I love elephant! But I don’t value it at all!

Via on May 25, 2013

We get hardly any complaints about our ground-breaking, new media sustainability creating subscription innovation, which we launched before the NY Times launched theirs. They spent $40 million plus on theirs, and we, without their model to guide us, innovated ours for…well, just about nothing. Our “paygate” was held together with volunteer love, duct tape, shoe laces and spit.

But once in awhile we get a new reader who loves elephant but doesn’t value elephant.

Here’s one such:

Why do I have to pay to read this now? You have advertisers. Why should I follow you on FB if I have to pay to read your posts? I’ll give it a few days and see if you stick with this new format. If so, I am gone.

My answer:

Linda, we explain on the page you clicked off of, but I’m happy to answer your questions.

It’s not new, first of all, it’s been for a few years and it’s the reason we’re in business.

I can tell you as a publisher that, behind the scenes, your favorite sites and media do deals for big dollars. We don’t. We work with small, mindful sponsors. That’s worth $1/month, no? No? Not $1? How can you be simultaneously mad at losing something and not value it at all?

Thirdly, we’re independent. That means we are dependent on our readers–and remember, readers have paid for media they care about for centuries—centuries.

Still not convinced? No problem. You get three free clicks a day, enough for 95% of our readers—which is why you probably never noticed our “paygate” until now. Not enough? Want more, but still don’t want to spend $1/month?

No problem: subscribe, free, to our best of the week newsletter: http://www.elephantjournal.com/join-the-cause

Linda: the best of the week newsletter has 10 to 15 articles and all are free for you.

Update: Linda’s response:

Guess I never clicked on enough of your links to get the message. I went back a week in your posts now to see what I have clicked on and only found one article. So, it must be a limit of one a week? Not worth following then. I won’t sign up for your email news. I have to spend too much time already deleting spam email. I am looking to eliminate, not add.

My reply:

Not sure why you’re complaining, then. You want free, but you already have too much. We’re offering free, and you’re mad not to get it free, but once we take the time to make clear you don’t want it.

Our Daily Wake-Up Call, our daily newsletter, is a quote of inspiration or meaning each morning–we bill it as a gap in your busy inbox. So maybe that’s the one for you. http://www.elephantjournal.com/join-the-cause

For more: join Conscious Consumerism.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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13 Responses to “I love elephant! But I don’t value it at all!”

  1. You're so nice, Waylon! I'da told Linda to f* off. I've evolved! I use asterisks to indicate -uck, now. Yay for human evolution! Poor Linda, she needed elephant to evolve, but she wasn't evolved enough to realize that she needed elephant to evolve! I'm hoping my loyalty to elephant will make up for the loss of LInda, the pissed-off consumer who's not getting enough free shit to keep her coming back. hahaha I better stop. I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm not quite evolved enough to evolve with elephant.

    • karlsaliter says:

      GreenLib, your very evolved use of the asterisks inspires me.
      I feel like I got my dollar's worth, right there.

  2. ori says:

    Yeah well you seem to have plenty of time sending messages and complaining.

    • elephantjournal says:

      I have time to handle criticism and complaints via our cherished readers, yes. Including yours.

  3. kniplingsdyret says:

    Well played! Friendly, but firm.
    Love it.

    Sincerely,
    a happy subscriber

  4. Pooja says:

    She has a point that there is little of interest here.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Bold (and frankly inaccurate) and so-vague-it's-unhelpful criticism coming from an anonymous commenter on the internet. Gutsy. That said, yes, there are articles I don't dig, and I don't read them. That said, this site isn't all about me or you or our taste. It's about dialogue, and, yes, disagreement and criticism (such as yours) as long as it's respectful and constructive.

  5. Yo Mama says:

    I would appreciate it if there was an automatic way for the site to know I am a member. I find the logging in part to be a hassle, and then miss things I would like to read, because I just click out. Just a thought…

    • elephantjournal says:

      You shouldn't need to log in if you're not clearing your cache (which is good to do from time to time). Just like Facebook or any site with security, the loggin-in bit is for your protection I guess.

  6. SophieB says:

    Ha! Poor Linda. She doesn't know what she's missing out on. I discovered Elephant about a year and a half ago, and the first day I found it, I read three articles. I wanted to read more, and was disappointed I couldn't without paying. Approximately 2 minutes later I had paid my 12$ for a year, thinking that 1$ a month is 100% reasonable, and affordable to probably 99% of people. I have read many articles almost every day since then, and have never looked back. I've sent countless articles to friends and family. I love Elephant! My next goal is to write something for Elephant…

    • elephantjournal says:

      Please do! What do you have in mind? Generally whatever is inspiring or troubling, whatever is on your mind in your heart, whatever you're talking about with best friends…there's something in there worth sharing. The more personal as in genuine, the better. http://www.elephantjournal.com/submit tell our editors we "talked"! ~ Waylon.

      • SophieB says:

        I''m working on it! :) I just started writing in a journal again, and my thoughts and ideas are getting a little easier to put on paper again, so soon enough!

  7. Cat B says:

    Considering how much money we spend on stuff that's bad for us, how can all of the awesome on elephant journal not be worth such a small fee?! I bet Linda secretly paid for a membership anyway so she could get at more of the content. ;)

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