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[P]
RFC: Sponsored Feature Section on Digital Identity

By rusty in Meta
Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:20:05 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

I have a proposal for the site, that I'd like your comments and thoughts on.

Jabber.com founder Andre Durand and ISPCON founder Phil Becker recently started a new website called DigitalIDWorld.com. K5er Adam Theo is also working with them, and thought that the subject of digital identity would be something other K5ers might have some interest in, and perhaps we could arrange some kind of syndication agreement.

I talked to Andre and Phil a few times, and below is what we came up with. We all think it has a lot of potential, but as always, you make the final call as to what's good for K5. So read on for the idea, and let us know what you think of it.

Update [2002-4-3 13:13:38 by rusty]: In response to many comments, I have added one change and one clarification. Please see the end of the body text.


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Summary

In summary, the proposal on the table is this:

  • K5 will create a new "Feature section" focusing on Digital Identity (more on what that is in a minute).
  • The section will be like any of our other sections (technology, culture, etc.), except for being highlighted in some way on the main page, with a small indication that it is sponsored by DigitalIDWorld. Anyone may submit articles on digital identity, and voting will work like it would in any other section.
  • DigitalIDWorld will submit articles as well, which will usually also appear on their site. Their submissions will be voted on as usual by everyone.
  • When a DigitalIDWorld story is voted up to either section or front page, they will pay K5 a fee. The exact amount isn't decided yet, but it will be in the $100 range, most likely. The total cost to them will be capped at $1000 a month, to start with. This is kind of a trial period. So, once they've had ten articles posted in a month, they can keep contributing, the rest are just free.
  • DIW will pay K5 a flat fee simply to create the focus mini-section, and highlight it in a box on the front page. They will submit articles syndicated from DIW, but voting on these will proceed as with any other article, and have nothing to do with payment. (See update at the bottom)
  • Articles that you vote down will not be paid for, and will not appear on the site. As noted above, this will have no effect on income either way.

I hope that's a fairly clear description of how the arrangement would work. Now I'll try to address some of the questions you probably have.

What is Digital Identity?

From DigitalIDWorld.com:

A Digital Identity is the representation of a human identity that is used in a distributed network interaction with other machines or people. The purpose of the Digital Identity is to restore the ease and security human transactions once had, when we all knew each other and did business face-to-face, to a machine environment where we are often meeting each other for the first time as we enter into transactions over vast distances.
For example, a Microsoft Passport account is one kind of digital identity. Sun's collective effort, Liberty Alliance, is another. Digital identity is a fairly broad collection of technologies and ideas that all relate to creating and managing an identity in an online space.

DigitalIDWorld is intended to be an industry hub, to provide news, analysis, and discussion of the emerging digital identity market. They already have some good articles, but one thing they're lacking is a voice for the non-corporate stakeholders in all this. That is, you and me, the people who will ultimately be using (or not using!) all these new technologies. Digital identity is an industry that is just beginning to realize it is an industry, and it's one that ordinary people, and online privacy advocates especially, should have a strong interest in helping to steer.

That is where we come in.

What do we get?

K5 gets some good articles on a topic that is about as "technology and culture" as it gets, and I get some income to help keep the site running, and keep it independent. The kinds of articles they will be submitting will cover both technical and social aspects of digital identity, and should be fairly well mixed. I do urge you to go check out the site, and read what's there now. It's a pretty good indication of the kinds of things they're concerned with.

As the project progresses, they will continue to contribute articles written by various people working or thinking within the digital identity space, both from the industry side and from the end user perspective. And if the idea works the way I'd like to see it work, our feature section will also have articles by any of you who have something to contribute to the subject.

What do they get? (AKA: What's the catch?)

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, as we all know. And neither Andre nor Phil are bad businessmen. So why are they paying us to consider posting articles that they write? You guessed it, deep down at heart, it's a form of marketing. But don't let the "M" word scare you off! I wish all marketing was like this.

Basically, they want DigitalIDWorld to grow to become the hub, the journal of record, for this new industry. They're planning to hold a conference in October, and they want it to be packed to the rafters with people working on, or thinking about, digital identity related issues. Yes, they plan to make money holding the conference.

So they thought, what better way to build awareness of the site and the digital identity market than by reaching out to the people it will most affect, and who will most likely be working on it or using it in one way or another? And that, dear K5ers, is you.

We, perhaps more than anyone, hate being marketed to. So rather than blow a lot of smoke up our collective ass and try to push us to go to their conference, they figured that it would be better for everyone if they just support the site, and contribute good stuff, and assume that people who are interested will become more interested through discussing the technologies and issues. The hope is that those of you with some kind of legitimate excuse will badger your employers to send you off to the conference this fall, but no one's going to try to force you to. By thinking and talking about the subject, we help get it wider recognition as an important subject, and that eventually helps their site and their conference somewhere down the line.

The stories they will be contributing will not be thinly-disguised advertising. This is assured, ultimately because you will be voting on them, and you are all highly attuned to advertising in disguise. But I don't think it will be a problem anyway, because they understand that you aren't here to read about someones whizzy new product. They will do their best to provide articles that are thought-provoking and of interest to K5ers.

So that's it? It's a done deal?

No. That's what this article is for. Right now, I think it's a good idea, and they think it's a good idea. We're set to go. I made it clear, though, that K5 is a community, and you are the ones who have to have the final say in something like this. So if the general opinion is "No!" then it won't happen.

I won't hesitate, though, to use my "bully pulpit" to try to allay any fears you might have about the idea, and to attempt to convince you it's a good one. I'm unabashedly partisan in favor, on this one. But the final decision is yours.

I hope that gives you a good idea of the scope and workings of the proposal, so I'll turn it over to you. The poll will probably stand as the "vote of record" on this one, so don't vote on it before you've thought it over.

Update [2002-4-3 13:13:38 by rusty]: Lots of good comments here. I want to address two points that have come up repeatedly in the discussion.

First, about what it means to be a "section." What I have in mind is probably not best described by the word "section." It wouldn't be like the regular, permanent sections; it would just be a small box, highlighing articles on this subject. If any of you remember when we had feature boxes for Inoshiro's security articles, or Paul Dunne's Linux Bookshelf, it would be like that. Think of it as a mini-section.

Second, and more importantly, the pay-for-voting issue. It seems like almost all of the opposing comments hinge, in large part, on the introduction of money into the voting system, in one way or another. I don't think it's a big deal in this case, but I also see your point about the ethics of it.

So, I've talked to Andre and Phil, and modified the proposal a bit. Instead of stories being paid for when they are voted up, I've proposed that DIW will pay us up front just to create the focus section. They will still submit stories for it, but the money will have nothing to do with whether their stories (or any stories) are posted or not. The payment is just for creating a special interest section, and marking it "Sponsored by DigitalIDWorld" with small text and a link.

This changes the character of the agreement in a positive way, I hope. Basically, they will be giving me money for highlighting a topic dear to their hearts. You are, as always, the final arbiters of quality in the articles, and our income will not be tied to your voting decisions. This should remove the concerns about voting just to help out K5, which I don't want to see happen either.

This change is not definitely approved yet, but Andre is for it, and if Phil agrees, we'll consider it the new plan. It turns out that this is what Phil thought we were agreeing to in the first place. So it looks like I'm the idiot here. If you were opposed originally, please let me know if this changes your view.

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Poll
Should we launch the Digital Identity feature section?
o Yes 68%
o No 20%
o This is a humorous null vote 11%

Votes: 387
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Jabber.com
o Andre Durand
o ISPCON
o DigitalIDW orld.com
o Adam Theo
o Liberty Alliance
o Also by rusty


Display: Sort:
RFC: Sponsored Feature Section on Digital Identity | 235 comments (229 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
I'll pass (-1) (4.00 / 7) (#2)
by E r i c on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:51:13 AM EST

Rusty,

I understand that the need to keep K5 running smoothly requires cash. But I also feel that one of the things that makes K5 one of (if not THE) premier Internet communities for deep thinkers and intelligent conversation is the fact that it's such an idealistic and fair forum. All articles are voted on by all members, all comments are rated by all members, and there's no funny stuff (like pseudo-articles that are really advertisements for a particular product, brand, website, etc.).

Sorry if this dissappoints you, but I think the best decision in the long run would be to decline this offer from DigitalIDWorld.

I blame my past transgressions on Eminem's music. Reform number five is currently in progress.

Read again (2.00 / 2) (#3)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:55:40 AM EST

All articles submitted by digitalidworld will be voted on. If they don't measure up to our standards, they don't get posted. If they are advertisements, or "funny stuff" they will not be voted up, because we all feel just like you do. They are completely aware of this. Voting records for their articles will be open to public inspection, just as they are now.

Likewise commenting and rating will operate normally. Authors of the digitalidworld articles will be invited to participate in the discussions, but whether they choose to or not is of course up to them.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

If I was a prostitute (4.60 / 5) (#9)
by E r i c on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:03:34 AM EST

If some woman lived in my house and paid me money every time I slept with her (although I could choose to decline any and all invitations for sexual relations with her based on our contract), I still claim that the relationship could become very odd and uncomfortable for both parties involved in the agreement.

I blame my past transgressions on Eminem's music. Reform number five is currently in progress.
[ Parent ]
Hrm. (4.00 / 5) (#14)
by Spatula on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:08:02 AM EST

Now *that's* something that didn't cross my mind before. Good analogy, too. I still say 'yes, consider it', but I believe caution should be exercised on the part of rusty and co. in entering such an agreement.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]
I think rusty's done that (4.00 / 6) (#34)
by notafurry on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:29:37 AM EST

The company is not paying for editorial control, they're paying for the right to submit stories. Period. They could do the exact same thing by creating an account. Rusty's not going to be force-voting their stories onto the front page (although I suppose he could be forgiven for voting +1 on all of their submissions - or at least on the first ten of every month. <G>) If you don't like the things they post, vote -1 on them.

OK, so there's going to be a new section. It's at least an appropriate and interesting section for the site; digital identities and such are of definite interest here, considering we all have and use a digital identity every day. (Some should have more interest than others, like a certain four-legged pants gobbler with crantastic hair.) It's also the kind of issue that's only going to gain importance in the next few years, especially in the face of laws and regulations that attempt to dictate what is and is not allowed on the Internet.

The long and the short of it is, this will help K5 survive. That's a good thing all by itself. It's something that will help K5 survive without significantly changing the critical aspects of the K5 community - and that's even better. Hell, how many sites give you the chance to vote on the advertisements that are accepted? How many give you the right and privelage, nay, the honor, of posting insightful "you people are so fucking stupid, and you do this for a living?!?" comments?

[ Parent ]

notafurry shut up! (1.00 / 12) (#52)
by johwsun on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:15:56 AM EST

As you already said, and I may join your club, stupids must not talk! hehehe

[ Parent ]
Marriage? (3.80 / 5) (#16)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:11:56 AM EST

Don't they call that marriage, usually? :-)

I don't see the metaphor, really. First of all, they're not paying you for voting the stories up. You won't see a penny, I promise. They're paying me for exposure to a larger audience than they could gather on their own, should that audience be interested in what they have to say.

Second, I think comparing voting on stories to sex is a bit over the top, don't you? For one thing, sex often lasts longer.

Nevertheless, I'll count you as a "No" unless you suddenly change your mind.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

That's fair (3.66 / 3) (#21)
by E r i c on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:15:12 AM EST

I'm definitely a 'no', but keep in mind that I'm very new here. It's your site, and I know what it's like to have a brainchild of your own; if you feel that this is a good or necessary move, then by all means go for it (assuming at least half of the community here at K5 is OK with it).

Best of luck, too, with the decision :-)

I blame my past transgressions on Eminem's music. Reform number five is currently in progress.
[ Parent ]

Thanks (3.00 / 5) (#23)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:16:53 AM EST

Hopefully, if it goes ahead, we can win you over. But I appreciate a coherent dissenting view.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Erm... (3.50 / 4) (#32)
by pschap on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:29:03 AM EST

I thought they only called marriage when the woman had the right of first refusal.

Yeah, yeah, it goes both ways, but i guess I'm not getting enough at the moment to even consider turning it down. Now, where was that goat...

--
"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

[ Parent ]

Sex lasting longer depends on who your with right? (3.00 / 3) (#45)
by sweetie on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:51:48 AM EST


"If god thinks he's doing me wrong , he'll strike his ass down with a lightning bolt!"
Have you been fucked with the wrong way? If so then post that Bitch or Dick to my Dick
[ Parent ]
My right[nt] (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by axxeman on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:21:42 AM EST


Not yet. Don't come before we have finished humping...
[ Parent ]

Text ads (4.00 / 4) (#81)
by gazbo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:32:50 AM EST

They're paying me for exposure to a larger audience than they could gather on their own, should that audience be interested in what they have to say.
To be honest, I see more than a slight similarity to text-ads, as they have become now. They started off as just a source of revenue paid for by people marketing products, then comments were enabled (what kind of a fucked-up genious idea was that?) and now they are one of the areas I most frequently visit.

Just because money is involved doesn't necessarily make it evil (geek ethic gone too far) - text ads had their share of dissenters, yet they became interesting despite that not being a goal. These stories are to be unintrusive, voted for in the queue like all others, and ostensibly targeted towards being interesting for us - I don't see how the fact that they a) have their own section and b) earn revenue should detract from the fact that they could be a rich source of story contribution.

Massive, unashamed 'Yes' vote from me.

PS. Out of curiosity, how well are text ads doing at paying bandwidth etc?

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

You do appear to be a prostitute and she's your (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by sweetie on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:21:16 AM EST

client. Don't take her money and just enjoy the ride.

"If god thinks he's doing me wrong , he'll strike his ass down with a lightning bolt!"
Have you been fucked with the wrong way? If so then post that Bitch or Dick to my Dick
[ Parent ]
Just wondering (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by mandria on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:09:27 AM EST

What if some people have more than one Identity and they vote for an article more than once? Would that create a problem? This people that have more than one ID could be from DigitalIdWorld. Let's not take for granted that everybody will play fair.

[ Parent ]
Wayyy ahead of you. (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by physicsgod on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:54:57 PM EST

1) The voting queue was designed to defeat that, orginally the voting threshold was a function of the number of accounts, so someone creating an account to vote up a story also moved the goalposts. The threshold is no longer a simple function of accounts, but I'm sure Rusty&co have some voodoo to figure out the number of active accounts.

2) Voting records are public, which means that anyone who's pathe^H^H^H^H^Hinterested enough can see if a block of UID's constantly vote up DIW articles and don't vote on anything else. That would result in a story (or at least a diary) which would prompt a massive backlash against DIW articles.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Voting bias for non-content reasons (4.00 / 2) (#123)
by JoshKnorr on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:45:29 AM EST

Paradoxically enough, I would have no problem with this scheme if we didn't know about it. Because my objection is that the fee-for-posting will bias the voting in a way that will harm K5.

Some people will be more inclined to vote up a DIDWorld article because they know that if it survives the queue, rusty pockets a few (deserved) bucks. It may be that in practice, the pro-DIDWorld voters will be cancelled out by an equally negative faction which will tend to vote things down for the same reason.

The principle, though, is that articles are being considered for factors that have nothing to do with content. Say what you will about voting stuff up because you agree/disagree with the stance of the author as opposed to the quality of the writing, but it's all about what's in the article itself. And for my money, that's what makes K5 great.

There is a case to be made for sacrificing some editorial focus for financial reasons, no doubt about it. But there should be no mistake about what's going on - we're being paid to change the nature of the site. As others have pointed out, it happens all the time in other media. Let's just be up front about it.

That said, I heartily encourage DigitalIDWorld to post articles here and join in the discussion. I find the subject an interesting one worth of debate , particularly in this setting where things other than technical merits could be discussed. If they want to pay for the right to *submit* articles to the queue with some sort of special tag, no problem. But the financial incentive shouldn't hang on the community's behavior - because that's what makes the site what it is.

[ Parent ]

Two comments (3.40 / 5) (#4)
by pschap on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:56:40 AM EST

First, you do realize of course that 10 mrgoat's and the like could trivially swing a story one way or another. Now, I'm sure that the people you're talking to would never stoop to that kind of level to get their material posted, but there is the danger of having a concentrated effort to sabotage the stories.

Second, as a possible way around a fickle k5 audience, why not have it set up at two different levels. The stories that they post will all get automaticallly posted to some sort of syndication section without input by the users. They will pay you a small fee for this, something much smaller than the 100 dollars that you are being offered for having front page stories. This guarantees that you get some income from the deal and they get some marketting from the deal. Then on top of that you can also put the stories into the queue and if they happen to get voted to the front page you get the extra fee (bringing it up to 100) for that particular story.

--
"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

Ah, ye fickle K5 (4.00 / 6) (#7)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:01:31 AM EST

One of my ironclad principles going into this is that K5 works because of the voting, and changing that for money would be like cutting off my nose for a small fee billable to my face. Sure, I'd make money, but it would be antithetical to the whole point of the site. It wouldn't be worth it.

Vote-rigging is not allowed for any article, no matter who it's by. I haven't seen any evidence of it happening to the kind of extent it would take to post or kill submissions. If it's a problem, then it's a problem, and we'll try to figure out how to keep the voting fair. But I figured we'd burn that bridge when we came to it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I see your point... (3.66 / 3) (#12)
by pschap on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:04:51 AM EST

but you could think of it as a for pay diary section with a bit more prominent a link... no one really has to look at it if they don't want to.

--
"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

[ Parent ]
Yeah, kinda... (2.00 / 2) (#19)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:14:48 AM EST

But one of the big advantages is that it would be part of the site as a whole, not it's own little ghetto like the diaries (hi mrgoat! ;-)). An advantage both for us, because it's articles, and articles are the meat upon which we feed, and for them, because, well... because articles are the meat upon which we feed.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Well, one of the uses of diaries... (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by pschap on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:22:14 AM EST

(aside from talking about gf trouble and pretending to be someone named MisterQueue) is for people to post stories that they felt were good and worth a read, but the K5 community at large didn't agree (which happens a lot). I'm not suggesting relegating them to a for pay diary only, I'm suggesting that you put them in the queue like other stories, if they get voted up great, if not they go to a diary like section. But at least this way you both still gain (albeit not by as much) despite the negative vote since you still get a bit of money and they still get a bit of exposure. The community doesn't really suffer since if they're not interested in it, they bypass the extra link at the top of the page right next to diary.

--
"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

[ Parent ]
How about... (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by leviramsey on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:22:36 AM EST

A Diary that has its own box on the front page (like one of those RDF feeds...)?

[ Parent ]
Sounds like an idea worth considering (4.00 / 2) (#6)
by Spatula on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:58:08 AM EST

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any objections to such a move. Question: Will there be new alternate sub-classifications available (maybe only?) for Digital Identity articles, such as 'Crypto', 'Application', etc., or will the sub-classifications remain as they are? Also, would there be an option added to k5 preferences allowing users to ignore DigitaI Identity articles?

