Most web sites generate less income than they cost to maintain. Mine is no exception. Because I want to preserve free access to the site, I've come up with an idea I'd like to run by you. I'm announcing The Ebert Club, which will offer a group of additional attractions and conveniences for members.
Membership in the club will not be expensive. Through March, we'll have a special introductory rate of $4.99 for a year's membership. After April 1, the price will shoot up to $5. No, this is not an April Fool's joke. April 1 is the date I was appointed movie critic of the Sun-Times, and I plan to live it up.
Your membership benefits will include:
1. The site's RSS/Newsletter feed, which Includes quick clickable links to all my new reviews and other site content. (Full disclosure: This will also continue to be free).
2. Quick links to my Special Pages for Twitter. These are free-standing web pages I create on the spur of a notion.
3. Quick links to new postings on Roger Ebert's Journal and Jim Emerson's Scanners.
4. Selected @ebertchicago, winnowed to improve the signal to noise ratio. All the joys of following my Twitter stream, from the comfort of your inbox.
5. A private discussion thread for Club members. This will resemble one of the comment threads on my Journal, but its URL will be made available to members only.
6. The Web Report: Unexpected and delightful web discoveries. I find links myself. Readers send me amazing pages. As a club member, we will not bother you with anything dumb.
7. Occasional Special Pages for club members only.
8. Advance notice of Ebertfest tickets going on sale. The festival sells out early every year. At Ebertfest, I'll hold a meet-and-greet for club members.
9. You will be helping enormously to support this web site. Well, that's worth something, isn't it?
10. We're open to your suggestions about live chats for Club members only and things like that.
Click on the link below if you'd like to join us.