Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

The death of Kuro5hin?

By enterfornone in Meta
Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 03:32:53 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

Kuro5hin is a democracy. The decision on what stories to post is made by the majority. The decision on who should be allowed to censor spam and trolls in made for the most part by the users. This has worked well, I think it still mostly works now. But a democracy is only as good as the quality of the majority - so what would happen in the quality of the majority suddenly declined?

Slashdot is dying. Some say it is already dead. Some say it was a victim of a moderation system that couldn't properly control the trolls. Some say the moderation system encouraged the trolls. But the truth is, Slashdot got too big.

Once you could read Usenet and not see any spam. I haven't been on the net for as long as some, but I can still remember reading alt.sex and finding relevant posts. Now finding relevant posts on any alt group is a challenge. A victim of it's own popularity.

Slashdot was like that too, but as it became more popular it was recognised that things were getting out of control. A moderation system was put into place. It didn't work. And whether due to further popularity or due to the moderation system itself, things just got worse. Trying to find a relevant comment on Slashdot is now just as hard as finding one on Usenet.

Kuro5hin is still working. Some might call this proof that the system works well. But Kuro5hin in it's current state it nowhere close to the size of Slashdot. However as more and more become disillusioned with what Slashdot has become, they are moving on to other weblogs and Kuro5hin is one of them. It could be said that Slashdot has become a breeding ground for Kuro5hin.

Propaganda maintainer Bowie Poag has predicted that, come February, VA Linux will be no more. While Bowie's opinion of VA should never be taken seriously, it does make for some interesting thought. With VA, so will go OSDN and with that Slashdot.

Perhaps a buyer could be found for Slashdot. In Slashdot's current state, I think not. More than likely tens of thousands of Slashdot readers, trolls and all, will come looking for a new home. And should they find Kuro5hin, Kuro5hin will become Slashdot.

So the question, can Kuro5hin maintain it's current quality, and it's democracy, once it contains a readership the size of Slashdot? Perhaps this is only hypothetical and it will never happen. But I think this is worth discussing now rather than later.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


What would happen if K5 had as many readers as Slashdot has now?
o The more the merrier 13%
o Nothing would change 5%
o It would go to the trolls 37%
o Inoshiro, he can save us 43%

Votes: 155
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Slashdot
o Kuro5hin
o Propaganda
o VA Linux
o Also by enterfornone

Display: Sort:
The death of Kuro5hin? | 109 comments (109 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
One major problem in your post... (2.00 / 11) (#1)
by Luke Scharf on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 10:43:44 PM EST

One major problem in your prediction for the future is that you forgot to mention that VA Linux also hosts k5. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

On the other hand, the discussion about "real life" versus "online life" smacks of AOL. I'll post my comments about that article there... :-)

I thought they were just a sponsor? (3.00 / 4) (#4)
by enterfornone on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 10:53:59 PM EST

I thought V-Hosting were the host, VA were the sponsor, and it was owned by Rusty. If VA went bust Rusty would need to look for another sponser. But Slashdot wouldn't go back to Malda, it would go to the liquidators with the rest of VA's assets.

Anyway it's not a major part of my arguement. The question is, would an influx of new users stop the current system from working. That was just an example of how it might occur.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Good call.... (2.00 / 2) (#9)
by Luke Scharf on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 11:40:21 PM EST

I thought V-Hosting were the host, VA were the sponsor, and it was owned by Rusty.

Good call -- I didn't read the rest of the corner that I pointed you toward, or research my comment...

My bad!

[ Parent ]
not according to rusty (4.25 / 4) (#5)
by h2odragon on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 10:57:21 PM EST

...who has said publicly that VA donated the box with no strings attached.

Considering what's happened to /. since their acquisition, I don't think VA gives a damn what happens to that or any other weblog; they were turning paper money into "real assets" while the getting was good.

[ Parent ]

Imminent Death of the Net Predicted! (3.52 / 25) (#2)
by Signal 11 on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 10:52:49 PM EST

Okay, first, none of these statements have any factual statements to support them, so let's first define what "dying" is.

I'm going to define dying in two ways and then explore each - dying by becoming unpopular and disused, and death by changing the bias of the site(s) sufficiently that the original occupants move on.

Slashdot is aquiring dozens of new accounts each *day* and hundreds of new users. Most networking/system/programming geeks past the age of 16 are aware of slashdot, as well as a large section of the general geek community. The number of comments per story has steadily risen, indicating increased participation. Therefore, I conclude that slashdot is in no danger of dying by becoming unpopular. For similar reasons, I conclude the same of kuro5hin.

The second type of "death", however, is much much more debatable, and unfortunately there are few facts to go on. However, slashdot experienced a mass exodus of its core participants starting approximately 8 months ago. About 2 months ago I joined them, and have spoke with them at length. These people include spiralx, fluffy grue, thereverand, and other (former) major contributors to slashdot. One might conclude that slashdot is experiencing a "brain drain" as more people migrate to kuro5hin.

As a result, there is a remarkable similarity between kuro5hin and the early slashdot communities. One could draw a correlation between size (popularity) and the "noise" ratio as perceived by the "core" contributors. I can't draw a conclusion, but there is the possibility that kuro5hin, as it continues to increase in popularity may reach the threshold of readership and "go critical", thus leading to rapid change and increase in the "noise" on the site, just as what happened to slashdot. At that point, kuro5hin would (if this scenario pans out) experience a mass exodus of its "core" contributors similar to that of slashdot. Invariably some of the old farts would simply stop posting and move to lurker status - burnout. This is seemingly quite common given conversations I have had with people who have delurked for brief periods on slashdot and on several listservs I frequent.

Perhaps weblogs like slashdot and kuro5hin are cyclical in nature - they go through distinct stages, and as it matures will attract different types of people to the site.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

defining death (2.25 / 4) (#7)
by enterfornone on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 11:33:41 PM EST

If Slashdot's goal is simply to become popular then I guess they have succeeded, as had Usenet. You seem to imply that Slashdot's "maturing" is a good thing?

My arguement suggested that the disappearance of Slashdot would cause immeditate damage. I guess I should have also went into more depth on the possibility that Slashdot would continue on as is and the core participants would more here. I think in time this would certainly cause a shift in sort of people that are reading K5, I think it's already starting to happen.

(An aside to that, while I don't seriously consider you a troll or the second coming of Katz, your last two articles and the reaction to them certainly inspired this article to a degree).

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
re: defining death (2.33 / 3) (#72)
by Signal 11 on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 03:29:13 PM EST

You seem to imply that Slashdot's "maturing" is a good thing?

I didn't say it was good or bad, just that it was.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

bad choice of words (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 10:20:31 PM EST

I don't know, "matured" seems to imply something good..

once the realm of trolls and deviants, slashdot has matured into a highly repected technology forum

once a highly repected technology forum, slashdot has matured into the realm of trolls and deviants

matured just doesn't seem to be the right word

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Mystique of Slashdot (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by Aztech on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 06:00:58 AM EST

It seems your process of dissatisfaction with Slashdot has turned into it's own enemy, it's hard read an article on /. without noticing your continuing 'presence' somewhere.

If you take a look at the recent comments, most of them consist of flames etc, I haven't read enough to see if they're justified or not, I assume many of them are rebuttals of trolls who have posted against you. However the point is, you claim to of left /. two months ago, enough though you no longer actively contribute to the site in a postive way, your presence is still there? A little hypocritical?

Why even reply to these trolls... by lowering yourself to their level, you become no better than them.

More importantly, you undermine your reputation here, it's hard to start a new when you haven't consolidated the past. This is why I have questioned your credibility in the past, whilst you continue to post profanities of grandeur on /. (for whatever reason) and actively contribute to K5 it reeks is double standards and contradictions.

I guess /. is still held in great interest and mystique... mainly due to curiosity, I'm not saying you shouldn't read it anymore, but you could at least prevent yourself from being bitten by the trolls bate, it doesn't reflect well.

This isn't meant as a flame in the slightest, I hope you can at least understand some of the points though.


[ Parent ]
That's not him... (4.75 / 4) (#36)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 07:45:51 AM EST

Someone else owns that account now, Signal 11 gave it away shortly after leaving /.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

All makes sense now (2.75 / 4) (#39)
by Aztech on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 08:19:08 AM EST

I know there's a lot of fake clone accounts... but he gave his original one away? I take it all back in that case ;)

[ Parent ]
interesting.. (3.36 / 11) (#3)
by bse on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 10:53:42 PM EST

well, thats an interesting view on a possible dim future of so called "web logs". as many have said before me, i only read /. for the tech stories and k5 for the warm community feeling, the thought provoking stories, and of course the much crisper look'n'feel.

maybe, one day, k5's signal:noise ratio will fall like /.'s has.. maybe.. but that's what happens to everything that becomes commercialised and mainstream - like the internet and linux and cola.

hopefully, k5 will stay true to its roots for a long time. of course, maybe by this time next year everything will be different. that's the nifty thing about the future, we have absolutly no idea what will happen. =)

"Please sir, tell me why, my life's so pitiful, but the future's so bright? When I look ahead, it burns my retinas." -- Pitchshifter - Please Sir

story moderation (3.22 / 9) (#6)
by radar bunny on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 11:27:39 PM EST

They key is keeping the stories smart. If this site is smart then there is a greater (note: great != 100%) chance of keeping the bad out. This is done by moderation and so the quality of the stories is going to be a reflection of the quality of the users. Its some what cyclical though.

smart users == Smart stories == atracts smart users.

However, as the user base grows it could be easier for the stories to be controlled by the less smart. So, at some point, there might need to be a revision on how stories get moderated. Perhaps a higher thresh-hold than 77 to keep a bunch of trolls from quickly putting some crap story on the front page. Of course the opposite is true becuse a few trolls with multiple accounts could dump a good story. I mean, 7 "first posters" with two accoutns each could pull this off.

story voting (2.00 / 2) (#10)
by enterfornone on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 11:48:55 PM EST

I think the thresholds scale to a percentage of registered users.

Of course this could lead to a point where if there are many registered but inactivie users it would be impossible to meet the threshold.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
keep active (3.33 / 3) (#13)
by radar bunny on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:07:57 AM EST

Of course this could lead to a point where if there are many registered but inactivie users it would be impossible to meet the threshold.

well, then k5 (scoop) could

a) Delete any username that has been inactive for x number of days. where x would = 60 - 90 ?? You could always keep it active by posting to your diary, even if it's just a simple "hi".

b) Ok, some people don't like having acounts deleted so k5 (scoop) could simply count users as all those who have posted at least one comment in the last 60-90 days.

c) Fun with probability statistics. This would involve statistically "guessing" the percent of probable inactive acounts.

d) Of course worse comes to worse, you would have to have a high enough "mojo" to vote on the stories --- problem is, this would lead to "mojo-whoring".

