As we enter our ninth month of existence, your friendly Autopian staff continues to work hard to improve the site to make it the ultimate car-enthusiast publication on the internet. How are we doing? Come join us in the comments and give us some feedback, ask us some questions, and maybe answer a couple of our questions.
To Answer Some Pressing Questions:
- Project Cactus is coming next week with a whopper of an update. Thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded.
- Yes, the podcast is coming back next Wednesday! We were off for Thanksgiving Day.
- Shirts will start shipping soon, you can still order them here.
A Big Question!
Our goal is to share more stories with you by more writers, to buy more terrible cars for more wacky adventures, to host more events so we can meet you, and to ultimately be a place built on enthusiasm for automobiles — something that that can feel like it’s missing from publications that purport to be for auto enthusiasts. We’d like your help.
On Thursday, December 8th, we’re going to launch Autopian membership! This comes after an outpouring from you all asking how you can support this site. The membership will allow you, dear readers, to be a bigger part of this crazy operation. Something similar worked for our comrades at Defector and we’ve been encouraged by the community response they’ve gotten, though our membership will not be mandatory — you’ll still be able to read the site without paying a dime, because The Autopian is for everyone. But only members will get certain perks, like the ability to hang out with the writers on Zoom regularly, and exclusive merch, and custom artwork from Jason and vials of rust from DT (depending upon which tier of membership you choose). We’ll get to the details when we launch, and we’d love your suggestions in the comments; we’re excited!
We’re working on making this not just the best car website out there, but the most long-term sustainable one. And that’s tricky in the tough auto journalism industry. The best way to make sure we can create what everyone wants without compromise is to essentially bring you, our readers, in as partners/customers rather than to rely solely on advertisers. We don’t want popup ads and slideshows if we can avoid them. Heck, getting away from those is part of the reason we exist in the first place!
We’re extremely fortunate to have Beau as a founder and partner who has believed in us enough to help us build what we have today, but we can do so much more.
A key part of our Thursday membership launch is that we want to give extra value above and beyond what’s on the page. We don’t want to restrict our posts only to members, and we don’t want to make you pay for having to comment. We want to keep all that stuff free. We also want to hire more people and do bigger projects. If every person who has a commenter account on this site signed up for a membership we’d probably have enough to hire two or three more folks immediately.
[Editor’s Note: If you like Project Cactus, and want more of that, and faster turnaround, become a member! I’ll wrench 24/7 around the world on some of the weirdest cars you’ve never heard of, producing a blog a day (with video!) if we get enough signups. My next trip is Brazil whether y’all join or not, it’s just a matter of whether I’m sleeping in a car or in a bed. I don’t care either way, but my mom tells me I need to take better care of myself. So sign up for her sake? Also, I plan to hire many more engineers and get more technical content on these here pages; that’s a huge goal of mine. -DT].
[Editor’s Note: Hey, I want to go to Brazil, too! Have you seen the weird air-cooled VWs there? – JT]
Since we started this site, many of you have asked us to provide a way for you to support our operation so that we can stick around for the long haul; but we will do better than just that. We want to give a lot of value to our members beyond the warm fuzzy feeling you get from being a part of this community. What would appeal to you? What is valuable to you? This is a community, more than anything, and we’ve never done this before so we can use all the help we can get.
Go nuts! Open thread. Oh, and thank you!