Log in

View Full Version : p2pnet.net

2007-01-19, 19:05
p2pnet.net was a news site with a focus on p2p, filesharing, and technology. Jon Newton made no apologies for being biased against the enemies of filesharing. Some of his detractors complained that he wasn't objective enough and said that due to his opinion level, that he was a blogger rather than a real journalist. p2pnet.net allowed for comments, of which the majority were made by anonymous guests with the name of "Reader's Write". I recall a few years back that the anonymous guest comments had the handle of "Anonymous Coward", which was the same terminology used in the original Napster forum Speak Out of 2000-2001. One could also register on the p2pnet.net site and make comments as well.

p2pnet.net will close soon. First I will archive the background news stories of the site's closing by copying and pasting the two relevant news storyid #10870 and #11057 from the site, which announce its forthcoming closure.

p2pnet's final days? (http://p2pnet.net/story/10870)

p2pnet.net special:- p2pnet is on the verge of going offline. Our income dropped by 80% as of December 28.

Several times in 2006 I said I was able to keep going only thanks to the advertisers and some people believe that, like certain other sites, I'm raking it in. But scraping by would be more accurate. Revenue generated by the advertisements keeps us going and at the beginning of 2006, it amounted to slightly less than $C3,000 a month. This allowed me to feed my family, pay my mortgage and service the debts I'd incurred largely to establish p2pnet. Because it took quite a while to get to that point and before it was reached, we lived off our savings and a couple of bank loans. So I wasn't then, and definitely am not now, getting rich. Moreover, all costs and expenses have gone up considerably.

Early in the year, the Big 4 Organized Music gang turned on LimeWire, one of my advertisers. LimeWire pulled their booking, and then it was BearShare's turn. Two down, and I was in deep trouble. Again, I had to borrow money to stay online. But in July a small group in Europe offered to make up the difference between what I was getting in ad revenues and what I needed to keep posting, and that's the way things stayed during the summer and fall.

Then a few weeks back, one of my remaining advertisers unexpectedly cut back on its booking as well and finally, on December 28, the money from Europe was also abruptly cut off. This means my income has now been slashed by four-fifths which is, of course, a huge amount.

In a Q&A (http://p2pnet.net/story/3981) with Slyck, "p2pnet isn't an entrepreneurial effort," I said. "It's a commitment. And the staff is me." I went on, "I write everything that doesn't have someone's by-line on it - between 10 and 20 stories a day, 24/7. I slow down on Saturday and usually post only three or four items on Sunday. I also do the graphics, excepting photos, of course. I do my best to serve up news, information and commentaries that haven't been spun, filtered and pre-digested by self-serving entities."

Actually, sometimes, it's been 30 stories and I normally get up at between 3:30 and 4:00 am and work until around the same time in the afternoon, and that's fine with me. But if I'm to continue doing that, and if p2pnet is to survive, it has to reliably generate income. And this, in turn, means I must find firstly, a host (not in North America, preferably), and partners or collaborators who can take on p2pnet's development and help me turn it into a self-supporting entity.

Maintaining the status quo

It's the digital 21st century and I'm totally fascinated by the amazing possibilities and opportunities offered through peer-to-peer communications, p2p. In a world that was free and open, I'd have been writing about the excitement generated by the new collaborations between and among independent creators, developers and musicians, and the corporate music industry.

Instead, I'm writing about how Warner Music (US), EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France) and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) are doing everything in their power to maintain the status quo - to keep us locked in time back in the tightly controlled, physical 20th century.

Nor are they alone. The same applies to Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney, the major Hollywood studios, and to all the other huge corporations such as Microsoft, Apple Computer, Google, Yahoo. The line forms on the right, babe.

To them all, 'free speech,' 'openness' and 'competition' are filthy words.

Direct access to knowledge, information and data

In the Q&A (http://p2pnet.net/story/3981) mentioned above, "p2pnet.net has become well known for its original news content," said Slyck, going on:

Do you see news regarding p2p and file-sharing becoming less obscure and more mainstream in the years to come? For example, do you see p2p and file-sharing niche publishing becoming as prominent as other niche publishing sites (such as sports or political publishing)?

I answered:

A kind of an independent parallel communications portal has already developed. And it's becoming mainstream. People tend to think of the music/movie file sharing thing as separate from 'important' world events. However, sooner or later, what's happening with in this arena will also happen in other areas, and let's not forget the studios and media outlets the entertainment industry owns, which is most of them, have tremendous influence over what people think and do around the world. The establishment print and electronic media depend almost wholly on corporate advertising and the goodwill of governments and their many and various agencies to survive, which means the news and information they carry is often very badly skewed. In the parallel universe, blogs and sites such as p2pnet carry the news and I think eventually, there'll be a huge Blog-cum-Web Page Directory. It'll have information categories people will use to find out what's happening, where to find services and products, and so on. And it won't be another kind of search engine.

