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Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal 466

Posted by timothy
from the always-the-last-to-know dept.
wiredmikey writes with the press-release version of news that we'll probably be updating as more details trickle down to the editors: "Dice Holdings (Owner of job sites including Dice.com) reported this morning that it has acquired Geeknet's online media business, including Slashdot and SourceForge. 'We are very pleased to find a new home for our media business, providing a platform for the sites and our media teams to thrive," said Ken Langone, Chairman of Geeknet. 'With this transaction completed, we will now focus our full attention on growing ThinkGeek.' Dice Holdings acquired the business for $20 million in cash. In 2011, the online media properties generated $20 million in Revenues." The AP has a small piece with the news, too. Update: 09/18 16:16 GMT by T : Ars Technica has a story up as well.
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Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal

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  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:30AM (#41374677)

    As in the retail sales? That doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling for Slashdot...

  • by radiumsoup (741987) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:33AM (#41374715)

    the userbase of /. is so well entrenched, modifying the brand too much would surely kill it.

    see: Gawker

  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:33AM (#41374717)
    Did someone have a casino loss to pay off?
  • by Bill Dimm (463823) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:34AM (#41374729) Homepage

    Dice,

    Please preserve the old stories and comments at their current URLs instead of running over the place with a bulldozer like the acquirers of Digg did. Many of us have hundreds of bookmarks that we don't want to see broken.

    Thanks,
        Everyone

  • Leave it alone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Psykechan (255694) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:37AM (#41374785)

    Dear Dice,

    Take a look at the history of Digg to see what happens when you mess with a community site. You have a choice to make. If you screw it up, people will leave.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:40AM (#41374821)

    You'll know there's real trouble when they actually start censoring comments, instead of just allowing users to mod them. The day that Natalie Portman sex jokes, a racist comment claiming Apple is being run by "a bunch of niggers," or a good old-fashioned flamefest is replaced on /. with a bunch of "This post was removed due to Dice content standards violations" boilerplate is the day a lot of us leave Slashdot for good. Here's to hoping that day never comes.

  • by Jeng (926980) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#41374861)

    If they start censoring posts you can be sure there that the ability to post anonymously will also be taken away.

  • Re:$20,000,000? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jigamo (1554711) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#41374867)

    In this article [theverge.com], it mentions that the revenue for Slashdot, SourceForge, and Freecode (the 3 acquisitions) was $20 million last year. I'm not totally sure what it means to sell them for 1 year's revenue, but the article interpreted that fact as as a suggestion of trouble within the 3 sites.

  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#41374869)

    Terror of what happens to future earnings when igoogle goes away along with my /. RSS feed.

  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#41374873) Journal

    They may have been doing 20mil in revenue, but they don't mention what the profits were (or probably losses).

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#41374875) Journal

    I don't think they care about /. They care about ThinkGeek. I'm more worried about Sourceforge. The world could do with /. pretty easily, but Sourceforge serves an important function.

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:48AM (#41374937) Journal
    Va Research aka VA Linux aka VA Software aka SourceForge Inc aka GeekNet is a clusterfuck of failure. Like the Banjamin Button of companies, going from $320/share to under $1 in 2011. (They would have been delisted but the rules were temporarily suspended after 9/11). And now they're a web store that could be run by the "CEO" in his spare time.

    Does anybody buy their shit? I know some ./ people did to support slashdot but other than their ads here, I wouldn't know of them.

  • by AwesomeMcgee (2437070) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:49AM (#41374963)
    The worst they could do? Turn slashdot into a dice.com advertising board. Negative comments? Gone. Advertisements for "related job openings" on every article? Added. Users with lots of comments that have the word "java" in them? Your slashdot inboxes will be full with dice.com adverts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:49AM (#41374971)

    Here is an even better deal for you: Walmart has a revenue of $443 billion in 2012 and the market cap is only $248 billion.

  • by AwesomeMcgee (2437070) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:53AM (#41375029)

    Slashdot communities will enable our customers to reach millions of engaged tech professionals on a regular basis and significantly extends our company's reach into the global tech community.

