Hi, I’m Josh Marshall and welcome to the new talkingpointsmemo.com. In addition to a new design, we’ve launched our core Prime offering, and I’d like to take a moment to tell you what it is, but first, why we’re doing it.
The short version - TPM Prime was launched to give you more while helping us grow.
Right now our growth is are limited by what we can generate via page ads. That’s enough to allow us to keep bringing you the news and editorial you know and love. But we’re looking for something more. Let me tell you about some of the things I have in mind.
Initially, your Prime subscription will allow us to devote our reporters and researchers to writing and researching longer, more in depth, pieces. We see how year after year old media devotes less and less - if anything at all - to research, letting reporting devolve into just repeating what each side says. We do our best to cut through it all and present you a view of what’s really going on, but with your help we can do a lot more.
Now, on the website side, we have a lot we’ve wanted to build for a while, both new features and upgrades and relaunches of existing features. You Prime subscription helps us get there sooner.
So that’s why we’re offering Prime. Now, you know what we get, what do YOU get?
Our first round of features focus on two main things: offering you new original content, and enhancing your reading experience of the current TPM site.
First off, our new real-time forums we’re calling The Hive. Our forums are built on the brand new Discourse software which uses the most cutting edge technology to essentially combine traditional message boards with real time chat in a way that makes message boards awesome again whether you like interacting or just reading smart stuff. The Hive is members only, so less noise. A lot less noise. More activity too - members have already been posting a lot of interesting, thought provoking material. Lots of conversations about the topics that interest you.
Plus, that’s where the TPM staff, myself included, spend our time. You’ll have TPM staff reading and responding to your thoughts and opinions with everyone else. Plus we host planned chats where you’ll be interacting directly with everyone from myself, to heavy political hitters like person A and person B, to people who are just plain interesting, like Person C and D. This is the only place where we can do things like this.
The second major type of new original content we are launching with is something we’re calling TPM Minis, which I alluded to a minute ago. Long, in depth pieces by the same TPM staffers you know. For Prime members only. Our first mini is already available. It’s called Title, and it’s a 20 page article I wrote with TPM managing editor David Kurtz about Topic. We’re really excited about it. And the next one is almost ready.
The other half of the initial Prime offering focuses on enhancing the TPM experience you already know. You’ll immediately notice a LOT less ads throughout the site, as well as a new design for the article pages that puts the content front and center and puts everything else second.
You’re busy, even before all this new content, so the next set of site features focuses on just that. First, bookmarks. As a Prime member, you can now easily bookmark any articles for later. You’ll also be greeted with a list of everything that’s new since your last visit, all in one place. And since it’s tied to your TPM account it works across all devices - computer, phone, tablet, etc. Never miss a story again.
Finally, one last thing. This is a feature for the altruists within us. Not everyone can afford a Prime subscription, so we’re offering a way for you to buy a subscription for someone else. We posted some of the criteria we go by to select these recipients below. It’s completely anonymous. You don’t get points for it. No badges or achievments unlocked. You just get to know that the kid in college who’s destined to become a future Senator, or the parent who finds time to write the most inspiring pieces between jobs, gets access to Prime too. Completely optional!
We’re really excited with what we’re launching with and even moreso for the things to come, and we know you will be too.