Issue #85 — Find out if you're ready for memberships

It’s February already, and between reading the news about Brexit and Coronavirus, we’ve pulled out the top stories and ideas in publishing for your reliable weekly roundup.

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💯 Top picks

Are you ready for membership? Ask yourself these 11 questions first

Ariel Zirulnick from The Membership Puzzle Project distills some of the biggest takeaways from three years of research into 11 important questions to ask yourself before diving in to memberships.

💸 Business models

[Podcast] Goop: The benefits (and challenges) of a polarizing brand

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has been in the limelight this week, getting criticised as ‘pseudoscience’ after the launch of their new Netflix show. Chief content officer Elise Loehnen talks to the Digiday Podcast about sharing information and having a polarising brand.

Politico's new FDA-focused subscription product costs as much as $75k a year

Politico is chasing after more subscription revenue by starting a new B2B membership product covering the Food and Drug Administration. It’s going to be called AgencyIQ, and subscriptions will cost between $25,000 - $75,000 per year.

5 simple tips on how to ask for money

The money conversation can be hard. These are a few guidelines to follow once you’ve identified a funder who could support the work you do.”

Revolutionary? A hit? A miss? In any case, Tony Haile’s Scroll has launched at last

“After more than three years of gestation, including more than one in beta, Tony Haile’s Scroll introduces its open-to-the-public version of the site today.”Scroll offers memberships that unlock ad-free browsing on all of its partner sites.

How The Minneapolis Star Tribune is driving paid digital growth while holding on to print subscribers

“The Minnesota publication is “all in” for growing digital. But there is a twist. It has a strong print base and it plans to keep it that way.”

✍️ Modern journalism

“Google itself has warned that publishers could lose up to 52% of their revenue without third-party cookies. But providing it starts to innovate around its own data, the publishing industry is actually instead on the verge of what could be a new golden age.”

Check out this article for some tips about how to prepare for this shift in digital advertising.

The truth behind filter bubbles: Bursting some myths

“Many voices warn that social media may be filtering out news that we dislike. Here’s what the research says about it.”

Maybe greater transparency can increase trust in news — but readers have to find your transparency first

Three publishers added “explanation boxes” to try and add transparency and improve trust, but the surveys found that it didn’t impact reader trust in any meaningful way.

👩‍💻 Technology

Google’s search engine for scientists upgraded for better data scouring

Google’s search engine for scientists who are looking for information, Dataset Search, is now out of beta. It launched in 2018 and uses open-source metadata tags to crawl data repositories from governments, labs, and universities. New search tools now let users filter information in more ways, and the engine’s corpus now covers almost 25 million datasets.

2020’s new emoji include the transgender flag and more gender-inclusive options

The Unicode Consortium has revealed the 117 new emoji that will be rolled out later this year. There are 62 new emoji characters and 55 new gender and skin tone variants.

Leaked documents expose the secretive market for your web browsing data

Vice investigates a popular antivirus program that was selling highly sensitive web browsing data to many of the world’s biggest companies like Google, Microsoft & Pepsi. They’ve since announced they will stop this data collection operation after this investigation was published.

🤷 WTF?

A new chatroom for 6 participants where all your messages self-destruct

Yap is “an ephemeral, real-time chat room” – the idea is that you share a piece of media with 6 people and discuss it. But each message disappears immediately, so you have to pay attention.

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