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  • Featured, News - Written by on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 13:09 - 97 Comments

    Introducing Delimiter 2.0

    open-sign

    site news When I first launched Delimiter back in January 2010, I did so with a very clear mission in mind. Like many readers and other journalists, I had become frustrated with an Australian technology media scene which had become increasingly clogged with international content ported onto local sites. And I wanted to help remedy that situation.

    At the time, I wrote that while I did follow international technology news, what I was really fascinated with was Australia’s own technology sector. It’s interesting to read about the latest exploits of Apple and Google in the US, of course, but ultimately product launches and industry controversies don’t end up hitting home to the average Australian unless those products eventually make their way Down Under; unless those controversies directly relate to us somehow. We don’t live in the US, where most of the action is in the global tech sector; we live in Australia, and a very different country it is indeed, with its own unique (sometimes quite unique!) properties.

    This is why, with a few exceptions, Delimiter has always focused purely on the Australian technology scene; it’s what I’ve always personally been most interested in, and it’s been my belief that many others would be interested in precisely the same thing.

    It’s fair to say that over the past three and a half years, that belief has been strongly borne out.

    In that period, on the strength of articles solely about Australia, Delimiter has grown to one of the largest specialist IT sites in this country. We’ve got an audience oscillating around 100,000 unique visitors a month, and a monthly page impression count that hovers around the 250,000 mark. We’ve got many thousands of email newsletter and RSS feed subscribers, as well as those that follow us through social networking sites.

    And, most importantly to my mind, we’ve developed what I would describe as an incredibly strong community.

    This community manifests itself in various ways. Of course, the most obvious way is through comments on the site; we receive between 3,000 and 4,000 comments most months, and there are many articles which have hundreds of comments intensely debating key issues. Furthermore, the quality of these comments, and the identities of those commenting are also remarkable. The depth of some reader comments on Delimiter, going into incredibly complex details of technical, political and financial arguments, regularly surprises senior figures in the industry; likewise, it’s not at all uncommon to find high-ranking politicians, executives and other commentators putting in their 2c worth on Delimiter. It’s a special kind of Internet community which features such high-level figures.

    However, there are other ways in which the community also manifests. Many of you would be aware that Delimiter has broken some fairly significant stories over the years. One recent highlight was the revelation that the Federal Government had unilaterally decided to start blocking various websites, a story which came out of our enduring coverage of Labor’s Internet filter debacle. We’ve also been at the forefront of reporting and discussing controversial issues relating to data retention, Internet piracy, government IT service delivery, cloud computing adoption, IT price hikes and tax minimisation behaviour.

    Plus, who could forget the National Broadband Network. Ah, the NBN. Never has so much ink (pixels) been wasted on one single technology project in Australia’s history. However, of course, so much is at stake in this project that, of course, it’s important to examine every angle.

    Of course, you’ve all read many of these stories, but what you might not have been aware of is that many, if not most of them, started off as reader tips, either by email to me personally or through Delimiter’s anonymous tips form. I’ve never been working alone here; the only reason Delimiter has been able to cover such issues in such depth has been because of the community supporting my writing the whole way.

    What clout Delimiter has in holding politicians, bureaucrats and corporations to account comes directly from its readership. Alone, I am only one man (often in his pyjamas) writing things which interests him. But it is a fact that the powerful groups which set the foundations of our lives are always wary of a strongly engaged mass audience such as the Delimiter community. Sometimes, let me tell you, the powers that be are very wary indeed.

    Now all of this is very well and good. Many among my peers might say (and have said) that this is what success looks like to a journalist. A strong audience which reads your work, a large enough community to guarantee financial stability, and the ability to hold powerful interests to account along the way. And they’d be right — it is all very well and good.

    But the game has also changed.

    Over the past few years, as Delimiter has been in operation, Australia’s media environment has severely deteriorated. You all know the ongoing complaints which are levelled at journalists these days. We’re shills for page impressions. We’ll do anything for website traffic. We don’t report the truth about what powerful people say, but instead just regurgitate each sides’ inaccurate statements in a pointless exercise of ‘he said, she said’.

    There is less and less really deep analysis out there of what’s going on behind the scenes on any given issue, and journalists seem continually driven by the latest pointless scandal.