I mean this is all what-if stuff, but something to maybe start thinking about.

[ Parent ]
Does this democracy work? (3.11 / 9) (#8)
by loprox on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 11:34:20 PM EST

I am relativeley new to K5 and find this system to be both very rewarding and frustrating... For example, I posted a story and got some good comments about it and also some bad ones. Many of the negative comments were stating that my article in question was old news (the event had been announced 3 hours before my posting) and that Slashdot had ran this story a few weeks back ( it actually ran the story 12 hours after I had posted it here) and my post did not make it to the front page or any section... now Im not bitter, this system is pretty damn cool and the democracy of it is amazing... but we have to remember that in democracy we have to pay the price if the masses do not know what they are talking about. Sometimes, it is better to lay power in the hands of people who are experts in what they are talking about... Please no one take this a flaimbait. I also agree that the quality of articles on Slasdhot is declining... useless articles... reposts, sometimes TWICE on the same page. I think that the quality of K5 would increase if there would be more stories coming in. As it stands now, there are only a few stories making it to the front page a week and the purpose of voting does not seem to be usefull in weeding through so little articles. It almost makes you want to vote +1 for every story because ANY story is better than none... If there would be 5+ stories to vote on then the voting would prove to be much more usefull.

You mean... meatloaf is made with... MEAT?
Slashdot not able to find a buyer? (3.12 / 8) (#11)
by MaximumBob on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:05:41 AM EST

Why would /. not be able to find a buyer? Because the quality of discussion isn't as good as it used to be?

So what? Do you have any idea how many thousands and thousands of page views Slashdot has a day? The number is so mind boggling, I don't. :)

Seriously though, unless you're speaking of something else when you say "In Slashdot's current state," but I can't imagine that's the case. It may very well be losing money, but I still think there has to be someone who thinks he can buy the site and turn it into a profit maker. The quality of the conversation on the site is not a factor there.

slashdot advertising revenue (2.33 / 3) (#16)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:23:41 AM EST

I don't know if Slashdot makes any money. Others have suggested it does. Sure it gets a lot of hits, but I don't see how Slashdot in it's current incarnation has a demographic that is worth spending money advertising to.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Community bloat-death (3.58 / 12) (#12)
by whatnotever on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:06:59 AM EST

(While both the size of the community and the quality of the participants are relevant to this issue, I'm only talking about the size here.)

A large part of what I like about K5 is the community feeling. You can hang out here for a while and quickly get to know some of the users pretty well. The diaries have enhanced this greatly.

I believe no community can survive past a certain size, though. As the number of members grows too large, it becomes increasingly difficult to get to know any one user, as it becomes impossible to really distinguish one from the others. Certainly communities can exist *within* such large groups. Existing communities can remain intact by filtering out the rest, and it may even be possible to form entirely new groups within the grand whole, but it is quite hard. And for a new user to find any form of community is extremely difficult.

I was able to come to K5, lurk a while, get an account, eventually start posting, and now I feel decently involved. However, if I were to stumble upon any community the size of /. right now, I would just see a massive throng of people shouting, and my voice would undoubtedly get lost in the crowd.

This is very unfortunate. For a long time (maybe two years) I was wandering around the internet, seeing communities, but feeling that it wouldn't be possible for me to become part of them. Finally, I've found K5. But I feel I was only able to "get in" because I found it while it was relatively young. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that it's almost impossible to become a part of an older, established community. Then again, it's probably only hard for more reserved folks like myself...

Slashdot is dying? Since when? (4.40 / 32) (#14)
by Carnage4Life on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:12:55 AM EST

Slashdot was like that too, but as it became more popular it was recognised that things were getting out of control. A moderation system was put into place. It didn't work. And whether due to further popularity or due to the moderation system itself, things just got worse. Trying to find a relevant comment on Slashdot is now just as hard as finding one on Usenet.

This is untrue. I browse with a threshold set at +3 and see as many insightful comments per article as I see in a kuro5hin articles, usually more if it is a technology article as a opposed to a political one.

Propaganda maintainer Bowie Poag has predicted that, come February, VA Linux will be no more. While Bowie's opinion of VA should never be taken seriously, it does make for some interesting thought. With VA, so will go OSDN and with that Slashdot.

Even if VA Linux tanks tomorrow, this won't stop Slashdot. It is one of the few profitable websites on the Internet and subsidizes most of the other OSDN sites. Slashdot has a large viewership in a very choice demographic (young IT professionals, most with money) and most readers visit it several times a day and linger for more than a few minutes at a time. Even if the costs of running it become prohibitive, there'll be a buyer.

So the question, can Kuro5hin maintain it's current quality, and it's democracy, once it contains a readership the size of Slashdot?

No online community (or business enterprise for that matter) has successfully scaled to several hundred thousand regular users without losing some of what made it special in the first place. In my opinion CmdrTaco and crew have done an admirable job in keeping most of the nuisances in check.

Also I doubt that K5's current system would work with one or two hundred thousand registered users of which at least half used the site regularly. The current K5 system relies on the average K5 reader to be intelligent, reasonable and rational, qualities that are lacking in most people but seem to abound in K5's readership. If K5 is ever overrun by the masses, it's system will have to change just like Slashdot had to change.

I'll leave with this quote from Bjarne Stroustrup and C++ newsgroups when he they first launched, note the parallels:
    When C++ was new, one of the things that pleased me most was that discussions about C++ were so much better informed than discussions about most other languages, that the understanding of key concepts were so much better in C++ groups than in, say, C and Pascal groups, and that groups such as comp.lang.c++ were so much more polite and supportive than that of other groups. Clearly, I thought naively, C++ attracts a much better class of programmers, learning C++ helps people to absorb the key concepts of good programming/design, and the resulting success makes people more tolerant and helpful.

    I was wrong. The phenomenon was real, but it had little to do with C++. In a small dedicated community, life is relatively easy. people do their homework, people have access to reasonable sources of information, gross errors and misconceptions are corrected before they can cause significant harm, compilers and teaching materials are up-to-date, etc.

    This is not and cannot be the case in a multi-hundred-thousand member community:

3 quick gripes (2.62 / 8) (#15)
by John Big Boots on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:21:43 AM EST

I'm sorry to be blunt, but "the quality of the majority" is purely subjective. Majority is merely a number and nothing more.

As for Slashdot's "impending" demise, my theory is that they mostly post items that can be found through other news portals -- in their archive sections. Old stuff, that is.

Finally, I wouldn't worry about K5 becoming Slashdot. Since slashcode is GPL, anyone can use it. In the event of Slashdot's demise, I bet there would be plenty of sites popping up -- hoping to give the homeless trolls a new place to live.

/. Breeds K5 (3.20 / 10) (#17)
by TheDude on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:47:10 AM EST

Yo, I foresaw that, man. I am one of the so converted. I came before the hordes, but as /. died, i noticed people showing up here. Mostly, the people who have come so far add positively to the site, and the distracting trolls are left to rape and pillage what's left of slashdot. I dread the day that /. actually dies, because I see K5 being next. Publicity is a good thing - it got K5 users - but it can also bring trolls.

I'm not too worried, though. K5 has a good community, and seems to want to remain so. There are enough people here who love K5 to deal with newcomers who just don't get the point of this site. They'll get low ratings, and be ignored. I don't see the death of K5 happening any time soon, thankfully.

TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

Moderation systems (2.71 / 14) (#18)
by Nyarlathotep on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:49:36 AM EST

The people who write the slashdot moderation systems are morons. They think that you can just code up a solution to solve all the problems caused by popularity. There are technological solutions (which may look kinda like moderation), but your not going to find them if you just try one thing and declare victory. You need to really do some research, a job beyond the slashdot maintainers.

Anyway, K5 will survive if the various people who hack scoop (a) manage to keep an open mind about both the nature of the problems and the possible solutions and (b) are willing to spend a lot of time on experementation (i.e. trial and error).

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
slashdot in the days of yore (4.16 / 18) (#19)
by rabbit on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:09:15 AM EST

"Back in the day" I used to read slashdot fairly religiously. I found that most of the articles posted were interesting. Beyond appealing to my geek side - they were just interesting. Whether or not I knew anything about the subject at hand, often, the article were still interesting.

Some days I would read every single one. And the comments.

As of late, by which I mean over the course of the past year or so, I've noticed a very subtle trend in the content of slashdot. As well as some trends that are not so subtle.

I don't think the trolls are that big of a deal. There were days here and there when someone would go out of their way to be a complete ass, and post a gagillion times, but most of the time, you just SKIP to the NEXT post. You don't really need to read more than three words to judge if something is real troll or not. MOst of the time. I think that maybe if the stories themselves were a little more intelligent, then there would be some rather more intelligent conversation going on. But when it's the same shit rehashed over and over again....no.

It's looking, more and more, like a ZD rag, except you replace "microsoft" with "linux". The amount of actual substance and thought going into the postings is going down. Thier turn around time on new stories has gone through the roof. And they are starting to repeat themselves.

And they are starting to repeat themselves.

Alot. It's getting so rediculous that people are starting to keep track of it. Would it be so hard to do a quick search on the contents of a new story (against the old database) before posting it? I think not.

I think maybe the boys have a little money now, and maybe they don't care as much as they did. They're not as careful. Perhaps they are tired. Some of the stories posted used to have real content, generated either by the slashdot crew, or by random joe submitter. Now the vast majority of the stories are links with hardly any comment.
Or Katz. Whom, on the whole, i like. But he scarcely can hold up the whole site on his own...

Perhaps now that they are part of the corporate machine, they don't feel that maybe it's such a bad thing. maybe they don't feel subversive anymore.

It's hard to be subversive when you are owned.

I like k5. And I think, that so long as someone that truly cares remains in charge, that I will continue to like k5.

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
What I think does it. (3.22 / 9) (#20)
by matman on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:16:11 AM EST

I think that the biggest problem with the slashdot style moderation system, is that it REWARDS posts with karma. It gives people incentives. They can see if they've annoyed people (get modded down) or if they've managed to say something that people agree with (get modded up). This is a reward system. People like being rewarded and so are going to work to be rewarded, even if they dont have anything relevent to say. If you're going to use the mod up/down model, don't show the number rating and certainly dont give users totals of moderation done to all of their posts as a whole.

