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We Need Your Help: We’re Expanding Our Supporter Packages

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    This April will see the one year mark of when I started Chorus. By and large it’s been the most fulfilling stretch of work in my entire career. It’s been stressful. It’s been intense. But it’s also been extremely fun, challenging, and stimulating. As we come up on this anniversary I’ve been working on the first set of changes I want to make to the website to prepare ourselves for the future. There will be some design tweaks coming shortly, but the first thing I want to focus on is tightening up our supporter program.

    Our supporter program has been a resounding success. When I started this project I made the argument that I believed the future of online publishing was going to depend on dedicated readers for websites to continue development and publication. Over the last year I’ve only become more convinced of this direction. And, I’ve been blown away by the first year of support from readers of this website. However, one of the main pieces of feedback I’ve heard is: I love this website, I love what you’re doing and want to help make sure it stays around, but I don’t really want to sign up for a forum membership account, is there any way I can become a patron without needing to join the forum community? My goal was to provide that functionality in the easiest form possible and allow readers to help support our continued existence for mere pennies per day.

    If that’s all you need to hear, please take a look at our membership packages and sign up, if you want to be woo’d a little bit more, I’ve a longer pitch for you below.

    Running is my full-time job. I’ve been writing and publishing online for over 15 years and starting Chorus has been the most fulfilling and exciting work of my entire life — I plan to keep doing it for as long as possible. When I first started, the business model was I write, I sold some banner ads, and the money we made from ads is how I made a living. But publishing and the online landscape has changed a lot over the past few years, and we’ve moved into a world where online advertising sorta sucks. Most publications are chasing a pageview model that leads to gross advertisements taking over your entire screen, tracking you around the internet, and bloating up the pages you are trying to read. No one wins in that scenario. Instead, I want to be completely upfront with how we make money here. The first is through an ad system that respects our visitors while providing value to the advertiser. The second is through direct support from our readers.

    I firmly believe that if you love something and want it to continue, the best way is to help support it. I want to keep writing about music, technology, pop-culture and, hopefully, you want to keep reading what we put out. To make that happen we have put together a way for you to directly support this website by becoming a patron. Your support allows us to keep existing. Compared to the entire internet we’re a small website, and instead of aiming to be the biggest website, we want to be your favorite. And we believe that if we can find a group of dedicated readers that love what we do and want to visit us on a regular basis, and a percentage of those readers help support us, we can keep doing it indefinitely. That means if we get enough support from our readers we don’t have to worry about advertising. We’re not interested in chasing pageviews and clickbait. And we’re never going to compete with Facebook or Google either. Instead we can focus on producing the best content for you to read and the best community for you to participate in. We will never fill up the pages with ads, or slow down the pages with javascript and trackers, instead we can focus on what we do best: writing about things that we’re passionate about.

    I want to always be completely upfront with everyone about how we make money and what our goals are. Right now, we are about one-third of the way to being sustained completely by reader support. Our goal is to pass over the three-quarters mark by the end of 2017. With your help we can be completely self-sustained not long after that. But, we need your help to get there. We’ve put together a few tiers of annual support that range from basically pennies per day to going above and beyond. Most of the packages can be purchased in under a minute using a credit card (or even faster using Apple Pay) and all of your information is completely private and we will never share it with anyone. If you’re a community member we have a special Community Package that is attached to that username and comes with a few other perks.

    Here’s what it all boils down to: I love running this website and what we’re building, and I’m committed to making the best website I possibly can for as long as I can. I’d love your help and support on this journey.

    My plan to do a little revamping of our ad system in the next month or so as well. I’ve learned a lot over the past year about trying to balance the reader experience, advertiser goals, and finding the perfect mix where readers actually like to see our advertisements. I think we can continue that goal, while tweaking a few minor things, so they can remain beneficial, relevant, and unobtrusive while giving the advertiser the best possible reach to our audience. I’ve got a few ideas for that system that I’ll be rolling out, combined with a few other minor design tweaks to the website and forums, as I keep aiming to perfect this little website.

    It’s been a pretty furious 10 months, but I’m geared up for another year here at Chorus. I’m as excited and optimistic about our future as I’ve ever been and I’ve enjoyed the rush, and the close connections with all the readers, that independent publication has once again brought to my life. A huge thank you to everyone that’s continued reading this website each day, all of the feedback you’ve given me on things you’d like to see us do or change, and for your belief in a website like this. It means everything to me. I hope we can see similar growth and gains in the next year, and if so, we’ll be well on our way to being sustainable and independent, and it’ll be because of you. Thank you.

