Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Salon Asks for Help

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the alms-for-the-poor dept.

Media 797

Henry V .009 writes "Salon.com is appealing to the community for help. They haven't been able to pay the rent since December. To date, they've lost about $80 million dollars. A cause of rejoicing for some. But their many readers are understandably sorry to see them in such desperate straits. Personally I hope they stick around, I think they are one of the best sources of independant journalism on the web--even if I happen to agree with less than 10% of what they have to say. I also think that it would be a shame for them to close now that they've finally created an advertising scheme that has a snowball's chance in hell of working on the web. I can actually recall some of the adverts I've seen on Salon--what other web site can you say that about? Salon says that if they get another 50,000 subscriptions (they currently have 50,000) they'll break even for the year." In the old role-playing game "Paranoia", there was a nice quote about what would happen when the player characters (who had never been outside of their enclosed city complex) made an attempt to swim in water over their heads: "delaying drowning".

cancel ×

797 comments

fuck you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366612)

froth piss [goatse.cx]

best wishes (2, Interesting)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366614)

I hope they can make it. Seriously, if you enjoy their articles, consider to get a subscription. I think it's worth it.

Re:best wishes (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366685)

They're suggesting that current subscribers buy gift subscriptions for others or persuade others to join.

Wouldn't it be delicious irony to purchase subscriptions for Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Jerry Falwell, and Bill O'Reilly?

Re:best wishes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366757)

There is a reason why Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly succeed and crap left wing propaganda dies. The truth rules!

Re:best wishes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366702)

capitalism rules. socialism fails. this is a general rule and it applies to this left wing propaganda publication. good to see them die. next we need to see National Propaganda Radio (NPR) die.

Drop Dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366616)

They've lost $80million fucking dollars? The business DOESNT FUCKING WORK! There's your help you dozy fucks.

Christ, the arrogance of these dot coms amazes me.

Tata, goodnight, the shows over.

h0at (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366617)

asdsdafasfd Queens and kingZ!

Well... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366618)

Looks like I'm the first...

Who is salon anyway? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366624)

..and why should I care? I have the BBC !

How does a website spend $80mln? (4, Insightful)

yakly (123022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366625)

I think worthless executives and overpaid contractors have milked this one dry, better to let Salon die than to keep dumping money into this greed-surrounded cesspool.

Re:How does a website spend $80mln? (3, Insightful)

Joel Rowbottom (89350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366697)

Indeed. I'm afraid I have little sympathy for a company which has burned that much cold, hard cash -- maybe they shouldn't be asking the community for yet more cash to fuel the office heaters, but instead examining their revenue models.

I mean, come on, it doesn't take $80M to run a server farm and pay a few journos...

They hired the best writers around. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366713)

They had Garrison Keillor and Camille Paglia. In its heyday, Salon was the best internet magazine around. I'll be sad to see it go; but writers like that command top pay. What they got now sucks and it's time to shut the thing down.

Re:How does a website spend $80mln? (4, Funny)

Slackrat (128095) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366786)

[Salon] took out a 10-year lease on pricey but prestigious offices in downtown San Francisco. It seemed not to matter then that to be at the epicentre of the Internet revolution meant paying some of the most expensive rents in North America.

With seven years left on the lease, Salon is struggling to get out of the deal. It already missed a $200,000 payment to its landlord in December. (The company is also trying to get out of a less pricey lease on office space it maintains in New York.)

Yeah... that'll get you. Plus, they still have to pay people to create all that content in the first place... and those people need bean-bag chairs and little scooters. It's a vicious cycle.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366627)

maybe not.

You have to ask? (5, Funny)

cranos (592602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366628)

I can actually recall some of the adverts I've seen on Salon--what other web site can you say that about?

How about adds for MS Visual Studio on Slashdot? Especially on articles that say that MS bites the big one.

Re:You have to ask? (0, Offtopic)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366722)

I actually like MS VC. The IDE's niceish. I could deal with a Vi-like IDE though (which is to say a text editor with syntax higlighting). The compiler is garbage, given. The linker sucks too. But man, MSDN is the shit. If you don't know something, highlight it and press F1, and presto: everything you ever wanted to know about Foo() and then some. Man pages are good and all, but when I program for windows I'm not unhappy that they're missing. MSDN is one of the only really good things MS has done. If MS were to go belly up, it'd be the one thing It'd be the one thing I'd miss.