+1, and a 'yes'.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.

Answers: (3.33 / 3) (#11)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:04:34 AM EST

Will there be new alternate sub-classifications available (maybe only?) for Digital Identity articles, such as 'Crypto', 'Application', etc., or will the sub-classifications remain as they are?

I hadn't thought about that, actually. I've been mening to add some topics, so maybe I'll try to get Driph in gear to put together some new icons, and we can put in the topics I've wanted to add while we're at it.

Also, would there be an option added to k5 preferences allowing users to ignore DigitaI Identity articles?

I don't think so. There will probably be a box highlighting recent articles, which will be turn-offable like many other boxes. But I didn't think we would need to add special preferences for this particular section, as to displaying it or not. Lots of people hate MLP, and we never offered a preference to hide that. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Understood (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by Spatula on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:15:02 AM EST

Lots of people hate MLP, and we never offered a preference to hide that. :-)

Myself included. ;-) WTF. I can keep wishing, no?
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]

the subsection patch (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by hurstdog on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:06:13 AM EST

that hillct so graciously supplied, is being applied by me as we speak. So, "maybe". Sounds like a good live test of it to me. :-) If I can get it working no problem, then it will probably be on k5 Real Soon Now (tm)



[ Parent ]
Marvy. (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by Spatula on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:12:02 AM EST

I'm pretty sure the subsections on k5 aren't nearly adequate enough to cover what digitalidworld want to represent. Good luck on the test, hurstdog.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]
Er (2.00 / 2) (#18)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:12:48 AM EST

I think you misread. He was just talking about topics. Got sub-sections on the brain? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
sub-classifications (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by hurstdog on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:16:45 AM EST

could go both ways. But yes, I do have subsections on the brain. And this would be a good candidate for the http://subsection.kuro5hin.org type stuff we were talking about a few days ago. Could change the templates to show it was sponsered by them and everything.



[ Parent ]
Yeah (2.00 / 2) (#24)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:17:54 AM EST

But in the current absence of that, a regular section will work fine.

By the way, I have all kinds of ideas for that subsection stuff, so get it done. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

ha (4.75 / 4) (#37)
by hurstdog on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:31:55 AM EST

Every minute you sit there and reply right away to my comments is another minute I could have been applying the subsection patch, but wiled away constantly refreshing the page. Or refreshing the diary page. Or slashdot. Or theregister. umm... back to work :)



[ Parent ]
wish i'd read that... (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by ubernostrum on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:29:05 AM EST

before I posted my other comment on this story. I like the subsection thing, if i'm understanding it properly, as a way to implement the Digital Identity thing...it's definitely much more agreeable than the proposed plan.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Actually (2.50 / 2) (#40)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:35:45 AM EST

We don't have sub-sections yet, but they are coming. What I would do, eventually, if this works out, is create a permanent section called something like "Focus", and then make this a sub-section of that. In the future, if we were to have other sponsored topics, they would become new sub-sections of Focus.

But in practice, that's how it'll work anyway. See also my reply to your comment above.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

What am I voting for? (4.14 / 7) (#8)
by Kyle on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:03:29 AM EST

I'm confused. It sounded at one point as if you're only paid if the story is posted. At another point, it sounded as if you're paid even if the story is not posted (i.e., it dies in the submission bin).

If only posted stories make money, my main concern is that I (or others) will be tempted to vote up marginal (or even bad) stories because we know that the income they generate will keep K5 alive. Ultimately, that makes K5 a worse site, drives away users, and causes the heat death of the Universe.

So which is it?

Posted stories are paid (3.50 / 4) (#15)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:08:26 AM EST

Only stories that get voted up are paid for. I do realize there may be some people who would feel like they should vote for marginal stories just to help out K5. All I can really do is discourage this. If they suck, they suck, simple as that.

Personally, I don't think it'll be an issue. They have some good stuff, and it's definitely an on-topic subject for us. But, keep it in mind when you're voting. Posting bad articles will not help K5, in the long run, even if we get money for them.

Finally, we will be watching how it goes pretty carefully. I have a reasonably good sense of what gets voted up and what doesn't, so if I think it's not contributing good stuff to the site, we'll just say "Well, we gave it a shot" and part ways amicably.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

That's my biggest concern (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by theantix on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:19:02 AM EST

Only stories that get voted up are paid for. I do realize there may be some people who would feel like they should vote for marginal stories just to help out K5. All I can really do is discourage this. If they suck, they suck, simple as that.

My concern is that certain people will feel slightly obligated to vote for the story. After all, we all want you to get paid! =) It seems to me that is what DigitalIdentity is counting on under this arrangement, otherwise they would just post the stories themselves.

On the other hand, there are probably just as many anti-establishement people that will counter-vote just because of this arrangement, or at the very least view it with a more skeptical eye. So I'll vote "Yes", so long as you promise to keep an eye on it.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

DI isn't counting on it (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by whatwasthatagain on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:07:27 AM EST

My concern is that certain people will feel slightly obligated to vote for the story. After all, we all want you to get paid! =) It seems to me that is what DigitalIdentity is counting on under this arrangement, otherwise they would just post the stories themselves

DI certainly wouldn't want their stories voted up because people want k5 to make money. If this happens, many of their stories get posted, but precious few are actually read or generate discussion. This way, they'll end up coughing up more money, with little returns. A classic case of advertisement *not* reaching its target audience.


--

With profound apologies to whomsoever this sig originally belonged.
[ Parent ]

In theory, but not explicitly stated (none / 0) (#70)
by Sunir on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:19:11 AM EST

That's the theory for their best outcome, but unless that is made abundantly clear by DI themselves, many people will indeed vote the story up for the Rusty "Personal Masseuse" Fund.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

So, if I write a story.. (none / 0) (#55)
by juahonen on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:19:31 AM EST

If I write a story on digital identity and it is posted to section or FP do I get paid for it? Or do they pay you only for stories they post and we vote for?

If they pay for their own stories only, then I see no problem here with money. But if they're going to pay for all stories posted to this new section, then the authors should be awarded part of the money.

[ Parent ]

Just theirs (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:26:24 AM EST

If you write up a story for the DI section, and it gets posted, you get lots of comments and warm fuzzies. The only thing that involves money is the stories they syndicate over here.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Likewise. (none / 0) (#63)
by cdyer on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:38:27 AM EST

I agree with theAntix that I worry about the psychological impact of knowing that this will help K5. I know if I saw an ordinary user offer to donate $100 to K5 if his story got voted to FP, I'd be pissed. But at the same time, I might vote it up, to help the K5 fund. However, with a major interest doing this as a sustained effort, I worry that it will skew K5 to become "The DigitalID site." And I frankly have little interest in discussing them. Especially if the company gets to use K5s name in their own advertising.

Blech.

Even if the articles are stellar, and manage to get me interested in reading and posting to them on a regular basis, I worry about the subtle shift in tone of the site. It's not that I'll abandon K5 when it happens, but that I could easily see myself becoming disaffected and drifting away.

Not that I've been here all that long, and I've already made an ass of myself at least once.

So vote me a solid no, but a +1FP for the story, because this is definitely a new way of thinking, and worth consideration by all. If you gotta do it for the site, Rusty, I say do it, but I'm not thrilled by the prospect at all.

Cheers,
Cliff



[ Parent ]
Sounds good to me... (3.25 / 4) (#10)
by kwsNI on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:03:38 AM EST

I don't see why this would be any different than another account posting articles except K5 gets paid for these. My only question is, can they write articles that will get voted up?

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
Not necessary (4.00 / 2) (#68)
by Sunir on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:14:36 AM EST

They are certainly bribing the electorate to vote the story up by adding the cash carrot. I'm not opposed to that idea, personally, but the articles may be crappy and get voted up anyway just so Rusty can buy some gourmet cat food for a change. The articles will also go into their own little section which people can ignore, so the cost of holding your nose while voting is further mitigated, perhaps enough to be outweighed by the benefit of keeping k5 afloat.

Besides, it's likely they will run the articles through a spell checker, which automatically makes them better than most things in the queue. ;)

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Ambivalent (4.25 / 4) (#26)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:19:44 AM EST

On the one hand, it doesn't seem particularly onerous or problematic. On the other hand, I don't really see digital identity as being a topic that interesting that it's worthy of its own section (Technology would be fine) or any significant number of articles. There are a bunch of other technology areas (copyright, digital media, etc.) that would seem (to me) more interesting to break out into their own section. In fact I can't particularly remember even one digital identity article at k5 in the recent past, much less a whole section's worth.

But I don't particularly object to the arrangement. I don't anticipating voting +1 on many of the stories though. =P

S'ok (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:25:55 AM EST

One of the unknowns here is how many pople will prove interested in the subject. I think it's a good one, especially for discussion, but I think all kinds of addle-headed things, so who knows.

The fact remains that they are offering to sponsor it, so it's what we've got to choose from right now. If this works, and does good things for the site and for them, I would love to see other groups sponsor other "special topic" sections in the future. The conference tie-in is a particularly good one for this kind of arrangement, I think. Perhaps we'll see O'Reilly sponsor a section geared toward one of their myriad conference topics, like P2P or Emerging Technologies.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this wouldn't bea long-term permanent section, like "Technology". It would run for some period of time and then end. It's more like a "Focus on ..." section than a real section.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Mixed feelings right now (4.66 / 9) (#30)
by ubernostrum on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:25:11 AM EST

Maybe allowing them to submit stories with some sort of distinctiveness would be OK, but their own section? This doesn't seem to me to be a large enough topic to justify that on its own merit, which means you'd have a section that exists for no reason other than the fact that somebody paid for it, and I'm not sure I like that. And, obviously, it smells a little funny - like k5 would be turned into someone's private market research center (not that that's what they're proposing necessarily, but it does put such things disturbingly on the horizon).

OTOH, the fact that they want outside commentary is a good thing - unlike certain companies who seem to think forcing the One Universal Interface to Everything down consumer's throats is a perfectly acceptable tactic. The fact that they've come to someplace like k5 demonstrates that they at least want to have the appearance of openness (I won't have time to read over their site until tomorrow, though, so I won't judge for myself whether the appearance of openness is all they want, or if they actually want to be open). And seeing what they have to say would certainly be nice...it's easier to read it in the k5 queue than to add another bookmark to the list of sites I already read regularly.

But I guess what gets me is the whole section thing - it feels too much like letting k5 be bought off. If they want opinions and awareness, they can get accounts (maybe even register an account "DigitalIDWorld" so we know who they are - I just hope they also register a bunch of similar names because the trolls and the Bunny Cabal could have a field day with them). If they want to look good by supporting k5, they can donate.

Anyway, I don't yet know what to think...I'm mostly against it right now, but it's late and I'm tired. If this story's still here in the morning I'll look at it again with a rested brain and see if anything's changed.


--
You cooin' with my bird?

Section (3.66 / 3) (#35)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:30:17 AM EST

Maybe "section" was the wrong word for this. I'm thinking of it in terms of how we'll actually implement it in Scoop. In operation, it would be more like a newspaper "pull-out." A focused category for stories on one topic that runs for some limited period of time. I'm not proposing that we add Digital Identity" to the K5 section list permanently.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
That sounds better... (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by ubernostrum on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:32:29 AM EST

Still not sure I like all the connotations of it, though...but I shall sleep on it, and vote in the morning.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Sectioning OFF (4.83 / 6) (#42)
by CheSera on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:43:21 AM EST

I'll get to my feelings about the actual inclusion of DI in a later comment, but for now assuming we include DI at K5, I'd prefer them in their own section.

Basically this will allow us to keep aware of what is being contributed by a possibly biased source. Not that this bias necessarly is a negative thing, but still, I'd rather know an article came from DI when it shows up in the queue.

However, I don't really think that digital identity, as a topic, is truly deserving of its own subject category at K5. Compare the issues of digital identity with those of culture, or god help us, meta. Clearly the scope of the former is smaller, and rather obviously pointed at the orginization of DI.

So I'd propose the creation of a category labeled "orginizational input" or "outside contribution" or something. The point being that the article was generated by a group outside the K5 community. Perhaps other groups in the future will want to follow DI's admarable stance of interaction with the community here. (In a way I see a tie in with the text adds here. If Ars Technica for example wanted to post here, they could do so in this category).

Overall this isn't a flawless fit, but it would avoid the perception that DI was "buying" a category.


============
**TATDOMAW**
============

[ Parent ]

You've got the right idea (4.00 / 4) (#46)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:55:42 AM EST

Ack. Clearly "section" was a bad term to choose. I'm not talking about a section on the same level of constancy and permanence as "MLP" or "Culture". It's more like a special focus subject. The actual implementation of it, from our perspective, will be as a section. But it won't appear up there on the grey bar with the rest of them, and it will eventually come to an end.

Your description of how it ought to be is exactly what I have in mind. It's a mini-section, if that freshly invented term makes it any clearer.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

How about a trial period? (4.63 / 11) (#36)
by Sethamin on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:31:04 AM EST

I have a suggestion. Instead of definitively saying "Yes" or "No" to this proposal, can we set up some sort of trial period? What I mean is, set up a period of, say, 3 months, during which the DigitalID deal is on. Then after 3 months, we bring up a mandatory site vote on whether the deal stays. I think the key here is that the vote is mandatory, so that even if there isn't overwhelming opposition to take down the section, the deal still has to pull its own weight. On the other hand, DigitalID will have more than enough chances to prove their article-posting worthiness.

What say ye?

A society should not be judged by its output of junk, but by what it thinks is significant. -Neil Postman

Sure (4.42 / 7) (#38)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:32:18 AM EST

We already were planning on doing a one-month trial, to see how it was working out for everyone. I'd be glad to post a poll at the end of a month asking for a renewed opinion on it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Trial Period is Good (4.75 / 4) (#43)
by adamant on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:51:26 AM EST

I like the idea of a trial period.

I also like the idea in general. I can support any nonintrusive way we can make our community fund itself without resorting to mandatory subscriptions.

The test I would use would be "the Prime Directive Test." Are we altering our culture in too large of a degree by proposal X? If we are, the proposal is probably not a good idea. If we can pretty much go on with the proposal implemented in nearly the same way as before, there's likely not a problem.

-adamant

[ Parent ]
Syndication Section (4.00 / 8) (#41)
by Pseudoephedrine on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:41:34 AM EST

What about a section for syndicated articles in general, not just Digital Identity in specific? People would be allowed to post material that they own the copyright to or that the owner has authorised to be posted?

What I'm thinking of in specific is both corporate sponsorship deals such as the fairly reasonable one rusty is proposing, along with material that has been published elsewhere or is being considered for publication elsewhere.

The use I'm thinking of is allowing authors to post short stories, academic papers in progress, articles written for major distribution houses like Reuters or other webpages in general that the author hold the copyright to, and the like.

Standard for each submission of this sort could be a field mentioning something like 'This article has been syndicated at kuro5hin.org, xyz.org, foo.org, bar.org and the Wall Street Journal. Copyright J. Random Hacker; 2002.' or some such.

I think of this mostly as a way for actual authors, journalists and other wordsmiths to get feedback on their stuff before they try and sell it on the open market.

If the people who have articles submitted to this section wish to pay rusty money to maintain the server, I'm fine with that, so long as it's above the board.


"We who have passed through their hands feel suffocated when we think of that legion, which is stripped bare of human ideals" -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Maybe (1.00 / 1) (#47)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:58:55 AM EST

We're workng on some Scoop changes (I should say, hllct and hurstdog are working on them...) to allow sub-sections underneath sections. Essentially, sections will be trees, not a flat plane. If we eventually did a "Special" section, "Syndicated Articles" could fit as a subsection of that.

On the other hand, there's no reason authors can't syndicate stuff they own the rights to in whatever existing section it fit in. I think that sentence had way too many prepositions. But you get the idea. This agreement wouldn't represent a general change of policy -- people would still be free to submit anything they wanted to.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

There's a problem (none / 0) (#78)
by dipipanone on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:11:43 AM EST

There's a problem with this proposal, insofar as most places that buy writing tend to want to pay for first use in that particular market. Very few places will actually consider buying something that has already been published prior to submission, and I suspect prior publication on the net would seriously hurt someone's chances of selling the thing elsewhere.

Having said that, I did have a story published in an anthology last year that first saw life as a Usenet post, so perhaps I'm talking out or my arse. But if you're talking about newspaper or magazine journalism, then it really could hurt your chances of selling to publish on the net first.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
a trust metric system for Identities. (2.00 / 7) (#44)
by johwsun on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:51:28 AM EST

Hello friends!

In case you dont know it, here is another try in order to solve the Identity problem in online communities. It is the advogato metric system, and it is very interesting.

Have a look at www.advogato.org

One Concern. (4.55 / 9) (#48)
by dram on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:59:25 AM EST

Over all I think the idea is just fine. Not great, but also it's not a topic I care about at all. However, I do have one concern...
The section will be like any of our other sections (technology, culture, etc.), except for being highlighted in some way on the main page, with a small indication that it is sponsored by DigitalIDWorld. Anyone may submit articles on digital identity, and voting will work like it would in any other section.
What do you mean by the words "Highlighted" and "small indication"? Will the link have a bright red background with flashing text? (Is the <flash> tag still a part of HTML?) Does a "small indication" mean that there will be some sort of logo that links back to DigitalIDWorld.com? The ads for Voxel.net and Promicro Systems are not a problem...but having companies and websites essentially sponsoring a section is a slippery slow, imo.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

Nothing like that (4.20 / 5) (#49)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:05:53 AM EST

The article failed to make this clear, but the section would not appear in the normal gray section bar like a permanent section.

What I'm envisioning is a smallish "Featured Topic: Digital Identity" box, with the last three or four story titles, and a little link at the bottom, like:

Sponsored by DigitalIDWorld.com

No graphics, no logos, nothing flashy. The didworld articles would probably have a link at the bottom to the effect of:

Originally published on DigitalIDWorld.com.

Or perhaps "Brought to you by" or some such thing.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Well, that would be acceptable (4.80 / 5) (#51)
by dram on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:13:11 AM EST

If you put it in a box will you enable me to turn it off? Because that would be nice! To the best of my knowledge, you have never done anything garish on K5, so I trust that this would be done nicely as well. On the other hand, it seems as if you are a bit strapped for cash and I was a bit worried about what sort of concessions you are willing to make to keep afloat. This is good information to know.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]
"Strapped" for cash, you say? (4.00 / 6) (#58)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:25:20 AM EST

If you put it in a box will you enable me to turn it off?

Sure, I don't see why not.

On the other hand, it seems as if you are a bit strapped for cash and I was a bit worried about what sort of concessions you are willing to make to keep afloat.

"Strapped"? Funny you should choose that particular word... but no, I really shouldn't say any more about *that* particular fundraising event. I promised myself I would pretend it never happened...

;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Orange! (4.00 / 5) (#66)
by Sunir on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:04:05 AM EST

It'd better be fucking orange or I'll root your box.

Orange!

Besides, it would make it consistently clear that it's paid content.

Orange!

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

BLUE! (4.80 / 5) (#92)
by ambrosen on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:44:13 AM EST

Orange is nasty and tacky and unK5. Besides, you got your way for the ad box, didn't you?

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
I say, it's a good thing (3.50 / 4) (#53)
by Erbo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:17:05 AM EST

Disclaimer: I can't claim to be unbiased here...Andre is my former boss, and a longtime friend.

I think this would be a good idea, and could stand as a model for other sites to emulate in syndicating content with K5. Perhaps this is the beginning of the "K5 Network" that Rusty alluded to in his April Fools' Day joke.

I've been interested in issues of digital identity, and related areas like encryption and authentication, for quite some time. I daresay there are a few other people here that have similar interests. With regard to PingID, Andre's new effort, I'll no doubt be making some code contributions here and there. I may be interested in incorporating a Ping-based single sign-on into Venice as well. And there's another idea I've been chewing over recently, for a secure communications network that's not Internet-dependent, so it could operate entirely over peer-to-peer modem dialups if necessary. (It's partly my crypto interest here, and partly my paranoia about what might happen if the SSSCA/CBDTPA, or some future Screw-The-Computer-Using-American-Public Act, passes and becomes law.) It would be a perfect application for digital identities, particularly anonymous digital identities that could be used to protect the participants in such an environment.

I urge the community not to dismiss this proposal out of hand, but to look at it as a collaboration that could result in more good articles and good discussions on K5...which I'm sure everybody wants to see. And it could also help keep the site going financially, to a certain extent. Sounds to me like a good bargain. If I were running a news site, I'd love to have a deal like this...

Eric
--
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org

As it is i t is it is to abstract (2.00 / 1) (#84)
by thePositron on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:55:15 AM EST

We need more meat.
Give me something and I will give you something so to speak.
show me yours and I will show you mine.

What DO WE GET as a subscriber to this digital ID for instance?


[ Parent ]
RUSTY GO FOR IT!!!!!! (2.00 / 1) (#87)
by thePositron on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:01:53 AM EST

RUSTY GO FOR IT!!!!!!

Dis regard my previuos igno rant comm ent

[ Parent ]
All For It (4.00 / 3) (#54)
by Kwil on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:17:44 AM EST

After all, the Digital ID guys could always just throw their stories into the queue and not bother paying squat.

I figure that all they're actually paying rusty for is the highlight if one of their stories actually makes it through the queue process. In some ways, its almost a bad thing for them to want because most users I know have developed an automatic aversion to anything that seems deliberately attention seeking.

Hell, charge them an extra $100 to NOT highlight it so we can't tell the difference between it and a regular story. :-)



Missing poll option (4.11 / 9) (#57)
by axxeman on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:23:49 AM EST

Let 'em buy text ads. After all, the system is such a success.

Not yet. Don't come before we have finished humping...

That would be (4.50 / 2) (#64)
by juahonen on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:38:43 AM EST

An honest way to advertise. It would save us from all the "small print" in the stories

[ Parent ]
I cannot see how this could possibly hurt (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by Canar on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:39:58 AM EST

They put [possibly very interesting] stories into the queue, and if they're K5 quality and get FP/section, K5 gets cash... Am I missing something critical here? I can't see how this could possibly go wrong. The advertising is non-intrusive, related to the site, and so on.

If you can explain to me, in simple terms, why this wouldn't work, please do so.

Problems (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by McFly on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:34:07 AM EST

Well, the main problem I see with this is that it may crowd K5 when there are more and more sponsoring agreements like this popping up - a Instant Messaging section there, a JAVA section here and a Wireless Business section over there and at some point no one will visit K5 anymore although maybe all these sections are stuffed with absolutely fascinating content.

Having that said, I nevertheless think we should give it a try and voted "Yes". :)

[ Parent ]
Hehe (4.50 / 6) (#69)
by sticky on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:16:05 AM EST

So the April Fools joke was a warmup eh? Deny it if you wish but consciously or not I think it was.

Anyway, as far as being marketed to, personally I'm virtually marketing proof on account of the fact that I'm very cynical (can you tell?).

I'm not too sure about this idea since it could mean a more crowded submission queue and a front page cluttered with essentially single topic articles from a single source. This kind of goes against the idea of what K5 is about for me, although opinions certainly differ on what K5 really is about. As an addendum to that, I don't find the topic of digital IDs particularly interesting; in fact I find it quite boring.

All in all, I'd have to say I'm not in favour.


Don't eat the shrimp.---God
Good idea (3.66 / 3) (#71)
by hulver on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:28:04 AM EST

I'm all for it. I think k5 needs to expand a bit, and if that meens other people paying you for advertising, so what. The fact that we get to choose what articles get posted is even better.

k5 has felt a bit stagnent to me lately (maybe it's just me) with not a lot new happening. Sure, the ads spiced things up a bit, but introducing new topics is good. Even better if you get paid for them. The only qualm I have is the same as theantix mentioned earlier, people thinking "Oh, I'll vote on this just to give rusty some money"

--
HuSi!

Ok, but front paged? (4.00 / 6) (#73)
by DJBongHit on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:46:25 AM EST

I think this is a pretty good idea (although why they're paying for something that they can do for free is beyond me), but I don't think that their stories should be able to reach the front page, at least not without a much larger percentage of FP votes. If their stuff is restricted to the section, you can ignore it if the topic doesn't interest you, but if it can be put on the front page, it's pretty much shoved down your throat and could have the potential to significantly alter the entire "theme," if you want to call it that, of k5. The stories would also undoubtably be voted to the front page more than typical stories (if they were any good) due to the large number of readers here who like to support the site.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

eh... (3.00 / 1) (#107)
by pb on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:56:59 AM EST

Actually, K5 should just let you ignore sections and topics altogether, if you want to. I'd like it if these stories could make The Front Page, so maybe that should be a user preference.

I was thinking about writing a story on the same topic, ('Digital Identity' and its feasibility) so maybe this section will be the motivation I need to do it... :)

later, DJB
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
hm? (4.00 / 2) (#109)
by ODiV on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:13:40 AM EST

"but if it can be put on the front page, it's pretty much shoved down your throat"

How is it being shoved down our throat any more than any other FP article? It'll only get to FP if it's voted there, like the rest.

"The stories would also undoubtably be voted to the front page more than typical stories (if they were any good) due to the large number of readers here who like to support the site."

I don't know about that either. Apparently they'd be paying K5 if their story gets voted to section as well. I think the users who want to support K5 would be more likely to vote section.

I suppose this is what the 1 month trial would sort out though.

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
would have -1... (4.00 / 3) (#74)
by kimpton on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:47:24 AM EST

if I could but I just missed the chance..

What happens if you get more offers from other businesses to create new sections? Maybe Microsoft will want to sponsor a section on web services or Amazon on book reviews. Or is this just a one off as you're chummy with the owners? I know money is needed to keep K5 afloat, but do you keep accepting new sections and promoters until you are financially stable? The site will be increasingly watered down, with more stories and less discussion on each.

Let them submit the stories normally and pay for text ads if they want to advertise. If you want to submit an article on digital identity submit it to the 'Internet' section, where it belongs. The idea of a section specifically created to allow a business to promote itself is repugnant.



Other offers (2.50 / 2) (#130)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:33:48 PM EST

What happens if you get more offers from other businesses to create new sections? Maybe Microsoft will want to sponsor a section on web services or Amazon on book reviews.

Of course, I'm as averse to that as you all are. I said, repeatedly, to Andre that if this was IBM asking to sponsor a "World of IBM Z-Series Servers" section, it would be a flat "No thank you."

The reason I think it works here is the fact that DIW is, ultimately, only selling a conference. They can see return on sponsoring this merely by posting interesting articles, and they have no incentive at all to favor or promote some particular product or service.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Bad idea (4.61 / 13) (#75)
by davidmb on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:08:39 AM EST

Currently, the K5 submissions queue reflects the K5 community. Diluting the queue with articles from a commercial source increases the amount of work for people moderating and makes them less likely to get round to reading the best in-house stuff.

Another argument is that this is the start of a slippery slope. If this scheme is a success, will other partners be accepted? Could K5's content become entirely commercially generated one day? If you want to head down that path, you have to change what K5 fundamentally is: a community-based web site. Of course, there may be money to be made...
־‮־

Hmmm... well... dunno,really. A little more info? (4.00 / 3) (#76)
by Jel on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:44:22 AM EST

It sounds OK in theory. It's certainly on-topic, but the idea of another site merging with k5 worries me a little. For one thing, how would we vote on their topics? Would they get access to our personal details?

More importantly... and this is something you seem to have covered in little detail, Rusty -- what is their AGENDA? Do they simply want to make money by covering an important topic? Do they want to influence the Passport/Liberty war in some way? Or perhaps they want to build a big, well known and trusted site for the unbiased reporting of digital ID war, and finally settle the argument by announcing their own alternative from the apparent middle-ground?

One of the things (actually, *the* thing) I like best about K5 is it's capacity for sensible, unbiased discussion. Granted that doesn't always happen here, but it seems to happen more than elsewhere. I'd be worried about anything that might influence that in any way.

On another note... isn't there already an expected future problem with volume of article submissions, etc? Can we really handle another site's worth?

Finally... why the can't they build their own site popularity based on it's own usefulness, like everyone else does? If they need to borrow success from already popular sites, then it seems to say something about their product demand.

Agenda (2.50 / 2) (#129)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:30:02 PM EST

DIW's agenda is to draw out the various people who are interested in the digital identity market, and encourage them to go to their conferences. Andre is also involved with a company called PingID, which makes digital identity software, but that's not particularly related to this. Phil is the editor of DIW, and will be the one sending over stories for consideration.

It's not a merger of any kind, and no one will have any access they don't have now. It's just article syndication.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Strong reservations about this (4.87 / 24) (#77)
by TheophileEscargot on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:58:45 AM EST

Well, I like reading K5 and I'd like it to keep going. If this sort of thing is essential to the site's survival, then it's better than self-destruction.

But I can't say I like the idea.

If I found that a newspaper was accepting money for publishing certain stories, I'd regard that as a breach of ethics; even if they had to go through an editorial board like the other stories. Once you're accepting money for some stories but not others, you're no longer neutral, whatever other procedures you put in place.

I think if this is done K5 will remain an amusing weblog; but I don't think it could aspire to be "new journalism" or "collaborative media" any more. Users will be biased to vote up a story knowing that it's a revenue generator. Whether you've got 30,000 biased people choosing the story, or one biased person choosing the story; the fact is that the process is still biased. I think this idea crosses an ethical line that a serious journalist would absolutely not cross. How would you react if the editor of the Washington Post admitted they took cash from IBM to publish a story about mainframe computing, but it was OK because it was a good story that would have been published anyway?

I think it's more ethical to keep adverts completely separate from features than to blend them subtly into one another.

As an alternative, I would much prefer to see an overt "paid-for" section. Once a week a story could go into that section without being voted on at all, for a fixed fee. This would be available to anyone willing to pay the fee. That way everything is out in the open. The rest of K5 would not be tarnished by association, since the financial factor would be confined to that section alone. I see this as being analogous to the "advertisement features" you sometimes see in newspapers.

This alternative is different in two ways. Firstly, because these are not voted on, there is no implication that the K5 community approves of or endorsed the paid-for product. The line is not blurred here. Secondly, because this is available to all, it does not bias K5 towards a particular company. How about if the Washington Post agreed to accept "advertorials" for Microsoft Windows XP but not Mac OS X?

Final point. My objection is not to advertising in general, but to the blurring of the distinction between content and advertising. It's that blurring of the line that I don't like about this idea.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

Why I like it, despite your points. (4.40 / 5) (#80)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:20:11 AM EST

I see all of your points, and they are good ones, but there's more to it than that.

I was only a few paragraphs into the explanation when I decided I liked the idea... the reason is that this kind of thing keenly interests me, and I don't really want to see it in anymore segregated than what is proposed. The fact that a company with high aspirations in the field wants to post articles makes me all the more interested - we get professionals talking about it, and we can talk to them about it. The fact that we get to vote on the articles means that the *only* difference is that their stories are highlighted, segregated into their own section (making them *easier* to ignore, despite the highlighting - I tend to ignore highlighted things subconsciously) and K5 gets paid.

I like the fact that K5 will get money for this, but if people feel dirty about that, then rather than segregation, or dropping it entirely, I'd sooner see the whole thing go off without any compensation to K5 - I think the content will add to the quality of K5 overall.

Consider: they could just create an account and do this whole thing without compensating K5, and very little would be different. I want it because I want the content, the money is entirely seconday, and not that big of a deal.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
Differences (4.75 / 8) (#89)
by TheophileEscargot on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:33:19 AM EST

The fact that we get to vote on the articles means that the *only* difference is that their stories are highlighted, segregated into their own section
I think there are more differences than that.

Some people will certainly vote more favourably towards these stories, hoping to generate revenue. Some people will certainly vote against these stories, being opposed to the idea in principle. I don't know who will win, but I don't think the voting pattern will be the same as for other stories.

Furtheremore, I'm pretty sure that other differences will emerge with time. For instance I'm strongly tempted to try to vote down these stories with my "army" of troll accounts. Multiple-account voting is generally ignored at the moment: but I suspect Rusty would be forced into action to stop commercial stories dying that way. From then on, commercial stories will be effectively treated more favourably than non-commercial.

At present, if a story gets voted up on K5; it's effectively an endorsement by the K5 members, that the ideas are significant and interesting. By mixing payment and voting they're not just buying ad-space, they're buying an endorsement by the K5 members. Otherwise, why do it? There are other, cheaper ways to get a few thousand eyeballs on their content: textads here or banner ads on a tech site would do it.

Consider: they could just create an account and do this whole thing without compensating K5, and very little would be different.
They're a very odd breed of businessperson if they're just giving away money for the hell of it. Last thing I heard the donation system was working fine, too: this is a rather complicated form of charity. I don't think they're giving money for nothing, I think they're attempting to buy an endorsement from the K5 readership.

If all they want is eyeballs, then give it to them as I suggested: a "paid content" section without a vote being cast. But I don't think they're trying to buy eyeballs, they're trying to buy credibility, and that's what makes me nervous about it. If they're getting credibility in exchange for cash, then ultimately we're losing credibility, and devaluing K5. I'm not sure that's a price worth paying.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

Ahh, the asshole argument (3.50 / 2) (#120)
by Wah on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:07:34 AM EST

Furtheremore, I'm pretty sure that other differences will emerge with time. For instance I'm strongly tempted to try to vote down these stories with my "army" of troll accounts. Multiple-account voting is generally ignored at the moment: but I suspect Rusty would be forced into action to stop commercial stories dying that way.

You mean we have laws because not everyone is a nice person? That some people think their opinion should be more important, and take unethical actions to create that reality? And then all us innocents have to deal with the fact that some people are assholes.

Every article posted has the ringing endorsement of the K5 community (hallowed be thy name), eh? Bullshit on that.

I like the idea, if only as another attempt to create a revenue stream. It's a chance for an industry to get (generally useless) feedback on ideas. For a fee. It's like getting paid for jacking off at a sperm bank, intellectual masturbation and navel gazing, at $100 a pop.

So we now have articles marked with a "marketing" tag, it's a hell of a lot higher journalistic integrity than you'll find at most media outlets. And here you can tear them apart in the comments, if you wish.

I'm not sure where the "credibility" quotient of K5 is stored, perhaps you can enlighten me. And as far as de-valuing goes...if we can't pay for bandwidth, what value is left for anyone? If Rusty (or someone) can't make a useful career out of creating this type of media outlet, what do we have left? Where does that type of idealism lead?
--
Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP
[ Parent ]

Attention. (none / 0) (#211)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:24:06 PM EST

I think they're actually paying for *attention*. I don't see why they're actually willing to pay for it when they could easily get it otherwise, but it's *not* something I'm paranoid about. Few will click a text ad, many will read an article - more will read an article that's gone through a democratic process. Just so you know, *no one* is unbiased.

The attention they intend to get will likely put them in a leader position, which I don't mind - I want *someone* leading this, at least initially. It seems like they've got a good shot at doing it right.

If this is marketing, then I *like* it. I want to see this content streaming into K5. I'd like to see their purported aim come to fruition: a reconciliation between providers and users. Don't you think it's possible that what they're trying for is sincerity? I think such a stance would benefit both parties, honestly.

But you're hung up on the money thing... I don't really understand it myself. I haven't seen any demons, and I can't figure any, which is why I'm not worried. Besides, what's being proposed is a *trail* - additionally, *we are K5* if this goes afoul we'll bitch and moan and kick and scream and yell and Rusty will change it - there's precedent in that. Sure it's the first time such a thing would involve money - but Rusty has shown that he knows that if K5 is dissatisfied then the community will begin to leave.

I say we give it a try.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
Very well put. (4.25 / 4) (#100)
by Renegade Lisp on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:38:16 AM EST

I agree wholeheartedly and voted `noŽ.

Actually, I'm going to back that up by an immediate subscription to K5. I feel the idea of this site would be seriously damaged by accepting money for the fact that a story makes it through the submission queue.

My voting behaviour would definitely be affected by this, in one way or another. The voting mechanism is the core of K5, and I believe it should be completely free from any commercial bias.

[ Parent ]

Paid-for stories in regular press (4.00 / 3) (#106)
by iGrrrl on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:50:30 AM EST

If I found that a newspaper was accepting money for publishing certain stories, I'd regard that as a breach of ethics...
So would I, but ethics do not always survive the pressures of the bottom-line. Magazines do something along the lines of your fear all the time. Say a magazine wants to do a special issue on (um, grab example...) travel. The advertising is heavily co-ordinated. They approach travel agencies, airlines, cruise companies, etc. to sell them advertising for that specific issue. "We'll have articles on cruising," they'll say. "Shouldn't Carnival Cruise lines have a five page spread?" And sometimes the tail wags the dog: "We'll buy a five page spread if you do an article on cruising."

But it's a magazine -- entertainment rather than news, right? But news outlets have been caught doing it, too.

A horrible example of this comes from television. A station in Baltimore started doing women's health segments once a week. They only interviewed doctors from one of the area hospitals, and the hospital paid several hundred thousand dollars for the privilege -- not as purchased advertising, but as direct payment. The result, before the scandal was exposed, was that polls showed that one hospital as regarded as the best local hospital for women's health. This wouldn't be quite so bad if the top hospital in the US, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, weren't also in Baltimore. Merely by (paid) media presence, they shifted public opinion away from hard fact.

Can we avoid this on K5? Sure. You don't get to vote on whether an article appears on your local news or in a magazine. Just don't think it doesn't happen out there in the analog world.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

In view of the update I'll change my vote (5.00 / 1) (#172)
by TheophileEscargot on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:10:32 PM EST

As I said, it was the blurring of the distinction between content and advertising that I objected to. So, if there's no payment for stories, it's not such a problem.

More comments:

  • I'd prefer to see as great a distinction as possible between paid and non-paid. Why not ditch the voting and just let it go in? They're gonna get pretty fed up if they get voted down the whole time.
  • How about expanding the idea? Have a weekly front-page paid-for story that goes in automatically, clearly identified as such. Auction each week's story on Ebay!
  • As soon as I get a job I'll send Rusty some money, I promise! It would be nice to have an income again...

----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]
Weird. (3.33 / 3) (#79)
by delmoi on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:15:49 AM EST

This whole thing seems very weird to me... On the one hand, I don't think it would hurt k5's objectivity or anything. But I do hate "paid advertizing sections" and stuff, even if I don't have to read them.

I dunno, I say no. btw, "digitalIDworld"? WTF that's a pretty bizzare niche, isn't it? :P
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
becoming less of a bizzare niche, though (none / 0) (#82)
by tenpo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:35:49 AM EST

When you think about it it could turn into quite a broad 'niche' in the near future. A lot of people are interested in keeping track of individuals in a myriad of means. There are a lot of competing technologies trying to make this more possible, more reliable and more widespread. I can name probably 10 different groups off the top of my head who would love to know who i am and what i do.

[ Parent ]
Digital Identity (1.00 / 1) (#133)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:49:03 PM EST

Actually, it's muich less of a niche than I thought too. The thing about is that it's a bunch of different things that we haven't thought of as related before, though they really are. See, for example, DIW's list of companies working on various aspects of digital identity. They include things like Smart Cards, single sign-on services (i.e. Passport), trust and security systems (Verisign, PKI, etc), privacy technologies (Zero Knowlege Sysems) and so on.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
looks like you've got a fan : ) (none / 0) (#233)
by tenpo on Fri Apr 05, 2002 at 09:28:29 AM EST

(check out the user who modded your comment)

[ Parent ]
Ha! (none / 0) (#234)
by rusty on Fri Apr 05, 2002 at 12:41:51 PM EST

That's pretty funny. Normally, that would be considered ratings abuse, but since it's only against me, I'll let it go. It's not doing anyone any harm. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Digitalshmronidjitalschmron (1.28 / 7) (#83)
by thePositron on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:47:02 AM EST

Digitalshmronidjitalschmron never expected this to happen.
If you need money
I will help. Ask and I shall respond.


I had reservations but.. (4.62 / 8) (#85)
by mystic on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:59:03 AM EST

When I read the proposal the first time, I felt a bit uncomfortable about someone diluting the whole idea of K5 community, paying money to have story posted etc, but then I though from a slightly different angle. What if the following had happened:

  • The guys at DigitalIDWorld.com contacts rusty and proposes the idea. rusty buys into it, without asking us. However the way it would proceed is as follows..
  • The guys at DigitalIDWorld.com creates a normal nick for themselves (call it DigitalIDWorld.com) and posts a story into the queue, following the same process as every normal user.
  • What DigitalIDWorld.com would do is, pay rusty $100 for every story accepted (FP or Section), as long as the user DigitalIDWorld.com's ad is displayed next to the story.
Would that have made any difference to the quality of K5's discussion? I dont think so. Would I have had a problem with what was going on if I came to know about it 2 months later - I dont think so. Would rusty have betrayed our trust - nope, he just collected money for the advertisment shown next to the story.

Thinking in that line, I personally dont see a problem with this arrangment, but we have to think about implementation difficulties:
  • What if DigitalIDWorld.com creates users test1,test2,test3..... test10000 who always votes up their stories. Ya.. I know they would loose money fast, but remember the cap?
  • I trust rusty's integrity, but what if rusty(or any other user) creates test1,test2,test3....test100000 and decides to vote +1 for all DigitalIDWorld.com stories?
  • What is Amazon.com wants to do the same thing for a section on Book review? Will rusty agree to that? Where do you draw the line as to what is acceptable and what is not?


Sounds like a win/win (4.33 / 3) (#86)
by panck on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:59:12 AM EST

I voted YES because it sounds like a win/win for a few reasons:

a) it's temporary. therefore if it sucks/fails Rusty pulls the plug and we move on
b) it can (and probably will) earn some $ for K5
c) I won't see a story on FP or section "syndicated" from DigitalIDWorld unless it goes through the queue and stands up to qualitative/editorial review
d) Maybe we learn something about Digital Identities. whoever that is.
e) I still don't have to care about Digital Identites

Like I said, I rather don't give a damn about Digital Identities...but there's a lot of things posted on K5 I don't give a damn about (vegetarianism) , and anyone can post a Digital Identity story right now anyway. At least with this deal K5 might get some moolah

So rusty, I say go ahead with a trial and we'll let the shits fall where they may.

BTW, kind of OT but Meta WRT these type of site changes...would it be useful to have some kind of Kuro5hinXP.org (ok bad name) to "beta-test" these type of experimental changes in a completely optional way? I mean you could have a duplicate site showcasing experimental features (trust models, syndication, text ads, etc), but with duplicate content as much as possible. I don't know if that's possible with Scoop. Maybe you even do this already, but just a thought. Then you could just implement this syndication thing and see how it works for the people who want to try it. I guess for this particular deal where you want All Hands input it wouldn't work...

Hmm... Not so sure. Here's why: (4.00 / 2) (#88)
by m0rzo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:31:57 AM EST

Like some, I have serious reservations about this. I gave a null vote but in retrospect I would have voted 'no'. On the one hand, I'm thinking about Rusty. He definitely deserves some reward for all his effort over these last few years and he can't be expected to keep paying out of his own pocket. However, there's just something I can't precisely put my finger on about paying for stories to be posted.

Like Theophile Escargot said, I think there are some significant ethical implications. What if the Telegraph or the New York Times started getting paid to post certain stories? That's certainly something to consider.

What agenda does this 'digitalIDworld.com' have? What are their ultimate goals? And really, how much can we really wish to know regarding 'digital IDs'? I can see this site becoming digitalid-centric.

Then, of course, we all know that any voting on the submissions is going to be heavily biased. There will be two distinct groups voting here: Those that agree with the 'partnership' between k5 and digitalidworld.com and those that don't.

Having said that, ultimately the decision lies with Rusty and I'll trust his good judgement. If it's a case of do or die, of course, do.


My last sig was just plain offensive.

Ever seen centerfolds in Time? (5.00 / 3) (#101)
by Hopfrog on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:01:10 AM EST

In magazines like Time and Newsweek, there are sometimes 6 to 7 pages of "special advertisment section", usually with stuff like "Focus on Argentina". Argentina pays Time to put that article there in the middle. I don't read them, but maybe some people do.

This is similar to that, but here, we actually get a choice AND we don't have to listen to marketing buzz word talk.

I aprove of this without reservations, because it doesn't hurt me in the least. If I am not interested, I don't read it. If I am interested, I read it. I couldn't care less if it was payd for or not.

That aside, let the rusty make some money. He has a woman to feed, cloth, and be tender with, you know!

John H.

[ Parent ]

I'm inclined to agree. (none / 0) (#105)
by m0rzo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:44:16 AM EST

Personally, if I were rusty I'd ask for opinions then act on my own intuition regardless of what the overall consensus is. I have a feeling he'll probably do that. I think for all the work he's put into this site, when others have been walking away from dot com sites with $millions, he deserves to see the fruits of his labour by now. I wish him the best of luck.

As for Time magazine, that's precisely why I don't read it (along with the small matter of them signing me up for a superfluity of junk mail). =)


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

content (3.66 / 3) (#90)
by chale on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:38:14 AM EST

this could be a good idea. it would be like having a coder explaining why a program was written like it was. and we would be able to say things like "cool" or "that's the long way around and here's how i would or did do it" or "dude, put down the pipe and step away from the keyboard".

as long as we retain the capacity to vote any articles down for any reason, it should not affect the site greatly. and having the articles in a separate section, unless a lot of us want one to appear on the front page, will let anyone who wants to avoid them do so.

and by all means, have a trial period to evaluate the response from the "peanut gallery".

clarence
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -John Muir

Question (3.66 / 3) (#91)
by Eloquence on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:42:33 AM EST

Not much time, will respond in detail later. But a quick question (sorry if already asked): Is it possible for the votes to be hidden on such stories? I would not want to be pressured into voting a story up so that you get 100 bucks. This kind of peer pressure could threaten the objectivity of the voting process, and can take on various forms (IRC, diaries etc.). So I would really appreciate it if the identities of voters on DID stories were not disclosed.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
No Secret Votes (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by mcherm on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:24:43 AM EST

I'd rather we didn't. "Secret" votes would lead to stories being voted on and then hundreds of people bellyaching about how "somebody cheated" to get it voted in. If votes were public (as they are now for all stories) and someone criticized you for voting down such a story, I am sure hundreds of people would start a HUGE thread attacking them for trying to squelsh your freedom of speech!

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]
Yes (3.50 / 4) (#93)
by marx on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:46:04 AM EST

I voted yes, but I want to reserve it for only the trial period.

Touching the voting procedure is taboo, but defining the sections has never been up to the users. Also, although it's forbidden to rig the voting, it's not forbidden to influence the voters. Rusty does this routinely, and has quite a big influence. He can sell this influence, that's up to him.

If they have something interesting to say, then good for everyone. If they submit bad articles, then they will likely be voted off, and I guess the deal will be off if this continues. I don't think rusty will try to get bad articles posted, as that will destroy both his own credibility as well as that of K5.

If this is just a kind of marketing job, performed by rusty and the other K5 staffers, then I don't see the problem. It could go bad in that the future existence of K5 could be held hostage in return for the posting of some articles. I guess that's why it would be good with a trial period.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

I'd vote "yes", but with caution (4.33 / 9) (#94)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:46:31 AM EST

Hey, if this is what it's cracked up to be -- a form of marketing that requires interest to even exist -- I think this could be a good thing. Not only for K5, but as an example to the industry that treating consumers as active participants instead of mindless slobs might actually work.

I see a couple of potential problems:

  1. I think articles submitted by DigitalID need to be clearly marked as such -- perhaps with thier own icon. We need there to be no confusion that K5 is getting paid to run these articles (even if the community is voting for them). Not only that, there needs to be a link on each story saying "this article was sponsored by DigitalID and approved by the K5 membership", with the linked page explaining the arrangement.
  2. The proposed arrangement sits atop a slippery slope -- though I trust rusty to make sure that the voting process remains as equitable as possible, I know that many will vote for DigitalID stories because K5 gets money. If DigitalID really wants to show good faith, they should pay a monthly fee to K5 to sponsor the special section, and submit stories on a (more) equal footing with everyone else.
My conclusion? Try it! If it bites, we can always get rid of it, yes?

--
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

Initial thoughts (4.50 / 4) (#95)
by Secret Coward on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:02:27 AM EST

What pressures will Rusty be under to keep the money coming in? It's a lot harder to say 'no' when you already count on the revenue. A while back, Rusty posted an article asking what we would put in a K5 constitution. If we had made such a constitution, would it prohibit this sort of thing?

What is DigitalIDWorld paying for here? If they just want their stories highlighted, why not sell that feature to everyone? If you sell that feature, then what are you saying about the worthiness of indignant authors?

If K5 collects money for posting stories, does that take it out of the safe harbor provision of the DMCA?

How about a higher threshold for sponsored articles? Adds value to the site and the sponsor. More people will read sponsored stories since they must meet a higher post threshold.

When a story is in the queue, voters should be unaware of whether or not the story is sponsored. This should allay concerns about 'donating' votes.

slippery slope (4.50 / 8) (#97)
by gibichung on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:18:36 AM EST

You can't create a new section for every new quasi-advertiser. Either create a "Sponsored" section, or utilize the "Columns" section.

I don't like the idea of sponsored stories having highlighting; a simple "This story sponsored by __________." would be adequate.

And, frankly, I can't see any motivation for someone to sponsor a good story. If their material could stand on its own merits, sponsoring wouldn't be necessary. The backlash of this proposed scheme would be damaging to an otherwise strong article. Aside from being un-ethical, adding bribery as an incentive to vote is a very slippery slope.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

A quick comment (3.75 / 4) (#98)
by mandria on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:18:38 AM EST

If they want to grow is that the best way to grow? Shouldn't they grow because they deserve to grow after the hard work that they will put into the project? Personally i think this will be a failure because it seems to me that DigitalIdWorld.com wants to have articles posted here without putting too much effort into it. At least that's what the deal implies - We pay you when you post something from us-, which in turn implies that quality is probably going to go down and as others already have said some of them maybe be just for advertisements. There is nothing stopping anyone from creating 50 or 100 accounts and start voting an article up. It's a good way for K5 To make some cash but don't forget to look at the other side of the coin. It may not be very good.

A bit OT but on money (3.00 / 4) (#99)
by eviltwin on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:22:43 AM EST

Rusty many of us know that K5 is your full time job now, having said that what about setting up some way of donating to K5, maybe you could list the people who make donations on a page of the site or something ?

I dont know how many people would go for it but i know i would donate something if the option was there - its worth it - and this way it's not subscriptions like the other site but those people who care donating what they can afford.

just a thought.

All generalisations are false, including this one.
There used to be (none / 0) (#111)
by hardburn on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:23:35 AM EST

There was subscriptions a few months ago, before text ads. Actually, subscriptions are still there (I think), just not so high-profile. Most people prefer to just buy a text ad and put something random in it (like a link to their diary).


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
campaign finance reform (3.00 / 4) (#102)
by turmeric on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:05:30 AM EST

the politicians are trying to get money out of voting, but here k5 is trying to get money into voting. sure its 'the opposite' of usual where they only pay if they get voted up, but on the other hand, that creates all sorts of weird incentives for k5 admins to fuck with the votes. duh. keep money away from vote systems.

i mean, an 'editing queue' would be alot better for k5 than this.

but on the other hand, i am sure k5 inc. would like to generate money for all the work they do. oh well, whatever. i just wish i could run a fucking server on this fucking cablemodem service. too bad the peer-to-peer internet does not exist anymore.

One potential issue (2.50 / 2) (#104)
by everyplace on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:36:04 AM EST

I voted yes, because in the world of advertising, flash banner overlays, annoying pop-up windows and the like, this seems like a pretty unobtrusive form of advertising. Besides that, can you really consider it advertising if the article is something you want to read anyway? I would assume that if one reads the article and votes it to the front page that it would be something that should be read, and not just an ad.

One potential issue though that I see is that people who don't support this would purposely vote down an article on the very basis that it is an ad. But given the current results of the vote on this issue, it doesn't look like the outcome would be changed.

Go for it. (4.40 / 5) (#108)
by iGrrrl on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:06:33 AM EST

We, perhaps more than anyone, hate being marketed to. So rather than blow a lot of smoke up our collective ass and try to push us to go to their conference, they figured that it would be better for everyone if they just support the site, and contribute good stuff, and assume that people who are interested will become more interested through discussing the technologies and issues.
I say go for it. For exactly that reason. Sure it's marketing, but it's the kind of above-board marketing that I can respect because it respects me as not being a sheep. In addition:
  • There are already structures in place to work against fake IDs that would exist only to vote up DigitalIDWorld's articles.
  • If the articles are good and interesting, they'll get voted up anyway.
  • Our comments on the articles may help shape the industry.
  • They pay Rusty only if we think it's good stuff.
  • Peer pressure from the (expected) high quality articles may help improve the articles from us amatures.
Negatives?
  • Possibility of high-end crapflooding. (Limit how many articles they can submit in a month to 20?)
  • Possibility that K5 gains reputation as mere mouthpiece for DigitalIDWorld.
  • Users who dislike the presence of DIDWorld articles crapflooding the discussion queue.
I'm in favor. Pretty strongly in favor.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.

Precedent? (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by hardburn on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:15:15 AM EST

What kind of precedent would this set? This could easily degenerate into companies saying "the DigitalIDWorld people get to put their marketing up, why can't we?"

I also wonder what they really get out of it. As things stand right now, they could submit a story for free in any section, and it would probably be posted as long as its marketing wasn't too blatent.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


icksnay on the eefray (none / 0) (#114)
by gauntlet on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:55:23 AM EST

Spelling pig-latin phoenetically seems strange, but I doubt "ixne on the eefre" would have been parsed properly.

First of all, the precedent is a good one. All that DigitalIDWorld would be getting that they couldn't get by just writing good articles and paying for ads is a section. And their having a section enables us to clearly identify paid-for articles, so that itself works to balance out the corporate bad-guy thing, which I've never really bought, anyway.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

OT - pig latin (none / 0) (#132)
by ubernostrum on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:47:04 PM EST

I've always seen it spelled "ixnay". And phonetically seems to be about the only way to handle it anyway...


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Do it for attention, not just for money (4.50 / 6) (#112)
by dennis on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:24:36 AM EST

Will the authors of these articles be logging in as K5 users and participating in discussions?

If so, it doesn't bother me so much. In fact, I kinda like the idea, since it gives us a bit of feedback into the industry. (And that's worthwhile, since it's an issue with potential civil-liberties implications.) It would be even better if their main site links to us.

But if, on the other hand, they're just going to post and forget, without linking to us, I say screw 'em. We can talk amongst ourselves without them giving us a topic. If money's getting to be a real problem, let us know.

What it boils down to, imo, is that attention should be the real currency here. If they're willing to trade attention, that's great. If they're just buying our attention for money, I'm not so keen on the idea.

Yes, but. (4.00 / 3) (#113)
by codespace on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:39:05 AM EST

Digital Identity is an issue that I'm interested in. I've been following developments in the technology for years now, and it's just plain interesting stuff.

However, I don't like the idea that they pay when the articles they submit are voted up. That seems almost like buying votes, but then again, everyone who's against this can simply point their armies of accounts at the voting process. Just like the people who are proponents of this can--and probably will--do.

Am I saying that this will always balance the votes out? No. I'm not that stupid. I'd like to see a Digital Identity section, read more about the community's thoughts on the matter, and enjoy the ensuing discussions, but I'd also be wary of how the community would react to this scheme.

I voted yes, but I have my doubts.

_____
today on how it's made: kitchen knives, mannequins, socks and hypodermic needles.
if you trust me... (3.00 / 4) (#115)
by Lenny on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:04:13 AM EST

then i trust you, Rusty. Do it. I like the idea of the K5 community being in control of such ventures.


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
Doomed to Failure, But Let's Try It (4.00 / 5) (#116)
by gauntlet on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:23:54 AM EST

I'm not a nay-sayer by nature, so don't get on my case. And if you're from DigitalIDWorld, don't read this, because I actually want it to happen. I just don't think it will last.

People have said "What are they paying for?" Well, in essence they're paying for the section. Everything else they might receive could be attained through thoughtful contribution to the community free of charge, or text ads.

Now, I think the section is a win/win, because it draws more attention to them, and allows us to ignore it if desired.

