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Submission + - Slashdot by the People

turp182 writes: Slashdot by the People

Editors, please post to the front page if this get a response from the Firehose users. The response would help any potential buyer better understand the community, and the community could respond with insightful responses.

This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about acquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/...
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/...
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
    https://www.quantcast.com/slas...
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):
    http://arstechnica.com/informa...

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising salesforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowd sourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightening conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Comment Re:It's doable (Score 1) 10 10

I contacted Rob Malda via G+ chat to see if I could get a DHI contact to speak with.

That would be a first step.

Here is what I sent (the email has been adjusted, my identity not so, this is not the time for anonymity):

Email: jason_turpin@AT@yahoo.com

I'm trying to find a way to take Slashdot non-profit without corporate ownership. Community owned and controlled. Is there any way you could help put me in touch with a DHI person who could potentially entertain such an option? Huge favor, you don't know me, I'm a stranger.

I typed this up after the annoucement, but it didn't make it to the front page:
http://slashdot.org/submission...

Thank you,
Jason W. Turpin.

Submission + - Seven independent lines of evidence unmistakably lead to dark matter

StartsWithABang writes: Everywhere we look in the Universe, we find more Universe that looks an awful lot like we do, with planets, stars, galaxies, groups and clusters similar to our own. Yet the Universe we see isn't all of what's out there, with normal matter (or any of the Standard Model particles) unable to explain even a simple majority of what we observe. Instead, we require five times as much dark matter to explain the mass we see, with at least seven independent lines of evidence supporting that inescapable conclusion.

Comment Re:It's doable (Score 1) 10 10

I agree 100%. How the #$^*&^% do we get this to the front page. The Firehose icon turned red after a few minutes and it has comments!

Funding is a huge problem. It takes time. There's a chance (potentially very high) that they are already in discussions with other corporate entities.

I have no problem with a benevolent corporate overlord (do internal site adverts, fixed image only, to fund the site - don't treat us like cattle for sale), but I would rather see the site managed by a non-profit, non-corporate related/bound entity.

I think a low annual fee to participate (comment, moderate comments and submissions, $12USD annually) could work. Cheaper than a monthly magazine. It would also reduce spam/vitrol a lot. Viewing would always be free of course.

Submission + - Kentucky Man shoots drone that was hovering over sunbathing 16-year old girl->

McGruber writes: Hillview, Kentucky resident William H. Merideth describes his Sunday afternoon: "Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard," Merideth said. "And they come in and said, 'Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.'"

Merideth's neighbors saw it too. "It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off," said neighbor Kim VanMeter. VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird. "I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard," she said.

Merideth agrees and said he had to go see for himself. “Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got under their back yard," Merideth said. "I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’"

That moment soon arrived, he said. "Within a minute or so, here it came," he said. "It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn't shoot across the road, I didn't shoot across my neighbor's fences, I shot directly into the air."

It wasn't long before the drone's owners appeared. "Four guys came over to confront me about it, and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds," Merideth said. "They asked me, 'Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?' and I said, 'Yes I am,'" he said. "I had my 40mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, 'If you cross my sidewalk, there's gonna be another shooting.'"

A short time later, Merideth said the police arrived. "There were some words exchanged there about my weapon, and I was open carry – it was completely legal," he said. "Long story short, after that, they took me to jail for wanton endangerment first degree and criminal mischief...because I fired the shotgun into the air."

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Help DHI operate Slashdot? (Score 1) 10 10

DHI couldn't figure out how to take advantage of Slashdot. The reason they purchased the site was try and monetize the community ("synergy" with their other sites), and they didn't realize the community would vehemently fight this.

Frankly, they should have listened to the community in the first place, but they didn't. It's not like we haven't been vocal or anything...

Comment Re:Organization structure (Score 1) 10 10

I've been through non-profit organization before, it isn't fun.

And that's a major complicating factor with regards to my suggestions. An organization needs a board to run/control it, not a full community.

It would be the best organizational approach for the idea I believe.

And thanks for posting, the story is Red in the Firehose, but it is now on page 3 which doesn't bode well... I thought it at least timely, if not interesting.

Comment Funding Idea #4 for Real.. (Score 1) 10 10

Would you pay $12 per year to have Slashdot? Browsing would be free, but how about $12 per year for moderation and commenting permissions?

That's less than most any magazine. I subscribe to Nat Geo and Smithsonian and $12 per year is less than either subscription. And I spend more time on Slashdot than I do reading both combined.

Just throwing it out there, $1 per month may not be the right number, or even needed.

I bet this would help with trolls and very offensive comments as well. I've only seen the bottom of the bucket a couple of times, it is nasty down there.

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 10 10

turp182 writes: This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about aquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/...
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/...
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
    https://www.quantcast.com/slas...
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):
    http://arstechnica.com/informa...

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising saleforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowdsourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightning conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Comment Re:Have they fixed the performance problems? (Score 1) 132 132

I use ,Net scaling features for the other direction, WPF apps that are easier for older eyes.

Uniform scaling for forms that aren't 1080 size is very much appreciated by those that want/need it.

And it's trivial to add to WPF forms. And fully independent scaling (user selected rather than resizing by dragging) is also easy as it is simple to add scroll bars to an application. I haven't done this yet but looked into it.

It's also a fantastic demo moment (everyone with imperfect eyes goes "Ohhh!").

The only people that won't appreciate it are picky UX test subjects, they ask about the empty columns when the form's aspect ratio changes (preventing this is a bit tricky, but certainly doable).

The wages of sin are unreported.

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