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[P]
Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven.

By Paul Dunne in News
Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 09:05:54 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

It seems more and more people are getting dissatisfied with /. Here's a piece over at Advogato that considers the current problems with weblogs in general, and suggests some solutions. [editor's note, by rusty] This is a good opportunity for suggestions (in general) on what can be done about this community-implosion effect. I know a lot of you have thought about these things, and I'd like to know what you've come up with. Please try to refrain from just bagging on slashdot, though! :-)


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Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. | 76 comments (76 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
This is a good discussion topic. IM... (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by xah on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 07:28:38 PM EST

xah voted 1 on this story.

This is a good discussion topic. IMHO, this is a problem with all electronic communities, from web logs to Usenet to e-mail lists. The author of the linked article doesn't get it. He just suggests some legal mumbo jumbo.

I've seen SlashDot degenerate over ... (3.25 / 4) (#3)
by static on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 08:09:58 PM EST

static voted 1 on this story.

I've seen SlashDot degenerate over the last few months. I'm not part of a community on it; stories appear and disappear daily so discussions are be necessity extremely hasty. I much prefer to spend time at my real online community at IWETHEY on EZBoard.

Re: I've seen SlashDot degenerate over ... (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by bobsquatch on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 10:13:12 PM EST

stories appear and disappear daily so discussions are be necessity extremely hasty. I see this as a /. advantage, personally, since it is a 'news' site and not a 'community' site. IWETHEY is more than welcome to have a community of people who all know each other and get into huge never-ending conversations. That's great. What /. does instead is give me a slow trickle of usually-interesting news, along with the quick reaction of the readership, so somebody who knows more than I do about a subject can chime in with a "that's BS!" or some other response. I read the quick reaction, then move on. Most of the people responding are either trolls or responding to the news article -- that's a news site. A community site has people responding to other people. Better or worse is a subjective call; /. has chosen the news model, which makes community-model advocates sad.

[ Parent ]
whoops! w3m/scoop interaction probs (1.50 / 2) (#10)
by bobsquatch on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 10:19:34 PM EST

Sorry for the mis-formatted post. Rusty: <P> tags in my comment
were stripped in the input box on the preview page (though the comment
displayed correctly above, showing that the <P> tags got through
to Scoop). Posting from the preview page then gave the world
the blob above, sans <P>. (I'm using the latest w3m, 0.1.6) Aroooo!



[ Parent ]
Nope, it's all w3m. (2.00 / 1) (#12)
by bobsquatch on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 11:00:06 PM EST

It's all w3m's fault. It's displaying line-break tags within <textarea>, not treating them as data.

Um... nevermind?

And it might be nice to be able to delete your own comment, if nobody else has responded to it yet. Just so idiots like bobsquatch won't waste the site admin's time.

[ Parent ]

Re: I've seen SlashDot degenerate over ... (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by Paul Dunne on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:05:32 PM EST

The thing is though that /. isn't a news site, not in the conventional sense. The news is very selective, and you wouldn't want to rely on it as your sole source -- which surely any pure news site at least aspires to. The core of slashdot isn't the stories, it's the discussion. Indeed, the content that /. generates itself, articles by editorial staff, aren't news at all, but attempts to speak for an illusory community.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
This is the key. (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by static on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 10:05:27 PM EST

SlashDot used to be a community. It ain't anymore; the number of people who want in on it is too high. For instance, many user numbers on /. of posters are 5 or 6 digits and I just saw one higher than 150000! That's a heck of a lot of users. (Mine is 1229 if you're curious.)

Wade.

[ Parent ]

The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 12:21:55 AM EST

A lot of the "problems" with Slashdot are directly attributable to its success. Lots of people come in and post, comments section gets too long to read. Rob&Co have to deal with hundreds of story suggestions, some good stories get passed over, some stories get posted half a week after they're old news. As with any large-scale population growth, some of the new population is undesirable. They're being dealt with. Finally.


Now as for the article...

I think a bunch of these sites getting together and trading articles would be neat. While at first glance it does not look like content-trading makes any sense on the linkable web, the proposal looks like it would allow the Hacker AP articles to be freely translated into different languages and converted to print medium.

One problem is that if the free articles are of any quality, and the mainstream media accepts this and runs them, this would reduce the worth of professional journalists who like to get paid. OTOH, widespread publication of a Hacker AP writer could get the guy a paying job in the media.


- Perpetual Newbie, too lazy to log in.

Hey, no cracks about the worth of professional journalists.

[ Parent ]
Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:27:46 AM EST

Lots of people come in and post, comments section gets too long to read.

So come up with some way of scaling your discussion display to handle this.

Rob&Co have to deal with hundreds of story suggestions, some good stories get passed over, some stories get posted half a week after they're old news.

So rethink your Ivory Tower editorial policy. I did. It's working out way better than I ever expected so far. :-)

Basically, all of the usability issues amount to failure to scale. /. failed to scale, not because it can't be done, but because they didn't care. I've seen no significant efforts to control things over there since "meta moderation". It's just been new editors and new sections. And meta-moderation, don't even get me started on that. :-)

Anyway, failure to scale, lack of concern on the part of it's wealthy corporate owners. That's the two sentence description of the "problem" with /.

I like your phrase "The Hacker AP". That's just about the idea. But imagine if the AP news ticker was free, and included discussions from all over the world about each item. That's closer to the mark. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (none / 0) (#35)
by Paul Dunne on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:10:53 PM EST

What is your editorial policy now Rusty? does article submission always happend automatically, or do you still have a final say?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:50:37 PM EST

Article submission is automatic by default. If I'm asleep or whatever, the process will go on without me. This morning I loaded the page to see KMSelf's Deja article, which I didn't vote on, or see, or anything before it went up.

