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posted by takyon on Monday July 04 2016, @12:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the independence-day dept.

Two years ago, on 2014-07-04, SoylentNews received official confirmation of becoming a Public Benefit Corporation. Though there is no user-visible manifestation of this on the site (or any of the other services we provide), it does stand as an important milestone in our history.

A lot has happened since this site went live. Here are some numbers:

  • 93 - polls posted.
  • 170 - current subscribers.
  • 1816 - journal articles posted.
  • 6278 - registered nicknames.
  • 12252 - stories posted to the site.
  • 14556 - stories submitted.
  • 369411 - comments posted.
  • 41767215 - story hits we've counted (ignores AC hits)

Numbers, however, provide only part of the story. We have been able to keep the site up and running with only a few unplanned site outages, which is a far cry from how things were back when the site launched. To watch this community coalesce and grow to what it is today has been a heart-warming and enriching experience. I've read stories and comments that have changed my view of the world. All thanks to the tireless (and very occasionally tired) efforts of our all-volunteer staff and you, our community. And what a talented and selfless group of people we have! I am continually impressed with the knowledge and professionalism exhibited by the staff — I tip my hat to them all.

One of the comments to last year's story sums it up very well for me:

I[t] feels like much longer than a year ago, maybe because Soylent perfectly replaced the place Slashdot occupied in my heart. Except, it's better. NCommander, Eds, we really appreciate the work, spirit, and intent you've put into the community. It's a mark of distinction that this place feels more like a really big, walnut-panelled study filled with learned colleagues than it does a random, pointless forum. The latter is ubiquitous, the former unique.

It is my fervent hope that we will continue to earn your support and provide you with the best news discussion site we can.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Our Independence Day: We're Officially Incorporated! 46 comments
As a general rule, I don't post site news on weekends or holidays, but I'm making an exception due to the unique circumstances. I'm pleased to announce that as of today, our articles of incorporation have been accepted and signed off by the State of Delaware, and "SoylentNews PBC" is a licensed public benefit corporation, ready to accept business, effective 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 :-)
SoylentNews PBC is One Year Old on July 4th! 36 comments

A lot can happen in one year.

SoylentNews.org had its alpha release to the public on February 12, 2014.

I know it's been a long wait, but we've been steadily moving towards launch. With luck, you're reading this on the main index of the site, which means we've gone, and haven't gone mad in the process. Now that we're here, we hope to have made the wait worth it, but we depend on everyone in the community. To make this site a success, we depend on each and every single user even if its just from passing word of mouth. Remember, every single user can submit stories, moderate, and contribute to discussions all at the same time, and that's what makes us unique. May I be the first to welcome you to your new home.

We struggled during those first few months with organizational issues as well as just keeping the site up and running. The community grew. The site struggled at times under the load, yet we still pushed forward.

One year ago on July 4th, we became SoylentNews PBC:

I'm pleased to announce that as of today, our articles of incorporation have been accepted and signed off by the State of Delaware, and "SoylentNews PBC" is a licensed public benefit corporation, ready to accept business, effective today.

A staff of volunteers develop, maintain, support, and run this site. The community has been our main focus right from the start and now is a good time to take inventory. Over the past year, we have implemented changes in moderation with additional moderation options as well as the ability to both moderate and comment in the same discussion. There was a massive rebuild of the underpinnings of the site to take us from the unsupported base of outdated Apache and mod_perl code to more recent releases. We are in the early stages of rolling out nexuses. Subscriptions have been implemented and the community rose to the occasion to support our ongoing server and administrative costs. Numerous performance enhancements have been made. New site themes have been introduced. Polls have been posted (admittedly, some lingered for much too long) with vibrant community discussion. Similarly, there are some of our community who have posted stories to their journal which have also generated much discussion. We aim to facilitate discussion among our community and yet some choose to simply read the site and pass the word on to others — we are grateful for you, too!

As I write this, our stats since day one are: we have over 5,600 registered users; over 8,100 stories have been submitted (of which over 6,800 were posted); and over 204,000 comments made! A special thanks to those who have subscribed and thus allowed us to pay our bills and continue as a going concern.

Though entirely run by volunteers, the efforts I've seen put into this site continue to amaze me. So, fellow Soylentils, where can we do better? And where in your estimation have we done well? What are the high points for you for the site over this past year?

[Ed. note: Story updated to clarify that our anniversary is on July 4th.]


Original Submission

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @01:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @01:00PM (#369549)

    You may proceed!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @01:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @01:04PM (#369551)

    While better than /., you're no /new/.

