Well, here we are …
I will probably do this about 12 more times during this post because over the next couple of weeks, this site will gradually become a Patreon site. What that means is that most of the posts on here will be written exclusively for JoeBlogs members.
It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend much time explaining. The whole patron/membership model has been batted around here for the last couple of months, and I’ve seen that people have wildly different views about it. I get it. My view is that I’ve written this blog for free for more than a decade. It was fun. But times change. The world has changed.
The truth is that the words I write, the words my friends write, the words my heroes write, all of them have become less and less valuable as the months and years go by. There are many complex reasons for this that we can talk about another time, but the truth is that many of us — me, my friends, my heroes — are partly at fault because we haven’t valued our work enough. We’ve given it away. We can’t help it — or at least I can’t help it. I love to tell stories. I love to share my world. I love the community that enjoys those stories.
I’m addicted to the feeling — “Oh, I just found out the most amazing/most wonderful/most terrible thing .. wait until you hear this.”
There are no regrets. I wouldn’t go back and do it differently. I remain the luckiest person. The idea here is that I want to do all this right, and to do it right requires that I take a few extra steps. I believe that the work here has value. And I hope some people agree and come along for the journey.
A surprising number of people — surprising to me, anyway — have already joined, even though I put up the page hours ago without any fanfare or grandiose promises. I cannot tell you how grateful I am, and today you early subscribers will get your first JoeBlogs exclusive, a pretty fun baseball piece.
As for the rest of you, I certainly get that many of you will move on. There’s plenty of non-membership stuff out there, including my own work at MLB.com. This blog has been unsteady to say the least over the last year, for any number of reasons. I appreciate you reading through the years. I hope you got some happiness out of it.
But I’ll tell you what members will get: You’ll get to read my new baseball book — The Baseball 100 — live, as I write it. I’ve spent a lot of time plotting out this book, figuring out the narrative, developing the themes. It will feature (and, to a lesser degree, rank) 150 or so players, 100 of them the best Major League Baseball players ever, the other 50 or so, well, you’ll see. It’s the book I’ve long wanted to write. It’s my history of baseball. And you will get to read it as it is being written. I hope you think that’s cool.
And then there will be the rest of the blog, the Kuiper stories, the Springsteen stories, the Hamilton and Harry Potter stories (one series — the Harry Potter Diet — is coming here soon), the nutty baseball thoughts, the infomercials … and, here is what I hope will be one of the best parts: Members will help make JoeBlogs what it is to become. You’ll help guide this thing. There has always been a fun community here. I hope we can kick that up even higher.
On the Patreon page — oh, yeah, here’s the link — you can see that membership for this blog (The “Maybe his kid is sick” tier) is $3 per month. Then there’s a tier for PosCast bonus stuff, and if you add that in (moving up to the “Red Dress” tier) it’s $5 per month. There are some fun rewards that come with it — a bonus PosCast Q&A, an invitation to the JoeBlogs chatboard, where we’ll do some fun stuff, etc. I’m also planning to offer some special bonuses to our charter class. For one thing I’m going to try to assign everyone a membership number based on when you jumped onboard.
Rick Chiopan — you are officially JoeBlogs Member No. 1.
So that’s the whole thing. If this is good-bye, I thank you and wish you the best. If this is hello, I can’t wait to see where we go.