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Top Tech Tidbits Publisher Updates
for March 16, 2023

Released: 3/16/2023

Author: Aaron Di Blasi, Publisher, Top Tech Tidbits

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Top Tech Tidbits. The world's #1 online resource for current news and trends in access technology. Masthead logo includes title as well as five stylized access logos, clockwise a long cane user, enlarged print, fingers signing interpreter, full braille cell, hearing aid user.

Updates below for all members of the Top Tech Tidbits community. These are general updates for the week of March 16, 2023.

1.) Top Tech Tidbits To Launch The Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits Podcast

We are very excited to announce the launch of the Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits Podcast.

We have been planning this for quite some time. As I have outlined in previous updates we have been very busy considering all of the many new channel options that readers have requested that Top Tech Tidbits be expanded into, such as Mastodon, Facebook Groups, YouTube, Instagram, TiKTok, Reddit and several others.

But as we all know, the publication has a fixed budget, which is available only at the behest and generosity of our Sponsors, so we wanted to make sure that readers got the most that they could out of that budget.

So we ultimately decided that creating a voice-based broadcast channel with an audience that was already voice-based would be the route most appreciated by readers, and future listeners, alike.

The podcast will be broadcast only, initially. Intended as a quick way (2-3 minutes max) to catch up on the hottest news in adaptive technology this week. I have volunteered to voice the podcast myself. For now at least. Our combined data and reader feedback currently point to this as providing the most convenience and added value for readers. And we sincerely hope that you will agree.

We hope to begin publishing the Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits Podcast very soon. Look for future updates or just wait for the "Podcast" option to appear at the top of the "Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits" section of the newsletter.

I invite you to join us each Thursday as we announce the Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits of the week.

2.) Top Tech Tidbits Forced To Leave Formstack Forms Vendor Due To Inaccessible International Payments Through Stripe

Inaccessibility comes in many forms.

When we first notified Formstack that our international readers were unable to complete their purchases because none of the address fields in their forms would update when a country other than the United States was selected, we were hopeful for a quick fix. We got anything but.

The very first thing Formstack did was pretend that there was no issue at all, and that we were simply "mistaken," as they put it. We explained that we represented a team of experienced web developers and that we could pinpoint, very specifically, where their code was making this mistake. Something we verified independently on several different occasions.

This got our ticket "escalated" to a gentleman that recommended that we submit a feature request. Yes. You heard that right. We were just as puzzled as you are right now. A Feature Request? We wrote back asking if serving customers all over the world was a "Feature" that Formstack did not yet provide? Spoiler: It was.

And they knew that. But they continued to throw workaround after spin statement after gaslight at us until we simply couldn't take it anymore. Our international readers were understandably angry that they could not access our services this whole time and we needed a fix. Like yesterday.

So we decided that if you can't make them accessible, then you have to move on to someone that you can. So we made the very difficult decision to begin work on converting all of the forms for both Top Tech Tidbits and Access Information News over to Formsite. Small change in name. Big change in accessibility.

Formsite is a competitor to Formstack that has been absolutely wonderful in addressing all of our concerns related to serving readers all over the world.

I am very happy to report that as of this communication, all of the forms for both publications have now been converted, tested and verified.

I sincerely apologize for any and all inconvenience that this situation has caused for our international readers. It has now been corrected and all Top Tech Tidbits services are now available to readers anywhere in the world.

Please note that if you bookmarked a form from either publication previously, it may no longer work. Just go the the "Forms" page on either the Top Tech Tidbits or Access Information News website and locate your form. All forms are presented in alphabetical order by subject. Click on it, re-bookmark it, and you'll be good to go. :)

3.) Sponsor Classified Advertisements - Submission Form Now Available

Don't worry. You can still submit your Classified Advertisements via email if you prefer, but this new shortened form will count your characters for you (both title and description) and have you on your way faster than you can click submit.

Many Sponsors have requested this. And I'm very sorry it has taken us this long to implement it. We ran into some accessibility issues with our original forms vendor that required us to change providers.

This form is now available across the Top Tech Tidbits website and you can boomark it using this link: https://www.toptechtidbits.com/submit-sponsor-classified.

4.) Sponsor Classified Advertisements - Character Limits Increased

As of today, March 16, 2023, the character limits on all Sponsor Classified Advertisements have been nearly doubled.

The title character limit, which was previously 128 characters, is now 256 characters.

And the description character limit, which was 512 characters, is now 1,000 characters.