But here's the thing. In all honesty, I'm going to vote +1 Section on the first 10 stories posted, per month, by DigitalIDWorld, unless something submitted is surprisingly good, and even if it's really bad. I'm willing to give up a small bit of space on the screen and in the database (space which I can effectively ignore) in return for the $100 toward the site, and I think most K5ers would do the same. (BTW, will paid-for articles appear differently in the queue?)

If I'm DigitalIDWorld, eventually I'm going to realize that what I'm paying for is the right to have utter crap posted in such a way that it's easily ignored.

When they get to that realization, I would suggest that they should buy a ads with texts along the line of:

www.digitalidworld.com - we like K5, and ads are better than charity.

Into Canadian Politics?

[Update: Destined For Success] (none / 0) (#168)
by gauntlet on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:03:19 PM EST

This sets out that they are paying for what they were getting in the first proposal, anyway. It eliminates the concern of voting on articles being determined by financial concerns.

This is a good solution. Go for it, Rusty.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Digital ID World (4.50 / 12) (#117)
by andredurand on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:25:38 AM EST

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I have to commend you all on building what is an extremely respectable online community.

A little back-ground might be appropriate. Back in 1995, my first company Durand Communications created CommunityWare, one of the first web-based 'build your own' community sites on the Internet. Alas, we were a bit ahead of our time and even though we later purchased Electric Minds from Howard Rheingold (author of 'The Virtual Community) we lacked a sufficient business model to maintain the level of commercial sponsorship that was required to keep things running. Needless to say, I understand, very personally, what Rusty is going through here at K5.

That said, the model here of voting quality content to the top is extremely elegant, and alleviates one of the many problems we faced with respect to paid moderators back in the early community-building days.

Rusty was kind enough in our discussions to be quite open about the K5 community and his willingness to try various models which might help him and the K5 community in a win/win scenario.

As Rusty pointed out, DigialIDWorld.com is a brand new site. Phil's focus and vision for the site is to maintain the highest quality content which captures and educates interested parties on the evolution of this emerging industry. Combined with this, the 'business model' is to coordinate identity conferences as physical events (www.digitalidworld.com/conference) which serve to bring together and galvanize the identity industry over the course of the next several years.

In our discussions with Rusty, we proposed nothing more than a pilot project which would serve to bring quality and focused identity content to the K5 community in a syndicated fashion (no different than AP news in your local newspaper). In return, we'd receive exposure for digitalidworld and K5 would realize some financial gain to help cover the basic costs associated with the community maintenance.

I can't tell you how reminiscent these conversations are to hundreds of similar conversations we had on Electric Minds from 1995 through 1998. I understand the hesitancy, but can assure that our intentions are nothing more than to explore a possible win/win. If it turns out that the motivations are wrong, we'll either adjust them or we'll cease to engage in a relationship. I'm confident that Rusty has only the best intentions for this community and we for our part do not wish to do anything which would harm our reputation moving forward.

Andre Durand
www.andredurand.com


Bullshit meter.... (3.42 / 7) (#143)
by /dev/trash on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:25:27 PM EST

It kinda maxes out when someone mentions win/win more than once.

Plus when certain phrases like "or we'll cease to engage in a relationship"
What's wrong with "or we'll just stop".
If that's the kind of writing we'll get I'll have no problem voting -1 all the time.



---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

thanks (3.00 / 2) (#156)
by adiffer on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:00:21 PM EST

Your words helped.
Good luck on your business model.
-Dream Big. --Grow Up.
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a scam (3.33 / 3) (#118)
by President Steve Elvis America on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:27:52 AM EST

Unless you are giving them some extras, their stuff will likely get voted down. Even though we all have good intentions of helping out the site I have to wonder what you are offering them that is that much more beneficial than creating an account and posting stuff for free like we do. Maybe a lower voting threshold? Do their stories automatically go to FP instead of just their own section? If it only goes to section, do they pay only $500?

I think it could be a good idea, but you will want to work out the specifics first. Maybe even hire a lawyer before they sneak in some sort of clause in the contract taking control of K5 from you.

Sincerely,

Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America

I'm voting -1 on every submission to that section (4.75 / 4) (#119)
by PresJPolk on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:55:39 AM EST

I'm voting -1 on every submission to that section. I think this mixing of advertising and The Queue would damage kuro5hin's credibility as a community site.

I, personally, am sick of these games being played with the money. If you want to charge me for a service, charge me for it. Don't try to sell my attention, as the ads do, or sell this community's credibility, as this Digitalwhatever does.

community power (3.00 / 2) (#147)
by mattw on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:35:52 PM EST

The thing is, these people can already come in and submit stories, so all rusty would really be doing is selling ads sync'd with the section -- in other words, a feature others have requested.

I don't want to pay for K5. In fact, if I had to, I'd expect to get credit for mojo, or stories submitted, or something. I like ads - I've found them (so far) to be entertaining and sometimes enlightening.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]
Pandora's Aquarium (5.00 / 18) (#121)
by Eloquence on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:15:14 AM EST

It's an attractive idea on the face of it. You make money, which supports K5's continued existence, we get free content. That's why it has quickly attracted majority support. Looking closer, however, the potential problems far outweigh the benefits.

Inviting propaganda ..

Persuasion, by its definition, is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news. You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you'll just find your views slowly shifting."
-- PR Executive, quoted by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton in: Toxic Sludge is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry

You write that "the stories they will be contributing will not be thinly-disguised advertising". There are two alternatives to this. Honest, objective stories about digital identity services -- and well-disguised advertising, also known as propaganda. How much do you know about DIDWorld, really? Why do they go into this market? They apparently are willing to burn quite a lot of money in order to further their agenda, more so at least than any private weblog. What is their goal? Becoming a reliable news service for the DID industry and eventually charging for this service, or attached services like reports and conferences? Sure, why not.

But what if vested interests are involved? The DID business is complex. Multi-billion dollar corporations like Microsoft and Sun are throwing around their weight. It's a new market they want to control. Even if DIDWorld is not in some way linked to these corporations now, as it becomes more important, it may well subtly promote one service over the other. We all know that industry report groups like Media Metrics, Gartner and DataQuest have had their fair share of biased reports. It's the slow, subtle bias that is dangerous. If DIDWorld has vested interests, you are inviting them to submit propaganda -- hard to detect propaganda even. I don't think that's a good idea.

.. and shifting perceptions

So let's assume you declined the proposal. Disgruntled, DIDWorld now attempts to get their material posted on K5 anyway by submitting it to the technology sections. What's the difference? By accepting payment for posting stories, you are creating a framework of emotional justification of accepting the respective stories in spite of problematic content. In a way, it's similar to inserting binary drivers into an open source kernel. You are tainting the voting process, or more specifically, K5's propaganda detection module. If you made the deal in private without telling us about it, the situation would be slightly different: You would still be inviting propaganda, but not change the perception of these submitted stories. By telling us, however, that they will be paid for if posted, you are changing our perceptions. You cannot deny this. You cannot predict whether the perceptions will be changed in favor or against the stories by DIDWorld, but if the poll is anything to go by, the former is the case.

The result would be a K5 with a very subtle corporate bias.

There are other potential social problems related to the voting process. What about those who continously vote all stories by DIDWorld down, on principle? Will they have to fear being ostracized for it? "Think about where K5 could already be without your -1 votes!" Votes are on the public record, and in this case, that makes me quite uncomfortable. You may argue that my uncomfortability is irrational and that such reactions would never happen. That's not the point, though. Even if the uncomfortability is irrational, it is, again, a change of perception which may result in changed voting behavior. As someone else pointed out, making the votes secret would create other problems. This problem looks unresolvable to me.

There are other problems of perception. By becoming a DIDWorld sponsor site, you may harm your credibility with newbies who are not aware of the process. "Oh, these people host paid advertising disguised as articles. Well, back to Indymedia then." Sure, you may argue that you don't need such stupid users. But those misunderstandings will hurt the credibility of your site, perhaps irreparably. In any case, you create "branding" for DIDWorld, and that on its own has subtle effects.

Given the amount of money involved, the typical questions related to advertiser-influence are also raised: How will such a deal influence the future politics of the site? Not something dramatic like deleting comments, but maybe not adding a certain new section, or implementing a certain feature? Can you absolutely rule out that you would not change the politics if thousands of dollars of future revenue (and I am referring here also to similar deals to this one that may still be made) are involved? I know I couldn't. This could be somewhat combatted by opening all these backroom transactions, including K5's budget itself, but you have already made clear that you are against this.

This is especially unfortunate. The members of your community make a deal with you: They contribute content and/or money, and in return you provide (and improve) a place for them to vent. Both subscriptions and text-ads are in many forms also ways of donations: Many text-ads are nonsensical in nature, and I doubt that they would have been submitted if the submitters would not be happy to see their money go to a site they support. But I think some readers would have problems with a K5 that is actually oriented towards profit maximization. Personally, I don't care if you ever get rich with K5. (I do not even acknowledge a "right to get rich".) However, if that is not your goal, and what you want is maintain a cool community and get paid enough for doing so (and also pay employees), then tell the community what your needs are, and the community will try to fill them, in its own interest and out of altruism. I think we can do this without a shady DIDWorld deal, it just takes trust -- from both sides.

I could go on and cite many more potential problems, including the infamous "slippery slope". But let me just quote your own words from just two weeks ago:

I thought about this some more, and what bothers me about it is that pieces like this break trust with the reader. Essentially, if you are going to claim to be providing me with news, I feel like you have an implied trust to be acting in my interest. My interest is finding out what's happening with this issue. My interest is not in listening to your activist viewpoint. If I want it, I will go to indymedia and find it. If the facts of an issue rile me up enough, you can be sure I will do that.

It's not a matter of bias, exactly. It's a matter of trust. Everyone has bias. All news has bias. I have no problem with that. But I expect my news to be biased in my favor, not in the favor of some cause or corporation.
-- Rusty Foster, March 20 2002

It's not the obviously biased advocacy stories that are the problem. It's subtle propaganda. And if you truly expect K5 articles to be "biased in your favor", you cannot accept a proposal that would possibly imply the exact opposite.

Quite honestly, I would have preferred it if this had been the April Fool's Joke, and M4tafilter was real.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!

Fish Food for Pandora (3.66 / 6) (#157)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:01:47 PM EST

How much do you know about DIDWorld, really? Why do they go into this market? They apparently are willing to burn quite a lot of money in order to further their agenda, more so at least than any private weblog. What is their goal?

I tried to be as clear about that as possible, but maybe I didn't succeed. Their goal is to become the nucleus for information and discussion about digital identity. Their business is hosting conferences. DIDW is expected to simply be a cost, that they hope to offest by holding conferences. The idea is for DIDW to be an online "hub," tying the discrete conferences together online and keeping a form of continuity between them.

If DIDWorld has vested interests, you are inviting them to submit propaganda -- hard to detect propaganda even.

That's a pretty big "if" to base a decision on. If I'm secretly being paid by RedHat to promote their operating system, then doesn't K5 already have a nearly undetectable bias in favor of RedHat linux? Of course, I'm not. And we don't. And neither do they.

By accepting payment for posting stories, you are creating a framework of emotional justification of accepting the respective stories in spite of problematic content.

Does the update change your view? Payment will no longer be related to stories. They are paying us a flat fee to simply create the Didgital Identity "container." If it turns out to be interesting to K5ers, cool. If not, we move on.

There are other problems of perception. By becoming a DIDWorld sponsor site, you may harm your credibility with newbies who are not aware of the process.

I will post a "Site News" introducing the section when we're ready to start, which will try to make it clear exactly what it is and how it works. There will be a link to this from box the section box, and any story syndicated from DIDW.

Given the amount of money involved, the typical questions related to advertiser-influence are also raised: How will such a deal influence the future politics of the site? Not something dramatic like deleting comments, but maybe not adding a certain new section, or implementing a certain feature?

I'm not clear on what you think they would want us to change. Do you have any examples?

But I think some readers would have problems with a K5 that is actually oriented towards profit maximization. Personally, I don't care if you ever get rich with K5. (I do not even acknowledge a "right to get rich".) However, if that is not your goal, and what you want is maintain a cool community and get paid enough for doing so (and also pay employees), then tell the community what your needs are, and the community will try to fill them, in its own interest and out of altruism.

I've been thinking about this. I don't really like the idea, since I feel like K5 should either be able to survive by providing services people are willing to pay for, or should not continue to exist. But here's a thought on all that, and it may come to this in the near future.

To keep on doing this, I need to bring in about $9000 a month. Right now, we're not making that. I can't continue to work on K5 full time for more than another month or so if we don't increase income somehow.

I've been thinking about adding a box with a little Revenue-O-Meter, showing, in real time, how much money we made so far this month. The deal would be that we need to hit $9000 by the end of each month. If it goes over, that's great. But if we don't make it, the site goes away.

I am going to introduce better paid membership features soon. If that doesn't consistently put us over the minimum income, I think the Revenue-O-Meter is my only other idea. I hate the idea of basically holdng a ransom on the site, but I can't think of any other way. Everyone claims to want to help, but we still don't make enough. I don't know what else to do.

It's not the obviously biased advocacy stories that are the problem. It's subtle propaganda. And if you truly expect K5 articles to be "biased in your favor", you cannot accept a proposal that would possibly imply the exact opposite.

Again, you're basing this on the assumption that DIDW has some underhanded motivation for promoting some company. They don't. I can't argue with a viewpoint that is based on nothing but paranoia.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Revenooers (4.00 / 2) (#167)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:02:05 PM EST

Their business is hosting conferences. DIDW is expected to simply be a cost, that they hope to offest by holding conferences.

The problem with this is that in the business world things that are expected to be loss leaders at one point often change when the bills come in. Tech support is a good example; once upon a time it was *assumed* that support would lose money, but that by running a good support operation you would attract customers; now many support operations are expected to turn profits. If there is a similar evolution in DIDW, we could get caught in the crosshairs. (This is *not* a reason to say 'no'; it's a reason to be guarded. :))

I can't continue to work on K5 full time for more than another month or so if we don't increase income somehow.

If it comes to that, would it help if you had more people working on the site in their spare time? There's a large community of coders here; surely *some* of them would be willing to assist. :)

Everyone claims to want to help, but we still don't make enough.

I think it's *bizarre* that people don't subscribe in large numbers. Or even moderate numbers. (Not that that helps on a month-to-month basis, as i'm pretty sure that a 12-month subscription gets recorded as income in *one* month). This is something I just don't understand; the amount a subscription costs is *less* than the average price of a movie, and most regular users spend far more than 2 hours a month here ....

[ Parent ]

Accountability (none / 0) (#181)
by geekmug on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:10:58 PM EST

I think it's *bizarre* that people don't subscribe in large numbers. Or even moderate numbers. (Not that that helps on a month-to-month basis, as i'm pretty sure that a 12-month subscription gets recorded as income in *one* month). This is something I just don't understand; the amount a subscription costs is *less* than the average price of a movie, and most regular users spend far more than 2 hours a month here ....

The problem is, as user, the functionality of the site doesn't "change". The site is the same site as before. As much as I know we all love Rusty and want to help him pay the bills, I trust that most ppl are making their judgement of subscribing without Rusty in mind. And if I decide that I don't want to help Rusty out, there is no accountability for that.

-- Why reinvent the square wheel?
[ Parent ]

Yeah (1.00 / 1) (#190)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:48:40 PM EST

That's why I haven't made any effort to push subscriptions recently. We are introducing some useful things for subscribers, to give you a reason to want to pay. You'll hear all about it soon.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Will work for K5 (none / 0) (#184)
by dlc on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:33:54 PM EST

If it comes to that, would it help if you had more people working on the site in their spare time? There's a large community of coders here; surely *some* of them would be willing to assist.

Count me as one of more people; I will help with whatever I can.


(darren)

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
W. K. Clifford


[ Parent ]
scoop.kuro5hin.org (none / 0) (#192)
by ramses0 on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:53:06 PM EST

scoop.kuro5hin.org, and #scoop on some IRC server somewhere.

If I didn't have such a strong bias against perl, I'd have long ago helped out with the coding. (not that the code is bad, contrary, it is some of the nicest perl code I've ever seen, but it's still perl ;^)

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

subscribing (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by sesquiped on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:35:54 PM EST

After reading and thinking about rusty's comments on this thread, I've decided that I want to subscribe, even though I'm not a hard-core k5 user (I lurk a lot, but post relatively infrequently). Anyway, my point is simply that I can't seem to find the link to subscribe anywhere! It's not on the front page (now that the text ad box is taking up that space, and I don't see it in the box under my name on right side.

Update: Ok, I found the link. It was buried in my User Preferences page, not even boldfaced or anything. I think making it more visible might help more people to subscribe.

[ Parent ]
Fishbones (4.00 / 1) (#176)
by Eloquence on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:55:10 PM EST

That's a pretty big "if" to base a decision on. If I'm secretly being paid by RedHat to promote their operating system, then doesn't K5 already have a nearly undetectable bias in favor of RedHat linux? Of course, I'm not. And we don't. And neither do they.

Your analogy fails the plausibility test. Neither your past behavior nor the nature of your venture indicates that this is happening, nor that it is likely to happen. The OSDN partnership did raise legitimate concerns, but the trust in your integrity was a good remedy: The community trusted you to act morally, as you seemed to be motivated not primarily by the urge for profit (ha!), and OSDN had no special access to the site. In this case, you are opening a channel for a third party, who we are not familiar with and who we have no reason to trust. Moreover, this third party appears to act primarily in a profit interest. History and empirical data shows that the more money is involved, the less we can rely on basic mechanisms like trust, unless it is complemented by transparency.

The transparency that would be necessary in this case cannot be attained: namely a complete and permanent disclosure of all sources of income of DIW. Without this data, we can only fall back on risk assessment: What happens if party X behaves a certain way? Is it plausible within the context of the party's activities that it might potentially do so? And so on. I have described possible risks, not facts. To dismiss such risks as paranoia does, of course, miss the point, which is that we do not have the certainty the dismissal implies. That being said, it would obviously be unfair to assume anything but the potential for maliciousness without evidence for it. Nowhere was it my intent to do so. There is certainly some cool stuff going on in the DIW; I even linked to PingID myself on infoAnarchy.

The updated approach reduces my concerns. It still worries me that K5 users might feel that it is necessary to vote certain stories up so that the sustained support of DIW is maintained, but the risk is perhaps negligible. The potential for a stream of subtle propaganda remains. Hopefully, however, if people feel relatively uninhabited during the voting process, this will be recognized and not tolerated. I cannot say that I endorse the decision, but, for the time being, it is tolerable.

I'm not clear on what you think they would want us to change. Do you have any examples?

It does not necessarily have to be a change that is recognizable as in any way beneficial to their business interests. Something like "Hey, why not push the rating scale up to 6 instead of 5?". The question is then what happens in your brain when you hear such a proposal. If there's the potential that you make your decision dependant on how it affects your business relationship with DIW, then K5 is politically influenced. Sure, right now you are still making many key decisions on your own and without prior community discussions like in this case. However, I had hoped that in the long run K5 would adopt a procedure even for such changes that is democratic in nature. An increasing number of external revenue sources could lead K5 into the opposite direction.

