It has now been one year since we posted, in the
July 25, 2002 Weekly Edition
, the notice that LWN.net was to be shut
down as a result of its financial problems. The staff had been working
without salaries for months, and nothing we had tried seemed to work. It
was a hard thing to face, but the only option we seemed to have was to pull
the plug. As we said:
This has not been an easy decision to make, to say the least. But,
barring some sort of last minute miracle (do contact us if you have
one, please!), we do not see any alternative.
What happened then, of course, can only be described as a last-minute
miracle. LWN readers started making donations at levels we had never seen
before, and we decided to rethink things one more time. What we came up
with is the subscription scheme which has supported LWN over the last
It is hard not to feel good about how far LWN has come. It is paying its
bills (as long as we keep the bills small), and we
are answerable directly to our readers. We have managed to make a number
of improvements to our content and to the site; traffic is at an all-time
high. In some ways, LWN looks more healthy than it has ever been.
Certainly, we are glad that LWN did not shut down after all.
That said, it is important to note that the problem is still not completely
solved. Salaries remain low, and money for things like travel to trade
shows (important in this line of work) remains scarce. We also very much
need to bring in one more editor to fill out the content and make it
possible for the rest of us to take an occasional vacation. That editor
remains a distant dream for now, however.
What we need to do, of course, is bring in more subscriptions. Recent
changes have helped in that regard; the number of subscribers has been
going up after a few months of little change. We are working at actively
promoting the site - for the first time in its history - as a way of
bringing in more readers. We'll get there. Meanwhile, we are glad to
still be here. Many thanks to all of LWN's readers; your support for us
over the last five and a half years has been amazing. Miraculous, even.
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