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. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Well, I stayed because I like writing now and again and didn’t have anywhere else to do it with much profit.  I think you’re already attracting those customers.  I came via the podcast from NRO.

    Here’s another angle.  A few months ago a powerful, prominent Member of Congress unexpectedly lost his seat in a primary race, and nobody saw it coming.

    While the reporters were still scrambling all the analysis you wanted was right here on the Member Feed: Immigration was part of Cantor’s loss, but not all (otherwise a lot more incumbents would’ve gone down); his constituent services had a bad reputation and there was a general impression he was focusing on D.C. politics rather than representing his district.  There wasn’t any real danger of losing the seat to the Democrats.

    And the best reporting later on confirmed all that.  In other words, we got the inside scoop before the media figured out what was going on.

    Our history is made up of hundreds of local stories, and having access to on-the-ground reporting from people who live where those stories happen provides new insight into that history, and makes it a lot more fun.

    • #61
  2. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    When I joined a little over two years ago I didn’t even know about the podcasts, and it was only earlier this year that I listened to my first one.

    I joined because Mollie said she thought that I would really enjoy the discussions in the Member Feed at Ricochet.   She had to explain Ricochet to me, which she did with great enthusiasm.

    She was right.   I greatly enjoy the Member Feed.

    I miss Mollie.

    • #62
  3. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    I’d just like to chime in and say that more members may not be the solution to the problem. Ricochet may do better by making it harder to get in. Anyway, that’s just me being right again… carry on.

    • #63
  4. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    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.

    At the risk of embarrassing Jimmah, he is actually another reason I stayed faithful to the site. He won’t remember it, but He was the First member to comment on my First post.

    • #64
  5. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    I joined because Claire Berlinski invited me and gave me a free membership.

    • #65
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    There are really nice people here. Friendly. Intelligent. And very funny, except when they are moved by someone or something. And then they try to help.

    Who can explain the Member Feed? It’s crazy. Who would believe it?

    Living in the media age was fun for a while, but it became overwhelming. Too much noise, not enough signal.

    Here, everything makes sense, eventually.

    I read somewhere that there’s a theory that dreams are the brain’s way of filtering and discharging most of the billions of messages it takes in every day. That’s what Ricochet does. It’s all signal. No noise.

    I used to read the Drudge Report. I don’t bother anymore. If a news story doesn’t move someone to write something on the Member Feed, it may be news, but it doesn’t matter.  :)

    The Member Feed is the Greek chorus for the comedy of the universe.

    • #66
  7. user_645 Editor
    user_645
    @Claire

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

    I’ve actually been right there with you, reading what you have to say with interest. I mean–it might be anecdotal evidence, but we certainly do have a lot of it.

    • #67
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    How about this for an advertising message:

    The Member Feed is a bar room where everybody knows your name.

    • #68
  9. user_645 Editor
    user_645
    @Claire

    Mike LaRoche:I joined because Claire Berlinski invited me and gave me a free membership.

    Seriously?

    (Scientist in me: Don’t be distracted by your own name. But ask “How many in our sample might meet this description?” Devise a methodologically sound strategy for finding the right answer. Find answer. If numbers are significant, develop theory to explain this. Test theory. Then bring to attention of management. Don’t forget to think about “conversion” problem, as they call it, in other words–did you ever pay to join?)

    • #69
  10. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Claire Berlinski: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!”

    Convenience sampling, dear Claire.  If we can publish papers off the psychological behavior of sophomores, surely we can do some cheap market research the same way… :)  (no, seriously, I’m kidding, don’t get me started on how lousy such research is)

    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.

    Careful, we don’t want a repeat of last Christmas.  We’d blow the budget with an RDD.

    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.

    See, mostly I figured he was fishing for user testimonials to work into the podcasts.  You can cite me, Rob, as Sabrdance the Great and Powerful.

    • #70
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I read about the site somewhere, probably The Corner. This was back when the content consisted of a message stating “Coming Soon.” I started with the podcast, and was reading the posts pretty regularly and wondering what went on in the Member Feed (the horror… the horror…).

