from the Happy-Birthday-To-SN! dept.
Exactly one year ago SoylentNews published its very first story: Welcome to SoylentNews!
And what a year it's been!
It all started with a posting at slashdot where an editor claimed they had "listened to their audience" about complaints about the new Beta version of the site that was being rolled out. Many noted that any changes were cosmetic — that it was the community that made that site what it was. And, in inimical nerd fashion, a "SlashCott" was scheduled from February 10-17 wherein the participants pledged to not visit /. for one whole week.
Others took a more active role. The source code for /. was originally made open source and was available on the internet. Sadly, that code had not been maintained and was several years out of date. Some intrepid souls labored long and hard to locate servers, coordinate activities, and get the code knocked into shape. The goal was to create an alternative site that was free from the manipulations of a corporate overlord.
That first story signified a major accomplishment, but the site was still unstable and many features were incomplete, non-functional, or just plain ugly. Many more days of implementation, debugging, and testing were to follow culminating with SN going live to the world on February 17, 2014: Welcome to the World of Tomorrow... Today!.
Much has happened since that nascent story first graced the 'net. There have been changes in our all-volunteer staff. We had votes for the name of the site. We implemented UTF-8 support so stories and comments can include any valid character. We incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation — on USA's Independence Day no less! We have an on-line store where you can buy SoylentNews Swag. You can subscribe and help support our site.
By the numbers: Over 5000 accounts have been registered and nearly 5000 stories have been posted to the site. Each story is read from 500-2000 times by logged-in users, and approximately 10 times as many Anonymous Cowards. More importantly, nearly 150,000 comments have been posted by you, our community.
Today, we have a small but dedicated group of volunteers who keep the site running. They keep the OS up-to-date on our servers, maintain our Wiki, e-mail, and IRC channels. They add features and fix bugs in the SN code base. Others edit and publish stories to appear on the site. We have a Board of Directors who take care of the legal sides of things. A treasurer who follows the finances. And there are still others who help in a non-technical, but just as necessary capacity in keeping the site humming along.
So, hats off to all who have helped build this site to what it is today!
I feel that its fitting to post this today on July 4th, Independence Day, given the mission and unique history of SN. I'm going to do a follow-up post on Monday with more information on where we go now. Until then, have an awesome Independence Day, and a great weekend :-)
On the occasion of the site's sixth anniversary, I thought it fitting to mention some of the many ways that fellow Soylentils contribute to our community. This also seems like a good opportunity to mention some of the site's history, relate some staffing changes, mention other contributions by the SoylentNews community, and to wrap things up with some site statistics.
Please accept our thanks:
These thanks go out to all of you: my fellow members of the SoylentNews community.
To the Anonymous Cowards who post comments to our site (be they inciteful or insightful). To our registered users who not only post comments, but are also the only members who can moderate comments. No matter how long you have been here; whether you have just arrived (Welcome!) or have been with us from the very start... Thank You!
Speaking of which, thanks go to our staff who bludgeoned and duct-taped an ancient unmaintained open-sourced version of the code underpinning slashdot into some sort of basic functionality, and who have since made it the site you are enjoying today. Thanks, too, to our behind-the-scenes staff members, who keep the underlying services we depend on, running 24/7. Other staff members are more visible, like the editorial team who spend several hours every single day processing the stories that get posted to the site.
And let's not forget the members of the community who purchase subscriptions and thereby fund the operations of this site. We do have real world expenses: paying for our servers, domain registrations, and paying a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to do our taxes.
Read on past the fold for all the rest!