    And with this, Slashdot is dead. Dice effectively bought the brand name so they could productize it. Dice has *no* use for the community or news, it's far too.. unconventional.. to be used for corporate gain. The brand name however.. that can bring in the money. Your slashdot user account might as well be a cnet.com user account now.

  • SourceForge (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:00PM (#41375111)

    Seeing this story makes me think about SourceForge. That used to be a thing. Today it is no longer hip. It seems like GitHub is now the go-to location that SourceForge used to be.

    It strikes me that GitHub is to SourceForge as Google is to Yahoo. SourceForge deserves some respect for coming first, but the experience is "heavy", less modern. Pages are full of images and ads and visual distraction. Page loads are generally slow from all that content. GitHub did to source code hosting what Google did to search interfaces in the 90s: they trimmed the fat. It has a very light feel and footprint. It doesn't get between you and the code. It has different ideas and goals about how to make money, which do not compromise the experience.

    I guess GitHub had the benefit of coming later, thus not having all the baggage of what is now 2 decades of hosting projects. Still, seems like a missed opportunity for SourceForge.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:02PM (#41375133)

    Oh I'm sure: the days of Slashdot are still numbered. (FTFY).

    This site died the first time it was sold. I go back to the year 1998 and I can tell you that Slashdot lost its "mojo" (or "jumped the shark" to use one of slashdot's old memes), a LONG time ago. Just the addition of the face***k link was proof of that.

    Like everything on the Interwebs, /. is here today, gone yesterday.

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:02PM (#41375135)

    See http://digg.com/ [digg.com]

    Uh-oh. It looks just like Dice.com's site!
    We are so fucked!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:07PM (#41375211)

    Well, then I'd be done. For years AC is the only way I've ever contributed to slashdot. And despite that I still get +5 Insightful mods from time-to-time.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:20PM (#41375363)

    This is my reaction from what I've heard today from the higher-ups. Duress isn't a factor

    The problem is they would say that no matter what. Higher ups always use major change as an opportunity to say there are no troubles anywhere. It could be true, but it could just as easily not be true.

    If you think about Geeknet's business, it was rather broadly spread. Slashdot's a news site, ThinkGeek's an e-commerce business, Sourceforge is its own thing. They have common roots, but they don't really go together. I've been aware of Dice, but not terribly familiar with it, but wouldn't you say its business would tend to fit Slashdot better than ThinkGeek?

    No. If you think about it what SlashDot, SourceForge and ThinkGeek had in common was a core group of users that was very similar. That meant leadership when thinking what to do with all of the properties had only one audience to keep in mind.

    Slashdot users are just a tiny subset of people Dice serves. The general concern would be that there might be an attempt to bring Slashdot to a more general audience since that is what the people that run Dice understand - the broad market, not just the technical niche.

    I hope you are right and they really are thinking about carrying on as before. I expect some change is inevitable, but again I'm hoping it's not some kind of push to bring in more general users.

  • Time will tell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidwr (791652) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:22PM (#41375403) Homepage Journal

    the folks from Dice were very clear about not wanting to interfere with the community.

    This is exactly the thing I would expect a new owner who sincerely believed in leaving a good thing alone to say.

    This is also exactly the thing I would expect a new owner who had other plans to say.

    Only time, not words of reassurance, will reveal Slashdot's future.

  • by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:22PM (#41375409) Homepage

    Map usernames to dice accounts, via either coercion or subterfuge, to see who trolls Slashdot the most during working hours. ;)

  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:23PM (#41375437)

    I'm sitting in a conference room right now next to a gentleman from Dice, and he's just been curious what people are saying; hasn't suggested any comments or messaging at all.... my initial impression is positive. I'm thrilled at the possibility of getting a bigger investment into Slashdot, both from an engineering perspective and an editorial perspective.

    Translation: "The walls have ears, and I haven't yet figured out my bailout strategy."

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:28PM (#41375507)

    It's also the only way to keep your karma from going in the toilet if you post something that goes against the prevailing wisdom (and we NEED those kind of posters on topics where groupthink tends to set in).

  • by samazon (2601193) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:41PM (#41375701)

    TL:DR

    Bias: Lacking a neutral point of view.