That said, I can edit, delete, or otherwise modify nearly everything on the site. And I do, from time to time. I can post stories without submitting them for voting (which I rarely do), I can edit stories at any time during their life (which I frequently do, for grammar and formatting, but rarely do for content). I can delete comments, and will if they're trolls (that aren't amusing). I'm not going to go all hypocrite on you-- I can and will delete comments that have no business here.

But, in general, I'm a lazy sonofabitch, and I'll do as little as I can get away with. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (none / 0) (#50)
by rajivvarma on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 10:24:36 PM EST

Hey:

I got a question...how many submissions have been rejected lately? It seems that almost all of them are being accepted. Are we being blessed with good "reporters" or is this going to be a problem in the future?
Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

[ Parent ]
Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (none / 0) (#70)
by rusty on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 02:51:32 AM EST

I think so far we've just been blessed with good content and open-minded readers. Occasionally articles do get dropped. But mainly, they've been good so far.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by Paul Dunne on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:09:02 PM EST

> One problem is that if the free articles are of any quality, and
> the mainstream media accepts this and runs them, this would reduce
> the worth of professional journalists who like to get paid.

That was my first thought reading the piece too. If I were to contribute writing to a weblog, I'd want to make damn sure that I retained copyright and that it wasn't freely-redistributable. Writing isn't code, and I've got to eat.

However, /. doesn't seem to have hurt JK any. I think it is more important that a weblog should be on the look-out for writers who want to use it as a PR machine, than that writers should be worried about weblogs reducing their worth.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by Radagast on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 10:27:10 PM EST

Much as I usually oppose the "market" paradigm, this is how it works. If the material on such a service is of a quality that rivals that of professional writers, then of course publications will choose that material over the things they have to pay for directly.

But. AP, for instance, is a subscription service. If you're a newspaper, you pay a set fee, you can use AP material, without editing, even. So you don't need journalists, right? AP has some of the best material in the world, right? Well, it turns out that not a single newspaper has used the opportunity to fire all their journalists and become a Low-TCO, all-AP, highly efficient republishing machine. You need journalists of your own to give stuff your own slant, to analyze from your perspective, etc.

As for the copyright, yes, you will retain copyright. But, the material will be licensed free of charge, and be freely redistributable, under the terms of the license (too many people confuse license and copyright). Now, this might be tough for freelancers. Then again, if you do it well, someone will probably pick you up to do contract work for them.

If you're worried, however, that people working for no salary, solely because they love to write, will outperform you in the market place, well, too bad. That's what's going to happen, unless you also love your work, and are really good at it. All I want to do is put the tools in the hands of the people. If it means some "professional" journalists go down, hey, that's a shame. The general public will have better news, and be better informed.

That being said, I think one possibility for the license would be to optionally disallow free redistribution in paper media, for instance. Let's call it a "paper tax". But these issues should all be discussed, and within a few days, I'm setting up the mailing list for this discussion. It'll be published on Advogato, at the very least. Everyone who has an opinion on the matter, should join.

[ Parent ]

Re: The Imminent Demise Of Slashdot. (none / 0) (#67)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 05:23:57 AM EST

> But. AP, for instance, is a subscription service. If you're a
> newspaper, you pay a set fee, you can use AP material, without
> editing, even. So you don't need journalists, right? AP has some of
> the best material in the world, right? Well, it turns out that not a
> single newspaper has used the opportunity to fire all their
> journalists and become a Low-TCO, all-AP, highly efficient
> republishing machine. You need journalists of your own to give stuff
> your own slant, to analyze from your perspective, etc.

Bad analogy. A better example would be to look at the way, at present, a writer can get paid for each republication of his work. One often sees articles in newspapers with the byline "previously-published in...". Under your model, the only people to make money from this re-publication would be the publishers.

> As for the copyright, yes, you will retain copyright. But, the
> material will be licensed free of charge, and be freely
> redistributable, under the terms of the license (too many people
> confuse license and copyright). Now, this might be tough for
> freelancers. Then again, if you do it well, someone will probably pick
> you up to do contract work for them.

Stuff on the Net already is free, insofar as anyone can link to it unless it's on a subscription-only site. If an article of mine is on a web-site, then, to anticipate, "the tools" are already available. The only reason for making it redistributable is so that someone can put it on their site, and get the hits (and thus the click-throughs and advertising revenue) from it.

> If you're worried, however, that people working for no salary, solely
> because they love to write, will outperform you in the market place,
> well, too bad. That's what's going to happen, unless you also love
> your work, and are really good at it. All I want to do is put the
> tools in the hands of the people. If it means some "professional"
> journalists go down, hey, that's a shame. The general public will have
> better news, and be better informed.

People working for no salary. Hmm. Well, what you really mean is people who work for a salary and do other work in their spare time, right?

Everyone always wants what's best for the "general public", don't they? The trouble is though, this worthy body doesn't exist. Society is divided into classes. And what's good for one class may be bad for another. Making the product of work free benefits those who can exploit the products -- a company running a website, for instance -- at the expense of those who do the work. Thus, your scheme, far from benefiting the "general public", benefits certain companies and those who own shares in them at the expense of those who do the work. I happen to feel the reverse should be the case: that productive work should be rewarded, and mere possession of property should bring no rewards of itself.

I know I'm going to be told that this argument could also apply to free software. But it doesn't, and Stallman has actually addressed this point. A program without the source-code is incomplete. Therefore, programs should be provided with source-code. Once the principle of software with source has been accepted, it becomes practically impossible to prevent "piracy" of the source, just as it is with binaries; therefore it is better to fix the system, by removing restrictions on the distribution of software (if the originator makes the choice to distribute it). This argument doesn't carry over to writing.

> That being said, I think one possibility for the license would be to
> optionally disallow free redistribution in paper media, for instance.
> Let's call it a "paper tax". But these issues should all be discussed,
> and within a few days, I'm setting up the mailing list for this
> discussion. It'll be published on Advogato, at the very least.
> Everyone who has an opinion on the matter, should join.

