The Benefits of a planksip.org Email Address
Okay, so let's say you are contemplating the benefits of a planksip.org email. On the one hand, there is a cost. For planksip, that cost is $23.40 per user per month.
So what do users get when they sign up for a planksip.org email? Here's is how Google describes the plan planksip has with Google; "Enhanced security and compliance with Google's most advanced meeting capabilities." In case you want to look it up, the plan is called Google Workspace Business Plan.
I am the first to admit that we don't take advantage of the security and compliance nearly as much as we love the meeting capabilities. On some level, the security keeps the planksip writers organized, we can give access to documents on a domain level, and (like other organizations) if the writer, content creator, editor, or administation person decides to leave and go on to greener pastures, we can easily cancel the user and therefore all access to (somewhat) sensitive materials and access are kept a little more secure.
In my opinion, there are five big advantages of having a paid planksip (Google) email.
- Google Meet capability
- Media outlet credibility
- Email productivity
- Branded YouTube accounts
- Google Voice (optional)
I hope that that following doesn't sound like a sales pitch but at some level it is a sales pitch. Please use what you feel is useful for your personal situation.
Google Meet Capability
Since the pandemic we have all been exposed to more online meetings. Zoom became ubiquitous and the default replacement for face-to-face interactions. We have always used Google Meet and will continue to do so for several reasons. First and foremost, Google Meet is integrated into planksip's paid Google Workspace Business Plan and therefore for us to move outside the Google ecosystem to use something like Zoom or Microsoft Teams simply doesn't makes sense.
There would be a instance when an alternative to Google Meet would be considered and that is if there is a compelling feature that we are simply not getting with Google Meet that would provide significant upside to our members and staff. This is simply not the case. Google Meet has all the features offered by the other meeting platforms, in fact, it has more. Let me explain.
Our particular corporate plan at planksip gives members and staff the ability to record meetings in both a video and transcript format making it an excellent tool to conduct interviews. The way that the recordings and transcripts are automatically added to the Google calander makes it really easy to keep track of and share with your interviewee.
Also, the way the meeting is recorded the focus is full screen on the person talking and this is unlike any other meeting software available on the market. This is great for video clips, quotes and puting the focus on the SME (subject matter expert). If there has been one complaint that I hear over and over again that is that when video content looks like a Zoom call it automatically cheapens the quality of the interview. What they are referring to is the number of participants all shown on the screen despite the fact that one person may be leading the conversation while the others sit stairing blindly at the screen. Worse yet, if the participants are figiting, moving around or catching up on their work while the speaker is talking the final video is far from an ideal experience for platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo.
I should point out that I don't think you need a paid account to record with Google Meet. I could be wrong but I do know that you can record with no time limitations and this is great for long interviews of screen captures that you want to record.
Speaking of screen captures, do you know that you could take a video of an interview from Youtube (for example), share the tab, record and turn on the transcription feature so that you can simultaneously have Google do the note taking and record the video for you to repurpose clips for.
Media Outlet Credibility
I realize that the planksip brand doesn't have the same credibility as say the Guardian or Fox News and yet I use both of these as examples because even if we were as big as either one of these two media giants we wouldn't want the kind of brand associations that either one of those media outlets project. I am not going to elaborate on this, I would like you to draw your own conclusions about what these brands mean to the public.
I will tell you that the planksip brand is, as the name indicates, an organic platform trying to change what consumption means and therefore we encourage journalists to exit the tightly bound frenzy of headline chasing and instead focus on the idea of cultural journalism. In order to understand this perspective we emphasize a focus on the Hellenic origins, the Classics, and the love of literature. How do you think your interpretations of culture will change when you focus on the Classics instead of trying to make sense of the media circus and subjective journalism that almost always ends in people talking past each other and retreating into their individual echo chambers.
I am only going to briefly touch on this but one thing that you should now about a premium (or branded email) and that is that your email can act like it's own catchall email allowing you for greater productivity when you reach out to people and what to keep your email inbox organized. I go into more detail with this once people sign up for a planksip membership. Otherwise there are plenty of other resources on the internet for you to explore if you want to invesigate on your own.
Branded YouTube Accounts
You may or may not want your own YouTube channel, however, if you do, which I think is a good idea, especially if you are getting some influencer momentum and have the bandwidth to get into video.
Let's say you use a free Gmail account and set up a YouTube channel. Did you know selling this channel or getting others to help you with the channel is much more difficult than if the channel was made from a branded account? Probably not.
At least this is the answer I get from anyone that I work with who has a created a YouTube channel from their personal account. I simply do not have the same ability to work on your channel in comparision to a branded channel. In fact, I am really reluctant to manage personal YouTube channels because managerial access is very difficult to adminster.
Google Voice (optional)
As the founder of planksip, I was excited to take the plunge and step outside the need for a "cell phone plan". In Canada, we have to primary providers of phone service and mobile internet — Telus and Rogers. There has been a third incumbant that has surfaced recently and that is Shaw, the home internet provider. There are smaller players in our market but for the purpose of this section it's not necessary go into more detail about these other providers.
The Google Voice plan is $10 USD per month and allows you to use your existing phone number. For me, the switch was easy becauses I don't use the mobile number that often out "on the road". Now there is an emergency aspect to this kind of switch that users have to be prepared for. If I was out and stranded on the side of the road, I would not be able to call for help. This is especially concerning for female users and elderly who, from what I have heard, are really concerned about the emergency access to help.
What the Google Voice plan means for the average user is that they get a number that they can use on their phone or computer when they are have internet only. For me, I pop into a coffee shop, use their WIFI and voilà, I have a working phone and save the majority of cost of a cell phone plan. I don't know about you, but prior to cancelling my plan, I had an average monthly bill of $130 so switching to the $10 USD per month plan was a nice and liberating experience.
I have to warn you that this isn't for everyone, the WIFI only calling is something that takes a little getting used to. I remember the days of answering machines, messages and beepers which meant that you got back to people when you got to where you were going or when you got back to the office or home. The ability for you to always be "available" wasn't technologically possible twenty years ago and quite frankly (IMHO) not necessary. Besides, the idea of answering text messages, calling while driving and constantly being "on" is something that I've been able to let go of by switching to a Google number. Again, it's not for everyone but I can say that I have embraced the reduction in monthly bill and limited access to the rest of the world while moving from one destination to the next.
So what does this all have to do with you? Well, if you are considering a planksip membership of $101 per month I am the first to say that this is an expensive proposition but this article gives you a glimpse into one possible cost saving measure that could allow you to participate in our unique media outlet at little to zero net increase in cost (i.e., cancelling your cell phone provider and using a Google number instead).
If you have the financial means and reallocating your monthly expenses isn't a concern for you then I think a planksip membership is only a benefit if you want to be part of a media outlet and you want to reach out to others with something a little more credible than a email@example.com email.
Now, after all of this I want to offer readers a reward for making it to the end of my 1,500 word article. If you would like to explore a planksip membership and a solution unique to your situation then I urge you to send me an email and tell me why you want to get more exposure, build and audience and be part of a community that is trying to change what consumption means. I am not your leader, I am a leader and so are you. Now let's do something about it together!
You can reach Daniel Sanderson via email; firstname.lastname@example.org.