There were two main themes in reader comments this past week. The first: there are more and more thank-yous for “making me think” or “helping to provoke thought” and similar.
I certainly like that — that readers are really starting to notice! Certainly not everyone wants to think, but happily more and more and more of you are not only noticing the thought-provoking aspect of True, but appreciate it and want to support it.
Of course, being “thought-provoking” isn’t the primary goal for True, entertainment is — simply because more people will read it if it is entertaining (and then there will be an opportunity to provoke the readers to think! 🙂 )
The second theme is just as gratifying, and it really hit home with this Premium renewal comment from Don in California (who also brings in the first theme):
I have been out of work for over 3 years now, but I have to renew — This is True is the bright spot in my week to start things out right. I can’t imagine trying to get by without it. Keeps me thinking!
Thanks, Don. I know the subscription fee sparks a decision in such a circumstance (I’ve been there, but not for 3 years straight!), and I appreciate that True is that important to you. May you be well into a new job by next year!
Respecting the Decision
Now, some readers probably take pause at that: gosh, why didn’t I just comp his renewal? Simply, that would devalue his choice to allocate his funds the way he sees fit. While I’m humbled by his choice, I respect the sacrifice he has made, all the more so since I’ve been there myself.
Years ago, I was laid off by a terrible boss …shortly after buying my very first new car, with a loan. Yikes. Talk about a scramble! The guy really was a terrible boss: he was soon fired himself, and management brought me right back in — to fill his spot! It still led to a Lesson Learned: “Live under your means, rather than stretch for something you can’t really afford.” [End tangent.]
And Don wasn’t the only one; as noted, it really became a theme. Just one more, if I may impose, from Betsy, a college student in Iowa:
My priorities after I get a job: Food money, rent money, get a Premium subscription. True has been getting me through college sane.
Hm: that one kind of touches on the first theme too.
It’s rather obvious times are tough (True’s overall sales have been down, starting in 2007: I could feel this recession coming). I really did learn that “live under your means” lesson, so while the recession has been painful to be sure, I’m not going to lose my house anytime soon.
So, thank you for noticing both parts of True’s mission, and thank you all once again for your sacrifice (minor or major) to help keep it going.
This Just In
Just as I was finishing this feel-good post, I got this semi-related note from reader John in North Carolina (who I recognize as a Premium subscriber who had to drop his subscription several years back). John copied me on a message he sent to all of his friends:
Please if you can, accept the following apology.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
This idea of how I made you feel in this past year is very important. If I made you ever feel less than good, or bad, please not only forgive me for making you feel this way, but tell me what I did so I can try to change and never do the same act again. I am sorry that my behavior may have caused you pain.
Likewise, if I frustrated or upset you, please accept my apology. I KNOW I can be frustrating, but I DO promise to work on it!
Thanks to you all for putting up with me for so long! Your patience is admirable! I have learned a lot from all of you this past year.
That makes me feel good, John. Thanks.
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This page is an example of my style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.
To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:
Q: Why would I want to pay more than the minimum rate?
A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.