Good riddence (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366629)

Filthy granola gnashing hippy liberals...

go back to humping trees

Here's two ideas. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366630)

1. Outsource IT department to India. This should reduce the payroll by 90%, conservatively.

2. Use all OSS software. Just mention something about "sticking it to Gates", and Salon will have coders scrambling to write special code for free.

Re:Here's two ideas. (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366654)

If they keep saying how bad MS is then they should not be using their software. I'm not a big Salon reader myself so I really don't care what happens to them, thousands of other companies are failing too I'm afraid.

Re:Here's two ideas. (4, Informative)

rodgerd (402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366717)

Uh, the core of Salon *is* open source software. It's built on the HTML::Mason toolkit, and they've released various odds and sods back to the community.

We live in a capitalist society (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366631)

If they can't turn a profit then we're not going to be communists for them and give them money. They have to learn it and Stallman has to learn it.

Then BYE. (5, Insightful)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366634)

If I couldnt pay rent, I dont stay there. If I cant pay for food, I starve. If I dont pay... I DONT GET. If they want to create a pay site, fine. Elsewise they DIE.

ANyways, the only orginazation which can "die and keep on living" is the government. There's ono limits how much they can take away.

Re:Then BYE. (1, Insightful)

plone (140417) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366695)

Yeah, just like Mandrake.

Re:Then BYE. (2)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366709)

If I couldnt pay rent, I dont stay there. If I cant pay for food, I starve. If I dont pay... I DONT GET. If they want to create a pay site, fine. Elsewise they DIE.

They are simply asking for folks to sign up, saying they will not survive if the present state of things continues. This is no different than public radio or television holding their fund raisers. If people did not support public radio/television they too would go away. Of course, Salon is not public radio or television but they could be public internet news....

Re:Then BYE. (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366776)

Of course, Salon is not public radio or television but they could be public internet news....

Salon is not really a news site... it's more of an analysis and opinion site.

There's already a website that's sort of going on the public radio/TV model: Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] . Back in June, rusty posted We're Broke: The Economics of a Web Community [kuro5hin.org] and began an fundraising drive which, by all accounts, has been successful.

Re:Then BYE. (2, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366826)

Of course, Salon is not public radio or television but they could be public internet news....

There is a certain amount of redundancy there, since the majority of news sites are free, just with annoying ads, and most are either politically neutral or liberal leaning. Being conservative myself, I never found any reason to read anything at Salon. This doesn't mean that there isn't anything of value, its just there are no shortages of liberal web sites for me to get that perspective.

On the other hand, I pay $45 a year for Rush Limbaugh 24/7 membership, so I can listen to show anytime 24/7, get his newsletter, and have full access to the premium content on his site. I just re-upped for two years.

Yoko controls the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366726)

'ono limits'. Dang. No wonder she could knock off John Lennon and get away with it.

Re:Then BYE. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366749)


ANyways, the only orginazation which can "die and keep on living" is the government.

You forgot *BSD.

Salon killed themselves. (3, Insightful)

sakusha (441986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366639)

Salon committed suicide by alienating its core readership of liberals, when they brought on hyperconservatives like Sullivan and Horowitz. Note to editors: if you don't want to lose your subscribers, don't print essays that call them treasonous and anti-american.
You could see the writing on the wall when Salon hooked up with notorious blowhard Dave Winer. I bet they threw $200k down the Userland rathole, that would have been enough to pay the rent.

Re:Salon killed themselves. (5, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366693)

Oddly enough, I dropped my subscription a year ago because the liberal BS was getting a might bit thick for my tastes. A well spoken liberal thesis is interesting to read, but a lot of the crap they were slinging was along the lines of "conservatives are so stupid", something I'm not willing to pay for.

Re:Salon killed themselves. (4, Insightful)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366720)

Oddly enough, I dropped my subscription a year ago because the liberal BS was getting a might bit thick for my tastes. A well spoken liberal thesis is interesting to read, but a lot of the crap they were slinging was along the lines of "conservatives are so stupid", something I'm not willing to pay for.

Exactly.

Salon's staff is amateurish to the point that they make K5 look professional.