  2. Tater Tot


    Why doesn't anything get posted before noon?
    Brent likes this.
  3. Because I live on the west coast and post most stuff between 11am-8pm (PT) each day.
  4. cwhit

    still emperor emo Prestigious

    are other people going to help jump in with posting news? more diversity in what's posted as well as wider spread of when things are posted
  5. Doubt it. I'm very picky about what I want on the site and how much of it and the formatting and style of it all.
  6. I dig the new packages. I'll have to think about going full-Plat
    Jason Tate likes this.
  7. disambigujason

    Trusted Supporter

    is the current $5/month being replaced or can that continue as set up?
  8. It'll continue just the same.

    I just renamed it "Community Package" on the main site to better separate and differentiate what the options are (a lot of people asked me if they could support the website for a smaller amount, without signing up for the forums at all). It still exists in the Account Upgrade page.

    Thanks for being a supporter!
    js977 likes this.
  9. Damien Davies

    One more time Supporter

    What's the difference between Platinum and Community package? Because right now it looks like just an extra $50?
  10. Craig Ismaili

    @tgscraig Prestigious

    it's just an extra 50 dollars. Plus undying love and gratitude. Even for @cwhit
    cwhit likes this.
  11. Yep, it's literally just a way for anyone that wants to, to do a little extra. I stole the idea from Kottke.
  12. Damien Davies

    One more time Supporter

    Fair enough.

    If you pay the $5/month now, is that the same as the $50 community package? And will that be continued?

    Currently my subscription says it "expires" on March 9th. Never noticed that before.
  13. disambigujason

    Trusted Supporter

    sounds like jason gets an extra $10 if $5 supporters stay as is
  14. The yearly and monthly breakdowns on the forum have always been 50/5; you get a little discount if you go with the full year up front basically.
  15. Correct. And correct. The $50 community package hasn't changed. It was always there, under the yearly option. They're the exact same, just one is a monthly option vs a yearly one. I didn't change anything with the forum options or prices or anything like that. Instead I just added non forum related packages for people that don't wanna use the forum but do wanna support the site. Or want to go above and beyond.

    If you're monthly right now you don't have to do a thing and you're good to go! Thanks so much for being a supporter.

    Feel free to hit me up with any other questions.
    Damien Davies likes this.
  16. Crisp X

    Don't stop looking at me Supporter

    I'll finally become a supporter after visiting daily for nearly a decade, it feels good to come here every single day. I particularly like how more welcoming and less heated it is compared to The latter used to often be frustrating, especially on the front page comments. Congrats, and good luck for this new year !
    nl5011, JRGComedy and Jason Tate like this.
  17. Crisp X

    Don't stop looking at me Supporter

    Haaaaa it doesn't work, Paypal is being weird
  18. What is PayPal doing?

    You can use this is PayPal doesn't work:

    Thanks so much for thinking of being a supporter
    Petit nain des Îles likes this.
  19. Crisp X

    Don't stop looking at me Supporter

    Thanks ! I tried to update my credit card informations but it kept redirecting me to the same page over and over again.
  20. Crisp X

    Don't stop looking at me Supporter

    Oh and is it possible to have an alternative link for a monthly 5$ payment ?
  21. Derek Wright

    Regular Prestigious

    Jason, Do you think you'll ever offer dark mode for the news section?
  22. Of course. Sorry about that.

    Created just for you:

    I'll make sure your account gets updated, thanks so much for being a supporter. I really do appreciate it more than you know.
    Petit nain des Îles likes this.
  23. It is on my list to do at some point. The main issue is how I cache the homepage / main site. That whole side of the website is basically static, it's serving files in a way that is optimized to be extremely fast for everyone to view on any device and all the pages are the exact same for every visitor. To add Dark Mode what I would need to do is basically create two versions, and then check if that user is logged in and their preferences. It's doable, but it will take a little tweaking and development to do. I've got some other things to focus on first, but that is something I think would be worth doing since it's been such a hit here on the forums.
  24. nl5011

    Trusted Supporter

    I spend about 75% of my time on the forums and checking the site, and have been since about 2007. Ever since the Chorus shift, I have felt like I'm guest witnessing the center of this awesome thing happening, and having recently upgraded to supporter I can feel even more involved. More so than ever does this feel like a personal slice of untainted Internet that I can come home to every day.
  25. Bear

    Bear the dog. Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland mix

    This site has the least annoying ads of any website I visit. More often than not, I'm already interested in what the sponsered post is advertising, like I don't mind seeing a blink-182 ad but a McDonalds ad might bother me a little