Hey everybody! Long time, no talk. Graceless had to lie fallow for a bit while we concentrated on work that pays the bills and refreshed our thinking on the next phase of the site. Don’t worry – we’re too lazy to change much. But we are implementing a few new ideas to re-energize writers and get people excited about checking in on Graceless.

First, we’ll be adding a tip jar to each writer’s post (totally stealing this idea from dearly departed The Toast). If you’re particularly admiring of a piece of writing, you’ll be able to click a little button at the bottom of each post, donating a dollar or two directly to the writer. This obviously shows our writers some love but also has the added benefit of letting us know what kind of content you’re liking.

We’re also adding another box to the author profile page, in which they can feature the business of their choice. If their regular gig is, say, a t-shirt business, you’ll see a couple of their wares and a link to buy. Or if they’re a freelance writer, you’ll see a link to their professional site or LinkedIn profile. You get the idea. These are small actions, to be sure. But the Graceless audience is uniquely supportive of fantastic writing, so we’re hoping they’ll bear some fruit.

Lastly, we’re revamping the newsletter, which you’ll now get via email or can read directly on the site. To explain the revamp, some backstory for you.

I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of angst lately about the state of the world and I know I’m not alone. While there is no doubt we’re dangling on the precipice of apocalypse, Facebook’s looming presence over it all is exacerbating everything. With 44% of the U.S. general population now getting their news from Facebook, its ability to dictate the narrative – and more importantly the tone of the narrative – is a bit horrifying.

The Facebook of today ain’t puppies and babies and double rainbows anymore. The cute has been buried under a mountain – an ever-growing shit pile, to be precise – of anger and hysterical headlines. While opinions are nothing new (and we all know everybody’s got one), what’s happening on Facebook has gone from opinion to proselytizing. It’s preaching, most of the time to a choir nodding in agreement because we’ve hidden or unfriended all dissenters. Even the most benign of topics is now a minefield; I was taken to task by an acquaintance for talking about Gilda Radner instead of Gene Wilder’s second wife when he died. Facebook has become a place I dread to visit. And we all played a part in it.

I don’t want to rely on Facebook as a content curator anymore. There’s too much good stuff out there that I’d rather spend my time reading. I’m creating my own feed. And because I like sharing that good stuff, I’m turning that feed into Graceless Reads, a regular post and newsletter highlighting the stuff that we’re missing while Facebook screams at us. It probably won’t be every day, but it will be on a regular basis. You can read it on the site or get it in your inbox, whichever floats your boat.

Thanks for waiting on us. We hope you’ll enjoy phase two of this little Graceless experiment.

Enters the room by kicking the door down. Obnoxious Austinite. Conflicted Texan. Writer. Procuress. Sot.