    I joined because Steyn, Lileks, and Goldberg – three of my favorite writers – were doing a podcast that was headed back behind the paywall.

    I stayed because people like Peter Robinson and Paul Rahe and David Limbaugh and others responded to some of my comments, and it wasn’t the “who the hell let you in here” kind of response I probably deserved.

    That and Rudert’s selfies, because my life needs more of that “Hitchcock-directs-the-Marx-Brothers” variety of surreality.

    • #71
  12. mattchrised@1791.com Inactive
    mattchrised@1791.com
    @MattEdwards

    Joined just 2 months ago.

    I listen to Uncommon Knowledge. Peter Robinson is dope. Found out he was involved in Ricochet so I checked it out without becoming a member. Every time I came to the site, the Member Feed button seemed like it pulsating and calling my name, but I wouldn’t succumb to it. Finally, after a few years of random stops by the site, and I figured, I’ll just plop down $5 to check out the site for month. Now, I’m hooked. Dig everyone’s posts and the discourse is unlike anything on the internet. All the podcasts I’ve listened to are great.

    And if someone can promise me that if I show up at a Ricochet meetup in Los Angeles, that there will be other people there under 40 like me and my hot wife, then I’ll stay a member and invite more like me, or more like my hot wife.

    • #72
  13. user_581297 Inactive
    user_581297
    @MarkAllen

    The 2012 election was days away. I thought if Romney could some how pull it out and win, I’d celebrate with friends and if he did not, well, then at least I’d have some sympathetic folks who shared my misery.

    To be reflective, I am a little bit surprised how completely awfully dreadful the Obama years have been. I was too young to really comprehend what it was like living through Carter, but now I feel like maybe I can appreciate what my parents must have been thinking about as they raised two small children.

    • #73
  14. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    One possible way of getting new members, or at least getting the word out.  A few months ago, Foxfier sent me a bunch (two full boxes) of Ricochet business cards.  I keep some in everything I own that has a pocket, and at least two compartments of each purse.  I have given out some, and I keep some on my desk at work at all times.  If anyone wants some, just PM me your address and I’ll send some along.

    And for you non-members: Join Up and Get Yours!

    • #74
  15. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Claire Berlinski:

    Mike LaRoche:I joined because Claire Berlinski invited me and gave me a free membership.

    Seriously?

    (Scientist in me: Don’t be distracted by your own name. But ask “How many in our sample might meet this description?” Devise a methodologically sound strategy for finding the right answer. Find answer. If numbers are significant, develop theory to explain this. Test theory. Then bring to attention of management. Don’t forget to think about “conversion” problem, as they call it, in other words–did you ever pay to join?)

    Yep, I’m a paid member in good standing, now. :-)

    • #75
  16. rosegarden sj dad Member
    rosegarden sj dad
    @rosegardensjdad

    I stumbled onto law talk back in the day and that sealed it. Law talk alone worth 10x current subscription price. The other stuff is ok, but pales compared to epstein yoo and senik.

    • #76
  17. user_136364 Inactive
    user_136364
    @Damocles

    The great podcasts!

    Charter subscriber since the very first announcement.

    • #77
  18. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Like a few others I got here being a Steyn Fanboy. Before there was even Rico 1.0 it was just the weekly podcast.

    The website was cool but it was nothing. When I wanted to get my PhotoShop snark on I had to email my pics to the lovely and talented Diane Ellis who then threw them into my comments. Happy days.

    I was here for the Epic Kenneth Years. (Where I was talked down off the cancellation ledge by Claire Berlinski. See! This is all her fault!)

    I was the target for some carefully chosen words by Mike Murphy, who despite being close friends with Rob, didn’t quite grasp the nature of the C-O-C. Good times.

    Why do I stay? I’ve got a big box of crayons and this place has a big refrigerator door.

    • #78
  19. TerMend Inactive
    TerMend
    @TeresaMendoza

    I don’t have any friends.

