By late 2004, I couldn't keep up with the articles coming in and I embarked on building a content management system. That's what Opednews.com runs on now-- a unique, proprietary system I co-developed with Vidya, a brilliant programmer/webmaster and a usually behind the scenes member of the OEN team.
The site started with two volunteers-- Amanda Lang and Joan Brunwasser-- and one commenter-- Mark Sashine.
We've come a long way. Now we have a volunteer editor team approaching 50 people, and over 60,000 registered members.
It's not always easy. There's a constant struggle to balance openness with editorial policy that produces content that is trusted and respected. It means we get called censors all the time, when we reject articles making unreasonable claims. We also get a lot of spammers, so we've ended up banning over 6000 people, most of them commercial spammers who try to use the site to sell home loans, viagra, coffee and the like.
And Opednews is more than just a news and opinion site. It's a community. To make it a pleasant one, we moderate the comments-- to keep them civil.
These challenges sometimes add up to me, opednews and other volunteer editors getting hate mail. Yes, it's part of the territory, but that doesn't ameliorate the unpleasantness.
I'm not really complaining, just sharing so you'll get an idea of some of the aspects of this job I do and the volunteer editors do. It's one of the reasons why we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our editors.
Today is the last day of the month. We've made real progress catching up in the last week, but we're still $1300 behind on making our $4300 budget. Yesterday we had one $250 donation. That really helped. But we've also had a lot of $5 and $10 donations. Can you help us, in our tenth anniversary month, help us make budget?
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Articles Published Feb 28--March 3, 2003-- the first few days Opednews was in existence. Back then, most of the content was link aggregation. We've come a long way, having published over 168,000 full articles, as well as tens of thousands of links and diaries.
____Fri 2/28/03_Newsweek Expose Shows Iraq DID destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction. Is CIA trying to Cover it up?