    This debasing of our national conversation clearly has sunk its teeth deep into the technology journalism scene. Although there are still quite a few technology journalists of worth in Australia, there are also countless stories written about inanities. We are all obsessed with the tiny details of small product launches, it seems, we no longer get really deep into the actual details of IT project implementations, and more than anything, we love a good controversy about the National Broadband Network, even if the sound and fury involved ends up signifying nothing.

    On a personal level, I’ve also grown more experienced as a writer. Sure, I churn out press release re-writes with the best of them, and at a record clip, but increasingly what I am really interested in is going deeper into the issues which I’m writing about.

    The difficulty is that I am often as bound to the shallow news cycle as most other journalists. I would love to spend a whole day writing a lengthy article about whether the current NBN asbestos scandal is significant or not, with context going back several decades. I would love to consider in detail what it means that the Federal Government has decided it has the power to block any website it chooses — without telling anyone. I would like the chance to comment over several thousand words on the ongoing shift to cloud computing in Australia’s State Governments.

    But the truth is that I’ve done this sort of thing in the past, and it rarely justifies itself.

    Consider, for a second, the fact that Delimiter’s financial business model — site advertising — is largely disconnected from most of its editorial quality. If I spend a whole day writing a deep article about a worthy subject, that article will likely only end up with a similar amount of page impressions to the sort of article I can throw together in an hour. And even if increased traffic does arrive (as it sometimes does with scoops and insightful commentary), that traffic usually doesn’t result in extra financial resources.

    It’s an oft-held mantra in Internet publishing that if you generate more page impressions, you make more money. The unfortunate reality is that you usually don’t. It takes a fundamental structural increase (say, growing your monthly traffic by 50 percent or more) to do that, and even then the increase in revenue is not likely to be directly commensurate with your traffic growth. Financial success is usually more dependent on the skill of your sales team (Delimiter’s is very good, by the way!) and the dynamics of the advertising market and the large advertisers in general.

    In short: If I expend additional effort writing better articles, Delimiter usually doesn’t generate increased revenue to justify that effort. There is a qualitative effect from such articles, in that they tend to bring in educated, erudite readers seeking such quality, which heightens the quality of debate on the site in general, and enhances its reputation. This factor, and the recognition of readers and my peers, is definitely a significant motivation for me in my writing; but no business can justify increased effort on the basis of qualitative rewards alone.

    Still with me? This has been a lengthy article already; I hope it is a sign of things to come :)

    Considering all of these factors over the past several months has led me to an inescapable conclusion: In order to justify my personal desire to enhance the quality of the debate in Australia’s technology sector through producing more in-depth, contextual, insightful articles, I must develop an additional business model which will tie the quality of Delimiter’s editorial much more closely to the financial recompense for producing such material.

    It is with this in mind that I unveil to you today a new sister site to Delimiter. I’m calling it Delimiter 2.0. It’s tagline is: “Still just Australia. Still just technology.”

    Delimiter 2.0 is a very simple site with a very simple premise. Every week, on the Friday morning of that week, I will publish an in-depth opinion/analysis article of a more satisfactory length and with more detail than you would normally expect to read on Delimiter itself. My aim with this weekly article is to capture the single hottest issue of each week and dissect it; get inside it; understand it, and take a point of view on it. My goal, as with the best articles on Delimiter, is to spark intelligent discussion of that issue in a way that will illuminate it.

    More than anything, it is my aim that each week, this article will be the best article in Australia’s technology media that you read that week: The article that will define the week’s events and put them in context.

    And it is my hope that many of you will pay me for the privilege of reading these articles. Because Delimiter 2.0 will not be funded through advertising; in fact, I guarantee that it will feature no advertising at all. Instead, the articles on Delimiter 2.0 will be gated (paywalled), and I will be levying a flat fee of $9.95 per month (including GST) for access.

    Now for some details.

    Please rest assured that Delimiter itself (or 1.0, if you prefer), will be continuing precisely as it is today. It will continue to produce the same number and quality of articles as it does today. It will continue to have its articles available for free, funded by advertising. Nothing is changing there. With the launch of Delimiter 2.0, I’m not taking anything away from anyone. I am attempting to deliver significant additional value to readers, at a moderate price, on a different site. Delimiter 2.0 will be promoted on Delimiter, of course, but those promotions will be clearly labelled as Delimiter 2.0 articles.

    Secondly, not everything on Delimiter 2.0 will be locked down. You’ll be able to get a feel for what each weekly article is about by reading the first four paragraphs of each article for free. In addition, the comments field will be completely open for anyone to comment on each article as they wish, just as on Delimiter itself.

    I am, of course, aware that quite a few people will pirate the paywalled articles from a single login and forward them around via email and other platforms. This isn’t ideal and of course it’s impossible to completely prevent. However, I personally believe that this activity will actually boost subscriber numbers over the long term as it exposes additional people to Delimiter’s content. In addition, we’ll also have customised corporate packages available so that organisations will be able to get access to the articles for their employees en-masse.

    Lastly, I want to make what some may believe to be a controversial statement.

    The launch of Delimiter 2.0 is not an experiment. It’s not something I’m going to trial for a few months and then abandon if it doesn’t do well enough. This is something I will be working hard at for the foreseeable future, as an important sideline to the main Delimiter business.

    I’ve run the numbers for what is possible for a site this size, and I’ve examined international and local examples where gated subscriptions have worked. The economics of a site like Delimiter 2.0 are very clear. To become a viable addition to Delimiter’s existing operations, Delimiter 2.0 only needs to sign up a few hundred regular subscribers — a tiny portion of Delimiter’s current audience. If it grows much beyond that, its business case will readily expand as well. At a certain point, I can see myself using some of the Delimiter 2.0 funding to contract additional articles for the site. If it gets big enough, I may be able to justify paying some of Australia’s best technology journalists to contribute their own detailed, lengthy work on a regular basis.

    But more than this, the launch of Delimiter 2.0 is something that I want to do for myself. On a personal level, I want to generate better, more insightful, more opinionated, more contextual journalism, that will help influence and shape events in Australia in a positive way. This is stuff that I want to write; and it is my belief that Delimiter 2.0 will deliver me more justification for doing just that.

    Furthermore, I am also aware that the delivery of insight and analysis — not just the bare news — is one of the things that many readers like about Delimiter as it exists today. It’s my hope that the launch of Delimiter 2.0 will focus and magnify that quality in a positive way.

    OK, that’s enough for me today on this subject. If this article has interested you at all, I encourage you to head to Delimiter 2.0 and check out what I’ve put together there. I already have four articles up on the site, reflecting key issues over the past month or so in Australia’s technology sector. As always, let me know what you think. If you think those articles are worth paying to read, then pay. If you don’t, then ignore them and get on with your life. It’s up to you. But it’s my hope that with the launch of Delimiter 2.0, we can at least make a little dent. Let’s see if we can improve the quality of Australia’s national debate (in the technology sector) — at least just a little.

    TL;DR: Delimiter now has a sister site, with more in-depth articles and a monthly subscription fee, but no ads :)

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    97 Comments

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    1. TrevorX
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink |

      Good luck, Ren :-)

      Hopefully with the extra funds your first employment opportunity will be for a proof reader to deal with all those pesky typos ;-) :-P

      (already noticed one in the first paragraph of the Quigley article)

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

        Dammit, and I proof-read those articles several times! Will fix :)

    2. m0nty
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

      Kudos and good luck, Renai.

    3. looktall
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink |

      sounds interesting.

      good luck with it.

    4. Posted 16/07/2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink |

      I like this as a concept. It will be developed with time as you learn lessons, but as an idea it really works.
      Many websites would work well with a premium layer, if you got together I’d definitely pay a subscription fee for access across them all.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

        I’ve been working on the concept for a long time :) It’s the right time at the moment — the technology back-end is now fairly easy to use and becoming commoditised, and Delimiter has reached a good size for this kind of thing. But I’m sure I will learn more daily as the site progresses :)

    5. Patrick
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink |

      Well done Renai – I’m proud of you! Can I please have a free subscription?

    6. Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

      Best of luck Renai, I hope D2 is a success (did I just give it its official nickname? d2.com.au seems to be parked…).

      My $0.022 (inc.GST) on the fee: For me, $10/mo ($120/yr) is prolly too much for a single-focus site with (atm) one author & one article/week. At $5/mo I’d be sorely tempted, and at $1-2/mo it’d be a no-brainer. I guess it depends on whether you think your market is in individual subs or ‘professional’/corporate subs. Just one data point, FWIW. :-)

      But yeah, I hope it’s a success for you!

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers for the feedback! I’ll keep it in mind :) And thanks for the kind words :)

        • BuildFTTP
          Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

          I’ve always felt like donating but I like the sound of delimiter 2.0. I have to agree though that $10/month is a bit high for me personally. $5/month would be much harder to pass on.

