TidBITS Needs Your Help in 2019!

(Adam Engst) #1

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2018/12/03/tidbits-needs-your-help-in-2019/

Our membership program plays a crucial role in ensuring that we can bring you TidBITS every week, but memberships went down earlier this year during the transition to our new Internet infrastructure and its new membership system. Join TidBITS today and help us maintain our award-winning tech journalism!

(B. Jefferson Le Blanc) #2

The number of Mac centric support oriented web sites has declined drastically in recent years. Others, like Macworld, have become abrasively commercial.

One new site, however, offers the kind of in-depth analysis and discussion we used to find on sites like MacFixIt and Macworld. The Otherworld Computing Blog called Rocket Yard: https://blog.macsales.com. Unlike Macworld, which gave up their author supported blogs for a useless Facebook replacement, Rocket Yard, like TidBITS, encourages comment and discussion. True, they also push their own Mac centric products, but they come in separate e-mails that are easy to ignore. Of course they also have great sales so you might not want to ignore all of them. I give them props for starting a user centric blog while so many others are giving up the ghost.

Otherworld is also unique in that they have survived where most other Mac related catalog businesses failed—after Apple opened their own brick and mortar stores. They have been serving the Mac community for decades now. So they have the expertise to support a tech blog. There are a few others still holding up, like MacRumors, but I’m down to two now, TidBITS and the Otherworld Computing Blog. And, yes, I support TidBITS with my own humble widows mite/membership. You, dear reader, should too, so I don’t lose another of my favorite Mac sites.

(Adam Engst) #3

Thanks for the kind words! I second your recommendation of OWC’s blog—they have good writers and the articles are indeed well done and useful.

(Robert Tracy) #4

One problem that I noticed is that the underlined text that comes in the TidBits mailings, look as if there are links to the articles being underlined. But strangely that’s apparently not so. The underlining seems to be for emphasis, not linking.
I’m trying to spend less time on my computer, which is already time intensive enough…

(Felix) #5

@ “…those who previously had automatic renewals have to renew manually this year.”

I see what you mean. I clicked on my account and despite being an automatically-renewing member, my account said I was not a TidBITS member!

That’s now been corrected.

I nearly passed this article by, figuring didn’t apply to me since I was an auto-renewing member. But for some reason, I did read it. Hopefully others like me will too. And renew their sustaining membership.

(Adam Engst) #6

Hmm, that’s odd—we don’t use underlining as a standalone style, so if you’re seeing underlines that aren’t links, there must be something going wrong with your email client. I’m having hernia surgery this week, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to be able to troubleshoot, but if you can forward me your email that lacks links, I can take a look.

Two possibilities come to mind. The service we’re using for email delivery, SendGrid, insists on making trackable links (we can’t turn this off) so links are long and nasty-looking. So, for one, it’s possible if you’re using an unusual email client, it might be rendering the links badly. Second, it’s not inconceivable your email provider’s server is seeing those links as problematic and stripping them from the email message before you receive it.

We’re in the process of switching from SendGrid to Sandy and Amazon SES for email delivery, partly to address this link problem and partly to reduce the monthly cost from about $200 to about $20. SendGrid proved to be a LOT more expensive than initially promised once we realized how it had to be configured.

(Adam Engst) #7

Thanks! There was simply no way to bring credit card details over from eSellerate to continue the automatic renewals, so we hope that folks like you will either see the article or read the email our new system sends explaining the need to renew manually this one time.

I am surprised that your account didn’t know you were a member. @lauri can look into that—it’s possible you had two accounts or something else happened.

(Felix) #8

I looked back through several issues and didn’t see the underline text issue you described. Maybe it’s because I’m viewing on my iPad (an iOS device)?

(Betty Fellows) #9

I’m so glad I read people’s replies or I would have not paid any attention to this. I’ve been setup for auto-renew so I would have assumed I would be billed. I’ve logged in and added a credit card & set it up to auto-renew so I should be good for years to come.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

(Lauri Reinhardt) #10

@Unger01, thanks for renewing your membership! It looks like your previous membership had expired already. When a membership expires, your account will revert back to a regular account. This would not have prevented the TidBITS issue from being sent each week, so things might not have seemed out of the ordinary for you. If you have any further questions about this, feel free to shoot me an email at support@tidbits.com.

(Adam Engst) #11

Thanks so much, Betty! I’ve heard enough of these stories that I’m going to put another article in TidBITS this week about auto-renewals specifically.

(Fred Brock) #12

Saw your new notice and reactivated my auto-renew… I too had expired, and if I saw the notice earlier, had totally forgotten it. Back in the fold!