    A neutral presentation is the first thing you're taught when you study journalism. Even before the inverted pyramid structure. [wikipedia.org] There is such a thing as ethics [wikipedia.org] in reporting.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:44PM (#41375731)

    Ah, to be young and naive and not have any credibility again.

    The S/N ratio at /. has always been relatively higher then other sites. Sure we get our share of troll articles, but compared to crap over at Digg, or the circle-jerking at the main page of Reddit (the sub-reddits are [mostly] great), /. has consistently had an informed community. I don't see that anywhere else where so many geeks of manner of interested have come together.

    Irony: An AC complaining about the lack of community, posting nothing of value!

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:57PM (#41375891) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I was just mocking Bob...
    I see he was on the other day.
  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:58PM (#41375899)

    From the news piece on TechCrunch: [techcrunch.com]

    "Dice has been talking about building content and user engagement to be top of mind and more integral to professionals doing work, and if you think about SourceForge and Slashdot, it’s about user engagement to help you do your job... We don’t want to change the experience today. What will happen over time is that the Dice.com site is will operate more seamlessly connected to these sites. But the sites themselves will keep their look and feel and will run on their own... That absolutely includes editorial independence. We think that’s really key. We don’t profess to add much from an editorial standpoint. We will give the user bases on our sites and those the ability to interact with each other. Our goal here is to make them part of the overall tech and engineering experience at the company."

    Translation: 'We are Borg. You will be assimilated.'

    Damn. I'm gonna miss this place.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:58PM (#41375907) Homepage

    Funny thing about noise. You gain bring up the gain, but it's still noise.

  • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:00PM (#41375945) Homepage

    I'll make sure he sees your comment.

    I understand your worries about our autonomy. As an editor, it's a worry I've had for years, any time a part of the organization has changed. It's part of the job description. Cautiously optimistic is a good way to put it. Here's another reason why I feel that way: they clearly know what Slashdot is like; if they wanted to change how we do things, it would be much easier for them to just fire us all and bring in new people who don't already have very strong opinions about what Slashdot should be.

    To be frank, I have no idea if or how Slashdot and Dice will be integrated. I don't have any information about it, and I don't know that anybody does. Perhaps the 'Jobs' link at the top of the page under Channels will change. I assume there will be a link in the footer. Sorry, I wish I had more information to give you. All I can promise is that we editors will continue to fight for user experience.

  • by SomePoorSchmuck (183775) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:12PM (#41376081) Homepage

    It's also the only way to keep your karma from going in the toilet if you post something that goes against the prevailing wisdom (and we NEED those kind of posters on topics where groupthink tends to set in).

    So what? What has good karma ever gotten anyone?

    I've been here for almost 15 years. I have excellent karma. Not sure how my use/enjoyment of the site is any different than if I had crap karma. I guess I do get to meta-mod. Big whoop.

    I always read at -1 and load all comments, because I've found that I enjoy the downmodded comments as well. I just scroll past any comments/subthreads which seem irrelevant. I've tried browsing at higher level scores and the conversation gets really herky-jerky really quickly. The total democratization of AC posts and the wildly free-as-in-speech, uh, speech, that takes place here is, for me, one of its essential charms.

  • by sinij (911942) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:14PM (#41376123) Journal
    I don't see any kind of integration beneficial to Slashdot readers. Warts and all, we are a community and any "integration" is an attempt to turn us into a commodity.
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:10PM (#41377863) Journal

    The whole point of Slashdot is that it serves as a news aggregator / discussion forum for a very narrow category of people. From money making perspective, it lets you do fairly targeted data mining and advertising. If they bring it to a more general audience, then what, exactly, would be its value to anyone?

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:32PM (#41378135) Journal

    It's also the only way to keep your karma from going in the toilet if you post something that goes against the prevailing wisdom

    It's certainly the easiest way (though it also radically narrows your audience, since you start at a low moderation score to begin with, will accrue negative mod points, and then some people don't read ACs at all).

    It's not the only way. One thing that sets Slashdot apart is that you can post something that goes against groupthink here and still have it modded up. You'll have to work harder on that, as in making a convincing sounding argument, citing your references etc. But it's doable, and there are plenty of upmodded "contrarian" posts to show for it.

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