          • Posted 16/07/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

            No worries, I understand! Hopefully you’ll be unable to resist the interesting article topics in future :)

            • BuildFTTP
              Posted 17/07/2013 at 2:53 am | Permalink |

              I might have to subcribe every other month :P.

          • dJOS
            Posted 16/07/2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

            D2 looks awesome Renai but as others have mentioned I’d personally struggle with paying more than $5 per month, heck I can barely justify our Netflix sub to my wife as it is! :-P

      • Wayne
        Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

        As per itgrrl.
        For $10 month, I believe I am not getting value for money. For one article a week.

        Suggestion: Unlocking one article for a one time fee?

        • Posted 16/07/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

          Apologies! Hopefully I can persuade you in future with the quality of our articles :)

      • Simon Reidy
        Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

        Reluctantly agree. I was just wishing it was $5 before I scrolled down to your post. It’s not that I think $10 is unfair, its just on top of all my other monthly expenses I’m not exactly living the dream right now, and don’t think I can justify anything more than $5 a month at this point in it time. As soon as I can, I’ll be subscribing though as I don’t want to miss out.

        Best of luck with it in the meantime Renai. I think its an excellent idea, and I love Delimiter 2.0′s design. I’ll be joining once I’m out of the “just-scraping-by” zone :)

        • Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink |

          No worries, I totally understand — been there myself in the past :)

    7. Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink |

      Well done Renai!

      A tip for sales conversion, add your subscription box mid sentence. That would then make me want to purchase it. The Turnbull article looked complete and it wasn’t immediately apparent that there was more.

      The price is right too, Renai.

      Bravo.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers, much appreciated! Interesting comment re sales conversion — I’ll look into that.

    8. Godzilla3000
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

      Loved the TL:DR at the end.

    9. Trev
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink |

      When I click on Paypal it’s charging the USD price ($9.01). Is that just me, or can it be changed to AUD somehow?

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink |

        Hmm. Not sure about that. USD$9.01 is AUD$9.95 as far as I know. I know when you use a credit card, not PayPal, it charges things in AUD.

        If it’s the same price ultimately, is it a huge issue?

        • Trev
          Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink |

          No, not for me as it will actually be cheaper than $9.95 with my no-forex card – was just thinking about the dollar fluctuating month-to-month…

          Some people may baulk though. Funny creatures they are …

        • Trev
          Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink |

          Very well-written, enjoyable articles. Particularly on Quigley and Turnbull.

          • Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

            Cheers, much appreciated! I put a lot of hard work into those particularly :)

    10. Ben
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink |

      Good luck with D2.0 – D1.0 quickly became the only tech news site I visited daily (after i also became thoroughly fed up with a steady diet of regurgitated press releases and local ‘angles’ on international tech yarns) and even though I’ve changed careers, I still drop by every now and then to get my fill of tech news.

    11. Posted 16/07/2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

      tl;dr

      Stick the link to the site on the top of the article for people like me too impatient to read the post ;)

      oh wait. you already did the tl;dr thing.

      damn you. now I just read the article.

    12. Aryan
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink |

      Good luck with the venture Renai.

      Personally, I subscribe to quite a few online publications, so I am completely okay with paying for content, but there is no way I could personally justify spending $10 a month for four articles. As an example, look at MATTER, a publication with a similar premise (long detailed articles over 10,000 words each, with a different focus of course) but they charge $1 per issue, which is totally in the no brainer category. Now I understand that your target market is a lot more limited so that price might not work for you, but still, there is no way I could justify spending this much, no matter how much I like your articles :-)

      Aside from price, as a model I’d also suggest , you have a look at Lwn.Net They have been publishing paid content from way before it became popular (2002 I think) and they have a few quirks that help them 1) They have 3 subscription prices, allowing users to choose how much they want to contribute thrmselves 2) They allow free access to old articles and 3) They let subscribers share a link to the full article to non-subscribers (This last one greatly helps with social media sharing and actually greatly helps their sales). For over a decade they have been able to live off subscription from Linux /Open source people (a notoriously stingy crowd) so you might want to have a look at them and their model.

      Anyway, best of luck, and hopefully one day you can count on me as one of your subscribers.

    13. Aryan
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink |

      Good luck with the venture Renai.