The New Yorker, which essentially publishes the same sort of stuff that Salon does, manages to, by actually hiring people who know how to write, make the lefty stuff[/garbage] seem reasonable and well thought-out.

Re:Salon killed themselves. (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366836)

Yep, you shouldn't call conservatives stupid. It's incredibly rude to bring attention to their stupidity.

I didn't know liberals were so easy to alienate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366729)

So they print articles by Sullivan and Horowitz - why the hell should that alienate anyone? Or is "diversity" only apply to skin color, and not thought processes and political positions?

The Washington Post prints a regular column by George Will and I don't hear too many folks screaming about "alienation"!

Actually (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366741)

I was going to say they are failing because they are too liberal. Just like talk radio, nobody want's to hear it. People are sick and tired of hearing how the government isn't taxing and regulating us enough to support causes that don't work. Even the good liberal articles were more libertarian than liberal. The liberal agenda offers nothing that the republican and libertarian agendas couldn't offer 10 times better. People are just sick of it.

With respect, I disagree. (3, Insightful)

Doctor Funk (648226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366756)

Most liberals I know (including myself) find it very valuable to learn what the other side is thinking. In fact, the further to the left you go, the more respect you are likely to find for intelligent debate. As Jack Ryan said in "Red October, "It is wise to know the ways of one's enemy." Accusing us of traitorous and anti-american behavior, in fact, probably causes MORE liberals to read. Having said that, throwing a $200k salary at anybody is a bad idea when you can't pay the rent.

Re:Salon killed themselves. (1)

Gumber (17306) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366797)

So, you are saying that salon's former readership is so thin skinned that they can't handle a dissenting view?

I hope you are wrong, but I fear you are right (left?).

Alienating liberals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366821)

I wish liberals were that easy to alienate.

If they were dolts like Alec Baldwin and his Hollywood buddies would have left two years ago - like the said they would.

Subscription (5, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366640)

I got a subscription to Salon this year (actually, after another /. story highlighted the fact that they were in trouble).

I think it was worth it. Salon sometimes is a bit too liberal for my taste, but even if you don't agree with some of their politics, the enormous amount of content you get is certainly good. If you subscribe you get a free dead-tree subscription to Utne Reader (uck) and Mother Jones (yeah). Some interesting audio downloads, among other things. And no ads.

All in all, I enjoy reading Salon. If you do, consider plunking a few bucks for them.

Re:Subscription (2, Insightful)

davinc (575029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366668)

Agreed, I paid for a year as well... they are liberal, but there is nothing wrong with that if you are aware of the slant. Contrary to what the Rush Limbaughs of the world would have us believe, conservatism (preservation of the good things) and liberalism (reform of the bad things) can co-exist.

That being said, they do have articles which are well researched and I have enjoyed my subscription.

Re:Subscription (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366813)

I got a 2-year subscription a while back, and have gotten my money's worth many times over. You can get a lot of the same news stories elsewhere, but it's nice to read an AP version of a story that doesn't have quite the same conservative slant that most papers print.

It isn't much money, and it is a great resource to keep around.

(At the same time, I hope they can get a handle on their expenses and get a good long-term plan going!)

why (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366641)

But I just got a haircut!

First *Salon SUCKS* post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366644)

nough said.

Sounds like a classic death spiral (5, Insightful)

John Miles (108215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366645)

Shyeah. Like I'm going to subscribe to a magazine that I suspect is going to expire before my subscription does.

It's hard to feel too sympathetic for Salon. With all of their moaning and groaning about overhead, you'd think they had to cut down dead trees, slice them up and cover them with ink, and mail them, or something. ("Oh, wait. You mean like every other magazine in the history of journalism?")

Dr. Darwin called -- he wants to cancel his subscription.

Re:Sounds like a classic death spiral (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366831)

The cost of printing a magazine isn't that big of an issue. It is quickly offset by the advertising market's trust in print ads, unlike web advertisements.

I am personally much happier not getting a print magazine. They just pile up after time and don't add value.

Re:Sounds like a classic death spiral (2, Insightful)

sammy.lost-angel.com (316593) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366834)

Salon.com is very cheap to subscribe to. $20 for a year, that's really good. The quality and quanity of output from the magazine is far greater than any monthly magazine you'd be paying $12-30 a year for.

