What’s Next for ParentData?
How you can support the newsletter
Today: It’s a newsletter about the newsletter, and a bit of a recommitment and relaunch. And an announcement that I’m turning on paid subscriptions. I will explain why below. (Though if you don’t need to hear more, you can subscribe here right now!)
Lest we lose content for the week, tomorrow I’ll do a bit of a roundup post on kids and food.
In February 2020, I started this newsletter with a post about antibiotics, allergies, and Zika (you can read it here). At the time, I envisioned writing every couple of weeks to a few hundred very interested people who wanted to know more about topics like back sleeping in pregnancy and juice for kids.
Then COVID happened and that changed, along with everything else (literally, the second newsletter post is about COVID, so I didn’t maintain my non-COVID writing for long). The newsletter has grown, and over the past 18 months it has provided me with a sense of connection to the outside world, opened up opportunities, and presented challenges and joys.
Along the way, producing it has become a much bigger part of what I’m doing with my time. And I have realized that it’s infeasible to do it on my own forever. Or, put differently, I’ve realized the newsletter would be better with help. You may have noticed in the past couple of months that everything is a little tighter. More organized. Better-looking. Better-edited. Fewer spelling mistakes. More features, like the ask-me-anything threads. This has all been made possible by a couple of awesome people I’ve brought on to help, most notably Kathryn Salam, who is an extraordinary partner.
To make this possible — both the help and the time I’m spending — I’m turning on paid subscriptions.
What does this mean?
First, let me tell you what will not change. The main newsletter content, the twice-weekly posts, will remain free. I started this with the belief that people could be helped by better-empowered decision-making, and I’m not going to limit access to that.
In the end, I’m asking people — if they can — to consider a $6 per month subscription. The main reason to do so is to support this work and make it possible. It’s kind of like PBS; this is my version of a televised pledge drive. Or if you are too young to remember that, think of it as the Patreon model.
If you subscribe, there are a few ways I’ll try to say thank you, including...
Ability to comment on posts
Opportunity to participate in monthly AMAs
Access to monthly Roundup posts on a particular topic (an example, not paywalled, is coming tomorrow)
I will tell you, because I try to be honest, that I’m still a little torn here. I feel like the readers of the newsletter are my friends (maybe you do not all agree!). Which means it feels a bit like asking my friends to pay to listen to me. But in the end, I think this is the right move, simply because it will make the newsletter better and it will let me leave the main content totally open.
So! If you want to support ParentData, if you can, please subscribe. And if that isn’t financially feasible but you want to have full access, please reach out.
OK, that’s it! I’ll be back tomorrow with data about kids and food. Thanks for reading, and thanks especially for supporting.
Thank you for taking these steps to build the sustainability of the newsletter! It has been an amazing resource and contributor to the dialogue, and for me it is a no brainer to subscribe. I suspect you will find many people feel similarly - and I hope people do!
I signed up because I feel like you’re my friend, too! And I like to support my friends.