      Personally, I subscribe to quite a few online publications, so I am completely okay with paying for content, but there is no way I could personally justify spending $10 a month for four articles. As an example, look at MATTER, a publication with a similar premise (long detailed articles over 10,000 words each, with a different focus of course) but they charge $1 per issue, which is totally in the no brainer category. Now I understand that your target market is a lot more limited so that price might not work for you, but still, there is no way I could justify spending this much, no matter how much I like your articles :-)

      Aside from price, as a model I’d also suggest , you have a look at LWN. They have been publishing paid content from way before it became popular (2002 I think) and they have a few quirks that help them 1) They have 3 subscription prices, allowing users to choose how much they want to contribute thrmselves 2) They allow free access to old articles and 3) They let subscribers share a link to the full article to non-subscribers (This last one greatly helps with social media sharing and actually greatly helps their sales). For over a decade they have been able to live off subscription from Linux /Open source people (a notoriously stingy crowd) so you might want to have a look at them and their model.

      Anyway, best of luck, and hopefully one day you can count on me as one of your subscribers.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink |

        No worries, thanks for your kind words! I’m sticking with the price for now, as I think it’s good value, but if I can’t persuade you, then so be it :)

    14. Glenn
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

      I have to admit it makes me a bit sad to read this. I think delimiter is really important for the local industry, but i wont follow you (or anyone else) through a paywall. If 2.0 succeeds 1.0 wont, and if 2.0 fails will you wont go back to 1.0 its human nature.

      But life is a journey, and we all have to either move on or stagnate, so i do hope you find what your looking for and you move on to something you find more personally satisfying.

      • dJOS
        Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink |

        I think you may be missing the point of D2, it’s not a replacement for D1, it’s complimentary.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink |

        No worries mate, I understand some people have principles against paywalls. I hope to convince you with the quality of the articles in future :D

    15. Justin
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink |

      Looks good. Sign me up!

    16. Tinman_au
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink |

      Nice one Renai! is there a discount for 6 month/12 month subs? (Guess I’ll find out in a minute when i head over there!).

      Quick question: Why a separate site and not just as a “Members Section” on D1?

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers! No discount for now, but it may be something I’ll look at in future.

        As for why a separate site, I’m very conscious that a lot of people really don’t like paywalls and how they lock content off. Delimiter’s always been free and I didn’t want to annoy people by locking sections of it down — taking away something they already had, so to speak. By setting up a separate site, I knew I could promote it on Delimiter but but disappoint current readers. Hope this makes sense :)

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 17/07/2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink |

          Yes indeed.

          I think it’d be a more lucrative model for some of the MSM’s efforts as well, just keep the “plain ol’ reporting” on the main site free/ad supported, and use a “back end site” for deeper analysis/opinion/comments…

          • jingo
            Posted 18/07/2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink |

            Just a +1 for the idea of discount on longer subs, I’d never buy Time magazine standalone, but with a long subscription it’s really good value and a subscription I see myself keeping for the rest of my life.

            • Posted 18/07/2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink |

              No worries, it’s definitely something I’m considering. But I’m happy with the structure for now. If there’s a need to change it in future, I will :)

    17. Ed
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink |

      On top of all my other committments, $10 a month is hard to mentally justify. $5 has me hooked.

      Having said all that, does Delimeter 2.0 classify as a “Periodical” for tax return purposes?

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink |

        Heh quite a few people have said that, but I think $9.95 a month is a fair price, so I’m going to stick with it for now ;) Hopefully I can convince you in future with the quality of my articles.

        Not sure about the periodical status — I’ve never heard of it :(

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 17/07/2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

        If you work in I.T. you should be able to I think.

        You can also claim other expenses, which may be work related, such as the cost of reference books, periodicals and digital information, union or professional association fees. You may also be able to claim for expanses relating to income or sickness insurance, or to foreign pensions or annuities, or for personal superannuation contributions.

        http://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/

        I’m not a tax accountant, but I think it would be covered under one of “periodicals and digital information”.

    18. Michael
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

      Sounds like a good concept.

      I will have to read a few intros’ to the articles before I decide either way but it is definitely interesting.

      Good luck with it and I hope you do manage to get the external contributors in at some point to add in additional content.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers for the feedback, much appreciated!

    19. Ian
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

      Others have already said pretty much the same thing, but I might as well toss in my 2c as well:

      I’m happy to pay for good tech news, and have an LWN subscription to prove it (at $7/month it’s a no-brainer for anyone working with Linux). I am a big fan of Delimiter, and if there was an option to pay $5-10/month for some token features (e.g. remove ads, unlock a full-text RSS feed) I’d probably take it.

