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SoylentNews is people

posted by mattie_p on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the soylent-news-is-you dept.

Based on your questions from a little over 10 days ago, we have our first batch of responses. I want to apologize for the delay, as everything has been moving so quickly that we're still getting our act together in so many ways. Remember that we were still in the very early stages a month ago, so bear with us in our growing pains. We chose a large number of questions, mostly highly rated ones from the community, with some additional questions that I felt deserved answers. Read on for answers from the site leadership.


Bottom line (Score:5, Insightful)

How do you plan on making money, and what happens if you don't make enough?


Re:Bottom line (Score:5, Informative)

I'd elaborate on this question.

One cannot ignore the fact that presently we have nothing foreign loading on the site. No third-party elements, no advertisements, beacons, trackers -- nothing of the sort. Yet we're all aware that keeping the server running has a cost. Surely many of us are curious how we will keep it running, and it's worth asking if there will be a method to facilitate donating to the SN fund to help with the costs.

Back on /. I would often see comments from the older crowd along the lines of "the Internet existed once without ads just fine, and it will continue to exist with or without them." My hunch is SN does not want to resort to inserting advertisements. If this is the case what would the plan be?

<Barrabas>

I plan on taking community consensus.

So far I've seen discussion of seven income types. I've thought them through and have notes and observations which should inform discussion.

I'm putting it all down on paper in a vision statement which should be published in about a week (although I'm finding that things take much longer than expected).

The ones I have so far:

  • Donations
  • Subscriptions
  • [selling] Swag
  • Advertising
  • Job listings (viz. Slashdot "Jobs" link)
  • Sponsors ("This week's bandwidth is provided by...")
  • Paid reviews

If you have more suggestions for income channels, please let me know and I'll include them in our proposals

[ How much did this site set you back so far? ]

Startup costs are under $1000. I expect an additional $1000 in Business/Legal/CPA fees (mostly incorporation fees) and $200-$300/mo. in bandwidth.

I've posted a full accounting of expenses to date on the wiki.

Nowadays, you can start an Internet revolution for under $1000. Who knew?

[ What happens if you don't make enough? ]

I have set aside $10K to run the site for the first year, we have that long to establish our brand and break even. If we aren't successful by then, I'll probably leave to pursue other interests.

[ Where is the tip jar? ]

Until we choose a business model, this is still "officially" a for-profit venture. I don't think it fair to solicit donations under that model. If that changes we will let everyone know publicly, and we will try to involve everyone in that decision.


It's made of dissenting people (Score:5, Insightful)

What we have here is in some ways a self-selected community of torch and pitchfork-wielding Internet villagers. (I really do mean this in the kindest possible way.)

If it's determined that things need to change for the good of SoylentNews, how do you go about making these changes, when you know that the community you've created knows how to do a proper Internet revolt?

<Barrabas>

This may be a false dilemma. Since I intend to run things by community consensus, I don't see this being an issue. I consider myself the *leader* of the torch and pitchfork crowd!

The overlords have agreed to run their departments by community consensus, only making decisions when there is split opinion or if there is a global overriding concern. I'm intending to decide big decisions (such as business model) by community vote, and we've already used feedback on the site to tweak some policies.

I'm a big fan of crowd-sourcing, I would realize that the mob of Internet villagers is probably storming the castle with good reason.

But that's avoiding the question. Let's suppose an issue where the crowd wants to go one way and I want to go another. What issue might that be? Something that puts me personally at risk ("Let's fight the security letter! Force them to take us to court!"), something against my personal morals ("Nazis and white supremacists should be banned from our IRC. Also Holocaust and climate change deniers. Yeah!"), or something I find distasteful ("Please Read: A personal appeal from SoylentNews founder John Barrabas...").

I could easily walk away from the project with no regrets. Before SoylentNews, I liked my life *a lot* and would go back to it in a heartbeat. I wouldn't be like Hitler: a sad, broken man living out the rest of his life in South America, brooding over broken dreams.

If the crowd is *absolutely sure* they want to rush the machine guns, I'll quietly hand over the keys and retire. Nooooooo problem!

<Mattie_p>

I'd like to add something here. If there are changes that need to be made, we will make them boldly yet cautiously, in new directions yet allowing everyone to remain comfortable in their place. I know that sounds like a bucket-full of contradictions, but it isn't.

We are going to be experimenting a lot to find out what nerd culture wants and needs in general. Some of our experiments will be successful, some will not. Some may seem like great ideas when we bounce them off a few people in IRC, and later we get negative feedback on them. (Video contest, looking in your direction, although we'll see the final outcome of that in 4 weeks.)

Our experiments with twitter may or may not pan out. We've started reserving our current name on other social media platforms, even if we never pursue those. But we will never make you use those platforms. Our key means of interaction with the community is on this site, and it will remain here. Any drastic changes to our site will be published in advance, and not forced down everyone's Internet tubes.

Anything else, whether forums, IRC, twitter, Vimeo, Instagram, or the next flavor of the day, will remain strictly voluntary.

The best way to ensure that any change is welcome is to participate in the growth of the site by volunteering. I'm asking all of our group leaders to publish their task lists so that we know, specifically, where we need help. I find it is easier to solicit help with specific things (Hey, can you help me move a couch upstairs?) than it is to get help with general things (Hey, I'm moving across town, got some buddies coming by to help, you in?) We'd like to break it down to manageable and specific tasks so that volunteers know what they are signing up for.


Success (Score:1)

How will you know whether you're succeeding or failing? Do you have MBA-style metrics, or will you just feel the zeitgeist, or is it enough if you have a smile on your face at the end of the day, or...?

<Barrabas>

I don't really think in terms of goals like that. I've only got two success goals for the project:

1) Take in enough money to pay for basic operations (mostly bandwidth fees).

2) Take in enough money to pay employees... perhaps 10 full-time employees after 5 years.

Once these are satisfied, the rest are "how far can we take it" ideas. For example, I'd like the project to have $2 million in annual revenue. That would pay 10 employees at $100,000 per, and leave $1 million in profit. (These are "back-of-the-envelope" calculations.)

What could we do with $1 million?

  • We could donate to Wikipedia, or another charity.
  • We could fund an important supreme court challenge(*).
  • We could endow interesting research projects.

Nerds tend to have high moral standards and a willingness to help. Wouldn't it be nice to know we helped stamp out the last remnants of polio or guinea worm? Or took part in a court case that strengthened our civil rights? Or made endowments to promote interesting research?

Of course, if the community doesn't want any of that we can just settle down with a nice newsfeed clone.

I'm a big fan of finding out where the limits are by trying to go past them, so unless there's push back from the community we'll at least have the *possibility* of doing some of these.

I'll do my best to make that happen.

(*) We could support the legal defense of anyone worldwide. I mention the Supreme Court - which is US centric - only for illustration.


Promotion (Score:2, Interesting)

How do you intend to promote the site? Is this strictly word of mouth or do you intend to take more active measures?

<Barrabas>

I'll take community feedback, of course. Having said that, I don't think we'll need any formal promotion. We're currently serving 5 million page-views per month. For comparison, Slashdot is serving an estimated 15 million page-views per month, so using word of mouth we're already at 1/3 of Slashdot's volume.

People have noted that we have higher quality article summaries and that our commentary is better. In all likelihood we will attract and keep readers simply because people will like the site.

That's a good thing.

It means we won't have to worry about marketing the site; by which I mean, we won't need to spend money on advertising. Like Wikipedia, we'll be a staple of the Internet and rely on our value and user experience.


Re:Promotion (Score:2)

As a follow-up to this question:

Should we still be trolling the other site? Years ago, I remember a situation where the BSDForums.org community all moved to DaemonForums.org within a few weeks. All it took was word of mouth. Should we be posting on each /. article about where the community has moved to?

I have had /. blocked at the DNS server for over a week now.

<Barrabas>

Please don't troll in the sense of sowing discord or upsetting people. It reflects on us as a community, and experience shows that it will hurt membership. Would you join a group known for griefing and flaming?

As noted above, we probably won't need *active* promotion for some time. The financial and business structure won't be in place to receive a revenue stream, and we're already reaching a great number of people. Instead of dissing the other sites, talk about your SoylentNews experiences.

Let people know about our summaries, insightful comments you've seen, how we respond to feedback, all the good things. Talk us up by all means - get the message out, let people know what we do and what we're all about. But try to keep it positive and focused on us.


