A Sunday Preview (8.8)
Priority shift . . .
My original intention for today was to preview a course I might offer in September. And since I’ve made a special effort this month to stick with announced plans, I was reluctant to change course.
However. I have two interconnected goals for the next couple of weeks, and both need some focused attention. So I’m using today’s email to say a little more about the survey project and about my plans for growing readership.
I’ve really been surprised at how few of the people who regularly open or view EP content have chosen to take the first survey. And by now I feel like just reposting the link(s) may seem like nagging!
I think different people must have different reasons—from putting it off and forgetting, to thinking it’s sort of a silly idea. Or perhaps concerns about security/privacy?
So I thought I’d lay out the reasoning behind the survey project. In part, it’s meant to create a picture of the many ways people relate to Tarot. Also, the many different kinds of people who have an interest in Tarot.
A huge proportion of what’s publicly visible about Tarot today highlights a very narrow range of uses and users. Yet I know from my own research and personal connections that there are many surprising facts about how, where, and why Tarot turns up. Reporting on those surprises is one of my purposes for writing a newsletter.
Of course—even if I got a fairly large group of people to take the surveys, statistical analysis would be interesting but not definitive. And since participants are self-selecting, there will be built-in biases. But each survey offers space for additional comments and ideas, so they can gather insights that go beyond simple answers.
The bottom line is this: I don’t know of any other place where Tarot enthusiasts—from neophytes to experts—can share (and eventually compare) their opinions on core aspects of Tarot engagement.
Yes, there are social media groups. But those conversations involve a more freeform kind of discussion and debate. And though individual bloggers, tweeters, and posters share a lot of information online, the task of correlating and analyzing even a fraction of what’s out there would be mind-boggling.
So I’m going to persist in trying to attract survey participants. And my plan of the moment is to activate all four Tarot-specific surveys tomorrow instead of launching them one at a time. Then I’ll create a “Tarot Surveys” web page where they can all be accessed in one visit, along with some contextual information.
Although I haven’t made the page yet, I’m thinking it will look something like the home-page of my website:
As a reminder—here are the four surveys:
This survey provides the opportunity to share a little about your history with Tarot—how you found it (or were found by it), how you started out, and how you see it now.
Meant for anyone who gains some sort of compensation (barter, payment, donations) through their association with Tarot (as readers, writers, artists, artisans, for example).
Wands: Personal Tarot
What role does Tarot play in your life? How do you relate to decks and spreads? Do you read for yourself? Et cetera!
Swords: Thinking About the Wide World
A survey focused on attitudes and levels of engagement, looking at political, spiritual, social, and cultural aspects of our larger world.
The other part of today’s “preview” is about readership. The connection is obvious, of course, since more readers would equate to more potential survey participants.
Also obvious—gaining new readers is a key pass/fail metric in my August experiment. Up til now I’ve focused on adding content to the Substack site, and establishing a regular flow of weekly newsletters and daily notes. When potential subscribers visit, they need to get a good idea of what EP is all about.
But I think I’ve made progress on that score, so it’s time for next steps—which will include (at least) the following:
Submitting the Exploration Project to some newsletter directories.
Creating a Facebook page for Exploration Project.
Sending email invitations to people whose contact information I’ve gathered through personal communications or Tarot-related networking.
With respect to Facebook—I’ve just never gotten the hang of it, and I almost never go there personally. But I know there’s a lot of Tarot activity on Facebook, so I’m hoping to give EP some exposure. (Haven’t decided about Instagram.)
That’s a pretty small plan, but within the scope of what’s doable! Updates to come.
I’ll close with another kind of preview: this week’s coming attractions. Look for “Makers of Modern Tarot, Part 2,” and in the Daily Notes, our last four doors— Therapeutic, Meditation, Creativity, and Social.
Warmest regards, Cynthia