So we have some news: Discourse Blog is leaving Substack next month to start our own website. We are beyond excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on with our incredible new partners at Lede (including Alley and Pico), and we’ll have even more to share when the day comes, but until then, some quick answers to immediate questions:
Why are you leaving Substack?
Is this happening sooner than we thought it would? Yes, but so has everything else: Every step of this process—launching on a free WordPress, piloting a free Substack, going paid—has gone much better and moved much faster than any of us anticipated. We’re getting bigger every month and pacing to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
So when we were approached to work with the same team that helped launch our friends at Defector, it felt like an incredible opportunity to realize our goal of having a sustainable, independent, worker-owned and operated publication. But more importantly, it would allow us to create an even better experience for you, our readers, without whom none of this is possible. You are always top of mind when we consider changes; this doesn’t work if you’re not on board. And we really think you’ll like reading, commenting, and just generally engaging with our new site a whole lot.
We are eternally grateful to Substack and their leadership team for their support, advice, and kindness. They made launching our first paid product a breeze and we’ll continue to root for them as a place for writers to strike out on their own. Our leaving is not a referendum on the platform or the people who use it; we just want to do more than we’re currently capable of doing.
So what does this mean for paying subscribers?
If you are currently a paid subscriber, regardless of tier, you will not have to do anything. You will not have to re-subscribe or re-enter your credit card information; your subscription will be securely transferred to the new site. In fact, with our new payment system from Pico, you’ll be able to better manage your subscription and user profile. Hint: If you’ve been holding off on subscribing, do it now and reap the rewards later once our new site launches. :)
What changes can I expect?
We won’t spoil some of our surprises, but very generally:
More sophisticated commenting. Our readers love talking to us and each other. We think our new system will make that easier for everyone.
Better search and ways to find our past work. We’ll have categories and tags and pages devoted to topics. Want to read every “Man, What the Hell?” There they are, all in one place.
More posts. We’re going to slowly up our production schedule. Not a ton more! But as more of us are able to devote more time to this (because of your patronage!), we’ll able to write more and pursue more ambitious projects.
Your choice of experience. A huge portion of the Discourse Blog community reads our work from our newsletter. If you want to keep reading us by email, there will be a way to do that. We’ll just now be able to offer you the experience of a fully functional, proper website too.
We’ll announce our official launch date soon and continue publishing here on Substack in the meantime. Until then, here’s how you can get in touch:
For general questions, comments, and concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
For press inquiries: email@example.com
For advertising and partnership opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org
See y’all soon.
Image via: Brian McCumber/DeviantArt