Because thanks to the Net, for the first time in history, people can do more than wave banners, stage marches and write letters to the editor.

Thanks to the Net, they can use blogs and web pages and email and chat and IM and forums and comment areas to talk to each other, p2p, person-2-person, completely by-passing the corporate media.

And it's frightening the living daylights out of the Powers That Used To Be.

For the first time in history, people have direct access to the knowledge, information and data which hitherto have been completely denied them, carefully filtered and controlled by the governments and companies which should be serving us, making our lives rich and full, but which are instead doing the exact opposite in their own vested interests.

I was one among the first people to start a dedicated, 24/7, 12/12, site aimed at unspinning the spin spun by our corporate controllers who want to keep us firmly in the dark and under their collective thumbs.

I believe people should be able to say whatever they want without fear. I also believe that for the first time ever, that's possible. And that's why p2pnet has never demanded that people who want to say something must register before hey can speak their minds.

I want p2pnet to keep on doing what it's been doing and if you'd like to help, and you think you can, or if you'd like to become an active part of keeping it online in some way, please get in touch: jon@p2pnet.net. No reasonable offers or suggestions will be turned down : )

Or should I should just give up and sell the p2pnet.net domain name, although I have no idea what it's worth, if indeed it's worth anything at all? What do you think? Please tell me.

And one other thing.

Normally, I leave 99.999% of comments up, whatever they say. But for this, I'll delete negative posts which move things off track. So if you see something from Gachnar or any other troll that's not directly relevant, please don't respond to it. I'll delete it.

Cheers! And thanks. And all the best now and for the future ....

Jon Newton
Vancouver Island
British Columbia, Canada.

(Sunday 31st December 2006)

For Sale: p2pnet (http://www.p2pnet.net/story/11057)

Hello, all:

Short version:
I'm afraid time and money have run out for p2pnet.net and I'm going to have to sell it. I'm looking for offers starting at $30,000.

If you're interested and you'd like to talk about possibilities, please email me at p2pnetsale@shaw.ca and I'll be glad to call you back, anywhere in the world or you can call me.

Want to know more? Keep reading.

Long version:
I've never seen myself as addressing an audience, so to speak, a 'reader base'. Instead, in my mind, I've been talking to a group of friends around the world, and that's still the way I see it. But if I'm to continue talking to them, I have to put p2pnet on the block.

What are the stats? I'll be glad to pass on the url to the counter I currently have running, bearing in mind the output won't reflect reality because 99% of p2pnet stories have numbers at the end, meaning the counter doesn't see the pages. And I don't at this point have access to the raw log data. However, any new owner could easily see where things are at if they have an accurate analyzer on the server.

For now, although I really hesitate to mention Alexa.com because, among other things, it only shows visits from IE, it at least gives an idea of p2pnet's traffic (http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?q=&url=p2pnet.net). As I write this [January 18, 2007], it ranks me at 31,604 , not too bad for a one-man, DIY site. p2pnet's 'reach' is at 45 million and as a friend says, "You could probably safely double the Alexa numbers."

The first-named sites linking to p2pnet, according to Alexa (http://www.alexa.com/data/ds/linksin?q=link:p2pnet.net/&url=p2pnet.net), are: Wikipedia (Rank: 12); Flickr (Rank: 37); Soso (Rank: 76); Digg (Rank: 75); MSNBC News (Rank: 2); Community.livejournal.com (Rank: 71); and, Google News (Rank: 3).

Below is the current 'per million' Alexa.com chart, fed from Alexa.com.


I've supported p2pnet, and met our personal bills, through the ads you see on the page. At one time they were enough, but only barely and even that was quite a while back.

Now, thanks to the fact Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, the members of the Big 4 Organized Music cartel, have shut down two of my advertisers, and two others have cut back, there's no way I can keep going.

People keep saying, What about Google Adsense? I've been there but they've blocked me out (http://www.p2pnet.net/story/7896). I've also tried most of the other suggestions,Yahoo, for example. Moreover, p2pnet has a certain flavour which makes it definitely unpalatable to Google, Yahoo and others of their ilk. Which isn't to say the site has no potential.

p2pnet was never intended to be a business, but if it's to survive, clearly, it has to expand so it can at least break even, and this means advertising. If posts are sent to separate sections instead of one big archive, if there's someone around to look after the tech end and someone else to take care of advertising, it has a huge amount of potential.


Last week, I was talking to a friend who's a senior, independent analyst working the middle of the corporate entertainment world. "You're like public radio," he said. But unlike public radio, I don't have teams of people on telephones regularly processing thousands of donations during funding drives. There's a donations panel on the left, but it hasn't brought in more than around $2,000 in total since 2002.

