TidBITS redesign

I’ve been reading the TidBITS newsletter for years. They’ve been publishing it for 28 years; I’ve been subscribing to it for more than ten. (I’m not sure how long exactly, but at least since 2002.) They just unveiled a new design and back-end after many years under the old design and system. The new system is based on WordPress, which isn’t surprising. Lots of websites (including mine) are running on WordPress these days. The design looks good. I haven’t seen any hiccups with the back-end yet, so hopefully they’ve done a good job with that. TidBITS has always been a good source of Apple news and analysis, better in general than most of the more modern web sites. (I won’t mention specific sites, but I’m thinking of certain sites with a lot of “top ten” listicles, sponsored content, and more space devoted to ads than articles.)

I’m always interested in how sites like TidBITS remain commercially viable. I doubt they make much money from ads these days. They probably get a modest amount of money from their membership program. And they have something called the TidBITS Content Network now too, which is interesting. They used to run Take Control Books also, but they sold that off a while back. I should probably pay them for a one-year membership. I keep meaning to do that, but I never quite get around to it.

I like the newsletter model for this kind of content, and I wish more people would use it. I’d love to find a Windows newsletter that’s as good as TidBITS. Years ago, I used to subscribe to Windows Secrets and that was pretty good for a while. It looks like they’re still around, but as a paid newsletter only, and it appears that none of the original contributors to the site are still involved. I found a recent post on Woody Leonhard’s site that runs through a little of the history of Windows Secrets. It used to have a lot of good content, from people like Woody, and Brian Livingston, and a couple of other good tech writers whose names I can’t remember now.

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