The big problem with cutting trying to save money, is that they got a 10 year lease on a place in SF. They are locked into it, so they can't very easily go "well, we need to cut costs a bit, so we are moving into my basement." It's very unfortunate.

Fuck Salon. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366653)

Poor Salon, the poor, "New Media" company that was supposed to eat 'old media' and own the world in 5 years. It's so sad to see a public corporation fail, oh, I'm sorry, "the dream die. " Frankly, I don't think people should continue to support them thru what is their death throes. They've pissed away EIGHTY MILLION dollars and they're still spending money on creature comforts (200k a _month_ for rent? Are their offices solid gold with cocaine on tap?), while cutting the actual _production_ staff (writers, et al) left and right? Fuck That. Free market economy means that it's fine for people to pull stupid shit like this, but it also means that they are free to fail horribly.

They'll get the 50,000 acounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366663)

if they make half the articles about pr0n... wait, they already are.

Sad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366670)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio this morning. Salon.com was found dead in its San Francisco home this morning. There were no more details. Even if you didn't enjoy its overtly liberal viewpoints, there's no denying its contibution to blogging culture. Truly an American icon.

The "community" can't help Salon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366679)

In a market-support media environment such as the internet, the kind of ideologically polarized, anti-business reporting that Salon practices isn't going to make them many friends. What they need to do is adopt a more reasonable, moderate, pro-business attitude. This will make their content more appealing to those who have the money to subscribe to services, or even buy advertising -- remember, the online advertising market is starting to pick up again, so flat advertising rates are no excuse for failure these days.

If salon doesn't take these kind of steps I don't see how they could possibly survive, and nobody should waste a dime bailing them out because they couldn't survive in the market.

How? (4, Insightful)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366686)

How does an online magazine blow $80 million?

I have a feeling they were caught up in the dot-com frenzy and were spending money like it came out of the copier. I am all in support of online journalism but I don't think asking the "community" to pick up the check for their party is a fair deal.

81 million? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366687)

they blew 81 million... for an online magazine... puhleeeeze. please god let's hope they shut down before they waste anymore money.

Time to flush the toilet on this turd (-1)

Patrick Bateman (175284) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366689)

R.I.P. Salon. Truly a San Francisco icon.

So which is dying?? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366691)

BSD is dying, I mean, Mandrake is dying, I mean Salon is dying, I mean MicroBSD is dying, I mean...

Let me get this straight... (1)

waytoomuchcoffee (263275) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366694)

If I go for the cheapest subscription ($18.50 for the year, with ads), and they just happen to DOUBLE their current subscribers to avoid bankruptcy, I don't lose my money?

I would feel much better if they had some way to pledge to buy, but only if they reached the number needed to stay solvent for x months.

Salon, to be honest, sucks (3, Interesting)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366696)

Salon's fundamental problem is that it doesn't have enough quality content to justify the overhead.

The New Yorker, along with a couple of other dead-tree publications (Details, a sibling of TNY under Newhouse's Advance Publications banner) has vastly more content (with commensurately greater overhead) and can justify higher prices.

Kuro5hin has very nearly the same level of quality, is far more interactive, and orders of magnitude less overhead (the fact that Rusty only needs $70,000 a year to keep it going bears this out... It would take K5 over 1000 years (even assuming a decent rate of inflation) to burn through $81 million).

Compared to its competition, Salon fails to deliver anything near competitive value.

Re:Salon, to be honest, sucks (4, Funny)

NixterAg (198468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366835)

Kuro5hin has very nearly the same level of quality

Well no wonder they are going out of business.

It's too bad... (5, Insightful)

rinks (641298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366699)

Considering more and more people in this country seem to be getting their "fair and balanced" news from Fox, this nation should be completely ignorant of everything that isn't waving an American flag within five years.. I enjoy Salon, I just subscribed to it. It's going to be sad when the only way to get information about your own country is to ready another country's newspapers.

Most paper'n'ink magazines die too. (0, Redundant)

David Kennedy (128669) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366701)

I'm not too concerned about this as:
  1. I don't find Salon that interesting.
  2. Magazines, of the old media variety, go out of business every single day. Why should Salon be any different to them?


There are very few paper magazines that I subscribe to.
Same for most people. It's a tough market.