  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 04 2016, @01:44PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday July 04 2016, @01:44PM (#369562)

    I wouldn't change a thing, except: if you happen to be running out of funding - I'd consider Google Ads a non-evil way to help keep the place afloat.

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by n1 on Monday July 04 2016, @02:15PM

      by n1 (993) on Monday July 04 2016, @02:15PM (#369575) Journal

      The day we run ads, use third-party analytics, or have any commercial partnership is the day this editor retires.

      The financial model we have now is barely sustainable, but I think it's totally workable if we improve. I've been pondering doing a journal or submission related to crowd-funding, but it's a complex topic I want to address... However, there are plenty of examples now of things like patreon campaigns working to sustain independent content creators, especially on YouTube.

      We can't go that route being a PBC (AFAIK), but the same principle applies in subscriptions with little tangible benefit, the content is free and unadulterated, and people in various online apparently communities want to support that. The difficulty we face is people are much more inclined, apparently, to use that kind of model for entertainment rather than information dissemination and community discussion.

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 04 2016, @05:13PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 04 2016, @05:13PM (#369649) Journal

        Maybe the subscription period is too long. Mine won't expire until Sept 30, 2017, which means its on me to remember to jump through that little hoop. If my subscription was expiring though, and maybe you put a little notification at the top of the page to remind me about it, I'd remember to kick in my support more frequently.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Monday July 04 2016, @05:33PM

          by frojack (1554) on Monday July 04 2016, @05:33PM (#369669) Journal

          Nothing prevents you from subscribing again, and pushing your subscription period beyond your mortal existance.
          Mine ends in 2020, and others probably end much further in the future.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 04 2016, @08:04PM

            by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 04 2016, @08:04PM (#369744) Journal

            My point is, that requires me to remember to do that. if it expired sooner, I wouldn't have to remember.

            • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Tuesday July 05 2016, @05:46PM

              by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 05 2016, @05:46PM (#370167) Homepage

              There is an option to have us send you a message when it expires. Ironically this stopped working briefly but it is now working again.

              --
              (Score:1^½, Radical)
      • (Score: 2) by AnonTechie on Monday July 04 2016, @08:43PM

        by AnonTechie (2275) on Monday July 04 2016, @08:43PM (#369761) Journal

        Heartiest congratulations to all of you for doing a wonderful job. May there be many many happy returns of this day. My best wishes to the entire team.

        May Soylent News boldly go where no such forum has gone before.

        --
        Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    • (Score: 2) by chewbacon on Monday July 04 2016, @02:16PM

      by chewbacon (1032) on Monday July 04 2016, @02:16PM (#369576)

      I'd consider Google Ads a less evil way to help keep the place afloat.

      FTFY ;)

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday July 04 2016, @02:37PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday July 04 2016, @02:37PM (#369584)

        I can go with "less" - definitely less evil than shutting down, less evil than PBS style beg-a-thons, much less evil than deep pocket sponsors.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday July 04 2016, @05:35PM

          by frojack (1554) on Monday July 04 2016, @05:35PM (#369670) Journal

          And both you guys could where your stars.

          (I don't buy the false modesty argument.)

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:46PM (#369608)

      I wouldn't. I would not appreciate this site to deliver data to one of the biggest, if not the biggest data collector out there. And I would definitely block those ads in any way I can, assuming I'd continue to use this site at all. (And yes, although I'm currently not logged in, I do have an account, and even a subscription.)

      I'm sure there are ad networks not associated with Google. And while I'd not really appreciate any of them, I could at least tolerate them (as long as they don't try to make sound or constantly eat CPU time/battery power). I won't tolerate Google ads.

      • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Thursday July 07 2016, @01:13AM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 07 2016, @01:13AM (#371075) Journal

        I for one completely agree with what you say.

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday July 04 2016, @01:54PM

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 04 2016, @01:54PM (#369564) Homepage
    The people I disagree with. We manage to keep the discussions with more light than heat here.
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Monday July 04 2016, @01:58PM

      by BsAtHome (889) on Monday July 04 2016, @01:58PM (#369567)

      I agree, the discussions are generally civilized and the community leaves room for all kinds of topics and views. Lets just hope we can all keep our cool and continue the effort.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @02:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @02:12PM (#369574)
      I don't mind a bit of heat as long as the heated responses are intelligent and actually have information or insight.

