people and organizations most responsible for destroying the planet and impoverishing its people. The app will leverage all the advances in social media that we have seen during the last 10 years so its content can be easily embedded in other published pieces, shared across multiple platforms, and then published in a format that can easily go viral.

The new app will offer the public an API so others can leverage the History Commons data and intelligence analysis capabilities to create other activist-oriented apps.

We will develop a mobile version of the app so that people can access History Commons data and source information easily and quickly wherever they are. This is an immensely important feature for people who often find themselves in situations where they have an opportunity to educate people, but lack a means to access the facts they need at that particular moment.

Help us make this happen. We need your donations and we need your participation. Remember, anyone can contribute — some of the best material on the Commons comes from anonymous contributors who write material based on their own interests, knowledge and passions.

The direct fundraising page for the History Commons is here: http://historycommons.org/fundraiser.jsp

The personal fundraiser from executive director Derek Mitchell is here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Turn-Every-One-Into-A-Muckraker/

Thank you!


April 22, 2013

Making the Submission Process Easier

Filed under: community — Max @ 2:04 am
Tags: , ,

If you’ve ever tried to write entries for the History Commons, you’ve come up against the submission app. It’s not pretty. Even with the guideline we wrote about how to make a submission, it’s no picnic.

In fact, a lot of people have tried to wrestle with it and decided it’s just too much. The screenshot below (with markups in red) makes MY head hurt, and I’ve used this app for years:

Yeesh! It IS very difficult, and a lot of people feel that way. There’s no shame. A lot of people have looked at it, or even tried to submit entries, and finally decided to just walk away before they broke something in frustration. It’s not the user that’s the problem. It’s the app!

So, until we finally get the money and the chops to redesign the app to meet reasonable usability standards, we’ve come up with a workaround.

If you want to submit entries to the History Commons but don’t want to fight the app to do it, here’s how. Just write an entry and e-mail it to this address:


It will come to me, Michael Tuck (“blackmax”). I’ll then submit it for you in the app, or one of the other admins will submit it. We can even submit it using your account if you prefer, so it will show up under your name and not one of ours.

More information, including guidelines and a sample entry, are available on this page:

Contributors Can Submit Entries to History Commons by E-Mail

Thanks! I look forward to being inundated with submissions!

February 10, 2013

Donating via credit card

Filed under: community,fundraising — Max @ 5:41 pm

The link to donate via credit card on the site is bad. It was superseded over a year ago. Why it popped up again is beyond me. I’ll blame it on the server switch, why not…?

Anyway, here’s the correct link. We’re working to make the correction now.


Thanks for being patient.

December 30, 2012

Server blues and general info

Filed under: community — Max @ 12:30 am

Has it been this long since we did an update? Seriously?

You’ve noticed that we haven’t had a new entry since December 12. That’s a very long time for us to go without approving new material. There’s a reason for the delay. We just migrated the entire site to a new and much more powerful server.

You may have noticed that the site is considerably faster. That’s a plus! On the downside, there are a lot of glitches with the entry system that resulted from the migration. We are correcting them, but it takes time.

If you’re a MySQL/Java guru who would like to lend a hand and get us up and running more quickly, drop a comment here. We’d love to have your assistance!

August 1, 2012

Please take this new survey…it’s only 2 questions

Filed under: community — Max @ 11:23 pm

It takes less time to take this survey than it does to slug down a Red Bull, and the information you give us will be tremendously helpful for helping us improve our content and our functionality. Thanks, and please pass this along!

Click the “Take Our Survey!” phrase below to open the survey in a popup. If your browser blocks this kind of popup, the survey can also be accessed here: History Commons Survey

Take Our Survey!

All results will be noted and discussed in a followup post. Thanks again.

July 24, 2012

Communication breakdown…

Filed under: community — Max @ 1:37 pm

Communication breakdown, it’s always the same,
I’m having a nervous breakdown, drive me insane!

Right now our normal email is not functional. It’s a server problem and is being addressed.

Until it’s fixed, you can contact us through our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, or by commenting on this blog. Thanks!

Edit: Fixed! But the contact page is still down 😦 You can contact us via email: hc AT historycommons DOT org

June 16, 2012

Fundraising Update

Filed under: community,fundraising,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 1:56 am

Some kind and wonderful people have been generous enough to donate. We have enough in the kitty to stave off imminent disappearance, at least throughout the summer. Thank you!!!

However, we are going to continue asking for donations, for several reasons. One, expenses are ongoing (i.e. paying the host, re-registering the domains, etc). Two, we’re considering upgrading our hosting, which would go a long way towards ending the annoying downtime we’re suffering. Three, we want to resume some other adjunct services we have provided our users and contributors in the past, but have had to suspend due to financial constraints. (Wondering why you haven’t gotten an email update lately? This is why.) And lastly, we want to begin (finally!) working on the long-anticipated and much-needed app and site upgrade.

As always, our community of users and contributors are keeping us alive and kicking. We ask that you continue to donate, for all the above reasons and more. We have big plans for the future, both for new and expanded coverage (LGBTQ rights and Wikileaks are two big subjects that are planned for in-depth coverage) and for upgrading and modernizing the site for easier usage.

Thank you again.

Donate via credit card
Donate via check
Donate via PayPal

“Your timeline has been invaluable to me over the years.” — New York Times reporter, and 9/11 researcher and author Philip Shenon

May 19, 2012

Fundraising Alert #2

Filed under: community,fundraising — Max @ 7:43 pm

This is the second of a small number of fundraising alerts. The History Commons needs your financial support like never before.

