Substack and Pledges
Some History and Explanation
NOTE: By accident of digital clumsiness (and a bit of temporal cluelessness) I sent out on Tuesday (yesterday) the email post intended for today. It is entitled “Cathy’s Climate Change Coming Out”. If you missed it click on the underlined title (underlines like this are always a link).
Substack and Pledges
In the last month I was flattered (and mystified) by emails I received with the Subject line “A reader just pledged X dollars to subscribe to Indivisible--The High Ground”. It wasn’t until a reader Replied to one of my posts that I saw this:
I discovered that this pledge button started to appear, unbidden, attached to emails in January. I intend to disable this feature. I want my writing to be free to read and share. These are pebbles thrown in the pond. I hope the ripples travel far.
While I appreciate the acknowledgement of the work I put into researching and writing these email posts it was never my intent to ask people to pay for a subscription. I am not writing to support myself. I was already retired in early 2017 when I started to write. It was an exercise to make myself overcome my ignorance of local civics and politics, a response to the dismay I felt over the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. Presidency. The focus on eastern Washington civics and politics grew out of the reminder from the Indivisible Group that all politics are local. There is much less written about how things work at a local and state level than about national politics—and each locale has its own nuances.
I started writing to twenty friends—who recommended it to others. The High Ground’s direct recipient list is now over a thousand. With readers sharing posts on electronic media the average post is opened on about 1500 smartphones and computers.
Substack is an “online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters” that was founded in 2017, the same year I got started. I migrated Indivisible—The High Ground to Substack almost two years ago. I highly recommend it. Sending straight emails quickly runs into spam filters. MailChimp, where I previously published, is primarily a marketing platform. Substack is easy to use. The medium supports itself by taking a percentage (I believe it is 10% of the fees paid by subscribers.) I feel a twinge of guilt that Indivisible—The High Ground is a freeloader, so allow me to bolster Substack a bit by recommending the writing of several Substack-based authors whose opinions and perspective I highly value—well beyond the perspective and background offered by most traditional news media:
Professor of History, Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters From an American.
Former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce Vance’s Civil Discourse is invaluable in keeping up with events in the national (and some state’s) legal systems.
Robert Hubbell’s Today’s Edition Newsletter. Hubbell is another excellent legal mind with the habit of injecting at least a small dose of optimism in each post.
Yale University Professor of History Timothy Snyder’s Thinking About for perspective on eastern Europe and Russia.
Dan Rather’s Steady, for the historical perspective that only a man still sharp as a tack and in his nineties can bring.
Thom Hartmann’s The Hartmann Report.
For national orientation and understanding, I subscribe to and read the posts of these Substack authors daily or whenever they appear. I encourage you to check them out and subscribe. These Substack writers offer depth and background I do not find elsewhere. Recommending them is my way of supporting Substack.
Keep to the high ground,