posted by David Adams on Tue 24th Jun 2003 16:23 UTC
IconIn various discussions that we've had with readers about advertising, many people have suggested that we devise some more direct way for regular OSNews readers to support the site. (This is usually amid complaints about online advertising in general or about some specific ad method that we're trying out) I personally don't like the idea of soliciting donations, because I want people to get something in return for their monetary support. What we've come up with is an OSNews membership program. For a yearly fee of $20, you will be able to show your support of OSNews and receive the following benefits:

  • Access to a fast loading members-only OSNews site, with no banner ads and no text-keyword ads.
  • A monthly giveaway, with one of our members winning an OSNews-emblemed item (t-shirt, mug), software, electronic gizmo, or other goodie each month. First giveaway will be this month!
  • Special pricing on OSNews merchandise. (We're going to be having some new shirts and maybe some other swag made up in the next couple of months)
  • The right to bitch and moan about OSNews content, functionality, or other gripes with just a little bit more authority.
This ad-free OSNews view has much faster load times than your average news web site (OSNews included). On average, modem users should see the ad-free OSNews load 5x faster than the regular site. Broadband users should see a 2x improvement. This is due mainly to the elimination of nested HTML table code (which dramatically speeds rendering time) and of course fewer graphics (from various servers around the Net) to load. If you'd like to see the ad-free OSNews in action, here's a sample.

To get started, send your $20 to OSNews, along with your name and email address. (The email address you provide will only be used to let you know of new access information for the ad-free OSNews site and to announce each month's prize giveaway. This email address will not be used for any other purposes and will not be sold or shown to anyone else.) You may send your money through Paypal. If you don't have a Paypal account, you can get one through this link. If you already have a PayPal account, you may use this link to pay:

If you would like to mail a check or pay with some other method (including barter) or if you have any questions about the membership program please email me to discuss it.

Of the readers who sign up during the rest of June, one lucky one will receive a jaunty OSNews baseball cap.

The fine print:

Currently, your browser must support cookies to view the ad-free OSNews site. We've confirmed that it works on the following browsers: IE, all Gecko/Mozilla-based, all Netscapes, iCab, Omniweb, Konqueror, Safari, Opera. Unfortunately, NetPositive on BeOS and Dillo do not work at this time.

We reserve the right to suspend the prize giveaway or do it less frequently if the number of members falls below 100.

The price of a yearly membership could change at any time, though your payment of the current amount will always be good for twelve months.

If we decide to cancel the membership program for any reason, we will either refund each member's money in its entirety or a pro-rated amount.

Currently, the OSNews Forum pages will not have the fast-loading, no-ad look, and might never have them. It all depends on how popular the membership program is, how difficult the redesign of the forum system is, and other factors.

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