By John Walker on May 25th, 2010 at 11:31 am.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun is rather good. Isn’t it? We rather love writing it, and making sure it stands out in an internet of gaming news and snooze. We do it for love, and for money. Mostly the former. However, if you’re interested in increasing the latter, there’s always the option of subscribing. We don’t make a big fuss about it, because we’re both modest and financially naive, but clicking here will let you set up a Paypal account that lets you give us $2 per month. But why on Earth would you want to do that, when you already gave 10p to that tramp? Well, because subscribers are our favourites. And we treat our favourites best, with a fortnightly newsletter, secret competitions, and first access to beta codes and special offers. In fact, we’ve got a subscriber-only beta key giveaway coming up later this week.
What sort of thing do we mean? Well, in the last few months subscribers have been given beta codes for a number of MMOs like Star Trek: Online, subjected to competitions for copies of games, and offered amazing deals like 40% off the cover price of PC Gamer. Even free copies of Jim’s book. When we get a squillion beta keys to give away, we always offer them to our subscribers first so they can be guaranteed success, before we open it up to the giant festering pool of the rest of the internet.
Plus there’s the RPS Subscriber Newsletter. Now, it could be argued that these have been somewhat sporadic of late, but thanks to New Technology we’re going to be sending them out every fortnight unless John’s arms fall off. (And that had better be the reason – Rest Of RPS) The wonderful people at Positive Internet (especially the heroic Johnathon) have sorted us out with mailing list software that means we don’t crash our own email accounts every time we try to email you. This contains a special kind of gibberish that only RPS could offer, as well as letters from subscribers. For instance, here’s a chunk from the latest newsletter that went to our subs today:
SO WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING SINCE IT ALL BROKE DOWN?
Kieron: He’s been writing comic books! This is how it works: he listens to a song, and then writes down his feelings about it. If it’s a loud song, he probably ends up writing about an angry giant with a giant hammer. If it’s a quiet song it’ll likely be about fairies. If it’s some rubbish with shouty girls and pretentious lyrics about the Milanese and Neapolitan War, then we could expect another series of Phonogram. Then he sleeps.
Alec: Moved by the injustice of the universe, Alec has taken on the mantle of a superhero. Clad in lycra, two antennae erupting from his cowled head, a soon-to-be-trademark proboscis curled beneath his exposed nose, he stands on the rooftops of London, unleashing insectoid fury upon all who may do wrong.
Jim: Donning his monocle, Jim took to the seat of his gas-powered bi-pedalled automocycle and set off for the laboratory. He was greeted at the door. “What are you doing here at this hour?” enquired his tiny assistant, Podlington. “I’ve happened upon quite the most extraordinary idea!” said the top-hatted wordsmith. “You know how I’ve always complained that words don’t last nearly long enough?” Podlington nodded, batting away at a robofly that was insisting on settling upon his hood. “Well, what if we were to extrapolate the very essence of vocabulary, distil it down, and inject it into the heart of some of the finest English language?” The two stared at each other for a full minute, the silent exchange of eyebrow twitches and flaring nostrils debating the finer intricacies of such a process, before they declared as one, “TO WORK!”
To any passing outside the sounds of whirring and clunking would have put fear into their souls. Sixteen hours passed, smoke billowing from two of the three chimneys emerging from the roof of the laboratory. The third emitted a long, howling bellow.
“Here it is!” cried Rossignol. “The very finest essence, made from only the most eloquent verbiage. Now we must choose a word, the very most excellent word, in which to inject this potion. And then, then my young friend, the power of that word will be unstoppable! UNSTOPPABLE!”
“But what word?” asked Podlington, staring up at his sesquipedalian boss. “Yes,” Jim replied. “What word indeed?”
John: John’s been fine.
So if you want in on all this, with behind-the-scenes rambling, special offers, and hush-hush-secret competitions, then subscribe!
A quick FAQ:
Because it’s the only way we can organise the ever-changing numbers of people who are subbed. Paypal lets us manage your email addresses and subs super-easily, and allows anyone from anywhere in the world to subscribe with whichever currency they use. Please note: the email address you use for Paypal will be the email address to which we send the newsletters/offers. It can be no other way.
Because, again, it’s international. But Paypal does the conversion for you, so you’ll pay the equivalent amount in your own currency automatically.
But I don’t have a credit card.
You absolutely don’t need one. You can set up Paypal to take the money directly from your bank account, or your debit card. It’s only $2 a month, so unless you surf your overdraft like a broke Kelly Slater, it shouldn’t bring about unwanted surprises.
But I want to give you more money! How do I do that?
No, really. We are genuinely asked this frequently. We’re as confused as you. The answer is, just now, we are unable to change the price of a subscription. It’s $2. And we’re also, at the moment, unable to take this in lump sums. (We’re working on a way of doing this, but you must understand that we’re essentially baboons with internet connections.) If you’re desperate to give us your money, you can use the “Donate” button, and put in however many hundreds of thousands of dollars you wish to give. However, we must stress that this won’t make you a subscriber for more than one month. To subscribe, you must sign up to the $2/month thing as well. Some people are mad/brilliant enough to subscribe multiple times (don’t worry – our mailing list software strips out repeated addresses, so you’ll only get emails once). But if it’s something you want to do, the best way really is to donate a lump sum, and sub separately. And if that’s something you want to do, then, wow, thank you.
I’m a subscriber but I didn’t get my subs letter/offer I was interested in.
You must make sure that you’re checking the email address you use for Paypal. It’s absolutely not possible for us to send stuff to a different address than the one set up on your Paypal account. About 99% of the time we receive the above complaint it’s been because people have forgotten which email address they used for Paypal. It’s pretty likely to be that. If not, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look into it. And find out that you’ve forgotten which email address you use for Paypal.
But your site already has adverts all over it – isn’t that enough?
We currently make a small amount of money from RPS – certainly nowhere near enough to live on. Advertising, plus subscriptions, gets us some of the way there. And the more money we can make from RPS, the more time we can spend on RPS. We know the ads have sucked of late, but we’re working on that, and soon you shall not be seeing banners for MMOs about ladies’ bottoms, or how best to gather credit card debt.
I love FAQs and wish they could go on forever.
We all do, but sadly they must end eventually.