"People take you for granted," said my analyst friend. "If you go, they'll be really sorry you're not around any more."

I'd be sorry, too, but if I can find a buyer or a collaborator(s) or partner(s) and/or someone willing to hire me as a writer, editor, or whatever, p2pnet will stay online.

What next?

I've had three firm and two tentative offers to host p2pnet. But although I'm truly grateful, unfortunately, new hosting won't be enough by itself. My wife, Liz, and I figure we have enough to pay the bills for another two months. I could hang in and hope, as I've been doing. But we have a 10-year-old daughter, a mortgage and all the other expenses of life to look after and I don't want to leave myself with only two week's money in hand. I don't have money in the bank, and I don't have a pension.

So here are the two options as I see them:

Sell p2pnet to someone who'll keep it going, with me in the editorial chair. I turned down $25,000 for p2pnet in 2003. More recently, $30,000 was on the table in a deadline offer made when I first posted that I'd reached critical point (http://p2pnet.net/story/10870). That deadline has expired, but I figure $30K is still a fair place to start.

[i]Not favourite
Sell p2pnet.net, sans content, outright to the highest bidder, hoping the new domain name owner will treat it and its readers well. In that event, I'd be happy to give everything from the last four years to some responsible person so it could be archived. There's a lot of good info and data here and it'd be a shame to see it vanish.

And please, if you like p2pnet and you'd like to see it continue, either let me know by email (mailto:p2pnetsale@shaw.ca), or post a comment below. And please, if you decide to comment, give your post a title so I can keep track.

That's about it.

Cheers! And thanks. And all the best ...

Jon Newton, Vancouver Island, January 18, 2007

(Thursday 18th January 2007)

First of all I would like to say that the Q&A interview mentioned by Jon Newton with storyid #3981 can be also found here at Slyck:

I assume that within the next few days, weeks or months, p2pnet.net will stop functioning and the links will become broken.

Next I would like to copy and paste the comment I made to storyid #10870, along with Jon Newton's reply to it.

Subject: Re: p2pnet's final days? By: eclectica 08 Jan, 2007 05:50 (http://p2pnet.net/index.php?page=comment&story=10870&comment=131988)

Jon Newton, you have been a great voice of news and inspiration for those of us who have a benevolent stance towards filesharing. Your services are greatly appreciated.

I think that you are asking way too much to have a website not only support your webhosting costs; but also you, your wife, your child, and your mortage. Most people are happy just to have part of their webhosting costs paid for with their advertisements.

While it sucks getting reduced revenue, take heart that it means people are becoming more savvy about what is being thrown before them, and they can't be taken for granted to be consumers. So isn't it a good thing for the people if marketing and advertising suffers a decline? You support the will of the people. So support their desire to not be marketed. Also much of your revenue comes from shady DCIA "filesharing" companies. The best filesharing programs are open source and are non commercial. The DCIA and its affiliates are poison for filesharers.

I suggest you try to send your daughter to public school rather than home school her. It seems that you or your wife should get some kind of jobs which draw in an income. And you will be surprised to find that actually taking time off from your hobby of filesharing, will give you a better grasp at it because it will make you more well rounded and give you a fresh perspective.

People are fundamentally lazy and will make mountains of the molehills which are their daily hobbies and chores. I know because I actually seem to do more at home during a work day in which I also go to work, than when I am off on the weekend where I have the leisure to procrastinate and lounge at home all day. It seems that most people work better on a budget, or with deadlines and outside disciplines imposed upon them.

Subject: Thanks for signing : ) By: Jon Newton 08 Jan, 2007 21:25 (http://p2pnet.net/index.php?page=comment&story=10870&comment=132007)

Hi eclectica.

It's nice to have someone with points to make sign his name : )

___I think that you are asking way too much to have a website not only support your webhosting costs; but also you, your wife, your child, and your mortage. Most people are happy just to have part of their webhosting costs paid for with their advertisements.___

I work at p2pnet, and I do mean 'work,' for between 12 and 14 hours a day weekdays, and for six or seven hours on week-ends, and often more than that. In other words, I'm now a full-time online publisher, but I'm not getting fat on it. Nor is this an entrepreneurial-type business. It started out as a personal page and became the way I earn my living by accident.

___Also much of your revenue comes from shady DCIA "filesharing" companies. The best filesharing programs are open source and are non commercial. The DCIA and its affiliates are poison for filesharers.___

100% incorrect. I have nothing whatsoever to do with the DCIA or companies associated with them. To the contrary, I've frequently criticised them. Here's an early post. http://www.p2pnet.net/story/1720. Sharman Networks got the DCIA rolling and Sharman's Nikki Hemming is suing me.

