Why logging interest in my FOC notes gives you a prompt to subscribe to updates.

U ask for email to receive yr free notes but yr email ask for subscription confirmation which is not right!

I received this response (in full above) a couple of days ago, and taking advantage of a slight lull in my day-to-day workload, I decided it would be good to put my comments here, per the usual AMA protocol that comes through this particular form.

To give some context to the matter, when you view my Economics notes here, you will be able to preview them in full, but not download for offline viewing. To do so, you will have to register your intent with me by leaving your email address for me to follow-up with you privately.

At the same time, you will be prompted if you would like to subscribe to the site’s latest article feed (which is also FOC). For those who are wary of spam – like myself as well – the updates you get will only assuredly be such.

Let me explain this arrangement:

Why no direct access or download from the site?

It’s about controlling access and distribution to my materials.

The intent in providing Economics notes was for me to follow through on my belief that access to education should not be monetarily transacted in as many instances as I can help it.

Other than occasional updates to the content, once transcribed in a massive one-time effort (with no external editorial help), there is no additional cost in providing these notes to any interested parties. No reason for me not to turn these Economics notes into common goods (for those Economics freaks reading this).

However, I require you to get in touch with me by sharing your email address with me, so that I can:

  1. Ensure you are the genuine requestor;
  2. Re-iterate my intent behind sharing these notes in the very first place.

Some interested parties have included “competitors” of mine looking to kickstart or enhance their tuition offerings. Have I begrudged them? No.

Think not why I should share, but rather why I shouldn’t share.

Why must I subscribe to this site to get your notes?

There is no such requirement – but first, I should explain why it is recommended for you to subscribe to updates anyway.

From time to time, I update the notes. Like all learning content, the passage of time enforces some dynamism to the notes. As and when, I update my audience accordingly so that we level up together.

At the same time, as an extension to my continued efforts in sharing knowledge where I reasonably can, subscribing to my articles also allows me to stay connected with my loyal audience. They have signed up with clear intent, as evident by “confirming” on the email prompt.

That’s as far as my intent goes. There is no nefarious intent that secretly lines my pocket. My updates take non-trivial effort, but having roughly 200 subscribers (as of writing) who have stayed with me humbles me and spurs me to write to my best reasonable quality.

If you aren’t interested in these updates anyway, then just reaching out to me and asking nicely will do the trick as well. Some subscribers have indeed dropped out along the way, but I am proud to say that they have been few and far between. Gives me (good) pressure in fact.

Final note: I would be sad if I have to choose between writing regularly as I have been the last few years, and other pursuits. But I am a realist – acknowledging that nothing lasts forever keeps me grounded and ensures that I will avoid degrading quality that might eventually devolve to spam or monetisation. You should be assured it will never come to such for this site at least.

Generating content is not easy at all. To those who have stayed with me to this very line, and my subscribers, thank you for your support.

P.S.: Convinced? Do considering subscribing! (:

P.P.S: And Happy New Year! 2020 has been challenging for many and I hope it will be better in 2021.

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