Litigation (Score:3, Insightful)

Does the open source license from the SlashCode fully protect you from any litigation initiated against you from the other site?

<Barrabas>

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't fully answer this.

It's well known that you can be *sued* for any reason, and sometimes for no reason. Whether I would *prevail* in court is the real question.

It's my understanding that an open source license can't be revoked - you can't take a work in the public domain and retroactively put a copyright on it. Much of the look-and-feel of Slashdot came part-and-parcel with SlashCode - including the name "Slash" and some logo similarities.

We should be good so long as we don't duplicate the "look and feel" of their site too accurately. Since that's not our intent, I don't think it will be a problem.

Oddly, by my reading of the notice included with SlashCode, it would appear that Dice is in violation of the GNU copyright terms. Their site is based on SlashCode and they have made substantial changes without releasing those changes back to the community.

I have no interest in pursuing this - it serves no useful purpose - but this might be used as a defensive legal maneuver.

Again, I'm not a lawyer.


Style and name (Score:1)

Are there still plans to solicit the community for a new name and to re-design the look of the site with community input?

<Barrabas>

The looks are being redone based on community input right now, in the "style" subsection of the project. Contact the overlord of style (MrBluze): Style (at) SoylentNews (dot) org if you'd like to be a part of that effort.

Lots of decisions are being made in other groups as well. The Wiki has a list of groups and overlords, come join us if you would like to help.

There's considerable momentum for the current name and choosing a new one takes effort (for example, to keep squatters from preemptively grabbing names), so I figure we'll first have a poll to choose whether SoylentNews should be the permanent name.

This puts SoylentNews up against all other names combined. If there's not enough combined interest then we won't need another contest.

If we *do* have another name contest, a simple way would be to have a panel of judges (8, for example) and receive suggestions by E-mail. I'll recuse myself in that case.


Users (Score:2, Insightful)

Judging from the quality of the questions here, would you say have the finest, most intelligent, most handsome, and downright extraordinary user base?

<Barrabas>

Hmmm... It's hard to tell handsome on the Internet. Not only do I think the users are extraordinary, I'm counting on it.

That's not a platitude, either. My vision for the project depends on the users being "extraordinary".

We read all the time about how this situation is bad or that person is treated unfairly and "oh, don't we just *wish* we could do something about it". Facebook catalogues our lives, the NSA reads our E-mail, Google sprays us with adverts. This post sums it up nicely.

We have an opportunity to build our own garden and show the world how good things could be. This means expanding into services beyond the news-feed, and experimenting with policies and new ideas. This is why I wanted our own IRC, Wiki, and Forum.

We could just run the news-feed and be a clone of Slashdot, but we've achieved that already and if we stopped now it would be boring. We've got "nerd paradise" in news reporting, so now I want to see how much further we can go, how much bigger our paradise can be.

This is probably our *last* chance to bring reason and sanity back to the Internet. If nerds can't do it, probably no one can. Empires will rise and fall and stars will flicker and fade, but if we can't fix the Internet, it will stay broken forever.

I'm banking on there being enough extraordinary people to help bring that vision about.

Related Stories

Interview: Ask SoylentNews Staff Anything 241 comments

By now, you have had the chance to read the updates of both NCommander and Barrabas. Nonetheless, you may still be wondering quite a few things about the site and its staff. Here is your chance to ask us anything. These questions can be general in nature, in which case the staff will select a spokesperson to answer it, or it may be specific to an individual. If the question is for an individual, please ensure you identify that person specifically enough.

We will select the best questions from the thread and provide answers to the community. These questions may not be the highest rated, although we will probably use those first.

In keeping with tradition, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

What is SoylentNews? 159 comments

So, what is SoylentNews? This is your chance to tell us!

I am announcing the first ever SoylentNews online video contest. The rules are pretty simple.

  1. Upload an original video (no more than about 60 seconds, please) to the site of your choice (but please tell us where it is up loaded and ensure it tracks views) that answers the question, "What is Soylent News?" Your video should ideally contain the phrase, "Soylent News is ..." but this is not strictly required. Let us know what site you upload to.
  2. Tag your video SoylentNews.
  3. Watch as the hits roll in.
  4. ????
  5. Profit!

Too easy, right? We will count the views on 31 March 2014, at 11:59 UTC. The winner is the individual video that has the most views.

You do not actually have to appear in the video! Make a cartoon, do CGI, do a voiceover of a movie, whatever. Be creative and explore your artistic vision! (Yes, you have one. It may be underutilized at times but it is there).

We have not yet determined the prize for the winner, but it will be jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring (it's a key-chain I found on the sidewalk somewhere). No, it'll be something good. At a minimum we'll feature your video on the site here and interview you for the "making of" your entry. But probably more (it's a keychain).

On behalf of the entire staff and volunteers, we continue to be amazed at the response we've gotten from the community so far. We will continue to provide ways that you can interact with us and help define us. I hope you enjoy this contest. If you have any other suggestions for how we can better meet your needs, feel free to let us know in IRC, the Forums, or the Wiki. Thanks for reading!

~Mattie_p

p.s. keychain!

p.p.s updated based on feedback

by
On John's Departure ... 152 comments

As many of you have already read, John Barrabas resigned as head of SoylentNews, and I've taken over in his place. Many people who are not involved in Staff were likely blindsided on this, and the community itself deserves to have an understanding of the reasons and events leading up to this. This post exists to set the record straight.

I would like to make it clear, especially in hindsight, that the events leading up to this were not pretty, and that no one involved came out smelling like roses. Mistakes were made all around, tempers were lost, and to be frank, at times, I've conducted myself in a way that was not professional.

In the end, the changeover was amicable, and John and I are still on speaking terms with each other. This isn't intended as a bashfest, but rather as explanation to the community (along with those staff who were not directly involved) of why and how this change came about.

NCommander Adds: Staff logs and copies of the email have been posted to my journal. Links included below.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by xmt on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:33AM

    by xmt (2875) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:33AM (#10557)

    Can you please fix it so we can log in via ssl?

    Right now I can browse securely, but when I try to log in over https it just redirects me to http and doesn't log me in.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dilbert on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:55PM

      by dilbert (444) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:55PM (#10580)
      I concur with xmt. Being able to log into the site via SSL should be on the short list of things to fix.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Barrabas on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:11PM

      by Barrabas (22) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:11PM (#10767) Journal

      That's an aspect of the old and moldy state of SlashCode, and it's not a trivial fix. We've got a cert, but it doesn't integrate with Varnish and Apache 1.

      It's a bug, we're aware of it, and we intend to fix it. Unfortunately, due to the nature and complexity, it's not something that will happen soon. It will probably come with the first round of major changes that gets us off of Apache 1 and onto Apache 2.

      Nothing else I can say except... wait for it. Ask the dev group if you would like more information (or dive in and see for yourself).

      • (Score: 1) by hman on Wednesday March 05 2014, @10:46AM

        by hman (2656) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @10:46AM (#11256)

        Please remember the change links in the newsletters to https, too.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:50AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:50AM (#10561) Homepage

    Am I the only one who likes being able to expand posts and reply inline?

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:52AM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:52AM (#10563) Homepage

      That is to say, I like it on Slashdot, I would like it here.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by blackpaw on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:41PM

      by blackpaw (2554) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:41PM (#10576) Journal

      No, I would like it as well.

      Minimal javascript for improved functionality is not a bad thing, so long as it is not a requirement.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:56PM (#10581)

        basics first please. awesome to see how this is all openly unfolding

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheRaven on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:53PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:53PM (#10608) Journal
        Yup, top of my wishlist too (well, that and more comments! I can't procrastinate nearly enough on Soylent yet!). I really liked most of the D2 changes to the other place. We should remember that the reason that we were there for so long was that, for the most part, the system worked. Just because they made some crazy decisions later is not a reason to abandon the good things TOP did.
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 1) by el_isma on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:56AM

          by el_isma (1819) on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:56AM (#11631)

          That reminds me of the big comment crashing of some time ago. Does this version of slashcode still use a int32 as a primary key for each comment?