    • #79
  20. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    EJHill:Like a few others I got here being a Steyn Fanboy. Before there was even Rico 1.0 it was just the weekly podcast.

    The website was cool but it was nothing. When I wanted to get my PhotoShop snark on I had to email my pics to the lovely and talented Diane Ellis who then threw them into my comments. Happy days.

    I was here for the Epic Kenneth Years. (Where I was talked down off the cancellation ledge by Claire Berlinski. See! This is all her fault!)

    I was the target for some carefully chosen words by Mike Murphy, who despite being close friends with Rob, didn’t quite grasp the nature of the C-O-C. Good times.

    Why do I stay? I’ve got a big box of crayons and this place has a big refrigerator door.

    Ha!  No one from the early years could ever forget Kenneth and his merry band of sockpuppets: Tom Paine, Elena, Nobody’s Perfect, and Noesis Noeseos.

    As for Mike Murphy, he is the very model of a modern moderate Republican.  Reckon he’s thrilled with all the backstabbing being perpetrated by Boehner and company.

    • #80
  21. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Mike LaRoche:

    EJHill:Like a few others I got here being a Steyn Fanboy. Before there was even Rico 1.0 it was just the weekly podcast.

    The website was cool but it was nothing. When I wanted to get my PhotoShop snark on I had to email my pics to the lovely and talented Diane Ellis who then threw them into my comments. Happy days.

    I was here for the Epic Kenneth Years. (Where I was talked down off the cancellation ledge by Claire Berlinski. See! This is all her fault!)

    I was the target for some carefully chosen words by Mike Murphy, who despite being close friends with Rob, didn’t quite grasp the nature of the C-O-C. Good times.

    Why do I stay? I’ve got a big box of crayons and this place has a big refrigerator door.

    Ha! No one from the early years could ever forget Kenneth and his merry band of sockpuppets: Tom Paine, Elena, Nobody’s Perfect, and Noesis Noeseos.

    C’mon now! Kenneth and all his aliases were perceptive and interesting writers. There are many eccentrics on Ricochet who make the site all the more special.

    You included. :)

    • #81
  22. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    EThompson:

    Mike LaRoche:

    EJHill:Like a few others I got here being a Steyn Fanboy. Before there was even Rico 1.0 it was just the weekly podcast.

    The website was cool but it was nothing. When I wanted to get my PhotoShop snark on I had to email my pics to the lovely and talented Diane Ellis who then threw them into my comments. Happy days.

    I was here for the Epic Kenneth Years. (Where I was talked down off the cancellation ledge by Claire Berlinski. See! This is all her fault!)

    I was the target for some carefully chosen words by Mike Murphy, who despite being close friends with Rob, didn’t quite grasp the nature of the C-O-C. Good times.

    Why do I stay? I’ve got a big box of crayons and this place has a big refrigerator door.

    Ha! No one from the early years could ever forget Kenneth and his merry band of sockpuppets: Tom Paine, Elena, Nobody’s Perfect, and Noesis Noeseos.

    C’mon now! Kenneth and all his aliases were perceptive and interesting writers. There are many eccentrics on Ricochet who make the site all the more special.

    You included. :)

    And I’m glad you’re so tolerant of me and my various eccentricities, Liz! ;-)

    But I’ve gotta disagree with you about Kenneth.  He was a particularly nasty character.  In addition to his personal attacks on Lance and violent threats against DocJay, he also once accused Dave Carter of faking his service medals.  Dave is a decorated combat veteran who served his country with distinction, and I’ve had the honor of meeting him in person.  Kennyboy ain’t fit to shine his shoes.

    • #82
  23. user_1201 Inactive
    user_1201
    @DavidClark

    The short story: Steyn lead me to Uncommon Knowledge which led me to Martini Shot, so by the time I got a Facebook invitation to checkout the pre-site podcast I couldn’t click fast enough. It’s as if someone took the dream catcher from over my bed and shook it out into my ipod*

    I freeloaded for as long as I could manage (the relatively recent vague guilt about not having skin in the game was outweighed by lifelong vague guilt over spending money on fun).