This leaves posters to post and be rewarded by discussion and the pure merit of good ideas being presented. It makes it harder to get a reaction out of the system when the system that manages the conversations doesnt reward or punish posts (effectively, since users wouldnt see a metric of moderation, only the effects on organization by it)

Huh? (2.33 / 3) (#22)
by Carnage4Life on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:44:44 AM EST

I think that the biggest problem with the slashdot style moderation system, is that it REWARDS posts with karma. It gives people incentives. They can see if they've annoyed people (get modded down) or if they've managed to say something that people agree with (get modded up). This is a reward system. People like being rewarded and so are going to work to be rewarded, even if they dont have anything relevent to say. If you're going to use the mod up/down model, don't show the number rating and certainly dont give users totals of moderation done to all of their posts as a whole.

What I think does it. (4.00) (#20)
by matman (the user johnston on megaepic.com) on Fri Nov 24th, 2000 at 01:16:11 AM EST

(User Info)

You realize you just described the K5 moderation system down to a T, right? I'm lost, are you somehow trying to say that the K5 moderation system is bad or was this an honest mistake?

PS: Karma is capped, so reward totals are no longer relevant. Although it is easier to compute my totals on K5 than on Slashdot because K5 doesn't expire posts from a user's comment history like Slashdot does.

[ Parent ]
not slashdot (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by matman on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:19:19 PM EST

Sorry, I was making a statement about Slashdot, not k5. K5 doesn't give user totals, but it does show totals of mods done to messages themselves, so as you said, users can calculate totals on their own; this is just as bad.

[ Parent ]
I quite like that idea (2.00 / 3) (#24)
by jesterzog on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:59:01 AM EST

If you're going to use the mod up/down model, don't show the number rating and certainly dont give users totals of moderation done to all of their posts as a whole.

I really like the idea of not showing the moderation totals on a comment. As in just let people rate it how they think it should be rated, and leave it at that. Is there any reason why everyone should be able to see how others have rated a comment? Do people find it helpful?

I guess sometimes it's useful to know what the mod totals of their own comments are - mostly to inform people how well they're being received. I'm wondering if there's any need to show them to everyone else, though.

jesterzog Fight the light

[ Parent ]
Uses of ratings (4.25 / 4) (#27)
by earthling on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 03:52:50 AM EST

I usually browse at "All" "Nested" "Highest" "Oldest"

Maybe I'm way out, but I don't rate comments on either or not I happen to agree with them, but on what they bring out to the discussion. If a comment brings out a good point, abords the problem from an angle I haven't considered, or raise interest questions, I'll mod it up. On the other hand, if the post was just a troll or a "me too", I'll mod it down. This way I figure that I'll help bring out the insightful posts for users who may not have or want to take the time to read all the replies.

"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

nah, dont give ratings in numbers at all. (3.66 / 3) (#61)
by matman on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 12:20:37 PM EST

No one has any reason to see numbers of moderations done to a post... not even the poster - especially not the poster Responses in messages should be enough validation for them.

[ Parent ]
Oh no, not again! :) (4.50 / 20) (#21)
by Inoshiro on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:33:33 AM EST

Well, we've heard this before (sorry, searched story archives for 30 minutes, couldn't fine June/July death prediction), and then heard it again, and now we're hearing it again. K5 is dieing! Hey, you can't always be wrong. Even a stopped analog clock is correct twice daily.

The fact of it is that we can sustain a certain amount of growth. The larger we get, the more burst growth we can sustain (as there are more experienced people to help the newbies out). Yes, we can't scale linearly forever, but we can create a nice community. Rusty and I have already discussed (and will likely discuss in the future) things like splitting off sections, making things more specialised, etc.

There was a great BBS in California in the 1980s. It had litterally hundreds upon hundreds of sections with messages and files. It was so large that people who frequented some message areas and file areas, were totally unheard of in other areas. If I might analogize with the real world: yes, the town of K5 is not large for hundreds of thousands of people, but suburbs around a central hub will work. Lots of people live, in real life, not knowing about people beyond their little section of the world (excepting 'famous' people, of course).

So we can die all we want, but we'll still be fine. You and I both 'die' continiously, changing and growing to mean the needs of new ideas, etc. Such is life. We'll deal with it as it comes, and hopefully not screw up :)

[ イノシロ ]
Yes But :) (3.60 / 5) (#23)
by kraant on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:58:39 AM EST

We periodicaly need these kinds of articles to remind us that we only have this great place because we're working towards it.

If everyone got complacant and stopped rating posts or writing and voting on articles etc then the whole place would fall over like a house of cards...

I mean all the Great Old Ones ;) have seen this before and feel confident that it too will pass. But a vast majority of the population have never realy been through a change in character of the website. So this kind of article is a great place for them to vent and argue themselves to the point of acceptance of change.

Anyway it's a convenient place for edjimacating them darn pesky newbies just like you've done ;)
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Not quite what this is about (2.80 / 5) (#26)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:17:05 AM EST

I probably made the mistake of using a sensational title. I'm not predicting the death of Kuro5hin, merely creating a discussion on how well the current system would cope with a much larger group of users.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
The September post (2.40 / 5) (#30)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:27:15 AM EST

I wasn't around then, didn't that turn out to be a bug in Scoop that caused a greater than normal amount of stories to go to the front page (leading some to blame it on the evil newbies).

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Ah, yes, that bug... (2.33 / 3) (#42)
by Chakotay on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:10:30 AM EST

It logged "0 - don't care" basically as "0 - to front page". So when the article made the posting barrier, the number of "section" and "front page" votes were compared, and all the don't cares would count as front pages... Probably, in case of the lego story mentioned in the article mentioned in the uppermost parent, there were probably a lot of people who voted "don't care" :)

Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]
Weblogs are dying... (3.11 / 9) (#25)
by TheLocust on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:01:21 AM EST

...communities are not. Kuro5hin, in it's current state, is more of a community than a weblog. While that may inhibit it's growth a bit, is that all that bad?

But, to stay on my subject... web news, the ubiquitous web-log has been done and done. The community, as I see it here, is still in it's infancy. While k5 may be a weblog, it has much more personality and sense of being than Slashdot does. K5 will become more popular, for sure, but the same core group of people will stay active in the community.

+1 to front, btw, even though i disagree.
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

Back to the drawing board (3.70 / 10) (#28)
by infinitewaitstate on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 03:57:07 AM EST

I thought this article had potential as far as discussing the nature of weblogs, however, it ended up being a "/. is failing" article, rather than discussing the lessons that other weblogs might want to learn.

/. is falling apart, BFD, K5 is still vital. Simple statement, simple point. Unless you can draw parallels and expand upon ideas, insofar as they relate to both, this article ends up being nothing more than a statement of the obvious, and is, consequently, of little or no value to the community, IMHO.

/. was my first "weblog" experience; mind you I was an avid BBSer during the majority of the 80's/, so the notion of public fora is nothing new. What makes the (h)internet unique is that area codes, and country codes, no longer affect, much, the ability of people to participate. You'd think that, with this reduction in barriers, the quality of discussion would increase from being geeks vs. non-geeks, however, /. has, to me, seemed to be more of a "who can garner their 15 seconds of fame" competition in recent months.

Occasionally, they come up with something new, however, the bulk of the news posts are old-hat... patent issues and more on RAMBUS; and the comments are even more starved for brain power (how many goatse.cx post do they get a day?) - not to mention all the FOI kids, who have obviosuly never produced anything marketable in their lives, who feel the need to reinterate a point that has been made many times over,and often been better phrased?

If you are going to rehash the same 6 issues daily, making the same 6 comments on the articles, why bother creating a major weblog? Any 16 year old could keep rehashing the same damned story, day after day, if he wanted to, without claiming stress. Sure, as little as 12 months ago, /. was relatively unique, but it is now just a legacy site; sites such as K5, Ars technica, and Security Focus, having taken over in more specific fields, and doing a much better job.

I digress... I was trying to point out how the article got caught up in a site that is, depending on POV, a relic, and ended up doing the same. Give me 1s, I don't care, however, by ramb,ling on, I more or less paralleled the qualities of this article: good concept, lacklustre implementation... should have been an MS product, I think.

... but then again, what do I know?

Discussions occur below the line (2.83 / 6) (#29)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:13:27 AM EST

The article isn't the discussion, it is just a starting point. That is the whole point of all of this. Slashdot is falling apart. Why? I think it's the size. Would Kuro5hin's system handle the same numbers better/worse? Discuss.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Well .. (4.20 / 5) (#65)
by nanook on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:51:43 PM EST

If you want to avoid trolls, then make the mod system/absence of mod system unsexy for trolls. /.s system right now is troll heaven because the potentially huge audience a +5 post gets. A more _flat_ system (like k5) I think doesn't encourage this kind of (Signal 11 type) trolling(*) but rather just plain _flat_ discussion. If you don't concentrate on making a high-score post on /. then chances are you are not going to be heard through all the potentional +5 trolls.

That said, I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with the /. system, but I just observe that for _discussion_ it has become rather worthless, because once the troll has posted and you have bitten, there's no incentive for the troll to answer, this being a fundamental property of a classical discussion.

But then, any room containing 100000+ people are no effective arena for discussion but rather an effective arena for tabloid headline opinions and the "party line".

(*) Karma whore type trolling (trolling for + moderation)

"I am a charlatan, a liar, a thief and a fake altogether." -- James Randi
[ Parent ]

Slashrot (3.57 / 7) (#31)
by Dries on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:33:43 AM EST

K5 has yet to endure the test of the unwashed masses like slashdot has. But as for now, K5 is one of my favorite weblogs along with technocrat.net and drop.org.

Anyway, in my opinion, slashdot's moderation system works quite well, but is far from perfect. Set your threshold to '+ 3' and you get a fair amount of interesting stories. So they do bring good comments to everyone's attention but they are having a hard to to hide or get rid of spam, flamebait and trolls. Their moderation system fails: what they really need is a moderation system, that is technical solution for a social problem. It is not the content where it goes wrong, it the quality of their audience. As said, the slashdot moderation system: it works to some extend but it easy to fool and abuse and doesn't provide a solution for a social problem.

Slashdot suffers from slashrot. Period.

The major symptom of such rot setting in on a portal is when people start popping up that make assertions about a subject - say Linux - that demonstrate clearly they haven't even bothered to install and try Linux. Consequently other people's panty actually *do* get in a knot and flamewars has begun.

K5 is less likely to be affected by this becuase it delivers a different kind of content. It is generally more interested, more discussion centric and not that focued on news delivery.

-- Dries
-- Dries

Majority Moderation by voting on Comments (2.42 / 7) (#32)
by Crease on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:41:56 AM EST

I've seen this done elsewhere where size concerns say having only several moderators isn't really a good thing. So why not have a vote 1-5 and each user can vote how good a comment is so that the good ones with the most points are first and the trollies are bottom hugging. I'd hope K5 gets bigger just cause I really think Slashdot went dev/null a looong time ago. If VA goes, who else would buy Slashdot? It's not as easy as many think it is. Linux companies and dot commers in general have lost that new car smell.

