Hey Samuel, thanks for this great product!

Not only would I love to become a premium user but I want to share the love by inviting and paying for premium accounts for some friends.
What I’d like to do is paying for N accounts at once and you’d ask for their email and send them a license code and they’d be ready to roll.

Ideally you’d give me N registration keys , so I can explain them personally by email (not all of them are comfortable with english) and see who’s interested.

That would also be a way to sponsor you beyond the $36 account: if I have overestimated the number of interested friends, I could use one of these keys to pay for my account next year, and I’d be glad you got the money in advance, hopefully to work on the social features!

As many of your users, I come from Google Reader where I had a great group of sharebros (and sharesistas). It seems like every one of them chose a different alternative, and some of them discarded the Newsblur option because of the 64 feeds limit.
I’d love to put them on Newsblur as soon as you get the very-wanted social features, even if it means I’m paying for them.

There will probably be some trial and error around the features and adjustments to the business model, you know, the usual discounts for anyone buying lots of accounts at the same time.
Or some sort of referral / sponsoring bonuses as you bring in more guys, perhaps in the form of increased feed limits for the sponsoring or sponsored users. Or just free months.

I definitely hope the added press and income would help you devote more time to Newsblur.

As for the payment, I don’t want to create a paypal account, but I’ve seen other sites allowing for paypal one-time credit-card billing. Maybe you only need some configuration or paperwork with them to get that done?
I know that’s a lot of work and can’t wait to know how you envisioned social features, so if there’s a way I can send you money directly I’d be happy to do that. But I guess that’s not very scalable for you to

I “plussed” two paypal-related questions anyway so fellow “Newsblurers” can voice their concern too, looking forward to hearing from you on these topics.

Thanks again and please keep up with the great work.

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Thanks for the idea! OK, here’s the deal:

  1. I’m going to be integrating Stripe payments soon. Not sure when, but I’d love to do it next (maybe even before Social launches, but after social is on the dev site).
  2. I love the idea of referrals. I’m thinking this: if you refer somebody who goes premium, you get a free year of premium. If you’re already premium, you get extra free years. Simple, but I think it’ll do the job of making NewsBlur take off.
  3. Invites are a great idea, but quite time-heavy to build. Maybe not that heavy, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the time investment.

Realize that I am not out to make a ton of money of NewsBlur. Right now, it’s just enough so that it pays for itself (which it does). I want it to get popular, and premium accounts are my way of ensuring that i can handle the growth. That’s why the 64 feed limit is the only real limit on non-premium accounts. I’m thinking of turning on River of News for everybody, just to promote use.

When the Social branch goes out in the next few weeks, it’ll have a bit more signage that shows the benefits of going premium. But the referral system seems like it would work even better. I’ll keep it on my list. I’d love to have users refer other users so I don’t have to harass blog authors to write about NewsBlur, which is only working so-so right now.

Thanks for the quick reply.
I’ve developed a referral system before and I know it’s easy to prototype but quite a lot of work to be done correctly. Glad you like the idea :slight_smile:

I do realize you’re not there for money, but you made a service people love and are willing to pay for. I came from the Google Reader Apocalypse, so my very own interest is for Newsblur not to go away and for the great features to come quickly. The only way I see for this to happen is help you devoting more time to Newsblur.

We all know the saying “if you’re not paying for it, you are the product being sold”, but it was hard to lose a tool I’ve been using and trusting for years. I don’t want this to happen to me twice.

Hopefully once I launch social, traffic will increase to a point where I may consider going full-time, or at least being able to dedicate more time to building features. As it is, 100% of my free time and commute (which is 1:30 in each direction) is spent writing code for NewsBlur.

Is a referral system minus the invites simpler to do?

Yeah, in fact, that’s all I think I can commit to for now, and even then, I’m not quite sure whether to do that pre- or post- social. When I launch social, it’s going to bring a bunch of new users. I’m not sure how to best handle that influx successfully. Should I integrate SSL and Stripe.js beforehand? Should I have a decent referral system in place to spur growth? Social has a 5-6 week timeline before wide release, so I have some time. But still, I want to do it right, in the hopes that it takes off.