Since our first Member Quarterly, it’s been a great pleasure to receive all your questions, suggestions and feedback. We try to improve both our journalism and our responsiveness to our members every day – and what we’ve learned is that you care as much about that as we do.
Especially in unique times like these, as a pandemic disrupts life all over the globe, the importance of trustworthy, factual and constructive journalism is greater than ever before – and just like you, we feel the urgency of helping each other understand what’s going on.
Based on your feedback, we’ve made small and big improvements to our platform. For example, one of the requests we’ve received most often was for us to implement RSS feeds, which we have done. You can find them here. And you can now easily gift a membership, browse our curated collections by subject, and find all of our coronavirus-related coverage in our newly designed and continuously updated Coronavirus in Context guide.
We’ve made our website more user friendly too
Our developers (a team of 10) have also been working hard to offer you a smoother user experience. Based on your input, we prioritised your greatest needs: saving you time, letting you log in more easily and making the contribution section more scannable.
Read this story in one minute
"I just don’t have the time to read." Sound familiar? The sentiment is also sometimes expressed as TL;DR.
To help you out, we’ve designed a "Read this story in one minute" feature – a short and succinct summary of the main insights at the beginning of longer articles. Here’s one for you to try in a long read by our founding editor Rob Wijnberg: Truth be sold: how truth became a product.
Making logging in easier
Some of you told us that our log in process is not always smooth and even helped us work through some of the issues. A big thank you to one of our members, Jon, who helped us fine-tune this as he took the time to explain in precise detail what didn’t work for him.
Membership director, Daphne van der Kroft: "To prevent you from missing out on our journalism because of log in issues, we now use links in all of our newsletters that work all the time, whether you’re logged in or not. If you want to join the conversation below the article, you still need to log in, but with the use of a magic link, that should be quite easy now."
Contribution section: see who’s an expert at a glance
Our front end developer Leon Shen added clarity to how we introduce experts in our contribution section to make it easy to spot them among other contributors.
"We often invite experts to join in on our conversations below our articles. In order to make it easier to spot these nuggets of wisdom, we have made the following improvements:
- Experts now have a personalised avatar.
- The header of their contribution now has a distinctive background colour.
- There’s a short biography that will appear below their expertise label.
We hope that these changes will improve your reading experience!"
How you helped our correspondents with their journalism
We love it when we get feedback from members about how we’ve broadened their perspective in some meaningful way, but this absolutely works both ways. We can’t thank you enough for your insightful, well-written and personal contributions:
Irene Caselli: "The response to my piece on raising a child gender free was so overwhelming (and somewhat negative) that I wrote a newsletter about it and tried to follow up with another piece with advice from a member who was quite vocal about my first piece. You can read the newsletter here. I finally decided to kill the second piece because I thought I was not going to add much more to the conversation. A few members were pleased with my transparency about this decision. You can read my newsletter about my decision to kill the piece here. "
Eric Holthaus: "This contribution, from a member who graciously disagrees with me on many issues yet engages in constructive dialogue about it, has helped me the most so far this quarter."
Tanmoy Goswami: "For me, the contributions under my piece about protest as therapy were most insightful. From a member who protested the Vietnam war in the 60s to someone who stepped out of her usual isolated existence to join a climate protest in the Netherlands, these responses left me deeply satisfied about having achieved our goal of ‘building bridges’ across generations and cultures."
Lastly, we all found inspiration in an email by member David, who graciously reminded us to let us be guided by the world we want, not the one we don’t want. That indeed is why we say in our founding principles that "we don’t just cover the problem, but also what can be done about it". We tried to make good on that principle with solution-oriented journalism like why we need to overhaul how we think about mental health at work, how bureaucracy brings progress to developing countries, and what alternatives we have for dysfunctional digital identification .
Lastly, your questions about renewing your membership
As you may have noticed, we’ve been asking you in various ways if you would like to renew your membership – effective 30 September 2020. The more members commit for another year, the more we can already invest in improving our journalism in the long term.
Understandably, you had questions about this. So here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions about membership renewal.
Why do you ask me to stay a member when my membership hasn’t expired?
We would love for you to tell us about your intention to stay a member now so we can start planning ahead. The number of members committing to a second year influences everything from our hiring decisions to how many journalism formats we’ll be able to offer you.
If I opt to stay a member, does it mean I have to pay now?
No. If you choose to stay a member, all you do is tell us that you want to stay a member for year two and set your membership to recurring. You will be charged only on 30 September 2020 when your first year membership expires.
Why are you asking me to stay a member when I’m already on a recurring membership?
Every member receives the same daily and weekly newsletter. On the site though, we only show renewal banners underneath articles to those members who can renew at this specific moment, and who haven’t done so already.
I’m a member of De Correspondent and donated to The Correspondent during the crowdfunding campaign. Why should I stay a member if I can read The Correspondent with my Dutch membership?
If you support the journalism we do at De Correspondent (thank you!) and want to help us create more such journalism for our English-speaking members as well, we’d be delighted if you decided to support The Correspondent separately. We understand that’s a big ask and we appreciate any type of support you can give.
If you think what we do is important, if you’re excited by the idea of reading constructive journalism, and if you want an even more user-friendly site, the best way to show your appreciation is by committing to another year with us so we can continue to work together in these trying times.
A big thank you to so many of you who already did!
We also can’t thank enough those of you who have taken time out of their busy days to fill in our surveys, respond to our callouts and generously share your expertise, wisdom and personal experiences with other members, our experts and correspondents in the contributions section.
Let us know how we’ve been doing since launch, and what questions we still haven’t answered by leaving your questions under this article. Or please feel free to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.