Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The monthly Sherlockian bill?

This morning a movie chain I frequent announced a new monthly program where they automatically charge you a set amount each month to see up to twelve movies at their theaters. It immediately reminded me of the fitness center that dings my credit card ten bucks per month, the computer game that gets its monthly fee, the podcast I support with an automatic monthly donation, etc., etc.

The life has become a pay-by-the-month affair for a lot more than the good old rent and utilities that Monopoly games were built on. But aside from the Patreons of "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere" and "No Place Like Holmes," I don't think anyone else has yet embraced that model in the Sherlockian world.

And how soon will a Sherlockian society go for collecting dues via the monthly credit card ding?

I suppose it's how much they have to offer. Most club dues are small enough that they don't need a twelve-way split. Those with bigger print journals, however,  could probably offer a few more benefits or an added publication and easily justify "Twelve easy payments of just FIVE dollars!" each year. 

Getting a monthly credit card ding for Sherlockian purposes, however, would seem to justify something that happened each month to make it worth your while. Patreon supporters of "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere" get a lot of podcast content every month for their investment, and a lot of podcasts go that route. But it would be interesting to see some larger Sherlockian organization go that route and combine publications with web content for a total ongoing Sherlockian community experience.

The world has been moving ahead at a breakneck pace in the last decade, and while Sherlockians have made some great big ol' strides, there are still some opportunities out there left to be exploited. One wonders what the personality of a John Bennett Shaw would have done with the possibilities an energetic team of 25-year-olds might see currently. I say "team," because things have just gotten too big for the solo "sparking plug" of the 1980s to fully take advantage of. We are a culture of communities now, and a good community can do incredible things (for good or ill, sad to say).

So what manner of ongoing Sherlockian experience would be worth five dollars a month, or ten dollars . . . or even twenty? A package of publications, events, e-connectivity, and community? A Sherlockian box of goodies every month? (Or just one goodie, be it signed book or Canonical artifact.) Something that made one a part of an ongoing project? (Herding cats, of course, but you never know.)

There are places in Sherlockiana that we haven't made it to yet, but they're out there.  And if a really good one requires a monthly bill, I might not be adverse to that.

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