          You should start working on it, I bet will get to that limit pretty soon :P

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bugamn on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:25PM

        by bugamn (1017) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:25PM (#10634)

        I agree. The only problem I had with the Javascript on the Other Site was that it would take time to close the tab.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mrider on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:59PM

        by mrider (3252) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:59PM (#10749)

        That's definitely the one thing that I miss from "that other site". My vote would be to keep these pages relatively light on scripting, and to keep the pages such that they work with scripting turned off. However, a few helpers would be nice.

        As an aside, I've already white-listed this site in Ghostery, ABP, and Self-Destructing Cookies. And I'll leave it that way so long as the folks here are reasonably respectful of the community.

        --

        Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

        Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mrider on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:01PM

          by mrider (3252) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:01PM (#10752)

          Oh while I'm wishing, it sure would be nice to go back to where I was after adding a comment instead of having to reload the page.

          --

          Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

          Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

      • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:26PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:26PM (#10786)

        Minimal javascript for improved functionality is not a bad thing, so long as it is not a requirement.

        If it is being done from scratch, I'd like to ask that it be done in a modular way such that the user can pick specific javascript features to enable.

        For example, the old site mixes the javascript code for the auto-refresh of the front page with the code to vote on stories in the firehose from the front page. Auto-refresh, especially in background tabs, burns bandwidth which isn't good for people tethered to their cellphone. But voting on the front page is sooo convenient. I ended up sacrificing my ability to vote in order to preserve bandwidth. I should have had been able to pick and choose.

        Even better, design it so that each function is in a different .js file so the security conscious folks can selectively enable specific functions via URL blocking in noscript or custom ad-block rules. The performance hit of loading multiple .js files instead of one big one won't be that much if caching is set up properly.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by quacking duck on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:58PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:58PM (#10615)

      No you're not the only one. D2 had major improvements over the old system for people who don't mind limited Javascript/Web2.0 stuff, and their mobile layout (on iOS, anyway) was also decent. It wasn't until /. borked their mobile UI up (with no way to revert/fall back to the previous UI) that I started having negative reactions to their "improvements."

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:30PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:30PM (#10642)

        And D2 messed up a lot of things that took months if not years to iron out. I really want the ability to expand inline, it makes dealing with huge comment pages more possible (not really a problem here yet, but it will come). But, it has to be done carefully as not to completely upset usability.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 1) by quacking duck on Wednesday March 05 2014, @02:00PM

          by quacking duck (1395) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @02:00PM (#11322)

          Yes, and now is the time to do it, while the site is still new and users are very forgiving of minor issues because of the alternative they're coming from.

    • (Score: 1) by M. Baranczak on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:41PM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:41PM (#10728)

      No, you're not the only one. AJAX is a good thing if it's done properly (which it often isn't). But I also don't think it's the highest priority right now. I'd like it if they fixed the Unicode handling and added SSL.

    • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:49PM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:49PM (#10739) Journal
      1. that's a goal that's being worked towards
      2. see my sig for a partial solution meanwhile
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by SuperCharlie on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:04PM

      by SuperCharlie (2939) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:04PM (#10757)

      Completely agree.. reading replies is very clunky atm.

    • (Score: 1) by soylentsandor on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:29PM

      by soylentsandor (309) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:29PM (#10929)

      No, you are not. That's why there is a GreaseMonkey plugin called Soylent Expandable Comment Tree [userscripts.org] which will let you do the former.

  • (Score: 2) by bryn on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:04PM

    by bryn (2394) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:04PM (#10565)

    Very interesting reading, keep up the hard work :)

    --
    He who dares wins. He who hesitates, doesn't.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by romlok on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:21PM

    by romlok (1241) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:21PM (#10570)

    Oddly, by my reading of the notice included with SlashCode, it would appear that Dice is in violation of the GNU copyright terms. Their site is based on SlashCode and they have made substantial changes without releasing those changes back to the community.

    Unless they're using the AGPL, they're likely perfectly within their rights to not contribute their changes to the wider community. The conditions of the standard GPL (any version) only activate at the point of distribution, and a website doesn't distribute the server software itself - only exposes certain functionality as a service through a web interface.

    (IANACLBIPOOTI)

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by mad on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:39PM

      by mad (2204) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:39PM (#10575)

      Quite. Not only that, Dice probably owns the underlying copyright of SlashCode anyway (assuming that there were no external contributors that kept copyright).

      Personally, I use the AGPL v3 for almost all my new code, simply because most of it is web based. It is GPL 3 compatible as well.

      ---

      As for community, we all know that the community is what makes the website... So please make a good community people!

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by cafebabe on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:59PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:59PM (#10663) Journal

      Presumably, Dice has the copyright to SlashCode. That allows them offer code, music, pictures, text or whatever under any chosen license or multiple licenses while being exempt from said licenses. However, it does undermine claims about style if they offer the style under license and the terms of the license are kept.

      --
      1702845791×2
      • (Score: 1) by bryonak on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:15PM

        by bryonak (298) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:15PM (#10667)

        Just to be precise: they can not offer things under the GPL and be exempt from it. But they can change the license of their own stuff at will, so it's pretty unlikely that, if they have the full copyright, the current version of slashcode is GPL'd.

        • (Score: 1) by cafebabe on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:58PM

          by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:58PM (#10702) Journal

          I was under the impression that all GPL code was dual license for the copyright holder. That is, the copyright holder chooses whether to be bound by the terms of copyright or the terms of GPL. If the work is an amalgam of components in the GPL commons then, yes, the copyright holder is bound by the GPL if copyright holder distributes any of those components.

          If we consider a single component which only has original code and is written to a copyrighted interface specification then adding any line or changing any character makes it into a distinct new version. The copyright holder may choose license this new version under the same terms but this is not obligatory. If the component is written to a GPLed interface specification and distributed then all subsequent versions must remain GPLed because they are derivative works.

          Concerning SlashCode, if Dice/SlashDot makes changes or develops proprietary modules, they do not have to be shared. If SoylentNews makes changes or develops modules, they *must* be shared with Dice/SlashDot but Dice/SlashDot is not obliged to distribute them. There are many reasons not to distribute contributed code including code quality or code which comes from a different copyright silo.

          If Dice/SlashDot choose to distribute mis-attributed code in good faith, for example, GPL code from another copyright holder, they are not bound by the terms of the mis-attributed code because they did not knowingly enter into contract.

          Is that correct?

          --
          1702845791×2
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by bryonak on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:07PM

            by bryonak (298) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:07PM (#10917)

            Hmm, quite a few misconceptions there.
            First, IANAL so this is no legal advice, you're just reading it from a random guy on the internet. But I do write GPL'd (and proprietary) software for a living, so there's that.

            I was under the impression that all GPL code was dual license for the copyright holder.

            This is not specific to the GPL.
            A license regulates interaction between two parties, so if you keep what you wrote entirely to yourself, the license is irrelevant. Depending on your country, usually full copyright retainment is assumed if there is no license specified and somebody gets a "sneak peek" at it or steals it. If you add the GPL header, then somebody "peeking at it and copying" is actually legal, modulo of course the means he used to get there. But if there exists only one copy and it's GPL'd, then this is the only license, no duality here.

            That is, the copyright holder chooses whether to be bound by the terms of copyright or the terms of GPL [...] then adding any line or changing any character makes it into a distinct new version.

            Nope and nope. He doesn't have to change any line, just reissue the same file making clear that it is now under another license.
            Example: I make a really cool program, offer its binary for download with a notice that it's GPL'd. Then I take the notice down after two seconds and say it's proprietary. Now everyone who managed to download the program within the first seconds did so under the terms of the GPL, and I have to fulfill my terms of the agreement and send them the source code. Everyone else will be under the proprietary license terms (and the first-two-second guys are not (!), even though they might want to, unless they redownload it). Notice how not a single bit of the source or binary has changed in all this.
            The copyright holders can relicense their stuff at will, but it's the interaction that counts. Again, this has nothing to do specifically with the GPL, but note that proprietary licenses often have time limits or manually triggerable revokes, so if I had used such one for the first two seconds, I may elect to revoke it after the fact. The GPL specifically states that it's irrevocable.

            If the component is written to a GPLed interface specification and distributed then all subsequent versions must remain GPLed because they are derivative works.

            A specification is a description and its license does not (unless in special cases) affect the license of the code written to the spec.
            You may think of the API itself. If it's GPL'd, let's assume the whole library behind the API is GPL'd and because of that, if the user (app dev) is including it, the license is pretty clear about what is required. On the lib dev (writing the API) side copyrightability depends on the country, but there was a nice little case about that recently: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_v._Google [wikipedia.org] ... I for one hope it stays that way and doesn't get appealed.
            Apart from that, again, the holders of the complete copyright may relicense at will, at any point, but earlier distributions (or interactions in general) keep their terms.