What if /. asked this question? (2.71 / 7) (#34)
by flex_fc on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 06:15:19 AM EST

I hope this is not too offtopic. What would the response be if "The Death of Slashdot" was posted on Slashdot like k5 have done here. This would perhaps let one see just how "dead" they are. I can only imagine the kind of troll that would evoke but I'm sure it may give some intelligent ideas as well. Some people say the moderation system for /. is not that great, maybe the /. community should suggest a better one. After all it has so many users there must be some there with really good ideas.K5 could also learn from it.
-- You are not the contents of your wallet - Tyler Durden
There are currently 261 submissions pending. (3.33 / 6) (#35)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 06:49:42 AM EST

That's an interesting idea. I've submitted it (see below), although I don't really expect to see it there anytime soon.

Having never submitted a story to Slashdot before I had no idea they received that volume of submissions. I'm not sure how often they clear out their queue, but can you imagine seeing 200+ posts per day in the K5 story queue. Would the majority be willing to read each one and make an informed decision on which should make it? Would they vote based on the title alone? Would they not bother?

Anyway here is what I wrote:

Is Slashdot hurting other weblogs?

enterfornone writes "There is an interesting discussion going on at Kuro5hin, suggesting that the current poor quality of discussions on Slashdot is hurting other weblogs. As disillusioned Slashdot readers search for a new home, they end up turning small weblogs into new Slashdots, perpetuating the problem.

Is this really happening? Is Slashdot being abandoned and left to the trolls? And are any weblogs apart from Kuro5hin having problems as they increase in popularity?"

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
The /. submission queue (3.75 / 8) (#40)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 08:55:59 AM EST

Having never submitted a story to Slashdot before I had no idea they received that volume of submissions. I'm not sure how often they clear out their queue, but can you imagine seeing 200+ posts per day in the K5 story queue. Would the majority be willing to read each one and make an informed decision on which should make it? Would they vote based on the title alone? Would they not bother?

Yup, I don't think I've seen less than about 250 stories in the submission queue, and sometimes it's been about 450. Given this, it's no suprise that Taco et al. can't take the time to check each story out thoroughly - for 250 stories at 5 minutes a piece, that's almost a day just to go through them...

Compare that to here, where we get about 8 a day on average. This gives users the time to read them and think about whether they want them to be posted or not, and for them to make detailed comments on their reasons. If there were even 20 in the queue, this process would suffer.

I think for the amount of users /. has it has scaled remarkably well, and is still pretty readable, especially at higher scores. If kuro5hin suddenly had 25 times as many users, I'm not so sure it would handle it so well, because of the increased amount of user interaction required.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Maybe yes and maybe no. (3.00 / 2) (#94)
by Pakaran on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 10:21:48 PM EST

If there were even 20 in the queue, this process would suffer.

I think for the amount of users /. has it has scaled remarkably well, and is still pretty readable, especially at higher scores. If kuro5hin suddenly had 25 times as many users, I'm not so sure it would handle it so well, because of the increased amount of user interaction required.

Look at it this way:
If there are more users, it will take less time for enough users to look at and vote for it to be dumped or posted. To be sure, more stories will be placed on the queue, but any individual will see the same number; more of them will be 'marginal' stories for which the vote is very close, but having more people looking at those can only be a good thing!

[ Parent ]
About K5 and selling The Other Site (3.66 / 9) (#37)
by Chakotay on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 07:53:57 AM EST

First, about Kuro5hin. I haven't been visiting Kuro5hin for very long yet - I too am from the /. stock, disappointed in the other site, lured to K5 by somebody who knew of it, instantly falling in love. I still frequent /., as it still does have some value, but I prefer K5.

What would happen to K5 if it had as many users as /. would probably be worse than what /. is now, because the K5 moderation system for comments basically does nothing - it asigns a value from 1 to 5, but doesn't do anything with it then. It has no power. And the moderation system for articles would be even more crippled, since it completely lacks checks and balances.

K5, as it is now, is a great site, with a very low rubbish to content ratio, but that's entirely dependent on the public. As attention increases, more trolls will come, and make our lives more and more miserable. K5 is indeed for the readers, by the readers, and of the readers. If (when?) the readers go berserk, so will K5.

Now about buying/selling that other site... Have you any idea how many hits that site generates? Have you any idea how much revenue that brings for banners? Slashdot would be an extremely lucrative site if it were exploited for banner profits, no matter whether it's gone to the trolls or not.

Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

i disagree - (3.83 / 6) (#43)
by Rainy on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:14:45 AM EST

how is it that k5 moderation system's useless? You sort by score in descending order and read as many as you feel like. The only difference with slashdot is that there you decide on threshold and set it in settings, here you decide on threshold case-by-case. Beside that, aren't we forgetting something? Not trolls alone come from /., serious people come too. I think serious people outnumber trolls, that's why you don't see troll posts at +3 or +5 there (or at least very rarely) so alot of people coming from /. is a good thing. The only thing I'm worried about is that /. probably is'nt profitable, and if va goes bankrupt, it might die, and if tons of people come to k5, it may be unable to handle the load. In that case, one of the possibilites is to have many small discussion sites devoted to one topic each (like smokedot) and have some central site that posts particularly interesting links to discussions from those sites. But let's all hope it doesn't come to that :-).
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Moderation system (2.66 / 6) (#44)
by Chakotay on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:25:36 AM EST

Hmmm, yes, I'm afraid I must correct myself there. The K5 moderation system isn't entirely useless. Thing is, the perfect moderation system doesn't exist, because that's something different for every person.

As I understand it there are a few moderators here who go around deleting obvious trolls and other such stuff? I think that's actually a better system than the one use by /., because there trolls and other stuff that gets modded down is still visible to the masses. It becomes something to brag about. I know somebody who calls himself JurriAlt137n on that other site, who will be a karma whore one week to get as much karma as possible (most of them from +5 funnies), and then troll all his karma points away the next week. I wouldn't do it, but I can see the appeal :)

Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

I just discovered a spammer... (3.80 / 5) (#48)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:33:11 AM EST

I just got trusted user status back, and what did I find? This user, who appears to be the first account set to post at a default of zero (I could be wrong though). The thing is, even though he's been posting to loads of stories and diaries, I hadn't noticed at all! So mojo does work as it was intended, at least for this many users.

I know somebody who calls himself JurriAlt137n on that other site, who will be a karma whore one week to get as much karma as possible (most of them from +5 funnies), and then troll all his karma points away the next week.

Really? I'd thought he was a slightly-whorish user. Hadn't really considered him a troll, he certainly doesn't post on the troll sids on /. As for whoring, it's like trolling, all part of the game. I've managed to gain 21 points of karam in a single day before, which was kind of fun ;)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

JurrieAlt137n, karma, mojo... (3.66 / 3) (#80)
by Chakotay on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 07:19:17 PM EST

JurriŽn (that Ž what the Alt137 bit comes from) is a nice example of an intelligent troll, and he loves toying around with people who reply to his posts. He's a co-worker of mine, and on the work floor we basically do the same kind of stuff as he does on /. :)

Uh, and about mojo, it's actually supposed to do something? Wow. I never saw it do anything, personally. Well, there is that one guy posting at 0.00 ofcourse, but it's not like that's a very common sight. Also, I don't think anybody would like having a default value of 1 or 2. Maybe the mojo system needs to be revised a little?

Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

That's the point! (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by Dacta on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 08:50:28 PM EST

For all we know, there might be thousands of Trolls posting at 0.00 level - we can't ever see them, unless we get the "vote zero" privalages, or someone posts a link to them.

Basically, who cares what they do? For all practical purposes, their posts are deleted as soon as they make them.

[ Parent ]
/. spam and profitability (3.00 / 6) (#47)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:28:29 AM EST

Seriously, I doubt very much that there are all that many people who post all the -1 stuff on /. and I think you'd be suprised at how many of them are actually regular posters - occasionally they'll slip up and forget to hit "post anonymously" :)

As for profitability, IIRC /. is profitable, one of the few sites that can actually pay for itself through banner adds. Add that to the fact that it is such a well-recognised name, and I doubt they'd have any trouble at all selling the site.

Hey, maybe Microsoft could step in and buy it :) They've got the money. Then we can watch the howls of outrage as they attempt to migrate /. over to Windows 2000 running IIS...

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

The reason the k5 mod system is useless (3.20 / 5) (#51)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 10:03:24 AM EST

The problem is, since no one really understands what the k5 mod system s for, most use it as a vote for how much you agree with the post. Look around, even now well written posts that stray from the norm are modded down.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
You might... (3.33 / 6) (#52)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 10:30:20 AM EST

... but I don't. Hell, I rate most of trhurler's posts quite high. I strongly disgree with most of them, but they're well-written and express some good ideas. I don't think you're being particularly fair on the system.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Moderation, ratings, and "me too" (4.25 / 4) (#66)
by Erf on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:52:27 PM EST

I also find that the K5 moderation system is only vaguely defined. Some people use it as if it were the /. mod system -- higher is a "better" comment, lower is a troll or redundant or whatever. Except that not everyone uses the same mid point; for some, 3 is an "average, typical" comment, whereas for others it's "that was a pretty good comment -- better than many, but I've seen even better, too".

The FAQ describes the comment rating system (it's not referred to as moderation!) rather differently. It's not really for the same purpose as the /. system. It's a way of saying "hey, good comment". It doesn't really draw a lot of attention to particular comments, because there's no threshold system. Since it behaves differently, and is described differently, and is for a different purpose, as compared to /., confusion will arise when people try to use it as /.-style moderation.

Still other people use it as a way of saying "me too" without committing the sin of posting a "me too" comment. For those people, a 5 means "hear, hear!" -- a completely different meaning.

I personally like to think of the rating system as it's described in the FAQ -- a way of patting people on the back for well-written comments that contribute a lot to the community, regardless of opinion, rather than a way to strip out the trolls. It's not really "moderation" (in the newsgroup or /. sense) without a threshold. (And no, I'm not suggesting we need thresholds!)

...doin' the things a particle can...
[ Parent ]

no (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by Rainy on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 08:52:48 PM EST

First of all, being well written doesn't deserve a high score on it's own. It also has to be either interesting, useful, or something deserving attention. IMNSHO, such posts tend to score rather high here. On the other hand, I don't seem to have enough time to really read all comments so I may be wrong.
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Life Cycle (4.09 / 11) (#38)
by priestess on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 08:15:26 AM EST

Maybe I've been around too long, but I'm getting less and less interested in meta-talk about the death of this and the death of that. I first saw this astonishingly accurate life-cycle description years ago, and since then at least three different groups I've been in have gone through all the stages. Yeah, K5 will die, and Slashdot almost has. Something else will pop up though. We have a circle of life thing going on.

