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By rusty in Meta
Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:21:44 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

We've been threatening to do it for ages. Finally, it's here! You can now subscribe to Kuro5hin, and browse the site ad-free. To subscribe, just go here and follow the directions. Or read below for a totally fictitious Q&A about subscriptions.


Q: Subscriptions? Paying to not see ads? This must mean K5 is on the brink of bankruptcy! Every time someone does this, it means they're about to go under.

A: Actually, we're doing fine. Ever since we started running ads, a few people have suggested this as a good way for people to support the site, and still enjoy ad-free K5, like the good old days. We agreed, but it's taken me forever to get off my lazy ass and code it.

Q: So what's the deal?

A: You give us $5 a month, we shut off the top and bottom banners. Pretty simple.

Q: FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH! You must be out of your mind! I'd NEVER pay that much for anything!

A: Well, that's ok. If it's too much for you, there are free ways to do essentially the same thing. Do think about how much five dollars actually is, though. It's two cups of coffee at Starbucks. It's an extra-value meal and an apple pie at McDonalds. It's about 1/6th of a car wash. I think K5 is worth five bucks a month, but then, I'm totally biased. :-)

Even more interesting, look at the magazines you read. You generally pay more than that for a subscription, and get lots of ads anyway. Something to think about...

Q: So it's a guilt ploy eh?

A: No. I'm happy if you're happy. You guys write everything that actually makes the site worth visiting, and that's worth a lot. This is just an option, for people who'd like to take advantage of it. More options are good.

Q: Does this mean you're going to start putting pop-up ads everywhere, and ads between all the comments, and great whacking big boxes in the middle of the stories like those bastards over at c|net?

A: No. We have no plans to change the size, layout, or number of ads that we run right now. Things change, over time, so who knows what'll happen in the future. But this isn't a lead-in to expanding our ad coverage.

Q: [Blatant planted softball question] Well. That sounds ok. But have you got anything to sweeten the deal a little?

A: I sure am glad I ... err, "you" asked that. In fact, right now, for an undetermined (but "limited"!) time, we'll give you a free month with every five you buy. Pay for five months, get six. Pay for 10, get twelve! And so on.

Q: Not that I ever would, but if I in fact did want to sign up, how would I?

A: Just go to the subscription page. Fill in a number of months, do the PayPal rigamarole, and you're done. You have to have a user account to subscribe, by the way.

Q: About that box on the front page... are you really going to shoot that cat?

A: No, you idiot.

Q: Isn't that just a blatant ripoff of that old National Lampoon "Buy this magazine or we'll shoot this dog" campaign?

A: Yes.

Q: In fact, this subscription thing is exactly what Salon did, isn't it? Haven't you ever had an original idea in your life?

A: To the former, no not exactly. All the content on K5 is, and will always be, free for anyone to read. There aren't any special "subscriber-only" stories. And ads are off by default, not if you go to the trouble of turning them off. As to the latter, no, not that I'm aware of.

Q: Didn't you steal that cat image from MyCatHatesYou.com, and wasn't it actually made by someone at Geeks With Guns?

A: Yes, on both counts. And if anyone at either of these fine, fine sites, which, I might add, are two of the best on the internet, bar none, and should be visited as often as possible by everyone... ahem. As I was saying, if anyone at either site has a problem with our use of the image, we'll take it down.

Did I mention they're both stunning examples of the internet's best and brightest? I did? Good.

So, I know you'll all have lots to say about this. ;-) Go to it.

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Poll
I will subscribe
o Yes 9%
o Maybe 30%
o No 34%
o Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive. 11%
o I've got all my life to live 7%
o And I've got all my love to give 6%

Votes: 226
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o here
o free ways
o subscripti on
o Salon
o MyCatHates You.com
o Geeks With Guns
o fine
o fine [2]
o Also by rusty


Display: Sort:
Subscribe to K5 | 271 comments (270 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Psychic poll choices (4.14 / 7) (#1)
by Aquarius on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:35:00 AM EST

I felt obliged to vote "Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive" in the poll, because I thought it as soon as I read "I will subscribe", and then, lo, it was there. Not often that happens :)

Oh, and I can live with ads, so no fiver for you, Rusty :)

Aq.

"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace" -- Ronin, Frank Miller
Slippery slope? (3.83 / 12) (#2)
by Aquarius on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:38:20 AM EST

The idea behind this has a very slight worry for me, because of Rusty's comment about "subscriber-only stories". Now, obviously, the comment says that there aren't any, but there's now the possibility that there could be in the future to encourage people to subscribe. I don't think that this will happen; the only scenario where I can really see it is if K5 gets absorbed into some horrible money-making and money-oriented Borg collective (naming no names here), and if that happened I think a fair few people would leave because K5 wouldn't be K5 any more.

Still: Love Rusty. Trust Rusty. Keep your phaser handy. There are traitors everywhere.

Aq.


"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace" -- Ronin, Frank Miller
Slippity slop (4.80 / 10) (#7)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:47:06 AM EST

That was supposed to be really clear. If it wasn't, let me try again:

As long as I'm in charge here, there will not be pay-only content. It just goes against the whole idea. It's not going to happen.

If some corporate backstabbing bastards take over and do that, please leave and find a better place to talk.

--------

OT: About the title of this comment: I went to a debate in college, and one of the debaters was a Scottish girl with a really fierce accent. She kept talking about the "Slippity Slop", and it wasn't till days later that I realized she had been saying "slippery slope". I still hear her in my head whenever I see that phrase.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

That's nice to hear :) (4.00 / 3) (#27)
by Aquarius on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:00:18 AM EST

I appreciate you (re)stating this. Perhaps I missed it. The tone of your reply has amused me no end, though -- cheers for being tolerant and not just biting my head off :)

Aq.

"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace" -- Ronin, Frank Miller
[ Parent ]
Headbiting (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:17:37 AM EST

I virtually never bite heads off. The couple times I have, I immediately feel stupid for doing it, so I just don't. Anyway, you don't have to be afraid of me. Asking for clarification is ok. Speaking an opinion is fine. Sometimes I feel like I'm just here to be the geek world's psychotherapist.

Tell me about your mother... ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Head remaining (4.00 / 3) (#30)
by Aquarius on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:33:08 AM EST

You really don't want to know about my mother. :)

As I said in the original post: Trust Rusty. It struck me that you wouldn't allow K5 to descend that particular slippery slope, but, as far as I could remember, that was only my opinion of you, rather than an explicitly stated fact. After I'd posted it, however, I started to worry that perhaps it said "I WILL NOT SELL OUT" in 72 point red text on the front page, and I'd just never noticed it :)

Aq.

"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace" -- Ronin, Frank Miller
[ Parent ]
Not enough (4.52 / 17) (#3)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:38:39 AM EST

For $5 I expect editorial privelages, access to the secret cabal page, and a tickle me Inoshiro. What are you trying to pull here?


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


editorials (3.60 / 10) (#6)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:45:15 AM EST

I misspelled privilege, and I thought it was worth noting that this page also allows straight donations.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Spell Checker (4.75 / 12) (#18)
by cooldev on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:44:44 AM EST

For $5 a month should we should get a built-in K5 spell checker.


[ Parent ]
Paying for features (4.00 / 2) (#78)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:59:14 AM EST

Hey... not a bad idea. How 'bout it, rusty? Set dollar goals for implementing new features (when we get $1k, I'll add spell-checking), and accept donations for them.

I know *I'd* pay a few bucks to help get a few things implemented.

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]

spellchecking... (5.00 / 2) (#94)
by hurstdog on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:33:38 PM EST

Rusty and Keith (panner) messed with spell checking abilities for a while, but it was a major pain in the ass trying to call ispell or whatever program it was to check the story/comment. There was no perl interface to it, and it would have slowed things down a ton. I don't remember the details, but I just remember rusty and keith cussing about it :) So until there is a nifty perl spellcheck module, spellchecking in scoop is on the back back back burner of a different stove.



[ Parent ]
How hard? (3.50 / 2) (#120)
by dasunt on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:35:59 PM EST

I can see cpu overhead, but there are wordlists out there, some of them seem to be free (think: based on old dictionaries), so how hard would it be to use that as a basic dictionary, and have some mechanism for word additions?

Make a simular rating mechanism to comments to judge if a word is legit enough to make it into the dictionary, and everything should work fine. Would require no maintainance for Rusty or Inoshiro...

Just my $.02

[ Parent ]

Watching that system performance go down the drain (3.00 / 1) (#199)
by theboz on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:27:59 PM EST

I've tried similar things, and they just suck ass. It is a whole lot better to have a client side spell check than to have it run for every comment and story on the site.

If you want to see the database fill up and have performance drop (I'm assuming it would be in the database since that is better than flat text) and the CPU overhead go up tremendously, there you go. I would think especially when considering the fact that K5 is already having some performance problems you're asking for too much right now. The only option would be if browsers came with a spell check built in, or they do some funky stuff like I have done in the past to call MS-Word and poke things into there for the spellcheck. There is no good solution right now.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Just buy more performance... (none / 0) (#205)
by SpaceHamster on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 03:37:53 AM EST

If enough folks are willing to pay for k5, then some beefier (see, I really want a spell checker) servers could be purchased. You'd be amazed how far $2k goes if you're willing to build the box yourself.

[ Parent ]
There are too many users for that. (none / 0) (#218)
by theboz on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 08:17:48 AM EST

$2,000 wouldn't buy anything. If you're wanting to add all of this Rusty would have to lease an SP2 from IBM or something. If this were a smaller site your ideas would work but I think K5 has way too many users to be toying with running things like that on a server.

As far as spell checking, nothing is stopping you from copying and pasting to Word, or if you are using linux there are the various command line spell check programs. It does seem dumb that browsers don't have them built in but I guess eventually someone will make a plugin or something.

Oh, and as far as people being willing to pay, I'd think that it would cost about $100,000 to get a decent cluster of servers to run K5 with a spellcheck and other features, and even then the performance might suck.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Lets think.... (none / 0) (#222)
by dasunt on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:24:11 AM EST

If we limit spell checking to stories and comments (not diaries or suchnot), then to size a computer, all we need is to figure out how many posts/previews K5 gets a day, multiply it by a factor of 10 or 100 to allow room for growth, then divide it by 60x60x24 to figure out how many requests that the k5 spell checker needs to handle. Lets say k5 gets a post every 1 second (which turns out to be 864,000 comments/stories a day, or 8,640 comments before we multiply it by a factor of 100). Assuming that the comment is about 15 lines of 60 characters apiece, and that the average word is 5 characters long (including whitespace), then we need something that can handle 20x15 words/second, or 300 words. Doesn't seem impossible if we throw a simple pc dedicated to the task...

Or maybe I'm wrong, I'm not used to sizing computers...

[ Parent ]

What?! (none / 0) (#224)
by RadiantMatrix on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:34:26 AM EST

Set aside comment spell-checkig for a moment. I don't care about proper spelling in comments as much as I do in stories.

Consider how often stories are submitted. I would wager that K5 has never had more than 100 submissions in a day. (If it did, there would be whole new problems.) I somehow doubt that calling ispell (or a similar Perl-module) 100 -- or even 1,000 -- times each day would cause significant drag on the system.

Besides, even if one could spellcheck their comments, how many people do you think would actually use that feature? Consider the number of people who currently don't use preview as a small sample. ;P

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]

I was thinking differently... (none / 0) (#238)
by theboz on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:15:04 PM EST

I was thinking a more interactive thing. I haven't tried ispell or anything but I was thinking it would use (ugh, javascript, but it works) to pop up a correction box just like Word does to allow you to choose or substitute your own. I was thinking more complex than just like how the preview button works, but that would be more feasable, and if it were limited to stories that would be good too.

Do consider though, that the diaries are stories as well, just to the diary section instead.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Actually (none / 0) (#240)
by rusty on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:54:00 PM EST

What Keith and I both tried was basically piping text to ispell, and getting back an array of "possible misspells" just before preview. So the text in preview would have potentially misspelled words highlighted for you to go back and fix. That's all. It wasn't particularly complicated, and the problem was never server load. Mostly it was that running bidirectional pipes to an external process from mod_perl is a bitch, and really unreliable and crashy. That's why the comment about "until ispell gets perl bindings...".

It would be feasable if there were any perl spellcheck modules. Otherwise, I don't see it happening unless someone really clever sends us solid code. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Dude.. (none / 0) (#251)
by Inoshiro on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:30:52 AM EST

Go read about Linux spell check stuff an LWN, and pick another option then :p



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
CPAN search turned this up... (none / 0) (#265)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 07:58:27 AM EST

Perhaps this is actually what you tried, but I searched CPAN for "Spell" and came up with a module called Lingua::Ispell that seems to fit the bill nicely.

Also, there seems to be an Apache perl module that might fit the bill here.

Maybe this is helpful?

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]

Oooh (none / 0) (#266)
by rusty on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 08:43:33 AM EST

It looks like Lingua::Ispell is exactly what we were looking for. Don't know why neither of us found it before... maybe it wasn't written yet. I'll give that a try.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Erm . . . (3.00 / 4) (#88)
by sL1mB0y on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:29:59 AM EST

There is no K5 cabal.

[ Parent ]
Rusty! (3.75 / 12) (#4)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:41:55 AM EST

It's mean to hold a cap gun to a poor defenseless kitty's head! Threaten to pet it really hard or something, but no playing with guns in any way. You're liable to get sued by the Humane Society, and we don't want this to turn into "Rusty's legal defense fund."

Weapons Safety (3.42 / 7) (#58)
by Scribe on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:13:18 AM EST

A basic rule of weapon safety (including but not limited to guns) is:
Don't aim at anything unless you intend to shoot it immediately.

There are many reasons for this, of which I will only list a few here.

  • You might slip and shoot when you don't mean to.
  • You are more likely to hit your target if you aim and shoot immediately than if you attempt to hold the aim.

This is something everyone should have drilled into them early in life (as I did).

This applies to anything that even looks like a weapon, even toys. I have hurt people that violated this rule, while taking away their weapons. In one case I broke a finger.