Now on to more interesting subjects:

I don't really like the idea [open budget], since I feel like K5 should either be able to survive by providing services people are willing to pay for, or should not continue to exist.

This is of course exactly what a David Talbot or Eric Schmidt would say. And it is of course in large part true. But K5 has so far succeeded by breaking the rules, and by extending the community perspective -- community content, community advertising and so on. Therein lies your genius. It seems only logical to gradually experiment with the "borders" of community, to see what works and what doesn't.

To keep on doing this, I need to bring in about $9000 a month. Right now, we're not making that. I can't continue to work on K5 full time for more than another month or so if we don't increase income somehow.

Would you mind elaborating a little on how this money is spent? It was my understanding that bandwidth and hosting at least were currently being provided by sponsors. There are a lot of smart people on K5 -- perhaps ways could be found to reduce costs?

The income-meter is a good idea. Listing/ranking the names of people who have donated (unless they want anonymity) also helps. Penny Arcade had monthly "donation gifts" which were a nice idea, but require some amount of regular creativity. The K5 shop will help a little, depending on what you can offer. All in all, I would guesstimate that $6K/month might be realistic with the current user base, $9K might be a bit much. How do you think revenue will scale with community growth / do other costs increase?

There are a lot of business models which are still unexplored. If you're interested, I'm always willing to share.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Chim Chim's Badass Revenge (1996) (3.00 / 2) (#188)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:41:46 PM EST

The transparency that would be necessary in this case cannot be attained: namely a complete and permanent disclosure of all sources of income of DIW.

I've already disclosed them. Right now they're funded by Andre Durand's wallet. They hope to cover their costs by holding conferences. I'll ask them if there's any conflict of interest we should be aware of, but if they say there isn't, will you believe them? I doubt they're going to be eager to fax you financial statements to prove it.

To dismiss such risks as paranoia does, of course, miss the point, which is that we do not have the certainty the dismissal implies. That being said, it would obviously be unfair to assume anything but the potential for maliciousness without evidence for it.

Fair enough. I do have the certainty to dismiss that particular risk, but I understand why you don't. I think the arrangement also carries a built-in check against propaganda, in that we have people like you, who are very sensitive to it, and not afraid to call bullshit when you see it. I'm counting on that.

If there's the potential that you make your decision dependant on how it affects your business relationship with DIW, then K5 is politically influenced.

True. My interest has always been in making this the best community it can be. I think, knowing myself, that I'm much more likely to resist suggestions that have a financial angle to them than be favorable to them. But it's another thing that kind of comes down to whether you trust me or not. I try to be as open in the decision making process as possible.

Would you mind elaborating a little on how this money is spent?

My salary is most of it. I also pay hurstdog to work on code, and Inoshiro to adminster our DNS and mail, and do security checking on the servers. Beyond that is miscellaneous "costs of being a business" like accountant fees, and occasional expenses.

You're right that hosting and hardware are comped. If they weren't we'd need about $3,000 a month on top of that.

Costs are, frankly, as low as they can be without me going out and getting another job. I spend a lot of time working on K5, and would not have nearly as much time, energy, or interest to put into maintaining and developing it if I was working a 9 to 5 on top of it. I honestly think, at this point, I wouldn't do it. So, it's either make what I need to get by, or give up and go find something else.

If I did have to give up, I would probably try to turn over the site to some person or group or something who would be willing to maintain it. Let them find out how much work and stress it actually is. I have grave doubts that anything that is mainly handled by me right now could reasonably be done by a distributed organization. But I'm not the one to try to find out.

Anyway, hopefully it won't come to that. My point is that reducing costs isn't really an option, if I'm going to continue as nominal chief of this thing.

All in all, I would guesstimate that $6K/month might be realistic with the current user base, $9K might be a bit much. How do you think revenue will scale with community growth / do other costs increase?

My business plan looks about like this:

  • Textads: $3,000/mo. This past month we exceeded that goal, which is heartening. I think it can be reasonably met with more energy put into finding advertisers and making a better ad system.
  • Subscriptions: $3,000/mo. This works out to 600 subscribers each month. there are about 2500-3000 people who post at least one comment in a given month. The subscriber features will be mainly geared toward usefulness for them. Hopefully I can convince 600 of them to plunk down the cost of one blockbuster rental a month for something they probably get an awful lot more out of. But we'll see.
  • Store: $3,000/mo. This is a pretty ambitious goal. We'd have to sell a lot of stuff to make that. I have my doubts, but we shall see.
  • Miscellaneous: $???/mo. No idea. Things like this plan fit into that category. Every little bit helps.
The nice thing, so far, about our hosting arrangement is that costs don't scale with users, for the forseeable future. At some point, if we start pumping out more than 500Gb/mo in traffic, we may have to pay for the part that's over that limit. That's about double the bandwidth we currently consume. Like I said, if we paid for the whole thing, it would probably be another $3,000/mo.

There are a lot of business models which are still unexplored. If you're interested, I'm always willing to share.

I'm always interested. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

-1 (2.00 / 1) (#122)
by smileyy on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:18:00 AM EST

I'm not sure I can articulate why. It just rubs me the wrong way. I think its the money thing. If you took credit cards (do you? I can't even find the subscription information anymore)...I'd give you $50. I'd rather support k5 with my own money.


--
...alone in suicide, which is deeper than death...
I agree (1.00 / 1) (#131)
by baronben on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:44:52 PM EST

Just something rubs me the wrong way about this, the idea of paying for articals. Even though they still must be voted up, theres allways that suspicion that theres money is ridding on if it gets up or not.

I know that k5 and rusty have bills to pay, but I would much rather donate some money then see sponsord adds. Somehow this just smakes of the author who took money from a jewler to include subtle advertisements in her books.


Ben Spigel sic transit gloria
[ Parent ]

Go for it... (3.00 / 1) (#124)
by br284 on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:45:42 AM EST

I'll give Rusty the benefit of the doubt until I see an implementation that makes me think otherwise. I'd rather have K5 make a little cash than have it eventually disappear. (Speaking of which, how much money are you bringing in on the text ads?)

I think as long as the articles are at the whim of the community, it would be no different than had dID set up a user account and posted from there.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind after the one month trial period.

-Chris

My 2 cents (3.00 / 2) (#125)
by Skippy on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:47:03 AM EST

I'd prefer we didn't do this. It makes me uneasy for a lot of the reasons already articulated in the comments. I guess I wouldn't mind if the articles were simply introduced into the queue as long as there was no funding attached.

I'm with the people willing to subscribe. Oh, wait, I've been subscribed since you could :-) Maybe I'll start another account and subscribe with that.


# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

Newbie with questions?? (4.00 / 1) (#126)
by cione on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:48:31 AM EST

As a newbie I try to read before I open my big mouth and start eating leather. That said I am getting my knife and fork as I type this.

I originally starting coming to K5 because I wanted something than many of the / sights were giving. The culture here is so very much different in a positive way. The "slippery slope" mentioned over and over again I think needs to be looked at more carefully.

The second thought I have is about the users that will be on K5. I come here out of genuine interest. If members of another sight sign up and don't have a genuine interest in the sight then the votes that they cast don't hold the weight that a person with "loyalty" may have.

I like K5. The sight has a culture much different from the rest of the net community. I would rather donate straight to the sight then see it lead down the road of selling space for dollars. What happens if this deal doesn't work out? Who will be the next person to have a linked section?

All that said I like the idea in general. More articles and hopefully more information to consume. Like I said I am newbie and could be talking out my bunghole. But having a linked sight could generate a thousand of me. All of us talking the same way. You did ask and this is my answer. I will vote later once I see more comments on the subject.



___________________________________________

The crazy people really have it all together

ambivalent about the money aspect (4.00 / 3) (#127)
by Kellnerin on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:12:20 PM EST

At first I was a bit doubtful about the viability of a Digital Identity "section", but after reading through the comments clarifying the concept I think a "focus box" could work, drawing people who are interested in the stories to one place where they can be found, while allowing others to bypass it altogether.

What still makes me a bit uncomfortable is the pay-for-posted-stories aspect. As Theophile pointed out, it will introduce an element into voters' decisions that has nothing to do with story quality. Even if you scream from the rooftops that you should vote your opinion of the article, some people will vote based on the money issue. Perhaps it would be better if there was less money riding on each individual story, say $20 each but with a possible bonus for >5 in a month. Or it could be a scale where the first story of the month is only $20, the next $30, $50, and so on. Maybe different scales depending whether it gets voted to section or FP. Better still a flat amount regardless of whether stories are posted or not, just to show support for K5, and for the "box". $100 (even if that's a hypothetical number) is a good chunk of cash and not easily ignored. Money aside, though, I'd support anything that would bring in more well written, potentially interesting articles.

Also, as more stories are submitted on this topic, there will be a certain backlash from people who are sick of hearing about it (even if from slightly different angles) and it will become harder to post stories, so the DigitalID people might want to be selective about what they choose to submit here. For this reason, of my suggestions above I'd prefer the "bonus for more stories posted" option over the "each story in itself is worth more". If people are getting tired of DI stories, they should be voting them down rather than up because there's more money at stake.

I'd also like to second dennis' point about trading attention rather than money. Will DID add a "further discussion on www.Kuro5hin.org" link to stories on their own site? If there was more cross-pollination it'd feel like more of a two-way street.

--sometimes you pick your gods, sometimes the gods pick you -odin--

Interesting reversal (3.50 / 2) (#128)
by mbrubeck on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:20:13 PM EST

Normally, the publication pays writers for content. Here all the writers work for free, or offer to pay rusty for the privelege!

Wow, (4.50 / 2) (#135)
by binaryalchemy on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 12:59:31 PM EST

that was one of the fastest sinking articles I've ever seen. Too bad to, it does seem like the topic could be interesting. But it really needs to give more of a starting point to the discussion.

(If you didn't notice the first of these stories just got put in the queue, and I'm posting this here because the story died in under a minute and I couldn't post my thoughts there.)
------
Defending the GPL from a commercial perspective is like defending the Microsft EULA from a moral perspective. - quartz

Not really (4.00 / 4) (#136)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:14:54 PM EST

That was not part of this whole thing. That was just something Andre wrote and thought K5 might like. Turns out you didn't, and he has gained valuable insight into who the audience is here, and what you expect in submissions. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Sorta like (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:22:19 PM EST

this?

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
A Couple of points (4.66 / 3) (#137)
by jabber on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:15:05 PM EST

First off, I voted 'no' after reading much of the excellent and insightful discussion on the subject. Many great issues were raised, and I think they are all quite valid.

The reason I voted 'no' is because, frankly, I would get bored of the DIDW content.. I suspect that it would be quite interesting at first, and it would have flashes of brilliance here and there, but it's simply to nitchy to keep me interested..

$100 per posted article with a $1000 monthly cap makes for 10 POSTED Digital Identity related stories in a month.. Certainly, there would likely be fewer... Or would there?

Either the community here would quickly get bored, and DIDW would not get the exposure they seek... OR, since they are already willing to pay for exposure, they would start paying contributors for getting articles posted.. What a Digital Id Trollfest that might turn into..

So what do we do with this?

How about, instead of a DIDW section, Rusty creates a Special Interest/Paid Content section.. Broaden the subject matter therein thereby..

I like being able to vote for content, even in such a context, so if a "For-Fee Submission Guidelines" can be drafted that would bring money to K5 while still letting me vote on the content, that would be great..

Otherwise, Rusty could just accept for-fee submissions, bypass the voting process, charge per word, and we can all ignore that section.

Ultimatelly, I think it would be healthy for the K5ers to come to terms with the fact that the world runs on money.. Democracy is a liberal myth, and greasing the wheels will get a story posted. We'll finally have a way to separate the rich trolls from the clever ones.

In the idealistic sense, we crossed the ethics line with the advertizements. Rusty is to be commended for having handled that issue with grace and elegance, but there already is 'for-fee content' on Kuro5hin.

Imagine the mess if ads had to be voted on before being displayed...

I can't imagine a paying contributor accepting editorializing critique from the likes of us.. They're paying to sell their product, be it t-shirts, servers, or ideas.

The more I think of it, the more sense it makes to have a 'paid' section in addition to the peer review section. "Paid" would guarantee posting, and would have to be priced high enough to keep individuals from getting at it too much. Within this section, we'd need categories.. Perhaps by company/organization and whether or not something is commercial or non-profit..

This would make product announcements possible, and clearly recognizable, and Microsoft would finally have a chance for rebuttal. :)

Then, finally, maybe individuals could submit articles to the 'for-fee' section as well.. These could be voted on, and if posted, the business for whom the article was written would give the author money in addition to paying for the story exposure.. If I ran the world, that might actually work out.

Anyway, just some ranty thoughts on my part.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

The first "article" has been voted down (4.50 / 4) (#138)
by rickward on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:16:39 PM EST

I was expecting a white-paper type article outlining the need for a product and then explaining how DIDW.com's product would fulfill those needs. What I got was a content-free call to action. Shame they never told me what the action was.

These guys need to do a better job of tailoring their submissions to suit this audience.

Look at a font I made!

Broiled (none / 0) (#179)
by andredurand on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:04:34 PM EST

Well, while I had an idea of what to expect, I have to admit that in the end, the result was quite comical. Had I known how fast it was going to flame beyond the horizon, I would have gotten out my stopwatch and timed it! Does it count if it *felt* like it lasted longer than a minute? On a more serious note, trial by fire is not a bad way to come up the learning curve rather quickly.

[ Parent ]
My Thoughts (2.00 / 1) (#139)
by Anoymous 22666 on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:17:02 PM EST

I think this is a good opportunity for K5 to make some money. (Read: "pay the bills.") But, I wonder if it is heading down the road to a commercial site, where all stories are basically "ads." (An extreme progression, I know.)

And, this may take off, brining in other advertisers in the same manner. We don't need a section for every advertiser that may come this way. There should actually be a section entitled "Paid Articles" or something, instead of the "Digital Identity" section you've proposed. I think that is a suitable name - the articles aren't quite advertisements, and they aren't quite volunteer articles. That way, it's also possible for other advertisers to easily jump on and off K5. Readers can also identify the ones that are paid as opposed to the ones that are not. (I think that's also important.)

So, sure, I'm willing to give it a try, but I think you should consider my suggestion, and maybe return to the advertisers with it. I don't think a section name change is unreasonable, and it's only fair to identify which are paid and which are not.

I just farted... And I blame the fiction section. - Psycho Les


My response after the update (3.50 / 2) (#140)
by hardburn on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:22:07 PM EST

I think the new updates help the idea a lot. It is still on shaky ground with me, but if it really helps K5, I'm willing to go along with it if the updated version is approved.

One thing that might happen is that everyone decides the DIW stories suck and vote them -1. DIW would essentially be paying for a service that can't be used, and would thus be likely to drop out of it entirely. So money would still be tied into the voting system in some way, but I think it's impact will be greatly reduced under the updated conditions.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


But (1.00 / 1) (#145)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:29:16 PM EST

We are also going into this with a pre-existing view that it's a one-month trial, and we'll see how it shakes out. If things don't get posted, OK, it's not working out, and we go our separate ways. Hopefully people will put the quality of K5 above any interest they might have in helping encourage this. I personally don't think it'll be a problem, judging by the comments here. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Motivations (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by andredurand on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:37:52 PM EST

I'll second that sentiment. Quality and credibility are paramount to the success of Digital ID World. Yes, the topic is focused, but that is completely appropriate for an industry resource which does not strive to become a general technology discussion board. If we are unable to align the motivations of DIDW, the business side of K5 and the community, then we will simply go our separate ways. If however we do construct a win/win/win, then we've innovated a new business model that's sustainable.

[ Parent ]
Man, you've got to stop talking like that... (4.00 / 4) (#193)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:54:52 PM EST

If however we do construct a win/win/win, then we've innovated a new business model that's sustainable.

Gah! Bizdev Buzzword alarm melting from the strain! ;-)

I know what you mean, but one thing business people, especially internet business people, have got to start working on is "speaking like a human." After the dotcom era, which many of us lived through first-hand, words like "innovate", "business model", and "win/win" (not to even mention "convergence" and "synergy"!) are strictly verboten, except perhaps in a boardroom. We don't care how you talk behind closed doors, but out here, them's fighting words.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The update (3.00 / 2) (#142)
by room101 on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:23:21 PM EST

I like the changes made by the Update that rusty posted.

I thought the idea was okay, although, I saw some reasons against it, if this is what rusty wanted, I'm for it. Now, if DigitalIDWorld just pays per month (or whatever schedule), that makes more sense, as it removes much of the motivation behind any cheating that would possibly go on.

I can still see a world where these stories get voted up "under the table" in order to keep the deal alive, but I think that is a long-shot.

I say: "thumbs up".

btw, even if the change doesn't go thru, I also say "thumbs up", I don't think I like it quite as much, but once again, if that is what rusty wants, it is good enough to try it.



Clarifications (4.66 / 3) (#144)
by Adam Theo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:26:05 PM EST

As the guy who initiated this whole thing, and as someone who thinking the basic idea of section sponsorship is a great idea (although the pay-per-article isn't so hot), I'd just like to clarify a couple of things.

First, all articles to this section will be voted on as normal by everyone no matter who the article is from. DIDW people will have usernames just like everyone else (if they don't already).

Second, the articles themselves will not be promoting products or services. I urge everyone to take a quick look at the DigitalIDWorld website to see the kinds of articles that will be going through the queue. They are not promoting any products because DIDW is not a digital identity vendor. It's a website dedicated to the industry, not any particular vendor or service.

Third, I can try to assure you about Andre Durand and the other DIDW. Get to know them before you start stereotyping them into the greedy corporate vultures category.

But finally, I'd just like to say I'm really impressed with the comments here. Especially the ones that show how much Rusty is admired and trusted by so many people here. I love K5 :-)

-- "A computer geek free-market socialist patriotic American Buddhist."

What are you buying ? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by hariya on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:42:34 PM EST

I am curious. I am not sure what the agreed upon amount is and I really dont care. k5 accepts rdf feeds and you can have text adson k5. What are you achieving through a separate section that you cant do through an k5 sidebox and a few thousand text ad impressions ?


[ Parent ]
I think.... (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by yankeehack on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:52:23 PM EST

My guesses as to why those options don't work exactly. 1) RDF is user opt-in. RDF feeds are great....for those of you with high speed connections. For example, I'm on dialup and I can't use RDF because it'll slow down my browsing experience even more.

2)As for text-ads, I would imagine the issue is that they rotate. I would think that a fixed text box ad, at say, the front page might be a option though and from what's been said, it would seems that is what they were aiming at in the first place.

