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posted by mrpg on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the where-are-we? dept.

tl;dr:

This is a meta post concerning Soylentnews' background, finances, operations, staffing, story scheduling, and a conclusion. If this is not your cup-of-coffee++ (or tea, etc.), then please ignore this story — another will appear shortly.

Background:

In February of 2014, a group of ticked-off Slashdot users got together, said "Fuck Beta!", and launched an alternative web site focused on the community. It started with an out-of-date and unmaintained open source version of slashcode which was promptly forked and renamed 'Rehash'. We incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation. We experienced site outages, questions of leadership, and faced predictions of failure. Thanks to persistence, dedication, many late nights (and some very early mornings), we persevered and are still here today.

Soylentnews is a place for people to engage in discussions about topics of interest to the community. Not all topics are of interest to everyone, of course. In large part it is up to the community to submit stories — the large majority of these do get accepted to the main page. This is all the more important during the "silly season" &mash; summer in the northern hemisphere — when many people are on vacation and fewer scholarly articles are published.

Finances:

We are still an all-volunteer organization. Nobody here has made a profit off this site. In fact, Soylentnews is still in debt to the founders who put up the funds required to get us up and running. I am happy to report that we have finally made enough progress that some payback to the founders may be possible.

Here are the unaudited numbers from site subscriptions for the first half of our fiscal year (2017-01-01 through 2017-06-30):

Base goal: $3000
Stretch goal: $2000
Subscription count: 133
Gross subscription income : $3795
Net subscription income: $3645 (estimated - after payment processor fees)
Net over goal: $645

So, thanks to all you Soylentils who have donated, we have a surplus at the moment. The ultimate decision is up to the Board of Directors, but the current sense is that we should build a prudent reserve of some months' operating expenses before paying back the founders. In light of the foregoing, we are aiming for the same fundraising goals for the second half of the year... $3,000 base and $2,000 stretch goals. More in line with business norms, however, these are now being presented in the "Site News" box as quarterly goals: $1,500 base and $1,000 stretch goals, respectively.

Operations:

We've been forthright and upfront right from the start and it is our continued commitment to keep you informed of any issues in the site's operations.

To wit, we recently received a notice from our web-hosting provider, Linode, that one of our servers had been reported as having been added to a spam-blocking list. Staff immediately responded and found a misconfiguration in our link-shortening service. (It was only supposed to shorten links originating on Soylentnews.org, but was accepting links for other domains, as well.) A dump of the database was taken, non-SN sites were purged, the shortening service was updated to correctly implement the restriction to only shorten links from soylentnews.org, and Linode was informed of these actions.

We also recently experienced a problem with our slashd daemon which, among many other tasks, hands out moderation points each night. This fell over on us for a couple of nights leading to our handing out mod points manually to all users. This seems to have been rectified — please let us know if you see a recurrence.

Staff:

Lastly, one of the senior editorial staff has been on hiatus to deal with major illnesses in his family. His dedicated efforts in helping them has brought ill health upon himself, as well. I ask you to keep janrinok and his family in your thoughts and, if you are of a mind to do so, in your prayers.

Scheduling:

There have been discussions in the past as how we should best handle circumstances when there is a dearth of acceptable stories in the queue. Do we post something marginal just to fill the time or should we hold out and only publish when we have enough suitable material to publish. Past efforts and comments have suggested the majority prefer we avoid posting stories just to fill time slots. In short: quality over quantity. Further, staff cannot work 24/7/365 without a break either. We all need a break sometimes and summer is a good time to take one. In other words, we have been running with reduced staffing for the past couple of months and will continue to do so for the next few months as well.

The result? Over the past month or so, we have experimented with further spacing out stories on holidays (Independence Day in the USA) and on weekends. Instead of the usual cadence of a story appearing every 90 minutes or so, we have tried slowing to posting a story every 2 hours or even every 2.5 hours.

My perception is that this has worked okay. At least I have not noticed any complaints in the comments. It could well be that I had missed something, too. So I put this question to the community: How has the story spacing been working out?

Finally:

Please keep those story submissions coming, please continue to subscribe (you can offer more than the minimum suggested amount), and — most importantly — please keep reading and commenting! Discussion is


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ledow on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:26AM

    by ledow (5567) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:26AM (#537534) Homepage

    Article spacing?

    Would it not be possible for this to dynamically adjust. If there are a lot of stories waiting to show, show more until they come under a limit? If there is a dearth of stories, show less unless there's a minimum number?