--
Someday I may have a .sig :)
[ Parent ]
RE: Guns (3.60 / 5) (#74)
by ipinkus on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:10:24 AM EST

For an accidental shooting see the movie Circus. (Late 1990 something) Don't worry, there's enough guns in the movie that I didn't just spoil anything.

On another note, with the ultra activist nature of some cat lovers, you should probably change your slogan soon if you hadn't already planned to. What with Bonsai-Kitty and all. I'm quite serious... These cyber-patrol monkeys are just plain rabid!

[ Parent ]

Well, I'm a cat-lover (3.40 / 5) (#81)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:02:14 AM EST

I would go pretty damn far to stop people from causing harm to any domestic animal (note the "domestic"), but especially for cats. However, I found that image and message hilarious because:
  1. They're not actually going to shoot the cat
  2. I have a sense of humor
  3. That sense of humor likes dark humor
So don't brand us all, k?

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]
I have a cat as well (3.40 / 5) (#91)
by ipinkus on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:00:27 PM EST

Well, give me some credit because I did say "some cat lovers"

I suppose I should have put the emphasis on during the first post... Boy I wish I had a comment edit function right about now.

*joking on*
Also, are you a "cyber-patrol monkeys?" I believe only that particular group of folks should be offended since they're the people I called "just plain rabid".
*joking off*



[ Parent ]
Pong. (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by RadiantMatrix on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:37:58 AM EST

Whoops, goes to show what missing one word can do. :)

And, rereading my first comment, I realize that I sounded harsh, when I intended to have a joking tone. Damn lack of inflection in text...

As far as being a "cyber-patrol monkey", I do volunteer for ACPO, so I guess the 'cyber-patrol' part fits. And I have been called a monkey by a few irritated help-desk callers... :P

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]

Off Topic: Projectile weapons safety (3.60 / 5) (#80)
by theboz on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:59:53 AM EST

Yes but on TV people learn to hold guns against things and talk about your evil plans or how you feel that so and so never loved you and that is why you had a team of terrorists to take over the hotel, or whatever. You can't just shoot, you have to have a long, drawn out dialogue first.

Besides, on the movies everyone knows how to use a gun, and the only time they miss is if they are shooting at the hero or if that person is just a pawn to the plot.

Another thing, if Jesus were alive today, would his weapon of choice be a crossbow?

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Jesus weapon (3.80 / 5) (#121)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:43:22 PM EST

I'd imagine that if Jesus had any sort of weapon, it'd be just a stone. I think that if Jesus were alive today, he'd be either a Buddhist or a flower child.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Jesus doesn't need a weapon (5.00 / 1) (#160)
by Orion Blastar on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:03:19 PM EST

he has final say in the afterlife judgement. You tick him off, and you'll be in that hot place for all eternity. No rocks or stones needed, just wait until the b*stard/b*tch dies and then send them to the place that the Devil works at.

Jesus could also use "The Touch Of Death" on somebody as a weapon. Or send in a whole army of Angels. By the way, haven't you ever read the book of Revelations? It shows just how tough Jesus can get on a group of people. :)
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

I'll try not to tell a joke here again. (4.50 / 2) (#198)
by theboz on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:22:30 PM EST

My sense of humor may be bad, but I thought it would have been more obvious that I was joking. Now for the explanation.

I was thinking more in the way of a super hero, such as South Park last week, with the Super-best Friends. If Jesus was a super hero, he would use a crossbow as his weapon because it works with the "theme" of Christianity. Their symbol is the cross, so a crossbow would be along the same lines.

Of course, I could mention that his arch-nemesis would be carrying a nail gun as his weapon of choice, but that would be an attempt at a joke so I won't say that.

Lighten up people, I don't really care what sort of weapon Jesus would use. It was just a pun.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Don't joke about Jesus (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by Orion Blastar on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 11:43:01 AM EST

there are just some things you don't want to joke about. Jesus being one of them, or any other religous figure.

But I see it was a joke now. Hah hah, joke over.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

sounds neat but... (4.41 / 12) (#5)
by 31: on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:43:05 AM EST

I fear i'm one of the backwards sorts of people without a credit card, and paypal seems rather oriented towards that.

Any system where i could send a check someone at k5 and get rid of ads, or should it be a private bribe to Inoshiro?

(the cat image won me over... i'm a sucker for cute things in danger :)

-Patrick
Paypal (4.10 / 10) (#8)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:50:22 AM EST

You can sign up to paypal and associate a bank account woth your account. Then you just pull some money out of the bank account and into your paypal account, and you can spend that. You don't have to have a credit card -- in essence, it works like a check.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Almost :) (4.10 / 10) (#11)
by NightRain on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:02:35 AM EST

Yeah, it works like a cheque if you're in the US. Ain't no such deal for us foreigners. And being another weirdo without a credit card, this sort of makes it a little hard to hand over any cash :)

Don't vote, it only encourages them!


[ Parent ]
Damn (4.20 / 5) (#16)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:36:41 AM EST

Well, I do what I can. We may expand to accept stuff other than paypal in the future. I wanted to get the whole thing up and running before messing about too much with payment mechanisms, and paypal was easy.

If anyone has good suggestions on other services that are more open to non-US people, let me know.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

check? (4.66 / 3) (#101)
by Arkady on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:00:14 PM EST

How about just a check? You're incorporated now, and presumably have a corporate bank account, so why can't I just mail a check to y'all made out to K5 (with my account name in the "memo" field) to subscribe?

I know it's awfully low-tech, but it works. ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
the low-tech option (4.00 / 1) (#202)
by claudine on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:49:24 AM EST

In case Rusty's keeping count, I too would seriously consider subscribing if payments could be made by cheque or postal order. I avoid credit cards on principle (and self-protection), and I actively support businesses, online and offline, that accommodate people like me.

--
I don't have a .sig


[ Parent ]
Money orders? (none / 0) (#248)
by PopeFelix on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 08:01:26 PM EST

I don't have a bank account at the moment (nasty business with ChexSystems a few years back), so I do all my business by cash or money order. Suggestions?

Post No Bills


[ Parent ]
Pay "Terms change when we feel like it" (4.25 / 4) (#151)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:30:00 PM EST

If you weren't requiring paypal, I'd have already paid up for a year.

Oh, could you please put an alt description on the "button" on the subscription page? Or better, use a real submit button, instead of an image?

[ Parent ]
Paypal abroad and without a credit card (4.00 / 4) (#36)
by the trinidad kid on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:59:45 AM EST

Paypal works in 43 countries and in some of them (mostly English speaking) you don't need a credit card either.

[ Parent ]
Not quite (3.33 / 6) (#37)
by NightRain on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:08:59 AM EST

Well, though it may very well work in 43 different countries, it most certainly doesn't work without a credit card. To quote the International Registration form on the paypal site.

Click here to indicate that you have read and agree to the terms of use. Please note that in order to send, receive, or withdraw money with PayPal, you will need to register and confirm a credit or debit card.

Don't vote, it only encourages them!


[ Parent ]
I'm not familiar with American Banks... (3.50 / 4) (#49)
by the trinidad kid on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:15:33 AM EST

As you quote "you need to register and confirm a credit or a debit card" - in the UK a debit card is different to a credit card although it (can) use the same numbering format.

[ Parent ]
I knew someone would pick up on that. (3.75 / 4) (#52)
by NightRain on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:43:05 AM EST

I knew someone would pick up on that, but it's still beside the point. As a debit card can be used in the same situations as a credit card, it may as well be a credit card for the purposes of this conversation. If I (or others) had one, we wouldn't be mentioning our inability to use the service :)

That being said, here in Australia at least, you still have to pass a credit check and go through all of the other assorted rigmarole to get a Debit card. Who knows why, but this is a bank we're talking about, I don't expect to understand why they do the things they do :)

Don't vote, it only encourages them!


[ Parent ]
not in the US (none / 0) (#188)
by Delirium on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:13:43 PM EST

That being said, here in Australia at least, you still have to pass a credit check and go through all of the other assorted rigmarole to get a Debit card.

Odd...here debit cards are pretty much foisted upon you when you open a checking account. I didn't even ask for one, since I was only depositing $100 or so in my account, but they told me everyone gets one and it would be more trouble than it was worth to request to not get one. So I went ahead and got one, but I never use it (since I have a credit card).

[ Parent ]

paypal sucks (3.33 / 6) (#25)
by h2odragon on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:51:58 AM EST

I don't think I'm all that extreme in my paranoia; but I am not going to give paypal or anybody else the info they want, right at this moment in history. x.com had wonderfully illustrative bugs (2nd item) early in their history; is the fact that millions trust them now reason to beleive they've earned that trust?

So, no, I can't subscribe right now because of the limited payment methods. When you get credit card capability, you might get my money; that's a whole different question.

[ Parent ]

Correct me if I'm wrong.... (4.00 / 3) (#86)
by mindstrm on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:17:36 AM EST

please.. because if I am wrong, I'd like to know.

I tried signing up for an international account at paypal.
The only banks listed are UK banks (other than US banks)
And when I found that out, and cancelled my account, I lost my dollar they charged me for verification.


Also, I was under the impression that, once you registered a bank account with them, it was to do wire transfers TO your bank account, not withdraw from it.


[ Parent ]
They charged you? (4.33 / 3) (#100)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:58:40 PM EST

Huh. When I opened up my PayPal account a year ago, they didn't charge me for validation - instead, they gave me $1 for validation.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Are you sure? (4.33 / 3) (#146)
by mindstrm on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:16:43 PM EST

Somehow I doubt that.. They even state when signing up '1$ will be charged to your card, but it will be credited towards on your account when it clears'


[ Parent ]
Yeah, it does, but.... (4.80 / 5) (#153)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:39:54 PM EST

They do charge $1 when you sign up. They do that to validate your card. Once they figure out you have a valid account, they're supposed to give it back. Maybe you canceled before they gave it back, or maybe they made a mistake.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Hm (4.33 / 3) (#166)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:22:06 PM EST

Are we talking checking or credit card? For my credit card they charged $1 and then refunded it. For my checking account they deposited two micropayments (10 and 90 cents, IIRC) and had me enter the numbers, and they basically said "Keep the $1 with our compliments."
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I'll back you up (5.00 / 2) (#170)
by IntlHarvester on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:06:49 PM EST

I think I was paid $5 when I signed up for PalPay. It was one of the reasons they built up the large user base they have today: rather than SuperBowl ads, they literally bought users (word spread via ebay).

[ Parent ]
The Late, Late, Late Post, with DoomHaven (4.59 / 27) (#10)
by DoomHaven on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:01:35 AM EST

Top Ten Thoughts About Reading This Article:

10. Shit! Now I gotta pay for K5? Oh well, back Slashdot.org.

9. Hey, I can vote down a story by Rusty!

8. Rusty uses the queue? You mean, he doesn't blatantly abuse his power here?

7. So, uh, if I vote this to the front page, do I get a free month?

7. One-sixth a car wash? With what, bottled water?

6. One roll of the wheel mouse, no top ad. Cost of wheelmouse: $15.

5. This site has bottom ad banners? <roll><roll> Holy cow! Learn something new everyday!

5. Um, maybe I missed something, but that one question has nothing to do with softball? I, I, uh, read it twice and all.

4. Wow, a legitimite use for my Pay Porn...er...Pal account.

3. You are going to shoot a cat? Oh, you are not. Drats. I would have paid to see that.

2. Oh, the Q&A is ficticious. My bad.

And the number one thought that popped into my head:

1. When a pay for a subscription for something it's to see *more* pictures, not less.

But seriously, if this something you are happy with, Rusty, good luck with it! I won't use it; I don't even see the ads now (if I ever did), but, if it means anything, this one user doesn't consider you a sellout.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
For all of those who noticed it... (3.66 / 6) (#13)
by DoomHaven on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:16:00 AM EST

Completely by accident, I made two #5s and two #7s. I guess, subconsciously, that "6 for 5" deal really stuck in my head. Must be all those sublimial messages Rusty uses.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
SUPERliminal messages (4.63 / 11) (#15)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:34:56 AM EST

Must be all those sublimial messages Rusty uses.

Not so! In fact, my messages are Superliminal. They're so blatant that they trigger the internet-bred "ad-filter" in your brain, which instantly censors anything that's obviously a plea for money and/or attention. I rely on the internal block-list your brain is then forced to keep for the actual effect.

Now give me all of your money!

:-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I have a suspicion... (3.62 / 8) (#12)
by boxed on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:05:42 AM EST

At the time of me writing this, only one person has voted this article down. I think he does it for the fame.

Well... (4.00 / 2) (#84)
by Dolgan on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:14:51 AM EST

If it hadn't been posted so fast, I would have voted it down. But I never got to it in the queue.

[ Parent ]
your ads (3.00 / 8) (#14)
by mami on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:30:18 AM EST

were not annoying enough to pay $ 5.00 to get rid of them.

I am afraid you must find another excuse to shout: "Darn, will you pay me for my work, you parasites, and show respect for our writers, you free lunch riders ? :-)

If I can't delete my own comments in the archives, I won't pay subscription, if I can, I would do.

Not a bad idea (4.42 / 7) (#17)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:40:20 AM EST

If I can't delete my own comments in the archives, I won't pay subscription, if I can, I would do.

That's actually not such a bad idea. To give edit/delete privileges on your comments to paying subscribers.

I am on the lookout for ideas of features that are not at all necessary for people to have, but would be things that some people would be willing to pay for. It's a fine line, though -- if there's a feature that a great majority of people would bvenefit from, I wouldn't make it pay-only. I'm thinking in terms of "user candy" basically.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Ahem (4.37 / 8) (#19)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:51:50 AM EST

Web space. I know that sounds stupid, but hear me out. I don't have a homepage. Since most of my internet personality is here, it would be nice to have a subdomain like johnmilton.kuro5hin.org lead to a personalised bio/web page. I'd be willing to pay for that. Email addresses would be nice too. I'd be willing to pay more than $5 for some web space on kuro5hin and an email address @kuro5hin.org.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Thought about that too... (4.50 / 4) (#20)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:55:52 AM EST

...and it may happen eventually. Perhaps as part of Scoop, subscribers could have a "home page", that they can put anything they want on. Sort of like user info on steroids.

