Towards a little community around Moon Monday and my space at large
April 20, 2023 update: This experiment has to be stopped since Stripe payments no longer work as before for Indian account owners like me, which also makes it impossible to have this feature working as expected.
Hello fellow space enthusiasts and lunatics,
You may have noticed that my space blog did not have a comments section for a long while. That was intentional, partly because I preferred keeping my writing and interaction spaces separate, and partly to avoid spam and low-effort comments. But now my blogging+newsletter system, Substack, allows for a better way for me to host discussions.
Today I’m extending my space (pun intended) a tiny bit in hopes of forming a little lunar and space community. People who support my independent writing on space and our Moon now have the ability to comment publicly on my posts.
To be clear, all my articles, the Moon Monday newsletter, and all other posts remain freely accessible by anyone, and always will be. While most publications logistically similar to mine offer an ad-free experience as the baseline benefit for supporting their work, I simply never display any ads in the first place. As such, having the native comments section paid supporters only is my way of offering people something extra other than crediting them with a link. It also helps me make the discussion space safe for everyone by default i.e. without needing heavy moderation.
If you regularly read and like my work, and appreciate my efforts to bring everyone up to speed on all things lunar, I would love for you to participate in future discussions. If you have a link to share, a quote to add, more information to delve on, or a new perspective to infuse, please bring it all. Click below to see the various donation options, any of which you can use to support me and join the community:
That being said, I don’t expect my blog to become a buzzing place for lunar or space discussions, and that’s good! I simply don’t have the intention, personality, time, skillset or the will to build a thriving community. But I have every intention of serving existing communities in some unique way, which is what I hopefully do with, say, Moon Monday. As such, consider this new commenting space a little extension of those efforts, where you can add value and we all can learn from it since the comments themselves are public on the Web.
Who can join?
Since I accept reader donations in different ways—varying amounts either one time, monthly or yearly and on various platforms as well as via sponsorships—it wasn’t straightforward to decide how and when to allow supporters to comment. Here’s how that would work:
Anyone who has donated me at least $12 in a year is eligible. An average lower bound of $1/month seems like a reasonable threshold even for non-developed countries like India, where I live.
Employees of Moon Monday sponsors who subscribe to my blog (for free) automatically qualify.
As logistically needed, I’ll manually import or update emails of all eligible supporters as “paid subscribers” on my Substack so that donor-only commenting works smoothly. There will be no charge for this, it’s merely a logistical thing. If you’d like me to change your email ID though, you can let me know anytime.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and look forward to learning from you in the comments. :)