"There are no women on the Internet. None. There are, however, a rouge band of 12 year old boys who post to usenet and weblogs whilst posing as women. Of
[ Parent ]

With the Update... (5.00 / 2) (#160)
by Adam Theo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:22:20 PM EST

I think the now set amount per month of $1,000 is getting a specialized mini-section (like the old Focus Boxes) dedicated to the topic of Digital Identity. A specialized topic, yes, but it's just a mini-section. Perhaps this will lead to other specialized sections being set up, for things such as "Artificial Intelligence", "Instant Messaging", etc...

Digital ID World will in no way "own" the section or the articles. It works just like any other section. All DIDW will be doing is sponsoring the section as well as posting articles here instead of on their own website. The reason for doing the articles here is because K5 is an already established community, whereas DIDW would have to spend considerable money and time building a new one over there.

Why text ads won't work: one, as mentioned already, text ads are rotating, as well as to small (not big enough to fit in-depth articles). Also, RDF feeds are a bit clunky and quite bandwidth intensive.

-- "A computer geek free-market socialist patriotic American Buddhist."
[ Parent ]

Do me a favor (4.50 / 2) (#158)
by yankeehack on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:05:03 PM EST

Urge your authors to use their real names as usernames on the site. I know that I don't want to have to remember that user "foobar" is a Digital ID author. After all, we're supposed to be reading your content based or your (collective) credibility.

I apologize about the following nitpick about your site. I think it's interesting and all, but geez, it appears extremely focused. (And not in a good way and I read tech news somewhat obsessively, but anyway......) Honestly, I have a difficult time imagining great amounts of discussion material flowing from this one really small technologically based topic.

"There are no women on the Internet. None. There are, however, a rouge band of 12 year old boys who post to usenet and weblogs whilst posing as women. Of
[ Parent ]

Real Names (3.00 / 1) (#183)
by andredurand on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:16:11 PM EST

Well, without urging, I did use my real name. In retrospect, I probably should have used an alias, seeing as how my one post lasted shy of a minute!

[ Parent ]
More on names (2.50 / 2) (#191)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:49:41 PM EST

Articles will probably be posted, physically, by me. But the user accounts will be the author's real name.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
well (3.00 / 2) (#146)
by /dev/trash on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:30:15 PM EST

Even if this agreement is turned down, The DigitalID website is probaby getting all kinds of exposure now. AKA free advertising.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
Yes (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by TheGreenLantern on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:37:43 PM EST

So best not to mention any company, in any context, ever, lest said company benefit in some small, meaningless way and all of us become eternally damned and corrupted by the evils of money, greed, and power.

It hurts when I pee.
[ Parent ]
sure why not? (none / 0) (#178)
by /dev/trash on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:03:13 PM EST

Amen.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
accidental exposure (none / 0) (#182)
by andredurand on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:11:41 PM EST

Just for the record, our discussions with Rusty were 'mutually' instigated. Meaning, we did not pursue Rusty or the K5 community with this plan. A mutual friend said, hey, why don't you guys have a discussion and in doing so, this is where we BOTH ended up. As a side note, I spoke with Phil about the 'accidental' exposure that DIDW has received today as a result of this article and without taking the wind from his sails (I'll let him say whatever he wishes to say on the topic in his own words), we both agreed that we'll do what's right by the community in the process.

[ Parent ]
Server logs say? (2.00 / 2) (#194)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:56:37 PM EST

What are the server logs looking like? Are you guys seeing a lot of visitors checking the site out? I hope people are actually going to look before they make their decisions. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Why I voted yes (4.00 / 2) (#149)
by StephenFuqua on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:38:01 PM EST

Or rather, why I didn't vote no:

This is about collaborating with another "media" source--not an R&D / product company. I think there were a lot of legitimate comments in the "no" camp--but they just didn't quite apply to this initiative. The company is not advertising--they are discussing, which is exactly what we're about. Now, if they turn out to be overly biased in their reporting, then we can call an "initiative" to have this feature removed. Until then, I think this is an interesting and innovative addition to K5.



After the Update, +1 (4.00 / 1) (#150)
by Adam Theo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:41:49 PM EST

I really like the update, with the monthly fee. It does remove the "vote buying" problem, and makes it all alot fairer, not to mention simpler.

BTW, disclosure: I'm involved with DIDW and Andre, but also a K5er for the past year.

-- "A computer geek free-market socialist patriotic American Buddhist."

I agree (none / 0) (#152)
by smileyy on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:49:44 PM EST

I agree...I'll go along with this idea now.


--
...alone in suicide, which is deeper than death...
[ Parent ]
Ditto, now I'm in favor (no post) (none / 0) (#155)
by JoshKnorr on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:58:16 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I would change my "NO" vote now (none / 0) (#161)
by cione on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:31:49 PM EST


___________________________________________

The crazy people really have it all together
[ Parent ]

Why not generic "sponsored by X" article (3.00 / 2) (#154)
by malikcoates on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:58:07 PM EST

Have them submitted like advertisements, but put into the article queue. During the voting process display who is sponsoring the article. Also show how much they are willing to pay the site if it gets posted. Just have a sponsored by section which will include all the for pay articles. This can bring K5 a lot more money because other people than Digital Identity will be willing to pay for stories posted on K5. This scales better too.

Actually, I think the section scales better (none / 0) (#159)
by Adam Theo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:07:29 PM EST

Th reason being that as the number of articles grows over the next year or so, K5 may want to allow users to only view sections that they want, and therefore keeping these specialized articles in specialized sections allows users to ignore/subscribe to these when that time comes.

-- "A computer geek free-market socialist patriotic American Buddhist."
[ Parent ]

Thank you. (none / 0) (#164)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:48:06 PM EST

That comment, coming from someone I know is involved with the Digital Identity project, does more to alleviate my concerns than anything Rusty could have said. :)

[ Parent ]
Well thank you very much! (1.00 / 1) (#165)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:54:44 PM EST

So I'm just a corporate whore now, eh? Is that what you're saying? ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
not at all. :) (none / 0) (#169)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:03:43 PM EST

but hearing one of the people on the other side of the proposal respond to a question in a way that demonstrates quite clearly that he is a member of the community is reassuring. :)

[ Parent ]
Way to go Rusty! (2.50 / 2) (#162)
by mcherm on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:35:31 PM EST

Earlier, I was holding back on my vote, remaining undecided. After the changes, I am a definite YES!

-- Michael Chermside
Concerns ... :) (3.50 / 2) (#163)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 02:46:28 PM EST

Interesting. :) I guess i'm in favor, but it's guarded :)

It would be nice to see some well-written articles on technology and culture (as opposed to politics) again. Most of my objections went away when the payment for posting vanished; as much as i'd like to see K5 make money, i'd also be worried about the idea that knowing that k5 would get money if a story posted influencing my votes and other peoples votes.

I am concerned about precedent, though; if we'll create a box for them and highlight it, what are the rules for who we'll do this for? Eg., if MS, or RedHat, wanted to do the same thing for articles about their technology, would we? If so, where do we stop (when we run out of screen real estate?) If not, are there rules somewhere that we can point to to explain why? It seems like this is being treated as an exception case, but it might be better if there were some sort of systemic approach to this kind of suggestion.

I'm also worried about stagnancy. How high is the turnover of the articles in the DI section going to be? Inoshiro's security articles were basically never updated; if these are like that, will there be a time when the section can be pulled?

Will these articles be redistributable through the RDF backend?

And finally, i'd like to see Mrs. Graustein share her views on the matter. :)

Answers (1.00 / 1) (#166)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:00:59 PM EST

...if we'll create a box for them and highlight it, what are the rules for who we'll do this for? Eg., if MS, or RedHat, wanted to do the same thing for articles about their technology, would we?

No. I'm in favor of this because DIDW is a media organization, not a company promoting a product. If other organizations want to try something like this, it will definitely be considered on a case-by-case basis. I agree with everyone's opinion that we should not allow articles and advertising to blend, so that's my primary criteria. If an organization or company is in it to talk about their products, it'll be a clear "no thanks."

I'm also worried about stagnancy. How high is the turnover of the articles in the DI section going to be?

We expect them to keep it fresh. I think an article every two or three days is likely going to be the rate. The focus section won't live forever, at least as this topic. We may retire it n a couple of months and see if anyone else wants to sponsor a similar focus section to replace it. I don't expect to have more than one running at once.

Will these articles be redistributable through the RDF backend?

Yes.

And finally, i'd like to see Mrs. Graustein share her views on the matter. :)

Wow. You're old-skool. I bet 80% of people reading this don't have any idea what you're talking about. ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Counterpoitns. :) (none / 0) (#170)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:07:45 PM EST

If an organization or company is in it to talk about their products, it'll be a clear "no thanks."

OK. :) And as long as it's put to a vote like this is, I think it's pretty clear that something that was obviously product advertising would go down in flames. But i'm concerned about the legal situtation; can we get ourselves in a situation where there's some legal liability for discrimination, if there is no hard-and-fast rule to point to? (I think the likelihood of this is *extremely* small, but it's high-risk even at a low likelihood).

The focus section won't live forever, at least as this topic. We may retire it n a couple of months and see if anyone else wants to sponsor a similar focus section to replace it.

Ahhh, that's *very* reassuring. :) Good to hear! :)

I bet 80% of people reading this don't have any idea what you're talking about. ;-)

*puzzled look* but it's still in the FAQ! :)

[ Parent ]

FAQ (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by DJBongHit on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:22:44 PM EST

*puzzled look* but it's still in the FAQ! :)

Dammit aphrael, now you're just going to be confusing people! 80% of the people here don't seem to know what the FAQ is either.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
More (1.00 / 1) (#174)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:23:04 PM EST

And as long as it's put to a vote like this is...

I expect that to be S.O.P. In the future, we won't have to have the debate about the concept and format, as that should become familiar to everyone. so it ought to be a much simpler process. Just, "Here's the company, here's the proposed sction, go vote and discuss." But I will be sure to do that.

But i'm concerned about the legal situtation; can we get ourselves in a situation where there's some legal liability for discrimination, if there is no hard-and-fast rule to point to?

I am not legally obligated to do business with anyone, as far as I know, beyond the bounds of standard equal opportunity practices. If you're black, or gay, or a woman, or whatever, be assured that will not impinge on whether we consider your proposal or not.

*puzzled look* but it's still in the FAQ! :)

Oh, like anyone reads that.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Business futures (none / 0) (#175)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:36:12 PM EST

In the future, we won't have to have the debate about the concept and format, as that should become familiar to everyone. so it ought to be a much simpler process

Yeah, it's much easier once people are familiar with the concept. :)

I am not legally obligated to do business with anyone, as far as I know, beyond the bounds of standard equal opportunity practices

True, but often *in practice*, in the US, the burden of proof is on the person refusing to do business. Again, I have no idea how serious a problem this is, just that it has been for some companies. :)

[ Parent ]

I'm still here (none / 0) (#203)
by Mrs Edna Graustein on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:04:22 PM EST

Ever since the slashdot fiasco I have had very little control over the site due to Rusty's coup in the legalese page, but remain employed by Poster.inc due to my continued ownership of all the comments.

My views are that if Rusty wants to profit from the site, as long as he keeps the integrity of the site, then why shouldn't he? I am!

Time to relurk.
--
And if any of you put that in a .sig, I'll hunt you down and kill you twice. ;-)
Rusty
[ Parent ]

You know ... (none / 0) (#206)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:56:15 PM EST

it might be useful to take the contents of that article (from the sig) and make them visible as sort of a mission statement somewhere. :)

[ Parent ]
Precedence (4.00 / 1) (#171)
by Adam Theo on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:07:46 PM EST

I, too, am worried about who else will want to sponsor sections, although I'm mostly excited. I think this (after Rusty's update) is a really good way for K5 to make money without having to charge everyone. But as for who else should be able to sponsor, I would say *no vendors allowed*, meaning if you make products or offer vendor-specific services, you can't sponsor. Only companies and organizations that are more concerned with the industry or topic over any particular product can sponsor a section. Therefore, Microsoft could not, because they make the software, VISA could not because they offer credit card services. However, industry consortiums or portals could. Make any sense?

-- "A computer geek free-market socialist patriotic American Buddhist."
[ Parent ]

The K5 Prisoners Dilemma? (4.00 / 1) (#177)
by jabber on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:56:30 PM EST

Ok, I've had this idea to maul over for a good 6 hours now, and it still bothers me. Everything else that's been said already aside, there is a danger to the community here that is too slippery for me to firmly put my finger on.. Tell me if this makes sense:

  • We as readers of K5, gratis, want the site to have money to operate. (IMHO, if Rusty turns enough profit to get a 5xx Bimmer, a'la Taco, the more power to him!)
  • We also want the site to be of the highest possible quality, hence we battle the trolls.
  • If the DIDW articles are good, it is a win/win/win, for K5 money-wise, for us content-wise, and for DIDW reputation-wise
  • If the articles are poor, we have a dilemma.. Do we want the money or the content?
And this is what bothers me, I think.. That to keep K5 in the black, we'll compromise the quality of it.. Or, by trying to maintain the quality, make it unsustainable.

Rusty, how BAD do we NEED this?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Money (3.33 / 3) (#180)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:07:21 PM EST

We're not in the black right now. If you feel bad about voting down an article, buy an ad to assuage your guilty conscience. We won't be any more in the red if you vote against their stories.

The answer is, I put quality above all else. I hope all of you do too. If the quality is there, the money will work out one way or another.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

My view (2.50 / 2) (#187)
by GlennC on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:38:32 PM EST

I'm sure I've said it before (or at least thought it), but for all the words to the contrary, K5 is Rusty's site.

Therefore, while I'm glad he's asking for input, if Rusty wants or needs to make a special section for paid input into the queue, then K5 will have a special section for paid input into the queue.

If you don't like it, simply press the "Back" button on your browser a few times, and it all goes away.

No, it's *your* site (4.20 / 5) (#189)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:47:16 PM EST

I'm sure I've said it before (or at least thought it), but for all the words to the contrary, K5 is Rusty's site.

No, it really isn't, and if something I've said gave you that idea, I apologize. But that attitude, while prevalent all over the net, is one I absolutely loathe, and I hope no one here starts believing it.

I own the site, yes. I own and operate K5 Inc., it's true. But the only thing that makes it worth anything at all is the fact that it is written, edited, and managed by the community. Not by me. The value of K5 comes from you, and as such, you are more than entitled to say what should be done with it. As soon as we start believing anything else, it becomes a waste of everybody's time.

So, I encourage you to please consider it your site. All of you. That's what it's here for. I will make the final decision on this issue, but if most of you don't want it, it won't happen, no matter what I think.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

You seem to think it's a bad thing (none / 0) (#195)
by GlennC on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:17:20 PM EST

I own the site, yes. I own and operate K5 Inc., it's true.

And you do a great job of it. If you didn't, I wouldn't be here. I also appreciate the fact that I can vote on stories in the queue, and rate comments (although I can count on one hand the number of comments I've rated). Perhaps I'm not expressing myself as well as I could, but the point I want to make is that while we've helped to some small degree, you're the one most closely associated with K5, and you're the one most responsible for its success.

In other words, I trust you.

[ Parent ]

Thank you (1.00 / 1) (#196)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:23:23 PM EST

I appreciate your vote of confidence, and your trust. Perhaps a better statement of what you mean is "if rusty thinks this is a good idea, then it probably is." That's not been entirely true, though, in the past, so I do very much encourage you to consider your own opinions, and think of the site as yours as much as it is anyone's.

Usually, the "It's X's site, and X can do what he wants with it" argument is trotted out to justify an admin taking some action that the majority of the community is against. I hope that will never be the situation we're in.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

*laugh* (none / 0) (#205)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:52:56 PM EST

I think that's part of the reason so many people knew the met4filter thing was an april fool's joke --- for you to rush it to the top of the queue, and announce it in the fashion you did, was somewhat out of character with respect to the way other changes have been handled by you in the past. :)

[ Parent ]
Heh (1.00 / 1) (#213)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:18:34 PM EST

Yeah, well, it was Opposite Day. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
If rusty is the epitome of a Good dictator... (none / 0) (#198)
by Shovas on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:25:23 PM EST

We are the most reponsible for the success of K5. If rusty wants to implement a new feature, whether his idea, a partner's, or ours, then we vote it down and K5 bites the dust, we are responsible for that loss. Having a proper dictator, however, is rare(if it has ever been discovered).

The true test would come if rusty proposed a feature which would save a dying K5 and we voted it down and he let K5 shut down.
---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
True, good dictators are rare, but... (none / 0) (#214)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:46:43 PM EST

... the Internet is large, and maybe it has sifted the wheat from the chaff.

I know that I've moved from site to site a good bit; sometimes explicitly because of the policies of the rulers/owners/whatevers. However, at the moment I think rusty shephards the mob that is k5 more than well enough to keep me here, and dispite the constanct cries of its demise, I see plenty of other people sticking around also.

Consider, we have been voting with our feet (clicks?) for a while now, and k5 is a pool in which we find ourselves after these several itterations. We are, as a group, partly to credit for this site, but above most other members as individuals, the credit belongs to rusty.

I think there is plenty of good evidence to overcome any trepidations due to their rarity; rusty is a good dictator. Long live rusty!



[ Parent ]

Demise (3.00 / 2) (#215)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:54:13 PM EST

We've been demising for over two years now. Don't let it worry you. We're like Rasputin. ;-)

And thank you. Next time my dictatorship is up for re-election, I hope you'll vote for me.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

yeah (2.00 / 2) (#197)
by dave_d on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:24:19 PM EST

Sounds interesting at least. I'm curious to see how it plays out.. I'd vote, 'yes'.

Ads (2.00 / 2) (#199)
by MattOly on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 05:32:55 PM EST

What about a "section" (like Ino's security thing was) that's a combo of text ads/paid stories?

====
A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.

Mis[c | xed] Reactions (5.00 / 2) (#200)
by jck2000 on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:26:03 PM EST

  1. My initial reaction is that this is an unhealthy mixture of advertising and editorial content and something that runs a real danger of detrimentally altering the k5 culture. There is bound to be unusual voting/commenting behavior surrounding DIW articles. It would probably have been better if DIW bought a "Promicro" ad and submitted their stories as a typical user.

  2. On the other hand, we get to vote/comment on the stories. While many "real world" publications run advertising "special sections", not too many of them give an essentially unlimited space for (potential critical) reader response.

  3. I have only checked out DIW's site briefly. Content-wise, it seems to fall within k5's "technology and culture" banner. Long-term, I would think it is covering a somewhat specialized niche -- 10 stories a month seems a little much.

  4. Digital identity is a potentially controversial subject, having big implications for privacy, free speech, commercialization of the Internet, concentration of economic power, etc. (see Lessig's Code). Not to generalize too much, but I would guess that a significant portion of the k5 community will have strong views on issues raised by DI and will often be hostile to the DI aims of the companies for which DIW is hoping to become a hub. Is DIW looking to hear these views?

