Why Did You Join Ricochet?


I know, I know: broken record time. But here’s the problem: we here at Ricochet HQ know why we love Ricochet. And from the rate of returning and renewing members (which, just so you know, is what someone in the member/subscription business called “stratospherically high”) we know that our members love it, too.

So here’s my question: why did you join? What triggered you to sign up and join this excellent community?

Because our problem is this: we have, across all of our podcasts, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of listeners. And we have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of unique web visitors. We — all of us — are bigger than MSNBC. Seriously.

But we have vastly fewer members.

And that’s okay — really, it is. We’re not tottering on the verge of collapse, I promise.

But we’d like to grow our membership. Just a little bit. A few thousand new members would be a very big deal to us.

So: when you joined, what pushed you over the edge?

(And I’d be roasted alive at the next management meeting if I didn’t also add: if you haven’t joined yet, what are you waiting for?)

(And also:  Hey! Sign up for The Daily Shot! It’s open to all, even non-members, because we don’t think you’ll be a non-member for long…)

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  1. Gojira's Hejira Member
    Gojira's Hejira

    I was already a Lileks fan, first for regrettable food, then for the screed, so I followed him.  I was given the impression that Mark Steyn would have a bigger involvement here.  Bait and switch!  But you’ll do ;)

    • #31
  2. user_137118 Member

    I joined because of James Lileks.  I have been a fan of his since I surfed across his “Gallery of Regrettable Foods” in about 2000.  I think I heard about the site on the Dennis Prager show (I subscribe to Pragertopia).

    I am very cheap, but I like this community so much I subscribed at the Thatcher level.

    • #32
  3. Concretevol Thatcher

    I had to have gotten here from NRO, my longtime desktop homepage.  I don’t exactly remember that but I remember being impressed the most by the opportunity for dialogue with such a wide range of people.  For the love of god a regular guy like ME could interact with PETER ROBINSON, how was that possible??  (Not to mention Dave Carter!)

    My top selling points to others are this:

    1. Some really outstanding writing and thinking going on here (NOT by me).

    2. Participation is whatever you are comfortable with.  You can post, comment or merely read.

    3. The civility level is soooo refreshing after glancing at typical comment sections.

    4. I love lots of them but the flagship podcast is worth admission.

    • #33
  4. Julia PA Inactive
    Julia PA

    I went Cold Turkey off network news, yahoo news, etc, so I went to some radio guy’s web page for a list of his daily ‘reading’ material so I could somehow stay informed. Not sure how or why, but the Ricochet title intrigued me, and I added it to my browser favorites.

    I had been lurking reading the main feed for months, and loved the commentary on the news. I finally joined on R>2.0 Eve 2014. I didn’t join to comment, but to get access to the member feed…because there were headlines, stories and comments there that intrigued me, but I could not read.

    My favorite main feed contributors at the time were Judith Levy, with a very special place for Penelope who just made me smile. I also enjoyed Denise McAllister.

    I’m learning about podcasts, and adding them to my listening repertoire.

    Since October, I have enjoyed participating in group writing on specific prompts, like Jokes, Surprises and Gifts. Ricochet gives everyone a chance to have a voice, to make a contribution.


    [As for word count limits, take the average word length of these Ricochet Shout-Outs, and set that as the new limit.]

    • #34
  5. user_137118 Member
    Gojira’s Hejira

    I was already a Lileks fan, first for regrettable food, then for the screed, so I followed him.  I was given the impression that Mark Steyn would have a bigger involvement here.  Bait and switch!  But you’ll do ;)

    Thats weird! We had nearly identical reasons and posted at the same time!

    Separated at birth?  ;-)

    • #35
  6. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby

    After listening to the Flagship Podcast for a while, and reading the Main Feed, I felt I had something worthwhile to add to a couple of discussions, so I joined to be able to comment.

    Then I found that much of the best material was on the Member Feed, where commentaries were posted by people who actually understood how things work in the real world, which is quite different from commentary by pundits who live in alternate universes from the rest of us. And, those “regular” people often write better than the pundits.

    • #36
  7. carlboraca@gmail.com Inactive

    You don’t need a dime a dozen jerk with an MBA to tell you how to run things but, too bad, you asked for it….

    As you can see from the comments it is the podcasts that draw most people, they are what got me. They are the gateway drug. The dilemma is you can’t require membership for them because that is how you attract guests and future new members but how do you get non-member podcast listeners to join?

