We occasionally get a request for an update on how LWN is doing. It seems
about time for another one of those; it's been a while, and, besides, it's
a relatively slow news week.
Back when we started the subscription experiment, we set a goal of signing
up 4,000 subscribers. The good news is that we seem to have done that.
Between our individual subscriptions and the various group subscribers, the
current count is almost exactly 4,000. This is a major milestone, one we
are happy to have reached. Our thanks go out to every one of our
subscribers; it is you who make this whole exercise possible.
The bad news was probably pretty predictable from the beginning: 4,000
subscribers is not enough. Some of our costs (notably health insurance)
have gone up significantly, and others (outside writers) had not been
predicted at all. We also very much need to bring in another top-level
editor so that we can expand our content and do things like attend
conferences or take vacations without seriously straining the whole
So the push for more subscribers will continue. Exactly what form that
effort will take is still being worked out; it will probably include more
benefits for subscribers (without taking anything from non-subscribers),
some attempt to expand the content mix, and a more focused sales effort.
Making all this happen with the current staff will be a bit of a reach;
we'll get there, but we ask your indulgence if LWN shows occasional signs
of stress in the mean time.
Thanks once again to all of you for supporting LWN; it is a privilege to
write for such an outstanding group of readers.
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