Q: Subscriptions? Paying to not see ads? This must mean K5 is on the brink of bankruptcy! Every time someone does this, it means they're about to go under.
A: Actually, we're doing fine. Ever since we started running ads, a few people have suggested this as a good way for people to support the site, and still enjoy ad-free K5, like the good old days. We agreed, but it's taken me forever to get off my lazy ass and code it.
Q: So what's the deal?
A: You give us $5 a month, we shut off the top and bottom banners. Pretty simple.
Q: FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH! You must be out of your mind! I'd NEVER pay that much for anything!
A: Well, that's ok. If it's too much for you, there are free ways to do essentially the same thing. Do think about how much five dollars actually is, though. It's two cups of coffee at Starbucks. It's an extra-value meal and an apple pie at McDonalds. It's about 1/6th of a car wash. I think K5 is worth five bucks a month, but then, I'm totally biased. :-)
Even more interesting, look at the magazines you read. You generally pay more than that for a subscription, and get lots of ads anyway. Something to think about...
Q: So it's a guilt ploy eh?
A: No. I'm happy if you're happy. You guys write everything that actually makes the site worth visiting, and that's worth a lot. This is just an option, for people who'd like to take advantage of it. More options are good.
Q: Does this mean you're going to start putting pop-up ads everywhere, and ads between all the comments, and great whacking big boxes in the middle of the stories like those bastards over at c|net?
A: No. We have no plans to change the size, layout, or number of ads that we run right now. Things change, over time, so who knows what'll happen in the future. But this isn't a lead-in to expanding our ad coverage.
Q: [Blatant planted softball question] Well. That sounds ok. But have you got anything to sweeten the deal a little?
A: I sure am glad I ... err, "you" asked that. In fact, right now, for an undetermined (but "limited"!) time, we'll give you a free month with every five you buy. Pay for five months, get six. Pay for 10, get twelve! And so on.
Q: Not that I ever would, but if I in fact did want to sign up, how would I?
A: Just go to the subscription page. Fill in a number of months, do the PayPal rigamarole, and you're done. You have to have a user account to subscribe, by the way.
Q: About that box on the front page... are you really going to shoot that cat?
A: No, you idiot.
Q: Isn't that just a blatant ripoff of that old National Lampoon "Buy this magazine or we'll shoot this dog" campaign?
Q: In fact, this subscription thing is exactly what Salon did, isn't it? Haven't you ever had an original idea in your life?
A: To the former, no not exactly. All the content on K5 is, and will always be, free for anyone to read. There aren't any special "subscriber-only" stories. And ads are off by default, not if you go to the trouble of turning them off. As to the latter, no, not that I'm aware of.
Q: Didn't you steal that cat image from MyCatHatesYou.com, and wasn't it actually made by someone at Geeks With Guns?
A: Yes, on both counts. And if anyone at either of these fine, fine sites, which, I might add, are two of the best on the internet, bar none, and should be visited as often as possible by everyone... ahem. As I was saying, if anyone at either site has a problem with our use of the image, we'll take it down.
Did I mention they're both stunning examples of the internet's best and brightest? I did? Good.
So, I know you'll all have lots to say about this. ;-) Go to it.