Thank You Steady Community

Dear All of You,

It is with deep gratitude that I send this note out today. I apologize if you were hoping to open your email to a take on the news of the moment, or an eclectic story from our broader world. I promise we will soon return to our regularly scheduled programming (does anybody still use that phrase?). But the calendar has marched to a moment that I want to mark with a pause, and a thank you. It may not mean much in the big world out there, but it means a lot to me.

As hard as it is to believe, it has been six months since I first announced this new endeavor of Steady. It started with posts on my social media accounts and an explanation of what we hoped to accomplish. Our desire was to create a space for discussion, to step back from the cacophony that too often characterizes our daily news and media consumption, and seek an elusive sense of “steady.” I will not belabor our founding goals. If you are so inclined, you can read about them here in the original post. You will have to judge how well we are doing, but from our point of view we could not be more pleased with what you have brought to our fledgling endeavor. 

I must be candid that I didn’t know what to expect when my longtime co-writer, strategic partner, and friend Elliot Kirschner came to me with the idea of a Substack newsletter. And I know he wasn’t sure either. We had grown frustrated with the limitations of social media and wanted to find a way to build something that was sustainable. And thanks to many of your generous subscriptions, we are well on the way. 

We have tried many things here, and hopefully will try some more. But the consistency we have sought has been in tone and substance. We want to be serious, without taking ourselves too seriously. And we want to be thought-provoking without being bombastic. It starts with, I hope, some humility, that we all come to our beliefs with our own histories and biases. We are best when we meet in the marketplace of ideas, provided that we come there with open minds, good intentions, respect, and a commitment to facts and truth. Before our essays and other offerings are published, we talk about them as the Steady team. Elliot, with his deep knowledge of American history and inspired writing is joined by my longtime collaborator Alex Van Amson whose eagle-eye editing, design sense, and technical knowhow ensures we get published. 

But once we press send and put it out into the world, it is really up to you to give it life. If an email is unopened in an inbox does it make a sound? We cherish your feedback and your thoughts in the comments section, which often far exceed the incisiveness and eloquence of our original post. Your generosity in giving your voices, perspectives, and viewpoints as well as engaging each other in thoughtful dialogue, is greatly appreciated and fulfills our hopes for this forum. Please keep them coming, and please encourage others to join our Steady community. A reminder that much of what we publish is open and available to free subscribers. But also a reminder that paid subscriptions allow us to make this possible. Your contributions give us the ability to publish and plan for the future. 

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Included in our vision for the days ahead are plans to champion sustainable models for journalism that will give you, our readers, the most flexibility and options to access and support our content. We hope what we learn can be a model for other journalists and publishers to follow. With that in mind, we have teamed up with a new startup that is exploring other forms of financing for online journalism, including an option for tipping. 

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As for the future, I am not sure what it holds in store. I guess none of us knows. But as long as I have my health, I plan to remain engaged and not shy about offering my thoughts. I do hope that Steady can expand beyond my own contributions to include other perspectives. We have tried featuring a few other voices, and will continue to do so on occasion. First and foremost, however, it stands as a tribute to all of you that we can gather through the power of digital communication and share our hopes and fears. We know we are in perilous times. But I also hope that I can provide a sense of history, especially as I’ve lived it and seen it. In times of struggle, opportunities often emerge to fix what long was broken. We see that need in so many aspects of life. We have no choice but to confront these challenges, hopefully fortified in the knowledge that the act of doing so is its own source of strength. I can tell that there is great strength, resourcefulness, resilience, and perseverance in all of you. 

That gives me hope and it keeps me steady. 

Finally, to spur discussion here, what are you enjoying about Steady? What can we improve? What else might you want to see? 

I am in your debt. Here’s to the next six months, and beyond. 

— Dan

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