The End of Ricochet?

This isn’t a post we ever thought we’d have to write.

Ricochet is a labor of love for us. We envisioned it, from the very start, as a place for civil and witty conversation between and among our members and contributors — a place for great audio content, political analysis, and even more importantly, cultural conversations.

But it’s also a business. And, to be honest, it’s a business in trouble.

We need more members. If you’re reading this, and you like Ricochet, and you’re not a member, we need you – need you – to join. Today.

Every month, we get somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 unique visitors to the site. Every month, we get somewhere around 300,000 podcast downloads. And that’s growing every month. We repeat: Ricochet is growing. 

But here’s the problem: only about 1% of those visitors are members. And that’s not enough to cover our costs paying our editors and technical team even the pittance we pay them.

We insisted, from the start, that Ricochet should be a business. We decided we wouldn’t try to cover our expenses by raising money from foundations. We should submit ourselves to the marketplace. That’s the best way to know if you’re reaching people or not; If you’re filling a need or not.

So here’s where we stand: unless we get more members, something closer to 2% of our visitors, we really can’t keep the business going. Our whole model is built on the 2% figure. That’s all we need: 2% of our regular visitors to join up.

In about four weeks, we’ve got some tough decisions to make.

That puts us roughly at January 21st, when President Obama takes the oath of office. And yes, we’re aware of the irony.

If you’re a regular visitor here, and you’ve been putting off joining, please: join now. Join today. There’s never been a better time to join: you get a year of National Review Digital, and you get to take part in our quest to win the country back. 

 If you’re already a member: thank you. Spread the word. 

The next four years are going to be crucial for our movement, and for the country. We want Ricochet to be there.

Rob and Peter

UPDATE: This post was originally published December 14, and pinned to the top of the Main Feed for several days. We then revised the publication date to December 19, so we could unpin it and let it flow down the page from that point, instead of jumping to the fourth page or so according to its original publish date.