Setting course for a new orbit

Update on migrating

Okay, so.

On Thursday, I mentioned that I was on the process of exploring new hosting options for Transfer Orbit. I’ve been chatting with a handful of other folks moving out from Substack, and after playing around with options for a couple of days, including Ghost.

After building up a test site, I’ve found that I’m satisfied with it — more than satisfied. It’s a nice platform that fulfills all of my needs to keep Transfer Orbit chugging along: the ability to send out messages on a regular basis, the ability to maintain subscriptions, and so forth. So, we’re Transferring to another Orbit.

I’m hilarious. Eh? Eh?

You can check out the site as it stands now here.

So, here’s where the migration currently stands:

  • I’ve manually transferred all of Transfer Orbit’s posts over to Ghost, and I’m currently in the process of redating them so they’re in chronological order. (One exception: Mary Robinette Kowal’s audio interview: I haven’t had a chance to look into migrating that audio over, and it’s not high on my list of things to do at the moment.)

  • 100% of members have been switched over to Ghost.

  • Paid and comped subscribers *should* have had their subscriptions transferred over — both platforms use Stripe, so that was less painless than I thought it would be. If you take a look through the archives, paid posts are indicated with a star icon, and you should be able to access those locked posts. Let me know if you can’t, and I’ll try and troubleshoot when able.

  • Billing for subscribers is paused on Substack. If you’re a recurring member, you shouldn’t be charged in the near future. I need to contact Substack to get them to remove their 10% cut from your subscription (apparently this is tied to your Stripe ID?)

This should be pretty seamless on your end: you won’t have to do anything to get switched over, provided nothing unexpected happens. One added bonus here: there’s the ability to designate posts as public, members-only, and paid, so you as subscribers will get some bonus stuff: I’ll likely designate the roundups as members-only, while the book lists / reviews will be public by default. We’ll play with that as we go forward.

There are a couple of things that I need to do to get things squared away on the new platform:

  • Figure out comments. The template that I have now doesn’t have them natively, so I need to add a module on, which is going to take some research. The same goes for likes.

  • RSS feed. Not sure if I need to do anything, but getting an RSS feed up and running will be useful.

  • Emails and notifications. I *think* replying to a newsletter message will bounce the reply back to me, like it was in Substack, but I need to check that out.

  • Get set up with a proper domain for this, and begin collapsing the rest of my main site onto it. With this move, I think I can move away from Squarespace, where I maintain my regular website.

There’s a whole lot of other options in Ghost’s integration library, so … let me know if there’s anything else you think you’d want / need? I can’t promise that I’d be able to install it right away, but I can certainly put it on the list.

I’ve had a couple of people reach out to ask: subscriptions are set up now, so if you wanted to subscribe, you can do so on Ghost by clicking on the link above. The costs will be the same: $5 a month, $50 a year. I don’t see anything about the ability to put together sales at the moment.

Out of all of this: I’m taking this as an opportunity rather than a problem. Substack is a great set of tools, but I’m seeing that there’s a lot of additional possibilities for TO in a new home, which will be better for everyone all around. So, I’m excited for this move.

Thanks for your patience here: I’m looking forward to getting back on schedule. I’ve got a bunch of posts that I’ve got on the schedule for the next couple of weeks, and I’d like to get back to writing, rather than fiddling.

Have a good weekend,

Andrew