- monthly subscription or
- one time payment
- cancelable any time
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
As some of you may know, we’ve been operating with the help of business angels for the last eight years, but this situation has now come to a (quite foreseeable) end. However, we’ve struck a deal for the coming year with our awesome hosting partner that allows us to … well. not pay hosting, and instead work on Soup.
And the first thing we’re gonna do is generate some revenue. We tried it for a bit by placing ads, but feedback was basically “please let us try and give you money first” - well, here we are :) asking you for money. Not to pay hosting (that’s taken care of for the next 12 months) or acquire hardware (we’re kinda sorta OK on that end), but to actually continue developing Soup further.
There are a lot of nice and very capable people that have offered to work on Soup, but without a minimal amount of compensation this would basically be slave labour. Well intentioned slave labour, but still.
So, give us money, it will go to minimum-wage code heroes, designers and maybe some merchandise (depending on how many of you splurge on the infinity package).
What we are planning on doing with your money:
- Improve the bookmarklet and fix displaying iframes on /friends and /everyone (already in progress with the money @testkitchen users spent - thanks!)
- Improve speed
- Better blog customization
- More imports (bring youtube back)
- Maybe a twitter export?
- Mobile reader
What we’re not planning on doing with your money:
- Ads - this is budgeted separately and has basically been paid for (a last act of good will from the investors). But the less effort we have to put into ads because you guys shower us with money, the more we can put those resources back to user oriented improvements. Also, the development cycle will profit from not having to think of everything in terms of "will this be good for ads".
Oh, and if you always wanted to work on Soup, feel like you don’t need to make a living out of it, maybe are interested in a bit of equity (long term vesting scheme), are interested in thinking about great solutions for an incredible user base, are not afraid of re-factoring old and crummy design patterns into future-proof and scalable modules, and have a solid (or at least aspiring) background in one or more of: Java/Coffeescript, RoR, twisted python, SQL, caching patterns, design, UI/UX engineering, work queues, HTML5, … then let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org or join us in #soupio on irc.freenode.net (someone is hogging #soup.io…).
After three attempts to implement this feature, we’re finally there. You can now choose to (not) see NSFW (“not safe for work”) content by clicking on the button in the top bar.
On the flip side, you can now also set your whole soup or individual imports and posts to be NSFW.
Please refer to the @didyouknow entries on how this works in detail:
Please note: we’re not interested in making adult content invisible or pester you with silly “age verifications”. The switch to see adult material is in a prominent place, and we make it very clear what you’re currently seeing when surfing Soup. This feature has purely practical reasons: the mobile apps depend on it, users often want to visit Soup in a family/work environment but can’t, and when we try to think about anything that has to do with NSFW content that could finance Soup (such as e.g. ads) we simply need to be able to categorise undesirable material so as to not abandon either the idea or our content policy prematurely.
As you may experience, we implemented this in a human-driven way: there are no bots that set your soups NSFW status, just other users and us. And if your blog is hit with the NSFW status, you can disable it again yourself.
Up until now, we silently disabled blogs with even just one adult picture or text for display on /everyone. From now on, as long as you don’t forget to mark your NSFW material, your blog posts can and will be displayed to non-logged in visitors on /everyone again - and even the rest of it to logged in visitors if they chose to see NSFW content :)
TLDR; if you see adult content anywhere it shouldn’t be, report it via the flag icon (next to repost) and be sure to mark your own material when you create it.
As always, criticism and feedback is welcome. Just reply to this post.
And if you're interested in what we're cooking up next, members of @testkitchen see features long before (but also get hit by bugs harder than) the rest.
We've not even been using the extended feature sets of those platforms, because that would've meant putting user data into the hands of a third party.
But what do we know from these solutions? Yes, we have a lot of polish users. And we're very proud of being in the top 30 something polish websites - at least according to quantcast - despite not understanding how we got there.
And that's kinda sorta the point - insight how we got anywhere. And this means metrics.
Now, metrics is a very loaded topic. Everyone does it, but nobody talks about it, except in their Terms Of Service legalese. People immediately think of spying, and it's kinda ... somehow ... well, it's not exactly not spying. But I personally don't think it's really spying either, but that maybe because I'm the one running the platform and have many years of experience what it means to know jack shit about your users and what they're doing.
So my view on things is biased. Thus, I decided to go the pragmatic route and just commit myself and the company to explaining what we're doing - hopefully in a way that people who are not into metrics can get a grasp too. If I can't explain it, or it feels creepy to explain it, well, that should be enough to make me think it over. And I'm taking a huge flaming pile of dung on legalese, because, you know, fuck you - not.
So my take on it is, metrics should be more like a census and what's called "city development data". To be able to plan what areas to develop, a city needs to know where people go to work, when and where they buy things, what the average income is etc.
It's the same with a web platform like Soup, except for jobs and shopping centers we have blogs and groups, and instead of cars and net worth of the individual we have posts and days since registration.
Anyhow, @whatweknow is dedicated from now on to explain what we're collecting, what we're doing with it, and maybe even post some results. If you have an interesting question that we should be able to answer with metrics, don't be afraid to ask @kitchen or reply to a post here! Sometimes we may be unable to give answers or give them not in absolute numbers, but we should be able to crank out at least a percentage or a general vicinity every once in a while. And if not, you may at least get an explanation why :)
Last but not least, a word to the wise: be inquisitive about your privacy on the internets, and use ghostery to understand what sites know about you.
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
"Basically the price of a night on the town!"
"I'd love to help kickstart continued development! And 0 EUR/month really does make fiscal sense too... maybe I'll even get a shirt?" (there will be limited edition shirts for two and other goodies for each supporter as soon as we sold the 200)