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What is the difference between

registering and subscribing?

Registering for The Thinkering is the first step towards becoming a subscriber. It means that you sign up for an account with us — we know who you are and what content to show you. It will also give you a complimentary 30-day free trial which includes full access to www.TheThinkering.com. During this month you will also receive our popular Morning Thinker email six days a week with our editors’ selection of the day’s headlines.

Subscribing is a paid transaction that will give you full access to our site’s content for the duration of your subscription. If, prior to the end of your 30-day complimentary trial, you wish to subscribe, you will be able to take advantage of our new user discount, which is a one-time offer of 50%-off our regular rates for prepaid subscriptions. To find out how you can get 50% off today, email us at payments@thethinkering.com!
Subscribing will ensure that you continue to have full access to our content and receive our popular Morning Thinker email. We offer two methods of paying: monthly, which automatically renews each month, and prepaid, which does not. For more information about our available options, please visit our membership overview page.


What are your subscription prices?

Our regular subscription prices are $19.99 per month recurring, or $119.99 prepaid for six months and $239.99 prepaid for twelve months. New members who subscribe within their 30-day free trial period are entitled to our 50%-off promotional prices on prepaid subscriptions. The 50%-off promo price is $29.99 prepaid for three months, $59.99 for six months and $119.99 for twelve months. We also have discounted rates for group subscriptions. To find out more, email us at suscriptions@thethinkering.com with the estimated size of your group and we’ll be happy to assist you!


I want to subscribe without using

PayPal, how can I do that?

We use PayPal for its ease of use and trustworthiness. However, we understand that some people would rather not pay through PayPal. In that case, you can email us at payments@thethinkering.com and we will send you a credit card authorization form to fill out offline and email or snail mail back to us!


Will my long-term prepaid

subscription automatically renew?

No, only customers on a monthly billing cycle have their subscription automatically renew


I have a long-term prepaid

subscription, how will I know when

it's about to run out?

Our system is set up to send our reminder notices 15 and 3 days in advance of a prepaid subscription running out. Sometimes we find that these emails are directed to a spam folder.
You can check the status of your account at any time by clicking your email address as it is displayed in the top left-hand corner of our homepage.


My prepaid subscription ran out and

I forgot to renew, how can I do that?

It’s easy to get your subscription going again. Simply log into The Thinkering and visit our membership overview page to choose either monthly or long-term prepaid subscriptions.


Do you offer group subscription rates?

Yes, we do!
We offer Group Memberships with discounted rates based on the size of your group. To find out our group rates simply email us at payments@thethinkering.com with an idea of the size of your group and we’ll get the process started!

I’m a The Thinkering subscriber, why am I being asked to pay when I try to view content on your site?

There could be a bunch of reasons why this is happening. Normally one of the following makes things better:

  1. Make sure that you're signed in to The Thinkering. If you see your email address displayed at the top left corner of the page, that means you're signed in. If you're not signed in, we don't know who you are and don't know what to show you.
  2. If you are signed in, go to your account page and make sure that you still have an active subscription. Sometimes a member's plan will get canceled (e.g., we were not able to bill you using the payment information you provided). If there was a payment problem, please check to see if the funding source linked to your PayPal account has expired or changed. You can do this by logging into your PayPal account on the PayPal website.
  3. Try doing a "hard refresh" of your browser. A hard refresh is Command + Shift + R on a Mac and Ctrl + F5 on a PC. Sometimes your computer just gets out of sync with our computers and this helps reset things.
  4. Check that your computer's software and browser are up to date.
  5. Delete your cookies. You can do an internet search for instructions on how to do this with your specific browser.
  6. Clear your browser’s cache and/or reset your browser (if you’re unsure of how to do this, try searching for instructions for your specific browser). Note that doing so will clear all saved passwords in your internet browser!
  7. Check your computer’s firewall settings. If you’re trying to access The Thinkering from a work computer, it could have to do with your workplace’s security settings and you may want to contact your company’s IT team.
  8. Check your anti-virus software settings.
  9. If you have tried the things above and things still don't seem to look right, email us atbecivil@civilbeat.com with your username (email address) and the page you’re trying to access and we'll do our best to work with you to figure things out!

What is a cookie?

A "cookie" is a small piece of information that an online site can store in a designated file on your computer. It can be used, among other things, to identify you when you log in to a Web site. When you visit a site, that site can access only the information which it stored in your cookie – not information put in your cookie by other sites. Thethinkering.com is one of many sites that use cookies. The cookie helps us determine, for example, whether you are a paying subscriber or a registered user.


I forgot my password, how do I reset it?


  1. Click here:
  2. Enter your email address and click on "Recover Password."
  3. Enter your new password.
  4. You can then click on "Sign In" if you don't see yourself signed in already (to check if you're already signed in, look for your email address in the upper left-hand corner). You should be then able to access our site!


Can I buy a subscription for a friend?

Yes! Buying a subscription for a friend is both a nice thing to do as well as super easy. Simply email us at payments@thethinkering.com and we’ll get the process started!


How can I view my account and subscription


To view your account information and to see when your subscription expires, simply click on your email address displayed in the top left-hand corner of our site. This will take you to your account page, where you can view your information and manage your account.

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