Hello readers of IrishCycle.com, I’m looking at writing up a business plan for IrishCycle.com — there’s more than enough to cover with cycling in Ireland and related issues to make it a full time job, but can it work as reader-supported journalism? Maybe even part-time?
Due to unrelated work, family and life in general, going ahead as it is now will not be sustainable.
I’m looking at models and something between BikePortland.org and StrongTowns keeps coming up, but I think the value in IrishCycle.com is mainly sticking to the journalism side of things — ie news, and comment and analysis. There’s ample general examples of reader or listener -supported media including Dublininquirer.com and Second Captains, in Ireland.
But, unlike some examples, IrishCycle.com doesn’t see its future behind a subscriber-only model. Not to be too high-minded, but to steal a phrase from The Guardian, this website also wants to be a “strong, progressive force that is open for all”. I believe the journalism of IrishCycle.com can help inform debate around cycling in Ireland and also shine a light on on-going issues which are big and small, local and national.
While IrishCycle.com is seen as having an advocacy element, I mainly view this as “here’s how it could be better” articles or campaigning journalism (ie much like The Times of London’s Fit for Cycling or The Guardian’s keep it in the ground campaign, or that’s more common in UK-based local newspapers etc).
Your input on this is very welcomed — questions, comments, or advise… drop a reply below, or direct message on Twitter, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also help by filling out the below twitter poll.
If @IrishCycle was reader-supported, how much would you likely give per month?
— IrishCycle.com (@IrishCycle) October 31, 2018
September subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com has reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October), but this is unlikely and so the new target is the end of the year.
If you can help push IrishCycle.com above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!
Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.
IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers