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The End [of the year] is Nigh

Accepted submission by martyb at 2018-12-22 14:22:27
/dev/random

So it's not the end of the world as we know it, but it's nearly the end of the year. How'd we get here, where are we at, and what have we been up to?

Background:

It all started with slashdot attempting to push a redesigned UI (User Interface) onto the community (aka the "Beta"). There was tremendous discontent with the decision which culminated in the The Slashcott [soylentnews.org]. Some like-minded folk getting together and bashing an unmaintained open-sourced version of slashcode into working order. For some of the early pre-history of the site there is a very readable entry at https://operationsysadmin.smbfc.net/ [smbfc.net]. This was a Herculean task, but they somehow managed in a couple week's time to get something running and opened it up to the world on February 16, 2014 [soylentnews.org]. The site had some "stability issues" at first, but these tenacious folk persevered and we are now fortunate to have a stable and functioning discussion system that is fast approaching five years of operation!

Some Statistics:

Since that inauspicious beginning we have seen:

  • 125 polls offered
  • 1,000 subscriptions to the site
  • 1,770 days of operation
  • 3,655 stories published to users' journals
  • 7,228 userids registered
  • 25,038 stories published to the site
  • 30,747 story submissions
  • 37,744 poll answers
  • 524,622 comment moderations
  • 772,179 comments posted

Check out the Hall of Fame [soylentnews.org] for some additional statistics.

Funding:

As of this writing, we have received approximately $1142.48 which is 38.1% of our funding goal of $3000 for the second half of the year.

It bears mentioning that this site and its operations are supported entirely by volunteers. Nobody has ever received any payment for their efforts. In my own case, I work retail and have no two weeks' schedule the same. During the holiday season work hours are extended; as an example, I am scheduled to work past midnight tonight and the same again tomorrow. There have been many times I have popped into the site during a break and (painfully) used my mobile phone to push out a couple stories. Others here also have outside activities and commitments yet make the time to keep this site up and running.

Deucalion keeps us cats herded and keeps an eye on our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) daemons. The Mighty Buzzard handles the vast majority of actual site maintenance and security certs as well. Audioguy quietly works behind the scenes and takes care of e-mail as well as other sysadmin-y tasks. Ncommander and paulej72 hover around in the background to help out when needed. And then there are the editors who are the main face of the site. Theirs is the seemingly thankless task of choosing story submissions, making corrections as needed, and queuing them up to appear on the main page. To all of you, I offer a profound and deep "THANK YOU!"

Though the staff is entirely volunteer, there are still actual costs to keeping this site operational: monthly server bills, domain fees, accountant charges for filing taxes, and the like.

So, back to funding. We have approximately 110 users who had previously subscribed to the site, and have logged into it in the past 30 days, whose subscription has lapsed. I'll be the first to admit that our reminders are not the best! Maybe that happened to you? You can check your subscription status on the Subscribe [soylentnews.org] page. Specify whatever amount you'd like (the amount presented is the minimum required for that duration) and submit it. We accept payments via PayPal and Stripe. NOTE: For Stripe payments, Javascript must be enabled as we link to their payment processing page and it requires Javascript.

Whatever amount you choose IS appreciated!! Please subscribe now [soylentnews.org].

It's not just the numbers!

The thing that keeps me volunteering here, though, is not the nitty gritty of site operations (though I have learned so much by watching pros at work!). It is the community. I've come to know and appreciate the points of view of many regular commenters here. I'm regularly reminded people just don't fit into simple, compartmentalized boxes. Certain grand strokes may be consistent, but I've lost track of the number of times when a post has caused me to step back and go "Whoah!" Some deeply-held thought or belief gets re-examined and I'm a better person for that introspection.

The Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) also keep me coming back for more. These folk know stuff about areas that I didn't even know were areas! I am humbled by their contributions; more detailed than the press kit blurbs, but not so erudite that I need to grok the entirety of their specialty.

Whatever your interest or contribution, SoylentNews is People! Thank-you seems so little, but it is heart-felt. Thank-you to all of you who contribute to this site, whatever way that may be.


Original Submission