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Gypsies in the palace...

By driph in Culture
Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 12:12:39 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

Well, Day Two of the Great Experiment is almost upon us. Submissions, moderations, AND comments have skyrocketed. As we've now had a few days to sit back and watch the new stories flow in, what do all of you think? How can we make Kuro5hin.org an even stronger site? Read more for my thoughts and to post your own.


My first comment on this is something that I'm sure most of you have already noticed, and a few have pointed out. Close to half of the submitted stories (if not more) have previously been news items on Slashdot. Is this good or bad?

On one hand, I can see the benefit of posting ex-Slashdot stories here on kuro5hin.org. The idea is similar to that of finding yourself involved in an interesting discussion with the crowd at the office, coming home, and starting the discussion again with a few friends later that night. It's still a good topic of conversation, and you are eager to share your ideas and gain a new perspective from theirs.

However, what if that same group of friends works with you as well? You might be able to continue the discussion, but it'd certainly be unnecessary to start over from the beginning. All of you were there. Everyone knows what was said.

With a show of hands, how many of you read kuro5hin.org and NOT slashdot.org? I venture to say very few. Since most of us DO read both, in most circumstances we should just go ahead and let the Slashdot stories remain Slashdot stories. Let's not use kuro5hin.org as a niche Slashdot, let's use kuro5hin.org as Kuro5hin.

How can we do this?

Hmm. What are two of the most important things we've got going with Kuro5hin that Slashdot is missing?

Story moderation and a small user base.

What does this mean?

Every single one of us has a voice, and an opportunity to be heard!

Got an issue that's really been bugging you lately? Strong feelings about it? Share it! Come up with a brilliant idea? Did you find yourself in an intriguing discussion the other night, or notice something poignant and clever about society? Write it up and submit it! The worst that can happen is that it will be moderated down and not seen as an article or feature, but if your article is well written and concerns technology or culture (a giant category in itself,) chances are that you will come back and see your story boldly displayed on the front page. Take a screen snapshot and send a copy to your mother. She?ll be so proud!

Sure, there is always room for hot news items and links from other sites. If one of us submits a link previously covered in Slashdot, and we all find it worth rehashing, we'll mark it up. But don't be afraid to vote against stories as well, if you feel it's going to simply be a repeat item from Slashdot.

Look at the articles that Rusty was posting while he was still in control of the site (heh.) Most of them were opinion pieces, insight, or sparks and tinder for conversation. These were the stories that brought us back to Kuro5hin every day, and the stories that make Kuro5hin stand out.

Remember, the tagline says "technology and culture from the trenches." That's us! It's time to make our own discussions.

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Gypsies in the palace... | 31 comments (31 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Very pertinent article... (none / 0) (#4)
by rajivvarma on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 12:27:36 AM EST

rajivvarma voted 1 on this story.

Very pertinent article

Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

I like this site specifically becau... (none / 0) (#1)
by rongen on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 06:40:33 AM EST

rongen voted 1 on this story.

I like this site specifically because it NOT Slashdot. I used to spend an hour or so there each day (altogether). Now I might spend 10 minutes looking at comments rated over 3. Mostly I go for the "boxes" feature. Technocrat is great but not updated as frequently as most web-junkies would like... It would be a shame if this place turns into Slashdot but with popularity that is almost inevitable... Then it will be time to find a new forum... Until then I'll be coming here, reading here, and probably posting here!
read/write http://www.prosebush.com

Slashdot (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 03:43:40 PM EST

Hear hear! This is much better.

[ Parent ]
Since I started reading kuro5hin.or... (none / 0) (#3)
by bmetzler on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 08:56:07 AM EST

bmetzler voted 1 on this story.

Since I started reading kuro5hin.org, I've quit reading slashdot. So this is my new home, and I don't necessarily know if a story has been posted on slashdot or not, nor do I care. All I'm interested in is that interesting stories are posted here. So when I submit stories, they'll be stories that I find interesting. Whether they are actually posted will depend on whether others find them interesting.
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.

I think part of the percieved probl... (none / 0) (#2)
by techt on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 09:03:10 AM EST

techt voted 1 on this story.