My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
So where do you put /. and k5? (3.20 / 5) (#41)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:09:33 AM EST

Personally, I'd put /. somewhere between 5 (disconfort with diversity) and 4 (community). Not quite 6.2 (mature), but it's certainly not as bad as many people seem to think. There's a lot of crap, but then there's simply a lot of content there, and even if only half of it is good, that's still a lot of good stuff.

k5 is definitely entering stage 3 (growth) though.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Cycles (2.50 / 4) (#45)
by fb on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:25:36 AM EST

I've been around at least one Usenet newsgroup that has been through that whole list no less than four times.

The point is: after a major crisis the usage of the list or discussion group will drop, and sometimes - not alays - it will become useable again, and the cycle will restart.

[ Parent ]
The Death of Slashdot greatly exagerated (3.50 / 8) (#46)
by tumeric on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:27:24 AM EST

I'm a daily Slashdot visitor and occasionaly come to K5. This is my first comment here.
I actually think Slashdot has scaled well. The Trolls sometimes make me laugh and there are good quality, thought provoking comments. The biggest problem for me, is not the trolls, but the middle-of-the-road average comments that sit around moderation marks of 2 and 3 that state the obvious and preach to the converted. This is what majority consensus leads to.
Aren't the most interesting conversations punctuated by jokes, full of surprises, make you angry and change the way you think about things? Aren't the dullest ones where nothing new is said and you just agree?

that's what karma whoring is (2.66 / 3) (#50)
by enterfornone on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:53:54 AM EST

The reason the the middle of the road views get modded up is because the karma whores deliberately post comments with obvious popularist views in order to get modded up. Sort of like what Sig 11 does here.

I think this is a much bigger problem than the trolls. The trolls are likely to stay with /. for a long time to come, but if the sheep move on, where ever they go will shift to a dull middle ground.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I have no karma (3.00 / 8) (#49)
by davidmb on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:35:44 AM EST

I have to say that the thing I like most about K5 is that it offers a forum for genuine discussion.

If you post a comment to K5 that is somewhat contoversial or strays from the "accepted" majority opinion, you can look forward to some well thought-out replies/rebuttals.
Try the same thing on /. It isn't pretty. Before you drown under a sea of flames, you may notice that you're being moderated into oblivion.
Let me just say that I am NOT a troll. I just have some slightly left-of-centre views and am British (two things that guarantee a mauling).
Moderation into oblivion does exist on K5 (2.00 / 1) (#100)
by Vetinari8 on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 12:43:59 PM EST

I've pretty much stopped posting because of it. *shrug*

It's still interesting discussion, mind you. Just not one that I feel like contributing to again too often. Helps a tad that "ignore ratings" is the default setting. But *shrug*.

A mushroom cloud has no silver lining.

[ Parent ]

No obvious solutions (4.22 / 9) (#53)
by flieghund on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 10:59:29 AM EST

I officially joined /. long enough ago to have a UID < 2^15, but I had frequented it via AC for the better part of a year before that. I'd like to say I remember /. during its "better days," but -- as many other people here have noted -- it's really not that much worse off today if you browse at a high enough threshhold (+3).

However, that means that people browsing the site at a lower (default) thresshold, or anonymous visitors to the site, do not receive a particularly good initial impression. If the oldtimers of /. would care to comment, I would suspect that the state of k5 today is very similar to the state of /. a few years ago, both in terms of quality of articles and quality of posts, as well as overall size of the "community."

kuro5hin will continue to grow (I see no good reason why it wouldn't), and it will eventually reach the size /. is these days. With that increased user base will come the dramatic and depressing reduction of the signal to noise ratio. As spiralx pointed out in an earlier post, spamming k5 has apparently already begun. For now, spiralx is correct in that k5's mojo system seems to be working. But just as /.'s system can be abused by creating multiple accounts, so too can k5's. It wouldn't take much of an effort for a few people working in concert to lift a fellow troll out of the pits of -1 posting.

So, like I said, there really are no obvious solutions -- that is, if you want to stay an "open" message board. The only way I can think of to avoid the trolls who will eventually come would be to have new users voted upon by the existing users. You get a "trial account" that is, for all intents and purposes, just like a "full account," except that it is voted upon after a set period of time (definitely more than a week, maybe not much more than a month). If the trial user gets enough "keep" votes, her/his account is promoted to "full" status, and a new and permanent user is welcomed to the kuro5hin community.

Granted, there are probably flaws to this system. I'd be happy to have them pointed out, or better yet hear about refinements that might make it better.

And yes, I realize that this is inherently elitist, and probably goes against everything the open source community stands for. But the alternative may be worse...

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
I agree with the trial use idea but ... (3.50 / 6) (#55)
by flex_fc on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:32:55 AM EST

there may be a few problems implementing it because there may be so many new people signing up that not all of them will be voted for. Perhaps voting for them as they post, in addition to the regular voting for the persons submission one could have another option where you can select different options based on the user's actions. Once the trial period expires the final value of that voting field can be used to decide to grant a permenant account. But as stated, this is rather elitest and prone to abuse by people who have grudges against that person. There is a chance that K5 could become difficult to enter and that would a Bad Thing. Either way it is good that these topics are being faced now before K5 actually becomes that large.
-- You are not the contents of your wallet - Tyler Durden
[ Parent ]
Signal 11, slashdot "old fart", right he (3.30 / 13) (#56)
by Signal 11 on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:45:36 AM EST

No, slashdot's former self is pretty much gone now. Speaking as the karma whore supreme, I can say with certainty it is not hard to get a +5. There are now even guides on how to do it (with a tip of the hat to TheReverand and spiralx for showing them to me). Even Everything2 has the "formula" in it. And more and more people are picking up on this. It's a self-reinforcing system. That's why dissenting opinions aren't seen on slashdot anymore unless they know how to play the game very, very well.

I did, and that's why I survived so long on slashdot, but enough people realized that I was suckering them into reading opinions that were contrary to the Collective's thoughts that they attacked me en masse about 3 months ago. You can't keep telling them the naked truth forever and get away with it. *shrugs*

As to flaws in this system, there are three:

  • Anyone can create an account and post.
  • You get alot of inaccurate moderation for the first 200 or so moderations in a story, lending itself to "First Mod!" type problems similar to "first post!" Because of the way the system is designed, anyone can make a "first post" and then use another account to +5 it. Two accounts playing off each other could have hundreds of such posts stay at the top of the list.
  • Section v. Front page - nobody ever reads the sections, just look at how many comments they get after being posted to section.

Fortunately, they are all largely solveable. For problem #1, a user should be endorsed by another user. That way, they cannot post without convincing one of the regulars that they won't troll or be a jerk. If they do, the person who gave them access has some points marked against them and if they consistently make bad choices, that ability is removed. This way you can't get a thousand lame troll accounts in a week, and the lame trolls that do make it can be swiftly removed. Please note I define troll in this contest differently than the Usenet proper.

The second problem can be solved by "weighing a comment down" initially - ie, give it a default of 2 and make it seem as though there are three "2" scores against the post when you start. Thus you can't immediately overtake higher rated posts unless alot of moderators agree it's worthy. Second alternative is to not allow the moderation to take effect until atleast n people have voted on it.

The third problem is a simple matter of programming. Bug inoshiro or rusty. :)

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

I like number 2 (2.14 / 7) (#57)
by spiralx on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:51:57 AM EST

I like that idea quite a bit. Maybe instead of just having three "2" moderations attached to it, the first three moderations replace these "2"s? Or something along those lines anyway...

BTW, has someone stolen your /. account? I was just reading an email from someone...

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Siggy's slashdot account (1.00 / 1) (#97)
by pb on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 02:38:44 PM EST

Well, the announcment on TrollTalk made it sound like Siggy had given his account up to someone else, and the subsequent posts looked like there was some trollin' going on.

My personal guess was that Siggy had given it to jsm, which would explain a lot. (why he hasn't been posting, unlimited use of the word "fucken", etc., etc.)

But hey, don't believe everything you read on TrollTalk, either. I mean, it isn't like I'm on the Troll Mailing List or anything. :)
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
You're slashdot account? (3.33 / 6) (#64)
by delmoi on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:49:10 PM EST

Did you give your account away or something? Or have you just become a slashdot troll?

I think /. might have degenerated from the perspective of someone who's 'deep' in the system, IE knows lots of users by name, posts all the time, etc. The threads there are not *that* bad there nowadays, certanly nowhere near the quality of k5 at this point, though.

If you havn't noticed, the karma system is capped now at fifty, so there is no longer a purpose in 'karma whoring' anymore. While some users may care a lot about mod points, etc, I'm willing to bet the vast majority dosn't give a fuck one way or the other :P. Its those people from witch slashdot derives it's better content.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
gave it away (2.50 / 2) (#91)
by enterfornone on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 09:08:48 PM EST

There's a discussion about this on /. (in the fsf europe bit, too lazy to link). He gave it to the Reverend and a Slashdot staff member has disabled it.

Personally I think the Slashdot staff should can abusing accounts more often. That would solve a hell of a lot of problems.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Section v Front Page (2.16 / 6) (#78)
by whatnotever on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 05:37:47 PM EST

I just go straight to Everything, myself. I basically use it as my front page. There aren't enough articles to make this a problem.

[ Parent ]
the collective (2.00 / 2) (#92)
by enterfornone on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 09:22:14 PM EST

Can't say I ever paid much attention to you on /. but you've certainly been whoring to the collective with the stories you have been posting here lately.<P>
The problem with the system you are proposing is that it would make it even more difficult to say anything that went against the collective. If you had beliefs that went agaist the common view you may not even be able to get an account.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Why K5? (3.66 / 9) (#54)
by iGrrrl on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:15:49 AM EST

I still like /. I still check it most days. I don't generally post there because
  1. what I might have wanted to say has already been said
  2. I'm so late to the discussion my comment won't likely even be seen
  3. I have a life off line, and /. Karma does not define my self esteem

There is already some drivel on K5, such as this, but in general the level of discussion seems worth the time for reading and contributing.

You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.

How ironic (2.75 / 4) (#69)
by simmons75 on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:04:15 PM EST

Your link was to a Signal 11 story, whom I credit with destroying Slashdot.
So there.

[ Parent ]
No... (4.00 / 4) (#71)
by iGrrrl on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 03:00:15 PM EST

...the link was to a reply to a Signal 11 story, which was the poster's third iteration of "Signal 11, you suck!" A valid opinion, perhaps, but continual reposting does not, as I said in my reply, further the discussion.