As for email, I guess the only thing that worries me is managing it, and maintaining stuff like anti-spam policies. I guess the whole idea would be to capitalize on the kuro5hin.org name, and charge more than those things are objectively worth on the free market, thus making it silly for anyone to buy space here to run their spam campaign. Ahh, branding. ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

And don't forget.. (4.33 / 3) (#42)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:34:12 AM EST

I am looking for ways to abuse my ISP connection, and I can provide people with vhosting, etc, as long as I can get my software cfg upgraded a bit more here ;) Maybe a whole perl web control console could be written so we could facilitate this.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#186)
by Sairon on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:56:57 PM EST

I'd be very happy to pay $5/month for a kuro5hin.org e-mail and the abilitiy to go back and edit my own stoopid comments. mayhaps even voting should only be done by subscribers? It kinda flies in the face of the idea, but it's something a bit special for subscribers. I think people that paid for their vote would use it a bit more wisely than before. It'd still allow ocntribution and reading of all material by everyone. I'm very happy about the subscription idea. I hope it is utilized to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

Jared

[ Parent ]

there's lots of things we can bribe you for. (4.60 / 5) (#21)
by QuantumG on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:25:20 AM EST

What's your price? I'm sure people will pay to
  1. Delete other people's comments
  2. Change other people's comments
  3. Change their own comments (why limit yourself to deleting them?)
  4. Post straight to the front page, avoiding the submission queue (that could be a per post thing, you'd probably make heaps of cash off that one)
  5. Mod comments multiple times with various multiples.
  6. Ban other users.
Capitalism at its finest. Now where did you say I can download the source code to K5 again?

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Heh. (4.50 / 6) (#23)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:33:59 AM EST

Yeah. I don't think so. :-)

Thinking about it more, I think editing or deleting your own comments would have to be an everyone or no one thing. And I still don't like the idea much.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Suggestion box? (4.00 / 3) (#43)
by pallex on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:54:15 AM EST

Get people to send you ideas for stuff they`d pay for, and give them free to the first people who suggest them?

[ Parent ]
souce code (3.40 / 5) (#24)
by delmoi on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:39:13 AM EST

http://scoop.kuro5hin.org
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
I think that's a terrible idea (4.72 / 11) (#22)
by delmoi on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:30:20 AM EST

personaly.

Maybe give people the ablity to add 'addendums' to their comments or something.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Versioned comments (4.33 / 3) (#40)
by MfA on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:30:47 AM EST

Let people edit comments, but keep the old versions a link away.

[ Parent ]
if it works for Russia.... (4.00 / 3) (#65)
by cp on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:41:56 AM EST

I still think we could always charge users for a ride on the International Space Station. All services to be delivered in the year 2200, of course.

[ Parent ]
I've made this suggestion more esoterically... (4.50 / 4) (#82)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:12:30 AM EST

When I've spoken about potential sites, I had one consistent suggestion for garnering subscriptions: speed.

It basically works like this: take two servers, one which has more of the available bandwidth (per user), and more speed, memory, etc. Take the better one and password protect it, giving accounts only to paid users. Make sure both servers access one (quite fast) database.

Now your paid subscribers have a much faster browsing experience. Chances are, those that would benefit are folks with broadband; it stands to reason that if you can afford broadband...

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]

also known as Paris Metro pricing (5.00 / 3) (#102)
by heighting on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:05:24 PM EST

The servers can even be identical in specs - the order of magnitude difference in the number of users on the two machines will produce the quality of service differential.

[ Parent ]
How about a "Donator" icon? (5.00 / 4) (#127)
by snowlion on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:23:55 PM EST

We'd like to be recognized for our donator status. Can we have a little "Donator" icon appear next to our name if we contribute the $5.00/month?


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
oooo yeah (4.75 / 4) (#129)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:36:00 PM EST

Just like in kindergarten when you got a little star for being good.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Yeh (none / 0) (#194)
by roblimo on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:29:11 PM EST

Or like having your name on the University building you endowed.

- Robin

[ Parent ]
Or.. (none / 0) (#215)
by Inoshiro on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:39:43 AM EST

VA FullOn 1000 you bought for K5 as a web frontend (considering their current yowza fire-sale prices!)..



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
It works on eBay. (none / 0) (#196)
by kwsNI on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:52:11 PM EST

[nt]

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]
Are you kidding me? (5.00 / 1) (#197)
by acestus on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:10:37 PM EST

We'd like to be recognized for our donator status. Can we have a little "Donator" icon appear next to our name if we contribute the $5.00/month?

First of all, you're not donating, you're buying. In return for your payment, Rusty takes away the ads from your browser. Secondly, if you want to call that purchase a donation, then I am donating my time by seeing the selfsame ads that you have paid not to see, and Rusty makes revenue from each ad-view.

Perhaps the best icon set we could have would be butter-side up and butter-side down bread, and we could argue about which was the superior icon.

This is like suggesting we have icons for trusted users, to show people who's the best.

'Donating' doesn't make you special. If you want to be respected on kuro5hin, you should fill the database with your wise, insightful, and donated comments.



Acestus
This is not an exit.
[ Parent ]
All allusions to the JenniCam aside... (4.00 / 1) (#203)
by ramses0 on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:57:37 AM EST

...The rusty-cam is a perfect choice for subscriber-only doo-dads. There's just something comforting knowing that you're not the only hacker up till x:00 in the morning, where x is a very small (or very large ;^)= number. Congratulations, btw. And I'm glad you got rid of the cat. The only question is whether you buried it in your back yard or not. :^)=

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great ju
[
Parent ]

Will registration information be public? (4.00 / 8) (#26)
by kzin on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:55:33 AM EST

Rusty, will I be able to see on people's userinfo pages whether they are subscribed or not? It seems to me both fitting the open nature of the site, and that it'd get more people to subscribe.

Also, how about showing much people donated to K5?

RE: Public registration list (4.75 / 4) (#68)
by ipinkus on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:46:54 AM EST

This reminds me of an auditorium at my University. There's a few huge plaques at the entrance listing donators and their donations. Several people are listed as having donated several hundred thousand dollars. On top of that there are a practically infinite number of people who have donated meager sums of $5,000.

Now, I'm assuming many k5 readers have some sort of post-secondary education. A little statistical prodding would probably reveal that a handfull of k5 readers are multi-millionaries. (Well... one would hope we're not all running on grants alone) I think it would help us greatly if one or two of these supposed rich bastards would throw a fraction of their estate towards k5 instead of some shmoe auditorium at their old University.

... now where was I? Ah yes. Basically I'm looking for a free lunch.



[ Parent ]
three things (4.50 / 6) (#29)
by delmoi on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:17:48 AM EST

One, you can't possibly be making $5/mo per users on ads. (or can you... OSDN seems to be charging $35 CPM, which seems unreal. Yahoo only charges $10 or so. If you are that's a hell of a lot of money). Anyway, $5 a month does seem like a lot of money to pay for k5, especially since most of the content comes from the users themselves. If story authors got some of the money, It might be worth it... and certainly more interesting.

2) You should wait until this story hits the front page before putting the pic of the kitty and link up. I was quite freaked out when I saw it.

3) The subscription code is going to go into the CVS right?
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
then the music changed, the plan was rearranged (3.66 / 3) (#32)
by axxeman on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:42:42 AM EST

Damn straight on point 2).

Also, comparing the price to Starfucks and McPukes is almost as bad as saying "hey that's only 1/20 of what you pay for Windows ME!!!"

lec·tur·er (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

Mass market crap (3.75 / 4) (#47)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:01:34 AM EST

The comparisons to mass market crap products were on purpose. Who hasn't put five bucks in one or the other of their pockets? Probably very, very few of us...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
And you think (3.00 / 3) (#66)
by MSBob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:46:17 AM EST

that K5 is so hip and unorthodox that it's well worth paying $60USD a year for? Man, my subscription to National Geographic is waay cheaper than that and they have some quite real and pretty exciting content. Reconsider pricing and we'll talk.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
RE: And you think (4.40 / 5) (#71)
by ipinkus on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:59:34 AM EST

that K5 is so hip and unorthodox that it's well worth paying $60USD a year for?

A magazine subscription metaphor doesn't really work here. Along that line, you're still getting the entire magazine for free if you want to. All you get if you pay is a page or two of ads missing.

This donation policy seems to operate more on a kindness-of-your-heart policy. (Similar to begging -- ooh that's low) I don't think we really want to convince other readers NOT to pay for this. (Which alot of people seem to be doing)

Let's see, so I don't want to pay, so I better 1) Shut up and enjoy this free ride or 2) Try to convince everyone that this isn't worth paying for. That way, if I'm lucky, and loud enough, Rusty will starve and kuro5hin will collapse under its own weight.

Well I don't think anyone honestly thinks either 1 or 2, but many posts trains boil down to that.



[ Parent ]
What I think (4.66 / 3) (#135)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:59:08 PM EST

that K5 is ... well worth paying $60USD a year for?

Sure, I think so. If you don't, that's ok. People have different opinions.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Math, and other esoteric subjects (4.60 / 5) (#35)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:57:04 AM EST

you can't possibly be making $5/mo per users on ads

I suspect that his math involved something along the lines of assuming that only x% of people pay, how much would he need to charge?

$5 a month does seem like a lot of money to pay for k5

It's less than what I pay for a WSJ subscription. The difference is that here I know the people i'm giving money to, and what exactly they are doing to earn the money. We're not paying for content, we're paying for site administration.

[ Parent ]

Yes (5.00 / 8) (#45)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:00:22 AM EST

We're not paying for content, we're paying for site administration.

Yes indeedy. Hopefully that gets across to everyone. I'd feel like a purebred ass charging people to read stuff that other people are writing for free. Stories and comments will always always always be free.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Blah. (3.18 / 11) (#41)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:31:13 AM EST

  1. Don't change the format of your rant mid-way through, yeesh!
  2. It's our site :p
  3. Of course it's in CVS! rusty isn't allowed to directly edit code on Hex anyways, that's downright irresponsible! He did his work, commited it, then synced Hex to CVS. That's why the moderate stories thingy changed recently too.

As for "it's the user generated content," people said the same damn thing when ads were brought in. It don't think it matters because you choose to come here, and you choose if you want to subscribe or not. We're not forcing you (no one can force anyone to do anything, really).

And besides, it's not free to run this :p We need hardware, support, colocation, etc. If you can find a magic way we can get this for free so we don't have to go filp burgers in a wage slave job to ensure you guys have a place to talk, and we can keep developing the software and helping people, I want to hear it!

Sit down and think rationally about the situation. then go reread the same rants targetted at banner ads. And please don't say "keeping it real," I hate that term.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Inoshiro, the friendly face of K5 (4.00 / 7) (#48)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:04:55 AM EST

Once again, we slip into an inadvertent good-cop/bad-cop dynamic. :-)

Vitriol aside, basically, he's right here. We're just looking for a way to make a buck, like everyone else. Or, rather, we're looking for ways to solidify and diversify our current buck, I guess. And probably to demonstrate once and for all that when push comes to shove, subscriptions online don't really work.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Katakana (4.50 / 2) (#104)
by drivers on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:12:30 PM EST

I noticed in the Katakana portion of your, well, sig isn't the right term... how did you do that? Anyway, I was just wonder why you spelled it I-N-O-SHI-RO, and not I-NO-SHI-RO. (Darn, I can type the japanese fonts here but they get converted to question marks.) Just curious.

[ Parent ]
Regarding the Katakana. (5.00 / 1) (#149)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:22:33 PM EST

I used the unicode representations. Example, I is (amp)#12452; I found the list of them by looking up unicode character tables, then converting from hex to dec. You have to have the Jfonts installed, but IE and Moz will show them :)

(Note: as I write this, the latest CVS update has braken unicode within my sig, but I did change it to read "I-no-shi-ro")



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
katakana redux (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by delmoi on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:55:13 PM EST

Actually, it apears as though your sig just died, or at least reverted to unicode escapes.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
$5 / month a bit steep (4.00 / 5) (#55)
by mcherm on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:10:02 AM EST

1. I don't mind the adds.
2. I'd like to support K5... and not just count on add revenue to keep it alive.
3. But $5 / month is a bit steep.

So... do you accept donations too? That way I can set my own level and I can continue to filt[!ZAP!] to igno[!ZAP!] suffer thr[!ZAP!] ... to view the excellent and entertaining advertising content.




-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]
Well don't I feel silly... (3.33 / 3) (#77)
by mcherm on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:38:56 AM EST

Well, don't I feel silly. Rusty musta borrowed Guido's time machine, because he followed up on my advice well before I managed to suggest it.

So go ahead, everyone... if $5 is too steep, dontate max(what you think it's worth, what you can afford) or so.

PS: If you didn't get the reference about the time machine, ignore it.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]

Add the last Q to the subscription page (3.40 / 5) (#31)
by duxup on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:36:08 AM EST

I think it would be nice if you added the reverence to where the cat hostage pic came from on the actual subscription page. It's hilarious.

Reverence? (4.00 / 4) (#38)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:19:52 AM EST

"You keep using that word. I do not think you know what it means."

Reverence Rev"er*ence, n. F. r'ev'erence, L. reverentia.
See Reverent.
1. Profound respect and esteem mingled with fear and affection, as for a holy being or place; the disposition to revere; veneration.

I think you mean reference :p



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Yes, spellcheck mistake (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by duxup on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:25:10 AM EST



[ Parent ]
*Ahem* (4.25 / 4) (#67)
by willie on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:46:36 AM EST

"You keep using that word. I do not think you know what it means."

Don't you mean "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means" (from the Princess Bride)?

Yes, I know, same shit different smell. Just a little nitpick.



[ Parent ]
Subscribe to OSDN (4.57 / 14) (#33)
by DJBongHit on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:44:02 AM EST

Rather than, say, $5 to subscribe to kuro5hin, I think I'd rather pay $10 or so to browse all OSDN sites ad-free (yes, I know kuro5hin isn't owned by OSDN, but they're still OSDN ads). That would be worth my money... as it stands here, kuro5hin's ads just aren't annoying enough to warrant spending money :)

You should talk to roblimo about something like this... he's always spouting off about finding new ways to make money online, this could be a good one.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Note that (4.57 / 7) (#34)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:54:14 AM EST

as I was saying in IRC last night, part of the point to this is that OSDN's financial future isn't necessarily secure; VA is having serious difficulty financially. Wouldn't it be better to have K5 financially stable on its own?