The revenue model for a paper magazine and that for an on-line version don't differ -- they are both based on advertising. Why penalise one?

In summary, always look at the bottom line. The model you propose has positive benefits only for publishers. But stuff that's on the web is already published. If publishers want to make money, they should pay for their own content, not use someone else's.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

I hate to say it, but I believe tha... (4.00 / 4) (#2)
by Philipp on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 09:05:54 PM EST

Philipp voted 1 on this story.

I hate to say it, but I believe that such an decay is inevitable. When I started reading Slashdot more than two years ago, it was frequented by a rather small group. It was elitist, missionary, but yet very serious and intelligent. It felt like a small group, and people were embarrassed, when they where caught saying something wrong. That was before Netscape went open source, actually before the phrase "open source" existed. It was a lttle world about to conquer the world.

Fast forward two years. Open source is mainstream now, Slashdot is mainstream and the site is frequented by people who jumped on the bandwagon and want to be part of it. They want to say something too, even if they don't really have anything interesting to say. The feeling is different now, it is not the small vanguard anymore, the fratboys and wonnabes have joined in.

I don't think that there is anything they could have done differently, the posted stories did not really get worse, although the dumbed-down opionated style of people like JonKatz and maybe Roblimo did not help. Ultimately Slashdot got rolled over by its own success. If Kuro5hin will be successful, it will happen here, too.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'

Re: I hate to say it, but I believe tha... (4.20 / 4) (#7)
by skim123 on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 09:58:07 PM EST

True, it seems like a large base of users leads to cluttered discussion. However, think of what Slashdot can provide now that it couldn't provide with a smaller audience.


For example, interviews with Bjarne Stroustrup or Jakob Neilsen would not be even remotely possible if Slashdot were a small site, like Kuro5hin.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Small sites can only get lame interviews (4.50 / 2) (#24)
by raph on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:32:41 AM EST

I should know.

[ Parent ]
Re: Small sites can only get lame interviews (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 05:31:24 AM EST

Good call. :-) I was gonna bring that up too, but it slipped my mind. The fact is, slashdot's interviews and features IMO were way better before they got big. The reason I read it was because it had stuff you just wouldn't find anywhere else. Now... well... never mind.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.60 / 5) (#4)
by driph on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 09:21:40 PM EST

I like the idea of having one main core, broken into separate pieces.. Here is a proposal, let me know what you all think of the basic idea.. Rusty and I have talked about it, and others have also come up with similar ideas..

Organize several sites under one group..similar to perhaps IGN, where all the weblogs would fit under a primary umbrella.. user databases would be shared across these sites... you register as a user on one site, you have the ability to post on all the sites.. call this the ScoopDex..

Each site could specialize in its own particular area of discussion, keeping the niche territory, yet still be tied into one grand scheme...
Perhaps there could be a master site where the top articles from all the umbrella sites would be posted.. users looking for a general weblog(ala slashdot) could go to the master site, see the various articles, and post/read comments.. those interested in particular subjects could visit their respective sites..(with perhaps SlashBox style sidebars featuring the newest items of other umbrella sites of the users choosing.)

This would allow for finer control over the content of each site, as each subsite would have members and people in charge that really cared about their particular topic of interest.. Technocrat would be a good example of a potential member site within the umbrella..

Some issues I see would include deciding what and how sites could join the ScoopDex... a decision made by the current site admins, maybe a united nations type vote? Potential sites would have to be screened a bit(ie, does the site maintainer have to willingness to keep the site going? Does s/he have the hardware and bandwidth to support the site? Etc..)

Could it work?



--
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
Re: ScoopDex cont.. (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by driph on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 09:28:00 PM EST

Sharing user databases would also include sharing user preferences and hotlists.. imagine being able to carry around one hotlist, the discussions on which could span several websites..

Should users be able to crosspost? Would comments from shared articles(say from a subsite to the master site) be shared as well? Or would each site have its own discussion?

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: ScoopDex cont.. (none / 0) (#15)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 01:04:14 AM EST

My preference would be to share discussions. In fact, I'm especially fond of that idea. However I always say that features should never be requirements. That is, if a site doesn't want to share discussions, who are we to make them?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by Inoshiro on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 09:44:17 PM EST

In some talks with Rusty about my rebuilding of the front end of thock.com, he suggested I use the Scoop engine. I replied that I didn't want another K5 (one is good ;), I wanted the site to have a bit more of user prefs WRT to all the content on it (technical articles, and other things which must be prepared over time). Now that you mention something like this, would it seem logical for things like kuro5hin and thock to join up?

Maybe. I, for one, would find it interesting :-)

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by rusty on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 10:04:11 PM EST

Yes! Thock, and K5, and any other site that wanted to participate. This, I think, is really the gist of the advogato article. See my post in the discussion there for more explanation of this idea, and how I think it should proceed.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by bmetzler on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 10:45:35 PM EST

Yes! Thock, and K5, and any other site that wanted to participate. This, I think, is really the gist of the advogato article. See my post in the discussion there for more explanation of this idea, and how I think it should proceed.

I've actually been thinking of the distributed weblog concept for a while too. I actually secured 'geeky.org' a while back just to serve as an umbrella for a bunch of sub-weblog sites, all focused on their own topics.

However, I haven't had time to put any effort into it yet. To sort of 'drop into' an already existing distributed weblog system, would be kind of nice. I'll definately be checking out that article more thoroughly.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
A question... (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by joeyo on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 12:16:24 AM EST

An interesting idea, but in practice will this be much different in feel than the various "sections" in /.?

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

Re: A question... (4.70 / 3) (#16)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 01:09:37 AM EST

Yes, very much so! We're not talking about (poorly linked, difficult to understand and almost unnoticable) "sections" of one site, but totally separate sites that just happen to share (some/most/all?) content.

