Dear pro-health friends,
When we first started The Vaccine Times quarterly publication almost a year ago, we had big ambitions of growing the print publication, and reaching parents through their pediatrician’s office. Four issues later, countless hours of work between myself and my two co-editors, it is time we take a step back to evaluate the project objectively. The outcome of that evaluation does not look very good. In fact, my analysis of how far we’ve reached in the last 10-11 months has lead me to decide to stop, at least for the time being, making the quarterly Vaccine Times PDF publication. As such there will be no Jul-Sep 2011 Issue, and I do not know if there will be any other issues after that. Allow me to spell out the main reasons for this decision:
- Although we know we have pediatricians and doctors in our mailing list, following us on Twitter or on Facebook, we have not received not even one print subscription order. Since convincing doctors/pediatricians to subscribe to the paid version is crucial to our strategy, this failure in our part to secure a few orders from the few doctors we have been able to reach is near-fatal to the whole project.
- Our free mailing list has been stagnant for a long time. We have barely reached 200 subscribers, with most of them signing up at the very beginning and only a small portion coming on board over the past couple of issues. The trend should have been going the other way, with the number of subscriptions increasing with time.
- We have failed to attract the interest of certain individuals/organizations in the pro-health fight whom we had pinpointed as necessary allies if we were to be successful.
- The response from the skeptical community has been lukewarm at best. I want to take this opportunity however to publicly thank Desiree Schell of Skeptically Speaking for granting me my first interview on her show in the very early days of this enterprise. I also want to publicly thank Kylie Sturgess of The Token Skeptic podcast for granting me and Jules an interview on her show. We are very grateful for your support and hope to repay back your kindness in the future. Nevertheless, we didn’t get many encouraging responses from other leaders in the skeptical community, many of whom were contacted directly. This is not meant to point an accusatory finger in their direction, however it is an indicator of the worthiness of the idea.
- We have been unable to secure any significant funding, or to create any significant alliances with existing organizations that would have allowed us to market the publication better to our target market. We have also not received any help from experienced marketing/PR skeptics, although we have requested such help specifically on a few occasions.
So what does all this mean? We will be open to any ideas on how to reinstate The Vaccine Times. All comments, suggestions and feedback can be sent to email@example.com. The Vaccine Times website will stay up, and I will update the blog as often as I can, as has been the practice so far. The Facebook Page, and the Twitter accounts will remain active. The existing 4 issues of the publication will remain online, as samples for anyone who might be interested in resurrecting the publication in the future.
The “Donate” button and “ChipIn” widget will be removed. With no publication to print, there will be no need for donations. The Mailing List will remain active, but if up to now it has only been used quarterly to announce the new issues, we will think of better ways to use it, maybe something a little more frequent, such as a bi-weekly, or monthly e-mail with links of interest. The “Subscriptions” page, and the “Advertise With Us” page will be accordingly taken down. The “Support Us” page will be updated to be more inline with this latest development.
To all of you who helped us print the first batch of The Vaccine Times: you will always have our gratitude for your generosity. To all of you who have donated to print the current issue (Apr-Jun 2011) you will be contacted individually via e-mail and your donations will be returned to you as we will not proceed with the printing of this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause to you.
This decision has not been easy, but taking everything into account I think it is the wise thing to do. I hope you will continue to support our blog, and our Facebook and Twitter presence. Although it appears this project is doomed to failure, it did succeed in connecting me with some individuals that have truly elevated my overall opinion of the human race. There’s good folk out there and we will all continue our pro-health fight, albeit in a different way from what we’ve been doing this past year.