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Membership

The Cascade is a blog all about CSS that’s directly supported by readers. It’s just $10 per year and you can support me via this obnoxiously large button:

Support The Cascade

Your support makes sure that my work is public and not locked behind a paywall or cluttered with ads all over the place. Also, as I’ve seen a number of writers go independent, I realize that my admiration for membership programs has only increased over the years. And it just so happens that supporting writers in this way also makes everything better about a website, too.

Let me explain…

1. I like the simplicity #

The relationship is between you and me with a membership program and I like how up front that is. Plus, I’m going to be spending all my time thinking about how to make The Cascade better instead of doing devious and evil 2024 website things.

When you buy a yearly membership for $10 you help me cover the marginal costs of maintaining this website, sure, but becoming a member is really about trusting me to try out this weird thing and see if it works. When you do that you’re also asking for more things like this to exist in the world and I think that’s kinda neat.

2. No advertising #

The vast majority of the web is funded by advertising but we all know it’s either invasive, irrelevant, or obnoxious. If I littered The Cascade with ads then I’d have to start caring about page views and tracking readers.

On this note, I like what Sam Roberts wrote about why everything isn’t free for BLAG, his excellent magazine dedicated to sign painting:

The 'hustle' doesn't come naturally to me, and I would rather not have to 'sell' anything. This is one of the reasons I don't take advertising in BLAG: I've done advertising sales, and I never want to do it again. But the main reason is that it allows me, and the magazine, to be 100% focused on our adventures in sign painting.

I love this and think about things along similar lines: this membership program gives me permission to focus intently on just one thing. But also because it’s entirely supported by members, I don’t even have analytics on this website. So that’s extra punk rock.

3. It makes the writing better #

A lot of websites are written for search engines instead of people and so a membership program allows me to ignore all that and spend my time making The Cascade the best reading experience possible: a calm, quiet thing that you can return to every day and learn something new about CSS. It opens up so many doors in terms of making my writing weird and fun that simply wouldn’t be possible if I had to worry about search engines or social networks.

4. I want to support writers #

I’ve surely been inspired by Craig and Jason and everyone I support on Patreon but I still think that paying writers for their work and supporting them isn’t as common as I’d like it to be in 2024.

A lot of writers I know are like me, embarrassed to ask for money for their work because they struggle to see any value in it. And so I think the second best thing for writers—after supporting them with money—is building your own membership program. It normalizes the idea, and rather than supporting these big inhumane systems we’ve built up around the art, it encourages a culture of caring for writers instead.

So supporting The Cascade in this way is a terrifying and thrilling experiment for me: I think we need more independent writers in the world, I want to put a bunch of effort into this thing, and I think that with your support we can make something really neat together.

Support The Cascade