First, thank you. Thank you for being a reader and signing up for Prime one year ago. It's a critical part of what we're trying to build at TPM going forward, and you made it possible by being early adopters a year ago. As I've said before, I'm sending this email to all Prime Launch Members. But this is a real email. This is my address. I really hope you'll ping me back with your thoughts, ideas, concerns, haikus. Whatever. I want to hear from you.
Before anything else, I want to make sure you know about the new features we launched just over two weeks ago that dramatically enhance the Prime experience and really make Prime what we always meant it to be.
First, Prime now exists throughout the entire site. It's no longer an island off somewhere else from the rest of TPM. It's a premium version of the site itself. Once you log in you get a premium site layout that has dramatically fewer ads and none of the really annoying ones — the pop-ups, that little 'bumper' at the bottom of the page — or anything else that's in your face like that. Story pages are cleaner and less cluttered, with more focus on the story and fewer distractions.
We've also added two new features to help you navigate and keep track of what we're publishing on the site - bookmarks and "New To You", one easy to find place where you can see everything that's been published since your last visit. We've also opened full-feed, ad-free RSS feeds for Prime subscribers.
We also published our first "mini", now renamed "longforms". Our first, "Fort Meade, We Have a Problem…" looks at the culture clash the NSA and the hacker/coding community it must rely on to create its surveillance systems, defenses against cyber-attacks as well as offensive cyber-weapons.
Going forward we'll be publishing two of these 'longform' pieces per month, available only to Prime subscribers. As our subscriber base grows we plan to grow that number.
Finally, we've rebranded the forums as The Hive, where we're building an increasingly lively discussion area and where we'll be holding our live chat with outside experts, newsmakers and more.
Next, an apology. A lot of this took us a lot longer to get off the ground than we expected. I don't want to make your eyes glaze over with tech details. But the gist is that we couldn't provide the kind of integrated Prime experience, a premium TPM experience, with our existing publishing platform (CMS, in tech speak). So that launched us on what ended up being almost a year long project to build, even with our very limited tech resources, an entirely new, custom-built publishing platform that not only made the relaunched version of Prime possible but also significantly improved the site for everyone. It opens up a new world of possibilities for us. And you made it possible. You've probably noticed, whether you're logged into Prime or not, the site now downloads much faster than it did in the bad old pre-relaunch days.
I want to thank every one of you for your patience and your support as we got Prime to where it should be. As a token of our appreciation, every launch member who reupps for a second year of Prime will have their subscription extended an extra three months. In other words, rather than your subscription coming up again in October 2014, it will be extended to January 15th, 2015.
Thank you again. And if you haven't already, I really hope you'll check out what Prime now offers. Launch memberships expire on October 15th, 2013. If you're account is on auto-renew, you'll automatically be billed on that day. If you're not, we really hope you'll check out the new stuff and reupp for everything we've got in store for this coming year.
Thanks again for making what we do possible,