    Obviously, it would only be able to account "approved" stories that are definitely going to show on the front page.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by looorg on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:37AM (4 children)

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:37AM (#537536)

    ... the suspense is killing me.

    That said I'm fine with the increased time period between articles depending on the list of submissions, or approved/edited submissions. I like silly stories as much as next person but I don't see a need for the pending list being filled to the brim with them just for the sake of having something to post. In the list of pending stories there is a time stamp for when it is about to be posted, could that time stamp be changed to instead of saying it's going to be posted at 12:31 say that it will be posted in say 120 minutes or 56 minutes or 2 days or whatever it might be. That way I can quickly see if there is an interesting story I would like to read I'll know when it will appear without having to think about timezones and what the time is now etc. But that just might be me.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:52PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:52PM (#537579)

      Whatever that is.

      Glad to hear things are OK behind the screen as well. Loving SN.

      • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:18PM (1 child)

        by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:18PM (#537642)

        Mayeb it's — &mdash

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:17PM (#537684)

          8====D — – .

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:32PM (#537757)

        mdash contains a d.
        (Got it right several times; screwed the pooch once.)

        Discussion is [???]

        The final bit of TFS seems to have been truncated.

        further spacing out stories

        The current thing works for me.
        ...but, then, I have a bunch of sites I visit on a typical day to see what's happening in the world.

        Nobody here has made a profit off this site

        Sure about that?
        Could be a Soylentil got smarter and increased his pay rate.
        Maybe a Soylentil got an idea here, became an Entrepreneur and started his own business, stopped having Capitalists siphon off money from his workplace while producing nothing, and upped his income.

        janrinok and his family

        In the words of Andy Sipowicz[1]: "I'll keep a good thought for them."

        [1] Apparently, raised Eastern Orthodox, but not overtly religious in his adulthood.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RedBear on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:55AM (14 children)

    by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:55AM (#537542)

    The longer gaps between stories during busy holidays seems like a good idea.

    Best wishes to janrinok and his family.

    I'm still amazed this site exists and functions as well as it does. It's quite an achievement by a small, dedicated group of knowledgeable people.

    I'll continue to advocate that we choose a couple of times each year when we run a BIG OBNOXIOUS BANNER on each page for a few days (a la Wikipedia, public TV or public radio) reminding all visitors that this site runs solely on user subscriptions and runs no ads. So far I have had some attention to past postings regarding this subject, but haven't actually seen anyone talking about doing it. I don't believe the subscription levels are easily sustainable without exerting regular positive pressure toward adding new subs. Won't hurt to add more commenters to the pool either.

    --
    ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
    ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:02PM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:02PM (#537543)

      I'll continue to advocate that we choose a couple of times each year when we run a BIG OBNOXIOUS BANNER on each page for a few days (a la Wikipedia, public TV or public radio) reminding all visitors that this site runs solely on user subscriptions and runs no ads.

      The day this is done is the day I'll consider no longer contributing (yes, I do have an account and a subscription; I'm not using them from my employer's computer, though).

      • (Score: 2) by RedBear on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:47PM (4 children)

        by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:47PM (#537564)

        The day this is done is the day I'll consider no longer contributing

        Awww... I daresay you won't be missed, if you're really that... overly sensitized to informative banners? I can't even begin to fathom why this would trigger you to leave the site. I'm not talking about some sort of "click the monkey" or [blink] tag abuse, just a box with some information about subscribing if you don't want the site to die. By "obnoxious" I just mean something that can't be easily missed. Something out of the ordinary.

        You are always welcome to make alternate suggestions for how to get the attention of new visitors and lurkers. Got any?

        --
        ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
        ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:30PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:30PM (#537611)

          Awww... I daresay you won't be missed,

          I might not be missed, but I'm not so sure my money won't be either.

          I can't even begin to fathom why this would trigger you to leave the site.

          Obnoxious banners are obnoxious. Got it?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:18PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:18PM (#537643)

            So make them a standard size. People with ad blockers won't be bothered because the ad blocker will filter the ads out. People without ad blockers won't be bothered because their brain filters the ads out.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:40PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:40PM (#537760)

              Ad blocker won't work as its from the site itself. I think the permanent sidebar donation info is enough, along with stories and comments about it.

        • (Score: 2) by Popeidol on Wednesday July 12 2017, @11:02AM

          by Popeidol (35) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 12 2017, @11:02AM (#538020) Journal

          if you're really that... overly sensitized to informative banners? I can't even begin to fathom why this would trigger you to leave the site.

