“Dear Abby” for nerds?

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I’ve been accepting monthly, subscription-based donations from readers of this site without providing anything extra for the consideration. I sincerely appreciate all of the people who make continuous contributions—at any amount—and I’ve been planning out a way that I can give something back without making a paywall or writing good stuff that no one else can read. I have formulated a plan1.

I’m working out the details of an AMA newsletter. It will consist of my thoughtful answers to questions from readers in a bi-weekly (to start) email newsletter. The archives of the newsletter will become publicly available after a while, but subscribers at any level will get my responses in a more timely fashion.

I have a broad range of knowledge, and there are some areas I’m actually pretty good at. I’ll take questions about OS X, Unix, programming, mental issues, productivity, applications, workflows, whiskey… you name it. The questions I put time into answering will be the ones I determine will be of general interest, or that I would have a blast responding to. My own whims, I guess.

I’ll be using the Memberful setup that I’ve already been working with. I’m ironing out the Memberful/Mailchimp integration, a login system, and a question submission form. I still have a bit to do, but I intend to launch this within a week or two.

About 50% of my current subscriber income is coming via PayPal subscriptions. PayPal doesn’t make it easy for me to dump a list of all those supporters. I’m working on it, but if you’re currently donating through PayPal and want to switch from PayPal to Memberful, feel free to as it will ensure that you’re part of the login/email subscription system without dealing with hacky workarounds.

Everyone who’s already subscribed is already in on the game, and you’ll be the first to get the newsletter when it’s ready. You’re also free to send questions directly until I get a submission form set up.

I’m hoping this will prove to be a fun way to give something extra to the people who’ve been very generous. I have a couple of questions as I work out the details, feel free to respond in the comments, on Twitter, or by email:

  • Should question submission be open to anyone, or only paid subscribers?
  • What would make this idea most interesting/useful to you?
  1. Insert Mr. Burns finger temple