(Photo by Dominique Nichole)
At Technical.ly, we set our sights on being the most insightful ally for advancing your career and finding career opportunities via our events, services and local business journalism.
To further align with those goals, this month, our membership program is changing substantially by ceasing to be a paid program. Instead, we want to know if Technical.ly has ever helped you get a job.
Fill out the Technical.ly Employment Survey to become a member and get the perks our paying members — now grandfathered into the new version — have gotten for the past two years:
- Early access to our regular events for more time with our newsroom;
- The lowest-cost ticket there is to our annual Introduced conference, held during our own Philly Tech Week, and
- A monthly newsletter with insights, curation and perks.
This decision signifies something important for us at Technical.ly: What matters most to us is the trusting relationships we can develop and support with our readers, the technologists, entrepreneurs and other professionals whom we’ve come to know for more than a decade. Our business model is built around that priority, and our previous version of membership didn’t quite fit.
We initially launched a paid individual membership program two years ago as part of a group of local publishers, including Technical.ly’s sister site Generocity.org, a trade publication for nonprofit professionals in Philadelphia. It was never expected to be a major source of revenue, but we did think it could prove part of the mix.
But even the rosiest projections never quite justified investment in this program. We never consistently retained much beyond 100 or so paying members, bringing in $10,000 in annual revenue. But as our savvy readers know as well as any audience, a rotating cast of customers deserved attention — payment processing snafus, individual requests and clarifications. It was hard to keep up, let alone invest. We couldn’t put in the time to grow this.
Though reader revenue is an exciting contributor for many local news organizations, as we developed longterm projections, the plans just didn’t make sense. If we grew to 1,000 to 1,500 members, the most aspirational conversion total by many industry standards, it would require a burdensome staffing investment. Today, I view that revenue as distracting for our team.
For the last 10 years, Technical.ly has always known that incremental earned income was far less important than the relationships made. Technical.ly is operating in a post-advertising local journalism world. We are continuing to develop a model that leverages an independent community newsroom to serve our readership in a way that will keep our professionally verified information free, accessible and actionable.
Over the last two years, hundreds of people from eight different states have viewed our work important enough to individually contribute financially. That has not been lost on us. Those early adopters are getting special consideration, and during their time, they helped us deepen our reporting. We need to do far more.
Now we’re taking what we’ve learned so far to improve our membership program with a very different approach. We’ve spent more than a decade learning how our journalism can make our communities better. This membership program is going to be elevated. We want to help advance your careers and to start, we want to learn when, why and how we’ve helped get you a job.
That’s what a Technical.ly member is to us: those whose careers we’ve helped advance, starting with job opportunities, and those who will continue to look to us for that.
Today news organizations are having an importantly introspective look at why our centuries-old craft matters. For Technical.ly, we’ve found no clearer nor healthier impact metric than how many people we’ve helped find career opportunities.
Tell us here now, and in the future, how we’ve done that. That will help us more than anything.
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