In the dying hours of 3rd Dec (UTC) into the early hours of 4th Dec something significant occurred in the vicinity of the SoylentNews PBC boardroom. One witness is reported to have said "it was as though a light zephyr appeared unexpectedly, brushed by a pile of watermelons before shooting up into the sky as a vivid light", this has not been confirmed as an accurate portrayal of events and quite honestly we're not sure they weren't just making it up.
Moving to a more formal note. The timeline above is correct. In what seemed like a few brief moments of discussion and accord, NCommander stepped out of the position of CEO and yours truly (juggs) stepped in as interim CEO.
To quickly dispel any doubts or concerns, this was not some hostile power play within the board, more an amicable and pragmatic changing of the guard. It was notably lacking in any form of drama whatsoever.
Firstly, I'd like to thank NCommander for bringing us to where we are today - a thriving, growing community with a stable foundation from which to grow and many tomes of vision for what the road ahead may lead us on to build. I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping he sticks around and makes a reprise - I have a strong feeling he will.
As much as I'd like to mark my entrance with some grand vision - in the very short term I'll have to mostly concentrate on some very mundane but very necessary corporation affairs.
Longer term, I have a few nascent ideas in the back of my mind that need kicking into shape - but given the whole transition was out of the blue, I'm more at the sort the desk out and find the nearest coffee dispensary stage than the grand visionary stage. I do however fully intend to revisit NCommander's SN vision statements and go from there as an immediate starting point at the very least.
Feel free to use the Comments for questions, concerns or suggestions, I'll be sure to reply.
I, for one, welcome our new juggs overlord.
(I must have said already these exact words sometimes in the past, in a different context though).
I'm sure he's already abreast of the situation.
will you two stop acting like a bunch of boobs
Great... now the site is really gonna go tits up..
Is Juggs really Marissa Mayer?
You could have added little something in the way of introducing yourself in the long rambling post.
He's just this guy, you know?
He's a good guy too, he does the things. You know, those things we need done. In fact, I don't like your tone.
said the AC...
I've know AC for 15 years, no introductions are required.
Is there anything specific you'd like to know? I wouldn't want to just ramble on.
I noticed some of your business metaphors are violent, why are we talking about killing things?
Others, vague: opening doors to opportunities, et. al.
So my first questions are: Are you past or present a military (or other type of gov) guy? Are you a politician?
Can you give us any tokens with which to validate your geek cred. NCommander summoned slashcode from the dead, that served him well for geek cred. What can you do?
Also what is your nick a reference to?
I have been happy to have found a new home at SN after the cataclysm drowned Atlantis. We are still removing rocks from the fields and tilling the soil in this fertile valley, but the future seems bright. May your reign be harmonious and long!
Wash [as Stegosaurus]: Yes... yes. This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it... This Land.Wash [as Allosaurus]: I think we should call it... your grave!Wash [as Stegosaurus]: Ah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!Wash [as Allosaurus]: Ha ha ha! Mine is an evil laugh! Now DIE!Wash [as Stegosaurus]: Oh no, God, oh dear God in heaven...
I have the impression SN is meant to be "libre Slashot", that is, Slashdot without Dice and their occasional meddling by planting self-serving stories and Slashvertisements. Wonder how often some business has paid Dice to run a story, or do a little astroturfing in the comments section. (But why pay Dice, when a business can have their own PR department do that?) However, I don't feel Dice has destroyed Slashdot. The users were quick to notice and call Dice out when an obvious plant was made, and it seems Dice has backed off a bit or at least gotten more subtle. Slashdot Beta is not being forced on everyone, though they default to it and make people work a bit to get the old style.
As to the users, especially ilk like paid shills, sock puppets, spammers, and trolls, I get the impression some came here in hopes of leaving more of that behind. I don't think that will work. What innovation in forum management could possibly cut down on the garbage even more? Already have a crowd powered moderation system that seems fairly good at silencing useless noise. I suppose that behind the scenes, domains known for spamming are simply blacklisted and blocked. Something has to be stopping spambots from flooding Internet forums with penis enlargement ads. Hard to imagine that a few people could be appointed as moderators in the style of moderated Usenet forums, just too much thankless work for a few to handle.
No, we came here hoping it was that, and we stayed out of boredom.
They run the same slashvertisements here as at the green site, they just don't get paid for it. There is at least less beta, more 90s slash code.
I'd be interested to know what you think we publish that is a "slashvertisement"
Anything you repeat that already was on the green site, especially where it is an identical submission from the same person, that is what... over 50% of the content? Is it less than 90%? That is all just crap that is just free re-post for the other site. It serves a (very tiny) SEO function for dice, but it does nothing to replace the content that the other site had in the past, and that it doesn't have or has less of now.
