1. Cut the story post threshold
I very much believe that the current limit of 95 is too high. The majority
of posted stories now tend to hit 60 to 80 and then get posted to section
due to their not reaching that magic number. The current figure of 95 feels
wrong: it's as if someone wanted to choose a nice big round number like 100
but didn't for fear of that being too obvious.
Lowering the post threshold to 70 or 80 would take into account the varying
and dwindling size of the site. As it is, lots of decent, FP-worthy stories
get dumped into the section wasteland or even rejected outright. Remember
the X-Files submission a while back that got dumped with a score in the 90s?
Be So Fucking Fat", the volatile anti-fat tirade that got posted with
a score of 17? Seems the algorithm needs a bit of a tweaking. Maybe base it
on the rate of upward voting too?
2. Archive rejected stories
Yes, a lot of crap and trolling gets laid in the vote queue. The worst
stories get dumped in a few minutes and are forgotten. These trolls don't
need to be kept. However, there are a good number of perfectly OK stories
which pick up good comments, and I often see people say things along the
lines of "it's a shame this story is going to get dumped, this has some
My suggested implementation for this is a "keep threshold" in addition to
the "post threshold" and "reject threshold". I recommend a value of 25
-- this will prevent crapfloods and generally worthless stories from
taking up disk space but will catch most worthwhile stories. This would
probably be one of my favourite features, as I often find myself getting
caught out by the "Sorry. I can't seem to find that story." error.
If you don't want to have to make a special section for rejected stories
(because then I guess they're not really rejected, are they?) then you can
use the idea I stole from
elsewhere of having them copied
over into the user's diary with the comments. The timestamps of the comments
could be as they were originally and the timestamp of the diary/story could
be the time it was finally rejected at.
3. Fix comment search
OK, I understand that there's a lot of data to be searched when you trawl
through comments. But when a site as massively busy and as crappily hacked
together as Slashdot is able to do
comment subject searches, there's something wrong.
C'mon, Rusty. It's been months now. We can't use the site nearly as
effectively unless we can do comment searches to find old material. It would
be nice to have search working. It doesn't even have to be that advanced.
Just an <input type=text> for the search string and a tickbox for
"Search hidden comments?". No need to implement boolean searching, or even
a "Search All Words" box like
Sourceforge. A simple naive
"SELECT * FROM comments WHERE subj LIKE '%%'" will do the trick
4. Talk to us
I notice that the monthly site news updates were truly monthly as recently
as the end of 2003. But after the new year we've only had
missive from you. It seems that nothing short of an unprovoked attack on
other family members will shock a response out of your jaded self. The
rest of the time we just have
on unrelated subjects. That's one proper communication with us in 147 days.
I understand that you're pissed off about
gangsta producing and
posting a link to The Picture. Fair enough. Get as angry as you like.
That said, it is equally
irresponsible to take a bustling website for discussion of politics, tech
and everything else and just slam the gate shut. I could understand doing
so for a few days, but it has been weeks now. How long does it take you to
If I didn't know better I'd say you just gave up on K5 and walked away
without having the guts to tell us.
5. Reopen user registration
It wouldn't really be a Five Point Plan for K5 without this, would it? I
know this has been chewed over time and time again, but until we hear
something definite about it, I'm afraid that it's doubtful the nagging will
go away. Essentially, we need to know whether or not you plan to reopen user
registration, and if so, when.
If you don't want to let any new users in, fine, there's nothing I or any
of us can really do about it. But I warn you that if you keep user
registration closed then the site will shrink, wither and fade away. It's
obvious -- of every large community website, there is a constant
dripping leak of users leaving. If the site isn't kept topped up with new
users, it empties.
Taking kpaul's "Scoop Scope"
as a guide, there appear to be approximately 1600 active users on Kuro5hin.
Relatively speaking, that's a lot, but in absolute terms, it's still pretty
small, and it could run out quickly. Assuming a user loss of 4% each month,
another three months of indecision would cost us nearly 200 users: an
eighth of the userbase. I don't want that to happen, and if you still care
about Kuro5hin as much as you used to in the past, you won't either.