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Welcome to the all-new Discourse Blog.

Illustration by Angelica Alzona; Remix by Samantha Grasso)

Welcome to Discourse Blog. Again.

We’ve made something of a habit of introducing and reintroducing ourselves, and now, here we are again, welcoming you to the all-new, fully independent website that we have built from the ground up with our fantastic partners at Lede.

If you’re just joining us now, you’re probably wondering what exactly you’re looking at. If you’ve been with us for any period of time, you might be thinking, “Wait, didn’t you just start your blog? And now you’re restarting it again? Why?” We’ll try to (briefly) answer both questions.

For anybody new: First of all, we’re so glad to have you here! Secondly, Discourse Blog is a worker-run, collectively owned leftist politics and culture website. We originally rose from the ashes of our former website, Splinter, after our then-bosses shut it down almost exactly a year ago. A lot has happened, both in the world and on our site, since we launched as a “lol why not” WordPress blog back in March, but we’ve had the same mission in mind the whole time: to be part of a new wave of truly independent media and to do work that is fearless and wild and heartfelt, that stands with the people against the bosses, and that takes on establishments of all kinds.

For our readers who have been with us throughout our many metamorphoses: We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us. Your support is what has kept us afloat, in every sense. It is the reason we have been able to create the website you are looking at right now.

We weren’t contemplating this kind of move. Substack was a good home for us. We were growing steadily. We simply didn’t think that creating our own custom website was on the cards anytime soon. It felt so…big.

But when the folks at Lede, including Alley and Pico, said they wanted to develop a new site with us, it was easy to say yes. Here was a chance to truly bet on ourselves—to throw caution to the wind and run towards our dream of a long-term, independent, worker-owned outlet. Even more importantly, it was a chance to bring you the kind of website that you deserve—one that is more editorially ambitious, visually interesting, technologically sophisticated, and community-focused than anything we could have done in our previous incarnations.

We have big goals in mind. We want to put out more stories every day. We want to showcase more reporting and features. We want to do more with video, audio, and art. We especially want to bring you a far more diverse variety of voices. We also want to make it easier for you to comment, to subscribe, to find our work, to share our content, and to be a part of our ever-growing community. And we want to give you even more rewards for your continued loyalty to us. In short, we want to take everything we’re doing to the next level.

This new site is our biggest step so far on that path. With your continued support, we intend to use the tools we now have at our disposal to put our ideas into action. The more you help us, the faster we can go.

Jack Mirkinson, Editor 


We know you must have some questions about *gestures broadly* all of this. First things first: This is a brand new website; there are going to be kinks to work out. Bear with us! We’ll do our best to address issues as they arrive and slowly improve upon the experience over time. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about our new home. 

Existing subscribers have been upgraded—free of charge 

We told you it was a good idea to subscribe before our move. We have a number of new subscription tiers, and as a reward to our most loyal readers, all existing paid subscribers have been automatically upgraded to our Capitalist tier, with all its premium benefits, on the house. How this will work: 

  • If you’re an annual subscriber, you will be given Capitalist access through the end of your year (ditto for people with student rates).
  • Monthly subscribers will also be given Capitalist access for one year from your initial signup date at the same monthly rate (i.e., if you became a monthly subscriber in July 2020, you’ll get Capitalist tier access at the $8 monthly rate until July 2021).
  • At the end of your subscription year, you can either renew your subscription at the full Capitalist price ($125) or choose a new tier. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you a few times beforehand.
  • You won’t need to do anything; your subscription has been securely transferred from Substack to our new payments processing system, Pico. 

A quick note to non-paid subscribers

First: Have you considered subscribing? Second: Starting today you will no longer receive emails from us—if you would like to keep getting emails from us, you’ll need to choose which newsletter experience you would prefer (more on that below). 

Pico is your gateway to accessing everything

All subscribers, new and old, will need to set up their Pico accounts in order to comment, access paywalled posts, select your newsletter experience, and manage their subscription. You can access your Pico dashboard anytime by either clicking “log in” at the top of the homepage or the bird icon that scrolls alongside you. This is very easy! If you’re already a paid subscriber, just use the same email address you first signed up with and you should find all your subscription information waiting for you. 

Commenting is now paywalled

The Discourse Blog commentariat is overwhelmingly inclusive and respectful—and we want to keep it that way, so from here on out, commenting will be restricted to our paid subscribers in the Boss tier and above. You can read more about our commenting policy here, but the gist is: Don’t be a dick, weird, or horny in the chat, or we’ll kick you out. 

How do I get my comment(s) in the Community Discourse section? 

Write a good comment. 

About the paywall 

Only paid subscribers can access every post. All free posts will be identified with a FREE tag at the top; everything else is for paying subscribers only. 

How does the Discord server work? 

Our Capitalist tier subscribers also have access to our private Discord server, where you can chat with other readers and (occasionally) Discourse Blog staff. Existing subscribers will already have access; new subscribers will be sent an invite link in their welcome email. You should set up your Discord account as soon as possible upon subscribing because we change the invite link regularly. 

We have appointed moderators  who will keep an eye on things and can help guide you if you’re new to the platform. (Moderators have been given a free year of our Capitalist subscription for their time and effort.) Having issues? Need a new invite link? Contact Jack Crosbie at: discord@discourseblog.com

Choose your newsletter experience 

We hope more people will read us on the web now that we have a proper site, and going forward, we intend to operate as a web-first outlet. But we also know many of you love reading us as a newsletter, so we wanted to preserve that experience. You have two newsletter options to choose from, all opt-in (so, no one has been automatically subscribed; we wanted to let people choose for themselves): 

  • Receive every post by email (aka, how it worked on Substack—note: we’ll be ramping up our production so you should expect a higher volume of mail from us if you select this option) 
  • A daily digest post with snippets and highlights of what we published that day

Anyone can subscribe to our newsletters, but only paid subscribers will be able to access everything. You can sign up for newsletters in the Pico dashboard when you log in.

How to reach us

Having issues? Have a question? Want to partner or advertise with us? Are you a journalist interested in talking to us for a story? Check out our new contact page. We’re also on Twitter and Instagram.

Is that a new logo? 

It sure is! Our new masthead and starling redesign was created by the incredible Angelica Alzona

— Aleksander Chan, Publisher