from the wipe-your-feet-at-the-door dept.
EDIT: Struck a naught word -- NCommander
It all started when Slashdot rolled out a new, "Beta" user interface that was soundly disliked. In response, they posted a story calling us an "audience". That did not go over well. At all. Cries of "Buck Feta" were numerous and frequent. Then came a call for a Slashdot boycott — a "Slashcott" — scheduled for the week of February 10-17, 2014.
While the Slashcott was going on, a handful of intrepid nerds pulled down the (horribly out-of-date and unmaintained) open source code dump of Slashcode, forked it, and started whacking it into shape. This culminated in our announcement to the world: Welcome to the World of Tomorrow... Today!.
Now, one could argue as to the exact date of our birth. Was it when the domain "soylentnews.org" was first registered? (2014-02-09T01:50:26Z) How about when the first user was registered to the site? (2014-02-12 06:00:06 "NCommander") Or, maybe, the very first story posted to the site? Welcome Testers ... (2014.02.11 21:28 UTC)
Whichever one of those you choose, it has now been at least FIVE years...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOYLENTNEWS!
We've had hiccups along the way. Even the past year was not problem-free. Server reboots so our hosting provider, Linode, could roll out mitigations for the Spectre and Meltdown attacks. Then we had a server go down on us, which would not be such a big deal except its mirror had already predeceased it, so there was nothing to fail over to. A couple more issues with Apache and nginx going off to who-knows-where and needing to be restarted. Oh, and our mailserver decided to stop serving mail at one point, too. There may have been another couple of things which happened over the past year that escape me at the moment, but all-in-all I would like to think we are doing a pretty good job of keeping things up and running. Consider we are an entirely volunteer organization. Consider, too, that big-named sites like Wells Fargo, TSB, Google, and others all had site-wide outages in one or more of their services... we've got a good group here and it has been truly a wonderful experience to be a part of what keeps this site running.
A quick look around the site reveals some interesting statistics. That by week's end, we will have posted our 26,000th story. To that, add the 3,994 journal entries that have been posted by the community. We had our 800,000th comment posted to the site just this week. We have had, however, comparatively few comment moderations: ~540,000. We have 7,333 registered users, too!
Many thanks are in order to those who have helped keep everything up and running. Not just the sysops who lurk in the background, but also those of you who have opened your wallets and bought the subscriptions which pay the server bills, domain registrations, as well as the CPA for filing taxes, and the like.
Ultimately, this site is for you, the community. We focus stories on those which have a technical or science (aka nerd) angle with maybe a politically oriented story posted each day. And an occasional story that looks like it might engender discussion. There are plenty of other sites which cater to the latest Hollywood gossip, political machinations, recipes, and cat pictures... you've made it clear you don't want a bunch of that here. Submit stories. Make journal entries. Post and moderate comments.
Yes, we have had many accomplishments over these years, but we know nothing is perfect. We are overdue for a site upgrade, but it's likely nothing much will happen for a few months until TheMightyBuzzard can free up some of his time to work on it. Complaining is easy, but if you have concrete suggestions on what we could do better and how we might go about it, we can't promise anything (one man's drink is another man's poison), but we will certainly give it serious consideration.
If you should run into an issue with the site, please send details to admin (at) soylentnews.org noting the date/time/timezone and any data you can provide to help us locate and isolate the problem. That includes the URL for the story or journal entry. If it pertains to a comment, then please also include a link to that, as well. (That is the link under the (#nnnnn) in the comment header). Fair warning: complaining in the comments about a story not being accepted or about the moderation of one of your comments is generally off-topic and often moderated that way. Exception: if you accidentally modded a comment as spam, or have had a comment of yours moderated as spam that you think is incorrect, please send an e-mail to the admin address and we will take a look at it. We are running a bit lean on staff ATM with several of us in the midst of time-consuming things IRL, so please be patient.
Thanks to all of you who have helped this site persevere all these years!