Today Is the Final Day to Get the Best Price on a Storm Subscription
A final appeal to the smartest people in skiing
Harvey Road, the salt-of-the-earth founder of New York Ski Blog, has been a no-strings-attached friend of The Storm since day one. Unprompted and with zero conditions, he offered to drop the logo and a link to stormskiing.com on his site’s homepage shortly after launch. It’s still there today, two and a half years later.
Harv’s an interesting guy. Modest and unassuming, you wouldn’t peg him for the irrepressible engine behind one of the Northeast’s greatest snowsports content machines. But for a dozen or more years, he’s directed an impossibly steady symphony of content, two or three field reports per week, dispatches from the snowy outskirts of our wintertime world. Harv writes much of it himself, but he’s recruited a corps of contributors as well (including me). The stories mirror the vagaries of the human condition, mostly joyous but often reflective and occasionally mournful or disappointed. I’m tempted to say that New York Ski Blog will one day be a valuable cultural artifact, but in fact it already is, with a library of posts documenting the lost (for now) worlds of Hickory and Bobcat and Big Tupper, as well as the raw excitement of present-day skiing in New York and its environs.
You don’t command such an archive without fairly strong powers of observation. And one of Harv’s early comments on The Storm is that the length of the posts – most of them run between 3,000 and 4,000 words – would act as a natural culling mechanism. “You’re more likely to get smart readers,” is pretty much the way he framed it.
He’s right. One of the goals of The Storm was to lift the popular conversation around lift-served skiing off of the barfight known as social media and reframe it in a more rational sphere. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are good for a lot of things, and this newsletter would not and could not have nearly the reach and influence it has were it not for those platforms, but their short-form nature and relative anonymity encourage a shoot-into-the-crowd mentality that is frequently tedious and often infuriating. Sometimes ideas need a bit more space to stretch and breathe.
There are two sides to The Storm: the side you all see, here in this newsletter, and the one-to-one responses that come straight to my email inbox (just reply to this email and I will see it). When I share a Storm story on one of the many Facebook groups I frequent, I drop it like a hand grenade and run out of the room. The comments are atrocious. I stopped reading them a long time ago. But I read every email response, and I reply to most of them (occasionally, they get away from me, and I apologize if I owe you a response on anything). People are far more rational and far less mean-spirited one-on-one than they are on the stage that is the great global interweb.
That is not to say that every email I receive is a celebration of my genius. Readers often disagree with me, sometimes fiercely, as I expect them to. I welcome their insights, context, perspective, and, most notably, their passion. A lot of people think this is an industry newsletter. If anyone who works in skiing finds The Storm useful, I’m happy for that. But that isn’t my target audience. I started writing this newsletter for people like me – those who ski 20 or more days per year at a variety of mountains and are endlessly curious about those places. It turns out that there are quite a few people like that in the world, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them, and I’m glad we’ve found a more rational online space to congregate.
Two weeks ago, I launched a paid tier of The Storm Skiing Journal. This was a big change, and I wanted to give people time to process it before I activated the paywall. To thank folks who committed early, I discounted the initial price. That discount extends through today. Tomorrow, the price goes up. I may put together an occasional holiday sale, but The Storm will never be cheaper than it is today.
After today, being a paid subscriber will be the only way to guarantee access to 100 percent of The Storm’s content. There will always be some free content, including (always), the podcast. But some posts will be for subscribers only, and other posts will have a cut-off line. While you can expect some experimentation with this model, I will say this: the initial reception to the paid tier has been very strong, and it is likely that I will paywall more content than I had initially anticipated.
Whether you choose to step up to the paid tier or not, I appreciate the time you’ve spent with The Storm. I understand that not everyone can or will subscribe, and that dropping a paywall onto something that had previously been free can be frustrating. But The Storm, in its everything-free-for-all model, was not sustainable. I still agree with Harv – you’re the smartest people in skiing, and I’ll look forward to our ongoing conversations.
If you’ve already upgraded to the paid tier, thank you. Skiing, like anything, benefits from independent journalism, and that can only exist if there is an audience willing to support it. The positive reception to the paywall all but guarantees that this platform will continue to exist, evolve, and thrive indefinitely.
If you represent an organization that intends to subscribe four or more people, respond to this email or reach out to me at email@example.com. We can centralize the sign-up process through one individual and a per-subscriber enterprise rate.
Also, you really should subscribe to New York Ski Blog’s newsletter (it’s free):