About a year and a half ago, I partnered with Blue Whale Web to create Thurrott.com. As the site has grown, we have repeatedly evaluated how to best present our content to readers. And I’m excited—and, yes, a bit nervous—to present the next stage in our evolution.
The linchpin of this strategy is a new premium subscription that is targeted for an early fall launch. But before diving into that offering, I want to stress something that Brad and I both insisted on: Thurrott.com is improving for everyone. Even those who choose to continue using the free, ad-supported version of the site will see improvements. And of course we are not straying from our mission to provide you with timely and relevant information you can use to make better personal technology decisions. We aim to be useful, not noise.
To that end, all Thurrott.com users will benefit from an updated site design that improves usability, navigation and readability. We’re introducing forums, and an improved comments system. We’re formalizing how reviews will work. And the Thurrott Daily email newsletter, which collects the relevant content that Brad and I create for both Thurrott.com and Petri.com, will continue to be free.
But we want to be better than that. We don’t want to spam you with advertising, and we want to dive deeper into important topics, and figure out new ways for Brad and I to interact more publicly. And we’re doing so with a new subscription offering called Thurrott Premium.
Those who choose to subscribe to Thurrott Premium will receive the following benefits:
- Optimized site experience. Ads are necessary on a free web site. But they’re annoying, and hurt site performance. So we’re going to address those issues with an optimized site experience for subscribers that includes far fewer ads. (We can’t say “no ads” because you may occasionally see sponsor logos. But it’s basically no ads.)
- Premium-only articles. Deeper analysis pieces will only be made available to the Premium audience going forward. This will enable higher quality conversations around these topics, as the comments will likewise be open only to subscribers.
- First Ring podcast. Brad and I will be recording a new news-focused podcast called the First Ring each day, Monday through Friday, in the afternoons. If you follow Brad and I on Twitter, you know what to expect.
- Video reviews. In addition to formalizing a new reviews format, I’ll be recording video versions of my hardware reviews for premium members too.
- Premium forum section. Premium members get early access to our forums, a private channel for communicating with the Thurrott team and your profile will stand out with the Alpha badge which is only offered during this special pre-launch promotion.
- Health of Tech reports. On a quarterly basis, We’ll be providing contextual analysis of the health of the largest personal technology companies and their platforms and ecosystems, based on quarterly and annual financial reporting.
Thurrott Premium isn’t expensive, but we’re going to make it even less costly for early adopters. The normal annual rate is $64, but if you join the Thurrott Premium alpha program now, the first year will be just $42. And the timer doesn’t start until Thurrott Premium goes live later this year, of course.
I’ll be honest, as always. I’m not comfortable asking you to spend money. I don’t like asking you for anything, really, and if you have observed the almost non-existent way in which I promote my books, you can perhaps understand where I’m coming from: I like to create content, and I enjoy interacting with readers. And … that’s about it.
But this subscription offering will satisfy another need I have, which is to present this content in the cleanest, least distracting way possible. And to elevate the presentation of the content to the level I believe it deserves. As a writer, that matters to me quite a bit.