[ Parent ]
You should (3.88 / 9) (#44)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:59:20 AM EST

periodically post something letting everyone know how many people have subscribed, and thus whether or not the idea is working as intended. :)

You blew it! (4.20 / 15) (#46)
by Phil the Canuck on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:00:54 AM EST

I had always planned to subscribe to K5 once the option was available, but I hate cats. So now I have a tough choice to make. Do I subscribe to K5, or let the cat die?

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver

The easy option... (4.16 / 6) (#79)
by Armaphine on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:59:20 AM EST

Hold of on subscribing until they kill the cat, then give them the money, hence building that Pavlovian response of "Dead Cats = More Cash".

Hrm... I think I just found MY e-buisness idea...

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
[ Parent ]

Speaking of cruelty to kittens.... (3.00 / 9) (#50)
by enterfornone on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:16:55 AM EST

Saw this today.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Other perks? (4.33 / 6) (#51)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:21:06 AM EST

"[$5 is] two cups of coffee at Starbucks. It's an extra-value meal and an apple pie at McDonalds. It's about 1/6th of a car wash."

Which is why I don't go to Starbucks or eat at McDonald's (very often). And I wash my own car or get it done free (or a $2 donation if I'm feeling generous) by high school bands wanting to make some cash. In any case, $30 for a car wash? Are you insane? Even the few times I've used a professional washing service it was only $10.

Now, to the meat of the article: paying to get rid of ads. The question is, does the site earn $5 per user/month via ads? My guess is no. So you come out ahead--which makes me think I should hold out for more advantage than just being ad-free. Like multiple votes on stories (paying $5 per username would cut down on fake accounts to railroad stories through, btw). Like killfiles. Like a few other things. To tell the truth, I don't even see the ads here anymore so $5/month isn't paying money to solve a problem I don't have.

Play 囲碁
Car washing (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by ODiV on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:18:33 PM EST

How do high school bands make money washing your car for free?


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Volume! (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:50:20 PM EST

Actually, I've never had my car washed by a high school band. But their signs claim that it is by "donation" which presumably means I could opt not to pay. Anyway, my point was that the street corners and parking lots for miles around are packed with scantily clad, teenage girls willing to give a quick $5 handwash--why would I pay $30 to drive through a tunnel full of soapy water?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Re: Band car washes (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by Teehmar on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:48:56 PM EST

My high school band did free car washes every year. Yes, we did make it up in volume.

We'd all go out and get pledges from friends/family/neighbors for 1-10 cents per car washed.
So if all 100 people in the band got 10 people to pledge 5 cents per car, we netted 50 dollars per car washed, plus whatever people tossed into the donations bucket.
I always thought it was a pretty neat scheme actually.

[ Parent ]
I won't do it... (4.33 / 9) (#53)
by theboz on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:54:33 AM EST

First of all I hate cats. In fact, I think the gun the guy is using looks fairly lame (is it just a lighter or what?) and think it would be better to use a Chinese assault rifle.

But seriously, I am running Guidescope to remove the ads so I don't see them, and even then I never considered the K5 ads to be all that rude anyways. The problem is that rusty seems to be too much of a "nice guy" and runs a site like this that is meant to be as open as possible. The ideals of the open story queue, open moderation, etc. falls over into the category of giving users access as well. Rusty has stated that he wouldn't try to give any really useful features to subscribers only, so the only things subscribers might get is extra things in the future.

I like the idea of having webspace or an email address but that can be a little bit of a bear to administer if you are not getting paid enough as it is. Anyways, you might want to try and go completely for the "out of the goodness of your hearts" approach and ask us to subscribe because it will free you up to work more on scoop or whatever. Let us know what you will do with the money and that might get people to sign up.

Stuff.

How Rude (2.66 / 9) (#59)
by SEWilco on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:17:01 AM EST

You're automatically removing ads? How rude. If you're going to read content from sites which are able to provide the content due to ad revenue, it is at least dishonest to not give the ads a chance to reach your eyeballs because you're cheating the ad company.

[ Parent ]
You're wrong (4.83 / 6) (#73)
by theboz on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:01:18 AM EST

That is the marketing point of view that you have there buddy.

Most browsers have an option to prevent pictures from loading whatsoever, if I wanted to disabled all graphics or view the site from lynx would I be "cheating" or something. That's complete bullshit. It is their right to send the html and graphics however they want, just as it is my right to view it however I want in my browser. Would you also complain if I used my browser to override the colors of the background and text?

Also, I know I wouldn't buy anything or have any interest in what is in the advertisements anyways. And since the page loads, it shouldn't bother K5's page hits or anything, I just see a gray square in the place of the image.

Anyways, the whole purpose of advertising is to entice people to purchase something. Banner ads don't do that, they are just there to waste space. I don't ever buy anything or even go to sites on banner ads, so I turn them off. Would I still be cheating if I turned off all graphics?

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#138)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:21:28 PM EST

FWIW, I agree with you. I don't think people who use a proxy or whatever are robbing me. I do wish a few of them would be a little less self-satisfied about it, sometimes. But it's your choice.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Sorry... (5.00 / 2) (#175)
by theboz on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:04:47 PM EST

And for what it's worth I'd consider a donation to your site because I think it is definitely a valuable resource for me, and I like a lot of the way it's run (although you do seem to be naive about the goodness of people.) I definitely feel that you deserve gratuity, but not a subscription. From reading the comments it seems a lot of people feel the same way.

Anyways, I wrote the original comment when I first woke up and was in a bad mood. The main point that I would have hoped to make is that if you can show what the money goes to people will be more willing to pay. I know I would be more willing if you had a specific goal such as buying a real DB like Oracle to use for the site rather than mySQL.

Also, another service that I would consider registering to pay for would be one of a "premium" connection of some sort. Since the site is unusable to me from about 11:30am - 1:30pm during the week, as well as some other times that I try to access the site, it would be worth it to me to have a seperate way to connect to the site. Of course, that is if it's network related and I seem to remember someone saying it was database related instead, but if it were network related I'm sure you could start a subscription based on having a more reliable means of connection on the other end, and make sure that only a set amount of people would connect via that interface so that the network congestion is no longer a factor.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

By the way (5.00 / 2) (#177)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:24:53 PM EST

My comment about being self-satisfied wasn't directed at you. Rereading, I realize it looks like it was. What I meant where the people who act as though running junkbuster is particularly clever or makes them superior to everyone else. It's the "getting away with something" attitude that's annoying, which wasn't at all evident in your comment.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
OT: New bbspot article (5.00 / 4) (#156)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:52:08 PM EST

I can see it now. The United Association of Banner Advertisers sues blind people. A spokesman for UABU was quoted as saying, "We don't do lightheartedly. Most people will automatically side with the blind, because they're handicapped, but they can't just use their blindness technology to rob us of our target audience."


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Removing ads (3.00 / 1) (#206)
by PresJPolk on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 03:52:38 AM EST

Chairman Rusty once called for articles on how to block kuro5hin ads, right around the time ads first appeared.

There's a link to the Internet Junkbuster in this article.

It's not rude to do something on invitation of your host.

[ Parent ]
The mistake (4.14 / 7) (#54)
by MicroBerto on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:07:27 AM EST

It seems as though Rusty missed the curve here. There are, of course, those who LOVE k5 and will pay [almost] anything to support the system.

And it also seems that most people are supportive of the system - it's a good idea!

However, most people think that 5 dollars is too much for a month, and I think that Rusty might get an overall better net return if he made it something like 20 dollars a year, because the amount of subscribers would increase, and I think there'd be enough to bring in more money than the $5/month policy.

Just my 2 cents (or five dollars?)

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

RE: The mistake (4.00 / 3) (#61)
by ipinkus on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:26:19 AM EST

I agree with the $20/year non-option. Sort of makes me wonder if the first Q has some founding...

"Subscriptions? Paying to not see ads? This must mean K5 is on the brink of bankruptcy!"

Best of luck with this. I may pay for a month or two at some point. Much like that ONE time I registered a shareware program. (ISA)

[ Parent ]

Couldn't agree more. (4.25 / 4) (#64)
by /dev/niall on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:39:46 AM EST

$60/year is not how much an average magazine subscription costs. More like $20-$30. $5/month is way too much to pay for the average person; in fact, I would guess that the average person will not pay $5 a month and this experiment will look like a failure.

That being said, I'm off to pay. Can't wait to get rid of the friggen' ads. ;)
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

true, but... (4.50 / 4) (#128)
by chopper on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:31:08 PM EST

my $20 magazine subscription gives me a new mag every month. on K5, i get something new every day. it's like getting a new magazine every morning, or, er... maybe more like a newsletter, i dunno. actually, its more like a newspaper, yeah, that's the ticket.

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Newspapers don't usually cost $50-$60 a year? (none / 0) (#226)
by /dev/niall on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:52:30 AM EST

Do they? I don't buy newspapers. I sponge off the online ones. ;)
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]
Newspapers (4.00 / 1) (#233)
by fluffy grue on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:28:10 PM EST

That's a good point. The newsstand price for a newspaper is something like 25 cents a day. That's around $90/year, though I think delivery subscriptions usually work out to more like $50/year. Newspapers have a lot more (and some would argue "higher-quality" but I wouldn't) content, though.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I agree, but (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by CyberQuog on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:42:43 PM EST

I think the payment system should be on a monthly basis. Afterall, who knows where K5 will be in a year, I'd rather pay month by month at a price of maybe $2 a month, making it $24/year.


-...-
[ Parent ]
Oops (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by MicroBerto on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:22:04 PM EST

Oh yeah, I agree on the monthly thing, I was just throwing out some numbers and was too lazy/tired/stupid to divide or estimate :)

But it does seem that a lower price might actually bring in more cash, from how everyone is agreeing. What do you think, rusty?

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]

Chicken and egg. (4.50 / 2) (#162)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:05:48 PM EST

We need lots of people subscribed to lower the price (at least 10% of all the uids), but people won't subscribe until it's lower. We'd rather not set it artificially low, not have enough people sign up, and lose money.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Die Kitty Die (3.00 / 8) (#56)
by gbvb on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:12:02 AM EST

Dont you know that cats are man's sworn enemy? .. If you had a gun on a dogs head, I might have paid.. :)

NEVER!!!! (2.85 / 14) (#57)
by MSBob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:12:57 AM EST

We the users write the content of this site. At least places like Salon employ journalists who provide the articles. You rely purely on the user generated content. Charging $8CDN/month seem well, excessive to me. Did you know, by the way that an average Russian salary is a meager $100USD/month? What percentage of that is $5USD? I'll let you do the math. Five bucks is only insignificant for the richest 10% of the world. Everybody else cannot afford it. Even though I could afford it I won't pay. You can give no guarantees of the content quality (which has been seriously slipping as of late) and you can't even guarantee that the site will be up when I want to view it. Will you refund my money if the site goes down for a week under a DoS attack?
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

Thats why its OPTIONAL (3.60 / 5) (#60)
by codemonkey_uk on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:19:29 AM EST

You pay either out of the goodness of your heart - because user generated content or not, infrastructure costs. Or because you don't like ads.

No 3rd world / Russian pauper will be paying Rusty $5 because they don't have to, but you could, and your just looking for excuses not to.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

I have my doubts (2.66 / 6) (#63)
by MSBob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:39:24 AM EST

if the scheme takes off I doubt it will stay optional for very long.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
You obviously didn't read the article. (4.00 / 3) (#85)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:17:02 AM EST

And you seem so damn skeptical anyhow. Rusty clearly said, both in the article and in at least one comment, that as long as he was in charge there would never be subscriber-only content. Sheesh.

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]
And if there is a "bus incident"... (4.25 / 4) (#159)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:02:34 PM EST

And I end up #1 dude, I make the same vow. Rusty is like a brother to me, it's only fair.

But I'd watch out for Driph and Hurstdog, they're money grubbers ;)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Speaking of.. (4.00 / 4) (#179)
by driph on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:33:23 PM EST

Did you finally get ahold of the Bay Area transit map like we had planned?

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Uh.. (4.50 / 2) (#214)
by Inoshiro on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:35:35 AM EST

Dude, after seeing some of the vitrol thrown at rusty because he added a new, optional feature to the site, I don't think I wanna be the leader :p

And sshhhhh!! Where did you learn to keep a secret from? A cereal box?



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
rofl (5.00 / 1) (#241)
by rusty on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:59:24 PM EST

Dude, after seeing some of the vitrol thrown at rusty because he added a new, optional feature to the site, I don't think I wanna be the leader :p

Curses! They've discovered my secret plan for staying in power forever!

And about the Bay Area transit map -- if you can figure anything out by looking at one of those things, you deserve to be leader more than I. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Not to mention... (4.33 / 3) (#145)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:09:54 PM EST

...what person who can't find $5/month has internet access? I'm afraid Russian paupers aren't really our audience here, anyway.

Besides which, if they can get online, then they can read everything and post, entirely for free. What more do you [MSBob] want?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Terms of the Agreement (4.00 / 5) (#72)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:59:45 AM EST

Will you refund my money if the site goes down for a week under a DoS attack?
No, and he shouldn't. You'd paying to avoid ads, and during such an outage there would be no ads.

[ Parent ]
Actually (4.00 / 6) (#89)
by jacob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:30:30 AM EST

The content doesn't cost anything. The bandwidth, server, server maintenance, etc are what cost money. Rusty and company donated all the programming and sysadminning energy, but its sorta unreasonable to ask him to pay money out of pocket for expenses that he has to pay because of our use of the site.

So either put up with the ads, or pay the measly five bucks. Or don't come to the site. But don't act like its somebody's obligation to spend money on you.



--
"it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring

--Iced_Up

[ Parent ]
not really (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by Delirium on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:19:40 PM EST

The content doesn't cost anything. The bandwidth, server, server maintenance, etc are what cost money. Rusty and company donated all the programming and sysadminning energy, but its sorta unreasonable to ask him to pay money out of pocket for expenses that he has to pay because of our use of the site.