But your irony is well-taken. I don't think /. has been destroyed, and it will recover. I do think that troll-mongering and karma-whoring antics decrease the discussion level. It is a habit I neither admire, nor in which I engage. If one's ego is fed by the responses people make to outrageous statements made for provocation's sake, I frankly pity whatever lack in one's life drives the behavior.

I wish only to add this: When it becomes known that certain posters sometimes troll and sometimes say what they actually think, I cease to regard most of their posts with much respect.


You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

Break it down? (4.25 / 8) (#58)
by kostya on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:53:07 AM EST

K5 will not remain the same. The only way it would remain the same is if we closed membership.

Think about that. The only way for K5 to remain the same is to freeze it. I know that is blasphemy to even voice the possibility, but that is one solution. I don't know if I agree with it, but that is one way to solve fears of changing. If we become a "selective" (some might say "elite") group, we will maintain a static state. I'm just not sure if anyone is really ready for all the implications.

Just remember that BBSes came in several varieties. I think we all remember the ones that were huge (but had a select few that ran everything) and the small ones (just starting out or specialized to an geographic area or interest). Either way, they were usually more fun due to the small groups that ran the site. And perhaps that is the lesson. Communities have a natural limit to their size. If you stop and think about it, anything from development teams to church groups are limited in their "effectiveness" by their size.

Weblogs, due to their nature (open to all, accessible by all) allow the groups centered around them to naturally grow beyond those limits of community. Once they get beyond a certain size of active members, it starts to work against itself. That which drew people (the "community" aspect, a place where your voice matters and is appreciated) now begins to deteriorate, and then they begin to break down. We can all attest to this in "non-wired" life: the D&D group that got to large, the SIG that got to many new people, the special class or seminar that gelled because it had the right number and mix, etc.

Perhaps Slashdot's greatest contribution will be to have been a pioneer. It will, one way or another, show us what does and does not work when we try to build communities that are facilitated by the internet. Perhaps it will become the great experiment that will lead to greater fragmentation. From the whole internet back to localized or limited communtities. From Slashdot back to a kind of SIG. Kind of like the move back to Mainframe-like computing in the business world. Truly ironic.

Perhaps the future of the weblog is specialized and selective groups. Maybe we will move back to a more localized discussion, such as K5-US-West, K5-US-East, K5-UK, etc. Or maybe just K5-1, K5-2, K5-3, etc. with open membership times or something. As numbers grow, we split and split and split into newer groups. Perhaps it is geographically located, perhaps not. Maybe the membership is shifted and moved so that no one, elite, old-timer group forms? The weblogs would be open to all, and all could post, but only certain people could be members. Everyone other than members of that group would have an AC-like status. Their voice would be available, but they would be segmented or managed. It would be like having your local SIG with international membership. It would limit the size of the community proper, and in turn avoid many of the problems found in large, open-to-all weblogs.

There are many, many ways to go about segmenting and partitioning groups so that the community aspects are maintained. I think that if we discussed the idea, we might come up with the next step in the evolution of internet-based communities.

Please note, that I am only suggesting the idea. I know that there are tons of implications, but I think it might be the only way to maintain communities based around weblogs. At least it is something to think about :-)

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
Reasons for Slashdot's Demise (4.16 / 12) (#59)
by mindstrm on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:58:42 AM EST

I have to say, it's not the comments that really bother me about Slashdot, though I agree that it's not the same quality found here on Kuro5hin.

The real problem with slashdot is simply the headlines. Way back when, it was a fairly unique, community oriented site... you felt you knew those involved, the discussion was okay, and the articles tended to be interesting.

Now, a great many of the articles posted are *crap*, the editors use tabloid style headlines to capture people's attention.. it's sickening. For the most part, although I look at it each day to see if there is anything interesting, there is nothing there to hold my attention.

Kuro, on the other hand, seems to, just by virtue of the moderation system, move slower, and have much better discussion. If the general readership were to become goofs, or of 'lower quality', then yes, kuro would also suffer.. but then, isnt' that the point? The site reflects it's readers, in many aspects. That's a good thing.

Keep it up.

Yeh, the hedlines do suck (2.00 / 2) (#62)
by delmoi on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:38:33 PM EST

Usualy when I am interested in a story, its almost always posted by CmdrTaco, sometimes Hemos. The other editors really annoy me. "Timothy" "michal" who the hell are they? why do they get to post on slashdot? Their posts are not not nearly as interesting as CTs.

As far as the comments go, I don't think it's as bad as all that. I'm used to surfing at -1, but if you jack that up to +2 or +3 the quality of the discussion goes way up.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Majority rules (1.71 / 7) (#63)
by Primer on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:47:55 PM EST

Wouldn't it be up to the majority to decide that the quality was declining? I doubt the majority would suddenly decide decide this. I think this would be the equivalent of having congress vote to disband itself.

Democracy as a Principle (2.87 / 8) (#67)
by EdwardBroyles on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:55:02 PM EST

Why should K5 be interested in maintaining democracy? Should that be a central principle?

I think not. Democracy might be tolerable in a small group, where people are familiar with each other. As it grows, it becomes unwieldy and active harmful. Witness slashdot. Part of its demise can be traced to the democratic phallacy that all people have something interesting to say.

This should be lessened here without the point scaled moderation, yet it is still a danger.

Perhaps a method of controlling size is that new members must be vouched for by an existing member. The person who vouched for them is then also partly responsible for any misbehavior. There are problems with that, of course. It is quite likely that someone of great value might be missed due to their lack of prior interaction with other people in other forums. (I put this here to inspire thought on this, not that I feel it is the solution.)

I believe it is far more important to protect the quality of the site, even if it kills the democratic aspects.

The Phallic Principle (none / 0) (#102)
by kagaku_ninja on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 05:22:36 PM EST

My phallus is democratic; it does not discriminate by race, creed or color.

[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 0) (#104)
by zantispam on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 01:24:40 PM EST

A troll. How ironic :-)

Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
Re: Wow (none / 0) (#105)
by kagaku_ninja on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 02:22:24 PM EST

Actually, it was an attempt at humor. The relevant quote from the original article, for those of you that didn't pay attention:

I think not. Democracy might be tolerable in a small group, where people are familiar with each other. As it grows, it becomes unwieldy and active harmful. Witness slashdot. Part of its demise can be traced to the democratic phallacy that all people have something interesting to say.
Am I the only one appalled at the low standards of grammar and spelling on today's internet?

[ Parent ]
Probably just a freudian slip (none / 0) (#107)
by Spinoza on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 06:30:46 AM EST

Something else on his mind perhaps?

Or was he trying to imply something about the state of mind at slashdot?

[ Parent ]

My bad (none / 0) (#109)
by zantispam on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 09:18:19 AM EST

I caught the humor in it (hence the smiley). I didn't catch the phallacy bit.

I've this nasty habit of automatically translating misspelled words (my own included) into correctly spelled words, in my head, as I'm reading. That's what years of reading /. will do for you :-)

However, there is the rare occasion (such as this one) where the habit in question will come back to haunt me. Even worse, though, is the fact that my reading comprehension has gone downhill lately. Sometimes I'm better off just not reading at all...

Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
You can't stop change, but you can guide it. (4.54 / 11) (#68)
by theR on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:03:31 PM EST

Most or all of us care about what we are saying and the forum we are saying it in. If this is the case, then there will be more people who have not found K5 that would be happy to contribute if they knew about it. Unfotunately, as we all know, the more people in any arena, the more likelihood that there will be unruly, disingenuous, and undesirable people, and in this arena comments. Of course, judging people or comments as unruly, disingenuous or undesirable is a subjective action, even when there is a majority agreement. But, as long as K5 grows, so will the undesirable elements, which for now are few.

There are, however, differences I see between K5 and Slashdot. The most obvious, which I mentioned at the end of another comment in a different story that also brought comparisons between Slashdot and K5, is this:

Spamming is not tolerated here. Any comment may be deleted by a site admin, and all spammers will be deleted. This is fair warning. If you don't know what spamming is, then you're probably not about to do it, so don't worry. But you can read the definition in The Jargon File if you were wondering (particularly number 2). :-)

That declaration appears every time you compose a comment, and the mission statement clearly states that "...noise is not tolerated." It is definitely different than Slashdot. To me, Slashdot is anything goes. If you spam or troll, you might end up being muted some by the rating system, but your comment will not be removed. On K5, Rusty does not pretend to allow anything and everything. For those that really want discussion, this is a good thing. While I am sure he and his colleagues do not want to become policemen, it does afford us some protection.

The other big difference is the format of the stories that are posted. This comment is a good explanation of Slashdot's story submission. On k5, even if it got as big as Slashdot, nobody helping to run this site would ever have to wade through all the submissions and decide what to post. They can vote, just like everyone else, but it is not up to Rusty or anyone else what stories we see. That leads to more stories that interest more people than Slashdot's system. Also, if a similar story is posted more than once, it is because that is what people wanted. We get, for the most part, stories we want to see. I might add that they generally seem to cover a wider range of topics than Slashdot, which means everyone is likely to find something that interests them.

One last point. What is dead to some, is not dead to everyone. While the typical K5er might not be too fond of Slashdot or what K5 could become a year from now, that might make it dead to that particular person. It does not make it dead to everyone. This notion of Slashdot being dead is kind of amusing. Just because it is not what it once was does not mean it is dead, it just means it is different. If you refer to the spirit of what it once was, then you might have an argument.

Does all this mean K5 will endure? Who really knows? But I think I'll stay and find out.

A possible solution (4.33 / 12) (#70)
by joshv on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:48:39 PM EST

I am developing a web site/log which hopes to eleviate some of the problems that both slashdot and K5 seem to have. I am attempting to be as open as possible.

I have the following philosophies:
-All content is accepted - Spam if you want, but it won't help you.
-All content is treated the same, there is NO moderation queue. All contributions are rated in some manner, the highest rated stuff just floats to the top.
-Users determine their own catagories - there is no mission, no default topic, no bias or preference for any type of content, period.

Sounds like a mess, doesn't it? Well, I have a very simple moderation system that addresses this. It works like this:

-Everything can be rated by any registered user on a scale of -10 to 10 (don't ask why -10 to 10)
-Every time you rate some content the site looks for people who have given that content a similar rating and adds them to a list of people who arguably think like you. This list is called your 'affinity list'.
-The default view of the web site excludes everything that has not been rated by someone on your affinity list, and ranks the posts that are shown based on how the people on your affinity list rated those posts.
-If another registered user agrees with you more than once their weight on your affinity list is increased.
-A random post is shown at the top of every page to keep people from getting in a rut.
-The site makes it easy to 'bookmark' authors that you like as 'favorites' and allows you to view one author's own person web log (everything they have posted) - or to view all recent postings by your favorite authors.
-Other views of the site allow you to search for content you may like.

