The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Memberships, Newsletters, and Hot Sauce

It's been just over a year since I added a support page to this site and made it possible for readers to become members. In return, members would receive updates on my personal projects and the site newsletter. It's pretty typical of site memberships — nothing radical.

Why earn anything at all off writing? Anyone who has run a site consistently knows the time and effort involved. It's not mandatory — the content will still be published here. But if readers want to help out and feel the content is worth something, it's nice to have the option available. So for the price of a coffee each month, you can support this site and my writing. I personally like to support the writers I enjoy when I can.

In year one, I was hoping to replace what I earned from having an ad on my site. And it did just that. This year, I'd like to make a more serious commitment.

The Newsletter

Last year, my newsletter was consistent. For about 6 months. It was monthly and I shared various items of note, plus the progress on various personal projects.

This year, it will be a weekly publication. I made the decision early in 2013 to remove link list style posts from my site, simply because those entries didn't seem to have a lot of lasting value in that format.

However, I really enjoy pointing out various articles or resources and sharing short pieces of opinion with my online acquaintances. That's part of what this newsletter will be. In addition to sharing items of interest to me, the newsletter will continue to give insight to my other work, as well as how to cultivate creativity in the midst of our busy lifestyles. As a father in a home with 4 homeschooled children, I hope I have some helpful tidbits to share.

So if you're interested in a lovely email coming your way each Saturday to enjoy with your weekend coffee, here's your chance!

The Giveaway

Another common tactic for promoting site memberships is to have some prizes. I like this approach for two reasons. First, as a reader, it gives me a chance to win a prize I'm probably going to enjoy. Since the people I read tend to have similar tastes to me, the prizes usually align with that.

Second, and more importantly, it gives me a chance as a writer to promote some of the services I enjoy or admire. It's the community that drew me to using a Mac and becoming involved in the web & design world. So having a chance to point readers to the products and services built by great people is something I enjoy. And giving stuff away is even better.

So here are the prizes available for all existing members and anyone who signs up by midnight, PDT on April 16th:

  • 3 messenger bags from Behance (made by Rickshaw bags). These aren't even available any longer … collector's pieces. I use one personally every day and love them!
  • 1 mStand from rain design
  • 2 hard cover copies of The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero
  • 5 copies of Delight is in the Details by Shawn Blanc (audio version)
  • 1 order from Hoban Cards (design of your choice). I ordered my own cards from Evan and love everything about his service!
  • 3 licenses for LaunchBar (upgradeable to version 6 when it's available), my favourite digital swiss army knife
  • 3 licenses for Kirby, the CMS I use to run this site. If you like simplicity & flexibility, Kirby is the jam!
  • 3 winners will get 1 year free with TeuxDeux, the task management service for people who just want to get stuff done
  • 3 winners will get 1 month free on the Memberful Pro plan ($25). This service powers the site memberships and I can't recommend it enough!
  • 3 winners will get 2 months free on the Red Pen Pro plan. Built in part by my ex-teammate Matthew Farag, Red Pen is the slickest way to get feedback on your ideas and projects.
  • 1 copy of everyone's favourite magazine, Offscreen
  • 2 packages of my favourite notebooks (a mix from Rhodia, Behance, and Moleskine)

A huge thank you to all my friends who were willing to support me by making these great prizes available. Hugs & kisses all around!


The fact that we live in a time where small, independent creators can be supported is wonderful. For all who've supported my writing over the years, I thank you. I'll continue to do my best to honour the attention you give this space!

Join now: monthly or annual plans available

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