          Given the sites origin, I'd say SN users skew towards being suspicious of obvious changes to the site that don't add to the user experience at all.

      • (Score: 2) by Kell on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:30PM (5 children)

        by Kell (292) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:30PM (#537571)

        I rather agree with the ACs sentiment. This does not seem to be a need - as a community, we collectively seem to be pretty decent at responding to the occasional "shit, we're running low on money post".

        --
        Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jmorris on Tuesday July 11 2017, @02:52PM (2 children)

          by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Tuesday July 11 2017, @02:52PM (#537599)

          How about announce that anytime fundraising falls more than X% behind the rate needed to keep the lights on for more than a month that the dreaded "beg banner" will put in an appearance. Carrot and stick.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:24PM (1 child)

            by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:24PM (#537608)

            What is that feeling? It's confusing, I don't know how to word it ...
            This is what somewhat agreeing with jmorris feels like?

            I do have to point out that the quarterly goals list may be problematic, if people take yearly subscriptions and most did around the same times (Initial burst, other reminders). What does the DB say about the spread of renewal dates? I could easily see how there would be 3 months when few "annual" people would naturally contribute.

            • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Thursday July 13 2017, @03:53PM

              by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 13 2017, @03:53PM (#538743) Homepage Journal

              That feeling is usually called "humanity" but too often we've all got it hidden away somewhere on our side of the screen while we're trying to tell or prove to someone that they're wrong or at least more wrong than oneself :P :D

              In the manual it says humanity should be run frequently but it has shit security and is subject to constant abuse which is why it is often neglected (man jaded or man cynic for more).

              Best wishes for Janrinok and his family, may they all get well as soon as possible.

              The longer intervals between stories is no problem at all to me, I haven't managed to keep up for years. I have 1562+131 unread RSS entries for SN and journals right now, and that's after removing stuff that I didn't find too interesting or important. I "blame" the world, the last five-six years have been very eventful.

              --
              Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
        • (Score: 2) by RedBear on Wednesday July 12 2017, @08:39AM (1 child)

          by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 12 2017, @08:39AM (#537998)

          I rather agree with the ACs sentiment. This does not seem to be a need - as a community, we collectively seem to be pretty decent at responding to the occasional "shit, we're running low on money post".

          Good grief. Begging for cash every time you are about to go out of business from lack of revenue is a very poor way to run a business, and this is a business just as every non-profit is still a business. Cash is required to keep the lights on. Being purely reactionary means the founders will never get compensated for what they put in from their own pockets to start the site. We'd always be just scraping by. I don't find this attitude intelligent or acceptable. The goal should be to add a few subs every quarter in a reliable way, so that the site can get to a point where it isn't constantly struggling to survive financially. Any goal less than this is irresponsible.

          If we were at a point where there were so many subs that the site had a large, safe monetary surplus at all times, I could maybe understand this attitude of not wanting to be bothered. But so far the site is just barely surviving. This is not the time to be squeamish about doing a simple "pledge drive" a couple of times each year. It should be far less annoying than what happens every April 1st.

          What exactly is the difference between "the occasional we're low on money post" and a scheduled "if you want this ad-free site to survive, please subscribe" banner? The difference is the latter would be far more effective. Most people don't bother to read the site update posts, especially newbies who don't yet feel any connection to the site's history.

          --
          ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
          ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @10:25AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @10:25AM (#538015)

            We have the quite visible permanent side box. We also have occasional stories reminding you about donations. If considered necessary, I'd have no problems with more such stories, even if it would mean an occasional "story" that's nothing more than asking for money. Or maybe add another text(!) line below "SoylentNews is People", say, "(please don't let it starve [soylentnews.org])" . Just stay away from obnoxious banners.

            As I previously wrote I'm a subscriber. On the other hand, I never contributed a single cent to Wikipedia, not because I don't value Wikipedia as such, but because every time I get the big banner (and it only got even more obnoxious over time) I feel angered and certainly not in the mood of giving them money.

            Another option would be to provide some more incentives for subscription or other forms of donation. Maybe themes that are only available to subscribers. Maybe make certain new features available to subscribers first. Maybe make the site more configurable for subscribers (say, allow different, user-configurable background colours for posts depending on score). Maybe simply add a "top donators" hall of fame.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by AnonTechie on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:39PM

      by AnonTechie (2275) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:39PM (#537557) Journal

      The longer gaps between stories during busy holidays seems like a good idea.

