It's been 15 years since TechSpot first appeared online on the primitive form of a personal technology website. We've seen huge tech companies come and go, we celebrated the beginnings of consumer 3d, the battle for x86 dominance, the ubiquity of personal technology, and much, much more. Some of you have been here for every step of the way, and we thank you for it.
Our long term plan is to continue to offer compelling tech features and reviews free of charge. Our business will continue to rely on advertising and for that we've partnered with the best people in the industry. As you have witnessed, we've done our best to keep TechSpot relatively light on ads, sell to relevant IT companies, and make it non-instrusive to the user. However, we face the challenge of a very volatile ad market...
For this reason we want to gather your opinion about an optional subscription program, giving readers a way to directly support the site while receiving some cool extras and recognition. If you feel you are fine reading TechSpot the way it is, we totally respect your position and appreciate your support as a reader, but if you think $3 or $5 per month is permissible in exchange for some of the benefits below, let us know!
- No ads, anywhere - ultra fast loading speeds
- The TS contributor membership badge - shown in your profile, news and forum comments
- Optional single page article formatting in all long-form features
- Download articles as PDF & built-in PDF to email for later reading
- Full-text RSS feed
- Access to our editorial calendar: know about future coverage and reviews before it happens
- (Possible) Discount codes in gaming/hardware retailers
- Show us your support, and support to independent tech journalism
Please vote in the poll below with your honest opinion. If you've got further suggestions or comments about any ideas that would make a subscription more compelling let us know below.
Update #1: Some of you are expressing concern about having a subscription at all, which has not been defined, hence the poll. As outlined above, we won't change or charge for content ever. This is not a paywall.
Update #2: There's also the concern about recurring payments. We didn't want to overcomplicate for a poll, but we had thought about a yearly discounted option that is not recurrent (e.g. $30 or $50 a year) -- if you are in this boat, just vote for the $3 or $5 option. Paypal would be the most obvious form of payment.
Update #3: More responses and votes have kept coming in through the weekend, thank you for your opinions and (sometimes blunt) honesty. Before the topic gets buried with Monday news I wanted to address another of your repeated concerns, which is, what would we set to accomplish with the subscription money. For now, three key projects we have set for H1 2014 include: 1) completing TechSpot's redesign, 2) improving our server infrastructure, 3) hiring a full time web developer. These won't depend on the subscription happening, but it's where we are allocating budget so for the sake of transparency, there you go.