Damn Good (3, Funny)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366703)

Wow. Between the starving gold rock stars making a measlly 40K a year -- and a web site that pisses through 80 Million and can't find a way to keep the lights on, my heart just goes out to all these "poor" folks.

Maybe if I have any "compassion" left I will send a nickel to the evening news and a dime to the local newspaper -- they must be losing money to.

left-coast, left-wing (2, Insightful)

lophophore (4087) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366704)

Salon offers nothing to the centrist or conservative person who does not live in San Francisco. I used to read it in 1999, when it was new, and the content was interesting (remember the Surreal Gourmet?) but it had gone steadily down hill since then. The linked article talks about their expensive office space in downtown SF. Please. If they were running on a shoestring, why get the expensive office space? Doubtless this will get down-moderated as flamebait.

Salon.com is dying! (0)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366707)

It's official; Netcraft confirms: Salon.com is dying. (Insert obvious here)

Salon is Dying (-1, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366708)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test. You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying. Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers. OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts. Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house. All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead. Fact: *BSD is dying

Re:Salon is Dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366721)

Bah shit, hit the wrong button before editting.

Re:Salon is Dying (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366790)

Forgot to search-and-replace, eh?

Way to go, Captain Formatting [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366800)

Let Google News read your articles (1, Interesting)

pestilence4hr (652767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366711)

NYTimes.com lets google run over their articles without subscribing. That way, you can read the entire article without subscribing by accessing it through google news.

Salon.com, on the other hand, lets you read the first couple of paragraphs and then you have to pay. I've never been interested enough by those first couple of paragraphs to pay anything. At least with the google news method, you could read a few articles without paying, and that way you would know whether you would be interested in paying for more.

Only need 53,000 more... (4, Insightful)

sholden (12227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366714)

From the salon article:
If every one of our 53,000 subscribers brings in just ONE additional subscription, Salon will finally break even this year
That sounds like they're stuffed to me.

If they double their subscription base, they will break even. Not make a profit. Break even.

I guess they might be factoring in the 33% discount on "gifts", so maybe they only need a 66% increase in their subscriber base. Even so, that doesn't sound promising to me.

There's also the definition of 'this'. The financial year in the US starts on April 1, right? So maybe they mean if in the last month of the financial year, they earn as much money in subscriptions as for the other 11 months combined, they'll break even. If so that bodes even worse for the next year...

It's not paying, it's paying that much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366716)

Why should an ezine cost as much or more than a paper one? Why can't they charge $10-15/year, which is at least cheaper than Time or Newsweek?

Also the closer they get to folding the less willing I am to throw my money down their drain. (As another poster stated.)

The Tone is Appalling (0, Flamebait)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366727)

The only reason I would ever consider subscribing is if salon was worth paying for. Right now, it simply isn't. Once in a while, they have a good story, but for the most part, they recycle the same tripe and offer very little new insight I couldn't get anywhere else.

But I was turned off by how the Editor-In-chief wrapped thesmelves as some crusaders for free speech, as if their death would be one less voice of reason. That's really not a valid reason for why anybody should be supporting them. They shouldn't kid themselves or their readers that they are a business, and out to make money like anybody else. Putting up the right wing conspiracy as a bogeymen to solicit donations is pretty disgusting for event them.

Got my own issues to pay for (1)

trazom28 (134909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366732)

While I feel for Salon, and hope they make it. .how about a fund raiser for a person trying to support his family, got downsized, and on the way back from a job interview, had an engine die. I now have to come up with money I don't have for towing, storage, engine, and install of an engine.. to the tune of $2500.00 or so.

Send me your donations.. please!

Advertising scheme? (1)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366734)

they've finally created an advertising scheme that has a snowball's chance in hell of working on the web

What's so special about it? I see banner ads... ?

Re:Advertising scheme? (2, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366814)

He's referring to the interstitial ads that are promoted as a way to 'pay for a day'. You agree up front to look at one, and get a day-long cookie to view the site. I've quite happily agreed a couple times a week.

I already support the CBC... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366736)

As a Canadian taxpayer, I am made to pay for this left wing Liberal crap machine. Shell out after tax dollars for Salon? hahahahahahaha!!

