The Dish, Year 2: Update

David Carr has a column on various models for the future of online journalism and the Dish reader-backed concept is one of the more promising. Here’s why:

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In a little over two weeks, we’ve raised as much new revenue as we did in all of last January. We’re now at $499,000, compared with $516,000 in 2013. And many of you have yet to get around to renewing, since your subscriptions only actually expire for the first Founding Members starting February 4. The reason we’re doing better in money terms despite fewer subscribers is that the average price for a sub has gone up from around $31 to close to $38. If that trend continues with future renewals, we can really start shaking things up.

We had our weekly meeting last night at our regular diner. Here’s what we were talking about: how to develop and innovate and expand Deep Dish, if the resources emerge to do so. After all, our budget last year did not include Deep Dish, which had to remain in prototype for lack of staff, money and simply time. If this year’s budget increases in line with your subscriptions, it opens up far more territory for commissioning and publishing original journalism from the best writers out there. Right now, putting out this blog every day is a full-time task for an editorial staff of six (with three interns). But for the first time, we see glimmers of the revenue that could actually make Deep Dish a part of the rejuvenation of quality journalism on the web.

So help us get there. We’ve got just a day and half to reach last January’s total: a day and a half to add $17,000. If you’ve always intended to subscribe and have never gotten around to it, subscribe for the first time here (for just $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year). If you are already a rampart of this new model: Renew here! Renew now! We’ve already begun to make a difference. If we keep going, we can do much more.

Update from a reader just now:

Perhaps you can remind us how we can purchase gift subscriptions too? I have some extra-cranky Tea Partying in-laws who could use some Dishness in their lives. Or, at the very least, I can sling some more money your way!

The gift subscription link is here.