I think part of the percieved problem is that we are creatures of habit. The Slashdot-ish stories get submitted and published because that is what we are used to. Of course, another part of the reason may be that many of the Slashdot-ish stories are ones which we as a community have an interest in. It think, as we become more familiar with the way kuro5hin works and what we as a community want to see, the stories submitted and posted here will naturally start to follow onto their own.
--
Proud member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
Are You? http://www.eff.org/support/joineff.html

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#5)
by Paul Dunne on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 09:37:58 AM EST

An interesting article.

On the slashdot issue, I disagree. I am on kuro5hin because I don't read /. any more, because /. has become unreadable. A replacement slashdot is exactly what kuro5hin has potential to become. Not a slashdot clone, mind; but a replacement, for the more discriminating ex-slashdotter. Kuro5hin can become better than slashdot, a site that's learned from slashdot.

As for "re-posting" slashdot stories: if a story is worth posting, it's worth posting. We should always examine a story on its own merits, and not where it first appeared. So what if it's been discussed on slashdot? We want to discuss things here.

You are right, story moderation and a small user base (albeit a little too small right now, in terms of active posters if not of lurkers) are kuro5hin's strengths. Don't let's forget quality of user base, though. Yes, maybe quality is in the mind of the reader just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder; But right now, we don't have any "me too!" or "MS sucks" posts; and it would be nice to keep it that way. How exactly that is to be done, I don't know. If we could get some of the better slashdotters here, and somehow contrive to keep the kiddies and the trolls and the flamers right where they are, that would be ideal.

Indeed, we should not be afraid to vote against stories. I'm not! I try to vote on every story, and give a 1, -1 or 0 according to how interested I am in the subject, and whether I feel it is relevant. Therefore, I might vote for an article that I have no intention of discussion, and conversely vote against an article that I find interested, but merely reiterates stuff that's been covered recently. Of course, I'll always vote down garbage such as "Man arresting for cussing in Asswipe, Arkansas".

This brings me on to a pet topic of mine. Articles here have too short a life. There is brief outburst of posting, then nothing. There's nothing wrong with going to a week-old article, and posting a new comment. This is less a breaking-news site than a site for discussion of current issues. Issues don't pass from being current to being history within the space of a week -- or two or three weeks, for that matter.

Finally, let's not navel-gaze too much. This is the second article on kuro5hin about kuro5hin in less than a week. It is a good thing to talk about these issues at the start of a site's life; but there is no reason that a single article on the subject can't live longer, and become an ongoing commentary as kuro5hin develops, rather than a new-but-old article appearing every week. Actually, I think that's a good idea worth generalising. We might have a separate box on the front page, containing a few articles that are "long-runners". As comments accumulate, perhaps the main story page for each could hold only, say, the most 100 recent, with the remainder being archived on a secondary page.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#6)
by Demona on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 12:56:35 PM EST

Personally I'd like to see an easier way for users to track stories/comments of interest even after they've "scrolled off the radar", i.e., when they're no longer visible on the main page. Right now I hit my User Info page to see any replies to posts of my own, but there can easily be a better way. Thoughts?

[ Parent ]
Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#11)
by Paul Dunne on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 03:18:44 PM EST

How about an "add this story to your hot list" button on the User Info page? The "hot list" could be a list of stories that you are particularly interested in, giving you easy access, without your having to save the url, long after they've disappeared into the bowels of the "older stories" archive.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Hot List, Most Active... (none / 0) (#17)
by driph on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 07:13:47 PM EST

I like your hot list idea... perhaps the hotlist could work as a slashbox, allowing you to accumulate threads of interest and to keep them going...Great idea...Under each story there could be Add/Remove from Host List button... And perhaps there could be a Most Active Stories column, allowing those that may have missed the initial article to have easy access to the articles that are really pumping out the comments?

