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APW Pandemic Hour

Here goes April

Hey APW,

I usually write Happy Hours on Thursday, but this week I’m writing it just before it goes live. Mostly because… it’s just hard to find words to wrap around anything right now. And finding words is my job. But the scale of what we’re all experiencing is so unimaginable, that it’s hard to articulate any of it.

But before we jump in, I wanted to let you know a few things about the state of APW. Most importantly, our lights are still on, and we still have staff, and I’m so grateful for that every day. That said, these are unprecedented times, and we’re taking unprecedented measures to still be here when this is all over. This is what we’re up to currently:

  • Our Patreon is up and running, and we’re going to be scheduling our first Zoom call for April (YAYAYAYAYAY). If you join, we’ve got printables for you (see an example of one above… this is the message I put everywhere these days). We’re also designing merch for Patreon, so stay tuned for the posters that we personally need over our desks right now. We’re so profoundly grateful to each one of you that has become a Patron, and if you haven’t, we’d love to have you. Three dollars a month really really helps, when the community does it together.
  • You’re likely going to see some weird display ads on APW. A lot of our revenue comes from display ads, and a good chunk of those display ads are honeymoon travel. That revenue is obviously totally gone right now. Our amazing display ad team told us that the way that we could continue to make some money is to allow the kinds of add we normally block. So aside from Trump and weight loss (still and always on our blacklist), everything else is fair game right now. I feel kind of #sorrynotsorry about that, because I want all of us to feel that we have permission to do what we need to do to survive right now, without shame or apology. (And yes, that totally includes lying under a blanket and eating cookies while you watch all of Tiger King in one go.)
  • And finally, if you want more details on budgeting decisions we’re making, I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal this morning on salaries and budget cuts, and the importance of trying to keep our team together. (Like all WSJ articles it’s behind a paywall… I had to sign up to read it!)

Beyond that, I’ve been working hard to process the vast amount of grief that we’re all dealing with right now. I’ve done a ton of work coming to terms with the fact that this is life right now, and that my old life is gone. I’m deep in the pre-grief process for my at risk family, coming to terms with the fact that I have no control. And I’m just starting to process the fact that the life we all had is not coming back, and we don’t know what’s coming next. It’s a lot. And I know all of you are going through it (and some of you are going through much much worse). So as we head into April (yup, gonna mention “the cruelest month” right here) I want to provide a space for community and solidarity, and virtual togetherness.

So let’s hit it.


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