Liberals wanting handouts - what a surprise (-1, Flamebait)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366742)

Liberals waste millions of dollars and then want handouts. What a shock.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366763)

Just goes to show liberalism doesn't work and always fails miserably. Guess thats why europe has been on the decline since WW2 and is no longer a super power. Oh sorry now the EU is going to send me a nasty letter!

Cheering over its demise (1, Insightful)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366743)

The only reason people like Russ Smith are cheering over Salon's demise is because David Talbot is such an insufferable asshole. They do have some good people on staff -- I've talked to Laura Miller on occasion and she does a good job with the books section -- but Salon is just what Talbot intended it to be when it launched: the online version of Mother Jones. Democracy dies if Salon disappears? You can only pray for someone to fail when they make those pronouncements.

cyberbegging (5, Insightful)

LuxFX (220822) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366750)

In other news, CNN.com had a piece last week on the explosion of cyberbegging [cnn.com] .

I have nothing against Salon, but why should we get all weepy when their business plan fails? More to the point, why is Slashdot giving them free advertising? Funny how my site wasn't slashdotted when I really needed some sales.

Re:cyberbegging (1)

56 (527333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366817)

Did your site have:

a) a readership anywhere near that of Salon b) a very similar readership to Slashdot

If yes, then I'm puzzled.

I don't think anybody is saying you should get 'all weepy' over the fact taht they are going under, but the idea is very simple: if you wish for Salon to survive, subscribe to it.

Move, Adapt, or Die (2, Redundant)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366754)

If you look at the three things that anyone or anything can do if it is threatened, it can Move, Adapt, or Die. Salon is based in San Franscisco, California. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!? That's one of the highest rent places in North America! There's cheaper rent within 100 miles of where they're currently based! Obviously no one considered the "move" possibility.

As for business models changing, advertising methods changing, they don't sound like they've adapted too well either. If you've been past due since December, you should have seen the writing on the wall in at least October or November. Some companies don't even have central offices anymore, they are all working from home or have one small office, and they use their colocation site for their main office servers. That would be a way to not be screwed. They haven't exactly adapted fully, either.

What's this leave us with? Die. Salon will probably die. I'd be inclined to think of them as simply the latest fallen dotcom, that took a little longer to fold than the others. I don't begrudge them for their efforts, but things were not right in order for Salon to get this far in the hole in the first place.

This is Horrible (1)

org.earth.Citizen (582230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366759)

Where I am going to go for news from a leftist slant now? Oh, I forgot about the mainstream media and the humanities department of every college campus. I guess Salon going belly up is not so disasterous after all for the lefties. By the way, appearing in Salon's "catch of the day" makes the chicks from Joe Millionaire appear to have dignity by comparison.

Why subscribe... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366762)

...when you can read all of the articles for free HERE [dnc.org] days before they are posted at Salon?

I like Salon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366765)

Salon provides loads of content for a daily. Comparing their content amount to the New Yorker is ridiculous.

I've subscribed from the beggining because Salon is worth it. I just bought a gift subscription for a friend.

I think Horowitz is a megalomaniac, but for a conservative he's brighter than his peers. I like to read conservatives who can write with some modicum of intelligence. I'm as liberal as it gets. Having the best of the opposition in my reading doesn't put me off. Anyone else either.

Good things come and go. I hope Salon manages to stay.

A Vital Community Resource (5, Insightful)

jlev (590861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366766)

Even if you don't agree with all of the views expressed there, you have to agree that Salon, like Slashdot, is one of the few truly independent news sources out there. Unfortunately, not everything on the internet can be entirely free. It costs money for Talbot and his crew to write; it is only fair that we pay to read. I'm a Premium Member, and just purchased a "Make A Difference" subscription so someone else can experience the wonder of independent media. In a world where the major news sources resort to fear-mongering to sell themselves, Salon and those similar to it are a last refuge of sanity. You have to remember, the sole purpose of television news is to keep you watching between commercials. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox aren't interested in presenting the truth, only something entertaining, or scary enough to keep you from changing the channel. Salon and Slasdot are different; the two communities should support each other. Do your part to keep Salon alive, buy a subscription, it's only $30, or $18.50 with ads. In the long run, that amount is negligible, even for the pimply faced teens. This probably sounds like an NPR fund drive, and it kind of is, but this vital source of information and commentary is going to die unless we do something about it. If one tenth of the ~600,000 registered Slashdot users help support Salon, we will double the number of Premium subscribers. This is doable, even if stopping the war, or overturning the DMCA isn't.

