JCL Blog

Which Publisher to Support? Consider Wikipedia

There are many things we have to be thankful for today.  If I were running a print magazine, I would be particularly thankful for my loyal subscribers.  People who actually pay for printed magazines are a rare breed, have to be extremely expensive to acquire, and taking good care of them must be a high priority for publishers.

However, there is some evidence that the industry has adopted some "best practices" that drive away subscribers.

I subscribe to three magazines.  All three of them regularly send me notices that my subscriptions are about to expire.  National Geographic is the only one that indicates when my subscription actually expires.  This is a good idea and as a result, I have had uninterrupted delivery of National Geographic for over 10 years.

Sailing World and the Harvard Business Review make no mention of the expiration date of my subscription.  So I don't renew until I notice that I have not been getting the magazine.  If I never notice then I am a customer lost forever.

Jimmy Wales has been making an appeal to all of us to make donations to his foundation that runs Wikipedia.  This annual fund drive, presumably copied from public radio, must work for him.  I give to public radio but before now I have never given to Wikipedia.  I use Wikipedia at least as much as public radio.  

So this Thanksgiving I am going to send my money to Jimmy Wales.  I may not notice if my mailbox has fewer magazines in it, but I would certainly notice if I could not go to Wikipedia any more.  If you agree, here is the link to the Wikimedia giving page.