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Hot List, Most Active... (none / 0) (#29)
by rusty on Wed Feb 23, 2000 at 04:39:02 AM EST

There. Hotlists are active, and this story's in mine :-)

They don't keep track of new posts yet, but they will.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

wishlist at scoop.kuro5hin.org (none / 0) (#12)
by joeyo on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 03:38:16 PM EST

There is a thread on scoop.kuro5hin.org called "Feature Wishlist" or something like that. Actually its nearly devoid of conversation, but it would be a good place to post new feature ides...

You need to create a new account for there, btw...
/joeyo

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi
[ Parent ]

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 01:00:53 PM EST

This brings me on to a pet topic of mine. Articles here have too short a life. There is brief outburst of posting, then nothing. There's nothing wrong with going to a week-old article, and posting a new comment.

I've noticed that a lot of articles will have a brief flurry of good posts which are cary-overs from the moderation box, but then they might not have a single post afterwards. Maybe this will not be a problem once we have more posters, but I fear that this mentality could scale very easily...

This is the second article on kuro5hin about kuro5hin in less than a week...but there is no reason that a single article on the subject can't live longer, and become an ongoing commentary as kuro5hin develops...

A few quasi-permanent site related or otherwise pertinant "stories" would be great. However, when a thread gets very long, either in sheer volume of posts or in how long the thread has been around, "thread-rot" becomes a problem. We might need some way to be notified when our post has been responded to. Heck, some users might even want to be emailed if they get a reply... I'll start digging through the scoop code when I get a chance.

Another thought: Some have been commenting on how they have quit the /. scene. I think it will take me a lot longer to be weaned of /. :0 but I don't really mind some overlap. In a sense, I wouldn't really mind if this site turned into a discussion about Japanese anime if people start moderating those stories up. Let kuro5hin do what its gonna do. (I've been completely fascinated by story moderation, in case you can't tell :) If a story interests you, post it- there is probably someone else who is interested too.

Ok I'll shut up now...
/joeyo

[ Parent ]

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#14)
by Emacs on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 04:00:44 PM EST

***I am on kuro5hin because I don't read /. any more, because /. has become unreadable. A replacement slashdot is exactly what kuro5hin has potential to become. Not a slashdot clone, mind; but a replacement, for the more discriminating ex-slashdotter. Kuro5hin can become better than slashdot, a site that's learned from slashdot. ***

Excellent point. I fell in love with /. because you could find some great information from experts while reading the comments. While that is still true today, it's almost becoming a *job* to sort through the crap and the trolls and the flamewars to find those gems. Sad really, but popularity seems to water down anything it gets it's grubby hands on.

I don't see a conflict with posting stories that have already been posted on /., in fact I don't see a problem with having discussions about /. here. It's part of the modern tech culture. Has anyone noticed how many magazines (real live dead tree magazines) make references to slashdot? The current Dr. Dobbs has several mentions about /. as does the current Linux Journal.

I think if we attract quality people to K then the site will be great just by letting it run it's natural course. Lets not get too hung up on trying to be different from slashdot, lets live and learn.

[ Parent ]
Story Moderation and Cut-and-Paste (none / 0) (#8)
by rajivvarma on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 03:07:44 PM EST

Hello:

What is going to happen when Kuro5hin gets popular and they are lots of stories that are submitted? Will the current system work? I've only had my username here for a week (actually I think it's less) but I already enjoy reading Kuro5hin and absolutely love story moderation.

By the way, is it legal to post the complete text from a web site if you give the referring url? I've always thought it was legal, but I'd be glad to hear from other people on this.

Rajiv Varma

Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

Re: Story Moderation and Cut-and-Paste (none / 0) (#9)
by Paul Dunne on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 03:11:10 PM EST

Posting the full text is not *illegal*, but it might be, and usually is, violation of copyright, regardless of whether you include the url or not. However, the whole point of the web is so you can link to stuff, and don't have to copy it wholesale!
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Story Moderation and Cut-and-Paste (none / 0) (#10)
by ramses0 on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 03:16:36 PM EST

It'll be very neat to see how kuro5hin/scoop holds up to Large(tm) amounts of story submissions. The front page is already a pretty neat place (after moderation gets performed). Even the moderation area is neat as far as reading people's comments on story ideas go.