Actually, the bandwidth and server do not cost money, as the server was donated and the bandwidth is paid for by that "Sponsors" ad at the right (which does NOT get turned off when you subscribe). Any subscription money just goes into k5's bank account or to pay "Rusty and company" for the "donated" efforts, not towards paying operating expenses.

[ Parent ]

$60/yr? I want a 'gift'.... (3.80 / 5) (#62)
by otis wildflower on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:37:01 AM EST

... if you're going to go the PBS route, then you better start offering some nice swag.

$60/yr is at least a nice T-shirt (100% cotton). Channel 13 membership gets you all sorts of discounts and admissions and crap: howsabout a o'reilly discount (ack, got that with my USENIX membership) or something...
[root@usmc.mil /]# chmod a+x /bin/laden
Re: $60/yr? I want a 'gift'.... (4.00 / 2) (#87)
by wesmills on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:26:12 AM EST

Considering I'm on strike until KERA buys more Red Dwarf episodes, I think I'll give my $5 "Easy Chex Plan" donation to K5 ..

Enquiring minds wanna know: Where in D/FW are you?

----- Signature campaign to support K5, become a member!
[ Parent ]

Well. (5.00 / 1) (#195)
by kwsNI on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:43:31 PM EST

It's 12 months for the price of 10, so you only pay $50. Take the extra $10 and go spend it at Thinkgeek.

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]
More appropriate poll (4.25 / 12) (#69)
by jonnyq on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:47:09 AM EST

In examining the comments to this story, I have determined that a more appropriate poll would be...

I will subscribe to k5
  1. Only to save the poor kittens life, you mean bastard
  2. Only if you kill that damn kitten


A problem here (4.76 / 13) (#70)
by ikillyou on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:49:55 AM EST

The people who are willing to pay $5/month are the fellows with the most cash to spare .. exactly the sort of people advertisers want most to see their ads.

The people who aren't willing to pay even $5/month are the cheap/penniless types... exactly the sort of people advertisers want least to see their ads.

Not necessarily (4.33 / 3) (#132)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:54:12 PM EST

I know a lot of people who can spare five bucks a month. Most of them wouldn't, because they don't mind ads. But I can think of at least two who will definitely take up this offer, because they loathe web ads, and want to make them go away forever, for everyone. I think that's more likely the people who would subscribe. And people who hate ads with a passion are not people you really want to be advertising to anyway...

Penniless students who also loathe ads will probably just run junkbuster. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

oooh, me! me! (none / 0) (#246)
by Arkady on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:55:46 PM EST

"they loathe web ads, and want to make them go away forever, for everyone" is absolutely correct. ;-)

Unfortunately, PayPal has either been cheesed for the past month or just flat doesn't work with BeOS Opera, so it's either install something they can live with on my Cube or go the low-tech route.

Damn that delayed gratification.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
I'm torn ... (4.57 / 7) (#75)
by Kellnerin on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:12:21 AM EST

I'd like to support Kuro5hin, but like many other posters, I'm not convinced by the pricing. Sure I can go without a couple Frappucinos a month, but $50 is two years of ad-free Salon, only one year of K5. Price comparisons should be made between goods of the same type, no? (I do agree with otis wildflower that a T-shirt would help balance the equation.) Granted, I spend far more than twice the time on Kuro5hin that I do on Salon. After some waffling I shelled out the money for a Salon account anyway, because even if there's hardly anything worth reading there now, and I never read their "subscriber only" content, it once was better, and I wanted to show my support (that, and they started to have really, really annoying ads throughout their site. Bleh.)

Then, there's the fact that I'm not really bothered by K5's ads. So I'm trying to decide between subscribing and then turning the ads back on "in protest", or just straight donating instead. Darn these choices ...

--Stop it, evil hand, stop it!--

not quite the same as salon. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by chopper on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:39:38 PM EST

but $50 is two years of ad-free Salon, only one year of K5.

well, Salon is a bit different, since they have subscriber-only content. hell, one day last week their front page story was viewable only by subscribers. not good.

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Sigh (3.57 / 7) (#76)
by kostya on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:28:57 AM EST

6 months ago, I would have signed up--with gusto. Not to get rid of the ads, but to show my support for a site that I found to be good and worth my time.

However, I don't feel that way about K5 anymore. Perhaps that makes me a part of the problem? I'm not sure. But the fact that I don't think K5 is as good as it used to be makes me reluctant to cough up five bucks just to get rid of the ads.

I know, I know: "Then shut the @#$% up and don't pay." Yes, I'd expect that reply these days. I'm just posting what I think about K5, not about the subscription policy (rusty made it very clear it was voluntary and not compulsory in anyway). So cool your jets.

The above post is not intended to be "trolling" or to be a flame directed at K5. If you perceive it that way, go take a walk or have some nice tea and try to relax.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
Prior work (4.80 / 5) (#96)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:38:55 PM EST

The way I see it is that even if the site sucks now, it still gave me a lot of enjoyment in the past, and so it's more like a tip for prior service, not funds for future growth. There have been a number of sites which I've donated to which suddenly got really crappy shortly after I donated, and rather than get pissed about that and want my money back, I just thought, "Hey, I would have tipped that much 6 months ago from the enjoyment it did give me."

Of course, it's your money etc., but I just thought that outlook might be helpful. :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Good point (5.00 / 2) (#139)
by kostya on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:22:33 PM EST

Maybe I'll buy a couple of months to compensate for past goodness.

Thanks for the other perspective.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Alternatively... (4.33 / 3) (#83)
by Dolgan on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:13:28 AM EST

You can still do this and donate to kuro5hin, if you're so inclined, but you don't have to pay to get rid of ads.

Just use Junkbuster, like I do. It's free. You don't even have to pay $5, and it gets rid of all the other ads online too! There's also Proximonotron, which you can probably find on Google, for Windows only which'll get rid of that annoying "Subscribe to k5!" ad, too.

Of course, you can blast the irritating ads and still donate to rusty if you like. I'm too poor to do it, even if I would (which I very well may or may not - I haven't bothered considering it).

Kitty (4.22 / 9) (#90)
by onyxruby on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:47:06 AM EST

Can we subscribe and still have the kitty get it?

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.

I'll subscribe ... (1.50 / 26) (#92)
by tarsand on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:11:55 PM EST

When I see a picture of rusty's head blown off on the front page.

To paraphrase:
<rusty> My penis is too small, so here are some gun sites that are real cool, they make me horny baby. Then I'll go out and molest innocent animals, because my sense of humour is as developed as a turnip's!
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
Sigh. (4.00 / 4) (#157)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:54:33 PM EST

National Lampoon. And it's gone. And you really are an angry person. Do you really think that hurting people is a solution to anything? I'd rather have pro-gun nuts, as they tend to just stroke the barrel. They don't "kill to save." Violence is very deplorable, yet you push it as much as you accuse gun people of doing it. Sickening.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
no Inoshiro (3.00 / 3) (#172)
by tarsand on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:41:34 PM EST

Look, the cat picture was in poor taste, so I made a comment in poor taste to reflect that. Nowhere did I advocate doing anyone harm, merely stated the condition by which I would subscribe, knowing full well that I'd never see it, so ... relays my intentions well, I'm sorry you misinterpreted it.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Become what you hate (5.00 / 2) (#174)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:04:14 PM EST

Look, the cat picture was in poor taste, so I made a comment in poor taste to reflect that.

Way to rise above it all.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

aye Cap't rusty (2.80 / 5) (#176)
by tarsand on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:19:41 PM EST

Ah, I didn't realise you thought I had a mandate to rise above. Sorry for the misconception. I'm comforted in the fact it appears at least a few people got my message.
Thank you.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
No mandate (3.00 / 3) (#178)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:26:20 PM EST

Not that you have a mandate, just that it seems ridiculous to say "that was tasteless, so here's something tasteless from me, to make some kind of point or other."

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
just another way to say (1.75 / 4) (#183)
by tarsand on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:49:20 PM EST

Yes, it is rediculous isn't it? That's the point, there's more than a single way to effectively make a statement. This morning I chose to do that, as some days I don't feel like making comments that 'rise above'.

Choosing to make a statement as if I was on higher moral ground would tend to convey the message that I thought I was better than you, just because I wouldn't choose to use such a picture, and that's not what I wanted to put across.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
No. (3.00 / 2) (#213)
by Inoshiro on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:31:39 AM EST

(Truth mixed with random exageration) I think you just overreacted, because you aren't a fan of dark humour -- then when you realized that, yeah, you were being just as bad as THE NAZIS (who, I might add, were also all for deaths and splatteredness), you backtracked and said that it was all a message that you wanted to convey in some way that was not talk/downy.(end blathering run-on sentence.)

Rusty's joke is poor taste to some people, funny for others. We understand that, kinda like the above statement is offensive, but I'm sure some people will find it amusing. Beating this dead horse by trying to shift blame won't do anything. You both did things some people will consider wrong. Now rise above it, and go get on with your lives.

Oh, and be happy rusty isn't a US president, otherwise they'd have a file on you already :-/



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
oh prairie boy, hush (3.00 / 3) (#223)
by tarsand on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:29:47 AM EST

There's no blame shifting here, it's clearly your fault, now be good and fetch me a coffee. ;)


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
nice :-) (2.66 / 3) (#232)
by mami on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:03:56 PM EST

But what do we do IF Rusty becomes US president, would he use his K5 archived files ? So, you think you can sorta scare me about his little power trip ?

See, that's why I like to donate, IF you guys had just the courage to find a way to minimize long-term archiving for people who think in an open and democratic, self-editing web forum that basic right should be granted.

Ah well, you don't like that. It's too much freedom. I understand.

Anyhow, aside from the missing, self-editing deletion permission of my own archived posts, the site's design and architecture is on its way to be just VERY NICE.

May be I should bribe you. Let's say every three month, you give every user a one-time chance to go through his archived posts and let him think about which ones he might eventually want to delete (may be adding a little reason why and a time stamp).

All the bad guys by then had ample time to save all the evil stuff I said for ages to come, so that IF Rusty needs my quotes when he becomes President, even if he had lost all of them, he can be sure, SOMEONE will have them.

You see, I just want to make it a little bit harder for him to find what he eventually wants to have and, yes, USE. I want to make life for nosy journalists a tiny bit harder and a little bit more safe for the private uncle Joe.

Each time you do that I match a $5.00 donation with my own $5.00 for that day. That would be K5's quarterly pledge day. We could make a real party out of it. That day too we would choose a big winner, the best story written with the best discussion generated during the last three months gets the the

big and only
K5-Gimme-Five
price
Would that buy me freedom, privacy and a bit more peace of mind ?

Don't get upset. I am trying to make a point, I am not trying to hurt your project or ambitions.

[ Parent ]

ok, nobody likes my points of view (3.00 / 2) (#249)
by mami on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:04:32 PM EST

so,I cave in into your definition of public and let you have all my comments for good without whining any further. But just because you force me to, not because anyone has convinced me.

Take it easy. I am still for a pledge day though. :-)

[ Parent ]
Good idea, bad implementation (3.81 / 11) (#95)
by coryking on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:35:33 PM EST

First of all Rusty, I salute you for beginning to charge for access. Too many site are still doing that "lets just get a lot of eyeballs"; thing. This is obviously failing as nobody pays attention to banner ads. However, there are a few problems with your approach to charging which I will try to address.

Five U.S. dollars a month is way to much to pay for just getting rid of banner ads. If you do the math, that adds up to $60us a year! That is twice as much as a subscription to your average print magazine! Don't take it personal, but this site it not worth $60 a year, especially if all I'm getting from it is no banner ads. You need to make this site really work for me for $60 a year.

Here is what I think you should do:

  1. Charge $39.95 for three years, $19.95 a year, or $3 dollars a month (er, $2.95). It needs to be incremental with some kind of value add in each tier. You will probably wind up with a lot of yearly subscribers because it's a lot cheaper then monthly. Look how deeply discounted magazine subscriptions are vs. their newsstand price.
  2. All paid subscribers get no banner ads (duh)
  3. Year+ subscribers get some kind of "special" tools - kill files, built in spell check, a working search form, kuro5hin.com email address (?), a version that is optimized for a handheld, etc.
  4. Three year subscribers subscribers get perma-trusted user status. All users still can be trusted users still, but if you subscribe for 3 years, you are guaranteed trusted user status. I don't know how well this would scale though, if everybody becomes a 3 year subscriber, this might water down it's meaning.
  5. Perhaps three year subscribers also get some kind of "easier" way to post a story. Perhaps start them off with a higher score in a queue. This would still avoid spammers, as people would still mod crap down, it would just take longer.

In fact, I would dare say, the only way you should be able to get a real login at kuro5hin is to pay. If you are not a paying customer, you should only get to post anonymously. This allows people to "try out" k5, read the stories, and lurk for free. If you want to be a real member of the community and not just anonymous, cough up. I also suspect if you start charging for access, the quality of the postings will go up. This is just a hunch though.

All in all, I think that charging money for this site is a good thing, and I think you have a lot of value & potential to make money in this site. However, I really think you need to reconsider your pitch. $60 is way to much for just banner ad removal.



Oh god (5.00 / 3) (#119)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:31:39 PM EST

Do we really want Anonymous Hero again? You do realize that AH was what was used to do the DDoS, right? Anonymous posting is the easiest way to have a security nightmare on a site, simply because there's no all-around reasonable way to dole out loginless access.

Also, Rusty has stated time and again that he doesn't want to make the site have anything for paid users which normal users don't have. Possible reasons for this are that it puts in an unfair hierarchy which doesn't necessarily reflect the positive contributions to the site (for example, grad students like myself have a harder time justifying $50/year for the ability to post to a webboard than, say, an overpaid and bored sysadmin), and also that it's quite hostile to the nature of the Internet as a whole.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Hmmm. (4.66 / 3) (#124)
by coryking on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:59:03 PM EST

I wan't aware of the AH stuff. I guess I was not around when all that went down.

I also agree that charging for real user access is very debatable. I do agree that doing something like that would completly change the hierarchy of the site. It was a suggestion, and I'm completly open to being told I'm full of crap. However, one must realise that by charging at all, you are going to change the nature of this site completly.