My hope is that interest groups will arise organically, from the bottom up, based on the user's own rating patterns. People who like the same content will end up on each other's affinity lists and will find interesting content for one another. The web site could have entirely orthogonal interest groups encompassing a wide range of topics.

If you want to check it out, a prototype is at www.everythink.org. Lots of stuff can be done without registering, but to rate and post you have to sign up (requires a valid email address). Some things do not work or may be broken - and it may go down at any time. But I would welcome some commentary on the idea and the site.


It sounds interesting. (4.16 / 6) (#73)
by theR on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:07:11 PM EST

This prototype does, indeed, sound interesting. I would just like to make a couple of comments. They are not necessarily directed at you or your ideas. They are really just generalizations that may or may not apply to your prototype, K5, or anywhere.

It is apparent that any site over some undetermined size needs moderation to stay coherent, ontopic, and reduce spam. On these points, I think K5 does quite a good job, with Slashdot making a noble attempt that works at times and fails at times. Of course, size (in number of people visiting) also plays a part. Anyhow, my view is that successful moderation primarily reduces spam. It can add other things, like keeping people on topic, but I don't think it has to accomplish that.

My problem with moderation is, it can encourage people to disregard or never even read a few, or many, comments. When I am on K5, I never sort comments by rating. While this is not always possible on a site that can get hundreds of comments in a matter of hours, on K5 I have not had a problem so far.

The main reason I do this is because I want to judge each comment for myself. It is my belief that moderation should dampen the noise, nothing more. If someone spams or wanders completely off the topic, that is one thing. But if a consensus just thinks a comment is a poor one, I would rather judge for myself.

While this might seem contrary to my previous post on this story, I don't think it is. One reason I like K5 better than Slashdot is because, on Slashdot, to kill the noise you have to browse at a level that also kills a lot of the legitimate comments. Here, noise is dealt with separately from everything else. It can be rated to 0 by trusted users, or deleted by the powers that be.

So, I guess my main point is, don't use moderation or ratings as a crutch. Make your own decision. While I look at what everything is rated, that never stops me from reading most of the comments in a story.

Specifically for you, joshv, I might suggest that you throw in a little more randomness in the affinity list. Maybe you could include an anti-affinity list, also. Sometimes I just feel like reading things by people that don't have the same opinion I do.

[ Parent ]
I get your point, but... (3.33 / 3) (#74)
by joshv on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:23:23 PM EST

By default www.everythink.org (my prototype) is not discussion oriented. I consciously left out a threaded discussion model of viewing the content - though I could add it in the future. A piece of posted content and any responses to it are all equal in terms of the viewing model - as such it would be very hard for someone to read everything. Thus the default of sorting by ranking.

There are also some other viewing options, you can choose to just look at 10 random posts, or just the most recent, regardless of ranking. So there are some ways of navigating the content ignoring what other people thought of it.


[ Parent ]

I see. (2.66 / 3) (#75)
by theR on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:48:34 PM EST

I honestly didn't check out the site before I wrote the comment. So, basically, the ratings are just used to help pick which comments are displayed to each person, and then the comment and responses are listed like a bulletin board? It's a little hard to tell what it will look like once it gets some extensive use.

[ Parent ]
Hard to see without content. (3.33 / 3) (#76)
by joshv on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:54:30 PM EST

Yes, you are right, hard to see without some content. But yes, the responses are linked to a post in an unrated fashion, though every response could possibly get rated highly enough that it would show in one of the main views. -josh

[ Parent ]
Sounds very interesting (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by Erf on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 03:39:09 PM EST

From your post and its replies, it looks like everythink is sort of like a newsgroup or bulliten board, right? Except that it's got a rating system so the cream floats to the top, and the affinity list thing replacing rigid categories?

Sounds very cool. You might want to look to news-readers and BBS-style software for the interface -- some sort of threaded (or optionally threaded) title list or something. I don't know, this might go against what you're trying to accomplish (you might want to force everyone to see every message on the page), but a lot of work has gone into newsreader interfaces... I dunno, just a thought.

I really like the affinity list concept. Sounds like it would result in much more organic "categorization". I have to agree with theR's suggestion of an anti-affinity list, to see what "different" people think.

I would also suggest a clear definition of what someone is saying when they rate something -- are they saying "I agree with this comment" or "this comment is discussion-worthy" or what? Whatever the definition is, bash it into people's heads, or the affinity list won't have much meaning.

Just my CDN$0.02. :) I admire your drive, and your ideas, and your web-design skills (I just had a look at everythink and it looks nice :).

...doin' the things a particle can...
[ Parent ]

I'ts been done (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by Dion on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 03:18:14 AM EST

I guess this has more or less been done (the users-that-think-alike) system, the thing is called likeminds and the guys over at moviecritic uses it.

I've rated around 300 movies, but already around 50 rated movies it was pretty accurate in recomending movies...

[ Parent ]
Damn... (none / 0) (#101)
by kagaku_ninja on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 05:00:15 PM EST

I suppose it is inevitable that my semingly brilliant idea has already occured to others. Unlike you, I don't have the balls to quit my day job and implement something cool...

My solution is similar to yours, but rather than automatically generate "affinities", I propose to allow users to rate moderators and generate their own view of the message database. Options could include: exclude ratings from moderators not on my list; weight moderators, favoring those on my list; "kill list" - ignore the ratings of these specific moderators. The generated list of messages could then be sorted and filtered with options already present in K5 and /.

The goal is not to view messages that I agree with, but to read intelligent commentary.

A more difficult to implement option would be to categorize moderators. I.e. the opinion of a physics professor is valuable in matters of science, but probably less valuable in other areas.

[ Parent ]
Slashdot is dying because... (3.53 / 13) (#77)
by gromm on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 05:12:12 PM EST

...of its popularity, yes. But I think it doesn't really have a lot to do with trolls or spam. When I read slashdot with "highest scores first" I have the opportunity to read everything that was posted above my threshold of 0. And when I actually read down that far, I don't usually find a lot of crap.

However, I think that Slashdot's mood itself has changed. It's become a lot more conservative, and perhaps a lot stupider. In their poll asking how slashdotters were going to vote in the US election, the results came out not unlike what the actual vote was... that is to say the same number of people voted for Gore as Bush. I honestly don't know how any intelligent IT worker or computer hobbyist could possibly vote for a man that hates everything the internet stands for, who clearly misunderstands the culture, and would sooner turn it into a wasteland of tasteless commercialism while censoring all real content. That, and everything else the man stands for.

Political opinion aside, it seems that there are a large number of wannabe geeks on slashdot. I find this curious, since geek pride is a very new thing, and the majority of the population still thinks we're a bunch of weirdos with no social life at all. I guess some people just feel they need to be a part of the crowd. The problem with this is that it means K5's doom is inevitable as the "quality of the population declines." The problem with unchecked democracies like K5 is that they are a mob rule, and the IQ of any group of people declines as the size of the group increases.
Deus ex frigerifero
Just out of curiosity... (3.80 / 5) (#83)
by Pimp Ninja on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 02:37:52 AM EST

Which man was it that "hates everything the internet stands for, who clearly misunderstands the culture, and would sooner turn it into a wasteland of tasteless commercialism while censoring all real content"?

Cos from one side, you've got the bleeding-heart, censor hollywood and violence in video games Al Gore, and on the other you have the social conservative Bush, who wants... the same thing?! Funny, that... Maybe the vote splitting has more to do with the fact that both candidates are identical?


If we demand from them without offering in return, what are we but better-
dressed muggers holding up the creative at the point of a metaphorical gun?

[ Parent ]
Election poll intelligence test? (none / 0) (#108)
by Spinoza on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 06:54:19 AM EST

What poll result would indicate intelligence in the slashdot community? If the polls at slashdot were similar to the election results, this would tend to indicate that the slashdot community reflects the outside world statistically, as you would expect with any large group not picked for their political beliefs. If anything, this indicates that the community as a whole has average intelligence, not stupidity, if election polls were intelligence tests. I submit that they are not, though.

I agree with the inevitability of mob rule. Einstein had a quote on that: "The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency."

[ Parent ]

smaller = more usable (4.25 / 12) (#79)
by beertopia on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 05:59:28 PM EST

What people like about k5, and dislike about /., seems to boil down to wanting to interact on a personal level. If there're 500 people posting under a topic in 2 hours, it's not a conversation, it's a cacophony. It's true, that just as with usenet, you can find some signal despite the noise if you know where to look. But, that's part of the problem. With k5, part of the charm for me is I can read it flat, because there's a managable amount of comments.

I wonder if the people who say /.'s readable at +3 ever moderate. I only have a few times, but I take it seriously, which means I read the comments flat at 0... & good lord, does that ever suck. But it's occasionally worth it, because there *are* occasionally insightful or amusing comments by ac's. On the other hand, there'll 150 practically identical comments at 1. What this suggests to me is, practically everyone posts at +1, but reads at +2 or +3. It's become a vicious circle- people read at a higher level to filter the noise, which causes them to make it noisier when they don't realize 6 other people already had the same brilliant insight they're posting.

So, sure, you have to read at a higher level to avoid all the crap. But, then there's a situation I've seen happen several times- there'll be a story about a book, and the author will hear about the story, and post a comment at +1- because he's got better things to do with his time than whore his account up to bonus level. Or, there'll be a story about ICANN and Karl Auerbach will comment, a couple of hours later, because he has better things to do with his time than sit around reloading /. all day... and those comments will stay at 1, because the moderators have moved on, and they probably won't get read, because nobody's threshold is that low.

Well, I feel better after ranting like this.

As for the future, if k5 starts getting too popular, perhaps it can follow the well-known whore-troll pattern established over there, and destroy its goodwill in the community by posting a bunch of annoying crap until the majority stops paying attention to it, then it can go back to being small + beautiful.

No, I don't think so. (3.00 / 5) (#86)
by DeadBaby on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 10:27:51 AM EST

Slashdot just offers terrible stories.