    Putting the podcasts behind the paywall got me to unpinch my pennies and drop them in the slot…not that I’d recommend going back to those dark days.

    *of course I don’t actually have a dream catcher in my bedroom. I keep it in my meditation yurt.

    • #83
  24. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    TerMend:I don’t have any friends.

    I’m with ya there buddy.

    • #84
  25. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    David Clark:The short story: Steyn lead me to Uncommon Knowledge which led me to Martini Shot, so by the time I got a Facebook invitation to checkout the pre-site podcast I couldn’t click fast enough. It’s as if someone took the dream catcher from over my bed and shook it out into my ipod*

    I freeloaded for as long as I could manage (the relatively recent vague guilt about not having skin in the game was outweighed by lifelong vague guilt over spending money on fun).

    Putting the podcasts behind the paywall got me to unpinch my pennies and drop them in the slot…not that I’d recommend going back to those dark days.

    *of course I don’t actually have a dream catcher in my bedroom. I keep it in my meditation yurt.

    And Rico is a great place to learn. What’s a yurt?

    • #85
  26. Olive Inactive
    Olive
    @Olive
    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.”

    Epic gold comment. I can’t even.

    • #86
  27. Olive Inactive
    Olive
    @Olive

    Short version: Came for the Steyn, stayed for the Member Feed.

    Slightly longer version: I am not a podcast person. I was a Hot Air and an LGF (oh! them days!) person. I found Ricochet through NRO. I lurked for awhile, because I’m used to getting stuff for free on the Internets. But now the price of Ricochet seems *ridiculous* for what you get in return. Code of Conduct makes it worthwhile.

    • #87
  28. user_532371 Member
    user_532371
    @

    I found it via NRO. I joined because of the podcast–I couldn’t believe I could actually hear the man who wrote The Gallery Of Regrettable Food speak, and HOW, on a weekly basis! I stay partly because of the infotainment value, and partly because it feels like a faction within the counter counter revolution. It is extraordinarily American, and at the same time carries much that is universally human in the blog posts.

    My wife says it feels like a non-statist version of NPR. Avik Roy peaks her interest the most.

    • #88
  29. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    I didn’t have a good reason for joining (because she did – you know, RushBabe49). Perhaps, Rob, it would be better to know why people are renewing, those who are anyway. And why some people are not only renewing but jumping up to Thatcher level. But maybe aren’t telling anyone about it. That’s actually what I intend to do when mine comes up for renewal, probably next month. I tell myself I don’t know why, but the actual reason you might consider to be an altruistic one. I just enjoy knowing my Ricochet friends will have someplace to play. That’s mostly it. Self-expression on my own part, mutual feelings shared on occasion, is only part of it. I know without some of us who think we can afford the extra for the next level, Ricochet won’t be healthy, and who knows how long it will be around? I want to support it while it’s still here, because, who knows how long that will be? Who knows how long any of us will be around? Maybe it’s a perspective that comes with middle age. I’m much more closely connected with my own mortality now. Now is the time. Regret lasts forever.

    • #89
  30. robertm7575@gmail.com Inactive
    robertm7575@gmail.com
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Rob,

    I had been listening to your podcasts through National Review for a little while and at the same time writing over at Red State.  I started exploring the website and going back and forth on whether or not to join.  All during this time I was writing for another website but after a few months this website went under.  Along with this Red State simply wasn’t intellectually intriguing enough–I felt like it was an echo chamber with ten people.  So I took the plunge.

    I love it here.  I know I give you a hard time when I mention RINO squishes, but truth be known I love your stuff.  From the old “Long View” parodies in the dead tree version of NR to your schtick on the podcasts, I find you funny.  (I wish you were a bit more of a fire breather, but we can’t all be carbon copies.)  Anyway, the community that has been built here is a great way to intellectually engage regarding the current social and political culture of the country.  It’s a great place to discuss anything with people who want to give honest feedback.  Like the name says, “Ricochet,” it’s a great place to bounce ideas off of really bright people.  Thank you for the website.

    • #90
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