            Concerning SlashCode, if Dice/SlashDot makes changes or develops proprietary modules, they do not have to be shared. If SoylentNews makes changes or develops modules, they *must* be shared with Dice/SlashDot but Dice/SlashDot is not obliged to distribute them. There are many reasons not to distribute contributed code including code quality or code which comes from a different copyright silo.

            No again, sorry ;)
            The GPL only requires you to release code if you distribute. Since neither Slashdot nor SoylentNews are doing that, it's actually irrelevant. Dice does not have any kind of special position, only "recipients of slashcode" are entitled to the slashcode source, nobody else is entitled to anything.
            I assume Dice has relicensed their current version (if they don't have any non-cooperative copyright holders), or maybe they don't care, it doesn't matter, they just don't update the public repository anymore.
            What we can not do is relicense slashcode ourselves, because we don't hold the copyright.
            If it were AGPL'd originally, things would be more interesting.

            If Dice/SlashDot choose to distribute mis-attributed code in good faith, for example, GPL code from another copyright holder, they are not bound by the terms of the mis-attributed code because they did not knowingly enter into contract.

            If I buy and resell stolen property in good faith... for physical stuff the laws are well defined, but I'd actually have to ask someone from legal about software, I don't actually know right now.

            All clear? ;)

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05 2014, @01:24AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05 2014, @01:24AM (#11102)

              >> Concerning SlashCode, if Dice/SlashDot makes changes or develops proprietary modules, they do not have to be shared. If SoylentNews makes changes or develops modules, they *must* be shared with Dice/SlashDot but Dice/SlashDot is not obliged to distribute them. There are many reasons not to distribute contributed code including code quality or code which comes from a different copyright silo.

              > No again, sorry ;)
              > The GPL only requires you to release code if you distribute.

              Indeed. Get this one clear people.

            • (Score: 1) by youngatheart on Wednesday March 05 2014, @10:43PM

              by youngatheart (42) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @10:43PM (#11563)

              Well said.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:32PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:32PM (#10682)

      There's more than that. The GPL doesn't require you to contribute your changes either, if you own the copyright, only if you don't.

      For instance, suppose you write program X (a native program, not web-based) for your own purposes. You stick it on GitHub or SourceForge under the GPL license. Anyone who downloads it, modifies it, and then distributes a version with those changes is obligated by the GPL to also make the source code available.

      However, you write an extension to program X which you consider highly valuable, and you use this new improved version yourself and even sell this version for $$$ to customers. You are NOT required to distribute the source code. Why? The program belongs to you: you own the copyright. So you're perfectly free to sell X-improved under a proprietary license, while distributing X-basic under the GPL.

      This is something a lot of people don't understand about the GPL; it doesn't override copyright law. You're allowed to license your own software any way you want, and that includes multiple ways. You can give out your program under the GPL to some people (who are now obligated to share their changes), AND you can simultaneously sell your program to other people under a different and/or proprietary license, so that those customers can keep their changes to themselves but aren't allowed to distribute the software.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Jakestar on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:42PM

    by Jakestar (2355) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:42PM (#10577)

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to not only respond to the questions posed, but to do so in a very open and informative way.

    I am very curious to see how this evolves. I just hope you (or we, as the community) don't try and do too many things at once, thereby diluting the entire thing. It's important to focus on the basics and make sure there is a solid foundation before more exotic things are attempted, even though having a dream about what is possible is of course nice, and it's good to have something to strive towards.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:20PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:20PM (#10587) Homepage Journal

    I have a bunch of stuff like this in my /etc/hosts:

    0.0.0.0 getclicky.com
    0.0.0.0 google-analytics.com
    0.0.0.0 www.google-analytics.com
    0.0.0.0 ssl.google-analytics.com
    0.0.0.0 hosted-pixel.com # Yes, Really.

    I don't object to advertising at all, actually I myself advertise all over creation.

    What I object to is being spied upon. That's why, from time to time, I use the older rev of Safari on my Mom's Tiger iMac, open Safari's Activity Window, then read a bunch of really spammy sites.

    Inevitably there will be some 35 or 43 byte GIFS, or zero or one byte Javascript sources, all with huge long query parameters. I blackhole all their servers.

    I would actually like to advertise here. I am a self-employed consultant, I promote my website through my technical articles [warplife.com], so what I'd like to do would be just like Kuro5hin's [kuro5hin.org] self-service text ads, which in my experience, if carefully composed and monitored, are a good value.

    One enters one's ad text and a single link in a web form, drops in one's credit or debit card or paypal, then after Rusty Foster approves the ad, for the front page or diary section ads, one gets 10,000 impressions for ten bucks. The story ads permit more text and I think 20,000 impressions but in my experience do not result in as many ad clicks.

    K5 also offers the option between a short limit to the number of characters in one's ad, but with a larger typeface, or more characters but smaller. My overwhelming experience is that short, punchy ads work best.

    Rather than use Web Analytics, I use Analog [analog.cx] to analyze my server logs. It's hard to learn how to use, but it is very configurable and powerful. When combined with spreadsheet graphs it is the cat's meow.

    What you would find out about me, were you to use web analytics, is that I typically order a grande drip at one of several pacific northwest starbucks, and that I am bisexual. I'm ok being out about it, but to my fellow soylentils want soylentnews that they meet their secret lover at winchell's donuts every day for breakfast?

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by SurvivorZ on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:25PM

      by SurvivorZ (792) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:25PM (#10593)

      Hey, this comment had some merits pre-2013. Now, fuck that man. The NSA is spying on you already. To not give the operators of sites insight into their visitors is deleterious to their efforts. If you ran websites like I do, you would see this.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by regift_of_the_gods on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:54PM

        by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:54PM (#10609)

        Because the NSA is spying, we should also hand over our browsing history to every business that wants it, to help them prepare customized marketing campaigns just for us? Not me.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by isaac on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:24PM

        by isaac (500) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:24PM (#10633)

        Hey, this comment had some merits pre-2013. Now, fuck that man. The NSA is spying on you already. To not give the operators of sites insight into their visitors is deleterious to their efforts. If you ran websites like I do, you would see this.

        I profoundly disagree. At least the NSA has theoretical limits on what it can do with the information it collects, and a (nominally) public service/security mission. Private data aggregators have absolutely no limits, and their mission is 'fuck you.'

        Your data profile can be (and is) sold to anyone (think banks, insurers, prospective employers etc...) for any reason without your control.

        I will not willingly participate in this system, which is why I use ghostery, noscript, requestpolicy, redirectcleaner, and adblockplus with very aggressive settings and filters - and I encourage everyone to do the same.

        The operator of a site knows I have visited the site. That will have to be sufficient for them - and Google/Doubleclick can fuck right off.

        -Isaac

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:15PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:15PM (#10771) Homepage Journal

        You don't need to find out that I arrived at the Salmon Creek Starbucks at eight this morning, when I usually arrive in the midafternoon, and that I ordered a venti drip rather than my regular grande.

        Also, who do you think is actually behind most of those analytics, uh, "services"?

        How do you think the NSA actually figured out what websites you frequent?

        Have you ever heard the term "front organization" or "contractor"?

        Most CIA spies aren't actually employed by the US government. They are contractors, you know, like the folks at hosted-pixel.com

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:34PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:34PM (#10797) Homepage Journal

        I read in The Columbian - the Vancouver, Washington paper - just the other day that our television sets, DVRs and Dish Networks all report our viewing habits back to the TV provider.

        That enabled Obama to experiment with individually-targeted TV ads during the 2008 election. That is, if you and I were watching aqua teen hunger force at the same time on the same network, and I were a democrat and you were a gun-toting tea partier, then I'd get a pitch to donate to his campaign, and you'd get a pitch for lipton tea.

        This year it is expected that ALL the candidates will be doing that.

        There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this is already being done to pitch individually-targeted ads for consumer products.

        I would be completely unsurprised to learn that Ft. Meade already is familiar with the fact that my Mom watches Fox News all day and all night long.

        What few realize is that, especially because most folks get their Internet from the same provider as their TV, the political analytics also includes their internet usage.