    For what it is worth, here is my suggestion. Have a base set of podcasts available to anyone for free and then a premium set only available for members. I know you are on this path with Thatcher level podcasts but this is going a step further where there is larger set of podcasts only available with Coolidge membership.

    Just spitballing (and by no means do I suggest you need to spend even more time supporting Ricochet than you already kindly do)…….but imagine a “standard” Ricochet weekly podcast for free and then a “members only” (like the 80s jacket, only better) requiring a Coolidge membership. I am positive this would drive guest conversions.

    The beauty of using the additional podcast access as the carrot is it is a known entity non-members value…..the other goodies (posting, commenting) are something tough for them to value until they join (at which point they will highly value).

    Sorry for the long comment and keep up the great work!

    • #37
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens

    I heard a podcast and joined in the Facebook pre-sign up. I was hooked from day one on the podcast, and I was looking for a civil place to talk online to other conservatives. At the time, I kinda knew Rob Long was a funny guy that was involved with my favorite sitcom ever.

    I don’t have lots of spare money to donate or step up membership (Boy Scouts got that part of my heart a long time ago), but I will stay a member as long as their is a Ricochet.

    Rob and Peter, this is the best site for news and commentary on the web. I trust the community we have here to keep me better informed and better understanding what is going on that NRO, Weekly Standard, or even Power Line. If I ever do a NR cruise, it will be to see people that I know from Ricochet.

    I am glad this is not a scary Rob Post like last year!

    • #38
  9. user_554634 Moderator


    Mike Rapkoch:I don’t even recall how I found Ricochet. I do remember why I joined, however. After reading just one or two main feed articles I was hooked. Then I thought “why not sign up, it’s only 40 bucks?” And I’d get to read stuff written by a huge number of wise folks who I would never have heard of if I didn’t join. Plus, I got to read the intelligent, funny, and sometimes even sweet member feed articles. It was like a seduction. But, as they say, you can’t really seduce the willing.

    I signed up for a Thatcher a few weeks ago, primarily for the coffee cup(-:, but mostly because I want Rico to grow and prosper. So, people, sign up. You’ll not do better anywhere else.

    Speaking of which does the coffee mug just magically appear because I didn’t give any shipping info oranything…….just wondering :-)

    Mine arrived via the evil USPS about 60 years after I signed up (it’s a joke…only took 60 months…also a joke for criminy sakes!!!) It took a couple weeks. It’s now my primary coffee cup. It has substantially reduced the stains on my shirts. It does help to give an address so the pigeon can find you.

    • #39
  10. Blondie Thatcher

    I came to Ricochet through the podcast. I had started listening to Uncommon Knowledge from the NRO site and noticed Peter was on another podcast from something called Ricochet. I listened a few times and decided to check out the site. Long story short, Rob guilted me into paying for the podcast by becoming a member. I am the richer for it, however, because of the infomation and friendships I get out of it. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t turn to my husband and say, “I love this site!” So if you aren’t a member, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

    • #40
  11. ChrisinDCburbs Inactive

    It was the skin in the game message for me. Ricochet is too good for me to just freeloader.

    • #41
  12. user_75648 Thatcher

    Because I think Ricochet is growing into an institution.  I support right of center institutions (e.g., PJ Media) by subscribing to them and giving them money.

    And I am very willing to be patient.  Institutions to not emerge overnight.  This is going to take time.

    But I believe Ricochet is destined to be become a thoughtful, NPRish, adult and serious influence that emanates from its right of center location on the political spectrum. I’m in this for the long haul: I’m not going anywhere.

    • #42
  13. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    It was Paul Rahe’s fault.  I took an online course from Hillsdale College in late 2012, and while reading his bio, I noticed that he contributed to Ricochet.  I had no idea what Ricochet was, so I checked it out.  After reading the main feed for about five minutes, I shouted “Hey, Ray, you’ve got to see this Web site!  We’ve gotta join!!”.  We have separate memberships, and I just renewed at Thatcher level.  I don’t care about the coffee cup, but I am a fairly regular AMU attendee.  We live out here in Deep Blue WA, and I at least need my fix of conversation with people who think the same way I do.  I have sort of become the “meetup queen” around here, and have organized a few.  There is absolutely nothing like spending a few hours with the Ricochetti in your area.  I love Ricochet, and all the members, and I’m here for the long haul.

