Making something and putting it out into the world is scary. Will anyone like this? Will anyone care? Will I be able to do this for a living? When I made the decision to create this site and write independently, I asked myself these questions over and over again. In a brief moment of clarity, I realized my bigger regret would be not reaching for my dream and taking the leap. That doesn’t mean I’m not scared shitless I’ll fail. But it does mean I’m willing to try.
It’s important to me that we’re completely up-front with the readers about how we make money. I don’t want there to be any confusion or mistrust. The first is a new ad-system that I am hoping will end up benefiting everyone involved. It’s clear the current batch of display ads on the internet just flat out don’t work. When you chase a model that profits by spitting out truckloads of bad content in order to generate cheap pageviews: we all lose. I never want a reader to feel inundated with advertisements or feel as though they’ve become the product being sold. I never want to run banners that dance across their screen or take over the entire browser. I got forced into that once and I’ve sworn: never again. Instead I want to focus on high-quality content and respect the reader and the advertiser. Instead, I know that if I respect the reader’s attention and intelligence, they’ll be more likely to see the advertisement on the page and want to support us and the advertiser. They’ll be more likely to pay attention, click the ad, and check out the product or service offered. I believe that way everyone wins.
Often readers ask how they can help. Taking a cue from other writers and websites I greatly respect, I’ve created a way in which you can go above and beyond and directly support this website. If you can’t, that’s totally ok, I understand, maybe one day you’ll be able to. Spreading the word about this site, sharing our articles, and supporting our sponsors and advertisers are other things you can do that go a long way toward helping.
I’ve put together a special membership package where you can get some extra perks as a member and help support this website. I firmly believe that the best way for long term success is really simple and old as time: if you like something and want to use it, pay to do so and it keeps working. I hope that one day the supporting members can end up being all we need to keep this website flourishing. If you’re not interested in joining the community, and would just like to support this site with a donation, we have those options as well.
If you become a supporting member here’s the extras that you’ll get:
- Supporter Badge: You’ll get a special blue “supporter” badge that will display on all of your posts, profile, and mini-profile.
- Supporter Forum: You’ll get access to a special forum section just for supporters. This section can be a nice getaway from the the busier portions of the forum and provide a place to chat with other website supporters. We’ve got special supporter only threads created for sports, politics, sharing music recommendations, playlists, discussing the latest podcast episodes with the hosts, and much more. This forum is also where I’ll post special announcements first — like limited merch runs, music rumors I hear, and things like that.
- Unlimited Conversation Participants: Our private conversation system is a great way to chat, privately, with a few select friends on the website. Regular members can create private groups with a max of 8 participants, supporters have the ability to create private conversation groups with unlimited participants.
- Special Access to Me: I know it’s a little weird, but, I really want to be able to build up a special relationship with those that are helping support this website. You are the reason the website exists and this is one way I can say thank you. I’ll be participating in the supporters forum on a near daily basis: answering questions, sharing stories, doing Q&As, sharing product and story recommendations, and all sorts of stuff. While the main website is where I’ll be focusing most of my writing — this is where I’ll be participating most in the discussions. I want anyone that has questions for me, or really wants to get my attention about a specific topic, to be able to have a place where we can have a detailed back and forth discussion. This forum is where I’ll want to bounce article ideas off people, talk out crazy rumors about bands, and things like that.
- No Ads in the Forums: Regular members see sponsored advertisement posts in threads. This is one way we pay to keep running this forum. However, if you’re a supporting member — those ads won’t show up.
- Cover Photos: Being a supporter gets your profile access to cover photo images.
- Dark Mode: Supporters have access to a special dark mode theme that lets you browse the forums with a black and slate color scheme.
- Encore Perks: Supporters get early access to episodes of our podcast, Encore, usually the night before they go live on the website. We will also let supporters know about early access to merch runs, possibly record special supporter only episodes, and both hosts will participate in Q&As in the supporter forums.
- Other Things I Think Of: As I come up with other ideas to enhance the membership program (and I have quite a few), current members will automatically be included in on those as well.
- Good Karma: A big part of being a member is knowing that you’re helping to power this website and supporting its continued existence.
If you’re not keen on this whole membership thing, but still want to help, there are a couple donation options available to help support this site, and we also have a cashtag set up for $chorus. Without the support of the members of this website, it wouldn’t exist. With these options I hope to align our incentives together. You want a great forum and great articles, and if you’re helping to keep the site running, I’ll want to make sure you keep getting the best content and making sure the forums are the best they possibly can be. If you have any questions at all please feel free to email, message, or hit me up on Twitter.
You can choose to become a patron for the website or our podcast in either an upfront payment or a recurring subscription. Support of our podcast will be split amongst the hosts. This is an optional way for you to directly support the ongoing development of this website, podcast, and community. The payment engine is all powered by Stripe and we don’t store or see any of your information. We also have a cashtag set up at $chorus if you’d like to use that instead.