Folks, we're building a wall...
... a paywall, that is. Actually, because the lion's share of our content - 90 percent - will be free and available to everyone - what we're implementing here at aNewsCafe.com is less of a wall, and more like a lightweight bifold screen.
Either way, this new paid-subscription system for top content is something -- back in those heady launch days of 2007 -- that I said I'd never do. Today, it's a necessary action I believe we must now take to stay in business.
Earlier this year, when I pulled back the curtain and shared with you our ongoing financial challenges -- some of the same challenges that vex bigger and better funded media outlets -- many of you stepped up as voluntary subscribers. I thank every one of you, and those of you who have contributed aNewsCafe.com since its inception. To all of you, words fail to adequately convey the depth of my gratitude.
Throughout an extremely eventful economic decade, aNewsCafe.com has persevered and evolved into something truly special because of each of our contributors: readers, advertisers and content-generators alike. You are aNewsCafe. Your good will and curiosity, your commitment and enthusiasm are the life blood of this site we have created together.
Back in 2007 I promised you that aNewsCafe.com would never implement a paywall. That is a promise I must now revise. The pressing question has become: Do you value the news, information and community you find here every day enough to pay for it?
Beginning this Thurs., July 26, all premium stories (primarily found the top, main box) will be accessible only via aNewsCafe.com's paywall. You may choose a monthly amount as a subscription, with $5 being the minimum amount for full monthly access to all lead stories (including those in the archives), and the sky being the limit on the maximum subscription side. Everything else - the majority of our stories - on the site remains free and open to the public.
My most fervent hope is that our partial paywall will allow aNewsCafe.com to continue to evolve, expanding to include new features, faces and sections (stay tuned to this space to see what's coming soon), with coverage we've longed to do but could not, due to budgetary constraints. Local sports and podcasts, cooking videos and a dedicated news reporter: these are a few of our plans for the future of aNewsCafe.com. The paywall will not affect current subscribers, those making regular donations, or content contributors. If you fall into one of those categories, and you receive a paywall email when you log on to a lead story, kindly contact webmaster Joe Domke at [email protected] and tell him why you're exempt.
Thank you in advance for your patience. There will be glitches -- there always are -- but I hope by now you know that we are committed to making your visit to aNewsCafe.com the best experience it can be, so we'll fix whatever needs to be fixed and keep moving forward. Always keep moving forward.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends.
With love and the deepest appreciation,