Anyway, for cut-and-paste, I'd say it's much more polite to say [ahref]slashdot[/a] posted a [ahref]story[/a] about [ahref]linux.com[/a] today. I think 'this', what does everybody think about 'that'?

It gives credit where credit is due, as well as neatly avoids any (well, most) legal issues.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Story Moderation and Cut-and-Paste (none / 0) (#15)
by rajivvarma on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 04:15:29 PM EST

Hello:

Thanks for the information. Also, I think that something will have to be done about stories that are added by the moderation process. As this site gets more and more popular, I don't think the comments made by people who voted should be displayed by default. This would become a huge list, and also, it would be nice to have a way to filter them right now because I like to go directly to the discussion.

Rajiv Varma

Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

[ Parent ]
Re: Voting comments.. (none / 0) (#18)
by driph on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 07:30:46 PM EST

Another good idea.. Yes, it could get pretty hectic in here once there are quite a few people voting... Giving the moderator a choice between posting and not posting a comment when a vote is cast would clear that up a bit...

Although one thing I do like about voting comments is that you are posting them totally on the merit of the article, before reading anyone elses posts.. that gives the article a few good comments to start out its life with..


--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Voting comments.. (none / 0) (#19)
by ramses0 on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 12:12:36 AM EST

I agree with this: If you'll notice, the "moderation" comments get posted with a score of zero, and I'm sure that once Rusty gets back, he would be happy to implement score-based filtering so that by default you never see those comments.

Some other requested functionality sounds really good, and I'd like to see at least one or two of these features implemented. Even better, since 'scoop' (this site software) is open source, available at http://scoop.kuro5hin.org/, you can grab it and hack together a feature or two.

It's the weekend, do you really have anything better to do? ;^)=

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Voting comments.. (none / 0) (#23)
by driph on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 09:52:55 AM EST

Heh... unfortunately the closest I currently get to programming in perl is editing a msg board script or similar..
Although I am now offering my ability to develop subject icons, various design issues, etc..artsy stuff. :]



--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Voting comments.. (none / 0) (#22)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 07:27:55 AM EST

You, the moderator, do have a choice. If you don't type anything in the little box, then you just vote without comment. Or did I misunderstand?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Voting comments.. (none / 0) (#24)
by ramses0 on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 12:55:38 PM EST

Yeppers, you've got it right. It used to be (for a few hours, IIRC) that people who didn't post a comment still got their "Bob voted 0 on this story" posted on the main page, but rusty took that out pretty quick.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#16)
by fvw on Sat Feb 19, 2000 at 06:32:55 PM EST

Well, let's see. I'm just here since this morning... (Well, this morning for me, this afternoon for many other people :-) ). I must say, I really like this. And I think that as long as story moderation stays, there isn't a risk of this becoming as unpersonal (imho) as /.

What I'd really like is:
a) comment moderation
b) the possibility to have replies to your comments mailed to you
c) no MS html...

BTW, I really like this font in this textarea, I find myself typing in it just because it looks pretty.

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#20)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 07:26:10 AM EST

Moderation is an attempt to deal with very real problems that slashdot
has; we don't have those here. It's just as well; many people would
argue that /.'s cure is worse than the disease. Comment moderation is
nice in theory, but sucks in practice. Look at what it's done over
there. If you pander to prejudice and preconception, you get mod'ed
up. If you don't, you are a "troll" or "flamebait" or "off-topic".
Worse, if you look impressive, you get mod'ed even though you're
spouting complete
drivel
! Also, mods use their 5 points to comment indirectly (and
anonymously at that), upping stuff they like, downing stuff they don't.
It's just a coward's way of saying "me too".

If you've got a decent group of users, then moderation is overkill.
If your users are, er, how shall I put it, a "mixed bunch", then
moderation is no cure.

Mailing replies could be a nice feature, though I find the User
Info links good enough.

No MS HTML? You mean we've got it now?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#25)
by fvw on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 09:48:55 PM EST

I guess you're right really. I just went on a wild 'what doesn't it have yet' brainstorm. as long as the user base stays like this, we don't need it.