      I second this.

      I hope that Janrinok gets well soon and my best wishes to his family.

      I appreciate all volunteers who contribute to make this my "go to" website. Thanks is such a small word for the many many efforts that has gone into keeping this website running well. I hope you all continue to do better and better.

      Keep up the good work and Cheers to all of you !!

      --
      Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:39PM (#537759)

      Not big and definitely not obnoxious but something a bit atypical would be OK.

      I've previously mentioned that inline text (using a larger, brightly-colored font) or a non-blockable image via the base64 thing should be an adequate reminder for those with the spare cash and the inclination.

      Nagging, however, isn't going to accomplish anything positive.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by WizardFusion on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:11PM (1 child)

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @12:11PM (#537547) Journal

    I am happy with the spacing out of stories. If you try to keep to a specific quota (every 90 minutes) then you will find that any old crap gets posted.

    Quality over quantity is always a good motto.

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:16PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:16PM (#537640)

      I'll echo that. I'd not noticed any variation in story spacing. (Having said that, I rarely visit more than three times in a day, so others might be more sensitive/impatient.)

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Lagg on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:47PM

    by Lagg (105) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @01:47PM (#537578) Homepage Journal

    You got subscription monies out of me somehow so I'm guessing my brain is okay with what you're doing with articles. I assume my brain assumes what you want to do with articles will be in the spirit of not being fucking stupid. So by all means do waht you do. Unless you try to be like the news outlets and tabloids articles will dip sometimes. No technical fix.

    Good luck janrinok.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by inertnet on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:06PM (24 children)

    by inertnet (4071) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @03:06PM (#537604)

    Living in Europe, I often feel that I'm either too early or too late for a discussion. When I'm too early, it will take hours before the Americans respond. When I'm too late, everybody has moved on to newer stories.

    Assuming that most visitors are living in America, the type of scheduling doesn't really matter much for the rest of us. But out of principle, it might be an idea to increase story output a notch during times when comment count is highest (on average). And when comments are slow, like during your Independence Day, you could automatically slow down the release process.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:04PM (18 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:04PM (#537632)

      Yes! It could be automated: every time 500 comments are posted, Recode drops a new story. Simple matter of programming.

      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:25PM (17 children)

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:25PM (#537649)

        On that note, how often does a story here hit 500 comments? Could it be the case that with a (very) high number of stories posted, each story gets relatively few comments, and thus not much of a conversation?

        It's occurred to me recently that several stories are failing to get double figures of comments. I don't know if this is related to the type of story, the timing, or something else...

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:32PM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:32PM (#537655) Journal

          https://soylentnews.org/meta/hof.pl [soylentnews.org]

          As expected, politics and terrorism/disasters (with a couple of meta posts) get the most comments. Low triple digit and high double digit counts are common.

          This does not necessarily mean that there is less interest in actual sci/tech stories. Those stories might not have anything to argue over back-and-forth, and may get less page hits simply because less users are checking back due to comment reply notifications.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:59PM (13 children)

          by darnkitten (1912) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:59PM (#537709)

          I'm usually late to any discussion, as I can only check in in my "spare time," when I'm not helping patrons or supervising volunteers, for example.

          I've found, of late, that most of the time, when I finally I get to an article, the commentary has already become dominated by the Eternal, only-tangentially-related-to-the-article political/social/cultural-Argumentation that has become the norm, and no one is actually discussing the original article or its implications.

          I find that I rarely have anything useful to contribute when the Commentary has reached that point, and the Commentarians are by then more likely to react than respond, so I generally peruse rather than participate.

          Even on the occasions where I find something (usually in the early comments) where I feel I can contribute, despite my lateness, often the person to whom I would be responding has posted AC, and therefore won't even know I've responded; and no one else will notice my contribution due to the conversation having turned into the aforementioned Eternal Argumentation.

          Happily, when I am able to respond to a logged-in Soylent (Soylentils sounds really awkward in my head), I usually get a good response, one which either compels further discussion, or which, at the least, makes me think. Unfortunately, at that point, a patron usually walks in the door and I don't get back to the discussion for a couple of days, which doesn't make me the best conversationalist.

          -

          TL;DR, the noise is increasingly drowning out the signal, but the quality of my fellow Soylents' comments when they are not argumentating keeps me coming back.