And, no need to count characters yourself anymore. Submit your Classified Advertisement using this form and we'll count the characters for you as you type or paste them in: https://www.toptechtidbits.com/submit-sponsor-classified.

5.) Special Thanks To The Blind Android Users Podcast

A quick shout out and special thanks to the Blind Android Users Podcast.

The Team over at BAU recently offered to add a subscription sign up widget for Top Tech Tidbits to their website. Not only did they make this offer themselves, without any prompting from us, they worked with us carefully to make sure that it was implemented properly. These are the kinds of partnerships that help to create world class publications.

On behalf of all of us. Thank you. You continue to be an incredibly valuable resource in helping us to grow the Top Tech Tidbits publication, and we just want you to know how very grateful we are for your continued partnership.

Thank you so much for all you do for the access community at large.

6.) Coupon Codes For Free Sponsored Tidbits Now Available

With our most recent transition to a new forms vendor came the ability to create coupon codes for any item sold through the Top Tech Tidbits Publication.

So we have created a batch of these codes for Sponsored Tidbits and will be giving them out to Sponsors, Partners and Content Contributors that wish to help us grow the publication.

You can do this by trading a guest post with us. Or simply listing Top Tech Tidbits as a resource on your website, where we will, in turn, list you as a Partner on the Top Tech Tidbits website.

We both get a legitimate, industry-quality back link (which boosts the organic search ranking for each of our websites) and you get a free Sponsored Tidbit to use anytime you have an announcement to make.

If you're interested please don't hesitate to reach out. You can always reach me at: publisher@toptechtidbits.com 📧️.

7.) Paywall Articles - To Include Them Or Not To Include Them - That Is The Question

Or at least it has been the question.

We have been weighing this decision for some time now and I am very happy to report that we have finally reached a consensus.

While Top Tech Tidbits does not charge readers directly, and never will, many other publications do. And not just mainstream publications. There are also several prominent access-specific publications, such as Disability Scoop, which charge readers a monthly subscription fee to read articles.

Let me be clear here. We have no problem with quality publications charging readers for quality content. Top Tech Tidbits may be a news aggregation service, but we still understand, in fine detail, the work involved in creating high quality content consistently.

The issue with news paywall sites, as they are today, is that most of them let you read 1 or 2 free articles per month before they lock you out and bombard you with subscription requirements. This is an issue because it makes readers think that their news articles are free and available to anyone to read. But when they share them some readers cannot access them because their monthly limit is up. A most frustrating experience. As many readers have reported. And with which we agree.

But here's the issue. It's simply not up to us to decide what you should and should not read. As a not-for-profit publication, that is your decision to make. So that makes it our job to arm you with as much information as possible so that you know what you're clicking on. So that's what we have decided to do.

Effective immediately we will be including some very carefully selected articles that lead to paywall sites. However, you will be able to easily identify these articles because we will always place a link next to the Tidbit that reads, "Subscription required. Limited number of free articles available per month." So that if you are interested and willing to pay the subscription fee associated with said site, you can do so by clicking the link. And if you do not then you can skip it entirely.

There is only one subscription that I would absolutely recommend that every Top Tech Tidbits reader have, and that is a subscription to Wired Magazine. Other favorites of mine include MIT Technology Review, Medium, WSJ, The Washington Post and Time Magazine. But those aren't necessary.

Having a subscription to Wired though can really boost the value of your Top Tech Tidbits subscription. And no, Wired pays us nothing whatsoever to say this. They just happen to put out some of the best technology content in the world today. Adaptive, assistive, mainstream or otherwise. And we love to cover it.

So I hope you enjoy the additional coverage and information going forward. Again these articles will be selected with care and will always be labeled as paywall articles.

I sincerely hope that everyone will find this to be an amicable solution to the paywall article dilemma. :)

8.) Next Premium Subscriber Issue To Be Released On April 3, 2023

Premium Subscribers will receive their 4th issue of the 60 Most Clicked Tidbits for January, February and March 2023 on Monday, April 3, 2023.

There are currently 3 back issues available. Premium Subscribers are entitled to all back issues, anytime they sign up. All available back issues will be sent to you via email within 24 hours of purchasing your subscription.

If you would like to receive a perfectly formatted and searchable Word Document with each of the 60 Most Clicked Tidbits of the last 3 months listed neatly within it, please consider joining us today for just $1 a month: https://www.toptechtidbits.com/premium-subscribers.html.


Aaron Di Blasi, PMP

Publisher (2020-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Publisher (2022-Present)
Access Information News
The Week's News in Access Information
https://accessinformationnews.com 🌐

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