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Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 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:
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 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:I sincerely hope not (Score 1) 56

You're seeing cloud gaming as a replacement for PC gaming, which it really isn't. It's more of a replacement for console gaming, which just happens to take place on a computer - or, in some cases, on a smartphone. This is awesome because it lets someone play the new games without the initial costs: they don't have to buy a fancy graphics card or a PS3. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of the upsides of PC gaming, but it's not trying to.

Comment Re:Tail wagging the dog? (Score 1) 274

Actually, if you read more than the last chart of TFA, you see that Opera uses the most power when rendering about:blank. The last chart is pretty misleading if you're making an across-the-board comparison on anything other than the total runtime.

IE wins 3/4 of the tests, with Firefox typically running a close second. It does not win on about:blank, but is about a tenth of a percent off from Chrome there.

Comment Re:Still too pricey per gig for mass storage (Score 5, Informative) 165

SSDs affect other things besides just speed. I put one in my netbook and battery life went from six hours to eight - and it boots in fifteen seconds and starts programs almost instantly. The difference in power consumption matters less in a bigger laptop, but it would still help. I also don't see why you're talking about an SSD and a 2TB drive as a binary choice. The "average user" doesn't need 2TB; they already have enough space with the ~500GB that came with their Dell. They could get an SSD, keep the hard drive they already have, get someone to move the Windows install, and have the best of both worlds.

Comment Re:As a programmer (Score 5, Insightful) 735

A great idea that is hacked together with shell scripts and kilometers of spaghetti code can make someone a fortune and (lame as it sounds) change the world.

Not quite. A great idea that is hacked together will almost certainly be "borrowed" and better implemented by someone else, making them a fortune. The world still gets changed, I suppose.

Comment Re:Business Model Changes (Score 1) 422

Can we stop pushing the idea that consoles are sold at a loss? The Wii has been sold for a profit since launch (source). The Xbox 360 has been sold for a profit for four years (source). The PS3 has taken the longest to get there, but it is now sold for a profit as well (source). New consoles are often initially sold at a loss, but they do not stay at that price.

The problem with the five-year lag is that the consoles are decreasing the lag the consumer sees. Crytek's CEO claims that the current generation of consoles was holding back developers. There are some games that are PC-only, but those only appeal to a fraction of the potential market, so most developers have to go for multiple platforms and accept the limitations that the old hardware has. The consumer mostly sees cross-platform games, so it doesn't look like a five-year lag at all. If there were a hardcore PC developer pushing the envelope, it might be different, but now that Crytek has developed CryEngine 3 for all platforms, I don't think anyone could do it.

I wonder how much of this is Nintendo's fault - MS and Sony look over and see their competitor beating them with half the graphics and a bit of a lower price, and they realize that graphics have hit a point that most games won't benefit that much from nicer hardware. Of course, then they think that the magic is all in the motion controls and that they need to have something that imitates that...it's like watching iphone imitators.

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Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato