We are now at a point (finally) when we can implement one of the important feature of the blog. As you probably know, when we launched our new site on October 21, 2020 we moved to a membership tier system, with a basic package that we assume will be preferred by a lot of people, and higher tiers for those who want more benefits.
Anyone at the Bronze level can read all of my posts and have access to the archives of posts (now over 2500 of them!) going back to 2012. One step up, at the Silver level, members can also interact with me by making comments on posts, asking questions, getting direct answers from me, making comments on the comments of others, and reading all the comments made by others. It’s a lot more for just ten bucks extra a year, but some people don’t want any of that. They just want the posts. Bronze is for them! Want the rest? Silver!
And then there are Gold and Platinum levels that have more and more benefits. I have given fuller descriptions of each tier below, as found on the site itself.
At the launch, we raised the blog member fees across the board, but scheduled in a transition period until December 31, 2020. Everyone who joined the blog before then would continue to pay the pre-launch fee of $24.95 for an annual membership and would be given Silver-level privileges until their annual subscription had run out. At that point, each person could make a decision about what level to register for, depending on how many of the benefits they wanted. Anyone who was already on the blog, who therefore temporarily had Silver-level benefits, would automatically be reset at the Bronze level unless they chose to move up to a higher tier.
The Bronze membership level is now at $29.95 – obviously $5 more / year than before. We thought (and hope you do, too) that this was reasonable: the fees have been the same since early 2012, and so a raise would make sense; but more than that, there is SO much more available to members, even at the Bronze level – now nearly nine years of archives! Silver level is $39.95, for, as I pointed out, significantly greater access to me and the comments etc. And it goes from there.
SO: when your membership year runs out, simply choose what level you would prefer. If you choose not to choose, you will be Bronze. But hey, even if the Sky is not the limit, Platinum is.
If you start out at a level and decide mid-term that you would prefer more benefits, you can always move *UP* to a higher tier in midstream (it is not possible to move down, until the end of your term).
If you have any questions, let me know. Below, for your convenience, are the fuller descriptions of each blog tier.
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.
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 one bronze-level membership, at no charge, to someone of their choice: family, friend, neighbor, 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 addition, 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 can be either quarterly at $55.00 USD or annually for $200.00 USD.