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December 2002

Our subscription system is currently offline. We hope to be able to offer ad-free subscriptions again in the near future.

By becoming a subscriber, you support Low End Mac (LEM) and receive benefits such as ad-free access to our site and discounted prices on merchandise from the Low End Mac Store. Charter subscribers will receive our lowest subscription rates as long as they don't let their subscriptions lapse.

Subscriptions are available at $2.50 per month, $7.00 per quarter, or $24.00 per year.

You already know the value of Low End Mac -- new content Monday through Friday (700-800 new articles per year), including advice from Mac users around the world, as well as links to some of the best content around the Web. And if you subscribe, having our pages load without ads could cut download time by half (and no more flashing banner ads!).

We appreciate your visiting us, a choice nearly a quarter-million Mac fans make every month. And we appreciate your support.

We Need Your Support

I quit my day job as a Macintosh Information Systems Manager to publish Low End Mac full-time. Income during the 4-5 months prior to this had exceeded what I earned working "for the man" 40-45 hours a week. This is what I loved to do. Everything looked just right, so I made my move.

Bad timing. That was precisely when the dot-com collapse took its toll on online ad rates. It costs us about $3,000 a month/$750 a week, to run Low End Mac (trimmed from about $3,600 in early 2001). Ad income has been falling further and further from that goal.

We've been looking into various models such as micropayments and subscriptions -- and we're very grateful to the hundreds of Mac users who donated thousands of dollars to keep LEM afloat in 2001.

Subscriptions

We've been working with BackBeat Media, the folks who manage ads for LEM, to come up with a workable subscription system. You can read more at the BackBeat Subscription FAQ.

Unlike many sites, we are not offering subscriber only content, nor are we blocking access to any existing content for non-subscribers. Instead, we're offering the opportunity to visit Low End Mac without seeing ads.

We offer special access to subscribers, such as our Mobile Edition for Palm users. We also offering subscribers reduced prices on merchandise from the Low End Mac Store -- mugs, T-shirts, mouse pads, and more.

Our annual subscription rate is US$24.00 -- that's less than 7¢ a day.

The subscription engine uses cookies and JavaScript, so your browser has to work with both if you want ad-free content. (For tips on configuring iCab, click here.) At this point, you must pay with a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express debit or credit card.

(Because our message boards are on a completely different server and use a completely different domain, the ad-free option does not work there. Also, displaying some ads is a requirement for the service.)

Three new subscribers a day -- 90-100 per month -- will help put us on a good financial footing; 6 would make a big difference; and 10 a day would provide all the finances we need to cover our costs and continue growing.

Why Are We Doing This?

A lot of you are already supporting Low End Mac, and we really appreciate it. By adding a subscription option, you can support LEM and benefit from faster load times and the elimination of ads. That doesn't mean we won't accept donations, but we'd also want to give site supporters the option of ad-free content. (If you feel like sending additional donations, we won't complain.)

For those who wish to enjoy our content the same way they always have -- paid for by ads -- nothing will change. We promise that all our computer profiles and articles will remain freely accessible to subscribers and non-subscribers alike.

Dan Knight, publisher

For more details on the subscription system, see the BackBeat Media Site Subscription FAQ.

Low End Mac is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. Opinions expressed are those of their authors and may not reflect the opinion of Cobweb Publishing. Advice is presented in good faith, but what works for one may not work for all.
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