Join Our Community
It can be hard to find people who experience life the way you do. That’s why our number one reader request was to establish a community where it’s safe to be fully you.
The Third Factor community is a place where bright, intense people are free to shine as brightly as they like. We engage with other deep thinkers on the top issues of the day. We enthuse about what lifts us up and commiserate about what brings us down. And we share the products of our vivid imaginations on everything from artistic products to scientific innovation to entrepreneurial endeavors.
If you like what you’ve read in our magazine, we’d love to have you join us!
Read on for more information, or jump to a section:
- How do I join?
- What do I get?
- What does my contribution support?
- How do I know if I’m a fit?
- What are the community guidelines?
How do I join?
Interested? Great! To kick off your membership, we ask you to subscribe via either Patreon or PayPal. Membership starts at $2 USD per month; you may also contribute annually.
After you join, please allow up to 48 hours for a member of our team to add you manually. (If we get enough patrons, we’ll be able to afford to automate this, but those services cost money, too.)
Note: if you sincerely can’t afford to contribute but think our community could be of use to you, drop us a line. We need support from those who can afford it if we’re to keep running this platform, but we don’t want anyone to be excluded for lack of ability to pay.
What do I get for joining?
As a member, your main privilege will be access to our community forums. This is a great group of bright, creative, sensitive people–orchids who are trying to grow!–which we created after enough reader requests. But it’s still small, so you’ll get a chance to make some meaningful connections.
What else? Well, we don’t have any paywalled articles or swag at the moment, but we might add these in the future. All active members will get access to these if we do.
Here’s a breakdown of specific perks by membership tier.
- $2/mo: Access to the Third Factor Community, and access to any future paywalled articles.
- $5/mo: Access to Gold Forums, including book discussion groups and live video discussions (coming soon). We will aim to host these at different times to reach readers around the world.
- $10/mo and up: All of the above, plus some magazine swag.
What does my contribution support?
Running Third Factor costs money. The Circle platform has a monthly fee; video conference software does, too. We also strive to pay authors for high quality articles, and would like to do more of this to attract those who can’t offer their pieces as donations. There are also the hosting fees for the website. Sometimes we run social media ads to try to reach more of our sort of people. If we get to the level where anything’s left after that, we’d love to compensate our editors for the time they put in, which is considerable. (We’re not just a blog; we work with our contributors to make their articles as good as they can be. More about that here.)
Therefore, even if you don’t want to participate in our forum, we’d be grateful for your contribution! (We do have members who don’t participate there.)
How do I know if I’m a fit here?
We tend to be somewhat unusual people, and we understand that finding a place to fit in is a challenge. To that end, we are welcoming, but we know that we won’t appeal to everyone.
The best sign that you’ll fit in is that you’ve read our articles and found them worth thinking about. We also ask (per our code of conduct below) that you are curious, intellectually engaged, and sufficiently emotionally mature. (Hey, it’s the Internet, so we have to spell this out.)
But the best way to see if you’re a fit is to give it a try. Why not drop in for a month and see if you click with us? You can cancel your membership at any time.
What are your community guidelines?
We have a code of conduct rather than specific rules. The central element of our code of conduct is this: practice star-manning. This is a wonderful concept created by a writer by the name of Angel Eduardo (not affiliated with our magazine). It’s especially suited to a community like ours, where people are making good-faith efforts to understand the world around them, to develop their value systems autonomously, and to grow in character to live up to their ideals–and who therefore benefit from hearing alternative takes in good faith.
Here are the other things we ask of our members:
- Curiosity and tolerance for a range of perspectives. Our members are generally curious about why others think the way they do. We therefore strive to welcome those of all political perspectives and ask that members are open to hearing alternative takes. We ask that new members come prepared to hear perspectives that they disagree with–that may even upset them–and that they pledge to handle this diplomatically.
- Basic emotional maturity. We are a place to parse strong feelings, and we don’t expect perfection here in getting along (though we’re pleased with our record so far). Please understand, however, that this is not a place to dump your anger at the world. (Our interest in “deep emotions” doesn’t extend to inability to regulate them appropriately.) If you have a dispute with one of our members, please work to resolve it in good faith. Again, practice star-manning.
We all came in as strangers, and the community has worked because we’ve gotten to know one another. We’re not just more strangers talking on the Internet! So we hope you’ll come in and take some time to get to know us and join in.
In the event that a paying member does not abide by the code of conduct, a moderator will discuss these concerns with you privately. If, after that, a member continues behaving inappropriately, we will cancel your subscription.
Thanks for your interest, and we hope we’ll have a chance to get to know you!