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SoylentNews is people

posted by NCommander on Wednesday August 17 2016, @11:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the hrm dept.

So, during the last site update article, a discussion came up talking about how those who work and write for this site should get paid for said work. I've always wanted to get us to the point where we could cut a check to the contributors of SoylentNews, but as it stands, subscriptions more or less let us keep the lights on and that's about it.

As I was writing and responding to one specific thread, part of me started to wonder if there would be enough interest to try and crowdfund articles on specific topics. In general, meta articles in which we talk deploying HSTS or our use of Hesiod tend to generate a lot of interest. So, I wanted to try and see if there was an opportunity to both generate interesting content, and help get some funds back to those who donate their time to keep the lights on.

One idea that immediately comes to mind that I could write is deploying DNSSEC in the real world, and an active example of how it can help mitigate hijack attacks against misconfigured domains. Alternatively, on a retro-computing angle, I could cook something in 16-bit real mode assembly that can load an article from I could also do a series on doing (mostly) bare metal work; i.e., loading an article from PXE boot or UEFI.

However, before I get in too deep into building this idea, I want to see how the community feels about it. My initial thought is that the funds raised for a given article would dictate how long it would be, and the revenue would be split between the author, and the staff, with the staff section being divided at the end of the year as even as possible. The program would be open to any SN contributor. If the community is both interested and willing, I'll organize a staff meeting and we'll do a trial run to see if the idea is viable. If it flies, then we'll build out the system to be a semi-regular feature of the site

As always, leave your comments below, and we'll all be reading ...

~ NCommander

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday August 17 2016, @03:11PM

    by takyon (881) <> on Wednesday August 17 2016, @03:11PM (#389139) Journal

    10 U.S. cents worth of Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency buys a "submission point". Sell them in packs of 50. Users can spend as many submission points as they want on an article. The user that made the submission gets 20% of the value of any submission points spent on them... $0.02, and SoylentNews gets the other 80%. I'm not sure how the system would handle multiple merged submissions, since we sometimes roll them in haphazardly, or don't merge your dupe submission if it came in too late, and we have at least one non-user bot.

    I mention Bitcoin only because you don't want payment processing fees to eat into this. I'm not sure what Soylent uses for subscriptions.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Interesting=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday August 17 2016, @04:20PM

    by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @04:20PM (#389163) Journal

    I really like this idea, and I like decoupling it from subscriptions (contrary to DECbot's seemimgly similar suggestion [] above). I'm not sure if there's a reason to treat story submissions different than journal entries and comments, I could see crowd-funded rewards for all sorts of content generation.

    I'm not sure about the 80% 20% ratio, but it would be less controversial to move it from that to 50% 50% at some future point than the other way around.

    I think SoylentNews is using Stripe for subscriptions. They used to accept bitcoins, but don't seem to anymore. Sadface. I've never renewed my subscription while they were still accepted, and I think I originally subscribed before they were (maybe PayPal was originally used?).

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Wednesday August 17 2016, @05:06PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday August 17 2016, @05:06PM (#389190) Homepage Journal

      BitPay support was disabled because they broke their API and we haven't gotten a chance to fix it on our end. We've always supported paypal (as rehash came with that code) and Stripe was a recent addition.

      Still always moving
      • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday August 17 2016, @06:28PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @06:28PM (#389239) Journal

        Ah, thanks for the explanation!

    • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Wednesday August 17 2016, @05:47PM

      by DECbot (832) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @05:47PM (#389211) Journal

      I think it's pretty much the same idea, except that I reward a user buying points with a subscriber star (i.e.i if you have points, you get a star). Or maybe the other way it could be implemented is a user with a 12 month subscription of 120$US provides you with 1000 points each month during your subscription. My thought was to bolt on something more to subscribers so that as you give to the site, you are given a tangible benefit. I think NCommander is correct that subscribers should not have features like early access to articles as that can change the community as subscribers could astroturf new articles. However, allowing users with an investment into Soylent (i.e. subscribers) a means to vote on content I thought to be a very interesting concept.

      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Wednesday August 17 2016, @06:25PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @06:25PM (#389238) Journal

        Yeah, I didn't think they were very far apart. My reasoning for prefering decoupling is that I think people should be able to buy a very tiny number of points. Currently, you can buy a 30 day subscription for $4, 180 day for $12, or 365 day for $20. I think it would be ideal if somebody could buy $1 of points if they wanted, or even less, and the only way to allow that while coupling the point system with the subscription system would be to make the existing subscription perks (subscriber star and ability to search entire archive) available much cheaper.

        The lower the barrier of entry, the more people will punch in their credit card number (or SoylentNews' Bitcoin address, or whatever). When somebody gives once, they're more likely to justify giving to the same cause in the future.