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Unreported Truths isn't going anywhere (for now!)
You spoke, I listened. Unreported Truths will stay right here, though I may experiment with occasional Locals podcasts or videos
And on further review… the move has been overturned. Unreported Truths is staying on Substack.
I gave moving to Rumble and Locals a lot of thought. It was the right decision financially. It would have meant a pay raise and even more importantly a multi-year guarantee, saving me from having to worry about churn (having subscribers fail to renew).
(I JUST TURNED DOWN A CONTRACT BECAUSE YOU SAID SO! NOW WOULD BE A REALLY GREAT TIME TO SUBSCRIBE!)
But the reason Locals approached me at all is the size and power of the community we have built here. I never forget how many of you choose to pay for Unreported Truths even though essentially all these articles are free.
That model is basically unique even on Substack, and a sign of mutual trust.
So your voice matters. More than 10,000 of you voted in the poll, and you expressed a clear preference not to have to create a new account at a new site/app and lose the ease of switching between Unreported Truths and other Substacks you read with one click.
Of course, the poll wasn’t the only reason. Substack stood by me during the height of vaccine censorship last year. Grudgingly, maybe, but it did, and I know it was under real pressure.
Plus some of Rumble’s biggest names are… problematic (Stephen Crowder in particular has had a bad couple of weeks).
But ultimately, that issue wasn’t the deciding factor. Unreported Truths speaks for itself, and believing in free speech means believing in free speech - if Crowder wants to make awful jokes about a Down’s Syndrome Barbie, that’s his business, not mine.
Anyway, the left tried to tar Substack as a right-wing ghetto two years ago, and it failed. I hope Rumble and Locals will eventually attract journalists and commentators from across the political spectrum. I wouldn’t have minded trying to help.
(YES, ANOTHER SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! NO, THIS WON’T BE A REGULAR THING, BUT TODAY I AM REALLY HOPING A LOT OF YOU SIGN UP SO I DON’T FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT FOR TURNING DOWN A GUARANTEED CONTRACT.)
No, to me, the core problem is that Rumble and Locals are built for video and just don’t work that well for writers. (I’ve told them this.)
Substack was built for writing first, and it feels that way.
For readers, the articles and home page look clean and attractive. For writers, the publishing engine is intuitive and easy to use. And Substack makes attracting the largest possible audience as easy as possible, which is my top priority. New readers don’t even have to enter an email to see a story. Substack has also built a community of successful journalists whose articles I can easily point you to (and vice-versa).
So, ultimately, moving would have inconvenienced you - and led to a weaker product - solely for my financial benefit. Over the last two years, you have been more generous than I could have expected. I am going to trust that I will continue to deliver articles and commentary that you think are worth paying for.
(Home sweet home…)
Of course, nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain. Locals and Rumble have been more than decent throughout this process. I hope they are able to remake their sites/app so it works better for writers and provides real competition for Substack as a subscription platform for long-form writing.
After all, if the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that having monopolist or quasi-monopolist social media sites is good for the sites and bad for everyone else.
So I reserve the right to revisit a move down the road. I may also play around with offering paid subscribers occasional podcasts or videos at Locals (a little bonus, if my dulcet tones count as a bonus!), if I can find the time.
But for now, no contract, no guarantee, no switch. I’ll have to keep proving what Unreported Truths is worth every day.
It’s worked out so far.