New Dish, New Media Update, Ctd

A subscriber writes:

I want to give more money, but I can’t. I e-mailed a few months back that I want to give more money on a bi-monthly basis or so, but that your current configuration won’t let me, since I’m already a subscriber. You have been on fire lately, so I was ready to slap down another $150, but I can’t. CAN YOU HELP ME GIVE YOU MORE MONEY?

You bet we can. Our core plea to readers like you is to renew your subscription next year at a higher level. What we need is a stable source of income – and the best way to support us structurally is to subscribe as generously as possible. Remember that you can set your own price – and if you want to say thanks for a year of hard work and innovation, just give us more when renewal comes due. The more you give, the more we can do. We have no venture capital, except our readers. And that’s good enough for us. But if you’re as eager as the reader above, an option to help us right now is to purchase a Christmas gift subscription for a friend, a family member or a colleague – for any amount, $19.99 or above. (And remember, gift subs will not auto-renew, so don’t worry about getting charged again next year.) We suggested that option last month and the response was overwhelming:

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In fact, that spike was our biggest one since early February, when we rolled out the new site. So a huge thanks to all our gift-giving readers. (And drop us an email if you end up following suit, so we can thank you individually.) Another reader on yesterday’s update:

Reading your end-of-the-year discussion of how the business model has been going, and then getting to the figure of 41,000 of us who have exhausted all of the free reads, I am SO busted. I can say for certain that I look in here many times a day.  And true confession, I’ve run out of free on my laptop, iPad, Kindle and phone. I thank you and your staff for the fabulous energy I get here, for the intellectual thoughts, for helping me to broaden myself.  I owe more than the money I kicked in.

Another:

Sorry it took so long, this is why I finally subscribed: You pay your interns.

Another new subscriber:

Writing to let you know that your final subscription push has supplied the motivation to get this longtime reader to pay my dues. I check your site several times a day, and am always amazed at the range of topics and depth of coverage. I think what most keeps me coming back is the deep connection you and your team seem to have to humanity and the universal experience. You zoom in and zoom out, from window views to global climate change. I don’t always agree with your take on things, but the Dish always gets me thinking – I dig that.

The feeling is mutual. One of the wonderful things about this blog is how much the readers teach us every day about the world. That kind of constant, immediate interaction is unique to the web, and we’re really proud to have found a way to harness it to curate an informed, quirky and human conversation. We try to explore topics sometimes a little too controversial for other sites dependent on corporate advertizing – rape, pot, miscarriage, abortion, circumcision, race, sex and religion. We aim to be as honest and as balanced as we can, while still having a distinctive point of view.

What we’ve got is that rare privilege of a truly independent perch, answerable only to you, our readers. It’s close to unique online, and it’s only made possible by you. If you are part of this conversation and haven’t yet subscribed, we need you. Two minutes: less than $2 a month or less than $20 a year. Ask yourself if what you get out of the Dish is worth that. If it is, please [tinypass_offer text=”subscribe!”]

Update from a new subscriber:

My guilt about not subscribing finally overwhelmed me. I have been reading your site nearly every day since 2005 (I think I found you through the once great Oxblog) and I’ve never once emailed you, which makes this “relationship” a bit fraught as I’ve been looking through a one-way mirror in a creepy voyeuristic manner. I feel as though I know so much about you and you’ve never heard of me. I’ve always enjoyed reading your long-form work and I admire your team’s ability to aggregate, two skills that I don’t often find to be symbiotic, but it works with the Dish. In working through my guilt (I was brought up a Catholic) about not subscribing after you’ve given so much to me, I was thinking about the early 2000s when I graduated from college and your blog was a big part of my life.

One more:

Okay, okay, for fuck’s sake, I finally subscribed. Happy to do it, too – I enjoy your virtual voice, whether or not I agree with you (I’m a screaming liberal, and remarkably, I usually do agree with you. That’s more a comment on the state of “conservatism” than much else, but still). Cheers. And here’s to a great new year with The Dish.