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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: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday August 17 2016, @03:20PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 17 2016, @03:20PM (#389144) Journal

    As an editor, and therefore someone who could benefit financially from this proposal, I share marty's concerns regarding the potential for it to create friction within both the team and the wider community. Of course I would like to be compensated for the several hundreds of hours (yep, it's not a lot spread over 2 years but it is quite a bit of my 'spare' time and it has come at a personal cost) of support given to this site. But how do you measure the value of a contribution between dev, editing, QA, management etc? Unless we have a recognised and agreed scale of remuneration, the likelihood of it creating problems is greater than the short term gains to the community as a whole.

    I know many of the team deserve something tangible in recognition of their efforts, and if we insist on doing this for free we might simply end up abusing the enthusiasm and generosity of a handful of individuals who really need to think about getting food on their table.

    I'm most certainly not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but I can see a lot of work being necessary to produce a system that is fair to all concerned - and which is viewed as such and accepted by the community. The idea has merit, but I don't think that we have identified a suitable implementation yet. However, that is what this thread is about so I look forward to seeing the comments and suggestions.

    If anything, I'd sooner see any excess funds that come in be used to reimburse the founders for their seed capital that got this site off the ground. Let's make them whole, first; show that we can meet our existing obligations before we step out into something else.

    I whole-heartedly agree.

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