What is Media Unspun?
It's a new newsletter
published by the team that used to produce Media Grok for The Industry
Standard (R.I.P.). Now as then, our goal is to keep our readers up-to-date
on the most important business news, show how different news outlets interpret
the same information in different ways, and, if we're lucky, entertain you
at the same time.
The same editorial team? Really?
Yes. Deborah Asbrand, Keith Dawson, Jen Muehlbauer, and Lori Patel are
still the regular writers. Jim Duffy is still the copyeditor. I'm still the
editor. I appear to be the publisher, too, since no one else has volunteered.
Why aren't you still called what you used to be
Media Grok is a trademark owned by International Data Group,
which owns the assets of Standard Media International, the parent company
of The Industry Standard. We're publishing independently, not under
the wing of a large publisher. The name has changed, but the attitude remains
similarly barbed. We unspin what the media produces and make sense out of
Why are you charging a subscription fee? Doesn't
content want to be free, or something like that?
As much as we all enjoy
this work, this is not a hobby for any of us. This is a business. We have
enough funding to keep us going for many months, but we won't last many years
unless we take in significant revenue. We are distibuting a free weekly missive
to those who have yet to pay up, but it offers only a fraction of the value
of the daily edition. (We're running advertisements,
too.) We hope you'll feel the $50 annual fee is a bargain considering the
volume of information we deliver and the time we save our readers. Isn't 96
cents a week a steal? Less than 19 cents every work day? Think about how much
money you throw away at Starbucks in a normal week.
How do I pay?
We've set up accounts with PayPal
(very smooth, our readers tell us) and the Amazon Honor System (not quite
as smooth, but some people don't like PayPal); you can pay
here using those methods. You can pay by check,
too, although there are some restrictions. We prefer you pay via PayPal, since
they take a smaller cut than Amazon.
What's your plan?
We have reasonable expectations.
We're not buying any Oracle back-end systems or Aeron chairs. We want our
funding to last as long as possible so we're being, well, cheap. We want to
build a modest, solid business. Assuming all goes well, we expect to launch
a second newsletter and a new service later this year.
How can I help?
Pay for a subscription, of
course. But also tell your friends. The inaugural issue of Media Unspun
was sent to the 8,000 people who wrote to us after Media Grok closed down.
We didn't buy that newsletter's database of 100,000 readers; we need to get
our readership back to that level. So, if you like what you read, please pass
on the word: Subscribe to Media Unspun.
What is your publishing schedule?
is published daily except for the usual holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther
King Day, President's Day, Good Friday, Passover, Memorial Day, Independence
Day, Labor Day, the Jewish High Holidays, a holiday in October whose name
eludes me right now, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and the days before and after, and December
24-31. In addition, we will not publish the last two weeks of August, when
there isn't that much business news to unspin anyway. We promise to publish
each day by 7.30am Silicon Valley Time (most days Unspun hits inboxes an hour
earlier than that), but cannot be held responsible if our e-mail provider
or your ISP decides to play bottleneck. (If the technical problem is on our
side, rest assured that we're making the day uncomfortable for our e-mail
provider. But that hasn't happened yet; we have only good things to say about
Are you a blog?
We're big fans of the freedom
and diversity of blogs, but we're not a blog. Blogs go from a single person's
mind to the Web with no intervention. Here, we have writers and editors, all
of whom collaborate to create a product we intend to be professional as well
as useful and entertaining.
What's your corrections policy?
If it's something
minor like a typographical error, we simply fix it. If it's something more
important, we fix it in the Web version, note that we've fixed it, and include
a note about the error and the correction at the top
of the next day's email version. No hiding.
I hate reading privacy policies. Can you summarize
We don't track you, we don't share your names with anyone
else, and we won't let anyone else spam you. You're our readers, not just
names in a database we can sell. Many of you have trusted us by sending us
money for a daily service months in advance. The least we can do in return
is not treat you like crap.
How do I change my subscription from HTML or text?
the link to do that at the bottom of the newsletter.
How do I unsubscribe?
Either use the link
at the bottom of the newsletter or do it via the home page of this web site.
Is there any different in the content between the
text and HTML versions?
Not yet. There will be in the future, though.
We'll let you know when that happens.
What if I've tried everything to change something
in my account and it doesn't work?
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll help you as quickly as I can.
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