We have received about 4,000 emails since our declaration of independence on January 2, mostly from readers having just signed up for the new Dish. I have been trying to respond to as many as I can, while the Dish staff has been helping to compile all of your constructive feedback regarding our new experiment. So a lot more of your ideas and criticisms are still to come. But first, here are some of the most touching emails from our in-tray:
I just paid $500 in equal measure to the frustration, humor, and intelligence the blog has brought over the last 11 years I've been reading. I might not donate that much again, but this time I owed you. You were very kind a few years ago to post a number of posts of mine on an anti-gay speech/assembly/etc bill in Nigeria, effectively identical to the one in Uganda. It meant a lot to a lot of people to get that kind of exposure so quickly in the US. I still hear from "pen-pals" in Nigeria.
Good luck with the experiment!
First time writer here. I want to applaud your team's decision to move to a subscription service. The Dish has been a part of my daily routine through college, while I was an expat in Sierra Leone (where your site took 5 minutes to load) and Syria (where your site was often blocked), and now as a policy analyst in DC. In fact, it may be the only thing that has stayed stable across the years and continents. At $20/year, this subscription has the best use-value of anything I'll purchase this year (so much so that I tossed in a bit extra). Good luck and come back and ask for more if you need to. I'm sure most of us would be willing.
I just completed the purchase of a $100 membership and hope all of your readers who can afford it will buy in at a higher level. I can imagine new startups are expensive, even if it involves blogging. I am an avid Dish Head, and as a 60-year-old African-American woman living in Indiana, I probably don't fit your typical reader profile. I don't do Twitter, but if I did I would be following you and Josh Marshall over at TPM. You both are the best in the blogging business. Good luck with the new venture. I have no doubt it will be a tremendous success.
I've been dismayed at how few truly successful journalists – the kind of people who can actually afford to take professional risks – have taken management positions or created a single job for an up-and-comer. Now, we're not all born managers, of course, but do I think that we journalists often lose sight of the fact that starting a business is often a deeply noble act.
I'm proud of the Dish because I realize that you guys could surely have negotiated a more lucrative contract with another publisher, made a ton of money, and continued to do great work. You'll do great work, I know, but this new path has the potential to be so much more. The fact that you're turning down easy money (and the easy respectability of operating under a large media company) and taking a risk to create something new is just so damn inspiring. Thank you.
I just gave you 50 bucks and, whatever the ultimate price is, I'm looking forward to reading your work for many, many years to come.
Have you thought about taking us all on a cruise like they do at the NRO?
Er, no. I have thought of taking all the award nominees on a cruise and as soon as it debarks, climbing into a lifeboat pronto. Previous reader reaction to the launch here and here. If you would like to become a founding member of an independent, ad free Dish, subscribe here for just $19.99 a year (or more if you are able and feeling generous).
(Image created by a Dish reader, natch)