      The other site (/.) seems to have improved in the stories they run, but when I look through the comments it's like diving through a huge pool of shit just to try to find a few nuggets of bronze or gold if there are any at all (too often I see a story and go hmm interesting story then look at the comments and after a few dozens or so give up trying to find any useful, I daresay they're worse than the subreddits I follow).

      Here there's still shit, but the signal to crap ratio is better.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by n1 on Monday July 04 2016, @03:15PM

        by n1 (993) on Monday July 04 2016, @03:15PM (#369596) Journal

        We're trying very hard to not fix what is not broken...

        Signal to noise on comments is very much up to the community to decide. We all have the same mod point allocation.

        The stories however is another issue... Whilst it is very important to be very open minded in stories we put on the main page, we make mistakes in many ways. The couple of dupes that came up over the last couple of days is something that should have been caught. It's not the end of the world, but it's not good form. There was a story I ran a while ago on a 'school stabbing'... I didn't make a note in the summary of the date (2 years ago), and by the time it had been noted, it was too late to change. I have to stand by my errors here, my standards for what we do on this site are high. It doesn't always show, the time we have is always limited and everyone views stories from a different perspective... What is a crap story to me, another editor and the rest of the community might see something interesting.

        Even then, the bad stories can have good discussions.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:35PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:35PM (#369601)

          As long as your name isn't Timothy.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @04:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @04:43PM (#369634)

      Disagree.

      The exchanges aren't really on par with the best I've seen elsewhere (less lows, but less highs too), and we could with a "why so serious" and "fuck you, that's why" mod with how badly some people miss obvious jokes.

      I still learn new things elsewhere, as there is a more broad range of views.

      Here, it is usually the same predictable cast of characters with the same predictable talking points. Less the site than the user base, but out of over 6000 people, there should be more mutant arguments that I haven't considered before.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by hemocyanin on Monday July 04 2016, @05:08PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 04 2016, @05:08PM (#369646) Journal

        Speaking of new mods:

        insightfunny

        That's the one I really want for those moments when the sarcasm is so beautiful you can't decide whether reward the author for the humor or the well made point.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by shortscreen on Tuesday July 05 2016, @12:54AM

          by shortscreen (2252) on Tuesday July 05 2016, @12:54AM (#369855) Journal

          suggested mods:
          +1 Romantic
          +1 Time Traveller
          +0 Doge
          -1 Logical Fallacy
          +1 Logical Phallusy
          +0 It Was Aliens
          +0 Cool Story Bro
          +1 Thanks For All the Fish
          -1 Systemd

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @02:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @02:01PM (#369571)

    No AC numbers? Don't underestimate us.

    While I personally will never create an account, I do spread awareness of the site via word-of-mouth & link sharing, and the occasional comment.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 04 2016, @03:09PM

      Last we checked, though it's been a while, we got roughly 10x as many ACs as we did registered users.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:12PM (#369594)

        I am a registered user. But I also value my privacy. So I read, and post, as AC.

  • (Score: 2) by chewbacon on Monday July 04 2016, @02:18PM

    by chewbacon (1032) on Monday July 04 2016, @02:18PM (#369577)

    Been a interesting project to watch and heart-warming, too, from that perspective. Keep up the good work!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @02:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @02:26PM (#369580)

    It's hard to strike the right balance between appreciation on one hand, and the kind of hardboiled cynicism that characterizes workers in the software industry.

    So I'll just note that in spite of being wrongheaded 90 percent of the time when you vent your personal opinions in forum discussions, you guys have done and are doing a spectacular job running this site.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by GungnirSniper on Monday July 04 2016, @03:08PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Monday July 04 2016, @03:08PM (#369591) Journal

      At least we know what Digital Equipment Corporation was.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 04 2016, @03:12PM

      Cheers. Imagine how boring it would be if we all agreed though. Unless we all agreed with me at least.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday July 04 2016, @05:48PM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday July 04 2016, @05:48PM (#369679) Journal

        Yeah, that wouldn't be boring...it'd be violent and bloody on account of everyone being an inbred, sociopathic retard with an itchy trigger finger. Boring, no; but not my kind of excitement, no sir.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 04 2016, @07:38PM

          Troll, troll, troll your boat...

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday July 04 2016, @07:48PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday July 04 2016, @07:48PM (#369736) Journal

            ...gently down the fstream.h;

            But no, really; your worldview is a festering disaster and if everyone believed what you did we'd all be dead within a decade.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05 2016, @05:56AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05 2016, @05:56AM (#369931)

              Lordy, have a bad weekend?

              Yeah, he does seem to have his blindspots and I disagree vehemently with almost everything that he says, but...

