In “Become a TidBITS Member and Banish Banner Ads from Our Site” (7 December 2015), I said that if we could increase membership revenues by the roughly $5,000 per year that we earn from Google AdSense ads and automatically generated affiliate links via Skimlinks, we’d eliminate those banner ads and accompanying trackers from our site for everyone.
Although memberships rolled in throughout December 2015, we’ll need to see an significant uptick before the challenge deadline at the end of January 2016, since the numbers so far have been slightly lower than last year. Even if we don’t count those who joined at the $1,000 TidBITS Angel level (four in 2014, one in 2015 — and thank you so much!), the new and renewing member count was three people lower (1121 versus 1118) and revenues were $50 lower. That’s a minuscule drop, so I’m not worried about it, but it doesn’t get us any closer to meeting the challenge.
So if you believe that we should be showing that small Internet publications can rely on direct reader support, become a TidBITS member this month!
To sweeten the deal, note that we just added member-exclusive discounts on 17 highly regarded Mac apps from Prosoft Engineering (Data Rescue, Drive Genius, Data Backup, and more) and Plum Amazing (CopyPastePro, iClock Pro, PhotoShrinkr, and many more). It would be easy to save more than the cost of a TidBITS membership in software discounts alone.