Out of annoyance last night, I wrote this in my diary. Be forewarned that it's fairly inflammatory to the humor-impaired.
Kuro5hin.org is a community of people who like to think, so long as they're not asked to re-evaluate their opinions on a particular subject. You will not find garbage in the discussions here, because noise is not tolerated. This is a site for people who want to discuss the world they live in, so long as you do not disturb the mindset of the readers or offend them in any way, shape or form. It's a site for people who are on the ground in the modern world, and who sometimes look around and wonder what they have wrought.
What surprised me the most was this comment made by rusty:
It's most decidedly not a site for people who need a laugh now and then. It's a site for people who like to argue. No matter what people may tell you, that's all it's for. Move along.
I (rusty) use and create Free Software (as well as Open Source Software) and am so, so sorry that I'm such a Linux bigot. I realize that merely using Linux means that I'm an anti-Mircosoft bigot and that I'm entirely too closed-minded. I promise to replace anything non-Microsoft with Win2K so that I may no longer be so closed-minded. Further, I intend to stop producing Free and Open Source Software and only produce closed-source software in an effort to be less closed-minded.
I (Inoshiro) am responsible for the smoothness of the machine running Kuro5hin, most of the documentation, and occasional writings on the site. I use Slackware as the Linux flavour of choice (and yes, I do aplologise for my bigoted behaviour in this area), although I'm also partial to OpenBSD -- not that I force this on anyone ;)
Besides the two admins, Kuro5hin relies on its readers -- it exists for them and through them. Submit stories about interesting things that you hear about, things you think of, or other things which strike your fancy. This
site has an open submission queue. Any user can see and vote on all submitted stories. If you want to see something posted, you can make it happen by participating in the moderation of the stories in the submission
queue. If the rest of the readership doesn't agree with your voting habits, feel free to post numerous comments and diary entries telling your fellow readers what idiots they are. They appreciate it.
Garbage will not be tolerated. Others can and will rate your posts into oblivion. Mojo is our system designed to facilitate this community filtering. We (the readers) have every intention of trying to stifle anyone's free expression and legitimate arguments (especially if we personally dislike them). We hope most of you agree that this is the only way to keep a site usable and worthwhile.
I think way too few readers have actually read the mission statement. Seems like daily I see some comment espousing one or another of the views you so
aptly skewer above, and I'm left thinking "gee... when did K5 become about that?" I wonder if this would get voted up if I posted it (due to the constant
fear, of course).
And it made me wonder: is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is it okay that rusty wanted a site based on his mission statement, and that it's veered so far from the course?
From editorial comments I've read here, some people feel that kuro5hin is merely a place for people to discuss technology. To others, it's a place for intelligent people to discuss culture, and find technology-related articles impossible to discuss. Others want to see features like a Signal 11 filter. And others like to post editorial comments and diary entries expressing the viewpoint that people are just voting wrong on stories, that they're voting bad stories up and good stories down. Or that Slashdot, not kuro5hin, is where Linux-related stories need to go, since kuro5hin is not Slashdot. Or that MLP needs to go, and that amusing MLP has no place on kuro5hin.
I'm not here to argue for or against these things, but rather to argue that people read the mission statement and take it to heart. To some of us, that's what was so appealing about kuro5hin in the first place: A place where we could discuss technology and culture, and that stories could and would be evaluated by the readers, and accepted or rejected for valid reasons.
On the other hand, I feel that it's my duty to point out that the mission statement states that
We have no intention of trying to stifle anyone's free expression and
legitimate arguments (no matter how much we might personally dislike them).
I can't begin to count the number of times I've seen people state, "(I can't vote this up|you shouldn't vote this up) because it's (Signal11|Anne Marie|whomever)." While the parties involved may annoy you, you should at least try to evaluate what they're trying to say in an objective manner.
Try to read all new submissions in an objective manner. Try to not evaluate a story based on who wrote the story, or whether or not you agree with the opinion expressed, but on how well it's written and how well-researched it seems to be. If the subject matter doesn't interest you, vote "0, Don't Care" and move on. If you don't like MLP, vote "0" and move on. If you don't like Culture, vote 0 and move on. Even a vote of 0 is a vote against a story with the current voting system, and if stories start getting overwhelming votes of "0, Don't Care" then authors will eventually get the point. :-) Remember, kuro5hin is a site that tries to cater to a broad spectrum of interests, and that other people have interests different than your own.
Try to avoid reading other people's comments before voting on a story. Negative comments tend to color a person's perception of the overall quality of the subject matter at hand. Read it for yourself, and read the whole thing, not just the first paragraph. Just as you can't judge a book by its cover, you can't judge a story on its first paragraph.
Lastly, let the voting process work, and realize that other people's interests and perceptions of overall quality don't always match yours. Posting inflammatory comments and diary entries don't help to improve kuro5hin; they help make kuro5hin into a place dominated by bad attitude and poor discussion.