              >your worldview is a festering disaster

              ...is a bit much, his worldview does include working on the code here for free after all.

              Having said that, I'd also like to say that since you joined you have added much to this place and mostly what you've added is heart, so thanks and dont stop.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05 2016, @08:06AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05 2016, @08:06AM (#369961)

                When reading those comments, a quote often comes to mind:
                "I have always found it quaint, and rather touching, that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough." --Christopher Hitchens

                his worldview does include working on the code here for free after all

                "Tribalism", I think.
                "Community", even.
                Right^W Wrong Wingers have a defective amygdala (part of the brain) which doesn't allow them to see danger in proper proportion.
                They are always frightened and are constantly on the lookout for an enemy (instead of looking for greater opportunities to collaborate).

                ...and I'm now thinking about the scientist who works all day every day sorting out information from noise, using logic the whole time.
                ...then he goes to lunch, bows his head over his food, and prays to a sky fairy.
                Complete compartmentalization of "thought" processes.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by GungnirSniper on Monday July 04 2016, @03:02PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Monday July 04 2016, @03:02PM (#369588) Journal
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @03:50PM (#369610)

      I thought systemd was the new beta.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @05:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @05:36PM (#369671)

        let's hope soylent embraces the systemD paradigm:
        "Boot up twice as fast and shuts down 100 times slower"

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @06:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @06:02PM (#369689)

        your mom is the new beta

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday July 04 2016, @03:46PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday July 04 2016, @03:46PM (#369606) Journal

    Only 1816 journals? Looks like I've posted nearly 5% of them.

    I think journals should get a little more visibility. There's a lot of interesting discussion happening on them.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday July 04 2016, @05:52PM

      by frojack (1554) on Monday July 04 2016, @05:52PM (#369684) Journal

      I've never understood the point of journals.

      I've tried to use it once, or maybe twice, as I did on that green site a long time ago.
      (All it ever did over on /, was attract trolls and flaming from ACs).

      Seems a way around editor scrutiny at best.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @07:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @07:54PM (#369739)

        One more -- journals stick around, unlike the main page items that scroll down to oblivion.
        Have read a few of them, haven't felt like making one yet.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday July 04 2016, @09:05PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday July 04 2016, @09:05PM (#369768) Homepage

        A lot of people use journals for stuff they want the community to see, but don't believe worthy to be on the front page.

        They're useful for opinions and stylistic writing(where you don't want your tone and style professionalized by the editors) as well as rambling and other bullshit.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @04:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @04:32PM (#369631)

    Really need to be changed more often. It's sooooo boring seeing the same poll run for weeks at a time that I pretty much ignore looking at it.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by n1 on Monday July 04 2016, @04:53PM

      by n1 (993) on Monday July 04 2016, @04:53PM (#369637) Journal

      Agreed.

      If people could make more suggestions for polls in the submissions it would really help out getting it changed more frequently. I have never had an idea for one, the few passing thoughts i've had on them always seem like market research unintentionally.

      Any ideas?

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @07:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04 2016, @07:58PM (#369742)

        where are polls supposed to be submitted?

        how about these...

        Your ideal road-going vehicle would be propelled by:
        internal combustion engine
        external combustion engine
        hybrid drivetrain
        electric motor with batteries
        electric motor with fuel cell
        animals
        other

        Your ideal house would be constructed from:
        wood
        bricks/blocks
        poured concrete
        mud and straw
        sheet metal
        dinosaur bones
        other

        The device you read SN on consumes:
        0-10W
        10-40W
        40-90W
        90-160W
        160-250W
        it uses a major river for cooling
        you read it on stone tablets

        When you grow up you want to be:
        aerospace engineer
        chemical engineer
        civil engineer
        electrical engineer
        mechanical engineer
        software engineer
        all of the above
        none of the above

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by pTamok on Monday July 04 2016, @07:23PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Monday July 04 2016, @07:23PM (#369722)

    I'm surprised it's only 170. I expected somewhat more. I'm one of a fairly small self-selecting group then.

    It illustrates that being better than average doesn't guarantee success. Which is one of those life lessons no-one talks about.

    May you get more subscribers and better finances.

    And a heartfelt thank-you to all those who make a contribution, whether with money, time, code, articles, comments, or something I've forgotten. I appreciate it.

  • (Score: 2) by goodie on Tuesday July 05 2016, @02:50AM

    by goodie (1877) on Tuesday July 05 2016, @02:50AM (#369884) Journal

    Nice to see some basic stats up here! But more importantly, congrats to the team!