$30/year is a bargain (0, Troll)

mooredav (101800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366767)

I don't have much to say, except that I'm a Salon Premium subscriber and I DEPEND on Salon. There is nothing else like it. No substitute.

I'm sure there will be a lot of comments like: "this is just capitalism at work, survival of the fittest, etc."

If Salon goes under, then it's an example of how capitalism can FAIL.

Re:$30/year is a bargain (5, Insightful)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366808)

I'm sure there will be a lot of comments like: "this is just capitalism at work, survival of the fittest, etc."

If Salon goes under, then it's an example of how capitalism can FAIL.


In fact there are lots of comments that state that capitalism is working. Why? Because it's true. Salon pissed through a huge amount of money and failed to attract enough subscribers to survive. Salon has failed, capitalism has suceeded.

Re:$30/year is a bargain (1, Offtopic)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366810)

If Salon goes under, then it's an example of how capitalism can FAIL.

And where is capitalism obligated to keep a site which rarely posts good content (I'm talking sub-Slashdot quality, fer chrissakes!) afloat?

Losing == Winning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366768)


Right??
its the American way [fuckedcompany.com]

i only need 80mill and i dont need to work anymore, maybe the community can help me

Support the independent press (5, Insightful)

socratic method (15936) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366773)

Even if you only occasionally enjoy reading a Salon article or disagree with the politics of some (or all) of its writers, I urge you to strongly consider a $30 yearly subscription. Slashdot readers are surely aware that the big press in America is beholden to special interests. We have no BBC or CBC here, just mediocre and sensationalist networks run by the likes of AOL and Rupert Murdoch.

Just as free speech is meaningless to the American poor, so too is free press when owned and controlled by billionaires. I have found Salon to be a great source for thoughtful and challenging articles. Supporting it is supporting democracy.

sm

snowball's chance... (1)

jrwilk01 (88081) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366782)

Will I be labled a pedant if I point out that saying something "has a snowball's chance in hell" is a negative term, not a positive one as the poster seems to think?

jrw

Re:snowball's chance... (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366799)

...more than...

Heh, sorry dude.

We shouldn't rejoice. (1)

Thomas Anonymous (652891) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366801)

This is just another media voice being silenced. The more voices, the better. Anyone think this makes the world better?

Forced Subscriptions = Bad Business Model (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366802)

I haven't read salon all that much in the past, partially because I wasn't interested in the left of center orientation of the outlet. I've noticed in the recent past that it has become more centrist, so I eagerly perused some of the content after seeing the /.'s coverage.

Unfortunately, the company obviously has a bad business model. One wonders why an online magazine's operating expenses are so high. Moreover, it doesn't help their situation to force subscriptions (which I believe is a recent development) by blocking a large percentage of article content.

Even though the subscription cost is small, it's equivalent to print magazine subscription cost. Since I cannot view the full content of any of the articles, it's quite difficult to justify subscribing sight unseen. I imagine many others make their decision to reject the subscription fee on the same basis. Plus, now that I know they block content, I'll be much less likely to ever return to the site. If salon fails, it won't be the consumer's fault.

Too bad (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366805)

I feel bad about losing Salon, since I do enjoy reading their tech section. But this has been coming for a long long time. At heart, they were basically just another dot-com the same as all the ones that went belly-up a few years back. They disguised their dot-comminess by trying to crank out a "product"--but the product was one that people were habitually accustomed to getting for free. Have any on-line magazines ever actually turned a profit on subscriptions? It didn't work for Slate; I dunno about Wall Street Journal (who charges) but I'd be inclined to guess that if they are, their reputation has a lot to do with it.

Fifty thousand more subscribers? Heh. Good luck, Salon. I'll miss you.

Sorry, but that's business. (0)

Alton_Brown (577453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366811)

The bottom line is that nobody wants to pay for heavy-liberal-slant, anti-American "news" that you can get for free elsewhere. That's what Salon offers, and not too many people want to pay for it. The last article that I remember on Salon that had any value was Courtney Love's anti RIAA piece which is available elsewhere for free.

