Here’s a quick update to our item yesterday about eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s new startup, Honolulu Civil Beat, a news source and community discussion hub that charges users $20 a month for full access to the site.We wondered, given the relatively steep price tag (that’s $240 per year for a community news site when the vast majority of major news organisations are stll giving their online content away for free), how many people had signed on as members as of launch, and what the site’s monthly and yearly membership goals were.
We also wanted clarification on exactly what you get as a paid member, since not all of the site’s features seem to be behind a paywall.
Sarah Steven, a spokeswoman for the site, declined to comment on membership numbers.
But she gave us the following break down on members versus non-members:
Articles: full access, sharing (50-60 thought-provoking articles each month)
Topic Pages: full access, sharing (Easy-to-understand research & analysis that gives members the tools to get up-to-speed and understand important issues; these pages are living documents that are constantly updated to reflect current events.)
Discussions: full access, commenting (Conversations with real people including Civil Beat’s news staff; Members also get their own page so that members have an opportunity to get to know one another)
Twitter feeds: full view on CB site, ability to reply/interact via CB site or via Twitter (Twitter name: @civilbeat ; hashtag #becivil)
Articles: headline & summaries, access to full stories if shared by CB member (*see note below)
Topic pages: Summaries, access to full view if shared by CB member (*see note below)
Discussions: full access, no commenting
Twitter feeds: full view on CB site, ability to reply via Twitter
* A CB member can share an article or topic page with a non-member by sending them a link. To access the link, non-members should simply create a CB account using PayPal for verification. This process is free of charge; CB uses PayPal to verify that you are a real human, with a real name – so that we don’t have to do that ourselves.
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