      Delimiter2 seems to be taking the content from Delimiter that I value least (opinion pieces) and locking them behind a paywall. I’m not inclined to pay $10/month for a weekly editorial. That said, I really like the layout of Delimiter2 – it’s clean and scales well to different browser widths. I’d consider paying a monthly fee to read regular Delimiter content on Delimiter2 (although an RSS feed would be better still).

      Regardless, best of luck with Delimiter2 – I hope it works out for you, even though it isn’t (currently) attractive to me.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers, thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated.

        I am aware of the LWN subscription. However Delimiter is a bit of a different beast with a different audience. I’m happy with the pricing as it stands for now.

        Sorry to hear the Delimiter 2.0 content isn’t what you’re after! However, I’m not taking any content away from Delimiter with Delimiter 2.0. You’ll still get opinion pieces and such on Delimiter 1.0. These are different articles — more in-depth, more detailed, more contextual, exploring bigger issues than I would be able to on Delimiter 1.0. I understand if you just want news or reviews, and that’s fine! Delimiter 1.0 will be continuing on as usual for that purpose :)

        I had considered setting up a monthly fee or similar to read Delimiter without ads or something like that, but technically it’s too complex for me right now. The further I investigated it, the more of a molehill it became. And I don’t want to publish the same article on several sites — that would kind of defeat the purpose.

        Most importantly, Delimiter *works* right now, and I don’t want to screw with it too much, for that reason. Delimiter 2.0 is something different to meet a different demand. It’s OK to have both — D2 won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s OK :)

    20. James
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink |

      Well, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and sign up. IMO delimiter is an important independent source of tech journalism in Australia and I want to encourage it.

      For the people arguing that $10 is too much – give me a break. If you are smart enough to be on a site like this but can’t afford $2.50/week then I would respectfully suggest you rethink your career choices. Perhaps for students a discount might be a good idea.

      As for the “problem” of forwarding – I say embrace it! Provide a function for subscribers to forward each article up to 5 times, branded of course. Getting your content, presented beautifully, in front of the people your customers think need to see it is an excellent marketing tactic.

      • dJOS
        Posted 16/07/2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink |

        James, with respect you can’t know everyone’s circumstances.

        Eg I have a wife on maternity leave plus two little kids and the standard oversized Aussie mortgage, money fairly tight as a result.

        • Glenn
          Posted 16/07/2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink |

          And Technology is not a career choice for everyone, for some people its a lifestyle or a hobby.

        • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink |

          Urgh, sorry to hear money is tight. I’ve been there myself, so I know what it’s like! Delimiter 2.0 is a premium thing, so it will be out of spec for some people. That’s understandable. Of course, Delimiter 1.0 will remain :)

          • dJOS
            Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink |

            Cheers, it’s definitely on my wish list as I read thru a few article teasers and liked the format and content a lot.

            :-)

        • grump3
          Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink |

          Any chance of a senior’s/pensioner’s discount for those of us no longer in the workforce?

        • James
          Posted 16/07/2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah, sorry, I re-read and that came out a bit harsh. I understand some people are doing it tough. Hell, I’m somewhat underemployed myself at the moment.

          Maybe in future some nice technology can be figured out to properly segment the pricing so that everyone can pay according to their ability. Integration with the commenting would be a good start, with perhaps a gold star next to full price, and silver next to concession rates. Those kind of things can work very well.

          Hm, might be a good start-up idea .. the fully integrated paid blog!

          • djos
            Posted 17/07/2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink |

            @James No worries mate, I figured you weren’t being malicious. :-)

          • SMEMatt
            Posted 17/07/2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink |

            Would I spend $10/month on delimiter 2.0 maybe/maybe not, at some time in the not to distant future I would expect to, likely next time subscription reviews come around at work. The look like the kind of articles I would read based on the free component and I could deferentially see myself click to pay $2-$3 for a one off article on a topic that interest me. Good luck with the new site, I will likely be there in the future depending on the topics covered.

            • Posted 18/07/2013 at 1:52 am | Permalink |

              No worries, I understand! I hope to convince you of the value, with great content :)

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers, much appreciated! And great suggestions. I haven’t quite worked out the forwarding stuff yet, but I think I will get this nailed down at some point.

