The Daily Grail has been a go-to resource for anybody interested in topics at the fringes of science and history for more than 15 years (that’s an eternity in internet years). But it’s tired. The interface is getting old and clunky, it doesn’t have all the features a truly great modern site should and doesn’t look so great on mobile devices, and the editors have been busting their humps for years serving the community without too much reward. And so, I’ve decided that right now, it’s time to go hard, or go home.
I want to upgrade The Daily Grail – make it look better, have more content – that is, more top quality content – and streamline it into an even better place for readers to visit. I want more long-form essays on the fascinating topics we discuss. And dagnabbit, I’d even like a podcast. But to do all these things requires a significant investment of both time, and money.
The Daily Grail has always been independent, and I think that’s the only way a site like this can operate – accepting investment from corporate entities and the like is likely to lead to the site’s vision being compromised. TDG has always been ‘by the people, for the people’, and I think that’s the natural way forward. But to go to the next level, the site will require something back from the people.
After going over many scenarios, my suggestion is this: that the site, as is, remains free with all the features it currently has. But that readers are given the chance to become members of the site, and those who do so will experience benefits for their financial support: regular long-form feature articles, also made available as eBook downloads for mobile devices; ad-free reading; monthly prize-draws of collectable swag; discounts off our books; customisable site options etc. Membership would likely be just a few dollars per month, which I think would be a bargain for what is gained in return (compare it to, say, the monthly subscription cost to a newspaper or magazine).
I think it’s an exciting idea. I hope you do too, but maybe you think it’s a horrible idea. So, to judge whether people buy into it, I’ll soon be running a Kickstarter campaign asking for your support to raise some initial capital to help realise the dream. If you’re a keen reader of The Daily Grail and want to see even more quality content, and experience a better interface, then I hope you’ll offer your support. In the meantime, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.