          -

          On an unrelated note, do we really only have around 7000 (registered) members? I wonder how many users log in in a typical month, and how that has changed as we have grown...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:43PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:43PM (#537762)

            ermagerrrrd, stop just adding "ating" to every verb!!!! Yes I will be that person.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by darnkitten on Wednesday July 12 2017, @01:59AM

              by darnkitten (1912) on Wednesday July 12 2017, @01:59AM (#537902)

              Argumentation and Argumentating as useful terms go back at least to the 1700s, and were used by both the unlearned and the scholar, my friend...

              Argumentation, as opposed to Argument carries the sense of 'arguing for the sake of being troublesome, quarrelsome, nitpickish or "just plain being annoying;"' and thence comes the coinage, The Eternal Argumentation.

              -

              ...and yes, I am that person as well...but I own it.

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:50PM (8 children)

            by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @07:50PM (#537766)

            often the person to whom I would be responding has posted AC, and therefore won't even know I've responded

            See, I keep thinking this, but often ACs actually respond faster when I reply to them than logged-in users. I'm not sure how they do it.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday July 11 2017, @08:33PM (2 children)

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @08:33PM (#537778) Journal

              See, I keep thinking this, but often ACs actually respond faster when I reply to them than logged-in users. I'm not sure how they do it.

              By remembering where they posted and checking the page for answers?

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
              • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday July 11 2017, @09:51PM (1 child)

                by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @09:51PM (#537811)

                So many tabs...you'd think it would be easier to just make an account rather than keep flipping back to them and refresh to see whether somebody replied. And like I said, they seem to do it so fast.

                Instead, they could be receiving SN's artisanal, hand-crafted notification emails, lovingly deposited in your inbox by our team of tireless, overcaffeinated Internet fairies.

                --
                "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday July 12 2017, @04:30AM

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 12 2017, @04:30AM (#537947) Journal

                  So many tabs...

                  You are aware that not every AC post is by the same person?

                  And no, you don't need to keep the tabs open. You just need to look at the stories and open those you commented on.

                  And it's not as if everyone is interested in every story.

                  --
                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday July 11 2017, @08:36PM

              by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 11 2017, @08:36PM (#537780) Journal

              1. Lots and lots of open tabs, ready to refresh at any moment. Find a way to refresh all tabs at once. Close each comment or story after a few days.
              2. Bookmark every anonymous comment you make, or at least the ones you want to keep up with.
              3. Add some identifying info to each comment so that you can use the search engine. Wonder why people keep telling you to get an account already.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Wednesday July 12 2017, @01:42AM

              by darnkitten (1912) on Wednesday July 12 2017, @01:42AM (#537895)

              If I can respond early, in the conversation, there is usually prompt response, but once the Argumentation starts, the AC responses drop off quickly, I presume because getting pissed-off or indignant followed by some yelling is more entertaining than discussion.

              Me, it just get old quick, 'ey?

              -

              --man--if it weren't for the customers, I'd've finished this response a couple of hours sooner.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:54AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:54AM (#537927)

              We are legion, that's how.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 13 2017, @07:25AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 13 2017, @07:25AM (#538616)

                We are legion, but we speak as one.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @07:46PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @07:46PM (#538269)

              In a somewhat related vein, the ability to tag posts so that you get notified of replies like they were your own would be nice. This would make it easy to follow interesting conversations and also make tracking posts made as AC easier for those who do do while logged in. An option to set notifications to occur at certain depths of replies would be nice too.

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:38PM (1 child)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:38PM (#537844) Journal

            That's kind of always been the case from the early days of Slashdot. The most discussed articles there were not "Which Linux Distro is Your Favorite, and Why?" but 9/11 and Columbine.

            On Soylent that same dynamic presents, but there are some cross-cutting technical subjects that do garner a lot of discussion. Standards is one such. Tool suites is another. The more isoteric articles like "New Metallurgical Approach Found" don't get discussed because there usually aren't that many metallurgists who can speak with authority and everyone else, unless they have something witty to say, keep mum because they don't want to sound dumb.

            For me, toward the end of my time on Slashdot I only ever checked in for good geek humor, not to have bracing technical discussion.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Wednesday July 12 2017, @03:04AM

              by darnkitten (1912) on Wednesday July 12 2017, @03:04AM (#537932)

              I guess it depends on the type of "bracing technical discussion"--some of it I enjoy, some I ignore. Humor as well--while not being exactly humorless, many days I find my "funnybone" is less ticklish than others,' and I find myself more bemused than amused.