        I would also be unsurprised to learn that email providers scan ingoing and outgoing emails for keywords, again for analytics. That's actually how GMail pays for itself, but at least they're up front about it. FaceBook caught crap because they didn't admit to it.

        I know how to put an end to all that and it won't even be very difficult.

        Imagine if you will, a two-page spread in the New York Times, explaining what a hosts file is, how to edit it, why you should ask your propeller head friends to edit it for you if you aren't a propellerhead yourself.

        I have an EXTENSIVE background in marketing! I know damn well how this works. My former employer, working software of santa cruz california, once dropped a quarter million pieces of junk mail in just one day - and made a tidy profit from it.

        We weren't really a Mac Productivity Software publisher. Actually, no one was back in those days. We were all direct mail firms.

        We'd rent a thousand names from some random list, take a good stab at an offer mail that offer, see if the combination of the list and the offer paid off.

        If it didn't, maybe we'd rent a thousand from some other list, or maybe we'd make the offer more appealing, say by printing it in UPPERCASE - yes that really does move product :-/ then do another test.

        At the time Apple Computer was faring very poorly, this because they would drop a million pieces without even testing either the list or the offer.

        One of my very best friends is in radio advertising - her son invited me to his Bar Mitvah, despite that I am not Jewish.

        Direct mail is the cheapest, but radio is more easily targeted.

        So imagine if you will:

        I rent some random list of names of people that I think value their privacy. I drop a thousand pieces all over the US.

        Now I examine which geographical areas respond best. I speculate that rural texas will, for example.

        Now I run radio ads in all the geographical areas where they really do want to learn how to blackhole google-analytics.com with their hosts file.

        Now I look into where the radio ads did best.

        Now I purchase a small ad in the local papers there. Again I examine the effectiveness of the ads, increase the sizes of the ads, add color.

        Eventually I'm going to work this up to a two-page spread in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Wall Street Journal and the like.

        I know how to do this.

        Don't think I don't.

        If you use web analytics, you're just too damn lazy to Read The Fine Manual.

        Use Analog [analog.cx] instead. That is all you need.

        It's all I've ever used. It had the eventual result that my former consulting company's homepage, and my resume on that site, were the top two hits for Software Consultant Resume ahead of seventy million other hits.

        Ahead of IBM. Ahead of Microsoft's and Red Hat's consulting divisions. Ahead of all my competing one-man consulting shops. Ahead of all the indian and eastern european outsourcing firms.

        As I said I don't have a problem with advertising. Actually I think advertising is quite cool, I never use adblock I don't block anyone's ads.

        But I do object to espionage, and I do object to the mental manipulation of the unwary voting public.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05 2014, @11:33PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05 2014, @11:33PM (#11588)

          Imagine if you will, a two-page spread in the New York Times, explaining what a hosts file is, how to edit it, why you should ask your propeller head friends to edit it for you if you aren't a propellerhead yourself.

          MichaelDavidCrawford, have you met AlexanderPeterKowalski?

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:09PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:09PM (#10826) Homepage Journal

        It also makes your website far slower to load.

        HTTP 1.1 chunked encoding puts multiple documents back-to-back into a single TCP stream. That avoids the setup of a whole bunch of different streams. Creating just one TCP connection is significantly costly; while far less there is also cost to tearing one down.

        chunked encoding also makes for far less work for your kernel, your web server, for your visitor's kernel and for his web browser, as well as for all the routers in-between.

        There is also the problem that serving a single page from lots of different hostnames requires lots of different DNS lookups, rather than just the one that it used to require, before analytics fell into common use.

        Do you have any concept how much electric power is consumed by all the analytics sites on the planet, all the nameservers, all the routers, and all the end-user computers?

        How much extra bandwidth is required?

        All my mom ever wants to do is send and receive a few emails with Aunt Peggy, myself and my sister, as well as to read a few news websites from places that she's lived or has visited.

        I gave her and dad a Mac Performa 6113 for Christmas of 1995. That was a very low-end PowerPC 601 or maybe 603 Mac, it did not have much memory or hard drive, only 8 kB of code and data cache.

        It also just had compuserve dialup, and it worked just fine. They kept using it until the video card died.

        Now mom has a G4 iMac, I think it's 1 GHz. She has a 56k modem and Earthlink dialup, but on most websites - but not kuro5hin or soylentnews! - it is so slow as to be almost unusable.

        I thought it was because it only had 256 MB of RAM at first, despite that the Power Mac 8500 I used to write code on for Apple only had 32 MB, so I put in another 1 gig stick, but that didn't help.

        I eventually determined that it was a combination of two problems.

        One is the analytics.

        I've been able to speed up the web quite a lot for both of use by blackholing the analytics servers.

        The other problem has to do with routing. I'm still looking into that, but more or less, for me to visit my own website from Salmon Creek, Washington to Fremont, California, traceroute says I have to go through like thirty different routers!

        I was puzzling for a while about how to bring better routing algorithms up to the IETF, but they wouldn't be necessary if we could just get rid of the analytics services.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
        • (Score: 1) by chromas on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:17AM

          by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:17AM (#11637) Journal

          traceroute says I have to go through like thirty different routers!

          It sounds like your packet delivery is handled by FedEx SmartPost.

    • (Score: 1) by wirelessduck on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:00PM

      by wirelessduck (3407) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:00PM (#10619)

      What about something like Piwik [piwik.org]? It's basically a locally-hosted clone of Google Analytics, so all scripts would load from the original soylentnews.org domain. I'm guessing this would allay many fears about analytics data going to a third-party?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:48PM (#10653)

        What's wrong with good old logfile analysis? That doesn't need JavaScript at all.

    • (Score: 1) by bill_mcgonigle on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:58PM

      by bill_mcgonigle (1105) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:58PM (#10701)

      That's what piwik [piwik.org] is for - self-hosted analytics.

      Analytics isn't the problem, it's third-party disclosure that is. I've got no problem with the site admins knowing in realtime what SN readers are doing, just with Google (and by extent their partners, public and private sector) knowing in realtime what SN readers are doing.

      Put piwik on its own VM, link to piwik.soylentnews.org, and it's all good.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:00PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:00PM (#10819) Homepage Journal

        My main concern is not so much one-pixel transparent GIFs, or zero-byte Javascript sources, but any content at all that's not served from the exact same IP address as the host that has the page one is trying to visit.

        That is, if some corporate bean counter wanted to hide their use of Google Analytics, they'd hide it at piwiki.corporate-bean-counter.com.

        Now if you get all your URLs from the same IP address as your main document, you can still do analytics, but you'd have to serve the docs yourself then transfer the logs back to the analytics services.

        That would work fine for analytics but would be far too much trouble for your typical web programmer, such as the newbie over at StackOverflow who said he had a number in a Javascript variable, and now wanted to know how to add another number to it.

        I am absolutely serious. About a dozen more-experienced members told him to just use JQuery!

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 1) by Techwolf on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:11AM

      by Techwolf (87) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:11AM (#11143)

      There is also Piwik that lets you keep all the analytics or logs in house. http://piwik.org/ [piwik.org]

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by SurvivorZ on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:22PM

    by SurvivorZ (792) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:22PM (#10589)

    I, for one, would really appreciate two things being done immediately, if you're legit about what you say above:

    1. Go ahead and add a donation button. **PLEASE** include Dwolla support, so that I dont' have to worry about Paypal getting 2.9% of my donation! Dwolla caps out at JUST $0.25, even for $11 million dollar transactions [dwolla.com]. Sure, include Paypal (or some alternative, hopefully) for International customers / those who can't be bothered.

    2. Go the route of Humble Bundle and make donations (and hopefully other paid services) amounts PUBLIC INFORMATION, in *real time* optimally.

    This would inspire me. I would donate at least once a month FOR SURE.

    3. Please Please add the ability to share individual *comments* on Facebook and Twitter.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:55PM

      by LaminatorX (14) <reversethis-{moc ... ta} {xrotanimal}> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:55PM (#10611)

      The comment ID number after the timestamp on each post is actually a link to that comment. You can certainly share that, or are you imagining some kind of pretty boxed preview thing? The latter would take some work, but is certainly not impossible.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GeminiDomino on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:59PM

      by GeminiDomino (661) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:59PM (#10617)

      Please Please add the ability to share individual *comments* on Facebook and Twitter.

