Hi there it's Steve here, otherwise known as Neobond on the forums. It's also weekend, and a perfect day for an "opinion piece". Remember back in 2000 when we started? Many of you will because we still have a very large active user base for people who joined in 2001 when our forum database was reset for the first and only time in our history.
We came onto the scene back then to cover what would become Windows XP, the sheer lack of decent information and our dodgy insider information paved the way for what has become a hugely successful point of news and interaction for the community, with the multiple re-generations of the site, I still feel that while we have "grown up" a lot that we have somehow retained our roots for where unprofessional journalism looks better. Granted, we now actually pay the news staff for their contributions and there is a process where a team will have to approve what is submitted by the news team, but I feel we still retained the ability to post news in a fashion where anyone can understand what is being relayed.
We could have gone the route with graphs, multi-page news items and a bombardment of statistics to back all that up, but that was never the focus for the site and I very much doubt that will change anytime soon.
Between the years 2003 and 2008 we slipped into syndicating news rather than actually writing our own and newsposters were very hard to come by on a voluntary basis. Since we introduced payment for articles late last year, I feel that the site has taken another surge of regeneration, the popularity increase we've seen over the past 6 to 8 months is a clear indication of that success. Last year we were somewhere in the region of the top 2000 on Technorati, today we are in the top 200 at 151 with over 1200 different websites linking to our original news content over the past 6 months. That figure would be higher if Technorati spidered the whole web, but it doesn't -I'm not complaining about those results however!
You may have noticed that I don't post as much as I used to, I usually keep my posts to the Software section now-a-days, because of the much higher quality of posting by the "new guys" outshines my abilities by quite a bit!
Some of the long term members who are still active, may remember a lot of my tongue in cheek postings on the main page covering Windows XP betas, a few editorials or general updates because we had such bad hosting for the first 4 years! Those days may be gone where I could post a single paragraph of updates, but remember that we aren't The Washington Post, or The Times (of London). We will still post opinion pieces, and they might be a little biased at times, but what you are seeing comes from our roots.
Some newer members may not understand that, but we aren't deaf either. We started paying news staff for the better quality a lot of our members were asking for so we could finally be rid of syndicated (or Around the Web) news.
I think in our 9th year I can proudly claim that we have given you the community, most of what was asked of us, within reason.
So if you see an opinion piece and decide it shouldn't be front page news, ask yourself if you know what we have continually published to the main site all these years, and maybe if you are trying to compare us to some other site. We would also encourage our readers to outdo us by contributing, all of our staff were community members who believed they could do better for the site in different ways, we applaud and encourage it!