Think about it this way: I run a weblog about technology. Someone else runs a weblog about Chinese politics. We both subscribe to this system. Someone submits an article to one of our sites about Linux making inroads in China, and the technological and social repercussions thereof. Now, despite our totally different foci, this article may well be of interest to both audiences. So we could both run it.

Then imagine that the discussion is "cross-posted" too. What a fertile thought-space that would be, with people coming at the same story from two totally different angles. This is the real power of the idea, IMO, and why I'm so committed to discussion sharing (see elsewhere in this thread).

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: A question... (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 12:37:38 AM EST

You have brought the idea of cross-posting to the weblogs.

Have you learned nothing from usenet?

For the sake of humanity, I must kill you now ;^)

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: A question... (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by rusty on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 02:45:50 AM EST

Heh. No, I just borrowed the term. I should probably use a different one, since that one is so negative in tone for most people.

Basically, I'd like to see different sites, and different sections within one site, be able to converse with each other. I agree that there are times this wouldn't work, or even make sense, but two sites ought to be able to agree to share their stuff. And sections within a site, even more so.

There are some interesting convergences between K5 and Advogato, for example. I'd love to be able to syndicate their discussions over here. And maybe they'd occasionally benefit from discussions going on here. Anyway, I'd like to see a system emerge that would allow this.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: A question... (none / 0) (#71)
by driph on Fri Mar 03, 2000 at 08:41:26 AM EST

Now that I've got the heat working again in the house, I'm sitting here at 5:30am trying to think of ways to make crossposting work.. hmm..

If you limit the comments that are sent over from one site to another, there's a pretty big chance you'll cause confusion(say, if only comments scoring higher than 5 were shown on a syndicated site..)..

How about a "Highlights from SiteA" link or listing in the comments area of the weblog receiving the article from SiteA? Those highlights could be limited by rank... in theory, users of the weblog would have a chance to view the most informative comments from SiteA, and then comment on the article and the comments in their own space... in reciprocation, the weblog would send the best of ITS comments to SiteA, for those viewer to read as well..

This way, users can read the best comments from all the sites sharing the article without having to visit all those sites, and without the overhead of sharing ALL comments realtime.. if the user DOES want to reply directly to a comment made from another site, s/he could click Reply and be brought to the site from which the comment originated(of course landing in a reply field, to make the transition from site to site smoother...)

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by kraant on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:14:05 AM EST

Well you seem to be reinventing UseNet a little...





Anyway how about setting up your own protocol for this system and submitting a RFC...



That way you can have an open standard for articles being sent around the world between various news sites without worrying about top level sites and choosing what gets transferred where...



ie it would be a bit like UseNet except with systems in place for doing moderation and selection of articles



Just like is being done on this site now



That way any admin could choose to set up a RustyNews(or whatever it would be called) server and have client programs connect to it or a web interface just like here or slashdot and choose to propagate whatever discussion topics (such as say "tech" or "anime" they want onto their forums.



It would be a lot less centralized and therefore less likely to totaly collapse.



Not to mention that it would be easier to connect and propagate than an equivalent XML/DHTML scheme.





daniel - Rooting for a robust lo-tech solution
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by ramses0 on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 02:16:33 AM EST

This sounds like a great idea, but it would be totally difficult to come up with a proper database. I don't think that weblogs with moderation are well-developed enough yet so that the "best" practice has been found.

If you look at even the difference between slashdot and k5, it's two completely beasts. Until more methods of moderation are explored, it might be better to do the open-sourcey thing and simultaneously develop several systems, then see which one wins in the end. Just as long as everybody's having fun along the way, I think this is a good thing ;^)=

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (4.00 / 8) (#17)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 01:22:11 AM EST

(Please read this entire post before passing judgment.)

Just to let you know, I was the one trolling on Slashdot recently as President Clinton, various variations of Bruce Perens, and the like. I was doing it because I couldn't stand Slashdot any longer and felt like having some fun at the expense of the Slashdot experience.

Rest assured, I will not be doing that here, at least not until Kuro5hin sells out and starts to get real crappy. :)

I'm tired of Slashdot. I was only continuing to frequent it in the hopes of getting a good story again. Then I found out about this place in various threads on Slashdot (particularly sid=moderation), and it does all the things which Slashdot has sorely been needing (story moderation, reasonable anonymous posting, etc.).

Oh, and my real account on there was Pascal Q. Porcupine. There aren't likely to be any more posts from that nickname, or from me on Slashdot at all for that matter, unless I get really bored again.

Thanks, and good night.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

What irked? (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by kmself on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 03:01:07 AM EST

What was it that soured you on Slashdot? Really, just curious?

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: What irked? (none / 0) (#21)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 03:36:14 AM EST

So as not to repeat myself, but not make you think I never replied (if I'm at all typical, people check for replies by looking at their user info page), see my response to Rusty.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.70 / 3) (#19)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 03:04:27 AM EST

I remember you from slashdot. In fact, I remember you because of several very interesting posts you made, here and there. So why did you feel the need to troll at all? I had some of this same conversation with another ex-slashdotter, who also turned to trolling out of frustration with the site. But I'm curious as to your motives.

I just don't condone it, unless it's really really funny. And then it's not even a troll, but some kind of surrealist "contribution." But genuinely funny "trolls" are few and far between.

Basically, I don't really understand why people like you, who used to contribute to the discussion, turn to trolling instead of just not reading anymore. Is it just frustration and anger? I know there are others who did basically the same thing as you. I'd like to know the whys and wherefores.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (4.25 / 8) (#20)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 03:31:11 AM EST

It was mostly frustration and anger, yeah. I was sick of all the stupid attention-grabbing, sensationalistic, drivel-oriented "stories" and Katz essays, and decided to have some fun to see what sorts of mindfucks I could do. You'll notice that on the Hall of Fame the top two stories are completely inconsequential; my goal was to see how many pointless stories I could elevate to godly status. Also, I had other plans for automated trolling; in some of my later stuff (and of a co-conspirator of mine, a RL friend whom I respect as being probably one of the few people I've ever known who is more intelligent than me) you can see various randomly-generated trolls which are kind of on-topic by using MegaHAL or creative copy-and-paste from other websites. In fact, one of my AC trolls got moderated up because it seemed insightful, when it was just drivel (and my friend has had similar experiences).

