Why the [email protected]#$%^&!*!%!?! can’t I read unlimited elephant?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 20, 2011
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Why does elephant ask readers who want to read a lot of elephant articles to pay $1/month, or come back and read more articles for free tomorrow? I get that question at least once or twice a week, so thought I’d share my thoughts.

Become a member of elephant, an experiment in “mindful,” indie, non-corporate backed, reader-created media: just $1/month. Don’t want to pay? That’s fine: just come back tomorrow and read a few more articles for free.

Q: why do I have to become a member of elephant to read everything I want?

A: The expectation that media be free only online is not only random but prevents online media from producting quality journalism.

We offer 2-3 articles free each day, including free home page and all searches. In addition, all links are free from our weekly newsletter (a good reason to sign up if you don’t want to pay $1/month). If you think about it, we can’t both value elephant, and be frustrated at wanting more…and yet not value elephant at all, being unwilling to pay $1/month.

We literally couldn’t charge less, and stay in business. We go out of business, no one, including you, would be able to read anything at all. Hope you understand. ~ Waylon.


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 | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


7 Responses to “Why the [email protected]#$%^&!*!%!?! can’t I read unlimited elephant?”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Hehe, what a conundrum:

    "If you think about it, we can’t both value elephant, and be frustrated at wanting more…and yet not value elephant at all, being unwilling to pay $1/month."

  2. I'm baffled as to how so many people can spend $50, $100, or whatever a month for cable tv, yet $1 a month for enlightened reading/entertainment/etc. is too much. Weird!

  3. Avocado says:

    How do we get that tote bag pictured? It is cool!

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Our higher (but still cheapish) levels of membership include stickers, tees, totes… http://www.elephantjournal.com/member

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Dawnene Rechele I have no problem paying up which is exactly what I did this year and will continue to. Well worth the small price.

    Mary King People! It's a DOLLAR! You pay more than that for your coffee every day!!!

    Darlene D I enjoy many of the things I find on Elephant, but I have no other pages that charge a fee. If there are others out there that charge I don't know of them. I do find a charge off-putting.

    John Levis I find working my ass off and not getting paid well "off-putting". I know a lot of hard work goes into EJ, I'll be happy to pay.

    Linda Gilmore There is enough value in what elephant offers that I don't mind paying the $12 a year. I just don't have $12 right now, so my reading will be limited until I do have it. I admit, I find that frustrating – as well as not having $12. : )

    elephantjournal.com Darlene: original journalism has been reduced over the past 15 years by as 75%. Why? Readers read for free, classifieds are gone, advertising is down. NY Times just launched their paid model online, which is similar to ours.

    Rob Thomas Happy to support EJ, it's that simple.

  6. Janger says:

    No is willing to pay for this site outside the few fools because it ain't worth a buck and the couple of people who still compromise themselves by posting here for no economic gain.

  7. Carolina Fernandez says:

    I was just talking about this with a friend the other day. $12/year is completely feasible and a more than fair price to pay for quality, open-minded articles that are striving to help make the world a better place. Thank you Elephant. There should be more communities like this.