I guess the thrust of my argument is that the site needs to provide something that the average non-paying user doesn't get - spell check, prema-trusted user etc. Otherwise, there is no percived value in subscribing besides good will. If rusty doesn't see that, then he will be missing out on a larger peice of the pie. The ad-removal is hardly a reason to subscribe IMHO.

[ Parent ]

Why to send money (5.00 / 4) (#126)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:12:10 PM EST

The reason I sent in a $15 donation wasn't to get personal gain, it was to help out with the cost of the server hardware which I'm invariably doing my fair share of wearing out. :) I already don't see the ads. Well, now I see that goddamned kitten ad everywhere and constant "reminders" to subscribe (when I've donated, and don't care to spend $5/month for this site because there's no way in hell I'm costing K5 even close to that much), which is really goddamned fucking annoying. Rusty needs to, at the very least, put in an option to turn off subscription reminders - there's a lot of people who have either donated (and therefore won't subscribe) or don't feel it's necessary for them to subscribe (and won't subscribe), and trying to guilt trip either sort is only going to eventually piss people off.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Sigh. (4.66 / 3) (#154)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:50:33 PM EST

We ran the numbers. If we make it cheaper, we lose money. Remember, this is totally user choice. The banner ads are one method of income, but now we provide a way for people who like the site and want to contribute a way to do so. We're not forcing anyone, nor do subscribers get anything beyond no ads. It's just so we don't live off of banner ads alone.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Running the numbers (none / 0) (#207)
by PresJPolk on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 03:57:18 AM EST

Did you take into account people who block ads, but are willing to pay?

People like me. I keep image loading off for efficiency, and I run junkbuster on top of that. I mute the television during advertisements. Nobody's making an dime on advertisments shown to me.

However, if you didn't use paypal, you were about to get $60 from me.

[ Parent ]
Yes, well.. (none / 0) (#212)
by Inoshiro on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:22:54 AM EST

We're hoping to add more ways of paying (besides paypal), so you can hold onto the $$ for a little while 'afore we a come to collect ;)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
originality (4.66 / 3) (#98)
by Arkady on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:44:52 PM EST

"In fact, this subscription thing is exactly what Salon did, isn't it? Haven't you ever had an original idea
in your life?"

Huh? As far as the originality in running a mixed-model site, it was suggested here on K5 a year before Salon did it (and two comic strip sites, Keenspot and Sluggy Freelance, both did it before Salon as well). I know because I wrote the damn article last spring (and emailed the folks who run both Keenspot and Sluggy about it at the time ... ;-).

So let's just keep straight where this suggestion came from, shall we? ;-)

As for subscription, obviously I'll sign up as soon as I can get into PayPal to set up an account. $5/month is a bit steep, but with volume I expect Rusty'll lower it. The goal here is to get Rusty &co. enough bucks to gurantee K5's continued presence and functionality, not to make them all stinking rich. They're reasonable folks; they'll pay attention to this sort of thing.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


A request (4.45 / 11) (#103)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:06:50 PM EST

Could you make it so that anyone can turn off the 'Subscribe or the kitty gets it!' box? It's annoying, and it can't be helping your bandwidth any, and making it so that anyone can disable it won't affect your bottom line any (since anyone disabling it already knows about subscriptions, right?) and such. Also, I donated (rather than subscribed) and I don't like the implication that I haven't sent in any money.

Of course, by making one scoop box switchable, that should make it very easy to finally put in the ability for users to turn any boxes on or off, which is something many users have been requesting for quite some time...
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

More stuff (4.00 / 4) (#107)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:25:48 PM EST

I also just noticed the "Why not subscribe?" link featured prominently on the preferences page. That's just annoying. If you're going to have that, put it on the User Info page right next to where the "trusted user" ramble goes.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Temporary (4.66 / 3) (#131)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:43:58 PM EST

The cat box is temporary. I'll leave it for a couple days to make sure evryone noticed, and replace it with something less glaring, elsewhere.

And honestly, how often do you look at your preferences page? I figured that would be the least annoying place to put that...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Misc random thoughts (5.00 / 8) (#137)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:09:44 PM EST

I think you've hit a lot of people with a lot of stuff at once here... the kitty box, subscriptions, etc., and as a result it's putting a lot of people off. On the other hand, if you were to make the subscription reminders show up a little bit at a time, it'd make it seem like you were trying to "encourage" us to subscribe (in a not nice way), so I dunno. Kind of a lose-lose thing.

I still think that $1.50/month (as per our IRC conversation last night) is a much more reasonable rate. Your bandwidth is "free" (for now, anyway) and so you only have to pay for rack space and hardware, right? Maybe you should have it so that people can set their own subscription rate - like, "I'm paying for a 12-month subscription at $1.50/month" (like I did with my "self-administered subscription" donation last night) and just put a lower bound of, say, $1/month on that. It'd be much more like the PBS model. Or maybe you could just have a sliding window of features which you can choose to "buy" at different levels (no ads = $1.50/month, getting a gold star by your username = $2/month, so if you want both you'd pay $3.50/month), or pay for a number of ad impressions (like, assuming you get $35/M from OSDN, charge the users $70 to withhold 1 million impressions). I mean, the whole point to subscriptions is to offset not seeing banner ads, right? Non-subscribers still see the banner ads (so you still get the money).

I don't look at my prefs page very often (I was just seeing if you'd finally put in configurable boxes), but it just seemed kind of insulting to put it there, somehow. Like, a subscription is part of having a password or signature or something.

It also just feels like you're not really acknowledging donations - like, I made a donation, but that's somehow "not good enough" because I still get all of the subscription crap.

And how about content quality? Maybe there should be a reward (i.e. a free month of $foo) for getting stories posted. At first there'd be a lot of people trying to subscription-whore, but that'd probably be self-correcting over time.

I could see this monthly price structure as being reasonable: (each of these options would be totally orthogonal; one option wouldn't affect the others, and you could "subscribe" to each one separately)

  • $1 - remove "please send money" propaganda
  • $1.50 - remove banner ads (or this could be a separate per-impression thing instead, like I pay for not seeing ads in blocks of 1000 impressions)
  • $1 - get the word 'donor' by your username in all posted comments (i.e. "by fluffy grue (donor) on $date")
  • $2 - get a gold star by your username in all posted comments
  • etc.
And still, I think that doing a subscription based on ad impressions lost rather than monthly periods is much more fair - the reason you claimed to go with a much higher subscription rate than average (per-user) ad rate is because you feel that people who subscribe would be the ones who tended to account for more ad impressions, so why not just make it so that the subscription maps directly into replacing lost ad revenue? I pay, say, $5 to remove 10,000 impressions, and then after 10,000 pageviews by me, I start getting impressions again. I think that'd work a lot better, especially since there's a lot of times when I'm not compulsively reloading K5 (and thus not costing as much) and there's a lot of times when I am (and thus costing more).
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

"kill this cat" is what K5 is about? (3.71 / 7) (#111)
by cetan on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:59:11 PM EST

I think that featuring this image on the front page is a slap in the face of what K5 is about. People take tons of time and effort to contribute content to this site, and others take time and effort to lace into that someone for their grammer or lack there of. It's sometimes nasty but in the end it usually produces something far better and more professional.

Then rusy puts that image on the front page. It cheapens the whole thing. It makes this site look like it's run by a bunch of degenerate teens. I wouldn't want anyone I know who have not visted this site before to show up with this image on the front. Not only is it imature, but it's also so over-done it's pathetic.

So, go ahead and respond "hey lighten up man" if you want, but you'd be missing the point completely.

===== cetan www.cetan.com =====
[ Parent ]
Hey! (3.75 / 4) (#114)
by BigZaphod on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:19:39 PM EST

Hey, lighten up man! Err.. Wait. Nevermind.

Actually, while I find that image terrible funny, I think I have to agree about the cheaper image it gives K5. Although I would certainly not feel comfortable with K5 if it took itself 100% seriously either...

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
[ Parent ]
Toggle Off for Everyone? (3.66 / 3) (#118)
by quam on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:27:11 PM EST

While I am sure k5 would like to provide a better service with additional features to the paying crowd, I would like to see an option for all users to toggle off the cat ad because (1) as fluffy grue mentioned, once a user sees the ad he/she does not need to see it again, and (2) the ad receives too much attention --- when I load the home/front page my eyes are indiscriminately drawn to the photo. It is practically the only thing I see on the page and throws off the page's design because it is a good size photograph. In fact, it grabs significantly more attention, imo, than the kuro5hin logo.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Am I the only one... (3.60 / 5) (#122)
by MSBob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:43:57 PM EST

finding that picture tasteless? Yes, I know it's supposed to be a joke and all but it's still tasteless. Very USA in style too.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Just wondering. (none / 0) (#187)
by dice on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:04:57 PM EST

When was it that it became the in thing to mindlessly US bash? Did I miss a memo?

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry (none / 0) (#189)
by MSBob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:17:37 PM EST

I'm sorry that every time I see a big frigging pistol pointed at something alive all I can think of is the United States of America. Thanks to all those pro-gun American loudmouths on this forum.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Wtf.. (4.00 / 1) (#211)
by Inoshiro on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:21:16 AM EST

I think I missed that memo too. I thought the current ones were that the US was all about state sanctioned murders (McVey), botched coverups (Gulf War syndrome, testing going back to the 1940s in the interests of defence), and K5 no longer being cool.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
$60 per year? (3.50 / 4) (#105)
by cmpgn on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:15:39 PM EST

$60/year purchase two years of Atlantic Monthly and two years of Harpers. There is no way that a one year subscription to K5 is worth nearly that much.

Actually it's $50 (4.66 / 3) (#109)
by aonifer on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:55:56 PM EST

For a limited time, it's only $50 / year. That's still more expensive than a subscription to National Geographic, which includes a map and occasional pictures of nude women. Plus I can read it on the toilet.

[ Parent ]
Hunh. (none / 0) (#237)
by Spendocrat on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:48:34 PM EST

Which of the print magazines that *you* read give you completely ad-free copy for their subscription price, and are willing to send you the magazine for free if you choose not to pay?

I'd like to know, because I love free magazines of quality.

[ Parent ]

Better idea: K5 += other sites ad free. (4.20 / 5) (#108)
by Apuleius on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:52:20 PM EST

I'd pay $5 a month if it got me K5, /., and Newsforge ad free. Otherwise, I'd suggest a lower price.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
logout (1.64 / 14) (#110)
by jxqvg on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:56:00 PM EST

quit

logoff

exit

^X

Well, looks like VALinux has finally 0wn3d K5. So, until K5 is VA free, it's a nice site but...

^C

ctl+alt+del

P.S. - Please remove my account from K5's database. I don't want this thing inflating VALinux's membership count when it's time to report to the board of directors next quarter.

[sig]

And good riddance to you. (3.50 / 2) (#113)
by coryking on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:09:40 PM EST

I'm glad to hear you are leaving. People like you provide nothing for a site like this but noise. In fact, it's exactly people like you that justify the my idea of paying before you get a login account.

There is nothing wrong with rusty trying to make money, even if it's just for covering the server costs.

PS, I predict in six to twelve months, the only high quality message boards you will find will be charging for access. Have fun looking for another place!

[ Parent ]

no (4.66 / 3) (#155)
by Delirium on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:51:05 PM EST

PS, I predict in six to twelve months, the only high quality message boards you will find will be charging for access. Have fun looking for another place!

I predict that your correction is incorrect, as rusty has repeatedly promised that k5 will not be charging for access; not now, and not six to twelve months from now.

[ Parent ]

You're assuming... (4.80 / 5) (#163)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:06:57 PM EST

You're assuming we'll still be "high quality" six months from now. ;-)

Sorry, I couldn't help jumping on the "K5 sucks now!" bandwagon. Has anyone else noticed that it's suddenly become cool to claim that?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

heh (5.00 / 4) (#167)
by Delirium on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:41:10 PM EST

You're assuming we'll still be "high quality" six months from now. ;-)

Well, as long as I'm still here posting, I think k5 is "high quality" by definition. =]

As for k5 selling out, I hope you're enjoying your mansion bought with ILLICIT VA LINUX MONEY STOLEN FROM BOWIE J POAG!#!@#

[ Parent ]

Ignore them... (none / 0) (#230)
by Alternity on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 12:31:21 PM EST

Sadly you're right. People like to complain about how things used to be better and how everything sucks now. That trend happened to /. and was bound to happen to kuro5hin sooner or later. Just ignore that noise, if they're happy to complain (but idiot enough to keep on reading something they think sucks) then good for them.


"When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun...
so one day when I was six I did
"
[ Parent ]
Bowie? (4.60 / 5) (#117)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:22:15 PM EST

Bowie J. Poag? Is that you?

VA still doesn't own K5. The subscription model is completely separate from OSDN income.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

It's been said already, but here's my vote: (4.66 / 3) (#112)
by raygundan on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:00:39 PM EST

I'd subscribe if the price were reasonable. A magazine subscription is usually less than half of the $60/yr. subscription price, and often as low as $15 on special offers. The content is provided mostly by the readers of the site, so there are no reporters to pay as there are in the case of the "real" magazines I subscribe to. $60/yr just to hide the ads is way too high-- for that much I would expect a LOT of top-notch original articles!

Well, I know it's been said already, but maybe enough posts will make it clear that the price point is high.

Charging... (5.00 / 2) (#115)
by themassiah on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:19:56 PM EST

Think about this... how much would it cost you to buy a magazine if all those ads weren't subsidizing the cost of the magazine. That's right, companies pay to advertise in those mags just like people pay to advertise on the net. You take away that source of income, it's gotta be made up by something.
Would you pay $60 a year for a mag. without adverts, those little cards that fall out, those smelly perfume samples and whatnot?
Don't get me wrong, I think $60 might be a bit much, but I could see doing $30 or so, to rival the print medium.

[ Parent ]
Good point, but... (5.00 / 2) (#148)
by raygundan on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:20:34 PM EST

You're right-- the money to replace the ads has to come from somewhere. The costs with a print mag with real reporters are significantly higher than those of kuro5hin, I imagine. And even online magazines that aren't entirely user-supplied are cheaper than this. Salon, for example, is the same price for 2 years. (2 years for $50)

So why is K5 twice as expensive as an online mag that actually produces some content on its own?