Basically, I felt betrayed by /., from having spent so much time trying to build up some good conversation and seeing it all completely disappear. I think the *real* last straw for me was on the recent story about DNet having endianness issues; someone asked why little-endian, I replied with the only justification which has ever come to light, and I got actively flamed by some complete clueless idiots who had some sort of twisted view of mathematics. However, it's something which had been brewing for quite some time. I believe my user info can reflect it rather well.

One of the last trolls I did was actually quite deliberately from my real account. Someone did a babelfish translation of that German article. Someone else, who spoke German, followed up with a refined translation. Someone else, who didn't speak German, refined that one further. It was completely pointless. So, for the clue-impaired, I decided to translate it into oldskool eleet ANSi-d00d... of course, it was just a simple tr job; as you'd probably know if you read my spambot's source, I'm rather adept at tr. :)

I hated the whole karma thing. I hated the short-sighted moderation system which lead to more problems than it solved. I hated more "solutions" being put in place to punish those who were lashing out against the system rather than try to fix it. I hated the state of news becoming more and more banal, pointless, and inane, and the discussions getting longer while having a lower signal:noise. So I decided to have some fun; as I put it (as an AC in the Inprise thread), why save a sinking ship when it's more fun to get at it with an underwater cutting torch and some scuba gear?

By the way, thanks to the stopgap "solution" for spamming, the posting system completely sucks for students behind a single-IP proxy, and yet, as the top story on the HOF indicates, it did nothing to stop the spam problem, since it's so easy to just do multiple trickle-spams from a bunch of open proxies anyway. Yeah, it took 10 hours to do my crowning achievement on the HOF, but that's nothing when you just start a few scripts before going to bed and then turn it off after classes the next day.

It also didn't help that Malda didn't care about the state of things. When I emailed him my AC "manifesto," he never bothered to even reply, regardless of the fact that I was claiming responsibility for all the problems and he would have likely loved to jump at the opportunity for a scapegoat. As can be seen on sid=moderation, none of the /. admins actually give a shit about improving it for users who know what they're talking about.

And yet, there's other factors too. Like constantly being accused of being a karma whore by the same people I was agreeing with, and being moderated down as a troll or offtopic for using an allegory to explain my stance (see the recent "discussion" of VB vs. C in the "Which registrar is best?" forum)... there's just so many things which led to my friend and I eventually just wanting to undermine, destroy, and otherwise Fuck Up what used to be a wonderful place.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the other upstanding-posters-come-trolls feel more or less the same way.

As I said before, I have absolutely no intention of repeating my recent /. actions on here. I'm done with that. That said, I might still keep on fucking up /., just for shits and giggles. My friend and I still have plenty of ideas left, and I think we've only just begun having our fun.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.50 / 2) (#22)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:20:08 AM EST

I'm of a seriously torn mind about all this (picture Ash in Evil Dead, when Mirror Ash comes out and taunts him). On the one hand, "Good Rusty" wants to say "if you don't like it, just go somewhere else and let it die in peace. No reason to mount what was essentially a DOS attack against the site."

Basically, this point of view says "It's not your place to fuck it up. Tell them what's wrong, and if there's no response, then go elsewhere."

But then, Evil Rusty comes along, thinking that you told them what the problems were. Hell, any idiot could see the basic things-- moderation wasn't working. The users wanted more say in editorial content. Anonymous posting was doing more harm than good. The new editors, mostly, just sucked (Roblimo had a big role in many people's dissatisfaction, IMO).

What did Malda do? A couple half-ass attempts to bolster the current (broken) system against attacks it practically invited. Oh yeah, and some gratuitous flaming from the editorial pulpit. Very responsible.

So Evil Rusty concludes that you reap what you sow, and they sowed major discontent. "Fine," says Evil Rusty, "Screw 'em. Have your fun, cause someone besides Malda ought to have some."

I think the very deepest heart of this is that Rob's loaded and he doesn't give a shit anymore. I can't entirely say I blame him. If his interest has moved on to other things, so be it. Maybe if you handed me ten million, I'd disappear too. Maybe not. Who knows.

The point is, a lot of people spent a lot of time on slashdot, telling their friends, writing long involved interesting comments, generally creating a community. And now the person that community relies on to provide the "meeting place" has fled the building, and left the doors wide open. I think that's what really has brought on the barrage of trolls.

There have always been trolls. That's true. But lately, they've become stupendously more creative and militaristic. Witness your activities. My rule of thumb is, yes, that attack is possible. But the people who can easily whip up that script have better things to do with their time. This rule breaks down when the people who can do it are pissed off at you. So, I guess, the moral is, don't get a bunch of smart programmer types together and then take your millions and go home. You'll regret it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

A Message From The Troll Anti-Defamation League (4.80 / 4) (#31)
by Serf on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 01:36:33 PM EST

Lengthy semi-coherent rant follows (if you're fluffy grue, please scroll down to the request, at least):

"Oh, yes, it's fine to destroy a discussion forum, as long as it's on Slashdot."

This is what I keep hearing.
(This is as much a reply to PQP as to rusty.)

What, because Malda is obviously the Devil Incarnate?

"Fine," says Evil Rusty, "Screw 'em. Have your fun, cause someone besides Malda ought to have some."

Yes. Like, maybe, non-PQP Slashdot readers. I still read Slashdot. And it really pisses me off when people try to destroy the last vestiges of community or usability that Slashdot has left because they think it doesn't have enough. It's not just Malda. It's me and everyone else who reads it.

