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Week 1 update

Monday, August 25, 2014 by Michael Kanin

Morning all.

First, thank you for bearing with us as we work through the lingering troubles we’ve had with our login system. If you are still having issues, don’t hesitate to email me. I can be found at Michael dot Kanin at Austin Monitor dot com. It is usually a very quick fix.

I’d also like to welcome the roughly 20 new subscribers we picked up last week. And that brings me to the point of this note: We did not set any new readership goals when we kicked this thing off. Rather — and this is part of the reason for the ‘beta’ tag — we wanted to see how the site was received, how it performed and what issues came up.

One reason, of course, is that we want to measure the market forces at work in what we do. We may be a nonprofit-in-process, but we are still very conscious of the fact that we need to keep the lights on. The model we’ve selected to start with is based not inconsequentially on revenue from both our legacy users (you folks who have read us for a very long time) and the X number of new readers we’re able to attract to the site.

But our mission is to educate and inform, and thus we have to balance our operational needs with the community’s information needs. As you might imagine, this is a bit tricky. It’s why we moved to a tiered system. We felt that a wide(r) range of pricing options would bring in a wide(r) range of readers, and would make cost-bearing a bit more reasonable.

In case you haven’t explored the subs options: Five bucks (plus tax) gets you 10 articles a month — excluding anything in our archives. Twenty (plus tax) gets you unlimited access to current articles — again, no archives. Ninety brings you complete access to everything, all the time.

Material goes into our archives after seven days. So, the first two tiers of readers are unable to read any stories that are a week or more old.

As I said last week when we launched, I am very interested in your feedback. I hope this will extend to any thoughts you might have about our pricing structure. (Indeed, we’ve already heard from several folks about various aspects of what we’ve got along those lines.)

Anyway, I’ll leave it there. Keep reading. Keep in touch. Let us know how we’re doing. If you haven’t seen it yet, that feedback button on the right side of our homepage will take you to a form that goes directly to me.

Onward!

Mike Kanin

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