“Your timeline has been invaluable to me over the years.” — New York Times reporter, and 9/11 researcher and author Philip Shenon

Donate via credit card
Donate via check
Donate via PayPal

The History Commons is facing a financial emergency and we need your financial support like never before. While we have been working to upgrade the Web site and web application, we have been struggling financially with the costs to keep the site up and running. Without a strong influx of support, the History Commons may disappear from the Internet entirely before the end of the summer. That would be a tragedy, as the History Commons and its predecessor, CooperativeResearch.org, has been providing well-researched and timely information for citizen researchers, academics, and investigators for eleven years.

HistoryCommons.org receives thousands of visitors per month, but receives a relatively small amount of contributions. The History Commons and its parent organization, the Center for Grassroots Oversight, does not receive money from foundations, corporations, or governments. We accept no advertising whatsoever. We are 100% grassroots-supported.

Our initial target goal for donations is $10,000. That will allow us to keep the History Commons alive on the Internet, continue to post new material, and perform critical maintenance on the current application. Currently we are making regular and frequent additions to the Complete 9/11 Timeline (including the Day of 9/11, which is about to receive a large number of new entries), Civil Liberties, Domestic Propaganda, Domestic Terrorism, and the 2012 Elections projects, to name a few. We anticipate beginning an LGBT civil liberties project in the very near future, and we dearly want to expand our coverage of other issues, such as the global economic and environmental crises.

In the long(er) term, we have set a target goal of $100,000 in donations. That will allow us to begin the critical process of upgrading the application and the Web site, a goal we have worked towards for years but have continually lacked the funds to implement.

We have received some donations already. To those contributors, we would like to extend our thanks. The money helps to keep the History Commons functioning, and demonstrates a tangible interest in and concern for this project. Unfortunately, our financial need continues to be great, and our situation continues to be precarious.

Please make your tax-deductible donation today and help us remain a viable informational resource for the 21st century. We would also ask that you repost this request or a link to it on Twitter, Facebook, your own blog, or in emails to your contacts. Thank you for what you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism.

Donate via credit card
Donate via check
Donate via PayPal

Thank you so much for your support!

“For serious research, it’s hard to think of a more valuable resource than the timelines assembled by History Commons. The material they provide is a welcome antidote to the misinformation and disinformation that has been coming out of Washington in recent years and they are essential tools in assembling a counter-narrative that more honestly addresses the crises we face.” — author Craig Unger

The History Commons provides “a richly documented summary of [the Watergate] events.” — Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald

“Any researcher, reporter or scholar with an interest in the war on terror would consider the [History Commons] timelines a bonanza of open source information.” — Peter Lance

“The [History Commons] researchers are in many ways similar to the team Scott Armstrong, the former Washington Post reporter, recruited in the mid-1980s to uncover the roots of Reagan’s secret Iran-Contra deals.” — columnist James Ridgway

“The History Commons is one of the most important and technologically advanced projects of civil journalism there is today.” — Daniel Erlacher, founder of Austria’s Elevate Festival

“Endlessly informative.” — reporter Steve Perry

April 29, 2012

Fundraising Appeal for Spring/Summer 2012

Filed under: community,fundraising,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 9:31 pm

The History Commons is facing a financial emergency. While we have been working to upgrade the Web site and web application, we have been struggling to keep the site up and running. We may not have the money to keep the site hosted for the rest of the summer – which would mean the History Commons could disappear from the Internet. Now we need your financial support like never before. We accept donations through PayPal, credit cards, and personal checks. We sincerely appreciate all you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism. Please make your tax-deductible donation today and help us remain a viable informational resource for the 21st century.

Donate via PayPal

Donate via check (ignore the error message, there’s a glitch in the code that generates it)

Donate via credit card

Thank you so much for your support!

December 31, 2011

Stepping Up for 2012

Filed under: community — Max @ 2:33 pm

With the New Year starting in just a few hours, here’s some of what we want to do with the History Commons in 2012. We literally cannot do this without your support. Here’s how you can help:

You can go to the newly redesigned History Commons New Topics Listing for information on what we’d like to begin (or continue) covering in 2012. You can comment on these topics, or propose your own, at the HC Groups Blog, on the Facebook page, in a tweet, or by emailing us. We cannot cover all of this on our own. If it’s to be done, it will only get done with your help. Some of the topics we’re interested in covering include:

  • 2012 elections and earlier
  • the Abramoff lobbying scandal
  • Blackwater and the rise of private mercenary forces
  • the Citizens United decision
  • Guantanamo violations and depredations
  • History of the CIA
  • the Murdoch/News of the World hacking scandal
  • Operation Gladio and NATO’s secret armies in Western Europe
  • Political assassinations in the US
  • Social movements
  • SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act)
  • the US Attorney scandal and resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
  • Violence against women in the military
  • Wikileaks and Bradley Manning

Naturally, some of our best and most penetrating coverage comes from our community, in the form of suggestions and contributions. Many of our projects began with user suggestions.

And none of our currently active projects are “complete” by any stretch. Every project needs more information for a broader and more in-depth examination of the issues those projects cover. If you’re not interested in a new project, an older project could often use some attention. Here are some of the current projects we’d dearly love to see get some new attention:

  • War in Afghanistan
  • Prisoner Abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Elsewhere
  • Global Financial and Economic Crisis 2007-Present
  • US Electoral Politics
  • US Health Care System
  • Global Warming
  • US Environmental Issues
  • US International Relations

We appreciate your interest and your support. Let’s make this a banner year.

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