Samantha’s email to Elena

Others and Elena > Samantha’s email to Elena

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Dear Elena,

It was a distinct pleasure to meet you yesterday. You are so much more than I imagined, though when I read this again before clicking the send button, I realize how foolish that sounds. Forgive me.

This email is to memorialize what we discussed about the website. Please feel free to add any comments in case you want to further adjust some of the points we agreed to:

 a) Home page characteristics

  · First level –Homepage; second level- Parts and sections; third level- Sections and subsections; fourth level- posts

  · Nested navigation to simplify the homepage

  · Introductory material, latest and popular posts and our correspondence in the first row

  · Four parts of the book accessed via the second row

  · List of up to five posts under each homepage heading

  · Table of Contents as a top menu navigation aid. We will probably need to break this up into four table of contents eventually, one for each Part.

  · No sidebar menus for now

  · Searchable keyword index in the text for later. Ghost provides searchable keywords in tags.

  · Subscription buttons in selected dark olive color

  · No links to your personal social media accounts (there are none)

  · No theme music or banner videos

  · Button to change background color to gray or white

  · ‘About’ page can recommend starting point

 b) Membership and marketing

  · Free membership for now. Tiered paying membership for later, likely with a Stripe account

  · “Word of mouth” marketing through personal efforts by individuals (for now)

  · We will all notify friends and relatives and encourage ‘spreading the word’

  · Evaluate marketing campaigns, email blasts, etc., in six months, dependent on growth of website subscriptions

 c) Posts

  · Post images formatted as banners, or as inserts in the text, or as background behind the text

  · Posts previous and next buttons to cycle through text based on tag order

  · Ability to add images, video, music, etc already present in Ghost

 d) Website parameters

  · We will install Google analytics to review website use

  · Other plugins to evaluate later

  · domain acceptable.

We will set up the website domain today to reserve it. For the website layout and structure, we will customize an existing standard Ghost theme to do the above. We will get started on that next year, when staff returns January 3rd. I anticipate a few weeks of website coding and development and a follow-up review with you to show you how the website is shaping up. After that, I anticipate a few weeks of tweaks and adjustments based on your comments and approvals. In that period, I will likely be asking you to check things every few days or so.

I expect that by mid-February, the website will be ready to launch.

As I mentioned in our meeting, the organic “word of mouth” approach will mean a very slow start to attracting members. But we’ll see in six months whether memberships continue to increase or we need to boost it with email campaigns.

Elizabeth and I have been eager to make your project public because we are both convinced your writings will help many women. On the other hand, it is true what you said, that trying to accelerate growth in this early phase can cause structural imbalances, especially in Part 4. You are right that Part 4 in particular will have a better chance of developing properly if we go step by step in an organic manner. We will need time to discuss, organize and calibrate the categories and subcategories of topics that are created as member make contributions. We will necessarily have to deal with a random collection and little by little try and figure out topic allocation and organization.

I will have staff work on a number of different topic outlines for Part 4. I think it would be good to have different types of category trees as reference, to help us keep Part 4 “growing on a good path”, to borrow your expression.

It was a real joy to meet you for the first time. Elizabeth has been very enthusiastic about you (to put it mildly) since she met you last Friday. Now I see why. It is a great honor and privilege to be not only your teammate in this project, but also your friend- if I may be so bold. Your writings opened my eyes in many ways, and I will be forever grateful. I hope I can repay my gratitude in some fashion with this project.

I feel happy and buoyant after meeting you. I apologize if I sound silly. And I also apologize for Elizabeth. To be honest, I have not seen her like this since our college days. You have really ‘knocked her off her feet’, as people used to say decades ago.

Meeting you also resolved questions I had about my dad. He was not one to talk about people effusively. So I was puzzled and worried at how he would mention you almost every time we talked on the phone. I thought maybe he had had a stroke that had affected his feelings (though I have never heard of strokes causing positive feelings to emerge.) Now I see he was just smitten with you, and it’s very easy to understand why.

You have a very strong presence, though I’m sure you know that. But I want to state this, because it is extremely rare to meet someone who can have such a deep and positive effect on others.

Dad had intuited that I would eventually meet you. A week before he passed, he even told me that he would be very happy if we did meet. Back then I was shocked by his unusual sentimentality. I had never heard him speak that way, ever. As you know, Dad was a very practical man, who normally kept his feelings private. He rarely expressed strong emotions and, so far as I can remember, had never been sentimental.

Now I know he felt that way because of you. You had sparked his heart and for that I’m also eternally grateful. Dad probably needed such a spark after spending so many years without Mom. (Mom passed away nineteen years ago.) So I am happy that at the end of his life, he was able to re-experience love. I know he passed peacefully with a smile and dream, and that is all I could have wished for him.

Thank you Elena for being who you are, and for the real warmth you bring to all of us.

Elizabeth sends her ‘extra’ well wishes, naturally.

Sincerely and with warmth,