And where does it stop? If Kuro5hin gets popular, if it's no longer 31337 enough (*), if people decide that there are needed features that aren't being added, what then? Kill, maim, destroy? Ah, Kuro5hin sucks, what the hell.

To quote PQP:

Rest assured, I will not be doing that here, at least not until Kuro5hin sells out and starts to get real crappy. :)

There's a smiley there, true, but I don't think it's a joke. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "I'm not having fun any more, so nobody else can either" a really poor statement to live by?

It's not us vs. Malda, or you vs. Slashdot, or whatever. It's "I'm bored and going to amuse myself at everyone else's expense" vs. the rest of the Slashdot readership.

Pascal Q. Porcupine, one request:

That said, I might still keep on fucking up /., just for shits and giggles.

Please don't do it. I still read Slashdot, I haven't given up yet, and I like it. Don't ruin it for me just because you don't like it. Yes, maybe if you don't do it, somebody else will. But if you don't, then that's one less person detracting from my experience and everyone else's. This can't be the most amusing thing you do all day. (Or I hope not.)

My subject line and why this post isn't hypocritical (I think):
I know that I've done some defending of the trolls on Slashdot before, but that's because good trolls don't hamper discussion or readability significantly for those who don't appreciate them, and they really to add to the experience for those who do. It takes at least as much effort to post a good troll as it does to post a real post, and, in addition to being funny, good trolls spawn interesting discussions a surprising proportion of the time.

*: I'm pretty sure that Slashdot losing it's "cool" factor is one of the reasons that nobody likes it so much any more. I still like it, but I used to feel a little like I was "with it" or something similarly status-related yet utterly meaningless.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Message From The Troll Anti-Defamation Leagu (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:57:36 PM EST

    Rest assured, I will not be doing that here, at least not until Kuro5hin sells out and starts to get real crappy. :)

    There's a smiley there, true, but I don't think it's a joke. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "I'm not having fun any more, so nobody else can either" a really poor statement to live by?

It was a joke. And that's not the statement I was living by. I don't know if I was even going by any single statement like that. It's more complicated than simply saying "Slashdot sucks, so I'll make it even worse," since that's not what it was about. As I stated as an AC in the original Inprise story, as far as spamming goes, I only visibly fucked-up a couple of inconsiquential stories for the day. What I did later was much more subversive, namely spamming on threads which were long-since closed, and giving people a false sense of security about the hole being closed up (since it wasn't).

There wasn't any one single thing I was trying to accomplish. I decided to have some fun, make a few statements, prod the Slashdot staff into showing how mind-bogglingly stupid and apathetic they are about fixing things for those who had made the site what it was, and basically be a troll, see how pissed-off people would get for something which, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't matter. Honestly, if I weren't so open about my actions, would you even remember which thread it was which was massively spammed that one night, and would you even know about the one I'd discretely spammed a few days later?

As far as 'fucking up' /., I don't really think my actions make a huge hell of a lot of difference. Randomly trolling with MegaHAL-generated stuff (most of the Bruce Parens et al posts are generated by MegaHAL trained on ESR writings - and a bunch of people have already responded thinking it was a script setup to generate BPisms), my friend and I doing random copy-paste from vaguely-related websites to see if it'll get moderated up (a lot of it does), and seeing how much we can get Sig11 to be publically indignant... lots of fun. (See the "exchanges" between Sig11 and z___987 for an example.)

Probably the funniest damned thing about the whole P.Clinton spamming was the death threat I received, from an AC to an AC, who would have no fucking clue how to find me, where to find me, who I was (of course, that could have changed by now since I've been so open about things, but I doubt it), and threatened to beat me up in a dark alley if he were to ever come across me RL.

There are no dark alleys where I live.


--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: A Message From The Troll Anti-Defamation Leagu (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:07:45 AM EST

I recall there being a way to unarchive archived stories, and replace the archived posts with "First Post!" and other such useless drivel. I know at least a few days of stuff from late 1998 was gone because of a troll doing that..

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Ire (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by kmself on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 06:48:48 AM EST

Strong understanding of many of your points, though I'm not sure I agree with your actions. I am one of the "upstanding posters", though not yet cum troll (at least not intentionally -- I found a substantial number of my posts marked down or off-topic in recent months though), and I'd found /. to be little more than diverting for quite a while now.

More questions, mostly because I see this as a chance to get it right (or at least wrong differently). What was broken about moderation? Karma (I suspect we share some ground, see: 1, 2, 3).

I'll have to agree that Malda doesn't seem to see things as being broken. Today started out with an email from an editor at a favorite newsite commenting on the "implosion" at /. Then there was the Advogato story. IWETHEY had more comments (apparently spontaneous) on the difficulty of getting submissions accepted. I was in the process of mailing the Advogato piece to Rusty when I noticed his post to the discussion and found he'd already created this item here. I get the feeling things are coming to a head. sid=moderation was somewhat useful, but it didn't seem like it was making an impact (Rob said several times that he didn't read it, and misquoted the URL each time he mentioned it).

I don't know about the resentment factor. I don't know how Malda's deals were structured -- usually there are performance targets attached to things, especially as intangible as hot websites. I certainly hope VA didn't throw its money away in aquiring Andover -- which AFAICT is little else than Slashdot and Freshmeat. Owning a was-hot portal ain't gonna do much for their already depreciated market cap. And I'm sure that Rob and co. get more than a couple of emails a day.... I figure I'm lucky if he gets back to me in a week.

I really am not out to see Slashdot fail. I think it's got some really tough problems to deal with, most of which result from its success. How to you choke noise, grow signal, not piss off the people you say "no" to (ever see The Player, Tim Robbins "I get to say 'yes' four, maybe five times a year" -- movie executive). Limited resources, limited bandwidth. Slashdot has a scaling problem. Kuro5hin's trying to address the same issue, has the benefit of obscurity for the moment, but that won't last long.

