MacStories launches new paid membership programs/Discord server/exclusive content

Yeah, the communication on this was pretty poor, honestly. I’ve been a member since they started and the new membership is just hard to follow

Me neither. He may call himself whatever he wants. It’s the fact that he gets introduced by that tittle every single podcast (at least the ones I’ve listened to). Which I think is pathetic.

It’s the introduction for those listening the podcast for the first time. He expects a new listener every podcast. So he should be properly introduced :grinning:

Evernote, yes. I was “Premier” since I first signed up, and was told several times the tier and pricing was locked in. Then, years later, this year, they blow up the tiers and I was assigned to “Personal” with no price protection. I really don’t know if the benefits are less, the same, or greater than before. Nothing seems to have changed. Promising customers “no price increase ever” is, on the face of it, a silly marketing ploy that makes future staff pay for past enthusiasms. I think Evernote (and maybe MacStories) are trying to work around that legacy, which is hard to do elegantly.

Beautifully said. I wonder if more people were up front with this stuff how people would react. Personally, I appreciate knowing what is happening up front. When @MacSparky says “I’m increasing field guide prices, because I think I they are worth it and it takes a lot of work,” or podcasts say, “advertising is going down so we are offering a membership to remain stable,” I am on board.

But who knows what I don’t know, maybe it’s better in the long run and most people don’t care. We are just the loud ones lol.

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@Jeremy. Thats true. He should have offered a discounted subscription to all those who were paying members. Who supported him all these years. It just feels like he abandoned his loyal subscribers by making them 3rd class citizens. Technically even though he did not reduce the content for orginal MacStories. There are many companies who offered loyalty discounts to current paying members and if not upgraded them to the First Class citizen status. This just feels a rip off.

Well I know “I can always unsubscribe. Nobody is asking me to subscribe.” There is a difference between you unsubscribing due to lack of interest or cost than unsubscribing because you felt ditched or dissatisfied with their intent, actions.

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Definitely valid to have valued being a biggest/closest supporter as part of an original arrangement. There are ways to recognize that, ranging from a special thanks in the announcement, to some sort of community badge that can’t be earned after a certain date, to grandfathering in current supporters into some new benefits. The people offering the benefit don’t always think about those intangible benefits so don’t realize they are withholding something when they change how supporting works if the supporter can’t or won’t move up to the new biggest support tier.

Tangentially-related, I saw a business just the other day whose name was “$3.59 Cleaners”. And not like a banner hanging in the window - a full on-building custom sign with backlighting and everything. I remember thinking that somebody is going to regret that naming choice someday. :slight_smile:


Ditto from me on wanting to support Federico and John. In my mind, these new membership tiers are part of a bespoke Patreon with no third party taking a cut. Not everything needs to satisfy an investment threshold. YMMV


I can definitely see that on some level, but I think statements like “You cannot trust anyone to have any sort of moral values these days” are hugely hyperbolic in relation to what it seems actually happened.

Creativity doesn’t get magically increased, but it’s arguable that more revenue can pay for either more people, or for the existing people to cost-justify spending more time on a given project.

That’s the thing that would be most worrisome to me, and whether or not it happens will be revealed over time. If the output volume and content quality for the first tier remains the same, then they legitimately added new stuff for the extra money.

If the output volume for the first tier goes down, or if the stuff they would previously discuss at that level essentially gets withheld and replaced with “have you considered our paid upgrade, where you can hear us talk about _____?” then there’s a problem.

Time will tell on all of it, of course. :slight_smile:

Worth noting that platforms like Memberful still take a cut. Slightly less than Patreon, but still a thing. From what I can tell, the difference seems to be more a matter of who owns the customer relationship - the client or the platform.

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And horrible for the internet as a whole as it becomes exponentially harder to find relevant solutions to problems you search for since none of it is indexed. :confused:


EXACTLY! Not forever, but for a reasonable (?) amount of time that would-

  1. Say thank you for your support in making us what we are, and
  2. Try it for 6 months, a year, etc., to see what you want going forward.

But, simply NO options but pay more is at the very least……inconsiderate.

So…my answer……GOOD BYE!

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Replying to myself. I should never have implied (or said, actually) that Federico and crew were taking something away from me, and that my recent membership renewal was somehow diminishing my value as a member. Not true. They added tiers above the original level, but they never took anything away from the $50 PA tier. And that’s fine – I got and still get what I paid for. The bargain remains in place.

Some of the comments here have the tone of “I’m screwed; I quit”. Personally, I think that’s unfair and I should not have given cause to think that way.


This makes no sense to me and is quite presumptuous. Your existing member benefits don’t change. They add more benefits for higher tiers of membership. Again, your membership doesn’t change. And you want a discount on the more expensive tier?

I don’t get people sometimes.


“Pathetic” is a strong word.


It is what it is.

No, it’s not. It’s rude.

It’s his job title; it’s what he gets paid to do. As someone mentioned before, it’s important for new listeners (who might not know Federico) to be informed of his role. You might not like it, but calling it ‘pathetic’ is uncalled for.


Perhaps good customer service? Because that’s what you are, you may feel all altruistic paying your subs, but really you’re just a customer.
They could have done a myriad of things for their existing customers, but not even a nod or wink is typical in my mind.

A quick review after trying a month:

John’s new column is going to be great if it stays at the level of the first issue. I expect finding the right level of topic variety will be important; e.g., I would like a part 2 of the first topic but I understand others are looking forward to other topics.

The additional podcast content presented as a few new short chapters makes it more fun to listen to. I didn’t listen to much of the backlog of expanded episodes so I can’t say what themes are emerging in the expanded portion.

As someone who develops some CMSes, their new one is fascinating. First, I was disappointed I couldn’t use it to search all MacStories content, not just Club content, but that’s on me. Perhaps that’s coming later.

The chunky search bar makes a good first impression but more work needs to be done here; search results are just using the most recent entries view, the category/topic explore tools can’t be used to facet search, search keywords aren’t highlighted, etc. It’s currently tolerable because the increased work being put into club content means the best stuff is most recent (subjective, obviously.)

The content explorer (again, should also be available as search facets) does a good drilling into specific content for the most part. Some of the MacStories Weekly content types aren’t sufficiently self-descriptive to be presented without comment. These might need tooltips or an explanation at the tops of their recent entry feeds.

My favorite feature is the RSS feed builder. Any explorer selection can be turned into a feed and gets saved in a list of all feeds the user has created. I got some utility out of this (e.g., I like having a separate feed for the desktop column.) Again, I’ll really like when these explorer options can be used as search facets because a feed creator that sends me new, refined search results would be powerful. I’d like to see this catch on with other publications.

I haven’t done anything with the Discord. I wish club articles had comment sections; it’s a bit annoying to know that all the reactions happened in chat and will never be pinned to the article so future readers can benefit.

Overall, I’m pleased they’re trying to do so much more, and optimistic that they can build something great if they keep improving the app and maintain the level of thoughtfulness applied to the new content.