"Personally I hope they stick around, I think they are one of the best sources of independant journalism on the web--even if I happen to agree with less than 10% of what they have to say."

This just doesn't compute. I don't understand why you really care one way or another - it sounds like it's a site that doesn't provide you with any value, so why do you care? At any rate, it's my point exactly - few people agree with what they say and fewer are willing to pay for it.
"I also think that it would be a shame for them to close now that they've finally created an advertising scheme that has a snowball's chance in hell of working on the web."

I don't understand this either. Their scheme *doesn't have a* snowball's chance. Again, I can get the same socialist drivel elsewhere without the ads.

"I can actually recall some of the adverts I've seen on Salon--what other web site can you say that about?"

Plenty - Microsoft & SourceForge on slashdot, not that it matters. Besides, I'm not going to start paying for slashdot anytime soon.

"Salon says that if they get another 50,000 subscriptions (they currently have 50,000) they'll break even for the year."

How about if Salon works on getting its cost structure in line with the reality that is 50,000 subscribers. They've got a lot better chance of that happening than doubling their base. They've been around long enough that they'd better make it on what they have now and grow from there.

I say good-bye to Salon. It was nice knowing you. I'm sure that others will learn from your mistakes - it's the most you can hope for at this late stage of the game.

People are tired of the extreme-liberal slant. We're not buying it anymore. I don't want to hear about how evil I am for wanting a better life. I don't want to hear about how my country is evil while dictators kill their own people. If Salon wants to survive, they'd better start producing content that is in line with what people want to hear. Gee, I wonder why so many other outlets are gaining so much marketshare.

Now mod me down, because you don't agree - that's what people do on /. right? Hopefully moderators with a clue will recognize I'm right. You can argue the politics and that's fine, but the bottom line is that people aren't subscribing because their is no value in what Salon is producing.

FReak Republik (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366812)

The right-wing neocons and zionist shills on RimJob's "Free" Republic [freerepublic.com] always seem to celebrate whenever Salon.com reports bad news. I suppose they're all over there juicing in their panties over it today.

Three reasons to detest Salon (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366827)

1) What they did to Henry Hyde

2) Scott Rosenberg was yapping two days ago [salon.com] ridiculing how "The media vultures continue to circle over Salon, hoping, for whatever schadenfreude-fueled reasons, that all the noise about our imminent demise might actually be true this time around." (No, I'm not some crazed Salon stalker -- the post was linked on Instapundit yesterday for its main content.)

3) They approvingly quote Mark E. Michael's plea "And we cannot let right-wing voices be the only ones heard. There are elements in the government that wish to silence dissent and do it permanently. There will be no marketplace of ideas, only the authorized, approved one." Uh, yeah, Mark. The failure to make Salon profitable is a government conspiracy to silence dissent. It reminds me of my grandmother's stories of Kristallnacht.

Well, those are the three taht jump to mind. What can the rest of you come up with?

I must like Salon.com! (1)

alpharoid (623463) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366828)

I've never read anything published on Salon before, but after reading Russ Smith's article on the Wall Street Journal, I already feel sorry for them.

If a whining, irritating writer such as Mr. Smith hates Salon so much, I believe I've been missing on a really good publication.

Best wishes for Salon!

I Guess I Just Don't Get It... (1)

sgage (109086) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366830)

How could they be $80 million in debt? If they're that much in DEBT, you know they've spent a lot more. WTF did they spend it on?

I guess hosting costs are more than I thought. Surely the writing and web design didn't cost them a tiny fraction of that.

- Steve

Salon is quality content (2, Interesting)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5366833)

I've just bought a subscription. It's only about £12, and the body of content is absolutely enormous. Whether or not I respect their financial management, I think their magazine is worth the price they charge for it, and that's all that matters.

Mind you, I don't have a Slashdot subscription... :-)

Rent's too much, so is everything else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5366837)

I really like Salon. But looking at their financial statements, it seems impossible. C'mon, $100,000+ per month rent? Why can't they keep the servers at RackSpace or wherever, and work from home? I have nothing wrong with flamboyant offices if you're making money, but if you're not, then you should scale back and adjust to your current situation. Their expenses just seem way too high overall, for what logically makes sense looking at the finished product.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...