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Subscriptions


Why subscribe to Slashdot? Can't I read for free?

You can absolutely read for free. Subscribing is strictly optional. Right now, subscriptions serve one major purpose: getting rid of ads on the page. (There are a few other plums, too, see "Are there other advantages to being a subscriber?" below.)

Where / How can I purchase a subscription to slashdot?

Log in and go to the subscriptions page. (No account yet? No problem—simply create one!) Click on the Paypal or credit-card link, and follow the instructions.

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 (username) for the reader you'd like to bless. A textfield will pop up, letting you say who the gift is from, or a short message. The message will default to containing your Slashdot username, but you can give anonymously, too; just enter "Your Secret Friend" or something similar there.

How much does a subscription cost?

Slashdot offers 1000 ad free pages for $5. 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.

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.

I have an idea for a feature for subscription users.

Great! Please send it to us at feedback@slashdot.org; engineering time is limited, and there are always more features that might be nice than we'll ever be able to implement, but we greatly appreciate suggestions.

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

While logged in, visit the subscription page. You'll be able to see your own subscription stats there (how many ad-free pages purchased, and how many used).

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

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.

It looks like my payment didn't go through—Why?

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. If there's still a problem, please email subscriptions@slashdot.org.

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

Keep calm! Here are a few reasons you might see ads:

  • You may not be logged in
  • You may have exceeded the number of ads you've set to suppress daily. 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 this FAQ, always serve ads.
  • 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, by emailing feedback@slashdot.org, with as much pertinent information as possible (such as your user name, and details of what you've observed).

In general, what pages count towards my subscription base?

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

Static
The FAQ, about, Hall of Fame, 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.

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 (non-intuitive, we know—think of it as selecting "false") and remember to make sure that you have "No Ads" selected for all three options.

Are there other advantages to being a subscriber?

There are a few "plums" for subscribers, yes. Please be warned that this list is subject to change as necessary:

  • 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 personal index 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.
  • Full HTML in your index and journal feeds.

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.


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