Why does Slashdot have subscriptions?

Read CmdrTaco's story to learn why Slashdot implemented a subscription system.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/03/02

Where / How can I purchase a subscription to slashdot?

Log In and go to the subscriptions page. Click on the paypal or credit-card link, and follow the instructions.

If you don't have an account to log in to, you'll have to create one.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 04/15/02

Can I purchase a subscription for someone else? Can I do so anonymously?

Yes, Slashdot has added a gift subscription option to allow you to do just that. When you go to purchase a subscription choose the "Buy Gift Subscription for UID" option and then enter the appropriate UID.

You will also be given a text field to say who the subscription is from. This determines who is listed as the gift purchaser in the e-mail sent to the gift recipient. If you wish to remain anonymous, put "Your Secret Friend" or something similar there. Otherwise put your real name, username or anything else you deem appropriate. If you leave this field blank the message will default to containing your Slashdot username.

Answered by: vroom
Last Modified: 12/01/03

How much does a subscription cost?

Currently Slashdot is offering 1000 ad free pages for $5. As it stands, you have some flexibility as to where you want to spend your ad free pages. You can decide to use them on comments, articles, or the homepage.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/03/02

Paypal? Why Paypal?

It's a simple solution and a lot of Slashdot users already have Paypal accounts. If you prefer to use a credit card, go right ahead.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 04/15/02

I have an idea for a feature for subscription users.

"We are doing our best to learn from the mistakes made by other sites that have started charging for subscriptions. We won't create subscriber only features that cost more to maintain than they generate." -- CmdrTaco


Check out the suggestions page.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/03/02

Do I have to subscribe?

Of course not. Subscriptions are voluntary. Right now, subscriptions serve one purpose: getting rid of ads. If you don't care about seeing ads, don't subscribe.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/03/02

How do I see how many pages I've used up on my subscription?

Logged in, go back to the subscription page. It should show you how many pages you have paid for and how many pages you have used.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/03/02

I'm helping Slashdot by posting comments. Why are you charging people who help you?

We're glad you're posting, and we're spending a lot of effort to make this the best discussion forum around.

When you subscribe, the default setting is for posting comments (as well as reading just comments) to not count as part of your subscription. You can change this if you want, but we recognize that most frequent readers, including our prolific comment posters, will prefer to see ads on those pages and keep them cost-free.

When you drop a few bucks in our guitar case, we hope one of the main benefits you get is the warm fuzzy feeling from helping to keep us writing open-source code and maintaining the site.

Answered by: Jamie
Last Modified: 03/03/02

How long does it take my payment to go through?

Normally, you should be taken to your subscription page a few seconds after completing payment, and should see a confirmation of how many pages you bought and the options you can change.

In rare cases, a server glitch may prevent Slashdot from knowing about your payment for a little while. If your subscription page doesn't seem to know that you're a subscriber yet, please allow at least twenty minutes for our servers to retry their connections. After that, if there's still a problem, email subscriptions@slashdot.org.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/05/08

I paid for a subscription and ads are still popping up!

Please, don't freak out.

Here are a few common reasons why you are seeing ads after you've have paid for them:

  • Make sure you're logged in!!
  • You may have exceeded the daily amount of ads you've set to suppress. See How can I control how many ads I suppress daily?
  • Check the subscriptions page and make sure that you have "No Ads" turned on where you don't want ads to show up.
  • Slashdot pages that are static, like the faq, always serve ads.
  • If you're looking at a subsection of Slashdot like apple.slashdot.org, make sure that you login. If you want subsections of slashdot to remember you, you'll have to initially login to one of the subsections.
  • We could be experiencing technical difficulties and we've turned on a static front page.

If you are a subscriber and saw an ad, it will not count against your subscription. If you are sure that pages on which you are seeing ads are incrementing your "used up" count on subscribe.pl, that's a serious bug -- please let us know immediately (Category: Other, Group: Slashdot).

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/03/02

Will non-subscribers receive fewer Slashdot features than subscribers?

