Announcing The New Techdirt Insider Shop

from the rtb dept

A few years ago, in the pre-Kickstarter (but post-artists-crowdfunding) world, we decided that there was no reason why some of the basic experiments for funding that musicians were doing shouldn't apply to blogs as well. So we launched our own "tiered" "CwF+RtB" (Connect with Fans + Reasons to Buy) store entirely as an experiment. By the end of the year, we made over $50,000 with it, which exceeded any modest expectations we might have had. Since then, it's always been on the list of things to do to update the store in a big way, and a few months ago, we finally decided to focus in on it. While it took longer than we expected, we're proud to launch the new version:

The Techdirt Insider Shop

It has many of the same offerings that the original had, but a bunch of new and expanded offerings as well. It's designed more as a store than a "tiered" setup, so shop around a bit. We'll have a few more posts highlighting some key features and merchandise, but for those of you already familiar with the Techdirt Crystal Ball -- which allows you to get early access to some stories and preview the headlines of others -- that's still around, but it's now been expanded, so you get to see some stories up to two hours early, rather than just one. And, if you sign up for a premium package, you can even get the brand new Crystal Ball Plus, which gives you pretty detailed access to all sorts of posts we're working on, including false-start stories that never make it onto the site, and some works that are very much in progress. If you're already a Techdirt Crystal Ball subscriber, your account has been upgraded to the new version, meaning you get to see more stories earlier, and you get some other features.

We also have some brand new features on the site for Insiders, including the new First Word/Last Word offering, which I'll have another post discussing in more detail a little later today. There's also the brand new Insider Chat which all of you should be able to see to your right. Certain Insider membership packages allow you to join in the chat. Without one of those... you can still view the chat, but you can't participate. Also, for those who sign up for longer term packages, we have a number of offerings, including special Insider Hangouts (using Google+'s Hangouts feature), which should be a lot of fun. Check out the store for a detailed explanation of all the new blog features that are available.

You want more gear? We've got more gear, including new t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, bottles and other assorted paraphernalia. We've got a brand new Seized t-shirt in honor of various domain seizures (more on that later!) and an updated DMCA takedown t-shirt. The original was our most popular seller, so don't miss out on the new, revamped version. We've also got a very special, limited edition Techdirt staff bundle -- of which only five are available to buy. These are special staff-only hoodies and an assortment of other goodies. If you don't want to splurge to that level (or if they all sell out before you get a chance) we've got some other hoodies to choose from.

Downloads? We've got downloads. You can "pay what you want" for the ebook version of my book Approaching Infinity (built off a collection of Techdirt posts) or our famed Sky is Rising report. Name your price and help support more such works in the future! Hell, if you don't want anything specific in return, you can also just donate some money.

There's plenty more as well, including getting lunch with me -- which we offered only as a one week special last time, but it was quite popular (and a lot of fun) -- as well as the indisputably Awesome Day with Techdirt (which a few folks did last time around, and it really was quite awesome). There are also various business services that tie back into how we normally make a living.

And, last and most certainly least, we still have options for those of you who hate Techdirt. Last time around, we offered to take a year off for merely $100-million, and surprisingly none of you took us up on it. We did have some requests for pro-rated offerings, so we'll now shut down for 24 hours for just $1 million (pocket change!). As for the big one? Well, we always hear the haters insist that price is equal to value, and no one appeared to value that $100-million offering enough... so the price is going up. You can shut us up for an entire year for the new, more luxurious price of $100,000,001. Hurry up. We may raise the prices again before you know it.

Either way, the store platform we've put together is a lot more robust, and we're hopeful that we can do a bunch of other things with it over the next few months and years, so shop away...

Please note that while we've been testing the new store & features extensively, when things go live, problems always pop up. If you spot any errors or bugs, please let us know and we'll get to them as quickly as possible...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    So a paywall?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    No a wall of pay. A barrier of financial recoupment.

    Just kidding good luck to you sir

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    I guess the tip jar/begging model failed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:09am

      Re:

      $50000/year (+getting paid for your regular job) is a failure?

      Ah, I see. You must be one of those people that look at those graphs of the music industry profits that consistently show record increases in profit, and goes like "See! Piracy is killing the music business!!!."

       

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      fogbugzd (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      Free can be part of a business model. It is not an entire business model.

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Complaint

    I would like to lodge, AGAIN, a complaint that this Techdirt RTB store once again does not include my proposed "Dark Helmet Nude Calendar" idea. I can think of no better way to expand Techdirt's female reader demographic than a lovingly printed calendar of me in the buff celebrating the various seasons.

    This could easily sell for $100/ea and work the fund to create new and future nude calendars....

     

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    Tim K (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

    pay·wall
    Noun:
    (on a Web site) An arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to the site.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:07am

      Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

      I'd add the words access "to a site's content" is restricted.