If I go to google news and click "technology" or "science" I see lots of other content that doesn't hit here or the other site. There is, at a minimum, a failure to recognize users that cross-post and reject their astroturf.
The main differentiating concept here seems to just be to run the same stories, but later. Sure, you leave out half of them. But a user of the other site who also comes here doesn't find any new content.
That is why I don't login, even though I created an account fairly early. There is no reason to, because not only does this site not have enough users for serious discussion, there is nothing novel to discuss, and there is no reason to think the userbase will grow. I can tell somebody, "hey there is new site for nerds, it has news and stuff... and runs slashcode..." "why should I try it?" "uhh... beta sucks?" There is nowhere else to go there. I can't tell them it leaves out the crap, or has original content, or is like slashdot was in the 90s, or even that it is doing something different or new.
There are at least less trolls, though I'm not sure the actual troll rate is any lower.
If I go to google news and click "technology" or "science" I see lots of other content that doesn't hit here or the other site
But a user of the other site who also comes here doesn't find any new content.
Well, if you find any of the "other content that doesn't hit here or the other site" interesting, you could post it to the submissions queue?
Welcome to your new post, juggs, I'm sure that you will do a fine job.
Oh shit! I'm gonna get BANNED! BANNED!
Thanks for everything NCommander. I hope you and your family/friends are doing alright.
He's still around-ish. Still has his seat on the board. Just not cracking the whip and telling me to work on useful things instead of themes. For now anyway.
I would like to state my most vivid thankfullness to NCommander for all of his work thus far. The team with Your lead made SN great.
I would like to greet juggs, even if I know you, I want to wish You good luck, and look forward to the new vision.
Also, if it isn't too "delicate", I would also like to know why did the change have place. Anyway thank you very much for everything.
It was time for someone else to carry the torch. NCommander put in many months of hard work both on the coding/developing end *and* on the behind-the-scenes staff wrangling and business handling. It's just time for someone else to carry the crop and whip us rowdy group into shape for now. NCommander has not run away screaming from the project, he simply has some things in life he has to take care of. We are hoping to still see lots of him around here in the future.
I hope everything is okay, "has some things in life he has to take care of" could mean anything and with that nasty killer flu going around....well I just hope its just something that is a PITA rather than something serious. With 2 elderly parents and having a wife whose father is developing Alzheimer's I know how life can come up and bite you square in the ass.
Why not go whole hog? I think it was Goretex in it's early days that let people put any title they liked on their business cards. One employee apparently chose Galactic Emperor.
I suggest Wunderbar Juggs ! [merriam-webster.com]
master (bates to) juggs
To NCommander: I've had the great privilege to meet with you (twice!) and continue to be amazed at all that you accomplished at this fledgling site. Your knowledge of things technical, legal, and otherwise have amazed me. I certainly hope to see you around in the future!
To Juggs: I've had some IRC chats with you and commend you for taking on this role for our site. You've been with the site well nigh its original inception so you are familiar with the history of how we got to this point, and I'm sure that will serve you well in guiding where (and how) we go on from here. I look forward to working with you in the future.
And, a request if I may? Historically, decisions made concerning the site have been very much in the open. I understand that the discussion was not part of a formal, planned meeting, but rather sort of just happened. So, there may have been parts to the discussion that may have been personal and not intended for public dissemination. Still, I would appreciate it if (a possibly redacted) log could be posted to the wiki so as to confirm this change. Maybe hold a board meeting in the not-too-distant future in which the earlier discussion could be summarized and a publicly-visible vote taken by the Board of Directors to affirm the prior decision?
Though my free time is very limited at this time of year, I'll continue to do what I can to help this site grow and prosper.
[...] if (a possibly redacted) log could be posted to the wiki so as to confirm this change.
[...] if (a possibly redacted) log could be posted to the wiki so as to confirm this change.
The related Board Action was posted to the site's public wiki [soylentnews.org] immediately after the Action was certified by the Secretary of SoylentNews PBC (me) in accordance with our Bylaws [soylentnews.org] (Article III, Section 11). You can add the wiki page to your watchlist [soylentnews.org] if you would like to be notified by email of future Board Actions. You will need to log in to the wiki, and because the page is protected, you may need to edit your raw watchlist: http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Special:EditWatchlist/raw [soylentnews.org] to add the page.
This one wasn't really fit for public consumption. Some pretty personal stuff was discussed and it's better if the folks whose things they are get the choice to make them public or not.
I haven't been privy to the discussions on advertising on SN, but may I suggest dipping a toe in the water by accepting banner-ad PSA's from non-profits associated with free software such as GNU and the EFF? That might actually help give SN a slightly more interesting look.
