Online writing community Protagonize—a platform for collaborative, interactive fiction—announced last week that it will begin implementing an optional subscription system. While core services will remain free, paid accounts are set to include, among other features, ad-free browsing, personal blogs, and reader statistics.
Nick Bouton, founder of Taunt Media, the Vancouver-based consultancy behind Protagonize, said that updates would be rolled out individually over the next three to four months. “All of the features that are available on the site to you today will remain permanently free,” he wrote on the community’s blog. “In addition, I’ll continue to add new free features as the site evolves. Subscribing just gives you more cool stuff than you’d get as a free account user.” Upcoming free features include revamped user profiles and “story challenges,” while paying subscribers can look forward to mark-up editing and the ability to organize their work into collections.
Launched in December 2007, Protagonize now claims a membership of eighty-four hundred. The site made news last March when it was a finalist in the Community category of the Twelfth Annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Web Awards.