Subscribers will get access to new features as we think them up. Currently the only advantage they have is access to Slashdot without banner ads. We will not be removing features from non-subscribers. Things you have on Slashdot now will not be taken away from you. But there will eventually be new and exciting rewards for subscribers.

Answered by: CmdrTaco
Last Modified: 03/06/02

When subscribed, will re-loading a comments page count as another page towards the 1000?

You are given the option to count comments or not. The choice is yours.

Answered by: CmdrTaco
Last Modified: 03/06/02

In general, what pages count towards my subscription base?

There are currently three types of pages that Slashdot generates for subscribers.

  • Static: The FAQ / code / about / hof / and so on. These pages are plain old text. There is no smarts in them to decide if you get an ad or not. This is for performance reasons. It just doesn't make sense to run scripts on those pages. So you'll see banner ads on them, but they won't affect your subscription.
  • The Main Pages: The homepage, articles, and comments. These pages are configured in your subscription settings. You can choose which page types to see ads on. By default, a subscriber has ads suppressed on the index and article pages, but comments are left with ads on. This is because it's really easy to casually load dozens of comments pages.
  • The lesser pages: There are a variety of other pages on Slashdot that are dynamic, but are less loaded than The Main Pages. For example, Users (for example editing your preferences) Submissions (Submitting a story) Journals (I think you can figure that out yourself) and Subscriptions (Well, Duh!). If you are a subscriber, and are set to suppress ads on one of the Main Pages, then we suppress ads on these pages without decrementing your page bank. In other words, buy the ads on the homepage or articles, and you get Journals, Submissions, Users, and so forth for free.

Answered by: CmdrTaco
Last Modified: 03/06/02

How can I control how many ads I suppress daily?

Edit your subscription preferences. Currently, subscribers default ad suppression is 10 ads per day. You can increase or decrease your ad suppression to fit your needs. Just remember, the higher your ad suppression, the faster you'll go through your subscription.

To suppress all ads, set your limit to 0 and remember to make sure that you have "No Ads" selected for all three options.

Answered by: Robo
Last Modified: 03/19/02

Besides ad-free pages, are there any advantages to being a subscriber?

We're adding some "plums" for subscribers, yes. Please be warned that this list is subject to change as necessary. Here's the official list:

  • You can see each story 10-20 minutes before it goes "live." (Assuming we posted it that far in advance, which usually we do.) Look for the red titlebar and a timestamp from "The Mysterious Future." More information is available in this story.
  • You can get a message sent to you when people change their relationship to you (friend or foe). Go to your message prefs page and edit the "Relationship Change" setting. Don't worry, you'll get at most one message per day, summarizing that day's changes.
  • When writing a journal entry, your choices for comments are not just "Comments Disabled" and "Comments Enabled." You can also limit commenting to just your friends; just your friends and their friends; to exclude just your foes; or to exclude your foes and your friends' foes.
  • You get a "More Comments" link on your user page and on other users' pages. Going through comment history might be a bit DB-intensive but we trust subscribers not to abuse the privilege. (But just to be clear -- robots will be banned, regardless of whether they subscribe or not!)
  • You can add up to 400 friends and foes, instead of being limited to 200.
  • You get an asterisk appended to your user ID for all comments you post while you're a subscriber. Other users can adjust those comments' scores up, if they want... or down, if they're prejudiced against subscribers for some reason. If you're bashful, you can switch this off (check the "No Subscriber Bonus" checkbox while posting).
  • Your RSS feed, linked from the bottom of the homepage, will be customized for your homepage preferences. If you have sections set up to always appear on your homepage, they will be in your custom RSS feed too -- and the same holds for sections or authors you have excluded.

Note that several of these "plums" require that you pick "No Ads" on at least one type of page, and that your limit of the maximum number of ads suppressed per day not be decreased (below the default value of 10). If you don't seem to be able to take advantage of the features listed above, go to your Edit Subscription page, and doublecheck your settings.

If you have any questions, please email subscriptions@slashdot.org.

Answered by: Jamie
Last Modified: 03/07/03