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One our newest customers, BKLYNR.com, launched their maiden issue on April 4th. In a twist for us, BKLYNR raised the initial seed money for their site using Tinypass rather than Kickstarter. (They reached their goal in 16 days. They had given themselves 30.) Thomas Rhiel, one of the site’s co-founders, explains why.
“We weren’t interested in stuffing mailers with t-shirts,” he said. “We wanted all of our time focused on producing BKLYNR itself. And with Tinypass, everyone who signs up is already entered into Tinypass’s subscription management and billing system. We also liked that we could set up Tinypass ourselves and also that it let’s us experiment to find the pricing that works”.
BKLYNR offers subscribers the choice of a recurring monthly subscription, which is $2, or a one-time annual subscription, which is $20.
The undertaking is the brainchild of three former Columbia University classmates, the aforementioned Rhiel, Raphael Pope-Sussman and Ben Cotton who all worked together at the Columbia Spectator and is an inspiring example of what Craig Mod calls Subcompact Publishing, a new breed of online writing which is “not quite website, not quite magazine, not quite book” – rather the byproduct of a close collaboration between writers, technologists and product designers.
Thomas, whose day job is at Google where he works on the Google Apps team, took a few minutes to help us understand what we can expect from his ambitious crew.
According to Rhiel, BKLYNR fills a hole in the market for serious, in-depth, cultural and political journalism about the borough. He and his co-founders noted the broad (and sometimes teasing) coverage of Brooklyn’s artisanal movements, food and arts scene by publications ranging from New York Magazine to the Style section of the New York Times. They also enjoy sites like Gothamist and neighborhood-specific blogs, but see a place in the market for a more magazine-like publication that’s native to the web, featuring thoughtful explorations of Brooklyn, it’s residents, issues, arts and politics.
“We all felt a need to scratch the journalism itch without leaving our day jobs” says Rhiel. “In November we were inspired when the guys at MATTER raised $140K on Kickstarter and by what Marco Arment is up to with The Magazine”.
We here at Tinypass feel strongly that the demise of the Fourth Estate has been greatly exaggerated and we are heartened not only by upstarts like BKLYNR, but also by BKLYNR’s creative use of Tinypass. We can serve the next wave of media well beyond their initial fundraising by providing all of the business functionality needed to run a premium content site. Welcome to the family BKLYNR!