Explorers Club

Help me produce:
Longform Essays, Newsletters,
Podcasts, & Walks
⫹⫺ ⦿

Perks: Micro Explorers are subscribed to the quarterly, members-only newsletter. All other tiers get the newsletter + free digital books, discounts, and totally amazing smartphone wallpapers. (Details below.)

Prices in US dollars.

Existing members, view your account / billing.
Questions? Email explorers@craigmod.com


Existing members, view your account.
Questions? Email explorers@craigmod.com

Readers old and new —

By becoming an Explorer you're saying:
Craig, ya weird bird, I want to see more of your work in the world.

In 2019, membership supports the following:

This adds up to a yearly total of about 100,000 words edited, designed, and published.

Your membership helps make this stuff happen.


So, honestly, nobody should join this thing for the perks. This is a program 99.999% focused on the above writing/output. That said, I'm not an animal, and know that sometimes a person just wants a few delicious perks.

Micro Explorers are added to the members-only newsletter (starting once we hit 300 members).

Monthly, Yearly, and Lifetime Explorers additionally get the following:

Roden Explorers Member wallpapers

That's the general pitch. If you're on the fence, subscribe to one of my newsletters for a little while.

I think it's a fascinating time to be involved with independent publishing on the web. As more stuff gets shoved into silos, and less content is built on open platforms, a little bit of the founding spirit of this place is lost.

The Explorers Club weaves together a few pieces of accessible technology to unlock truly independent, evergreen content. Content that's disconnected from explicit advertising models, a little bit odd, a little bit more esoteric than you'd find in traditional publications.

I’d like for us to see just how good these systems are or aren't. And think about how we can make them better, together.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support.

— Craig


Hypothetically Asked Questions

I just landed on this page, have never heard of you, am not entirely convinced but am willing to give you a shot. Where should I begin reading before I decide to become a member?

Depends on what you're interested in. Most of my work falls into the following categories: books, photography, walking, literature, Japan.

For book / book design / book philosophy, the essay "Lets Talk About Margins" is a good start. For more publishing eco-system related stuff, this Wired piece might be a better start.

If you're curious about meditation, specifically of the vipassana kind, Roden 013, 015, and 019 are all good entrances.

If you're into photography, my mega-review of the Leica Q or my classic review of the Panasonic GF1 are fun. For more of a philosophical bent on photography, try "The Future of Photography is Software".

For more random essays, here's one about me looking for Marlon Brando's room in Kyoto. Here's one about surviving airports and plane travel like the Dalai Lama. Thoughts on walking in "A Need to Walk." On living as an expat for decades in "Notes on the Other." The intersections of bi-culturality, family, identity, and art? Roden 020 is what you're looking for.

Who's handling payments?

Even though this membership page is on my (secure) site, memberships are processed and managed securely through Memberful. Credit cards (and Apple Pay) go through Stripe. Everything is secure. (This is the exact same system used by, for example, Stratechery and Kottke.org.) I don’t see or get any of your payment information. It’s all locked away in high-security digital vaults on billion-dollar company servers. Cancellation is basically two clicks, and can be done at any time from this page. You’ll get email reminders before any recurring payments fire off. I don’t want anyone paying a single cent accidentally.

I'm a student, don't have many bucks, but I want to become a member. Do you have a cheaper plan?

Yep: Micro Explorer ($3/mo) (but this doesn't come with all the perks of the other plans).

Do you have any alternative methods of payment?

You can contribute via Paypal if that's your thing. But using the Memberful interface helps keep things simple for me.

Is your content going behind a paywall?


If you don’t have much financial breathing room, or you’re already a member of too many other things. No worries. I feel you. Just please send me a note once in a while saying thanks. (Even that alone means a lot!)

Roden, Ridgeline, On Margins, and any other essays I produce will all be as free and accessible as they’ve always been. This is an important point for me. And, against the advice of most people I’ve spoken with, I believe that your membership support isn’t contingent on super special or exclusive access.

I see projects like On Margins as evergreen and educational — a class in book thinking. I want it to be fully open to students and publishers (big and small, alike) around the world.

So the deal is: You support this work as a member, and everyone gets more of it, as accessibly as ever.

$1000 for Lifetime? Isn't that a lot, bucko?

Sort of? I figure I've been "seriously" publishing here for about ten years now, and I'd like to do so for at least another ten.