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Significant changes at Forward Kentucky

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

Dear ForwardKY friend – I want to share some changes with you that I’ve implemented at Forward Kentucky. I think they are good changes, and I hope you’ll agree.

Here’s the list:

  • A new membership level
  • New names for the levels
  • New benefits (including content access)
  • New newsletter/email management
  • Upgrading / downgrading your membership

And the details:

A new membership level

A number of you indicated that the leap from free to $9 a month was a bit large for your pocketbook – AND, some of the benefits there were more interesting than others.

So, I’ve added a “medium” membership level at $5 a month. It has some of the benefits people indicated mattered to them – but with still reserves other benefits for the $9 level.

New names for the levels

I never really liked “Subscriber” for the free sign-up and “Member” for the paid one. So, with the three levels, we’re going with more descriptive names:

  • Friend for the free membership
  • Patron for the $5 one
  • Partner for the $9 one

New benefits

One change I am making is to limit access to our original content to people who have signed up at any level. Content from elsewhere will continue to be open to all.

I think this change puts more value on our contributors and their content, which is the goal. And, if someone enjoys reading a certain one of our regular contributors, then signing up for a free membership is not too much to ask.

With that change in mind, here’s a list of all the benefits at each level. Obviously, you have to be logged in to enjoy them.

Friend (free)

  • Read all articles, including ones by our authors
  • Add your comments to posts
  • Add your Likes to posts
  • Receive the weekly newsletter w/ updates about the site, and links to that week’s content. (Opt in / opt out)
  • Receive occasional Action Alerts (Opt in / opt out)

Patron ($5 a month)

Everything in the Friend level, plus:

  • Access to the Bill Tracker
  • Access to the Legislator Scorecard
  • Access to Election Central

Partner ($9 a month)

Everything in the Patron level, plus:

  • Your own custom bill sheet in the Bill Tracker
  • Bruce’s “Daily Take” newsletter (opt in / opt out)
  • The daily General Assembly update (opt in / opt out)
  • Special online events such as interviews with elected officials
  • Online webinars and explainers (both live and recorded)

New newsletter/email management

You notice all the “opt in / opt out” parentheticals beside the email newsletters? That’s because we have implemented a way for you to change your newsletter settings for each newsletter. Simply log into the site, then click the blue button at the lower right to get to your profile. Click on the “Newsletters” link and you can opt in or out of each newsletter. (Note that the bottom two are for Partners only, so even if you opt in, you won’t get them unless you are at that level.)

I think this is a great improvement, and will keep people from unsubscribing to emails entirely just because they don’t want to get one of the newsletters.

Upgrading / downgrading your membership

Obviously, the addition of a new “medium level” membership at $5 a month is the biggest news here. And, I am hopeful that it will encourage some of you at the free level (Friend) to sign up for Patron.

I also know that some of you went to the Partner level (formerly Member at $9 a month) because you really wanted access to the Bill Tracker. If that’s the case, you can downgrade your membership to the $5 plan and keep that.

Changing plans is simple – just go to your profile and click “Change” beside your current level.

Finally ...

I am excited about these changes, and looking forward to writing the Daily Take (starting next week). I also think the three levels will give people more flexibility to pick and choose what matters to them. And finally, I hope that limiting our original content to members at any level will encourage more people to become members.

I’m always glad to hear feedback from our members, so if you want to drop me a note about these changes, just email me.

And FINALLY finally – thank you for being part of our readership and part of the ForwardKY “family.” I appreciate each of you, and hope that you find value in your membership.

Bruce

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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)


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