      This one, I have to disagree with. We've already got the ability to link individual comments (the link of the comment ID is after the timestamp in the header), I'd really like it if we could eschew the modern "standard" of having a half dozen brightly-colored spyware injectors into every freaking page...

      --
      "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
      • (Score: 1) by pbnjoe on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:37PM

        by pbnjoe (313) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:37PM (#11059) Journal

        Hear, hear. If only comments could be modded higher than 5. +1

      • (Score: 1) by SurvivorZ on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:11AM

        by SurvivorZ (792) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:11AM (#14445)

        Yeah, in retrospect, upon learning about clicking on the comment # presents a shareable comment page, I rescind *that* request on privacy grounds ;-)

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by G-forze on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:34PM

      by G-forze (1276) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:34PM (#10645)

      1. Go ahead and add a donation button. **PLEASE** include Dwolla support, so that I dont' have to worry about Paypal getting 2.9% of my donation! Dwolla caps out at JUST $0.25, even for $11 million dollar transactions. Sure, include Paypal (or some alternative, hopefully) for International customers / those who can't be bothered.

      If you do, please add a donation option for bitcoins as well. It is really simple using something like Coinbase [coinbase.com] and the donations can be received in your local currency if you wish, meaning none of the staff would ever have to deal with the bitcoins themselves. I don't have a Paypal account out of principle (from the Wikileaks blockade), and would rather not give out my CC details if I can avoid it.

      BTC works flawlessly on the Humble Bundle site, and on many other sites that I have tried. There's really no reason not to accept them, especially with a geek crowd like this.

      --
      If I run into the term "SJW", I stop reading.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:54PM (#10659)

      1. Go ahead and add a donation button. **PLEASE** include Dwolla support, so that I dont' have to worry about Paypal getting 2.9% of my donation!

      But please, don't load external code (from Dwolla, PayPal or whereever) unless and until the user explicitly chose to use that service.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:24PM (#10782)

      > Please Please add the ability to share individual *comments* on Facebook and Twitter.

      Oppps, I just barfed a little bit.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by LAngeOliver on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:49PM

    by LAngeOliver (1355) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:49PM (#10607) Homepage

    I'm just exposing an idea here, but finding original solutions to problems is something we, the community, is really good at. Could it be a source of profit for SN? Each week, a client would approach SN with a tricky situation, and pay to have the community debate over solutions (through the comments moderation system).
    At least, I would prefer that over paid reviews..

    --
    Decode your health [biogeniq.ca]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by kebes on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:21PM

      by kebes (1505) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:21PM (#10631)
      I think this is a good idea, if done correctly. However, many of us will recall that Slashdot tried something similar awhile back: they had a section where 'partners' could post articles for us to discuss (in particular I remember AMD). The idea sounded kind of cool: the community would have a chance to talk directly to people who worked at the given company, opening a dialogue (good for both sides: the company gets some exposure, and we get to ask questions directly to insiders). It failed miserably, because the companies would just post thinly-veiled advertisements ("New product launch! Amazing specs!"), and never engaged in discussions. So, those posts would not gather any comments, which totally defeated any purpose. (More recently SlashBI [slashdot.org] similarly doesn't seem to generate any discussions.)

      Obviously SN is doing a much better job at engaging the community and responding to our needs. So I don't think they will make the same mistakes. However, it's still tricky. I believe the community is willing to 'help out' by commenting on these 'sponsored questions' posts. However, it doesn't work if we feel like we're being exploited. Moreover, the questions themselves have to be interesting and worthy of discussion. And finally, they cannot amount to just the company trying to advertise ("Ask Soylent: Why are our products unbeatable?") or do market research ("Ask Soylent: How much would you pay for product X?").

      It can go beyond companies, too. I can imagine scientists being willing to pay a small fee to get some feedback on a new idea. Or even just random users willing to pay a bit of money (since it goes to a good cause!) to initiate a discussion on a topic they care about. However, this again points out the dark side: there is a danger that posts become presumptively monetized. You want your submission on the front page? Why not just pay...
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:42PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:42PM (#10652)

        "It failed miserably, because the companies would just post thinly-veiled advertisements ("New product launch! Amazing specs!"), and never engaged in discussions."

        Also they had (mostly) PR weasels who never took a calculus or programming class in their lives being interrogated in public by experienced experts in the field.

        HN does this but being startups they have "real people" doing the discussion. So you're talking to "the" tech guy. Those articles are fascinating learning opportunities for all involved. Bringing up the obvious point that HN already owns that market. So the only hope would be to replicate the technique here but ignore the whole "CRUD app for a new marketing startup wrapped in bootstrap written in fad-framework-of-the-month" which HN pretty much owns.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:09PM (#10918)
        Ask Soylent could work on a fixed-price consulting sort of model. If a company were truly looking for advice on how to run their business or spend their money, the hurdle is that they wouldn't want the world to know they had the problem. Competitors love to find those weaknesses handed out for free. One consequence is that the sponsor would want/need to be anonymous, and the problem would have to be stripped of identifying non-essential details.

        That said, I think it could be a very successful way to crowdsource architect-level activities. Decisions on direction or the best technical approach could be made anonymous and still garner useful feedback. It sounds like a lot cheaper solution than hiring a senior person to work full-time, if you have a small company and IT team. This is why consultants exist.

        Ask Soylent Consulting, coming to a website near you.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:38PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:38PM (#10647)

      "Relational Database pit fighting" might be interesting.

      It could be gamed by marketing people into

      "We'd like to select a FOSS database and its name has to start with My- (so that "you" select our pre-chosen winner) and ..." and that's going to be boring as hell.

      Maybe more a research service rather than a problem solving service. "Tell me all about languages running on the JVM that aren't Java and are interesting". "I gave soylent $100 to have you tell me about linux filesystems". "WTF is going on with the apparent civil war over systemd?"

      That can also result in brutal and repellent marketing game play, just harder to do it.

      One danger is fanboyism might make it annoying or offensive to the point of being repellant.

      Career advice? "Hey I gave soylent $100 for you guys to critique my resume and find me a job, or at least make fun of me. Now hop to it."

      One minor problem being $1M in revenue implies 10K of these $100 articles per year or something like dozens per day. So it could be fun, and net positive, but not exactly "retire to a private island".

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cafebabe on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:56PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:56PM (#10661) Journal

      Barrabas is a fan of crowd-sourcing. The crowd is willing to consult. Consulting pays the hosting *and* Barrabas has our contact details if the client wants further work. And finding clients should be easy because any exposure could be a competitive advantage.

      --
      1702845791×2
    • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:48PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:48PM (#10690) Journal

      I think this is a *great* idea, but you have to admit that the comedic potential is also quite high.

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
    • (Score: 1) by zero0n3 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:37PM

      by zero0n3 (1971) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:37PM (#10934)

      Awesome idea!

      maybe tie it into the donation system? I can donate money and ask a question with that donation - based on the donation amount, it gets placed higher or lower in the queue of questions.
      (with some limit to how long it can stagnate in that queue, and when it reaches its max time, just publish it regardless).

      Would probably need to make it daily.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:27PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:27PM (#10637)

    We should be good so long as we don't duplicate the "look and feel" of their site too accurately.

    In fact, not copying them is exactly why Soylent exists. And well done.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by ilPapa on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:39PM

    by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:39PM (#10648) Journal

    Just tell me, where is the "Subscribe" button? Or at least "Donate"?

    I'm going to the machine at the grocery later with my coffee can of pocket change, and I'll be happy to split it with Soylent News. There's usually better than $80 in that thing.

    --
    You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:31PM (#10679)

      Take the change to a bank or credit union. They wont charge you the 9%. In fact some of them will do it even if you don't have an account there. I would call first. Most want unwrapped coins so they can dump them in their sorter.

    • (Score: 2) by Barrabas on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:41PM

      by Barrabas (22) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:41PM (#10806) Journal

      My bank does this for free. I took 30 years of coins (four big plastic juge weighing 80# each) to my bank, they threw it into the sorter and it was all over in 30 minutes.

      (And also discovered three keys, several foreign coins, and some fobs.)

      Take it to your bank, don't pay the 9% fees.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:41PM (#10651)

    I'm not a lawyer either, but I think you have several misunderstandings about licensing:

    It's my understanding that an open source license can't be revoked - you can't take a work in the public domain and retroactively put a copyright on it.