    • #43
  14. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT

    My first introduction was the FlagShip podcast in which I found on NRO in 2011.  I listened to the podcasts regularly and lurked on the main feed for about a year, particularly right near the election. Then I saw the infamous Main Feed post in Jan 13 that basically said unless more people join Ricochet would be no more. I was one of the group that signed up at that time.  Then I was hooked and now I am on the site nearly everyday (sometimes too much).  The podcasts are the bait, but the commenting and the Member Feed are the nets that keep people around and resubscribing.  I like the idea of a 30 day free trial.

    • #44
  15. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea

    The Steyn-Goldberg-Long podcast was originally behind the paywall.  It disappeared right after I joined.

    If Mark Steyn won’t come back, just find another random guy named Steyn, and try a podcast with him behind the paywall……

    It might work.

    • #45
  16. user_157053 Member

    I was also an early member.  Between the Rico flagship podcast and Steyn/Goldberg/Long, I felt I should join just to keep things going.  Like all good conservatives, I feel like I should pay for good content I use on a regular basis.

    As for encouraging new members, I am not sure what would work.  I do think making the point of paying a few bucks for content you listen to religiously is a good angle.

    • #46
  17. HeartofAmerica Inactive

    I’m pretty sure it was because of Pat Sajak. However, don’t ask me on what social media site I saw Pat’s Ricochet post linked. I read it, liked it and decided to take a look at Ricochet. I read it, liked it and learned that there was in fact more to see…you just had it hidden behind the member wall.

    Seriously, it looked like everyone was having a good time. Serious and informative posts were great but there was something else that really pulled me in and made me decide to spend some of my hard-earned money to become a member. It was   a genuineness that I felt existed among the members. They poked each other, they prodded one another and sometimes I could tell feathers were ruffled occasionally but never to the point of meanness. But for the most part, members (from all over the world) acted as if they were long-time friends…and we still do.

    Ricochet is a pretty nice place with pretty nice people and given what I see most days on social media…I am very happy that Ricochet exists.

    • #47
  18. Yudansha Member

    Do more GLoP and make it a member’s only podcast.  Build it, and they will come.

    • #48
  19. user_615140 Inactive

    I joined as a pick-me-up after the November 2012 train wreck.

    • #49
  20. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards

    Rob Long: And we have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of unique web visitors.

    If you are hanging out on Ricochet already, you really should join. The whole point of Ricochet is that you are a part of it. Your opinion . . .well . . . without knowing you I can’t say it matters, but you have an opinion. Share it.

    Once you join, you can use Ricochet as you see fit. Want to write long, well thought out essays? Great. Want to just throw out a quick topic to get a discussion started? That’s good too. Or maybe you just want to add a comment here or there, that works as well.

    While this is first and foremost a political site, there is more to life than politics. Members post about, books, movies, science, current events, religion, sports, personal stories, advice. Have a question about almost any topic? Post it on the member feed and someone will have an opinion to share with you. Ask a question about guns or scotch and you’ll get hundreds of replies.

    On Ricochet you will get to deal with lots of great people and, although you will have to deal with the rest of us as well, you won’t have to deal with the ugliness found in the comments section of most web sites.

    • #50
  21. dialm Inactive

    I also joined under the impression that Mark Steyn would be a regular!

    However I’ve been a Coolidge member for a while now and I’m very happy. Podcasts let me get my conservative pov fix while I can do other stuff around the house. I don’t like to eyeball the screen all day. My favourites are the flagship program and Dellingpole

    If I could suggest though that the GLoP podcast adjust it’s format a bit. It’s billed as a culture show but half of the last podcast was just discussing the same campus rape stories that everyone else was (im aware politics and culture overlap). And their definition of culture seems heavily skewed towards Pixar and superhero movies. There could also be the opportunity for guests? Broaden your scope please gentlemen!

    • #51
  22. PTomanovich Member

    I can’t remember how I originally came to join but for me the reason I have remained a member is the podcasts – particularly the Flagship.  I don’t see anything else out there that comes close to the decency and humor that you get week in and week out on that podcast.

    To give an example, I signed up my mom as a Mother’s Day gift last year.  How many other podcasts could you imagine doing that with?

    Another strong justification is the belief that we are on the ground floor of something special that will be an institution to be proud of many years hence.

    A final reason is the center-right alignment.  I’m glad that Fox News is out there to keep the other networks honest but I can’t watch it.  The arguments are not those of people that are constantly being challenged by others that disagree with them (like upstate NY where I am) but preachers to the choir.

