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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Engine Yard transitions to PostgreSQL
Posted Sep 14, 2012 8:29 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
I actually wouldn't have a major problem with LWN raising revenue that way. Such articles can sometimes be interesting (certainly more interesting than normal ads). It seems to be something that other reputable magazines sometimes do (e.g. New Scientist).
Posted Sep 14, 2012 11:47 UTC (Fri) by zuki (subscriber, #41808)
Posted Sep 14, 2012 13:11 UTC (Fri) by corbet (editor, #1)
Let me clarify one thing, though: we did not "raise revenue" by running this article. Indeed, we paid for it. There's no shortage of companies wanting to "contribute" articles they themselves have written; we do not have any interest in running those.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 13:13 UTC (Fri) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
Posted Sep 14, 2012 13:22 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
Also, I didn't mean to imply this might have been a paid article. It clearly contains balancing information.
That said, there's nothing wrong with paid articles, IFF they go through the usual editorial process (with an exception made perhaps for needs for balance) and are marked as such. If LWN felt this was a way to raise revenue, there would be no shame at all in it. This subscriber, at least, would be quite happy with them, as long as the main text was a click-through to a separate page and LWN feed and weekly pages were restricted to an easily-scrolled-past abstract.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 13:27 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
Posted Sep 14, 2012 14:41 UTC (Fri) by njwhite (subscriber, #51848)
Good. And that is an ideal which ensures the sort of quality you consistently achieve, to a unique level.
I agree that the tone of the article isn't great. I think the articles you run that are based largely on interviews, but aren't just "question" "pr speak answer" are much more interesting. Granted I am not a database person, but I found this far less interesting an article than the average here. And it was annoying to read, thanks to the tone (others who read a lot from less reputable places probably don't worry about that so much; for me, it isn't something I expect from lwn.)
Posted Sep 15, 2012 8:57 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
Then the interview part - yes, the answers are VERY marketingy. The dude who answered the questions either is a marketeer, had marketing experience or was helped by a marketing person. And obviously didn't realize that is absolutely the wrong tone for LWN.
But you can edit what someone answers to your questions only so much - and I wouldn't blame LWN for publishing it like this. All in all - for me, knowing not too much about Rails and database stuff, it was a good read. Next time, tell the interviewee that this is for LWN - not a marketing site and it'll be perfect.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 19:43 UTC (Fri) by jberkus (subscriber, #55561)
To the extent that I failed to convey that, my apologies. This is my first time writing this kind of a piece, and it's a bit of an experiment for LWN as well. We'll take the criticism into account in adjusting the next article I do which contains an interview. This article went through 5 drafts, BTW.
To be completely clear: I wrote this article as a paid writer for LWN, and did so because I believed that it exemplified changes in the open source database world which would be interesting to readers, and the LWN editors thought that it would be as well.
Oh, and Ines is a woman.
Posted Sep 15, 2012 8:59 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
In short, I think it was fine, just tell the interviewee next time that too much marketing speak is not so much appreciated on this site. Otherwise, it was interesting and complete. Keep writing ;-)
Posted Oct 5, 2012 9:55 UTC (Fri) by oak (subscriber, #2786)
That rating page could use e.g. Bayesian spam filtering to categorize the answers. There could be another page where LWN subscribers could feed these filters with content that triggers their bullshit alarms.
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