    First (and that is important!) a work under an open source license is not public domain.

    Second, I don't see anything in the Open Source Definition [opensource.org] about the license being irrevocable, therefore I think an Open Source license could in principle be revocable. But then, I'm not aware of any that is (except for the case of license violation), and I guess a revocable Open Source license would be met with enough resistance that it would not fly in practice. Especially, Slashcode is GPLv2, and the GPLv2 explicitly contains the sentence (emphasis by me):

    "All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met."

    Therefore I think you're right that the license cannot be revoked, although your given reason is wrong.

    Oddly, by my reading of the notice included with SlashCode, it would appear that Dice is in violation of the GNU copyright terms. Their site is based on SlashCode and they have made substantial changes without releasing those changes back to the community.

    The GNU GPLv2 does in no way restrict usage of the code. As long as they don't distribute the code, the GPL does not restrict Dice in any way. Things would be different if the code were under the Affero GPL (and possibly also for GPLv3, but I'm not sure about that).

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:52PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:52PM (#10696)

      The GNU GPLv2 does in no way restrict usage of the code. As long as they don't distribute the code, the GPL does not restrict Dice in any way. Things would be different if the code were under the Affero GPL (and possibly also for GPLv3, but I'm not sure about that).

      You're right about everything except this. Dice can do whatever they want with the code, even if it were under the AGPL, assuming they own the copyright to it. They're under no obligations to meet the conditions of the license they distribute the code under. They own it. They can even sell a version under a different license (even proprietary) to someone else if they want.

      GPL violations only happen when someone who doesn't own the copyright to the code breaks the terms of the license. If you own the copyright, you can do whatever the hell you want with it.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:50PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:50PM (#10655)

    "If you have more suggestions for income channels, please let me know and I'll include them in our proposals"

    Didn't like my interview engine idea? So you "pay" for your account here by filling out targeted surveys? I'm assuming the experience and income stats here are interesting to marketing people, so I'm hoping you'd get a lot of useful tech surveys not generic spam surveys.

    Here's an example. You really don't want to get mixed in with unlicensed financial markets, directly. But indirectly I'd pay (some) cash to find out the private survey results of the hive mind of soylent WRT BTC prices in 3 months.

    Or "I would be willing to personally spend up to, but no more than, X dollars on a software as a service doing ... per month, assuming the SaaS actually works"

    Or a book author paying Soylent to survey us for the private result of asking "The language I'm most likely to buy a book about in the next year is ..." or "The most interesting new language (at least new to me) is ..."

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Buck Feta on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:29PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:29PM (#10678) Journal

      >> "The language I'm most likely to buy a book about in the next year is ..."

      So I'm guessing there's going to a glut of remaindered "Perl for Klingons" books in about 18 months.

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
      • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:27PM

        by GeminiDomino (661) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:27PM (#10719)

        I'd buy that!

        --
        "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:35PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:35PM (#10845)

        Perl is best appreciated in its original Klingon anyway.

        About 15 years ago there was an interesting article on porting Perl to Latin, which was pretty fascinating.

    • (Score: 2) by Barrabas on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:45PM

      by Barrabas (22) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:45PM (#10810) Journal

      I missed that suggestion, but I'll put it in the writeup. It's an intriguing idea - now I've got 8.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:55AM (#11157)

        I really like the old, old Slashcode that S/N uses.
        Geeknet's devs broke a bunch of things, including making it so that you had to examine the page's source code to index a page to a particular post within that page (and things have been broken on that front at /. ever since).
        Regarding that, the "This post" link in the summary of this article (and in the Related Links area) would be better in this form [slashdot.org].

        Frankly, all links to the other site [slashdot.org] should IMO include that subdomain. If you're going to go there or link to their pages, make your opinion show up in their logs. (Folks who are still visiting the other site daily should also alter their bookmarks accordingly.)
        The part I'm really pointing to, however, is the #comment_ part which has been non-obvious for years.

        ...and a little more accessibility within a multi-segment summary at S/N would be nice for folks trying to link to a particular point. Y'know, the old <a id="segment1" trick.

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:54PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:54PM (#10658) Journal

    Reading the listed options, those are the ones that feel the best to me. I own /. swag I bought waaaaay back in the day when Cowboy Neil was an option on every poll, because I loved the community. I would do the same for SN. Job Listings work really well if we're talking about other community members who are looking to hire quality people; Dice.com and headhunter mass-spam style job listings don't work. Donations targeted to server/bandwidth costs feel fine because those are the "keeping the lights on" expenses, not the "I want to roll around naked in a pile of your cash" expenses. Subscriptions that bring additional value of some kind is a fair trade for the latter kind of expenses.

    The idea of a bounty program (we have this thorny systems issue we can't figure out, help us Soylent!) is interesting, but would need to be fully hashed out to make sure it works for everyone--a mutually beneficial crowd-sourcing model. Slashdot's prime contribution to the Internet was a moderation system that worked pretty well to promote useful discussion. Perhaps a useful crowd-sourcing model could be SN's.

    One minor thing when thinking about swag, though, is that I'd hope for a more attractive logo :-) once the site name is finalized (whatever that might be).

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:57PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:57PM (#10662)

    "If you have more suggestions for income channels, please let me know and I'll include them in our proposals"

    Another idea, is if I'm going to buy something from amazon anyway, you may as well get the affiliate link kickback. Not getting all scammy and fake review article (or even real review) with an affiliate link, but just plain old "The editors think the following tech related items are cool, and if you want soylent to collect some modest cash, click here" And put new stuff up every week or whatever.

    I know for a fact you're not going to buy a yacht using affiliate link revenue, but its possible you could aspire to "on the order of" the sites bandwidth costs, and its not like this would preclude other income streams.

    You could also "socialize it" by letting readers vote or suggest next weeks link. I was recently introduced to ridiculously cheap (like $10) Qi wireless chargers that mount between a phone and its case. Like paper thin and flexy. Had no idea they existed, cool. I could see that achieving affiliate link level of "coolness".

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bryonak on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:46PM

      by bryonak (298) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:46PM (#10688)

      I like the idea of voting on ads.
      Independently of what parent suggested, in case we're going to have ads on the site, how about an advertisement firehose? Publishers pay a fee for an ad-firehose slot, those of us who are interested visit and vote there, the top X slots in terms of votes get 3 days or so on the actual website. Clickthroughs then give additional money to SN, and advertisers are required to make (and get direct feeback for) more appealing ads to get shown at all. Yay for a free market within advertisement ^^.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by istartedi on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:39PM

    by istartedi (123) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:39PM (#10686) Journal

    Regarding the "Bottom Line" question, has consideration been given to Soylent (or whatever it ends up being called) being organized as a Benefit Corporation [wikipedia.org]? To my understanding, this is an organizational structure that allows you to operate at a profit; but doesn't require you to maximize shareholder value to the exclusion of other principals. That sounds like it might be a good fit.

  • (Score: 2) by bill_mcgonigle on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:04PM

    by bill_mcgonigle (1105) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:04PM (#10705)

    There are a few things about the other site that have bothered me for years and could presumably be fixed with a 20-line subroutine.

    If there's been a clear "patches welcome" policy, then I've simply missed it.

    Along those lines, is github or something similar in the plans?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:20PM (#10777)

      No idea about policy but here's something https://github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode [github.com]

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Foobar Bazbot on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:28PM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:28PM (#10790) Journal

      They are using github [github.com], and AIUI have accepted some contributions (from non-team-members) in the form of unsolicited pull requests.

      I'm not sure how far along things are or even if it's actually committed to (I'm not part of the team, just hang out too much on IRC), but there's at least talk of ditching the current bug tracker (which basically nobody likes) and doing all the bug/issue tracking via github as well.

      Of course, those 20 lines are a lot harder to come up with if you first have to compile a suitable version of apache, compile a suitable version of perl, compile and initialize slashcode, and then start hacking. To help with this, there's currently a VM image available [soylentnews.org] so would-be contributors can start hacking away, and last I heard NCommander's working on .deb packages of slash and all its dependencies for various Ubuntu and Debian releases.

      A lot of this sort of info is or should be in the wiki [soylentnews.org], but IMO the wiki is kinda going to seed at this point, so IRC (irc.sylnt.us) is a better option. (If you don't have an IRC client, shame on you! but there's a web interface here [sylnt.us].) Hop in and ask questions.

