We can’t believe it’s actually happening. After 18 months of hard work on the big bang relaunch of this little website, today is the day when everything changes. New design and new technical stack. New personality and new ambitious goals. But most importantly, a new focus on our wonderful web community, with the brand new Smashing Membership.
Rewarding Great People Doing Great Work
In times when we fight all the craziness and narrow-mindedness around us, we need to remind ourselves how wonderful a vast majority of the web community actually is. There are thousands of active, hard-working folks who contribute to open-source projects, who share, blog, speak, teach and learn from each other — and for each other.
There are people who deeply care about diversity and respect. People who care about accessibility and performance. People who care about quality. People who change things for the better. People who help and share. Truly smashing people like you.
Unfortunately, these people usually remain unnoticed, sometimes making huge contributions in their little spare time, and as time passes by, too often so does their motivation. We want to reward and highlight these people, and support their contributions.
That is why today we are proud to launch Smashing Membership. A community effort dedicated to support and highlight new and old voices of the community side by side.
A safe, friendly place where together we can share, learn and decide on the future of the web. But also an effort to move away from an ad-ridden, noisy, clicks-driven web to a friendlier, cleaner and calmer place.
So What Is Smashing Membership?
Web community lies in the very heart of the Membership; but it's much more than that. We're building a place with features worth using daily — webinars, books, eBooks, printed magazine, hefty discounts for books, video courses, tools and Smashing TV.
Membership is a friendly community with books, webinars, discounts, Smashing TV and 68 enchanting cats. For just 1 coffee a month.
Bonus: 68 enchantingly beautiful cats and UX gems scattered across the site. Smash it up alright: that's Smashing Membership for y'all!
What's In It For You?
We don't believe in donations, but we do believe in value of good products. We want your Smashing Membership to be worth every penny. It should provide you with tangible benefits, day after day. Here's what you should be expecting.
Smashing TV and Webinars
Every community grows slowly, but its value shines through slow, mindful discussions. We want to encourage this kind of discussions with Smashing TV, our regular live sessions with you and other smart people from the industry.
Unlike in regular webinars, you'll be the central part of the events, having discussions with us and other people from the industry. Format: 60 mins talk + 45 mins Q&A, taking place every second Thursday. Can't watch it live? You can download recordings of webinars, too. That's how you stay on the cutting edge of digital.
Suggest Topics For Articles and Webinars
We're listening to you. You'd like us to cover a particular topic in the magazine or run a webinar, or even in-house training on it? Suggest your ideas in the open channel with our editors, and we will do our best to make it happen.
Hefty Discounts to Books and Videos
We also want to build up a place worth coming back to. Be it due to hefty discounts for tools or video courses, or books and eBooks for your personal growth. We've teamed up with Rachel Andrew, Chris Coyier, Remy Sharp, Wes Bos and others to provide you with discounts for their video courses and tools.
Ideally, you should learn something new every day. Also, you get access to Smashing eBooks, the old ones and the new ones, so you can start reading a book before it officially gets released.
Home, Where You Meet Friends
But we also want it to be a fireplace where you meet new and old friends. Everybody around here is called by their real name. We've set up a discussion place over at Spectrum, kind-of-a-community-forum thing for threaded, lengthy discussions. That's where you hopefully meet friends and make genuine, authentic connections. Perhaps it could become a place you might call home one day.
You should feel like home around people you know and trust. This goes not just for digital gatherings — we'd love to see you at Smashing conferences and meet-ups, too. To make it a bit easier for you to come, we've set up discounts for Smashing workshops and conferences. With a Membership, you save the money spent with one conference ticket already.
A New Printed Magazine
Print is dead? Think again! With Smashing Magazine Print, we're rediscovering what a printed magazine looks like. Not just a recycling of online content; no ads or fill content — long-form articles written for the magazine and designed to stay relevant long-term. Now in print, every 6 months, and delivered to your doorsteps worldwide. Designed by one-and-only Veerle Pieters.
Transparency and Public Reporting
By the end of every month, we'll be reporting the earnings and how we spent the money. You'll see where the money goes, the projects we supported and initiated, and what you made possible.
Support New Voices in The Industry
We search and support new voices in the industry: people who write, or code, or design, people who want to learn but can't afford it, and people who are disadvantaged in any way.
One thing is certain: with our community, you're in for a wonderful, diverse, respectful group of people who share values and have versatile experiences. Most importantly, they are willing to share them with you. We do not tolerate any disrespect around here.
Bonus: Ditching Display Ads
The web is polluted with cranky, malicious and painfully slow ad scripts, creating a culture of exaggerated, click-baiting titles that generate ad impressions. It's about time to take a stand against it.
Let's be honest: display ads are just out-of-date. They don't serve anybody, and nobody really likes them. They slow us down and they distract from what we are here to do; and advertisers don’t fancy them either because they communicate next to nothing about their offering.
Display ads don't serve anybody. There must be a better way, a way that adds real value. That's why they have no place in the future of Smashing Magazine.
However, we all need to pay the bills at the end of the day. In the new design, you won't find that many ad spots any longer, and we'll remove them entirely once we reach 5.000 members.
We want to help our industry transition away from display ads to more effective ways of spreading the word that benefits everybody. After all, we still believe that the companies who have supported us over the years bring so much to the web community. Without them many events wouldn't happen, many open source projects would close their doors, and much of the content you read wouldn't exist.
The Day When Everything Changes
We couldn't be more excited about getting Membership finally out there. We've put a lot of effort and consideration into shaping it and designing it and building it, and to us, it feels like the beginning of something very special. We'd love you to be a part of it, too. Welcome to the brand new Smashing Magazine.
Ah, by the way, as it always is with a relaunch, please be patient: not everything on the new site might work as expected, and we still have a few issues to fix. If you find a errors, please report a bug, or help us squash it, the smashing way. So long, and good luck finding all those 68 hidden cats!
Articles In The Series
This article is a part of the series about how we work and design and build and play. We'll be publishing a case study on the work we did, both from the design perspective and the technical perspective, soon. Stay tuned!
- Behind The Scenes: What It Takes To Publish A Smashing Article
- Meet The Next Smashing Magazine
- Welcome The New Smashing Membership
- Big Bang Relaunch, A Case Study
- Reimagining Print: Meet Smashing Magazine Print