Yesterday, we rolled out RedState VIP. The program marks a change in how RedState operates, that is, we are adding subscription modules, but in doing so we are trying to preserve the spirit that has allowed RedState to survive for 15 years.
The driving force behind this is to try to develop a community of supporters who will prevent us from being held hostage by the tech giants. In particular, by Facebook. Facebook employs the far-left group Politifact to fact check stories. If a story does not pass their muster then it is flagged and traffic from the whole site suffers. Or you can revise the article to meet their sensibilities. Were it simply a question of them saying, “Hey, there are actually 50 states, not 57” that would be one thing. But these are the people who fact check opinions. They found Ted Cruz’s opinion on the Iran nuclear deal to be “mostly false,” while they rated “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” as “mostly true.” It is difficult for any conservative site to survive, much less prosper, in this environment and during an election year it will be damned near impossible to really critique the Democrat candidate when they have top cover from the main distributor of our content.
Another direct threat to our business model is the reluctance of advertisers to have their products and services appear on partisan websites. This is a sensible decision from their point of view as an ad appearing on the “wrong” website can unleash a Twitter mob. As the advertising pool grows smaller, everyone becomes more vulnerable to social media mobs and astroturfed boycott campaigns.
What RedState VIP Is
RedState VIP allows you to support the site directly. By joining, you — at least — get an ad-free experience. A small amount of our content is now paywalled. As we move forward, there will be an increased amount of content developed exclusively for RedState VIP members. Your support will enable us to produce better content and to undertake projects that will increase the impact of the site.
What RedState VIP Is Not
We are not like some major sites that limit you to ten articles per month. The lion’s share of RedState content will continue to be free. All of our writers will be producing both free and paywall content. Currently, we publish, on average, over 30 articles per day. Trust me, you will have plenty of content to read.
The shift in business models was not something we entered into lightly. We value our readers and the community we have built here. We really hope you will continue to participate here and support us.
What I Need From You
Sound off. You are the folks who provide the reason we exist. You are the real board of directors. Tell me what you think. Give me your ideas. Tell us the fixes we need to make.