    21. Paul Walker
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink |

      Like many here, $10pm is too much for me as it just doesn’t compare in value to other content that I pay for. For me < $5pm would certainly be my sweet spot.

      I also have some suggestions:

      1) Perhaps a lower price for people prepared to sign up for a year.

      2) An audio version. I read a lot of content and having content in audio format allows me to squeeze it into spare time (like when washing the dishes) rather than having to find time at home or at work.

      Good luck with your new venture.

      • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink |

        Very good suggestions! Thanks for the feedback :) Much appreciated.

        For now I’m happy with the pricing model, so I’m going to stick with it. In terms of the audio version, unfortunately that’s out of spec for the moment, but it may be something we look at in future.

    22. Ray Herring
      Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink |

      I’ma gonna do it, omg, i’ma so gonna frackin’ do it!!!!!

      Seriously, love reading delimiter several times a day, I do read itnews.com.au but honestly i prefer Delimiter as i find you go further into it instead of just regurgitating MSM, etc…

      I would have been more than happy paying $20.00 a month.

      What i do like though, is that D2 will weed out the trolls, since trolls don’t tend to pay for things like this, and means that the comments for an article in D2 should be much more interesting with people providing facts or asking questions that should help the debate instead of people just blindly regurgitating through comments what their favourite politician or MSM feeds them through the teet!

      • Ray Herring
        Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink |

        Errrr, forgot to include…. I DID IT!!! I Subscribed.

        Will the comments section on D2 have an ‘edit’ feature?

        • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink |

          Awesome, cheers! Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot to me :)

          We’re using Disqus as the comments system on D2, so yes, there is edit functionality. I think I have it switched on, if it doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll fix it.

          I’m looking at implementing Disqus on Delimiter 1.0 eventually as well — it seems the best out of the various systems. I tried it a few years back and it didn’t work well, but they seem to have improved it a great deal since.

          I agree in terms of the debate on Delimiter 2.0 — although comments are open for anyone to comment irrespective of whether they have a subscription, of course it will be difficult to comment in an informed way unless they have read the full article. I anticipate this will mean a higher quality of debate — in fact, it’s one of my aims for the site in general. Not that the quality of the debate on Delimiter is terrible, but I do have to force the combatants away from each others’ throats at some points ;)

          • Ray Herring
            Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink |

            Yeah, when i read the comments on D1 i tend to see 1 person just regurgitating what their favourite MSM or politician told them and then see others all try and set them straight but they continue down that path.

            Generally with the NBN debate it had always been about how it wasn’t on-budget, etc…

            • Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink |

              *sigh* yeah there is a lot of that

              With D2, I want to get out of a lot of the standard debates and go a bit further afield. For example, something I’m researching at the moment is not the standard debate about the current policies leading up to the election, but what happens after the election? What happens to the various players, in the case that either side wins? What happens a year down the track?

              So much of the debate in the telco sector is really stultified around a limited set of issues, repeated ad infinitum. I really want to open up the thinking with D2 and take a broader, more intelligent, more open-minded view. Because after all, if we’re only thinking less than a year down the track … are we really thinking at all?

              • Ray Herring
                Posted 16/07/2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink |

                Very much agreed, i may not be full bottle on things, but at least hopefully if i post a comment on D2, it’ll be to ask a question, because there is no way that i could post a comment and then find facts to back it up.

                Even if i don’t post a comment, i still find this $10.00 money worth spent as what i do read will provide a much more meaningful debate and allow me to become more knowledgeable on the subject allowing me to actually engage in the debate later on.

    23. Douglas
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink |

      All the best with your new venture Renai.

    24. Richard
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink |

      The comments echo mine too, that the price at first glance is a little on the high side.

      I’m sure your timing is deliberate with Fairfax/News turning on their walls, but maybe you could consider elaborating on how you chose your price point, as it’s an area we are all grappling with at the moment.

      • Posted 17/07/2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

        No worries! I understand the price point is not perfect for everyone. However, I’m happy with it at this point. I hope to convince you that it’s worth it, with great content :)

    25. Rory
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

      I think this is a great idea and shows courage that you included a paywall which no doubt is very scary to alot of publishers due to all the free sources on the internet. But as Jonathon Holmes said, good journalism needs to be paid for and $10/month to me is reasonable for the articles you write Renai.