[ Parent ]
It's not a subscription it's a donation (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by Alternity on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 12:26:56 PM EST

Just stop seeing it as a magazine subscription. Basicaly it's a donation you do to K5 and rusty's allowing you to remove the ads to thank you. You don't need to pay to see all of the content.


"When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun...
so one day when I was six I did
"
[ Parent ]
1 year = $50 NOT $60 (4.00 / 2) (#123)
by nospoon on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:48:40 PM EST

Subscribe for 10 months for $50.

Get 2 Months Free!

Total Cost for 1 Year = $50

Thank you.



[ Parent ]
subscriptions don't pay authors (5.00 / 1) (#242)
by gauntlet on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 05:00:29 PM EST

Just a point that I heard one time: Magazines don't actually charge for a subscription to pay their authors. They do it to reduce their printing costs. If you give the magazine away for free, then the marketers don't know who is going to be seeing their ads. If you force people to send in geographical information like their mailing address, and ask them to pay, you're reducing the total number of magazines you have to print, and ending up with a demographic that is better defined.

This of course has nothing to do with K5. :)

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

$5 USian? (4.25 / 4) (#125)
by spacejack on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:01:40 PM EST

How about $5 Canadian? Then people won't be bitching about the price.

Remove the Cat Picture, Please (2.15 / 13) (#133)
by 2400n81 on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:55:02 PM EST

What has turned me off to subscribing to K5 is not the price, it's the handgun pointed at the cat.

Rusty, where the fuck have you been? Europeans are half your market here. Europeans see Americans as gun-toting, violent people, ready to hurt even innocent things, such as a cat. So, they're going to give you money using a violence-oriented ad campaign?

As for me, I'm tired of seeing guns marketing capitalism. If you wanna charge money, do so tastefully or go fuck yourself.

Junkbuster = remove ads.

Yeesh... (4.50 / 2) (#180)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:40:39 PM EST

Why are people getting so worked up over the cat? It was a reference to a famous work of satire. (Though apparently not famous enough.)

For the record, I own four cats, and would kill anyone who harmed one hair on their heads, but would gladly donate their services for amusing photographs such as the one that used to appear here.

Anyway, for those who didn't "get it", the picture (and the original National Lampoon cover it references) mocked the lengths marketeers would go to make the sale.


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Thank you (4.14 / 7) (#191)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:34:59 PM EST

Yes, that's what the point was.

And to respond to 2400n81, Americans see Europeans as humorless, self-important cretins with a stifling culture that rewards only conformity and eternal gray sameness.

Well, not really, but as long as we're talking worst impressions...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Only (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by finkployd on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 08:44:31 PM EST

Europeans see Americans as gun-toting, violent people, ready to hurt even innocent things, such as a cat.

Only the very ignorant ones.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
My 5c (4.25 / 4) (#134)
by Philipp on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:58:02 PM EST

First of all, I will send you $50 for a year, because I really would like k5 to succeed and I have a serious problem with ads. I haven't been very active here lately, but I am still quite hopeful, this this could become a high-quality site.

Some comments:

  • $50/year is a bit too expensive for many. That is 10 hours at minimum wage. I propose to keep that price, but also have a $20/year discounted price for whoever feels economically challenged (students, senior citizens, ...).

  • Open your finances. As it stands, the payment is pretty much a donation, so I would really like to know where the money goes. How much is spend on equipment/hosting (last time I heard, you guys get this free, although Inoshiro claims otherwise)? How much is spend on salaries? If you make more than expected, do you keep the money in the bank or pay yourself a bonus? This kind of stuff builds trust, take it serious.

  • Think about the possibility of paying authors. I am not sure how to implement this: Give paying subscribers special votes, that allow them to choose who they like to pay part of their monthly contribution? This is something for the future, if there is enough money.
So, let's see how this works (please provide stats!), I hope your attitude is not really to demonstrate once and for all that when push comes to shove, subscriptions online don't really work. It's up to you to make it work.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'
Subsidies (5.00 / 5) (#141)
by reeses on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:50:30 PM EST

I propose to keep that price, but also have a $20/year discounted price for whoever feels economically challenged (students, senior citizens, ...).
Why? It's not as if the payment exposes content otherwise unavailable. It just prevents ads from being displayed. It's a luxury, and if you can't afford the luxury, you do without.

[ Parent ]
Yep (5.00 / 4) (#158)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:02:22 PM EST

The "discounted price" is free. We'd lower it, but sending checks out to everyone just doesn't seem feasable... :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
discount for... (5.00 / 1) (#269)
by flummox on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 03:48:37 PM EST

senior citizens and students??

why don't the seniors use the extra money they don't spend at McDonald's and stuff to pay for the k5 sub? why should anyone, much less a site most likely run by "the youth" of america give seniors a discount? don't they get enough handouts already?

yes, it is a luxory and it should be treated as such...

i like this motto: k5 is a priveledge, not a right...

post until your fingers bleed,

cap'n flummox


...bring me my cheese...

[ Parent ]
Killing poor helpless kitties... (4.58 / 12) (#136)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:59:12 PM EST

To those who may have missed the reference, Rusty's just getting all literary, alluding to the old National Lampoon Schtick that started with their August, 1973 issue, which featured a dog, a gun, and the text "Buy this magazine or we shoot this dog".


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

I see (3.00 / 2) (#192)
by MSBob on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:36:09 PM EST

And all I can say is that the taste of rusty's joke was in every bit as awful as the original.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#234)
by Spendocrat on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:43:23 PM EST

If by "awful" you mean "hilarious", then I agree!

[ Parent ]
Simple (4.00 / 2) (#140)
by ubu on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:40:50 PM EST

You're selling space on a server, bandwidth, support for the server, and occasional (minor) functional upgrades.

You're not selling content. K5 may be like a magazine, but Rusty isn't the editor, publisher, or scout. He develops a singleton discussion forum and supports it. Bottom line.

Rusty should charge whatever he can get and be happy with it. My personal opinion is that asking $5/month gets you laughed out of the room, especially if you're not willing to keep the actual content hidden from non-subscribers -- which would have plenty of its own problems, anyway.

The way it reads now, it says "Be a jolly good sport and donate $5/month." Rusty (and the rest of K5, incidentally) already made it clear he doesn't believe in donations.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
Yes, but... (4.50 / 2) (#150)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:26:59 PM EST

$5.00 is steep, yes. If it were my only source of income, it would be cheaper. But as it stands right now, it's an option for people who want to support the site, and don't want to see ads, so it would be silly for me to price it below expected ad income for the average reader.

FWIW, I probably wouldn't subscribe, myself. Ads don't bother me that much. And it's completely ok if anyone else doesn't want to subscribe either.

Your assessment of what exactly we're selling is right on, though. Except add "ad-free" to that, because you can get the rest for nothing if you don't mind promotional messages.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#152)
by ubu on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:35:07 PM EST

If your ad income is $5/month from the average reader, I'm shocked. I had no idea it was so lucrative. In that case you're right, of course: you'd be silly to price the ad-free site below that.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
It's not (4.50 / 2) (#161)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:05:13 PM EST

Not to make it sound like we make $5 a month on an average reader -- we definitely don't. Subscription price is somewhat higher than we'd expect for a normal reader. But not a whole lot, and I know that there are a lot of people who read significantly more than the average, so we're trying to strike some kind of reasonable balance.

As I mentioned though, we do pretty well with the ads, so I really don't want to sell myself out, there.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Exactly... (4.75 / 4) (#164)
by John Milton on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:08:44 PM EST

it's an option for people who want to support the site, and don't want to see ads

Despite my recent article, I still enjoy this site, and I'd like to support it. The donations option was enough for me, but if I can remove banner ads in the process that's icing on the cake. It also makes me feel better, because I browse with cached images anyways. If I'm allowed to donate, I won't feel bad about depriving k5 of banner revenue.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
It looks much better now, (4.83 / 6) (#143)
by CaptainZornchugger on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:55:53 PM EST

without the cat, and with the number of subscribers and income.

You might want to add a third line that contains an estimate of how much it costs to run K5 for a month (Call it 'Target Amount' or something) Include in this amount a reasonable salary for the admins. That way people can see just how expensive it is to run something like this, and any money above the target can be used for improvements (as well as the OSDN money).

Would that be difficult to estimate? Do you think that's a good idea?


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
Absolutely (3.80 / 5) (#147)
by Eloquence on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:19:05 PM EST

Giving feedback is essential for making what is basically a voluntary donation model work. Subscribers could also get a gold star next to their name, and people who donate a silver star ;-). Alternatively, the subscribers link could lead to a list of user accounts (who have opted in to be listed).
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
visual indicators (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by ellF on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:47:42 PM EST

of course, i *tried* to post from work, and IE horked it. *grumble*

having just gone through the process, i must say that i like the ability to subscribe on a per-month basis, rusty. when i have the $5, i'm far more apt to want to throw it towards k5. nice work

i think that having some sort of visual indicator would be very, very cool - as part of the k5 cabal, i want people to _know_. i want my name in deep crimson (or perhaps just blue...). i want a cookie, damnit.



[ Parent ]
Exactly. (none / 0) (#274)
by snowlion on Fri Jul 20, 2001 at 04:02:19 AM EST

You may be interested in this thread, in which I proposed the exact same thing..


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
If... (4.00 / 2) (#144)
by sludge on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:04:11 PM EST

If I was employed, I would pay money. However, this does one thing for me: I feel bad about ignoring the ads using my Internet Junkbuster. For Kuro5hin, I will let the ads through from now on. I don't mind, really.
SLUDGE
Hiring in the Vancouver, British Columbia area
Let me just say.. (1.57 / 7) (#165)
by DeadBaby on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:09:08 PM EST

hahahahaahha


- "Stay up late, smoke cigars, and break windows" - Tom Waits
Salon, once more (4.00 / 3) (#168)
by juri on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:41:22 PM EST

Not only the subscription stuff, but also the kitten picture (which seems to have disappeared now) brought Salon to mind: Tom Tomorrow explains why you should subscribe

Donation totals on front page, too? (5.00 / 5) (#169)
by ToastyKen on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:51:00 PM EST

I was wondering if listing total donations on the front page might be a good idea as well. Personally, I don't know if I want to spend 50 bucks a year just yet, but I happily donated 10 bucks.. especially since I probably would've left the banner ads on anyway, since the K5 ones aren't very annoying.

Anyway, my point is that donations might perhaps be advocated a bit more as an alternative especially to those not willing to spend 50 bucks. I get the feeling the K5 community would be more willing than most to donate.

Of course, it'd also be nice to know where this money goes, since the bandwidth is sponsored.. Personally, I'd be perfectly happy if it simply contributed to Rusty's disposable income. ;)

Where does it go? (4.50 / 2) (#171)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:18:48 PM EST

As of now, there's no easy way for me to add donations to the numbers. I'll look into it.

As for what we do with the money -- right now, subscription income is basically going into a cash fund for the proverbial rainy day. We can pay me and Ino from the ad money, and I don't think this will take enough out of that to change it. So for the time being, it's being set aside to deal with unexpected expenses.

In general, K5 income just goes toward paying me and Inoshiro for our time. Like you said, bandwidth is sponsored, and we've been very lucky to have generous readers with good hardware to give us. :-) So, really, my comments about paying for catfood is not so untrue.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Don't care if it's $5 /mo pure profit.. (4.85 / 7) (#173)
by Rift on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 07:50:41 PM EST

I'm subscribing simply to get them to work on scoop more. I just wish I could donate directly to hurstdog, too

I run some internal scoop sites (it's great for corporate discussions in a free atmosphere, especially since I'm the only one allowed to see users' real names unless they opt), and when I get some free time, hope to setup an external one and do some coding I can send back

.In my opinion, scoop is one of the best, and that's why I'm subscribing. Hell, junkbuster and friends are easy to get - quality mod_perl programming is not. (Don't tell 'em I said it was quality)

--Rift
A pen is to a car what a meteor is to a _____
Other scoop sites (4.00 / 1) (#216)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:45:22 AM EST

Other scoop sites could have a % of their donations/subscriptions go to K5 as a nominal developers fund.

Not that this would in anyway be life a pyramid scheme....
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Weighing my options... (3.00 / 1) (#200)
by Crashnbur on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:51:54 PM EST

$5, no ads for a month.
$10, no ads for two months.
$15, no ads for three.
$20, none for four.
$25, six.
$50, a year.
$100, two.

Err, uhh. I'll stick with the ads. They're not hurting me. Make them popup in any way, shape, or form, and you'll lose one visitor. :-)

crash.neotope.com


Donation wars (4.00 / 2) (#201)
by Malicose on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 12:50:42 AM EST

Foster a little of that monetary competition by allowing one to show amount donated some place like user info page. A top ten (or so) list of supporters would be great.

Marketing Notes (4.66 / 9) (#204)
by the trinidad kid on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 03:29:59 AM EST

There's one small problem with this subscription thing - and that is how you're 'marketing' it. Clearly it is not a subscription - you're not 'getting' anything for it - what it actually is is a 'membership'. This is a community-based site, people post because they feel they belong.

What I think you should do is have a budget page:
$X on bandwidth
$Y on hardware
$Z on salaries

$I on ad income
$J on membership fees

What do clubs give their members? - membership badges - your name in a different colour - a wee logo - or even some genuine merchandise...

The problem is that K5 is not a site that I would pay $5 a month to read - but it might be a club that I'd pay $5 a month to join.

The other advantage of setting it up as a club is that you can then entice members to bloody well raise money to keep the show on the road, set targets to raise funds to do x, y or z - blah-blah

About time! (4.00 / 1) (#208)
by MugginsM on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:49:16 AM EST

Excellent. A few clicks over at Paypal and my money is heading your way. I've been arguing for a long long time that I'd rather pay money than see banner ads, but no site I regularly read has ever given me the option before. I do find $5/month to be a little steep, but that's a relatively minor niggle. Keep up the good work! - Muggins the Mad

and only minutes later... (4.00 / 1) (#209)
by MugginsM on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 05:00:37 AM EST


It's forgotten I'm a subscriber ;)

Ahhh, gotta love being an early adopter.

