Linked by David Adams on Fri 18th Apr 2008 17:38 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Regular OSNews readers will notice we've had a drop-off in original articles over the past year or so. That's something we'd like to change. We'd like to encourage OSNews readers to submit articles by staging a contest wherein the best articles will be judged by OSNews staff and readers, and the winners will receive valuable prizes. All submitted articles that meet our submission guidelines will be published at OSNews. In addition to wanting articles to publish, this is also a talent search of sorts. We're hoping to identify talented OSNews readers to fill the ranks as editors and regular contributors. If you think you have the skills and desire to be a part of OSNews, please enter the contest, or just contact us. Read more for details on the contest.
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Define "opinion"
by Almafeta on Fri 18th Apr 2008 19:07 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

There are two stipulations that seem to contradict each other:

The only type of article that we'd discourage participants from submitting is an opinion piece.

and

So review the latest version of your favorite OS or computing device. Or review the latest computing-related book you read. Been to an interesting trade show in the past couple of weeks? Let's hear about it! . . . Do you have some ideas on where computing is headed or where it is now? Flesh that out to feature-length!

Aren't reviews and conjectures about the future of computing also opinion pieces?

Edited 2008-04-18 19:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Define "opinion"
by Kroc on Fri 18th Apr 2008 19:29 UTC in reply to "Define "opinion""
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Opinion can either come from your mouth, or your rear.
In that sense, one can opinion about the future of computing in a constructive sense (attitude is the application of personality), or you can bitch, whine and complain. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Define "opinion"
by David on Fri 18th Apr 2008 20:23 UTC in reply to "Define "opinion""
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Kroc summed it up pretty well. If you back up your thoughts and ideas with research, then it's reporting. If you're just pulling it out of your ass, then it's an opinion piece. Some people can pull really good ideas out of their asses, though. That's why I said I'd "discourage" opinion pieces, not that they wouldn't be considered.

Nevertheless, you bring up a valid question, and thanks for giving me the chance to clarify.

Edited 2008-04-18 20:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Define "opinion"
by AlexandreAM on Sat 19th Apr 2008 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Define "opinion""
AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

Some people can pull really good ideas out of their asses, though.


Yeah, but those usually stink...

Sorry, I couldn't resist... I'll fall back to serious-mode from now on.

Reply Score: 4

what are the posibil intentions ?
by cipri on Sat 19th Apr 2008 11:04 UTC
cipri
Member since:
2007-02-15

may I guess, what the intention of the osnews guys is:
people should write more, and better articles, so that me will have more users and than the value of the osnews.com page will rise up.
The motto is: you do the work, and we make the money.

Perhaps this is an idication that the owner/owners of this page want to sell this page, but they want to rise its value before they go with a big bag full of money.

Reply Score: 1

Crono Member since:
2006-11-08

The motto is: you do the work, and we make the money.

Please read the article! If you contribute a story, you will get high quality merchandise like key rings, ballpens, ... ;-)

Reply Score: 5

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

If you contribute a story, you will get high quality merchandise like key rings, ballpens, ... ;-)


He'll probably need to learn how to spell "possible" first, though.

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Yup, you keep on believing that. Have fun.

Reply Score: 1

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

The motto is: you do the work, and we make the money.


Isn't that the motto of most Open Source companies out there? ;) (except all of those who fail at the 'make the money' part)

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The motto is: you do the work, and we make the money.


Yeah well someone has to pay for my 58 room mansion, 12 cars, and our private company yet. Oh, and we own a island off the coast of Brazil.

Reply Score: 3

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

I feel a door comic strip approaching...

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

This topic comes up with reasonable frequency. Have you thought about publishing some sort of financial statements? Nothing of GAAP quality required. Just some basic "we got this much from advertising, this much from subscriptions, and this much of it went for web hosting and bandwidth, this much went to something else, and we have a balance of $x.xx.

Reply Score: 3

miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

Hear, hear! Then we'd redistribute profits among users! ;)

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Can't expect us to cater to stupidity.

I was thinking more along the lines of factoring this particular information out to a separate page that we can just link to when the topic comes up again. And you know that it will... repeatedly.

That said, I'm not sure I'd call it stupidity, out of hand.

Are you saying that the money from advertising and subscriptions exactly balances the expenses? If so, that's quite remarkable. I'd have thought that they wouldn't happen to be exactly equal. If you guys are supplementing OSNews out of your own pockets, step forward and receive due credit. If OSNews has a positive cashflow and staff are getting compensated for their work, be honest about it. Otherwise, it just makes it appear that you have something to hide. A simple periodic statement would avoid that whole issue.

Edited 2008-04-19 17:08 UTC

Reply Score: 5

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't see why the state of the OSNews books should be public knowledge? They are after all a privately held organization and their financial status should be their own business.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I did not say that they *should* be. I said that it might save some repetitive efforts by staff in the long run to simply publish the facts from time to time. Thom has repeatedly had to come out and say that OSNews is an entirely volunteer effort and that no one gets paid. So it certainly does not sound like it would involve publishing sensitive information.

Reply Score: 3

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>If OSNews has a positive cashflow and staff are getting
>compensated for their work, be honest about it.

We have been honest about it since 2001: NO editor on OSNews was ever on a payroll. But there is a pricey server/hosting and an administrator who gets compensated to keep everything up and running.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

...when the topic comes up again. And you know that it will... repeatedly.


True - there are plenty of people here who treat their own uninformed assumptions as sacrosanct, but that doesn't give anyone else an obligation to disabuse people of those assumptions.

Reply Score: 2

averycfay Member since:
2005-08-29

Some people would argue that asking for donations to a for-profit entity is pretty stupid.

