The results are in!
you all are so weird and I love you
ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter and podcast that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. Learn more at RockPaperRadio.com.
Hi there, misfit fam. Thank you to all of you who participated in our first ROCK PAPER RADIO Subscriber Survey! Today we’re pausing from our usual format to share the results.
If you’re pursuing these sharp quotes and cool graphs thinking, OH RATS I DIDN’T LET MY VOICE BE HEARD, never fear. We’ll do this again in the future for sure. And if you’re looking for something to listen to/read/hold on to this week, feel free to cruise on over to our archives. Thank you again, all!
The first question in the survey asked subscribers to share why they subscribe to our misfit dispatch. You all delivered with so much heart and humor! Old friends, new friends, strangers from The Internet—thank you so much. For real. I was stunned. Here’s some of what you had to say.
“RPR is always talking about something I’ve never heard of and instantly want to know more about.” -KT, Brooklyn, NY
“RPR is quirky enough to keep me interested - smart enough to keep me informed - and edgy enough to keep me open.” -Kimberly Mitchell, Seattle, WA
“The section where RPR invites us to 'hold on to' something feeds my need for good news in bleak times. Every issue has something to challenge my perspective and inspire my creativity." -A.P.P., Seattle, WA
"Kristin Leong's voice feels like some hope in this otherwise bleak world. I appreciate her touch of humor, emotion, and wit consistent in each ROCK PAPER RADIO newsletter. I also love how she is very intentional about what she chooses to share and that I have a choice to read, listen, or hold onto something." -Blake, Brooklyn, NY
"My thinking gets stretched with every read." -W.G., Markham, Ontario, Canada
"I subscribe to a lot of newsletters and each week I read only ROCK PAPER RADIO and one other. No skimming here. I read it all, and listen too. I look forward to it because I know what [Kristin] write[s] is intentional and interesting. I know it will fuel my curiosity and lead me to learn something new. Plus, it’s cozy. It’s where all the misfits gather." F.E., Seattle, WA
“[RPR] feels holistic and honest.” - D.O., Issaquah, WA
"The news can be so overwhelming, so I love the mix of heartwarming, quirky, fun, creative and serious stories that are shared each week. It’s a great break from the news and always includes articles, podcasts, and other resources I wouldn’t normally come across." -Mary Padden, Seattle, WA
“What I find in ROCK PAPER RADIO is a short but sweet, quirky, smart curation of things that will bloom open my heart and mind." -Mayumi Shimose Poe, Bellevue, WA
"Reading ROCK PAPER RADIO keeps me young. I’m a ‘mature’woman living among “mature” (and conservative) family members. It’s challenging to keep in touch with the issues and passions that drive our younger community. I believe that is important because every political decision I make is a decision I’m making for them. I need to hear their voices." -Sarah Wallick, North Bend, WA
"ROCK PAPER RADIO expertly threads the needle between entertainment, activism, and art.” - Moffett Burgess, Seattle, WA
“The earnestness and authenticity of Kristin's voice resonates with me - maybe as a woman, or as a creative - as a misfit for sure! I appreciate the way ROCK PAPER RADIO pushes me to think of things, often expanding me into different directions. I subscribe to a fair amount of newsletters - RPR is the one I look forward to the most." -L.M., Bellevue, WA
"ROCK PAPER RADIO is an interesting diversion from the 30-40 daily emails from Nigerian Princes who entrust me with their $18 million fortune." -Rich, Marietta, GA
TATTOO PARTIES & OTHER SUGGESTIONS
Survey respondents had the opportunity to share ideas for IRL or virtual ways for our community to connect. YOU ALL DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I can’t wait to bring some of these to life! A book club (of course!!) came up a lot. Here’s a sample of your other creative suggestions.
Curiosity Club-style dinner party
Our own RPR “Readers Write” prompt every month
And my personal fave, an RPR tattoo party
WHAT’S A MISFIT ANYWAY?
I’m often asked what I mean by “misfit” when I’m explaining ROCK PAPER RADIO. To which I usually respond, Oh, you know, a person who…doesn’t fit in. Which is not very helpful or original. You all were much better at this. Here’s a sample of how RPR subscribers define “misfit.”
“A person who's not interested in shrinking themselves in order to fit in.”
“People who follow their own heart and mind, even if their journey doesn’t look like what is expected by others.”
“Someone who doesn’t always feel like they belong, and is willing to be figuring out that that is ok.”
“Someone who, in the eyes of many, does not fit in, but in their small and intimate circle they are mighty beings who have lots of things to talk about and share.”
“A person who stands confidently in the uncertainty and against the sameness of society’s expectations.”
“Someone whose life journey is inconsistent with the dominant narrative. Someone whose life is inextricably linked with creative pursuits and has a penchant for different/unique perspectives/tastes.”
“A creative non-conformist without being désagréable.”
“Not a noun, but an adjective or verb...a feeling one has of being strange but, strangely, loved.”
“Someone who actively rejects conformity in search of greater freedom.”
WHO’S OUR CREW?
For the first few months that I hit ‘publish’ every week on our misfit dispatch, I pretty much knew who our subscribers were. Let’s be real—it was mostly Keri and a couple friends, family members, and colleagues who had personally been in my orbit when my new beloved newsletter was all I could talk about. (Sorry, not sorry!!) But now! There are so many of you! And most of you found your way to RPR through the mystery of the internet, and so I was very curious to learn more about who was out there. Here’s a sample of what you shared about who you are. I love these so much.
A DJ when there were voices who played records on the radio. An ad guy when being in advertising was cool. A podcaster who surfs the WAVs.
I'm half Chinese and half-white aspiring audio producer based in New York. I love eating thick slices of sourdough with big knobs of butter.
Former "do-it-all" at Jack-FM, covid layoff casualty who is just trying to make a living now.
Urban walker, existential phenomenologist with a sweet tooth and a deep passion for words.
I am a work-in-progress and failure-forward learner. I am a parent, a partner, and a pain in the ass who enjoys travel, gastronomic pursuits, and education.
I’m a reader, a tender heart, and a connector.
I'm a mom, an artist/creative, life partner, seeking to elevate my later years towards meaning and purpose. Most of my adult working life has been spent in nonprofit/education but I also strongly identify with food service industry.
An artist, educator, and lover of laughter. I use arts to make connections between polarities. I often work with schools and school districts helping people have tough conversations safely.
I was born on the day the Supreme Court handed down Brown vs. Board of Education; a decision that changed our nation and shaped my experiences and ultimately my values.
I’m a recent college graduate and current operations assistant in e-commerce. I’ve always loved radio and aspire to professionally make radio one day.
A misfit provocateur who enjoys stepping out of my comfort zone and then celebrating with a long nap.
Well that’s a wrap on issue 75(!) and our first ROCK PAPER RADIO Subscriber Survey! Thank you again to all of you who participated in the survey, and to all of you reading/listening/holding on every week and forwarding our misfit dispatch to your curious friends. I appreciate all of you so much.
My cards for survey respondents who shared their address with me and one Sun magazine are all going out in the mail tomorrow!
And if you didn’t get a chance to fill out the survey this time and would still like to weigh in, no problem! Feel free to hit reply on this email, comment below, message me, comment on one of our IG posts, or tweet me some love.
We’ll be back to our regular programing next week.
See you next Thursday.