That's a pretty good suggestion. Keep an eye on the Site News slashbox for announcement of the next board meeting and come bring it up if you would. I'd offer to do it but I'm lucky if I can remember the way to the kitchen some days. The only thing that sticks well in my head is code.
go with simple text without specific div id to beat the adblockers. maybe also worth using a url shortener for advertiser links
That's all you really needed to say.Google is the most successful advertising company on the planet and they haven't yet deviated from that simple plan on their search page.N.B. I block ALL scripts by default, so maybe I'm not seeing something that others do.
without specific div id to beat the adblockers
Well, I do have stuff like ##div.social-links in my filter list (to hide text-based page elements). [adblockplus.org]Generally, that's because some idiot's page layout puts useless junk at the top of the page and doesn't include useful accessibility features like id=main-content (I hate when they do that.)...or puts interstitial crap in the content area. (I hate that even more.)
The S/N guys don't seem to be consumed with designeritis|greed, so I think we're good on this count.
more than 3 CEO changes in the past year? Come on... This site is dead. It's clear from the dwindling quality in posts, clear from the marked reduction in comments per article, clear in the fact that you guys can't manage a site for shit. SN had a chance but fucked it up royally. RIP SoylentNews.
OH quit pouting.
Don't pout in your poutine? What? Putin pouts while pouring poutine out
Just saying "you fucked it up, didn't you" from the sidelines is easy.
Meanwhile, posts at Slashdot seem to be down sharply from where they were pre-Dice. They can get a lot of posts on stories about immigration (usually submitted by theodp), the IT profession, and the relative merits of programming languages or OS platforms. Anything about women in IT brings out tons of trollish #GamerGate responses. Otherwise, not so much. Even NSA/Snowden isn't bringing in a huge response.
Slashdot deteriorated to the point where articles mentioning “breastfeeding" started to appear on the front page. Sad, really...
Apparently, there are youngsters who don't recognize the intended purpose of those glands.(So, if they're not being used to hawk beer, any other use becomes indecent/abnormal/disgusting.)
On a related note, [google.com] I recently heard Los Angeles Theater Works' presentation of "The Grapes of Wrath".In these days of labor abuses and economic collapse, it is a story that everyone should experience--or experience once again.
Last I checked, two changes was less than three, not more. Just the same, I'm still glad you care enough to complain.
Well you checked wrong.
Barabas -> NCommander -> Juggs
Barabas wasn't a CEO.
Count the arrows in your post. Those are the changes.
said comment #123248
Hey there Poutine, I happen to disagree. Running these kind of sites isn't easy. I'm pretty active at pipedot.org as well, and the noise level has gone down there too. Slashdot is no different - they seem to have a huge number of articles, but the number of articles (not to mention the quality) are both dramatically poorer than in the "old days."
These sites depend on the hard work of more people than you'd realize, and submitting, editing, and selecting articles takes a hell of a lot of time and effort. At some point you notice you're ignoring your kids/family/job and you decide to rebalance.
Too soon to say this site is in trouble: it seems to be experiencing a gradual improvement in the quality of articles submitted, we've had a couple of good discussions, and we're getting into a groove. It's good to have a responsible handover-of-leadership when one leader gets tired - better than burn-out and complacency. If you care about the site, submit good articles, and contribute positively to the conversations. Also get the word out if you can - there's lots to do.
And yet I can't help but think we've made it when even our trolls are better than the other site's. Keep up the high-quality asshattery, poutine.
Wow, that's some dedication. Bad thing he lacks compentence. oh well...
Yeah he thinks the site sucks, yet somehow stays around and is awfully abreast of everything. Possible explanation is his mom locked the basement door so he's stuck down there with nothing better to do.
What, no "Netcraft confirms it, SoylentNews is dead" quips yet? Poutine's comment seemed perfect for it, with the style reminding me of the old BSD-is-dead troll post.
Heh, I just found out that apt-get-news.org, one of the candidates for the SN rename from several months back, redirects to this site. I think it's a pretty good name, probably better than SN.
Almost all of them were better than SoylentNews as "Soylent" already has too many things associated with it. I would rather wear a /. shirt than one that says SoylentNews. I still hate sending SoylentNews links and I feel stupid when I recommend the site.
Give up the name if we ever merge with pipedot.
Better names:newslash, newsping, primedelta, sudonews, lostdash, hashsalt, dotbang
I 'd have to agree with this too
I think that MartyB bought up a bunch of those names prior to the "Great Vote". I suspect you have him to thank for that re-direct.
