I've had a lot of site questions the last week (mostly centered around the bugs we're experiencing), so I figured I'd do a quick post on that. Might help you understand "so that's why that's happening". As always, posts like this don't count you a click. I kinda hate to do it this way, but the only way to mass communicate with everyone reading the site is to write something like this for all to read.
I'll just ask myself fake questions and then answer them. Right to it.
Love the site. You're my personal hero. I keep trying to enter my login and password from my former subscription and it's not working. How do I access that subscription?
Scotty in Skokie
We changed subscription services when the old one eliminated their service. So anything you did with TinyPass from Piano Software the last six years - that simply no longer exists. We used their service called TinyPass Go, their subscription platform for small sites like ours, but they eliminated it so we were out of luck. Don't pay no mind.
We figured this was a chance to fix what had always been an issue: there was one login to comment on IlliniBoard and another login to subscribe. So people would often enter one login for the other one and it wouldn't work. Not their fault - it was a confusing system but TinyPass had to keep everything separated.
Now, your username is your username. You log into the site and you can subscribe to the site and you can comment on the site. So take that TinyPass info and toss it in the trash. Go into that note on your phone where you store your logins and delete it. You'll never use it again.
One more thing, Scotty. If you did subscribe last October, November, or December, you still have a bit of your existing subscription remaining. Go check your email for something from Piano Software (or maybe search for TinyPass) and you might see that you subscribed last October 20th. If you did, forward that email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll set you up with a subscription that lasts until that date.
AND, if you already subscribed in the last nine days but you missed this message AND you find that you still had some subscription time remaining, send that to me as well. If you had 43 days left on your earlier subscription from last year, we'll take the current subscription that you signed up for last week and add 43 days. At all three levels.
Your site is amazing. I'm developing a time machine so I can go back 47 years, have a daughter, and then hop forward to 1991 to convince 18 year-old you to marry her and then you can join my family so that we can go to the 1992 Holiday Bowl together.
Anyway, I subscribed last week but now it's suddenly telling me that I only have one story left. I'm logged in but my subscription isn't there. What gives?
Connie in Collinsville
That's the biggest bug we found. Most everyone's subscriptions pair to their username and they haven't had to even think about it. But for others, the subscription is paid yet the handshake never happens. There's an active user, and an active subscription, but they're in a fight and not talking to each other.
Brumby can fix that in 15 seconds. We just need to know that it's happening to you. We've fixed several already, but there are still more out there I'm sure. So if this happens to you, just email me with your username and the email address you used when you subscribed. I'll build a big list for John and he can fix them all.
This older woman just told me a story that she went back in time to create me so I would marry you in 1991. That can't be true, right?
Confused In St. Louis
Confused: Pretty sure it's true. But I am happily married so it doesn't matter anyway. Just find yourself another Illini fan. We don't ask for much.
When you write it's like the angels came down from heaven with the most beautiful music but they translated it into words so I could listen with my eyes.
Anyway, I'm trying to subscribe but when I go to create an IlliniBoard account it tells me I already have an account. I have no idea what username and password I used. Help.
Jeff in Jefferson City
We can fix that, Jeff. Some people knew their TinyPass login and password very well but they hadn't used their IlliniBoard login to comment on a post since 2015. And so they have no idea what username they used.
If that's the case, send me an email (email@example.com) and tell me that the system is telling you that you already have a username. We can look up that username and tell you what it is. You can then log in. And if you forgot the password, once you know your username and the email address, you can use the Forgot Password link to reset it.
And worst case scenario (this happened to one poor guy), if you go through all of that, you finally get your username, you go to reset your password, and you never receive that email because the spam blocker blocks it, we can delete your entire account and you can try to start from scratch. You'd lose your site posting history, but for most people that doesn't matter anyway. We'll wipe the slate clean and you can start over with whatever username you want (besides "Robert").
Once you have the account, it should be easy. Go to the subscription page (you can also get there through My Account), pick your subscription level, enter your CC info (it's secure), and you're all set for one year.
My favorite writers are 1. Hemingway 2. You 3. Dickens. But if you write a post on our longsnapper this fall and you title it For Whom Tabel Tolls, you'll probably overtake Hemingway.
My question is about the subscription levels. I signed up for Seventeen Club but I haven't gotten my Slack Invite or my T-shirt order. Can you update me on that?
Larry in Lawrenceville
Yes. That's on me. Blame the game of golf.
After the Big Ten canceled the season on August 11th, I joined a group of eight guys in planning a golf trip to Sand Valley these past three days. There wasn't going to be any football or tailgating in the fall, so might as well do something fun.
Then the Big Ten reversed course five weeks later. And so, after sitting on the launch of the subscription structure since March 12th, we decided it was time to go. I'm going to have something to write about, so let's launch it.
But after six days of that, I was out of town for almost three days. And so after a steady stream of sending out Slack invites and prepping the newsletter stuff, I now haven't done any of it since Tuesday night. I've gotten several emails asking "I subscribed to Orange Tier - where's my stuff?" (and you have every right to send that email so I'm not complaining).
Please know that I'm taking all afternoon to get caught up on that stuff. My plan is to do it daily. I'll sort through each day's subscriptions and send Slack invites once per day. And then, whenever the next newsletter comes out (next one is October 5th), you'll get that and all the others. I'm also trying to find a way to get the first newsletter sent to everyone who has subscribed since it went out, but it's proving difficult. Might try to find another way, might not be able to.
As for the t-shirts for the Seventeen Club members, look for an email on that later today (Saturday the 26th).
One more thing: a massive thank-you to Brumby who handled each and every email for three days. All I did on the golf course was open my email, forward a bunch of emails to him, and close my phone. And then 3-putt from 12 feet.
Yes, it's coming. Yes, I know I said "next week" and all of "next week" is nearly gone. I promise, it's going to happen. I had a lot of time to think while searching for my ball in waste areas these last three days, and when I have a lot of time to think, my brain says things like "you told people the podcast was coming and here you are golfing and not podcasting".
All I can say is that I've made customer service (for lack of a better term) the only priority this week. This is a good problem to have - subscriptions have exceeded our expectations - but that brings another set of complications, from subscription bugs to Slack invites to verifying the EIN numbers on tax forms for the LLC. I had this idea that we'd launch and then I'd just start making all the #content but other things were more important than content the last nine days. So I'm going to take every available moment to sort those out so I can get to the content.
Well, every available moment besides a golf trip.
Huge fan of the site. Even though my son is a coach at Louisville now, I still plan to show up in a tan jacket and off-color orange collared shirt when the Illini are in the Elite Eight this year.
My question: now that I'm subscribed, will this subscription renew each year? I seem to remember you saying things for years like "I refuse to have this thing set to auto-renew".
Bill in Los Angeles
Yes, subscriptions will auto-renew. I explained this in the Launch post but I can go over it again.
With TinyPass, I was worried about the cancellation process. We didn't control it. If they even used one tiny Comcast tactic to try to keep you subscribed to the site, I would have hated it. So I refused to auto-renew subscriptions.
Now, we control the process. On the My Account page, if you have a subscription, you can simply click "cancel my subscription". I mean, don't do it now because you already paid for 365 days, but if you want to cancel this time next year, it's easy to do. If you don't want to cancel, the system will just renew your subscription on the renewal date.
OK, I think that's it. Thanks for reading. I'm still making every post free until I can sort through the rest of the issues. So maybe we're really in previews right now and then opening night is next week.
I promise you'll love the show. Thanks for subscribing.