If you're "in the red", post about it and I'm sure no one would have a problem donating original articles.

If you're "in the black", you should really be paying for original content like everyone else in the publishing world does.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Some people would argue that asking for donations to a for-profit entity is pretty stupid.


So, you're calling Adam, Eugenia, and myself stupid. We all donate our free time to OSNews. I can only speak for myself, but I donate a few hours a day to OSNews, besides my university study, job, and social life. I don't ask anything in return for that because I enjoy doing it, and because the subject matter interests me. OSNews allows me to learn more about computing and journalism - the two terms that will play a central role in my future.

The fact you read that what you call stupid is... Well, weird.

If you're "in the red", post about it and I'm sure no one would have a problem donating original articles.


It doesn't seem to bother the countless people who already submitted their originals this weekend - about 5 or 6.

Reply Score: 1

David Member since:
1997-10-01

Right here is as good a place as any to announce that we intend for this contest to be a recruitment tool to find writers that we hope we can bring on to do regular writing for OSNews. And those people who we do bring on to do writing on an ongoing basis will be compensated at a rate in line with what web sites like OSNews pay.

That being said...

People contribute content to web sites all day long without expecting compensation. How much do you get for recommending a site to digg? Digg wouldn't exist if people didn't do their work for them. How much do you expect to be paid for writing the comment you just wrote? The comments on OSNews are a big part of our content. Making a call for submissions is not the same as asking for donations. OSNews has never asked people to donate money. People who contribute their time and energy have done so in exchange for fame.

99% of the bloggers out there, if they make any money at all, don't make enough to fairly compensate them for their time. Why do they do it? It's gratifying to be able to have a say, and it feeds our spirits to know that other people are reading what we say. It's a natural human desire. Small-time bloggers are often frustrated, though, because they know that their missives aren't being widely read. They wish more people were reading, because then their blog would have more meaning.

People contribute to OSNews because it allows them to have a prominent stage on which to showcase their talents. It's like setting up a blog and having a hundred thousand people read it the next day. And it's not just random people, but fellow OS enthusiasts. Do you want to be able to have your say? Submit something to OSNews.

There are very few online news sites that make enough money from advertising that they can afford full-time writing staff. Thankfully, OSNews does finally make enough money that it can afford to pay contributors of feature-length original articles. But still, I doubt anyone is going to be in it for the money. If you're looking to strike it rich, I don't recommend a career in writing for niche-oriented tech news websites. If you're looking to be a big fish in a small pond, and get your voice heard, however, come on down!

Reply Score: 1

cipri Member since:
2007-02-15

"Have you thought about publishing some sort of financial statements?


Can't expect us to cater to stupidity.
"

Yes, that's true.
And perhaps you are right, if you give "the others" the priority to be stupid.

Just out of curiosity... what do you think is the current value of this site (osnews.com). (let's assume that you would like to sell it)

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Just out of curiosity... what do you think is the current value of this site (osnews.com). (let's assume that you would like to sell it)

Not sure about today's value. But back in 1999, I'd say maybe a billion dollars or so, assuming that the webservers run on Linux.

Reply Score: 2

Whatever the motives...
by cmost on Sun 20th Apr 2008 00:21 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I don't really care what the motives of OSNEws are. If people submitting their own original content cuts down on the amount of *buntu related non-news and predictable flame bait articles that get posted here far too frequently then I'll be elated and may even participate. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Whatever the motives...
by sbergman27 on Sun 20th Apr 2008 00:44 UTC in reply to "Whatever the motives..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If people submitting their own original content cuts down on the amount of *buntu related non-news and...

30hrs 44 minutes

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Whatever the motives...
by cmost on Sun 20th Apr 2008 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Whatever the motives..."
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

30hrs 44 minutes


...since Sbergman27 had an original thought...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 21st Apr 2008 08:45 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I think this competition is flawed, in that what you are asking for is too broad; not in allowed topics, but content-structure.

It's like asking everybody to go away and choose their favourite thing ever, and at the end see which one is best. There's no "best", it's all a general sort of mish-mash.

You need to have one thing consistent between the entries so that some metric of quality can be judged. I would say that there should be a three point outline, or a limit on the number of words (something between one to three thousand) or some unifying quality between entries.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by David on Tue 22nd Apr 2008 02:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I can see your point. However, to extend your analogy, I'd say that this is like a "pick your favorite thing ever" contest wherein we will judge it on a common standard, for example, usefulness or beauty.

We'll be judging these articles on a pretty simple (though certainly subjective) set of criteria: interestingness, quality of research, appropriateness or topicality with the OSNews mission, and overall technical quality of the writing. A longer article may gain points for research, but if it's too rambling, it will lose points for interestingness or writing quality.

Last time we did a contest we restricted the topic a bit more. I wanted to give people a freer hand this time. We'll see how it turns out.

Reply Score: 1

About time
by rover on Tue 22nd Apr 2008 01:19 UTC
rover
Member since:
2005-08-07

Who owns the copyright of articles submitted?

Are multiple entries allowed?

Edited 2008-04-22 01:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: About time
by David on Tue 22nd Apr 2008 02:53 UTC in reply to "About time"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

All articles, newsbits, and comments published at OSNews are automatically copyrighted by OSNews, which happens automatically whenever something is published, by US law. However, our agreement with submitters is that they may republish their articles elsewhere (their own blogs, for example) after 30 days. You may also release your articles under creative commons after 30 days if you wish.

Multiple entries are allowed. Thanks for asking. I'll update the original announcement to say so.

Reply Score: 1