And with spamming and spoofing as easy as it is, defenses on a stateless, unauthenticated medium such as http is pretty damned difficult. Unless you'd care to offer some suggestions <g>....

Thanks for venting.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Ire (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 12:59:35 PM EST

I'm not out to see Slashdot, in the form it was two years ago when I first started reading it, fail. I'd like to see the Andover/VA Slashdot fail. Rob and Jeff get so much money for basically posting links all day long, and they don't even do much of that anymore, and when they do it's usually an unresearched blurb pointing to some sensationalist fluff, with some inane, uninformed comments thrown in to the mix.

Rusty said that if he were given $10 million for his website, he'd probably disappear from the users too. Thing is, they were given their truckloads of money to maintain the site. It's their salary, and yet they have gone from treating it like a labor of love to a toy, but even less important of one since they're rolling in cash now. Talk about biting the hands of all the people who made their site what it is; having had a few articles posted to /. (including my feature on LokiHack'99), I can assure you that the people who made the site what it is haven't gotten one damned cent from the sale, and certainly haven't gotten any satisfaction.

As far as the scaling problems, maybe if they'd just rewrite Slash like it's been overdue for quite some time now. Make it more cache-friendly. However, it's certainly not a network bandwidth issue; any ping to it will tell you that. Their speed problems are from an aging, decrepid, badly-structured codebase which wasn't that good to begin with.

Spamming and spoofing aren't that hard to defend against on HTTP. Give a random set of random session keys on the post form as hidden values, force a preview (which also conveniently generates a new key based on the content of the post), or anything else which would be difficult to spoof. Remove loginless posting, do it how Kuro5hin does it (which is, incidentally, how I've been suggesting to Malda for quite some time, just to get some badly-misinformed "That would be a bad idea because" bullshit responses).

They could also, say, delete old accounts. Of course, they wouldn't want to do that, since then they couldn't release their over-inflated usercounts in press statements. Pascal Q. Porcupine has a UID of 4452. Bruce Parens (one of the troll accounts I set up last night before discovering Kuro5hin) is 158315. Lots of supposed users on there. Oh, and their account creation stuff is VERY flawed. If you create an account with an invalid email address, there's absolutely NO WAY to get to that account, but it continues to exist, even after the email bounces to it.

In any case, sorry for not mentioning this earlier, but I remember you from Slashdot as well (yes, due to your .sig, so it's completely mutual in that regard :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Ire (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:01:30 AM EST

"Oh, and their account creation stuff is VERY flawed. If you create an account with an invalid email address, there's absolutely NO WAY to get to that account, but it continues to exist, even after the email bounces to it."

Back when I still cared about slashdot, I helped a friend setup an account. She'd entered the wrong email address (typo she didn't notice until after), and a quick mail to Mr. Whicky-whicky-scratch Cowboy Neal fixed the problem within 24hrs. They do somewhat care, but it's a matter of them either not having enough attention for the site (what with them having to go through all the stories manually, as well as deal with floods of email and such), or just being burnt out from dealing with the things. I don't blame them.. They just bit off more than they could chew.

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Ire (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by rusty on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 02:53:18 AM EST

They do somewhat care, but it's a matter of them either not having enough attention for the site (what with them having to go through all the stories manually, as well as deal with floods of email and such), or just being burnt out from dealing with the things. I don't blame them.. They just bit off more than they could chew.

This is undoubtedly true, and I can totally sympathize. The day I came back from New Hampshire and found that not only had the site run itself for four days, but had grown tremendously, I was terrified. :-)

But they're a big-ass company now. If you can't handle it, get someone who can. I still think mostly their problem is, they have the bucks, they don't want the hassle anymore.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (2.00 / 4) (#41)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 05:57:12 PM EST

First of all: I am not anonymous, I am Roberto Alsina, I just haven't opened an account here yet.

Now the real reply.

Grue, you are stupid. To be exact, you are a childish, self infatuated stupid.

To be more precise, you are a childish, self infatuated, yellow bellied, destructive, self aggrandized, juvenile, sophomoric, sour-grape-attitude stupid, who believes he is smart (ie: doesn't know just how stupid he is).

It is precisely people like you who have destroyed slashdot, it's sad to see you here.

Sorry for the post, who is entirely inappropiate for this site, but I am filled with ire.

The proper reaction for disliking a site is leaving the site. Perhaps private email to the site's manager explaining your gripe, perhaps even ONE or TWO public posts expressing your gripe.

Doing what you did turns you into what I just described.

Now please leave.

[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 08:14:00 PM EST

It's always best to take the high road. If someone came to me with Grue's issue, and said "What should I do? I will abide by your recommendation." I would tell them to just find a new place to play, without a moment's hesitation.

But the high road rule cuts both ways. You could have phrased your flame with a little more content and a little less personal attack. Please try to keep it civil, no matter how much you may disagree. If you *must* flame, do it over email.

As has been said before, this is not /. We have no "tradition" of flaming here, and I don't intend to start one. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (2.00 / 3) (#46)
by ralsina on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 09:21:24 PM EST

I don't take any high road, and don't ask him to. There is a huge difference between what I did (limited flaming of a person who has caused damage to many) and what he did (cause damage to many).

It would be possible to flame him by email, if he provided an email where I could flame him ;-)

As things stand now, this is the only chance I have to express, to him, my opinion of his actions.

Besides, there is a deep difference. I am accountable. If people find what I said to be in poor taste, then I am a person of poor taste.

He will just get another 25 accounts, with names like "Bruce Perens." and post idiocy making it pass for the opinion of someone else. I found that ugly. (and God knows I am no friend of Bruce).
KDE developer (MFCH)
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (2.00 / 3) (#48)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 09:47:52 PM EST

Oh, come ON. The "Bruce Perens" thing is a bit of a Slashdot tradition at this point. It's a game, to see who can come up with the least-noticeable bastardization of his name and confuse people at large.

