You’re reading TBQ Talks, a newsletter about pop culture, life with disability, history, current events, and more.
We're here! Hooray!
At least I hope we are. Nothing like having anxiety to make you feel convinced you have forgotten something somewhere when it comes to transferring a newsletter and its archive over to a new location. It feels much like moving house: Did I pay the right bills? Did I update my mailing address? What do you MEAN there's another feature I didn't know I had to set options on to make sure floating menus work okay?
You know, house things.
Anyway, thank you to everybody for being patient during the move. Allow me to take a moment to discuss some of the new features and also how to support the site in its new location.
A Brief Tour
One of the things I liked about Ghost - in addition to the lack of transphobia and worrying conservatism in the c-suite - is that it allows for better archive organization. Rather than one single location that everything gets dumped in, I can now tag entries to make them easier to find.
Currently I'm going with continuity of naming conventions so if you go to the website (for those of you reading this as an email) you'll see up a menu at the top with links to Pop Culture, Disability Life, History, Current Events, And More…
The tidiness of this makes my heart happy and I hope it makes your heart happy too.
On the website you'll also notice that things are more visual, with each article getting a picture to help it stand out in the crowd. Or, well, at least most articles. Some of the oldest haven't gotten this treatment yet. We'll see if my desire to say "Meh, they've survived this long without them" wins out against "No, everything has to match and be complete" in terms of going back and fixing that. But all the new stuff has pretty graphics and I hope you like them and find them useful.
(ETA: Anybody who guessed that I wouldn't be able to make it through a single day without adding the graphics to the odd stuff, collect your winnings.)
All of the articles that were on the previous site have been brought over, except for the ones that were purely administrative in nature like the discussions we had about moving the site in the first place. I did go in to some of the older articles and edit them accordingly. For example the one about what makes me disabled is now entirely about that without any of the side sections which were off-topic.
The move involved a lot of edits like this, as well as link updates and so on. I am sure I've missed things so if you are bopping around the archives and find an errant mistake or broken link please let me know.
(Also look! We have a fancy new contact form! Though feel free to email me or hit me up on twitter if you'd rather. It's all good.)
Speaking of how you can help…
How You Can Help
See what I did there? Ahem. Anyway…
Share the Site
As before, one of the biggest ways anybody can help support the site is by getting the word out. To that end we have a new system here which is shiny share buttons which should be on the left hand side of the page. If you enjoy something you've read here go ahead and spread the word on social media using those handy dandy buttons.
The only catch is I say should because I've found that AddThis, which provides the buttons, can get stopped by ad blockers. It happened to me when I was testing the site though oddly only in Firefox. It showed up fine in Chrome. Go figure.
Anyway, I turned off adblocking on this site and that fixed the problem. BUT I by no means require that anybody else do the same. I mean there won't ever be ads on this site, I won't ever place them. But at the same time I get people who would rather block and never have to worry about it. By all means do that if it's what you prefer, no judgement here. The buttons are simply there to make sharing easier. If they do not make your heart happy, feel free to banish them from your view.
However you may share, if you share, is beautiful by me and very helpful. So use the buttons, RT announcements on Twitter, forward emails, paste the URL into your own social media posts - have at it. It's all helpful and hugely appreciated.
Another way to help is by subscribing. At bare minimum subscribing = known audience = me knowing I am not talking into an uncaring void. My fragile psyche appreciates this.
Everyone who had a newsletter subscription on the old site should have a free subscription now. But for those of you who didn't, you can either click on the "Subscribe" option in the header or footer of the site, or click on the handy "Subscribe" button at the bottom right. From there a small menu will pop up giving you the option to pick a Free subscription or a paid subscription. Paid subscriptions can be either Monthly (at $2/month) or Annual (at $20/year).
To that end, a free subscription gets you the newsletter right into your inbox, same as on the old site. Also to be 100% clear: a free subscription comes with access to all main content. It is not a "free preview" it is everything except possible thank yous to paid subscribers.
I have to clarify this because I sadly do not have the ability to change what the subscription window says when you click on it and so I can't stop it from saying a Free subscription is only a "free preview." It's not a preview, it's the site. You're not missing any of the good stuff and won't ever miss any of the good stuff, I promise.
I think maaaaaaaaaaybe I could have the ability to change what it says if I had a higher level account? But that costs money and I don't think that's the kind of feature that's worth spending money on when everything else works fine. We don't need the heated leather seats in this car, so to speak.
Related to that, if you want to be kind and help defray some of the costs of running this site, a paid subscription is one way you can do that. Paid subscriptions get the newsletter, same as free. You also get access to all the good stuff, same as free. There may be some kind of special paid subscriber only thank you in the future? But that'll be something we can talk about later in terms of if we need it, what you might like, and how can we make that fair to the people who don't have paid subscriptions but who help out via Ko-Fi (details on that below).
In terms of pricing, as I've mentioned back on the old site, since I am on Disability I have to be very careful about income. So this is not about making money for me but rather about providing a way to help defray the out of pocket costs. (Said help being appreciated since, again, I'm on Disability.)
To that end, rather than the typical newsletter subscription prices of $5/month, $50/year I went with $2 and $20. My math there is that the Starter GhostPro account (which is what this site uses) is $15/month billed monthly. There are also additional fees when you factor in the processing costs for payments and some other fiddly maintenance things. So, keeping it to nice round numbers, I figured $20 annual makes an easy way for anyone who is feeling generous to do a single subscription payment and know they helped cover the full cost of the site for everyone for a month.
And I figured $2/month was a nice small amount that if people wanted to do monthly it would still help out without breaking their bank. I didn't want to be like those people who are all "Oh I love even the tiniest donation on my Patreon!" and then you go there and the smallest amount they accept is $10 or something, you know? Two bucks would help and be appreciated here, for real!
And for those who would like to help financially but would prefer an every so often donation rather than keeping track of subscriptions we have…
Donate Via Ko-Fi
Fairly straightforward but again I'm me so I made a diagram. Basically there's two options. You can click on the Ko-Fi link in the header or footer which will take you to the website where you can donate. Or you can click the handy "Donate" button at the bottom left corner which pops up a dialogue box which lets you donate right here, no need to leave the site. (Or it should. Not sure if, like the share buttons, this may get snared by adblockers. If so the same comments above re: no harm no foul if you don't feel up to whitelisting it. It's there for your convenience so if you'd rather hide it, go right ahead.)
As with subscriptions, please don't feel constrained by the default settings. $3 is just what they put in automatically. You're free to do whatever you want because again, for real, even $1 is helpful.
And that's that for now! To recap: better organization, pretty pictures, sharing is always caring, there's never a cost to read or get the newsletter but if you want to help out the finances there's paid subscriptions or Ko-Fi.
I think that covers it. If you have any questions let me know.
Oh - and you can stop linking to that old site now. To heck with them. ;)