How to use Pico, the new Texas Observer membership and donation system

What is Pico?

Pico is the system Texas Observer is now using (as of September 14, 2020) to manage memberships, donations and newsletters. The Observer moved to Pico so that readers have more control over their accounts to make updates and changes at their convenience, without having to take time to phone a call center or email and wait for a response.

You will need to register an email address to use Pico.

Is this a paywall? No, this is not a paywall. Texas Observer stories on the website remain 100 percent free, thanks to the generous support of our members.

Will I have to log in all the time? You only have to log in once with each browser on each device where you read Texas Observer. Pico will keep you logged in until you log out. For example, if you read Texas Observer on your laptop in Chrome and your phone in Chrome, Pico would ask you to log in one time for each.

What this means for different readers:

If you are a current Texas Observer member: You can use Pico to manage your membership, renew your membership, update credit cards and opt-in and opt-out of Texas Observer newsletters.

If you are a Texas Observer newsletter subscriber, but not a member: You will use Pico to manage your newsletter subscriptions and make any changes to your choices.

If you are not a Texas Observer member nor newsletter subscriber: You will need to register with Pico to join as a member or subscribe to newsletters. If you choose not to register, you will still be able to read as many Texas Observer stories as you wish.

If you are using Pico for the first time

Pico is a little bit different than other login systems. Most publications require a username or email and a password. With Pico, your email is your username, and you get to choose if you want to use a password or not.

Registering with Pico

Registration is suggested, but optional. However, if you don’t register, you will not be able to take advantage of Pico tools to update your credit card or make other changes.

To register, enter your email address or click the Google button to login with your Google account.

Once you enter your email address, Pico will send you an email to verify your email address. Go to your inbox, and click the button, shown below. If you don’t see an email, check your spam or junk folder just in case it got filtered out.

Clicking the “Verify email” button will take you back to the last Observer page you were on, logged in and ready to go. You can close the Pico menu by clicking the X in the purple circle below the menu box.

If you choose to go passwordless, when you login, Pico will send a Magic Link to your email inbox. A Magic Link is a temporary, password-free link sent securely to your inbox. You click the link, and Pico knows it’s you. Below is a 45-second video showing you how it works (video has no sound). On your phone? Mobile link for video.

If you prefer having a password for your account, you can create one. Even better, your Pico password works across with other publications that use Pico. That’s right — just one login for every site that uses Pico.

Using the Pico menu

At the bottom right corner of your screen (noted below), you’ll see a circle with the Texas Observer logo in it. If you are logged in and you click this circle, you will see your current membership settings. If you aren’t logged in, you will be asked to log in first.

As you can see below, the menu has different options. If you want to close this menu back down to the little circle, click the purple circle with the X below the menu, noted below.

Here’s what it looks like when you open and close the menu box using the X in the purple circle:

Let’s take a look at each of the My Account options

Edit Profile. This is where you would go to change your email address, create or update a password (optional with the Pico Magic Link feature described above).

Manage Newsletters. You can view and update which Texas Observer newsletters you receive.

Manage Membership. This is where you would go to check your membership details. It has your last donation amount and date. If you are a monthly sustainer, you will also see the next donation date.

You can also update your payment method or change your membership plan, at your convenience. This is handy for when you get a new card from your bank, or if you’re on an annual membership and it’s time to renew.

Gift Membership. Send your favorite Texan — or Texpatriate — a gift membership to Texas Observer.

Help. If you’re stuck, click Help. This link will open up an email where you can contact us directly to get help with any issues with your membership.