We get:

-Generic Linux PR
-Generic Anti-Microsoft FUD
-Generic (and painfully outdated) hardware PR
-Generic release PR.
-Generic humor

It's all just boring. When was the last time you saw something FIRST on slashdot? When was the last time you actually hit refresh hoping for a new story? Slashdot is a brand name, not a news site.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]
Slashdot is not dying because of Trolls (3.66 / 9) (#82)
by PacketMaster on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:21:14 PM EST

Slashdot is not dying because of Trolls. The reason that /. is different, it because it IS different. I've watched /. transform itself from a true "News for Nerds" site into a sound-byte based news archive. Let's look at today's (Sat. 11:15pm EST) headlines on /.:

  • P2P, Firewalls and Connection Splicing
  • Ask Slashdot: What would your dream calendar look like?
  • Project Penguin: Handheld Linux for $50?
  • Furby Bounty Paid
  • Mobile Video Phone

  • Okay, that's the first five current top stories (no content filtering on). First one is okay. Second on is not news or anything remotely interesting unless you're interested in providing feedback to yet another (doomed) attempt to build an Exchange replacement. Third is somewhat okay. Forth one all I'm going to say is WHAT? Fifth one sounds like something right out of an airline air-mall cataloge. In my opionion that's 1 for 5. But the point is, millions of die-hard /. readers will click EVERY link, reading each story and then clicking through comments. How many banner ad points are going to rack up there? /. is all about the sound bytes now. If you want any more proof of that, read the last so-called /. discussion (moderated IRC???!?!). I thought the maintainers of /. handled themselves so poorly I literally went from die-hard reader of /. to maybe a once-over-quickly glance on my lunch break. Going commercial is not a bad thing in my opinion. If you think you can make money from something I say go ahead and try. Captialism running rampant is the only way to go. But /. needs to stop pretending to be what it is not: A fair, balance discussion site.

    Here, here... (2.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Forum on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 12:00:07 PM EST

    It's all about the content. If you have content that is intelligent, and intellectually stimulating, you will have intelligent thought provoking comments/discussion. If you want to talk about a furby bounty, go hang out at toys r us. The rest is up to the users.


    -- "When I walk down the street and only 3 or 4 shots are fired at me, I find it hard to stay awake." -HC
    [ Parent ]
    Why it won't... (4.12 / 8) (#84)
    by driph on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 04:28:00 AM EST

    There is a big difference here, folks.

    To simplify, Slashdot is owned by it's crew. They choose the stories. They make the decisions. You don't like these decisions? Maybe you stop reading the site.. maybe you move along to another site...

    ...or maybe you decide that, hey, wait a second, we're the readers, we keep Slashdot going, don't we have a say? But where do you say it? How can you be heard? There's no forum for it. And regardless of the truth, it appears that no one is listening, except for perhaps other readers, whenever you do post about the site. So you yell louder. You attempt to SHOW what is wrong with the site by manipulating the system or trolling.

    You'll never need to get to that point here. We have a section devoted to nothing but discussion about Kuro5hin. Write up your opinion and you'll be heard. And you will be listened to. I can't say you'll be agreed with, but the nice thing about this place is that's okay.

    Sure, Kuro5hin will have problems. But we all get to take part in solving them. That's the most important factor.

    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
    Why Slashdot is dying. (2.80 / 10) (#85)
    by DeadBaby on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 10:23:10 AM EST

    They're out of touch.

    Look at the stories posted in a week on Slashdot. How many remotely matter? How many are reposts? How many are actually accurate? How many are pure (mindless) Linux / Open Source propaganda? How many are about Microsoft? (which is a fairly strange thing for a Linux site to spend lots of time on)

    Slashdot is slow, ugly, inaccurate and redundant. The comment boards are full of suck ups and trolls.

    K5 cannot suffer this same fate even if the user load increases. For example, if a story is a double post people will note vote it up. If a story is obviously not interesting people won't bother to vote, therefore it will not be posted up. You all know the rest.

    K5 is truly Slashdot v2. At some point, K5 will become outdated and unable to serve its users and it will either change or users will leave. It's not a bad thing, it's just evolution.

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    K5 is NOT /. v2 (3.66 / 6) (#89)
    by qslack on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 06:54:29 PM EST

    Slashdot and Kuro5hin are similar; both are discussion sites geared towards technology-enabled individuals but Slashdot is more like the gossip column while Kuro5hin is the New York Times.

    The second someone pasted the URL to your post, everyone went "ahhh!!!" Kuro5hin is not the second Slashdot, and that's not a goal we want to achieve.

    [ Parent ]
    Peer-to-peer Broadcast versus Hierarchical (4.00 / 5) (#87)
    by kimbly on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 02:20:20 PM EST

    Background: Make an analogy between discussion groups and computer communication protocols. Every discussion forum that I know of is basically a peer-to-peer network. When one person posts something, it is broadcast to all the readers. I'm sure most of you know that any peer-to-peer networking system that allows network-wide broadcasts will eventually spend all of its time pushing the broadcasts around, and no time doing any actual work. (The computation needed to handle broadcasts is O(n^2), while the amount of computation power in the network is only O(n)).

    Main Point: So it's possible that in order to accomodate large numbers of users, we need to create a system that is inherently hierarchical, as opposed to broadcast. In the context of discussion forums, that means that you cannot expect (or maybe even allow) every user to communicate with every other one.

    Rambling: There are many ways to make a forum hierarchical. We already do to some extent, because posts are confined to be within the context of a single story. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if k5 was basically a single IRC channel, and all the posts were intermingled? K5 has already found the need to impose another layer atop the level of individual stories, in the form of categories (News, Meta, Tech, Culture, etc).

    Threads and nested comments are an attempt to impose an additional level of hierarchy below the level of a single article. The problem, though, is that most posts are top-level, instead of replies to a related post. I suggest that if you think of an article as a discussion between people, then any such discussion is doomed to fail if most of the comments are out of the blue instead of in reply to what someone else said. It would no longer really be a discussion.

    Mediocre Idea: Have some kind of ability for readers to categorize comments, so that even if they were posted at the top level, the community could decide to lump them together with similar comments. In effect, imposing threading upon top-level comments.

    Slashdot (3.00 / 5) (#93)
    by tylor on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 09:26:19 PM EST

    The problem with Slashdot is simply its popularity. When I first got to Slashdot, it wasn't that popular. Oh, I wouldn't say it was obscure, but the whole DeCSS thing hadn't happened yet. (Think about it, that case really politicized Linux users and anyone who believes in Free Software.) Other, similar stuff hadn't happened either. Basically, we didn't have online magazines like Salon and Wired treating Slashdot like it was the pulse of the IT community.

    Oh, and I don't think Columbine had happened yet either.

    These two events caused status seekers to be attracted to Slashdot. I myself noticed that Slashdot had become a good place to raise a ruckus which a lot more people would get to hear about something than the other Web sites I post too.

    Of course, I wouldn't say Slashdot is dying, it's just less fun and informative than when I started reading it. People also have to stop thinking that the fact that it has a blatant editorial bias that they disagree with as being what's wrong with it. A lot of sites have blatant editorial biases, it's just no more special than those sites.

    k5- still a neighborhood bar (3.25 / 8) (#95)
    by beertopia on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 10:27:46 PM EST

    Hey- it's not my analogy, it's something Cmdr Taco has said a few times- that he wanted /. to be like a bar. But, it's kind of like having a neighborhood bar, where people recognize you, the bartender occasionally buys you a drink, etc... & then it suddenly becomes insanely popular, to where you can barely get in the door, & the next thing you know it's turned into one of those sports-bar places that have 50 TV's, and instead of having conversations between small groups of people, you have 100 tables full of drunk college boys watching football and screaming "my team rulez! your team suckz!"

    So, that's lame. The solution? Well, I was thinking either Ladies Night, or wet t-shirt contests, but I think the analogy breaks down in there somewhere.

    Flamebate (3.00 / 6) (#96)
    by Cenic on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 02:08:28 PM EST

    Wow enterfornone, pretty clever flamebate. Before you comment on what i have said, simply look at some of the comments below this -- the majority are inane ramblings about how horrible /. .... Intelligent, Reverent, Articulate posts are lacking. I like this site, what I don't like is the fact that a large majority of this community feels urge to completely flame another site about how that sites community is full of trolls... If you don't like slashdot.org, simply don't visit the site. Don't come here and complain about it. --The internet is filled with people who suffer from old-timers syndrome... The longer you are part of a community, the more important you feel you are. Large communities are like a marriage, the longer you are apart of the community the more disenchanted you become. `Oh, back in the day..... Soft beams of sunlight would radiate through the trees well we would sit on the porch and sip lemon aid. Intelligent conversations would abound, theory and love would spring out of every articulately placed word. Now I sit, empty, dwelling on the past, knowing that back then, things were different.'nt

    /. is popular and kuro5hin is not (4.50 / 4) (#103)
    by MrSpey on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 11:39:58 PM EST

    Some of what I'm about to say has been said by other posters. However, as far as I can tell no one has said things the way I'm about to. If you don't like it, rate it down.

    The reason that /. is suffering is because it has become so insanely popular. Everyone's hearing about it, and everyone's reading it because the real '1337 people are reading it. All the fledgling geeks and geek posers (I am one of the latter) hear about it and start reading it. They grab a login and start reading the comments. Then they start learning about how the system rewards posters who are modded up by others by having their posts be at higher mod levels by default. Then the karma whoring begins.

    One could take the above as an assault on the /. modding method, but I don't intend it as such. I believe that any user moderated system will be destroyed by too many people joining the user base. As soon as it becomes 'cool' to have a login and (trying to) start modding, the system falls apart because all the newbies want to be accepted and fit in, and that means being modded up by the groupthink and likewise modding up other people who seem to agree with the groupthink (newbie train of thought: "Well, everyone else seems to agree with this post, so I should mod it up because that's what people here do, and I don't really know any better."). K5 may have some protection from this because as far as I can tell there's no real groupthink here except the supremacy of a good post and a good comment. In fact, since I'm kinda new here, I suppose I serve as a good case study supporting the theory that the groupthink at K5 is that good writing and good thinking is all-important(it's a theory to me. You're welcome to consider it a hypothesis). But in the end, if you get enough ignorant newbies, they will eventually outnumber the people who have been around [insert weblog site here] enough to have a coherent idea of what [insert weblog site here] should be, and then they will begin changing the nature of the site, be it K5, /., or any other site that using user moderation.

    What's the solution? They only solution I can think of (and I'd love to hear of other ideas that really will work) is to have a fixed editorial staff that filters what gets posted. /. has it, in that a handful of people decide what get posted as stories/news/whatever you call it. Whether you like what they decide to post or not, they still give /. a relatively consistent feel to it. K5 instead depends on the users to decide what gets posted as a story, and the only way to prevent this process from being ruined by a large influx of clueless newbies is for rusty, Inishiro, and crew to pick certain people to decide what gets posted and only let them decide. I don't know how to implement this well (i.e. still allowing the site to be guided by the readers/posters), but it's the only way I see to 'protect' K5.

    Well, I see that this has turned into rather long ramble, so I'll stop now and save other ideas for a full post. Hopefully I'll post some ideas to my diary, which is currently empty, so that I don't forget them.

    Mr. Spey
    Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

    The death of Kuro5hin? | 109 comments (109 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:


    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!