The Loop turned two years old in June and this is by far the biggest change the site has seen since its launch. I wanted to take a couple of minutes to explain the changes and why they were made.
In April, I started looking at the site the way a reader would see it, not the way the owner would see it. To be blunt, I didn’t like what I saw and knew that something needed to change.
The site looked cluttered, and it was hard for a reader to enjoy a story. This is the last thing I wanted for The Loop.
So, we spent the last few months coming up with a solution that would be better for the reader, better for our sponsors, and still allow us to make a living.
I’ve had many people come to me over the past two years and offer to send me money to help support the site. I want to thank you all for doing that. While I never took anyone up on the offer, it made me feel like I was on the right track with what I was delivering.
Now, I am offering a membership to The Loop. It costs $3 per month and can be billed to your PayPal account or your credit card (You don’t have to be a PayPal member).
So, what do you get if you become a member? Well, the most important thing is that you support the great writing you’ve come to expect from Peter and me, but in a cleaner, easier to read format.
I will also give each subscriber a full text RSS so you can read the site in your favorite news reader, at your leisure.
All of the content will remain free on The Loop. There will not be any walled-off areas and there will still be a truncated RSS feed available to everyone for free.
RSS Sponsorships are the only way for companies to directly reach The Loop’s readership. More information on the sponsorships is available elsewhere on the site, so I won’t get into a lot of detail here.
Navigating the site
From the homepage, you can click on any of the icons next to a story to view its page. There you can leave a comment or use one of the social media buttons to share the story with your friends.
The only story type that is different from the rest is the “Linked” story. With these stories you click on the headline and you go to the external Web site. The icon next to these stories is a link, so it’s easy to recognize.
First, I have to give a big thanks to all of my advertisers over the past couple of years. Companies like Pixelmator and Marketcircle have been with me since day one and others like SecureMac and Mac Game Store have been around for a long time.
Sincerely, thank you all.
Instead of packing The Loop with ads, I am partnering with Fusion Ads to have one small ad on the site. This tile is in the sidebar and will show on every page. This leaves the content of the story free from any type of advertising at all.
That is the only image-based advertisement that will be on The Loop.
Chris Bowler, the owner of Fusion, and I completely agree on what advertising should be and how it should be implemented. I’m looking forward to a long relationship between Fusion and The Loop.
The Design and thank you
I owe a huge thanks to Phil Letourneau who built the new site from the ground up. He put up with my nitpicking and said “no” on many occasions to my silly design ideas.
Much respect for the design and code, Phil.
You may notice that some of the posts on the site resemble John Gruber’s Daring Fireball linked list posts. I actually spoke with John on several occasions about having these types of posts and lots of other things to do with the site. Thanks John.
Shawn Blanc answered quite a few questions on his membership model, which I adopted for The Loop. Thanks Shawn.
Rick Fillion from Oomph has written so much code for the site over the last couple of years, I’m sure he cringes when he sees my number calling. Much respect Rick.
Last, but not least, I’d like to thank you, the reader. I truly appreciate every single comment, share, and retweet for The Loop. Never underestimate how much spreading the word about your favorite Web site means to the people who run it. It means a lot.