- MugginsM

[ Parent ]
caching issues (4.00 / 1) (#210)
by rusty on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 05:44:59 AM EST

There may yet be some lingering caching issues, where some apaches will think you're a subscriber and some won't. It's not supposed to do this but...

We're debugging. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Comparing prices with Spanish magazines (1.00 / 1) (#217)
by satch on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 08:02:44 AM EST

Well, the average subscription fee to some kind of regular magazines is about 20$ a year, with a gift for 2 and 3 years subscriptors. Other magazines with scientific contents, like the Spanish edition of Scientific American are about 40$ a year, with a gift like a folder to keep them archieved. So, is your content having so much investigation or creative work to make it valuable 50$ a year? Don't think so, because the content is created by the own people. We have here a magazine like this, created by the readers, it's called something like You speak, and is 250 Spanish pesetas, about a dolar and 25 cents. Subcribing would be 15$ a year, and both have reader generated contents. They don't have to keep server or bandwith for the web, but they have to print the magazine, which I suppose must have higher costs

Reading some of the other comments... (none / 0) (#243)
by rusty on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 05:06:40 PM EST

...we find that this argument has already been made and pretty well refuted. Find me the magazine that charges $20.00 a year, AND has no advertisements, AND will let you read everything in it for free if you don't want to pay. It doesn't exist.

You're not paying for articles here. That's all free, because, as you rightly point out, it's freely given by the community. I don't feel like it's mine to charge for. What subscribers are paying for is simply to get a non-ad-subsidized version of K5.

While the community provides the news, someone also has to pay for bandwidth and hardware, and my rent. This option is to say, "instead of OSDN paying for me to get K5, I want to pay my own way." Simple as that.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Yeah right about the ads (none / 0) (#245)
by satch on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 06:28:47 PM EST

No magazine has virtually no ads indeed. There are some magazines like computer related ones that are useful just for the ads, that make it easier to compare different shop offers. Well, in this case I have to say that the light without glare ad was promising, as some of the thinkgeek ones (they post the interesting things only to US so...no way to get them in Spain). So, some of the coments about the switch on/off of banners for subscribers would be great. I think I'd subscribe if i would get a decent email at kuro5hin, or something like this.

[ Parent ]
K5 has ads? (none / 0) (#219)
by Dast on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 08:32:38 AM EST

Woh. When did that happen?

A thought... (3.33 / 3) (#220)
by jd on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 09:29:25 AM EST

PLEASE don't just spend money for the sa of spending it. Invest heavily, in as high an interest account as you can.

So you end up with $5 more, at the end of the year. That's a whole extra subscription's worth, at no effort.

More than likely, you'd end up with a LOT more than that. With enough subscriptions, and a large enough core money in the account, K5 could (eventually) end up entirely self-funding. The subscriptions would not then be covering maintenance, but providing a huge resource for growth.

I'm not joking, when I say that, IF rusty et al choose to go down that path, they could find themselves -owning- Red Hat, VA Linux, et al.

But, then, K5 isn't a power-trip. At least, not on that kind of scale. So it's just as likely that this future would have no appeal, and remain idle speculation.

Cat pic (none / 0) (#221)
by xriso on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:18:34 AM EST

I am kinda sad that I was unable to see the cat picture (sounds funny!). Can anyone provide another source?
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
there it is (5.00 / 1) (#228)
by Alternity on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 12:09:51 PM EST

http://www.mycathatesyou.com/images/diekitty1.jpg


"When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun...
so one day when I was six I did
"
[ Parent ]
OSDN banner? (none / 0) (#231)
by 11223 on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 12:55:44 PM EST

On the ad-free version, is the OSDN spam at the top gone too?

--
The dead hand of Asimov's mass psychology wins every time.

The gray, not the blue (none / 0) (#239)
by rusty on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:46:09 PM EST

The little blue bar stays, right now. The gray goes. I kind of liked how the blue bar looks...

However, if subscribers want it gone, gone it shall be. I should put up a poll about this. Look for a diary...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Just about to ask... (none / 0) (#244)
by /dev/niall on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 05:36:08 PM EST

I was just going to ask about this! ;) I'd like it gone, as well as the "Sponsers" box.

Of course, they're not that irritating, but since I am aware that a) K5 is affiliated with OSDN, and b) VA and VHosting "sponser" the site, they really aren't accomplishing much expect taking up space.

I hope this works out! I have a nasty feeling with the current price it won't though. Best of luck.

--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#247)
by Delirium on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 07:47:41 PM EST

I think rusty wrote somewhere that he can't get rid of the "sponsors" box, because the contract with them was that they'd provide hardware/bandwidth in return for the box being shown to all users, so he can't turn it off for some users without breaking that contract. Not sure about the top bar though, but I'd like it gone as well - if I'm paying to support the site myself instead of having OSDN support it, I'd prefer if all vestiges of OSDN diappeared. =]

[ Parent ]
Be on the lookout (4.00 / 1) (#255)
by rusty on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:20:58 AM EST

I'm going to post a diary for subscriber feedback tomorrow. I'll note that at least two votes for "no blue bar" have been registered, though.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Only money (5.00 / 2) (#235)
by slaytanic killer on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:44:05 PM EST

Machiavelli seems to be right. Here's a new order, with lukewarm supporters and vocal critics.

On one hand, I don't see anything wrong with not wanting to send donations to this place. If you don't want to, please don't. Word on the street is that K5 is on the decline, and you can contribute better by writing quality articles that would make Rusty and Inoshiro want to flip burgers just to keep this place alive. If they are thinking of quitting, I want them to do so because it's better for them.

Money can after all ruin good things.

On the other hand, I see little wrong with Rusty giving users an option that does not grant others a second-class status. I don't think it's a great idea to say, "Be one of Us" because it minimizes the importance of contributing in more valuable ways than artificially making a little club of users. If people can go around with a little tag next to their posts saying, "I am a happy K5 subscriber," I promise to personally go on a ratings vendetta to each and every one of them.

Basically, the only metric that matters is if subscriptions/donations contribute to the quality of this place. And I'm not talking about the damn code, I mean higher-quality articles which attract high-quality discussion. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. Do anything you want, and trust in your analysis. This is K5. Just one more place which tests the thesis that given enough freedoms and protections, people will tend to try to take control and fashion it into something that doesn't waste their time.

Hmmmmmm. Any other ways? (none / 0) (#236)
by WWWWolf on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 02:46:10 PM EST

I might register Just Because You Need My Money, That's Why.

But when will you get a branch in Finland? As I don't have a credit card, and I will probably never (or at least in near future) will either, I would terribly appreciate it if I could pay to a local entity.

You know, international money transfers are so damn expensive with all the extra costs and that. Speaking of which, do you even support money transfers? PayPal doesn't seem to.

<accent from="Russia"> "Damn Amerikans and their obsession with kredit kards... Kan't thouz eevil kapitalist pigs see that those thingks are ekspensive?" </accent> =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Help ! No Verification Number (none / 0) (#250)
by mami on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 10:20:11 PM EST

on my CC card and I am a good girl and have only one CC. Now what ? Don't you have mailing addresses ? I rather send a check quite frankly.

Mailing (none / 0) (#254)
by rusty on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:19:26 AM EST

First, there's no way paypal will take a card without a verification number?

Second, mailing stuff, right now, is tricky. I'm moving, and I really want to handle the payment collection process personally. If you can wait till September, I'll add a mailing address.

I did get my first cash-in-hand subscription today. Arkady handed me fifty bucks at a bar. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

my bad (none / 0) (#262)
by mami on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 10:53:06 AM EST

it will work, just takes two or three days to get through the procedure with paypal.

[ Parent ]
Rusty :p (none / 0) (#271)
by Inoshiro on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 06:39:41 PM EST

I can hold money in escrow here until you change from NFA to FA.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Why not take e-gold as well (none / 0) (#252)
by andrewmuck on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 03:28:45 AM EST

At least it would be well suited for donations as micro payments are realistic (I don't consider US$5 as micro)

feel free to pinch some sample e-gold donation html from http://www.geocities.com/andrewmuck/gold.htm just change account details and link targets etc...

I wont be taking up $5/month, too much and the adds are reasonable. Paying micro amounts (cents to tens of cents) for features or special behaviour is something I would be keen on, as a few other comments seem to indicate also.

For those that don't do gold (so much better than anything else to use) and prefer paypal you could keep a prepaid balance that can be used up as special features are accessed.

For those wanting to get paid for their comments, why not just have a link like this http://www.two-cents-worth.com?188428

cya, Andrew...


Another Source Of Income (none / 0) (#253)
by the trinidad kid on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:08:45 AM EST

Amazon (and all the rest) pay quite good affinity fees. If a customer clicks through from an affinity site and then goes onto buy a book some of that is kicked back.

The algorithm for generating compliant affinity URLs cannot be that hard (the referene to a particular volume is based on the ISBN number.

So here's my suggestion:

* stick a bit on the post comment/story screen that, if supplied with a title and an ISBN number, will generate an affinity URL for that book to <Insert Bookseller(s) Of Choice> for the writer to stick in their text.

* Stick a fancy pants thingie with the link at the top of the related links box to generate social pressure for punters to conform

* Create a book reviews section (my personal preference would be social pressure to make it like The New York Review Of Books or The London Review Of Books both of which (in their paper versions) specialise in reviews of clusters of books about a particular subject).

* Maybe kick some of the money generated back to the writer?

No. (none / 0) (#270)
by Inoshiro on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 06:37:48 PM EST

I don't think we'll partner with a site which patents cookies and session transactions (*ahem!*), and is still losing money hand over fist (stupid managment).

I really don't know why the 'tard who founded Amazon was Time's man of the year in 2000. Time sucks, too.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
As I said... (none / 0) (#272)
by the trinidad kid on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 04:07:32 AM EST

Amazon (and all the rest) - whichever ethical supplier you choose, the fundamental key in a booksellers data architecture (on- or off-line) is the ISBN number - and the first comment pertains.

The only 2 American booksellers I know are Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and as far as I know there are 'ethical' issues with both of them - you tell me which other ones are acceptable.

[ Parent ]
Counter Intuitive (none / 0) (#256)
by the trinidad kid on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 05:32:13 AM EST

Strange though it may seem I think a better funding model (via "membership") might be to:
* mark "members" by colour so that everyone can see who is and who isn't
* only allow trusted users to become "members"

Restricting access to giving money works if what you are selling is belonging.

True, but (4.00 / 1) (#257)
by rusty on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 05:35:45 AM EST

Restricting access to giving money works if what you are selling is belonging.

That may be true, but we're not selling belonging. I also think that belonging, here, is not for sale. It's yours -- all of yours -- to give or withhold, but it's not a commodity I could offer in exchange for money.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

What I mean by belonging... (none / 0) (#258)
by the trinidad kid on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 06:27:12 AM EST

What I mean by belonging and "membership" is not the "right to do" but the "feeling of belonging".

What I am thinking of is a system where there is no obligation to give money and no benefit (not even no ads) received from giving money except a public statement of "belonging" and commitment.

In that context restricting the ability to give money would actually increase the motivation to give by enhancing (what I for want of a better term am forced to call) the "sacred" nature of making a donation.

[ Parent ]
Each to his own (4.00 / 1) (#260)
by NightRain on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 08:14:07 AM EST

I don't know. To me, that idea, though you may not intend it that way, smacks of elitism. You suddenly have a clear cut border between the 'haves' and 'have nots', and IMO it would do nothing other than interfere with the expansion and improvement of the community. It means that people who aren't dedicated enough to pay or, like many foreigners, unable to pay, can never truly be a part of the community, which just isn't the case now. As it stands at the moment, anyone with an opinion, and the ability to communicate that opinion can be a part.

I guess if you want to feel that you are truly part of the community, then make your donation, or subscribe. Even tell people about it if you want. But making it an offical badge of honour just doesn't seem right to me.

Don't vote, it only encourages them!


[ Parent ]
But it already pertains... (none / 0) (#261)
by the trinidad kid on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 09:16:10 AM EST

There are already classes of users:
* Anonymous readers
* Readers who have registered but never posted
* Readers who comment but never submit new stories
* Submitters

not to mention other 'classes'
* Trusted Users
* people who get the in jokes
* the famous "cabal"

and all these things express in one way or another a hierachy of "belongingness".

My argument is that a funding mechanism that "goes with the grain" is likely to yield more than one that doesn't (eg subscriptions)...

I don't want the tone of the site to be changed by loads of "listen to me, I'm fantastic, this is a $100 argument" versus "raise ya $20 fat boy lets see the colour of your discourse..." but the site is already psychologically powered by ratings ("10 people thought that was worth a 4.5 on average amn't I just loverly"). The site as it currently stands could just "go off" tone-wise anyway.

[ Parent ]
Text (4.00 / 2) (#259)
by epcraig on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 07:43:17 AM EST

No incentive here, adverts are hardly noticed when browsing with text. Lynx, emacs...
There is no EugeneFreeNet.org, there is an efn.org
agreed (none / 0) (#263)
by coffee17 on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:55:35 PM EST

Heck, I didn't even notice that k5 was running ads. Long live lynx.

-coffee


[ Parent ]

$5.00 is... (4.00 / 1) (#264)
by premier on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 05:16:27 AM EST

Q: FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH! You must be out of your mind! I'd NEVER pay that much for anything! A: extra-value meal and an apple pie at McDonalds. It's about 1/6th of a car wash. I think K5 is worth five bucks a month, but then, I'm totally biased.

Who the hell is paying $30 dollars for a car wash?
-premier

California (none / 0) (#267)
by rusty on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 08:45:49 AM EST

This came up on IRC too. All I can say is that car wash prices in Silicon Valley must be even more out of line with the rest of the world than the prices for everything else. Damn California.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
re: $5.00 is... (none / 0) (#268)
by bluebomber on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 09:30:50 AM EST

Who the hell is paying $30 dollars for a car wash?

No kidding!! And I thought $8 was a ripoff!!
-bluebomber
[ Parent ]

Junkbuster (1.00 / 2) (#273)
by fredl on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:11:52 PM EST

apt-get install junkbuster
Edit -> Preferences -> Proxy

Please send me $5 for this advice.

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