  5. Right now, k5 comments can be more-or-less arbitrarily harsh -- a freedom that is highly valued by most in the k5 community. Is a commercial entity more likely to complain to Rusty about "unfair" comments and potentially lead Rusty to change k5's policies in this regard?

  6. I think that Rusty has more than earned our trust and undoubtedly has expended vast amounts of his time and money on k5 and thus I have strong inclination to defer to his judgment in this matter.

  7. I must admit that I have not subscribed to k5 (can we still do this? if so, how?) and have not bought an ad as an indirect way of paying for my use of k5. I think I will do so now and I would encourage others who are concerned with k5 selling out do so also. Over the long term, a publication or institution almost always ends up in some sense serving those who pay its bills. The only way to make sure k5 serves its users is if the users pay. Perhaps Rusty could code special names or purposes for various funds to which users could contribute -- for instance, "Fund to Oppose DIW Section" -- so that users could "vote with their wallet". (Rather than a April Fool's Day joke, perhaps this is Rusty's way to trick users into paying for subscriptions [smilely emoticon].)


A solution without the risks (4.00 / 1) (#201)
by QuickFox on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:33:13 PM EST

I think we can get the same result with a different solution that is much less risky.

Mixing articles with advertisements is very risky. It's similar to paid reviews! Note that all serious magazines and newspapers very carefully mark all advertisements as such, so that the reader can see at a glance if a text is journalistic or paid. Even if the community should accept this wholeheartedly we can still lose credibility and trust.

This separation is the important thing. So make it a separate queue for sponsors, clearly marked "Sponsor's queue". The articles themselves should also be clearly marked, maybe with a thin blue vertical stripe in the left margin over the entire page.

This would eliminate the risk that the bought articles compromise our trust in the main queue. We'll always know very clearly when we are reading bought articles and can judge the content accordingly. Also, each one of us can easily decide for himself if he's interested in the bought queue or prefers to ignore it. It's up to the sponsors to achieve such a quality that many of us are enticed to look at that queue.

I'd prefer to have this separate queue on the same page as the ordinary queue, below it, clearly separate and clearly marked. If some people dislike this queue they might prefer to have it on a separate page.

I'm saying "sponsors" in the plural. In my opinion it would be a mistake to make this exclusive for one company, and even worse to mark a section or subsection with a sponsor's name. It would feel like they bought a part of K5! I think it's enough that they put their name prominently on the articles. If they can entice us to read and discuss their articles, this is some really fantastic attention that they get, compared to an ad. It's an extraordinary amount of attention, and I think that is enough.

As I see it sponsor's articles can never make the front page since they must never be mixed with ordinary articles. But the sponsor's section might be divided into subsections, and it might have a special "sponsor's front page" where the best articles go. Also, articles that we vote FP might get a free text ad with many impressions that points to the article, as a bonus and appreciation each time they give us good quality.

There might be a margin box on the front page marked "Sponsor's articles" showing the titles. Only articles that we voted to FP should be listed there.

Sponsors should pay a fixed price per month. I think this price should allow them to post a maximum of one article every two days when their articles are rejected, but up to two articles every day when their articles are accepted. The limitations are for their own good, so the sponsor queue doesn't lose quality. But resubmitting an article in the normal way should of course be allowed.

It should be clearly pointed out to community members that those who want to support this effort should not be more forgiving than with other articles when voting. Instead we should put special effort trying to give helpful editorial feedback. We should give the sponsors useful comments that will help them write better articles in the future. I think this needs to be pointed out very clearly. Of course it's entirely optional, it's for those who want to support this effort in this way. This is in fact a fabulous bonus that the sponsors get: They learn how to write for people like us! This can be very useful for them in all their advertising!

I think this arrangement can give the sponsors very good value for their money, and at the same time eliminate the risks and keep us happy with the arrangement.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.



This is not advertising (3.00 / 2) (#204)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:38:24 PM EST

Note that all serious magazines and newspapers very carefully mark all advertisements as such, so that the reader can see at a glance if a text is journalistic or paid.

And serious newspapers and magazines often run articles from other newspapers and magazines, marked "From the Atlanta Constitution" or whatever. This is not advertising, it is syndication, and is common and perfectly accepted.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Yes, but the dividing line is the payment (none / 0) (#209)
by QuickFox on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:23:08 PM EST

Do they let the other paper pay for the publication of ordinary articles? Here in Sweden that's a very clear dividing line: Payment coming from outside. It doesn't matter if the paying party is a sister paper in the same corporation, the material still gets very clearly separated and marked. As a matter of very strict principle the paper will never accept payment from anyone for publishing something mixed with its own material.

I definitely agree with you that the proposed solution is perfectly legitimate. But is it the most healthy solution for K5 in the long run?

I should have made my comment much shorter, I should have said only "Make two separate submission queues on the same page, one for our own articles and another for sponsor's articles." I included too many thoughts and now I fear you didn't have time to read my beautiful solutions.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.



[ Parent ]
Solutions to advertising... non-problem? (2.50 / 2) (#212)
by rusty on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 11:12:41 PM EST

I must confess that I didn't read your original post thoroughly. Partly because I didn't have time at the moment, but mostly because you started with what I felt was a false premise -- that the proposal was equivalent to advertising. I still don't feel that it is. If I thought it was, we wouldn't even be considering it. Which is why I skimmed th rest of your post, which seemed concerned mainly with splitting up advertorial content from freely contributed content.

Basically, they're paying me to highlight the subject area. The articles are not "bought" articles, as you characterize them. They are contributed, and voted on, just as every other article is. If you feel they're advertising, please vote them down. But make that judgement when you read them, is all I ask, not before.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Sorry! Again my post grows horribly long... (5.00 / 1) (#217)
by QuickFox on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 01:21:55 AM EST

I must also confess that I had to skim a lot, that's why I talked about advertising.

I still feel that a separate queue would have very important advantages. Community is a feeling of "we", of "us". Even if their articles are superb and if their people are members, still their articles are not "us" in that special sense. With a clearly separate queue I'd feel more comfortable. That way our queue is still "us". And then an inch below "us" there's our welcome guests, who also support us in a project that I in turn can support with helpful editorial feedback. With a mixed queue I think the "welcome guest" would be mixed with "Do they really belong here among us?" If others feel the same way, in a separate queue voting might be more accurate and editorial feedback might be better.

I also feel that this arrangement would open great new possibilities for the economy of K5 -- but maybe that's because I like advertising. Let them pay for our enjoyment, is my view. No, I wouldn't want articles from AMD on their latest chips. But I'd like AMD writing about how you process silicon to make chips, or New Scientist testing an article to get geek's editorial feedback before dead-tree publication. -- But of course I'd want that only in a very clearly separate queue. And mentioning the company name in the text would get modded down as OT. I'd be ruthless but helpful. I think many of us would enjoy that!

But I guess lots of people here don't feel the way I do about advertising. In that case perhaps this is impossible.

You can be sure I'll mod the articles from how I feel about their contents. But the "we" feeling has a strong influence on my votes. That's inevitable.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.



[ Parent ]
my reactions (4.00 / 1) (#202)
by highenergystar on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:33:43 PM EST

I am a new member here, and please forgive my arrogance if i take it upon myself to make suggestions.
1. there is no win-win situation in a closed system. there is always a trade off and there is always an equal and opposite reaction for every action. with these in mind if someone could explain the tradeoffs involved, i would appreciate it.

2. i would like to have an option to explicitly turn this off. there are stories/topics/discussion that i do not participate in. heresy- there are many times i dont vote on a story, and i dont vote on most comments. if this topic is one i will ignore for sure then i should have an option to make it evaporate. from my front page from everything. so it would look to me like regular k5. that way i will be spared the annoyance of stories from a topic i will surely ignore(yes ignoring something requires effort and reduces the overall snr of the site), and the people interested in the stories and topics will view and post just as before(and have a higher snr). if i ever want to learn the latest in digital ID i'll go to the parent site.


3. every story would have a notice (not necessarily prominent, but close to the title) paid advertisement by digitalIDworld. the fact that it is open to discussion does not detract from the fact that it is a paid ad. just so newbies aren't confusing free content with paid content. an example of a site that does not have the above notice is cnn. I have clicked on the sidebar promising revolutionary wondrous inventions a couple of times till i recognized them as advertisement.


4. if the need is to generate revenue, and there will not be an optino to turn it off, then there should be another minisection, kindof like the front page on a magazine, where a company can buy space to tout its product, perform market reaction studies and trial-run demo sofware and answer q's from the resulting free beta test. to the highest bidder starting at $1000 a story (only one story at a time)

weel thats it...


Closed systems (none / 0) (#208)
by vectro on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:28:54 PM EST

On the contrary, the economy is not a zero-sum game. For example, if I have 100 hamburgers and can sell them to people for $5 each, I'd definately much rather have the $500 than the 100 hamburgers. Maybe I could eat one or two hamburgers but the rest would just be taking up space. And similarly, other people who were really hungry might rather have a hamburger than $5, and are thus also improved by the transaction.

In this particular case, K5 is "giving up" screen real estate on their page, as well as some percieved reputation of being noncommercial. That doesn't mean it's not a win-win situation.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Ack (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by fluffy grue on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 12:20:52 AM EST

Please don't apply the laws of thermodynamics to social issues. It makes baby Jesus cry.
--
"...but who knows, perhaps [stories about] technology and hardware will come to be [unpopular]." -- rusty the p
[
Parent ]
don't miss the forest for the trees (none / 0) (#223)
by highenergystar on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 09:30:39 AM EST



[ Parent ]
An Experiment... (4.80 / 5) (#207)
by philb on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:12:54 PM EST

Sorry for the delay in responding, I was doing phone interviews all day gathering information for future Digital ID World articles. The response here has certainly verified the reputation of the K5 community, and I'm glad. Your input has already been immensely valuable.

Our purpose here was to try to find a way of providing access to our information product for those who may be interested in it, without causing any problems for the K5 community as a whole. I want your votes and comments to only reflect your real thinking, so I have to tell you that you have already provided enough value that Rusty's first payment will happen no matter where this goes from here. So feel no pressure to do or say ANYTHING other than what you really feel.

As Andre indicated in his messages, both he and I have a long background in online community. My first round was in 1980 when I built "The Cavern" BBS on a TRS-80 Model I computer and grew it to become the most popular online hangout in the Denver area. That software grew to form eSoft and TBBS which later spawned my interest in creating ISPCON to build the Internet provider industry.

Andre is the inventor of Instant Messaging (which he has carried to a higher level with the founding and development of Jabber) and many other online community concepts. He is probably the only person I've ever met who has a more passionate outlook on online community than I feel I have.

With that background, let me assure you that neither of us wants to do ANYTHING to disturb the "chemistry" of the K5 community. This has all come about serendipitously, and reached the point where Rusty and I had a phone conversation that led to us deciding to try out the concept on all of you.

I am certain that Digital Identity is a core infrastructure concept that is required to allow the computer industry to grow to its next level. It is a VERY difficult concept to get right, and its development needs input from all perspectives. Our goal was to try to introduce the many good thinkers and writers in the K5 community to the concept in a more structured way than simply providing articles (i.e. jump start your ability to grok the space) in the hopes that some of you might end up contributing valuable concepts to the discussion.

If that CAN happen good, if not - well we tried. It may well be that some method other than the one that Rusty and I came up with will work in which case let us know. If not, thanks for letting us visit your world, if only for a moment.

But feel no pressure to vote or say anything other than what is truly on your mind. Thanks.

Phil Becker
Editor, Digital ID World

We Could Lose K5 (4.50 / 6) (#210)
by sbutler on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:05:56 PM EST

It's one of those thoughts that causes my heart to drop in my chest. I am not that active of a poster, but I feel like part of the community. I am sad when I don't get to vote on a story; other's diary entries provide endless entertainment; and I like to vent in my own diary if my day isn't going so well. I am positive I am not unique; if that was the case then K5 wouldn't be the community that it is.

But I don't subscribe. I should, but I don't, and it looks like a lot of others don't either. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be an issue. And admit it, rusty would need a lot more text ads than what he gets to pay for the site. Realisticly, the only people who are at fault for this new idea are myself and other non-subscribers. That is why I voted 'Yes'. It's nice of rusty to even offer us an option. After all, if K5 does disappear it is only an online community to me, but for him it is his grand opus.

Besides all that, I don't see what is even slightly wrong with it at the moment. We don't complain about Voxel or Promicro getting ad space. And here is someone who is saying "I will pay you to put my name on a section, and I will even sumbit stories to the section." So at the worst we get a new orange box and some possibly interesting content.

In conslusion, I hate closing statements. Substitute your own :)



interesting (4.00 / 2) (#218)
by tarsand on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 02:55:02 AM EST

On one hand, it's income for K5, on the other, it could be rather bad. Bad because, as many others have already said, essentially it'd be like adding infomercials to the site - advertisements masquerading as articles. Maybe if it's made very, very clear that these have been paid for it would be okay. Very clear, like a big header at the top of the 'story' that says: "This is a paid advertisement."


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
Tell you what (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by rusty on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 03:04:23 AM EST

I think the overall consensus is we're going to give it a try. If you think the articles are ads, vote against them. I don't want to run advertisements in the form of stories, and I don't think that's what this is going to be in any way. But there's no way, apparently, to convince the several of you that are hardwired to see it that way, so instead I'll just encourage you very strongly to vote against anything you think is basically advertising masquerading as content, whatever it's source may be. See what the articles are, and then decide if you think they're advertising. And do feel free to bitch at me personally in any medium you're comfortable with if you think they are, once you've seen them. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
okay, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#220)
by tarsand on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 03:17:41 AM EST

I well intend to vote down anything that comes across as advertising, as I do now. However, if they are going to be articles, and not advertising, why are they paying per "article", why not just submit them to the queue and have them sectioned as DigitalID or whatnot? I've read your explaination a number of times, maybe I'm just tired, but I can't seem to figure out why. I understand they're paying to get a mini-section, which is fine, there's already advertising on the front page. (this was my original question/objection)

Now, I've re-read it again and found my answer to the question -- oops. The objection is gone then, have fun with the money ;)


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Heh (5.00 / 1) (#221)
by rusty on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 03:32:19 AM EST

Yeah, the per-article thing isn't going to happen. It's just for highlighting the topic now. I hope that clears it up. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Google (5.00 / 1) (#224)
by andredurand on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 09:33:24 AM EST

From what I gathered at PC Forum this year, Google has also struggled (and found a working balance) between the church and state of its search results and it's paid advertisements. They clearly delineate what are paid for placements that show up on search results pages with special colors and boxes around them. We've all seen them crop up in into the Google search results pages over the course of the last several months and I for one don't really notice them.

Google makes money, the world gets a search engine we don't have to subscribe to.

[ Parent ]
Hey Rusty! (5.00 / 1) (#226)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 03:53:43 PM EST

This kind of thing is why you will make the best Overlord ever.

(That's right, "will" - not "would")

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
Will? (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by rusty on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 04:09:21 PM EST

You mean I'm not already? ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#235)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Fri Apr 05, 2002 at 04:16:34 PM EST

As far as Kuro5hin and the like goes, yes you are. But you have yet to reign over the very world itself. I will see to it personally that such a glorious day does come, however.

Before I can proceed, though, I need a monkey suit, a time machine, a lesbian three-way and some electrically insulated gloves. A rubber chicken would also help.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
Isn't an advertisement (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by Adam Theo on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 11:22:53 AM EST

I really don't think the articles are going to be advertisements. They are just articles on the Digital Identity industry that used to be posted on the DIDW website, but are now going to be posted here. And the pay-per-article was scrapped. It's now going to be a set fee for the section, no matter how many articles.

-- "A computer geek free-market socialist patriotic American Buddhist."
[ Parent ]

My Vote (3.66 / 3) (#222)
by codemonkey_uk on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 04:17:09 AM EST

I voted "Yes" based on the update. Until these clarifications & corrections where made, I was unsure, leaning towards against.

A word of caution, Rusty, there should be an agreed time limit on the life time of the section, which could be extended with futher payments.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

Link these in places! (4.00 / 2) (#228)
by evanbd on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 05:12:53 PM EST

OK, so when somebody new joins after this has gone through, they should be able to find this discussion to see why it happened. I think generally we want to have stuff like this available to people, to see why the site is the way it is. Probably from the FAQ, maybe also as a link to the side of each story in the section, ie, an additional information link type thing. perhaps the FAQ should have a "how we got here" section that links to articles like this.

Site news (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by rusty on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 05:21:05 PM EST

I think the decision is we will go ahead with this. When we're set to start, I'll post a site news article introducing the section, and I'll be sure to link back to this from there. That intro article will also be clearly linked from the special section box ("What is this section?" or something like that).

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Sounds good (none / 0) (#230)
by evanbd on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 08:39:30 PM EST

I'm not sure how clearly I explained or whether you missed it or not, but I also want this done for other articles about history of K5 type things. I think it makes it easier on newbies to see how things got the way they are, and also to see why paid content or other things aren't necessarily bad. This could then include an FAQ section, with question why do we do things like x? and then a brief discussion and link. Thanks

[ Parent ]
A different angle (4.00 / 1) (#231)
by fhotg on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 10:25:46 PM EST

I'd like to look at the "what do they get - what do we get ?" question from a different perspective than the analysis in the article, which is lacking some important points, I think.

We get quality stories ? No, nothing we couldn't have gotten otherwise. But now, somebody would have to be interested in a DigitalID - story and get a MLP posted. What do they get ? A K5 section of their interest.

Most critique here focusses on the advertisment - issue, I think that's no problem as they seem too smart to even try an we are smart enough to detect disguised ads.

They buy a change in the K5 topical organization, which will make the community discuss stories they are interested in. The new section makes "K5 - legal, on-topic", professionally written stories which do not originate from the community and will doubtlessly shift the energy/inut/brains of the community to comment on said stories, which right now are completely possible to submit, but would have to compete with everything else.

Now you say - wait, we can still vote it down. But we won't, because it's likely to be interesting and well written stuff.
So what do you complain then ?
I don't.

I don't have a problem with the deal an I'm all for it. I love to see rusty exploring new low-impact ways to finance my favorite online hangout.

But be aware, that what you're offering is nothing less than a free (well hopefully not that free) tap into highly valuable and precisely targeted community surveys and aggregated expertise. That's probably one of the main fuels for their buisness model. They make us discuss what they want. I'm not saying that's bad for K5, what I'm saying is don't sell too cheap, rusty

I hear that (5.00 / 1) (#232)
by rusty on Thu Apr 04, 2002 at 10:31:13 PM EST

But be aware, that what you're offering is nothing less than a free (well hopefully not that free) tap into highly valuable and precisely targeted community surveys and aggregated expertise.

That's exactly what it is, you're right. And I'm fully aware of that. Don't fear, I've never been one to sell too cheap. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

RFC: Sponsored Feature Section on Digital Identity | 235 comments (229 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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