      This isn't a paywall because the only things you're restricted from are physical goods outside the website's content or participation in the chat room.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

        Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

        How do I get in on the water cooler, insider chat and crystal ball content without paying?

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

          You don't, and yet none of that keeps you from enjoying the site's content. You still see all the posts and you even see the chat room. You see everything, and without paying, too.

          But kudos for helping to drive the point home....

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

            Oh, so it's like a windowed release

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

              Hmm, so you apparently don't understand what a windowed release is either. That's okay, post-lobotomy patient, I'm here to help.

              A window release is where you release different formats of the same thing to everyone at once. For example, Avatar comes out in 3D in the theatres to the entire public. Then, 3 years later, it comes out in 3D on BluRay to the entire public. Window release.

              This is a members only offering, where a temporary preview is available to insiders.

              Look, to save us all some time, why don't you just make your next comment a list of terms you don't understand and I'll sort it out for you, yes?

               

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                The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

                I feel like you should end more comments with "I'm surrounded by assholes!".

                 

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

                  KEEP FIRING, ASSHOLES!!!!

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

                    ohhh that hit a nerve... lol well done..

                     

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          G Thompson (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

          You need to forcefully and with great excitement vote for Dark Helmet appearing nude in a calendar..

          Please note that the rest of the community will flame you, with real flame throwers most likely, but DH would most likely stop his nude posing of 'the thinker' with glee and whilst jumping up and down yelling "see someone loves me" (and making everyone else giggle at his junk flopping...OMG the image.. get it out) probably pay for you.

          ożo

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

        Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

        you lie, you also are restricted from reading articles before everyone else is able to read it.. ie a paywall..

         

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          That One Guy (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

          Yes indeed, kept from reading the articles for what, one or two hours at most? Truly a dire and nefarious paywall indeed.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 12:40am

          Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

          If only we were spared AC comments for the same amount of time... Just think, a few hours of honest factual discussion before the name-calling, distortions and lies come in the door!

           

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            Nasch, Aug 17th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

            This would be so awesome. Registered users only for some period of time after a story is posted.

             

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      Atkray (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:21am

      Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

      man that last word thing is ginormous.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

        For funnies, I'm tempted to make this the First Word....

         

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: For those who continue to not understand what a paywall is..

        As it should be.

        Maybe these could start appearing on the main page instead of only being visible if you go to the comments.

         

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Awww...

    I was hoping to get a TD crystal ball that, when shaken, rains down DMCA notices instead of snow.

    Oh well. Maybe next time.

     

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Element ID .callout has been hidden.

    Thank you for your participation.

     

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    Vog (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Looks like I have the Insider badge after getting the Water Cooler package, but no luck with the chat.

     

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    Vog (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    I'm just counting the days until one of boB's comments is promoted to first/last word "ironically".

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Bug/Typo

    The what is this tooltip/popup thing (click the ? icon) shows up as:

    What's this?

    Also, totally awesome. Will be getting a shirt, probably chat, and more.

     

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      Tim K (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:33am

      Re: Bug/Typo

      Works for me, below What's this? it's displaying:
      Techdirt Insiders, who've purchased a package at the Techdirt Crystal Ball level or above, can specify a number of comments each month as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular post. Doing so pins and highlights the comment at the beginning or end of the comment thread.

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:39am

      Re: Bug/Typo

      Are you only seeing "What's This?" If so let us know - should be showing the descriptive text Tim K quotes above.

      There is a post explaining the new First Word/Last Word feature in more detail coming out in a few minutes, so stay tuned! You can also read about it here:

      http://rtb.techdirt.com/features/

       

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        Vog (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:44am

        Re: Re: Bug/Typo

        Can you clarify whether the rights to promote 5 comments accrue if unused? I'm curious. I can't say I would like to promote unworthy comments just because I would otherwise forfeit the privilege.

         

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          Leigh Beadon (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:56am

          Re: Re: Re: Bug/Typo

          Monthly credits that come with monthly subscriptions don't accrue, no - they replenish to the monthly amount.

          Luckily, we usually have no shortage of worthy comments! :)

           

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            Vog (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Bug/Typo

            Haha. Just presenting a point, although I'm normally extremely selective about how and when I contribute to discussions. We'll see how many of these I end up using.

             

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re: Bug/Typo

        Hmm. Might be my browser.

        IE8 on WinXP on a fairly well locked down network at work. I'll take a look when I get home, or try to get a screenshot.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Looks good all around, but it kinda sucks that the chat panel is only for insiders.

    Also, shouldn't the last word/first word thing be voted by the community and not just insiders? Probably based on the Insightful/Funny score?

    Just my 2 cents. Still, good update. Good luck in your endeavours Techdirt.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      Looks good all around, but it kinda sucks that the chat panel is only for insiders.

      If I had to guess, that's probably due to limitations chat-side with regards to having multiple AC's posting, as well as a way to keep the usual trolls from just spamming it up and making it useless.

