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Help Keep TidBITS Vibrant in 2021

As the initial days of December tick by, many TidBITS members will be seeing renewal notices arriving in their email. If you’re among them, thank you in advance for renewing! If you have trouble, contact Lauri Reinhardt at [email protected] for help.

We started the TidBITS membership program back in 2011. With over 3700 loyal readers now, it generates most of the revenue we need to pay for managing editor Josh Centers and regular contributors like Agen Schmitz, Glenn Fleishman, and Julio Ojeda-Zapata, along with Web hosting, email distribution, and ongoing maintenance and development.

Since TidBITS memberships run on a rolling annual basis, if you don’t get a renewal reminder, it’s likely because you joined at another point in the year. (You can check your membership expiration date in your account.)  In particular, over 700 of you joined us in April 2020 as part of our 30th-anniversary membership drive. I can’t express how much that outpouring of support improved things for us, particularly in the early dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic (see “TidBITS Marks Its 30th Anniversary in a Time of Pandemic,” 13 April 2020, and “TidBITS Memberships Increase—Thank You!,” 20 April 2020).

Eight months later, TidBITS remains on firmer financial footing. I must confess to a certain level of survivor syndrome—as a decentralized, online business, TidBITS has weathered the coronavirus-driven impacts on the economy better than many other small firms, particularly those that rely on retail foot traffic or in-person collaboration.

As such, while I want to encourage everyone to start or renew a TidBITS membership, I must in good conscience say that I don’t want a contribution to TidBITS to detract from any help you’d provide to people close to you or local small businesses in dire straits. While the news on the vaccine front is highly promising, I fear that winter in the Northern Hemisphere will cause things to worsen before they improve. We must all continue to take care of one another with mask wearing, physical distancing, and mental health support until safe, effective vaccines are broadly available.

Throughout 2021, we’ll continue with our 30-year mission of helping you be as productive as possible with your Apple gear. That includes our articles, of course, but also the increasingly vibrant and helpful TidBITS Talk community, where our writers answer questions about their articles and other knowledgeable TidBITS readers share their real-world experiences.

If you aren’t yet part of the TidBITS membership program, would you consider joining the thousands of other readers who help keep TidBITS running? You know we focus on content that’s practical, timely, and free of the constructed drama and conflict that many other sites like to drum up. How worthwhile is our work to you?

You can choose from different levels of support: $20, $50, $100, and $1000, or set your own monthly or yearly amount. There’s also a Boost TidBITS button at the bottom of that page if you want to use PayPal or make an extra out-of-cycle donation. I also just learned that we may be able to enable Apple Pay very soon; we’ve been waiting years for our membership plug-in to support it.

The membership perks are the same at each level, with one exception: the $1000 TidBITS Angel level is a lifetime membership that includes a fine dinner with Tonya and me if you’re in Ithaca or we’re in your city, once travel becomes feasible again. Membership perks include:

  • Discounts of 15% to 50% on 90+ Mac products worth over $1100
  • A 30% discount on all Take Control books
  • The option to receive new articles in email as they’re published
  • A full-text RSS feed (non-members get a summary-only feed)
  • A version of the TidBITS Web site free of paid banner ads
  • Optional acknowledgment on our public TidBITS Members page

Be sure to scroll through the Membership Benefits page, which lists all the Mac apps on which members receive discounts. Among them, you’ll find essential apps that we use and recommend, like 1Password, Audio Hijack, Default Folder X, DEVONthink, Keyboard Maestro, LaunchBar, Nisus Writer Pro, PDFpen, PopChar X, Scrivener, SpamSieve, and more. (Contact me if you’d like to add your company’s product to the list.)

Example discounts
A few examples from our Membership Benefits page

So if you find TidBITS valuable or have received personal help from one of us simply because you asked, please become a TidBITS member to help us continue publishing the kind of articles you’ve become accustomed to reading each week. You’ll have our undying gratitude, and more importantly, you can rest assured that every article you read was made possible in some small part by your generosity. Thank you!

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

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Comments About Help Keep TidBITS Vibrant in 2021

Notable Replies

  1. When I got this email I checked my account which comes up for renewal on December 9th. Rather than wait for a renewal notice, I figured I would just go to my account and renew now. That doesn’t seem possible - maybe because you have my credit card number and will automatically charge me at my current ($50) level - which is OK. I think in the past I have renewed early but it doesn’t seem possible now.


  2. It speaks volumes of your social responsibility that you include the following statement.

  3. @ace, any chance you could incorporate a boost link through Apple Pay or something else that doesn’t require PayPal? I’m trying to avoid PP these days, but I’d be happy to send you guys a small donation through another channel to show my continued appreciation. :slight_smile:

  4. Yes, I think that’s the case. With the automatic renewal, we’re using Stripe’s subscription processing, so it will automatically renew on December 15th, and I don’t believe there’s any way to pre-empt that. But no worries—it will just happen!

    Thank you. I really do mean what I said in the article, too. We need to make sure we’re paying our people and our bills and earning a living, but realistically we have no problems compared to so many people and small businesses out there. We should be further down the priority list for those who can help others.

    I can’t find any way to do Apple Pay via something as simple as a link, but what about Apple Pay Cash to [email protected]? :slight_smile:

    Thanks for asking about this, since it triggered me to go research Apple Pay support in Paid Memberships Pro, something I’ve been asking them about for years now. Turns out they just released it a month ago, so I’m checking with my developer to see if it’s an easy install. That won’t change the Boost TidBITS button, but some people will really like it.

  5. Thanks a bunch for mentioning the TidBITS member page. I had no idea we had software discounts in becoming a member! Now that I no longer have any discount benefits available to me as an Apple employee, it’s nice to know these exist. :blush:

  6. That’s a very generous sentiment, Adam, well done!

  7. Perfect solution. Done. :)

    Maybe you can find some way to advertise that on your boost page in case there’s others that prefer Apple Cash to PayPal. Thanks BTW for the suggestion. That finally got me to add my new debit card to my Apple Wallet. I had completely forgot about that.

  8. My only hesitation is that then I’d get sucked into having even more great Messages conversations with readers like we just did. :slight_smile:

  9. Fair point. :laughing: Apologies. :wink:

  10. I’ve enabled Apple Pay for TidBITS memberships now. However, I don’t recommend using it for the membership levels with variable pricing if you change the suggested amount. There seems to be an issue with Apple Pay wanting to pay the suggested amount regardless of what you enter instead. Still trying to work through that.

    If you use Apple Pay for your membership, let us know how it goes!

  11. Where is the membership link?

  12. Got it — and with Apple Pay; thanks!


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