Yes, ms html. Unless the author _wanted_ to say "I?m", "It?s", "that?s" and "It?d"



[ Parent ]
Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#26)
by Paul Dunne on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 03:48:51 AM EST

> Yes, ms html. Unless the author _wanted_ to say "I?m", "It?s",
> "that?s" and "It?d"

Attention, everyone!! We have reason to believe that JON KATZ is in the building! Now, don't panic! If everyone will just rise quietly and move calmly to the nearest fire exit, we can have the building cleared in no time, and then the SWAT team can go to work. DON'T PANIC!

Letters From The Spiritual Net Warfare
The Interactive Bill of Rights, The Techno-WB and Grief
The MPAA Demands Anonymous Cowards
The Message From Online Cyber-Terrorism

Oh my God, it can't be, no... I'm *channelling* JK!! ARGGGHGHH!!!

We now return you to our scheduled programming.

That's not MS HTML, as such, just some poor soul writing up their comments in an MS product that uses their made-up encoding for punctuation characters. My knee-jerk reaction is to agree with you -- kuro5hin could filter posts through the demoroniser, for instance -- but on the other hand, those silly question-marks could be regarded as a rough indication of the poster's clue level", so maybe they should be left alone.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#27)
by fvw on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 05:08:15 AM EST

I agree, it really is an incorrect name, but yes, I meant the microsoft apostrophe's. Normally I wouldn't have complained, however this seemed to be a message from someone who is (at least in part) responsible for the site. Though, thanks to the user moderation this definately wouldn't have to be the case. And apart from that, the article didn't seem really clueless to me... Just goes to show, everybody makes mistakes. Some just do it more than others :-)

[ Parent ]
Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#28)
by driph on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 04:56:40 PM EST

Yeah, those damn question mark apostrophes! Who made them?! Kill! Kill!

Wait a sec. Are you refering to my article?

I admit, I wrote the article in Office98 on a Macintosh here at the office. Spelling is not one of my hobbies, so I am fond of the spell checker. And "kuro5hin" is now in its dictionary. I then copied and pasted the whole slew into the article box, threw in some HTML tags, and whallah.

Although in my browser, I'm not seeing the question marks(which I usually do on Katz's articles..).... Did they show up in my article?

If so, I?ll do my best to rectify the issue. :]


--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Gypsies in the palace... (none / 0) (#21)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Feb 20, 2000 at 07:26:12 AM EST

Moderation is an attempt to deal with very real problems that slashdot has; we don't have those here. It's just as well; many people would argue that /.'s cure is worse than the disease. Comment moderation is nice in theory, but sucks in practice. Look at what it's done over there. If you pander to prejudice and preconception, you get mod'ed up. If you don't, you are a "troll" or "flamebait" or "off-topic". Worse, if you look impressive, you get mod'ed even though you're spouting complete drivel! Also, mods use their 5 points to comment indirectly (and anonymously at that), upping stuff they like, downing stuff they don't. It's just a coward's way of saying "me too".

If you've got a decent group of users, then moderation is overkill. If your users are, er, how shall I put it, a "mixed bunch", then moderation is no cure.

Mailing replies could be a nice feature, though I find the User Info links good enough.

No MS HTML? You mean we've got it now?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by teach1 on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 10:17:13 AM EST

I have to say that I enjoyed the site far more when the articles were written by Rusty. Is he the only one who can write something that is not based on a technology related news article?

Re: Gypsies in the palace... (3.00 / 1) (#31)
by rusty on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 02:24:49 PM EST

Not fair-- I'm your brother. You have to like what I write.

But seriously, you're partly wrong, and you partly have a point. I'm a programmer, and many of the readers here are programmers, admins, people who don't just work with computers, but eat sleep and breathe them. So technology news will always interest me, and most of them.

On the other hand, this is not "News for Nerds," and I would really like to see more opinion pieces, and culture type pieces. If they're well-written, people do like them. I'm not sure how best to encourage content that is not computer-related but would still be of interest to folks like me, other than by continuing to write such pieces myself. Maybe some kindred spirits out there will join me in my oddness.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Gypsies in the palace... | 31 comments (31 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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