Leap Into the Unknown

I want to again thank everyone who contributed today to our drive. If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to do so now at this link if you’re able. Launching these drives is both a mysterious and oddly stressful process. It’s a bit like jumping out of a plane without knowing if you have a parachute. When do you find out? Well, when you pull the cord, of course. Or diving into a pool in the dark. You’ll find out if there’s water in the pool soon enough.

I’ve been both writing for the site and asking you to do things for the site for more than twenty years. Nowadays we have the whole team getting the emails ready, and creating visuals to show you how much we’ve raised and all the site work that goes into it. But before flipping the switch I usually wait til it feels right or the stars feel aligned or something. The last part is very idiosyncratic and intuitive. Then we launch. As I mentioned in my post this morning, this is a really important drive for us. This last year has been particularly challenging. We need it to be successful. We look at previous years and see what the response was the first day, the second day, to emails we send in advance to people who have contributed in the past and that allows us to get some sense of where we are, whether we’re on track to meet our goal.

I was talking to my colleague Joe Ragazzo, TPM’s Publisher, this afternoon and we shared notes and based on those metrics and predictions and just general feel we both felt cautiously optimistic. You look at the numbers at the end of day one and it’s hard to know exactly what they mean because you build in various assumptions that might be wrong. But we were both roughly at, Okay, we’re at least in the hunt here. Nothing about day one says we can’t have a successful drive.

Anyway, mainly I just want to thank you for contributing if you already have and invite you or put some spell on you to encourage you to do so if you haven’t yet had a moment to do so. But I thought some might find a look behind the curtain interesting. As I said above, it’s always a leap into the unknown and that’s unnerving. But our team has built a relationship of trust with our readership over the years. So I’ve learned to have some confidence that you’ll be there to catch us. Thank you for that. I can tell you that various staffers at TPM will mention to me how touched they are with emails they get, either individually or to our main email address, saying what TPM means to you. It’s difficult to capture just how motivating and inspiring those notes are. Keep those coming too, if and when you feel the urge to do so.

Anyway, thank you so much. We’ll be back to it tomorrow for day two. If you haven’t had a chance to contribute and you’re able to do so, please just click right here.

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