      • Rory
        Posted 17/07/2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

        Actually 1 recommendation I would make is the ability to buy the Delimiter subscription in blocks, eg 6months, 1 year etc. As someone who has been bitten by subscriptions before (thanks SOE) this would be a nice addition

        • Posted 17/07/2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink |

          I have thought about this — and it may be an option in future :) The good thing about a monthly subscription is you can cancel any time etc.

      • Posted 17/07/2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink |

        Cheers, thanks for your kind words! Much appreciated!

    26. NPSF3000
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink |

      Hmm… I’ll think about it. Would have preferred a more exciting system, like Pay What You Want, if solely for the gimmick.

      • Posted 17/07/2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

        “if solely for the gimmick”

        I can’t eat gimmicks ;)

    27. Douglas
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

      Tough crowd.

    28. Luke
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

      I pay $8 per month for Netflix and $12 per month for Spotify. No ads.

      ALL news websites are way out of step with other entertainment subscription costs.

      For $20 per YEAR I can get 30 issues of Rolling Stone magazine, okay sure it’s ad-supported, but that’s also much better value.

      There’s no way I’m paying $10/m for a premium Delimiter. I actually would pay $1 per month though.

      • Posted 17/07/2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

        No worries, Luke, I hope to convince you of the value in future, with excellent writing :) Delimiter 2.0 isn’t going to be for everyone.

    29. Tailgator
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink |

      $9.95? $9.95 !!!!!! Oh well, I suppose it’s better than $9.99 ;-)

      But what will I do with the left over 0.05c ????

      The best of luck with it. :-)

    30. The12thMan
      Posted 17/07/2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink |

      Paywall? No thanks.

      Good luck with it though.

      • Posted 18/07/2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink |

        Cheers :) I hope to persuade you eventually with great content :)

    31. Daniel
      Posted 18/07/2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink |

      You don’t need to answer back to my comment Renai as I am further building the case for you to bring down the price.

      I get you are sticking to your guns but ultimately you will have to come down in price. I too would be convinced at $5 / mth. My logic is NY Times costs me $15 / mth with the masses of content it gives me, Netflix $8 / mth… there is no way Delimiter is worth $10 / mth and some would argue not worth $5 but I do think what you are doing is worthwhile so I am willing to pay $5 / mth.

      Thanks for the good work thus far. Delimiter is the only Australian technology site I bother to read.

      • Posted 19/07/2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink |

        Hehe no worries :) I am happy with the pricing at the moment; I hope to convince you of the value with great content! :)

    32. David Jeisman
      Posted 19/07/2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink |

      Good luck with this Renai.

      David Simon has a number of good posts somewhere on his blog about paywalls. Quality journalism needs to be paid for and digital advertising does not cut it. Over the last 15 years we’ve seen newspapers give away their content for free and the accompanying decline in journalism has been undeniable. I’d love to see the Guardian Australia expand (or perhaps a new venture) and go to a paywall — I think it’s probably too late for the Australian and Fairfax papers.

      I have to echo earlier posters on the pricing. $10/month seems like a fair amount if all of Delimiter was expanded and paywalled. However, for just a small amount of longer articles/opinion pieces it doesn’t seem to be good value at this point in time — it looks more like a subsidy of Delimiter 1.0. I think I will subscribe for awhile at least as an investment in independent journalism :) I’d urge you to either paywall all of Delimiter or to rethink your price point.

      • Posted 19/07/2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink |

        Cheers David! Thanks for subscribing! I hope to convince you of the value in the long-term :)

        I think subscription services will clearly be part of the future of journalism, but not all of it.

        I’m not planning to paywall all of Delimiter, for two reasons. Firstly, it would eliminate an already good revenue stream — advertising. I can’t just cut that off, and there’s no reason to, as it’s performing well. I also don’t want to have a paywall and ads on the same site — that would be a bit tacky. However, secondly, I don’t want to annoy readers by taking away something they’ve had for 3.5 years for free. I don’t want to force people into anything — I want to give them the option of getting extra great content as a premium layer on top, in a way which will incentivise me to create more great high-level content.

        I have been listening, and have heard quite a few people say that $10 a month is a lot. However, I’ve also had quite a few people subscribe at that level — probably more than I was planning for. Of course I’ll look at the pricing in future, but for now I think it’s a good level :) If I did change the pricing in future, it would likely be to add more options (yearly etc), or per-article purchasing, rather than bringing the overall price down. Hope this makes sense! :)

        And thanks for your kind words!




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