I have a full post planned and will very likely get it out midweek, but I this week has been a little unusual and I came to the conclusion that a more utilitarian post about the blog (and me) was in order. If you are short on time/interest, you can feel free to skip this - nothing significant or practical is changing. Otherwise, I’d like to talk a bit about how my week has been, cover a few things about how I’d like the comments section to work (since at least for now there’s starting to be a significant amount of them) and talk a bit about monetizing the blog and my plans for that. Spoiler: The monetization won’t affect your ability to read the blog.
I learned something interesting this week: if you write a semi-viral post about having lived your life on a lower-income side of the tracks, a lot of people come out of the woodwork trying to help you. This included several mentors offering to help me train up new skills, offers of financial help, and even offers of employment at a variety of really neat companies.
Regarding the training up of new skills
I’ve talked to a few of you, and I intend on getting to the rest as I have time throughout the week. If it seems like I’m ignoring your kindness, please don’t think so - skills are gold and help obtaining them is a big deal to me. At the very least I’m going to respond to everyone, but I’m worried I’ll seem rude in the meantime.
Regarding my work situation
At the beginning of the week, I was in a pretty bad work situation; my Covid-year has had me bouncing around like a ping-pong ball in terms of jobs, and the latest position wasn’t necessarily all it had been represented to me to be. I wasn’t in a great spot.
The article then crossed the desk of some very nice people, and I had multiple conversations about job opportunities with a few of them. I am going to be very spare with the details here for anonymity’s sake, but know that I’m now in a better and exciting position regarding work and career prospects. Thank you so much to anyone who contacted me about this, whether to offer an opportunity or just to check up on me on a personal level.
Regarding the financial help offers
I had gone as far as to accept one of these offers before my job status changed. While I really appreciate the people who reached out on this, I’ve decided it wouldn’t feel right to take money like that when I don’t have an immediate, desperate need for it. I feel obligated to be really careful on this because the nature of the article - it stirred up some really noble feelings in a lot of people, and it would be pretty bad of me to take advantage of those feelings when I don’t have immediate need.
There were other neat things that happened outside of those three categories - for one, I got to talk to a lot of really interesting people. Some of them relayed really hard past situations that put anything I went through to shame. A few people even took the article as a reminder to check in with people they knew might be having financial trouble because of Covid and offer help where they could, and I’m really happy to have been a part of that happening.
All that to say that this week has been very, very cool for me. Thank you all for that.
On Monetizing the Blog
A number people have asked me why I don’t have payments enabled on the blog. My initial plan for this is that I would wait some significant amount of time before doing that, reaching some arbitrary reader-count and then doing it all in one swoop. I have since been convinced by several readers that I should at least have the option to support the blog open for people who want to; I’ve come to agree with them.
With that said, I’m not going to actually have any paid-subscribers-only content. Anything I write is still going to be available to anyone who wants to read it and I don’t plan on changing that any time soon, if ever. This option to contribute is purely optional - more like a tip jar than a subscription. The amounts available are also going to be capped at Substack minimums of $5 a month.
I really want to stress that this is for people who particularly want to support the blog - you shouldn’t feel obligated in any way. I think Substack sends out some sort of email when a blog owner makes the transition to their paid model - if so, you will probably see that email a bit after I push this post live.
On the Comments Section
I really like responding to the comments. I can’t promise to respond to everything, but I’m going to continue to try to be active in the comments section. With that said, it’s my dream to never actually have to significantly moderate the comments section, so it’s probably worth laying down a couple ground rules.
First, I really want people to be able to argue in the “let’s have a spirited discussion” sense of the word. That includes everyone from Communists to Anarcho-Capitalists; I’m not going to discriminate. That means that there’s going to be a lot of significant clashes of viewpoint - that’s not only fine, but it’s what I want.
To the extent you can, try to keep these clashes civil. I’m completely fine with a list of reasons you think your opponent is wrong, and I’m fine with threads going on and on until they approach infinity. I’m a lot less fine with “you filthy members of group X are always dumb in this way” type comments, and I’m likely to step in where I see things reaching that point.
I don’t think anybody has really got to that point yet (besides one guy who thinks all poor people are addicted to meth or opiates) but I’d really like us all to be trying to defeat ideas we think are bad, as opposed to beating down people we don’t like.
That’s it! Again, I really want to thank everyone here and welcome any new readers who found their way to me. I look forward to continuing to write things for you!