As the guy that suggested both "apt-get-news" and "sudonews" I was a bit taken aback at the way the voting process was handled... but on the other hand I don't really care what this place is called. I don't recall ever seeing an actual tally of the "member" and "staff votes" but given that the voting process was the way it was with the staff vote actually having more weight than the member vote (If the staff of WalMart had a vote in the name of the store, would it be named WalMart? Or would it be named "something else"). Looking back it appears to me the "public vote" was nothing more than an empty exercise just for show...]. Who knows how the ballot box was stuffed or who stuffed it -- not that that matters much to me.... While the method used to select the "final name" shows a little lack of transparency the truth is the world isn't really a transparent place is it? If it were, our civilization's barbarian / vigilante urges would have burned it down long ago. In fact for all I know the reasons those domain names were bought up was to prevent name competition [i.e. to prevent some one taking a name that lost and using it to build a site that buries this one...]
I've pretty much gone silent here due to the moderation system abuses by anonymous moderators that use down mods as a method to suppress opinions they'd rather not hear, and some "anonymous" anti-semitic comments it became obvious that the commentary was building up to a fecal crescendo. After a bit of bru-ha-ha over the abuses of anonymous posting and anonymous moderation, I have "shut the f+++ up". I've paid my subscription and I rarely say anything to feed the fecal commentary.
With many repeated stories between SN and Slashdot, will you aim to differentiate this site? They seem to be beating us to publication much of the time.
Articles only initiate the discussion. Members of SN are somewhat more mature, and as there aren't too many of them, a simple article about a new mouse does not generate 100,000 comments. Who has time to read through a large discussion on /. ? How many of those comments are "+1, Informative" ?
Speaking as a user, quality of discussion on this site vs the other is reason enough for me.
When I see a good story at Slashdot I hope it comes here so it can get a better discussion.When I see a bad/clickbait/dicevertisement I am happy that it stays over there or it is at least written less clickbait-y.
That is a very good question.
I think to answer it, I need to tackle it from two directions. Those being site content and the site functionality.
The content is very much the product of the community at this point. Of course we could technically control what stories appear via the editorial process if we so wished, in reality the subject areas for submitted stories seem to self-regulate in a way. I'm not sure we'd want to attempt to steer this part of things, to do so would defeat the point of being a community site I think.
We need to consider at this point some of what was stated on our Certificate of Incorporation [soylentnews.org]
The specific public benefit purpose of the Corporation is to engage in and promote free and open journalism through the production, publication, and community-sourced analysis and discussion of news and original and third-party-sourced works of fact and opinion.
There are early efforts afoot within the editorial team to engage third parties with a view to generating original content (as opposed to regurgitation of already existent news). Original content (third party or community based) is an interesting potential avenue to explore and has several possible branches to it - be that short form news stories that no-one else is covering, longer form deep analysis articles on a particular subject or area, or even some completely off the wall creative writing.
Clearly some of these forms and topics of original content would not fit too comfortably within the current SN site structure as it is. So I shall neatly segue into...
At the moment all stories are released to the main page and only the main page. This is fine while volumes and community size is small - we can skip over the stories that don't interest us. That doesn't scale as we grow and subject areas become more diverse.
We have the functionality ready to go (in code terms) to split stories out into various nexus. The release of this is dependent on acquiring a wildcard certificate, which has been in process for far too long (in my opinion as a hereto spectator), this is high on my list to kill off as a job that should be done already.
With nexus in place we can begin to split content up, be that based on subject matter or long form vs short form, it opens a door of opportunity.
As an aside, I think SoylentNews already differentiated itself from Slashdot as we went through the early altslashdot > SoylentNews transition. We may superficially "look" the same, but a book should not be judged by its cover.
On the content front I think you need to define what this site is and what this site isn't, if you try and make it an everything for everybody site then it isn't going to be as successful as you think it will be (In my opinion)
I haven't subscribed yet (no fancy star!) for the prime reason that I really don't know what I am subscribing to. Yes, articles are posted. Yes, there is commentary for those articles. But the subject of the articles is so wide its hard to pin down the types of articles I am going to get. What I would like is a definition of your target audience to see if I fit in to it in the long term. As was mentioned above the name of the site puts me off too, I come here for tech news but name is anything but related to tech.
But I am not leaving here and time soon (I lurk more than post nowadays), I don't think the CEO change over is that much of a problem. This is a community run site and the change of leadership is expected but as long as the community is strong then things should just continue. I hope NCommander continues to be more active again in the future and I hope Juggs is able to take the site to the next stage in its evolution.
The nexus thing should help a lot here if you can filter out the types of articles you aren't interesting in.
Why is this poutine character so butt-hurt?
He's not. He's been our token nay-sayer troll since pretty much day one. As long as he keeps doing his thing, all is well. When he starts jumping on the bandwagon though, we're probably doomed.
Probably because an American won the Canadian national poutine-eating contest.