Frequently Asked Questions

What is this? Where am I?

ChangeThis is a new kind of media. It's calm and thoughtful and direct and transparent. And unlike almost every other form of media, it reaches people through community. If an idea is a good one, it'll spread, because people like you will send it to their friends. Unlike a broadcaster, we're not using FCC frequencies to send our ideas to people who don't want to hear them. The ChangeThis website is our archive, our info center and an easy place to subscribe.

Who are you?

ChangeThis was built in the summer of 2004 by Amit Gupta, Catherine Hickey, Noah Weiss, Phoebe Espiritu and Michelle Sriwongtong. The original idea behind ChangeThis came from Seth Godin. You can read about him on his website.

In the summer of 2005, ChangeThis was turned over to 800-CEO-READ. In addition to selling business books, they keep ChangeThis up and running with their love and tender care. To learn more about 800-CEO-READ, read their publication In the Books.

Why are you doing this?

Because we're tired of the yelling, tired of the irrational posturing, and tired of the lies. We decided to do something about all three. Our bet is that smart people will embrace being talked to with respect and will spread the word.

We have no secret plan. No ulterior motive. We wanted to see if it would work. The fact that you're reading this sort of implies it did, at least a little.

What is a manifesto?

That's what we call one of our PDF files. It's an argument, a reasoned, rational call to action, supported by logic and facts.

What happens if I subscribe? Will you spam me?

We won't spam you. We will never ever sell or rent or lend your email address. It belongs to you, not us. The promise is simple: no more than once every two weeks you will get a short email from us telling you about our manifestos. You can click on the links to read whichever ones you choose to. That's it.

What can I do with a manifesto?

You can print it. You can read it. You can email it to anyone you have a relationship with. You can post it on your website. You can post it on your blog.

You cannot spam people with it. You cannot change it in any way. You cannot sell it for money.

Why can't I see the manifesto? What is a .pdf?

If you click on a link and nothing happens, it's probably because the file has downloaded to your machine (which is good) but hasn't opened automatically in your Acrobat Reader or Acrobat program. Visit Adobe to see how to fix this problem.

How do I view previous issues?

In the top navigation of our site there is a hyperlink labeled "Issues".  Clicking this will take you to the issue browser which allows you to scroll through the previous issues and the manifestos inside them.  If you want to find a particular manifesto you can use the search box on the right hand side. 

Do you have a political slant?

Yes. We are against demagoguery, dishonesty, shortsightedness, superstition, fundamentalism, unequal rights and violent argument.

We are optimists and we believe that an informed, motivated electorate is likely to do the right thing, given the facts and given a chance.

We reject the status quo of both parties if it is just the status quo.

And we're realists. We don't believe it's a good idea to cut off your nose to spite your face. We don't believe in anonymity. We don't think someone should do something just because they can.

How do you choose what to publish?

We choose arguments that at least some of the people on our Editorial Board believe will change the discussion for the better, that if implemented will make a bad situation better, and that will spread. None of us agree with everything we choose. We don't think you will either.

I hate a manifesto. Who do I yell at?

Don't. We're very sensitive. If you hate a manifesto, the two best things to do are:

  1. nothing (if it doesn't spread, it's invisible)
  2. write your own and spread that. Even if we don't publish your manifesto, that doesn't mean you can't.

I subscribed, but never got any email. What gives?

Yikes! It might be blocked by your company's spam filter, which would be horrible, since it's not spam. Try subscribing again and watch your spam folder (if you have one) for the confirmation message. You might also try dropping a note to your IT person to let them know what's up.  Depending on your e-mail system it may help to add to your address book.

Posted: Feb. 11, 2010 9:00 a.m.

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