Site Update: Thurrott Premium and Xbox Elite Controller Giveaway

Site Update: Thurrott Premium and Xbox Elite Controller Giveaway

Here’s a quick update on where we’re at in our work on Thurrott Premium. Also, I’d like to confirm that the daily Xbox Elite Wireless Controller giveaway—which is open to everyone—will continue until Premium is fully deployed sometime later this month.

At the time of the previous update in late July, I noted that we were getting ready to start phasing in some of the promised Thurrott Premium features, starting with Premium articles. That has since happened, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, and has escalated in recent days.

Since that last update, work has continued on other features, both for Premium and the non-paid parts of the site. Here’s what you can expect to see in the coming weeks:

No ads (Premium only). Today, Premium users don’t see ads on any articles. But when the site redesign launches later this month—it’s awesome—they will not see ads on the home page either.

Comments. We’re implementing our own commenting system to meet two goals: The ability to have Premium and non-Premium comments side-by-side on our articles, and to counter the rampant spam that Disqus seems unable or unwilling to stop. That new commenting system is almost complete and will be launching soon. (Note that you will need to sign in with your account, not your Disqus account. Existing Disqus-based comments will remain on legacy articles as well.)

Forums. We just approved the final design for the new Thurrott Forums, and the coding will be wrapping up soon. Forums will be implemented this month as well; they will be open to both Premium and non-Premium users.

Podcasts (Premium only). Brad’s podcast studio is now complete, and I have all the pieces necessary here in my own home office to get that completed as well. As you may recall, we plan to record a short Premium-only podcast daily, Monday through Friday, but we’ve decided to make the Friday version a live event. And Brad will continue with his weekly Sams Report podcast as well for all users.

Also, good news for all readers: We are indeed continuing the daily Xbox Elite Wireless Controller giveaway (Monday through Friday) until all of these Premium features are fully implemented. To be clear, the giveaway is for everyone—Premium and non-Premium members alike—and is available worldwide. It’s free, so please do sign-up: This controller is worth $150. You can see the list of winners here.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has signed up for Thurrott Premium. We are very lucky to have a great group of readers and supporters who understand that high quality content is worth paying for. And I am personally lucky to be surrounded by a great team of people here making it happen. Not just Brad and Rafael, who are great friends and coworkers, but also some folks behind the scenes who I’m going to pull out into the light someday for a bow. They deserve it.

Anyway, thanks again. Things are about to get even better.


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