___I suggest you try to send your daughter to public school rather than home school her. It seems that you or your wife should get some kind of jobs which draw in an income.___

There's no way on earth Liz or I be willing to send Emma to a pubic school. If she wanted to go, we wouldn't stop her. But she's tried it and prefers things the way they are. I believe you're a fairly regular reader so you already know how I feel about the increasing corporate incursions into the public school systems. So we'll continue to take on the direct responsibility of educating her ourselves, working with, and often helped by, other home-schooling families.

___And you will be surprised to find that actually taking time off from your hobby of filesharing, will give you a better grasp at it because it will make you more well rounded and give you a fresh perspective.___

It's not a hobby, and never was. I had my own music online for free and it's still there. http://www.p2pnet.net/jonmusic/index.html I'd planned to try and get a kind of collaborative jam session going but in the end, I didn't have the time.

As far as uploading and downloading files are concerned, I used to do both, but not any more for reasons which should be obvious to you if you think about it for a moment. I'm already the victim of one lawsuit, and there are two more in the wings.


I stand by what I wrote in the comments. I don't feel bad for Jon Newton because I think he was asking for too much of his site that he wanted a lot of revenue. And his desire now to sell the site to the highest bidder indicates that he is unscrupulous. Anyone buying at that inflated $30,000 price will not be interested in what is good for p2p but what is good for making a profit. Refer to this fatwa I issued previously:
there's no money to be made in p2p (http://www.3-3-3.org/forum/showthread.php?t=84)

The journalistic integrity of anyone who financially profits from a news site is questionable. At one time Jon Newton was creating news articles and traffic for such shady p2p ventures as Snarf-It, and I wondered whether he had bad judgement in doing so, or if he was being paid off to do so. He alludes to a payoff coming from unknown sources going on in storyid #10870 with: "in July a small group in Europe offered to make up the difference between what I was getting in ad revenues and what I needed to keep posting". So was the content that Newton wrote affected by his revenue stream? You have to assume it was. That is why Jon Newton's journalistic integrity is now suspect, and why commercialism and uncorrupted filesharing do not mix together.

In light of this turn of events and the offer of sale, I think it is for the better that Jon Newton will shut down his site. While his site has put out news mostly benevolent to filesharers, the financial expectations he has of it are unrealistic and so they can not be met. The enemy and cause of downfall to p2pnet.net and its reputation is not the RIAA but Jon Newton himself.

The filesharing movement is not about idolatry, egoes, and celebrities; but about ideology. So when Jon Newton fails it is not a defeat for the filesharing movement but a defeat for Jon Newton. He could have retired gracefully or cut back, but instead he has decided to exit by selling out.

For more of my past comments regarding p2p websites and communities, read this thread here:
p2pforums.com (http://www.3-3-3.org/forum/showthread.php?t=26)

2007-03-31, 16:08
Since my first post on this forum, I've completed a post-graduate course in journalism at an expensive and well-recognised London school of journalism.

It made me realise just what a state of silent crisis the field is in: From before they even start working, journalists are encouraged to churn out sensational but stagnant dross which advances the quality of human shared experience not one jot. The school and its course were frankly rubbish, although you would never know this if you were to go only on its standing in the eyes of newspaper editors.

Just now however, I read the above post. As I enjoyed Jon Newton's clear and informed style, I was given cause to wonder how this guy is going out of business while scum-sucking blandroids who wear the badge of journalist but whose journals contain nothing of value continue to make money.

Filesharing is a life-transforming phenomenon which can raise mutual understanding and knowledge across the world (and yes, you can download Famiy Guy for free...). Perhaps big business is so deeply in the pocket of big War (hi George!) that peace shall never be allowed to happen, and anything or anyone that promotes it shall be run into bankruptcy or worse as "punishment" for getting in the way of righteous and profitable global mistrust and conflict.

Success, even on a small scale, seems easily to make bastards out of people (Soulseek leaps to mind here), and so perhaps it's their sheer size which is explanation enough for the closed-mindedness of the press, music industry, etc, but whatever, I just which I had the private wealth to bail out Jon Newton. ...I'd make it a clause in his contract that he has to be answerable to Eclectica, to whom he will be contractually obliged to declare all sources of income and revenue. :D

If my parents pop their clogs while he's still around, I'll have a serious think about selling one of their houses and raising p2pnet from the dead.

Till then, I'll just keep an eye on the news as relayed by Eclectica and other "eyes-open" types.


Luther Blissett

myspace.com/lutherblissett (http://www.myspace.com/lutherblissett)
youtube.com/lutherblissett (http://www.youtube.com/lutherblissett)

p.s. Eclectica, do you still have your myspace page? Remember we were on that network before it became teenage spam hell. :)