    Long, Yoo, Robinson, Senik, Sajak.  Great, great, stuff.

    • #52
  23. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter

    I’m a White Conservative Man with money to burn, so I demanded My illegal alien housekeeper to find another furnace in which to toss some extra cash while poor people die of obesity.

    And the Member Feed.

    • #53
  24. user_1029039 Inactive

    Where are all you people when we’re having discussions on the Member Feed?

    • #54
  25. user_1029039 Inactive

    Jimmy Carter:I’m a White Conservative Man with money to burn, so I demanded My illegal alien housekeeper to find another furnace in which to toss some extra cash while poor people die of obesity.

    And the Member Feed.

    Do you run a recurring game of Russian  Roulette?

    • #55
  26. Gojira's Hejira Member
    Gojira's Hejira

    Separated at birth? ;-)

    Dean Murphy:

    Gojira’s Hejira

    Quite possibly!  Let me know if we get an inheritance.

    • #56
  27. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter

    ‘Do you run a recurring game of Russian Roulette?’

    Yes, whenever I can make it to Thursday’s NAMU.

    • #57
  28. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue

    Why did I join Ricochet? Because the flagship podcast was unique in tone and content and consistently better than anything else I could find- and I listen to a lot of internet radio. I’m a translator working internationally, so I am online nearly every waking moment some days. That is not an overstatement, folks. It’s a mess out there in podcast world- and finding material as consistently thoughtful and clever as Ricochet is rare. Why have I stayed? Because the other Ricochet podcasts match- or nearly- the quality of the flagship and because the people who are members are outstanding (Jeff P., Olive, Nanda, Doc Jay, Dime, SoS, Ryan M., CJS, et alia).

    • #58
  29. user_4462 Member

    I joined Ricochet because I enjoy the podcasts so much, even as early as 2010, that I felt an obligation to do my part to ensure that the organization survives and continues to provide them to me on a weekly basis.  I used to listen to talk radio on my daily commute, but now I listen almost exclusively to podcasts on an mp3 player.

    • #59
  30. user_645 Editor

    Rob, the scientist in me says that this is a good way to start a conversation, but a crummy way to get the answer you’re looking for, methodologically speaking–if the question you’re asking really is, “How do we get more people to join?” (If anyone wants to volunteer the reasons for this, I leave it as an exercise, but let’s just say: Anyone who still believes there’s any “science” in “social science” should at this point be screaming “sampling bias!”

    And those words should prompt you to think of phrases like “random digit dialing,” and why pollsters think about things like that. Other hints might be phrases like “leading questions,” “measurement error,” “the difference between what people say think they do and how they behave” … and, well, I do leave the rest as an exercise.

    Now, if your goal is to go to that management meeting with some good anecdotes, terrific–you’ll get those for sure. But there’s a reason for the cliche: The plural of anecdotes is not data.

    It’s still not pointless, scientifically: if your goal is to stimulate the imagination so better to generate hypotheses that might be worth subjecting to experiment? Could work! But don’t take that to the management meeting and tell them it’s data. (Well, depends who they are and what the objective is. But they’d better not be the kind of people who think the way I do.)

    But if your goal is to get more people to join? We’ve still got a few problems left.

    If saying, “Hey, I asked, and this is what they said, so let’s do it,” would fly with management, we’ve got an even bigger problem. (One that could even be closely connected to why we keep finding ourselves mighty surprised by the results of elections–and we might want to worry about that, first. But also in a narrower and more personal way, because management just isn’t thinking straight.)

    On the other hand,  as a conversation-starter, it’s great: And you actually beat me to it, because I was working on a similar post, or a tangential one. So now I should probably wait a few days to post it.

    Meanwhile, I’ll read what everyone else has to say about this, and consider their reactions carefully when I update my “intuitions about Ricochet” post–which will be based on “a bit of introspection” and some “anecdotal evidence” but should not be confused with “a rigorous, reproducible, and well-constructed study that might actually be of any use,” and would certainly be nothing like a “something you’d really think about carefully if you’re serious about marketing and sales.”

    It might, however, be fun. Which is always good enough for me.

    Anyway, the subject has my interest, for reasons you’ll learn about. But you beat me to it, and we can’t be running back-to-back meta-Ricochet posts, alas. So now I have to find another topic to write about–for today.

    Fortunately, it’s a big, interesting world.

    • #60
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