I am exceedingly happy to make a major blog announcement. Very soon – probably next week – we will be launching the new blog site. It will be vastly improved, with all the best features of what we have now but with a new look, higher quality, and more member options. If you like it the way it is, very little will change except the appearance of the blog. If you want more, you’re in luck.
My assistant Steven Ray has designed and constructed the new site to replace the one that he originally built over eight years ago. Volunteers have been working to get some of the parts in place. And we are all very excited about it.
PLEASE NOTE: THE BLOG WILL BE DOWN FOR A FEW DAYS NEXT WEEK while we transfer the data from the old blog to the new one. It is a massive and complicated affair (lots of data here after more than 8 years!). I will let you know in advance when we are certain it is going to happen.
Once we are back live, you will see that one of the very big changes involves your membership options. Right now, your options are basically to join for a year, three months, or a month. Everyone who joins gets the same benefits. By far the vast majority of the people on the blog simply read it, and possibly read the comments, and that’s it. Others like to make comments and have some back and forth. Others participate in the Blog Forum. But it’s one-size-fits-all. We’re changing that.
We are moving to a tiered membership system, providing additional benefits to those who are interested in exchange for a higher membership fee – all of which, of course, will be going to charity. You’ll get more, charities get more, and hey, we are all into more….
Those who want simply to read blog posts on occasion will have the option of a Bronze level; but there are three higher levels for more connection with the blog and benefits.
One of the benefits at the two higher levels: audio versions of every post, every week, with a backlog of audio posts going back into 2019.
I describe the levels below, just to titillate your interest. PLEASE NOTE another new feature: members can choose either a monthly subscription/rate or an annual one. As you might expect, the annual provides a savings. Both kinds of subscriptions, at all levels, automatically renew, as is the case now; but we have made it much easier to cancel the subscription at any time.
Please note: you will NOT need to choose a membership tier until your current subscription runs out.
I will end this post by providing the descriptions of the membership tiers as you will find them on the blog. I hope you’re as excited about it all as we are!
This is the most important membership level, designed for those who simply want to read my daily posts on important topics. At this level you have access to all posts, past and present – with archives going back to 2012 – and the ability to search them to find earlier discussions of relevance to your interests. You will also have access to the Members’ Forum to read back-and-forth comments with other blog members on topics of mutual interest. The fee for this level is $2.99/month; or if you want a discounted annual fee, $29.95/year. That comes to about 58 cents a week, an unbelievable value. Coronavirus Special! During the crisis Bronze members will be granted all the additional benefits of Silver as well, at current Bronze prices ($2.49 per month or $24.95 per year).
If you want more interaction with me personally — and with other blog members — you can join the Silver level. At this level you will receive all the benefits of a Bronze membership, but will also be able to make comments on the posts and ask me questions. I will post the comments for other Silver and Gold members to read, and I will answer your questions. The fee for this level is $3.99/month, or $39.95/year. Another amazing value!
This higher-yet level has still more perks. If you are a Gold member, in addition to all the benefits of the Silver level, you will be given access to audio versions of the posts, every week, published the same time as the written. A carefully chosen and vetted volunteer will read each post for your listening pleasure, in the car, in the gym, in the shower – the options are limitless.
In addition, Gold-level members will receive a special 45-50 minute audio post every month, in which I respond to questions gold-level members have asked me. Gold members will also be granted priority access to all Blog events (e.g., fund-raising dinners), and will be allowed, if they choose, to donate a bronze-level membership, at no charge, to anyone of their choice: family, friends, neighbors, or… whomever. The fee for this level is $4.99/month, or $49.95/year.
This level is as high as it goes for those who want to give extra support to the work of the blog and the charities it supports. At this level you will receive all of the benefits of Gold, and other significant ones.
Platinum members will be able to participate in a group internet meeting with me and other Platinum members once every three months, a specially designed webinar where we discuss issues of mutual interest and I answer questions.
Moreover, Platinum members will have the opportunity to submit potential posts for the blog. I will publish one Platinum blog post each week (assuming there are enough of sufficient quality and relevant to the interests of the blog) to Platinum members. And once a month I will choose one Platinum guest post for the entire blog, that is, for all members at every level. Platinum members will be allowed to submit one potential post per month.
In additional, Platinum members will receive first-priority for all blog events, and will be awarded three Bronze level gift memberships to give out to whomever they choose.
As a final benefit I promise to hold all Platinum members near and dear to my heart.
Membership at the Platinum level is annual only, $200.