       

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    fogbugzd (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    I notice that shirt sizes only go up to 2XL. They probably won't fit your average TD reader.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Disappointed.

    C'mon, where the "This t-shirt/hoodie/coffee mug is not available in your country."?

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:39am

      Re: Disappointed.

      C'mon, where the "This t-shirt/hoodie/coffee mug is not available in your country."?


      Stay tuned... :) One new shirt at a time.

       

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        The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:41am

        Re: Re: Disappointed.

        Wait.. did I just get the power to ask for something and it be delivered by Techdirt?!

        ....C'mon, where are the edit comment buttons? :-)

         

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    I want to see some Techdirt emoticons, mainly a representation of Jeff Bridges saying "Yeah, well that's just, like, your opinion, man."

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Rollovers

    I love how when you roll over the Techdirt Water Bottle, it says "It also works for Kool-Aid."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Masnick has some bills to pay :)

    Quick Masnick needs MONEY.... willing to sell his soul, and anything else people are willing to pay for..

    please help masnick pay his electricity bill, I mean it would be REALLY terrible if Masnick went away forever....

    oh wait...

    what you are noting making millions by selling your balls ??

    Please Masnick is desperate.. has no talent, and nothing to offer.. not capable of getting a REAL job.. or creating anything

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

    yes, it's a paywall allright

    just masnick does not like to admit it..

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 11:37pm

    We need more t-shirts with slogans for sale..

    I'll start:

    "At Techdirt... the trolls feed you!"

     

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    Lisa Westveld (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 1:07am

    Looks great! I wanted to buy a bunch of stuff. So, I used Chrome to visit the shop, selected the first item and then started to search for a buy or purchase button...

    Five hours later, I've still not found it! So I guess you're not really want to sell stuff. :-)

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 2:34am

      Re:

      Looks great! I wanted to buy a bunch of stuff. So, I used Chrome to visit the shop, selected the first item and then started to search for a buy or purchase button...

      Five hours later, I've still not found it! So I guess you're not really want to sell stuff. :-)


      At the bottom of each item page there's an "add to cart" button and then plenty of ways to get to the cart... We've had plenty of orders all day, so this doesn't appear to be a widespread issue. Do you not see the "add to cart" option?

      I'm wondering if there's something specific to your setup that has hidden the button, but let us know the details (you can contact us via the form if you'd prefer to do it that way) and we'll see what we can do.

       

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        G Thompson (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 3:15am

        Re: Re:

        Hmmm For some reason, I never noticed it first I am not seeing any ability to Add to the cart either. I see the Cart (with zero items) in top right corner and when pressing the script window opens showing nothing is in it, but there is no access to ADD to the thing on any window .

        I was curious and thought ok maybe its an extension under firefox, but turning them all off it still does not become visible.

        So I then tried chrome with no luck (on any mode) and then bit the bullet and tried IE and still no luck.

        I can see looking at the source where it is supposedly supposed to be but it's just not there.

        Could it by chance be a geo-location problem in Foxyshop? Which would make sense. I'm at home at moment and have no way to easily trick the system to think I'm from another location, but I'd look at that first.

        Email me Mike (or your web dev dude can) and I will send my generated source for all elements and html/CSS code that the user-side has generated here.

        Strange.. though at least it's given me pause so I don't pay that million dollars to give you a much needed 24hrs of rest ;)

         

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          G Thompson (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 3:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The other thing it might be (and more likely) is that it is not linking up with the main User Account DB of Techdirt since there is no way to access a login or otherwise on the shop site, so I will assume it is suing the the encrypted session cookie from TD login and running a SQL on the TD DBMS and using that info as login to the shop/cart (one hopes).

          That could be the culprit since just looked at other live sites using FoxyShop/FoxyCart and in USA and they all show "add to cart" button beside the prices etc.

           

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        Lisa Westveld (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 4:06am

        Re: Re:

        Well, I use Google Chrome, latest version. And I'm an insider as you can see by my icon.
        What I can see is this screenshot on my website which doesn't seem to contain any option to actually purchase anything.

        Maybe it's because I'm not in the USA?

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 7:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, I use Google Chrome, latest version. And I'm an insider as you can see by my icon.
          What I can see is this screenshot on my website which doesn't seem to contain any option to actually purchase anything.

          Maybe it's because I'm not in the USA?


          Yup, turns out we made a mistake last night and turned off the button (oops). It's back now.

           

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            Lisa Westveld (profile), Aug 17th, 2012 @ 11:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You won't sell much when the "Buy" button is disabled.

            Also, I've noticed another problem. I wanted to order a t-shirt for a friend of mine which costs $29.00 but shipping costs to the Netherlands adds another $47.95 to the price. Wow! With such expensive shipping costs, you won't sell much merchandise outside the USA.
            Cancelling that order again... Way too expensive! :-)

            Please keep in mind that Techdirt has plenty of international visitors. Maybe you should find a way to cut those costs?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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