It looks a little different around here. Here's the gist of our changes.
We've simplified our subscription model, removing merchandise from the tier system and cutting out the middle man for subscriptions and newsletters. The practical outcome of how both free and paid subscribers read Daily Thunder won't change much, but it will be more obvious who can view what. You can enjoy the vast majority of Daily Thunder with a free or tip jar subscription. All of our new featured content and premium bonuses will be available for Bronze, Silver, and Gold subscribers. You can jump to the subscription portal, or read up on the options first:
Free: As always, most Daily Thunder articles, podcasts, videos, and other content will be free to read and interact with. But now, you'll also get it delivered to your inbox in the convenient, handsome format our paid readers have been enjoying for years.
Tip jar: This tier isn't required to comment at DT, but we ask that our commenters consider it if they enjoy the back and forth happening beneath our articles every day. Your tip jar subscription mirrors a free one as far as content access is concerned. We've never pestered you about this tier before, but we are reminding you now that commenting exists in a more reader-friendly system that costs us money to provide.
Bronze: The most popular subscription tier, this provides you with all new Daily Thunder content, including early or exclusive access to featured articles. You'll also get special invites to participate in live stream fun and games.
Silver & Gold: In addition to early and exclusive content, you'll be guaranteed to participate in the live streams mentioned before. You'll also have access to Days of Thunder, Daily Thunder's full archives (explained below). Gold subscribers don't receive much more than Silver at this point, but get our utmost gratitude and the ability to direct some of our content as we make it.
If you're currently a Patreon subscriber, you should have received an email explaining how to migrate your subscription from there to here. You are already grandfathered in as a subscriber here, so you aren't going to miss out on anything in the meantime. If you have any questions, please email us so that we can make sure you're taken care of.
So what the heck is included in our archived material? I'm glad you asked:
Days of Thunder Archives. Gradually, our best content from the past will be locked for paying subscribers. We will not simply be paywalling old DT articles; we'll be giving them a fresh editorial pass and commentary as we re-tell the story of Thunder basketball with an updated perspective. You'll see how this works very soon.
That about covers it but, if you're curious enough to read on, here is some more context to the changes:
Previously, early and exclusive content was delivered to our subscribers' inboxes separately from our blog readers. That model required a lot of extra editorial work and was meant to reduce the bad vibes of a paywall to our free readers, while adding a more attractive format for our paid subscribers via a spiffy newsletter design. Guess what? We need to more frequently remind our free readers that subscriptions drive our content, and we'll now be doing so with equally spiffy articles that they can preview or read at a later date when unlocked. We are not trying to be unwelcoming to those who don't subscribe, and I don't think anyone will feel that way with the new setup.
This is the latest step in our commitment to resist revenue strategies that rely on aggressive traffic (clickbait) schemes and intrusive advertisements. We will now receive a much larger portion of our subscriber revenue while we front more of the direct burdens for hosting the site and its subscription services. If you appreciate the work we do, we'll be reminding you more frequently that the best way to show it is through those subscription options.
This is not the end of Daily Thunder merch, as we still have beautiful offerings online and in-store from our friends at ShopGood. We've just learned that people are most inclined to support us for our content, not for a good deal on a t-shirt.
If you are a tech whiz with some know-how on app design and/or web coding, we do have some odds and ends we'd like help with. Email us if you're interested in a modest project.
Running Daily Thunder is a labor of love made worth it by the shared interest in the team we all love between our contributors and readers. No one is getting rich here (an understatement), but we want to keep the joy alive for ourselves, our writers, and our subscribers by using a business model that doesn't devalue any of their contributions. We're a truly independent fan blog, fighting an uphill battle against a difficult modern media landscape but still liking our chances.
Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder.