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March 30, 2011

New Media rediscovers sustainability. (Paywall comparisons)

Read unlimited elephant articles 50% off if you join in the next 2 weeks…Another way of saying we’re about to raise prices.

“An informed, active citizenry is essential to a functioning democracy.” …or something like that, it’s engraved on the Boston Public Library, anyone? By Thomas Jefferson.

“Media is the key…to saving our planet.” ~ Lester Brown

If you’d like to become a member for 25 cents a week, join now or in the next two weeks.

We’ve been charging $1/month, 25 cents a week, since our own paywall, which I call a paygate because, like the brand-new NY Times’ system (which we beat by a few months) it allows all readers in to our site. All readers can read free, every day—our model only charges those readers (5%, in our case) who want to read the most, and might value elephant and want to support our survival, and improvement. Our paygate model: all readers get to click the front page, search, and read three articles free each day. Want to read more? Pay $1/month or come back tomorrow for another three articles, plus home page and searches, free.

The model made us sustainable, overnight. We’re now breaking even (a fancy way of saying “broke”) for the first time in the 2.5 years since we went online (we published an ecopaper magazine for 6 years previous).

But we need editors, so we can strengthen green, adventure, family, politics, food, arts and other key sections in addition to yoga, where Bob Weisenberg has volunteered 50 hours a week and helped raise our yoga editorial to what I think can safely be considered among the best, in quality and quantity both. We have only one half-time staff person, Lindsey, our sole survivor from our days as a magazine (when we had around 8 employees, and an office, and did things like…charge $4.99 nationally for our “product,” a publication with a mission to be of benefit and cover anything good for us, others, and our planet).

So, on April 11, we’ll raise our paygate to $2/month. That’s 50 cents a week (I just figured that out in my head).

If you’d like to get in even more cheaply, can’t blame you, join now or in the next two weeks.

~

How Paywall / Paygates compare: New Media’s quest to see Journalism survive.

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