Just $30/year keeps Ricochet alive and gets you great NRO and Ricochet content and comment

I’ve followed Ricochet since it’s debut.  From the beginning, it’s been an interesting site with great content.  It’s also got a beautiful layout, which counts for a lot when you do what I do, which is spend way too much time reading blog posts.

Ricochet’s business model is an interesting one:  rather than charging people to view content, it charges people for the right to participate in the conversation.  It turns out that this business model requires that 2% of Ricochet’s members subscribe to Ricochet.  The problem, though, is that only 1% are currently subscribing, and this is true despite an audience that is large and increasing.

With only a 1% pay base, Ricochet is looking at — gasp! — going out of business:

Every month, we get somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 unique visitors to the site.  Every month, we get somewhere around 300,000 podcast downloads. And that’s growing every month. We repeat: Ricochet is growing.

But here’s the problem: only about 1% of those visitors are members. And that’s not enough to cover our costs paying our editors and technical team even the pittance we pay them.

We insisted, from the start, that Ricochet should be a business. We decided we wouldn’t try to cover our expenses by raising money from foundations. We should submit ourselves to the marketplace. That’s the best way to know if you’re reaching people or not; If you’re filling a need or not.

So here’s where we stand: unless we get more members, something closer to 2% of our visitors, we really can’t keep the business going. Our whole model is built on the 2% figure. That’s all we need: 2% of our regular visitors to join up.

In about four weeks, we’ve got some tough decisions to make.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that, for only $29.95, you can get both a year’s membership in Ricochet and, if you’re a new subscriber, a year of National Review Digital.  That’s both an incredible deal and a small price to pay to keep a quality conservative site alive.  If we care about true conservativism, we must cultivate it for the next few years.  If we’re not willing to do that, we should just sit back and wait for the loving liberal fascists to decide that we conservatives are such a miserable lot, we should be gently euthanized for our own emotional well-being.

I’m going to subscribe immediately.  I haven’t done so before since the site takes only credit card payments, and I try to keep my politics and my credit card separate.  Roughly thirty dollars for a year’s great reading is such a bargain, though, that I’m willing to break my own rules.

I realize that those of us who subscribe now are taking a bit of a risk — after all, Ricochet might find itself going under when Obama raises his hand and swears another oath he’ll ignore.  Nevertheless, what’s life without a little risk?  I’m sure there are some of us out there who can afford a $30 gamble.


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  • Jimmy Carter

    Nice post.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    I’ve been a Ricochet member for about a year now, and recommend it.
    The model is interesting. Anyone can read posts on the main feed, but only members can comment. There’s also a member feed, on which any member can post a new article. The editors, in their discretion, pick member posts the feel are worthy of broad attention and promote them to the main feed.

  • Old Buckeye

    Also a Ricochet subscriber. The editors keep things civil. It’s similar to the Bookworm Room in that regard. You never know what tangent the members are going to go off on, either! :)

  • http://liberty-resource-center.blogspot.com Doug1943

    I have just joined. I am pretty active on the web, but I had never heard of Richochet. Something’s wrong here … if it survives, we need to discuss how to publicize its existence.

  • GingerB

    I’m already a member but I ‘ll join again if it will keep it going.! Seriously, folks, Ricochet is worth every penny!

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    I already subscribe to NR Digital — can I have my gift as a renewal?  Now “outing” myself as a cheap old b*****d!  :-)
    I’ll be heading over there and subscribing to Ricochet – I remember reading Robinson talk about it some time ago, but there has been precious little publicity about it…..pretty typical Republican behavior, I’m afraid.