              What I do enjoy is learning something new, gaining a fresh insight into how someone else thinks or views a problem, perceiving suddenly someone's very obvious passion for a subject in which I would not have been remotely interested ten minutes earlier, or making any of the myriad tiny connections possible in a place like SoylentNews.

              Momentary, flashing disconnections from the stress or business of the day.

              That's kind of always been the case from the early days of Slashdot. The most discussed articles there were not "Which Linux Distro is Your Favorite, and Why?" but 9/11 and Columbine.

              I understand that--I'm objecting more to actual, interesting discussions being dragged into the monotonous regularity and sameness of argumentation (see my earlier post on "argumentation" vs "argument")--hobbyhorses are no match for the real animals.

              -

              Oh, yes--Ubuntu Studio, with a few KDE elements replacing some from Xfce.

        • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday July 12 2017, @04:07PM (1 child)

          by hendrikboom (1125) on Wednesday July 12 2017, @04:07PM (#538143) Homepage

          The proposal was for 500 comments, not for each single story with 500 comments.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @04:51AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @04:51AM (#539469)

            The 500 was said in jest. Please replace with "some arbitrary number."

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:37PM (4 children)

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:37PM (#537659) Journal

      A European editor would be a good idea to help push out stories during local time.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:31PM (2 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:31PM (#537841) Journal

        I would second this. Any Soylentils in Europe who could do this would be appreciated. I'm on EST in America but I check in at all times.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:20AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:20AM (#537911)

          You live in Panama? [wikipedia.org]

          Ducks

          • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Wednesday July 12 2017, @05:33AM

            by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday July 12 2017, @05:33AM (#537958) Homepage Journal

            Technically speaking, SoylentNews was born in a small flat in Panama because that's where I was living when I got the site setup; our first hit to Linode was from an Panamian IP address.

            --
            Still always moving
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Xyem on Wednesday July 12 2017, @08:42AM

        by Xyem (6597) Subscriber Badge <xyem@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday July 12 2017, @08:42AM (#537999)

        I'm being trained up on how to be an editor (GMT/BST), so this is technically in progress already.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11 2017, @05:09PM (#537675)

    Admit you're spammers, you lying niggers!

    Fuck Soylent!

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:30PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @11:30PM (#537840) Journal

    Get well soon, janrinok!

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @12:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @12:34AM (#537872)

    Pretty sure there's no 2017-09-31. Leap day is in February only.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:20AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:20AM (#537910)

    I have been using a couple of Greasemonkey recipes, no idea if they are interesting for full site or only some users.

    Recover the bullet point, easier to separate entries. There is a "overflow-y: hidden" in css for "#slashboxes ul li", maybe because words like "Tuesday" etc were getting bullets cut in half, and someone decided to solve that by removing all bullets. This overrides selectively.

    @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

    @-moz-document url("https://soylentnews.org/") {
      #olderstuff-content > ul > li > ul > li,
      #top10journals-content > ul > li {
        overflow-y: visible;
      }
    }

    Convert visibility buttons to text, so browser with image-load disabled show something, no more blind aiming. Still WIP, one of the controls appears twice in the bar, but better than nothing.

    @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

    @-moz-document url-prefix("https://soylentnews.org/") {
      label.commentHider::after {
        color: #600;
        background-color: #fff;
        content: "C";
      }
      label.commentTreeHider::after {
        color: #600;
        background-color: #fff;
        content: "T";
      }
      label.expandAll::after {
        color: #600;
        background-color: #fff;
        content: "A";
      }
    }

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:12PM

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday July 12 2017, @02:12PM (#538089)

    Reading the comments here perhaps this should actually be the normal setting all the time. Sometimes I feel like there is so many stories posted that there rarely is much if any discussion going on. Most stories probably doesn't get read or commented after say five-six hours, do we have any statistics or data that show reading and posting activity for stories?. So they die fairly quickly, are you gone for half a day and you post something you'll probably never get a response to anything. A few stories later they are pushed off the main page and fall into obscurity. Perhaps there should be a hard limit on stories per day, there already is one in the sense that a story gets posted every few hours or so but a number lower then that -- not counting potential breaking news of the Zombie Apocalypse or that Trump did something ie the important things in life.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @12:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15 2017, @12:59PM (#539528)

    Comments with a score of -1, posted as replies to an article (instead of replies to a comment), are showing by default.

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