      • (Score: 2) by mattie_p on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:30PM

        by mattie_p (13) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:30PM (#10840) Journal

        Wow, you took the words out of my mouth, faster and more eloquently than I could have communicated. Thank you. Mod Parent +1 Informative.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by AnonymousOne on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:43PM

    by AnonymousOne (3371) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:43PM (#10732)

    Right now, with just the article titles in my RSS feed, I find myself clicking "mark all as read." Were the article summary also available via RSS, I could decide which articles are interesting and click through to the site.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by seandiggity on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:08PM

    by seandiggity (639) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:08PM (#10763) Homepage

    Barrabas

    ...

    Oddly, by my reading of the notice included with SlashCode, it would appear that Dice is in violation of the GNU copyright terms. Their site is based on SlashCode and they have made substantial changes without releasing those changes back to the community.

    I have no interest in pursuing this - it serves no useful purpose - but this might be used as a defensive legal maneuver.

    Again, I'm not a lawyer.

    I am also not a lawyer, but we really need to find someone to straighten the licensing situation out, or at least make some common-sense choices after reading and discussing the GPL and trademark issues (the "look and feel" stuff might run afoul of Dice trademarks).

    Based on your comments, you seem to really misunderstand the GPL and FOSS licensing in general. Which is fine, I understand that's not your role in life, and you and the Soylent News team have done a ton of hard work on this site. So, please understand my comments spring from a place of genuine concern, not entitlement.

    However, I fear a continued dismissive attitude toward FOSS licensing will be an Achille's heel for a site that was spun off from a famous FOSS-focused news site, and which is now in direct opposition to it. Our day-to-day decisions as software developers are made in the context of copyright, patent, trademark, and contract law and there's no getting around it.

    Dice is not violating the GPL, at least not because it doesn't release modifications to Slash, or code that links to it/relies upon it. They are working within the so-called "ASP loophole", where Web-based "copyleft" software can be run on a server for a client, but no "distribution" of the work has occurred, in the traditional sense (the more modern term used by the GPLv3 is "convey").

    I would just like to reiterate, as I have since the start (take a look at past posts of mine here [soylentnews.org] or on the wiki [soylentnews.org]) that this is *exactly why we need the AGPL*. The AGPL is specifically written to address the "ASP loophole" problem, by stipulating that modified source be released if a program continues to be run over a network. Thankfully, the GPLv2 "or any later version" status of Slash gives an "upgrade path" of GPLv3 --> AGPLv3.

    Can we discuss this now? Or soon? Surely there are others reading SN with a better legal understanding than I (I'm more of a FOSS license "fanboy"). The main questions I have concern relicensing, and asking for permission from the original authors [soylentnews.org].

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:53PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:53PM (#10815) Homepage Journal

    I am completely convinced that some bean counter did away with them, as the default scroll bars in mountain lion used to play a cat and mouse - so to speak - with my pointer. The bottom (horizontal) scrollbar would also cover up the bottom-most item, right when I was trying to click it.

    They got this idea from the iOS, but you know what works on an iPhone may not work for a software developer on his $3,500.00 Retina Display MacBook Pro, M'Kay?

    Anyway:

    AND I BLOCKQUOTE:

    Try this yourself sometime, with early user interface prototypes of your own code or websites:

    Apple at least at one time had two user interface testing rooms that were little other than private offices each equipped with a desk, a chair, and a Macintosh.

    When Apple's UI people wanted to try out a proposed new design - not just for software, but also for hardware designs such as new mice - they'd hire some random Joe right off the street then pay them to while away a few hours in their UI lab.

    "This is a mouse. You can see that as you move the mouse around on the desk, the 'Pointer' on the screen moves with it."

    "Clicking twice in rapid succession is referred to as 'Double-Clicking'. If you Double-Click the icon for an Application, the Application 'Launches'. If you Double-Click the icon for a 'Document', the Application responsible for that Document launches, then the Document is 'Opened' by the Application."

    "Do you see that icon right there in the middle of the 'Desktop'?"

    "The one called iTunes?" asks Joe.

    "Yeah. Try Double-Clicking it."

    "What's it supposed to do?" asks Joe.

    "That's what we are paying you to figure out on your own."

    "Do."

    "Your."

    "Worst."

    The Apple employee then splits completely, while several video cameras record the proceedings: one pointed at Joe's face, so Apple's people can watch for expressions of interest, joy, frustration or anger. One pointed downward at the keyboard. One pointed at the screen, one pointed at the mouse.

    They let Joe screw around with the Mac until he gets tired of it and wants to leave. They then hand him a big fat check then make him promise never to tell anyone what he saw, because were that User Interface design to actually succeed in all these tests, the company that laid off four thousand of its own employees BOTH of the times that I worked there - I even once knew where my new cube was going to be before the poor fuck I was to inherit it from had the first clue he was about to get a Pink Slip - might go on to have more cash in its checking account than the entire United States government.

    Jakob Nielsen [useit.com], despite his site being ugly as Sin, turns out to be the world's most highly-paid web designer, because he uses a specially-crafted local proxy to measure the usability of his $$$ corporate clients' websites.

    His site is so ugly, but oddly it has been wildly popular for almost twenty years, because that's what people who actually spend a lot of time on the Web really want.

    Had DICE Holdings ever tried this with the Slashdot Beta, no one would have ever said "Fuck Beta!" I would never have had to keep figuring out the precise way to add "?nobeta=" to my URLs, and Soylentnews would never have been the product of that night of passion.

    Oh yeah and I wouldn't have had to suffer heroin-like withdrawals when I participated faithfully in the slashcott.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 1) by zigbigadoorlue on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:49PM

    by zigbigadoorlue (1092) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:49PM (#10854)

    There are some good words in this summery. I like where this site is heading and I full heartedly support the efforts that you folks are doing. Thank you Mattie_P, Barrabas and all the other volunteers. Your efforts are truly admirable.

    My biggest concern about the future of this site, for me, is what the community and overlord response will be to abuse from those who hold power within the site. This is not to imply that the admins and overlords of SN are prone to abuse or have even displayed abusive behavior but rather that sooner or later it will happen and, importantly, that that is expected and normal. What is important is how we respond and that means accountability.

    What happens when an overlord starts pushing volunteers around? Or when one of the founders plays favorites? These are normal behaviors and we have all probably been guilty of them at one point or another. What is key is that we need ways of providing feedback on issues that come up with individual admins as well as fully fleshed out process for engaging with those folks with corrective measures (with real teeth). It is really, really, really important that that process NOT rely on having one of the founders/funders/upper admins intervening. They will have too much conflict of interest as they probably know the person in question personally and/or may not want to rock the boat.

    This is a really complicated issue and will probably require quite a bit of attention but this is really important in preventing disenchantment in volunteers, contributors and the larger community as a whole.

  • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:13PM

    by Kilo110 (2853) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:13PM (#10878)

    no text.

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by bryan on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:37PM

    by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:37PM (#10984) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget the other alternative: http://pipedot.org/ [pipedot.org]

    • Not for profit
    • No trackers (clearly stated in the privacy [pipedot.org] and terms pages) [pipedot.org]
    • No ads
    • Will still be around when other sites "Walk Away"
    • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:22AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:22AM (#11150) Homepage

      And how the heck do I get Pipedot to send me a daily mailer? I rely on that for /. and now for here, rather than randomly coming to the site (cuz it reminds me, and cuz I'll make time if I see an interesting article).

      I have an account there, but haven't found any settings type page. :(

  • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:32AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:32AM (#11153) Homepage

    Donations -- good.

    Subscriptions -- good. I've been a paid /. sub since 2001 or so ($5.00 lasts me about 3 years, which makes it a good value).

    [selling] Swag -- good. Keep the prices low and you can probably sell a fair bit.

    Advertising -- I don't object to non-intrusive ads, tho chances are I'll never see 'em (due to browser settings etc). Occurs to me that you might sell users an extra line in our sigs that we could use as "ad space".

    Job listings (viz. Slashdot "Jobs" link) -- well, why not.

    Sponsors ("This week's bandwidth is provided by...") -- well, why not.

    Paid review -- absolutely NO. This is too open to abuse.

    So far I'm liking SN a lot. I like the look (I *like* the red trim!), the easy functionality (it works in any crap-ass browser, with any settings), and the comments are growing worthwhile. It's become a daily visit.