I Just Cracked The Archives Back Open
More free stuff is never a bad thing
The following is a free TSF post. If you want access to our comment box & community, subscribers-only posts, The Friday Roundup, and the full post archives, you can grab all of that for just $5 a month (or even less on an annual plan) by subscribing right here:
A brief administrative note: I just made the executive decision, rather impulsively, to reverse my decision to paywall all the TSF archives.
There’s a little switch on the backend of Substack, and it looks like this:
It’s a binary thing: on or off. You can either paywall every post two weeks old or older on your Substack, or you can paywall none of them by default and have to go in and manually create paywalls on posts you want, shielding them behind the curtain of financial security (ha! you hope!).
In my desire to increase value for paid subscribers, I thought turning this on for every post older than 2 weeks was a good idea, so I did it.
Since I don’t have time to go through and manually figure out what should and should not be in the paid subscriber archives, I had just defaulted into the “lock them all up and figure it out later” category. It was a one-click solution.
But it just kept eating at me.
I don’t want all the archives paywalled. There’s a lot of good stuff in there I always intended to be free.
And when things are paywalled, I want at least a preview of the post to be visible to non-paying readers so they can make a decision on whether it’s worth subscribing so they can read it. The auto archive paywall feature just chokes them off right at the top with no preview.
So I’ve decided no, on second thought, I’m going to default to “make free, high-quality content that everyone can read” as my baseline, and add extra paid stuff for the subscribers-only community going forward.
So that’s what I just did. The archives are back open, with the exception of those posts I have designated as subscribers-only. If they were intended only for the paying community, those paywalls stay.
Going forward, I will continue to divide content into a “free” bucket for all comers, and a “paid” bucket for the folks supporting this ‘stack. The Friday roundup, as mentioned, is a paid-only feature. And for as long as I’m able to keep it up, I will do 1 free and 1 paid post a week. (There will be some variances based on time limitations, but I’ll do my best.) Archived free posts will be free. Archived paid posts will continue to have paid only access.
Comments and access to discussions with the community who leave them will remain paid-only. It’s been heavenly not to have comment boxes full of malcontents and trolls, and I have no desire to change it.
For those of you who have signed up to support this ‘stack with your hard-earned dollars, first of all, THANK YOU, and please feel free to let me know if you have any objection to this. I doubt many of you will. The more free stuff available, the more people will find us and join our community. I like having interesting thinkers and like minds to talk about this stuff with, and I hope you do too.
And if you haven’t signed up yet, its only $5/month to do so (even less on an annual plan!) and you can do that right here:
Thank you all for reading!