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:
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
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):
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.
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?