I did no damage to people. I did not attack their character, ask them to leave a place, or what have you. I only added to an already-large base of noise (except for the spamming, which was a simple experiment).

Finding my email isn't so hard. Why not look at my user info page? You can find both my personal and university addresses rather easily, and the same is true on Slashdot.

I am perfectly-accountable for what I did. If I weren't, I'd have never owned up to it.

You, my friend, are assuming FAR too much about what I will do based on what I've claimed to do on another website. How do you know I even really did it or not? How do you know I'm even really the same person as Pascal Q. Porcupine? I (or he) has always been promiscuous with my (or his) information, and it's not exactly difficult to make random connections to make it seem like the real deal.

How am I supposed to know your name is really R. Alsina? Because you said so? I could tell you that my real name is Steve Preston and you'd have no reason not to believe me. Hell, my real name doesn't sound like a real name.

Grow up.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (1.75 / 4) (#51)
by ralsina on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 10:24:38 PM EST

I dislike anonymity, but I protect those who prefer it. If you prefer to be anonymous (and it seems you do) I will not make any effort whatsoever to figure out who you are.

If you prefer to be a blank, be my guest.

As for assuming: it is my experience that if you accept to having done something I consider ugly (and I do), the best bet is: you did do something I consider ugly, and probably more than you say. I am a firm believer in history.

How can you know if my name is really Roberto Alsina? Easy. Go to http://ultra7.unl.edu.ar, which is my homepage. There you will see my email address. Or in www.kde.org/gallery.

You can verify that is the real email address of a Roberto Alsina by looking in the page of my employer, the Universidad nacional del Litoral, at www.unl.edu.ar.

Then, email me and ask me: "are you the one who posted such and such in kuro5hin?" and I will reply (or Roberto Alsina will, if you believe I ain't him).

As for asking me to grow up, the history of your childish reaction to /. doesn't put you precisely in a good position to ask, but I will keep on trying to grow, anyway.

As for damage: you did, in fact, damage people.

Didn't what you did damage slashdot, and in consequence, for example, CmdrTaco or however it's written?

Are he and the others you damaged not people because you dislike what they did?
KDE developer (MFCH)
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (5.00 / 3) (#61)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:15:51 AM EST

Perhaps this is one of those things that just cannot be resolved by conversation, polite or otherwise.

I think this should be dropped now, as its' not contributing to the discussion of slashdot's state, nor of kuro5hin's growth.

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (3.00 / 3) (#44)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 08:16:46 PM EST

I'm sorry you feel that I shouldn't be here because of something I did on another website, even though I've explained that I'm certainly not going to do it here. Yes, it was stupid and immature, but so is mandating that I leave simply because you don't like what I did somewhere else.

I hope you realize that I did email Rob Malda with suggestions for improvement, and so have many others, and quite a few people have posted all of these ideas publically for quite some time. They fell on deaf ears. It's obvious that Malda doesn't care about actually fixing the problem, and would rather punish the symptom than to remove the cause.

I'm not leaving. I didn't turn Slashdot into what it is. My actions were a symptom of what Slashdot has become. However, you, with your high-and-mighty attitude, MANDATING that I leave here without even considering other peoples' views on this issue, is reminiscent of the problems on Slashdot which led to the symptoms.

I see no reason why I should.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (2.00 / 4) (#45)
by ralsina on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 09:16:10 PM EST

Now with an account...

It is my opinion that you should leave. I find your actions disgusting and repugnant, and I have absolutely no confidence on you not doing the same thing here in the future, because, after all, you already have done such a thing.

You would have to be a nice, polite poster for a long while, on a variety of places, preferably in a non-anonymous way, before you gain my trust again.

However, that in my opinion it would be better that you leave, doesn't mean you should. It only means I would be happier if you did.

Of course making me happy is not your duty, so I am not "MANDATING" anything, since I can't mandate anything. I just ASK. Please leave.

Failing to recognize such a basic thing should make you doubt about your flaunted intelligence.

KDE developer (MFCH)
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (2.67 / 3) (#47)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 09:35:16 PM EST

I personally feel that you're taking out a personal attack on me without considering all points of view on this matter. I had been a nice, polite poster for a long while, on a variety of places, never in an anonymous way (at least, no more anonymous than a pseudonym), except for one backlash against my own angst on Slashdot.



I don't care what would make you happy. All I've gotten from you so far is flames with little logical ground.



As far as not being able to recognize what's a mandate and what's not, I believe that it's your failing to recognize what's hyperbole or not. You don't really think Windows has "a million" bugs, do you?
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (1.00 / 2) (#53)
by ralsina on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 10:31:17 PM EST

I need not consider any point of view other than my own to have an opinion on your actions. If everyone did what you ask, there would never BE any opinions, right?

As for my flames not having logical ground, that is your opinion. Good for you. Did you consider all points of view in the matter before forming it? I hope not!

If you say I am doing bad to mandate something when I am not mandating anything, I am in my right to remind you that I am not. Feel free to be as hyperbolic or elliptic or parabolic as you desire.

Anyway, I have wasted more time on you than you deserve (and I didn't spend much more than 3 minutes), so feel free to reply, or not, the final word is all yours.
KDE developer (MFCH)
[ Parent ]
STOP IT NOW (5.00 / 2) (#59)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:13:13 AM EST

I will not accept flaming. You are reacting because he flared out against slashdot, and admitted it. He won't do it again. Forgive and forget.

Only by moving on do we hope to make progress. You're not moving on :-(

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: STOP IT NOW (3.20 / 4) (#69)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 06:39:18 PM EST

As someone who reads /. on a regular basis (read: 3-4 times daily, my homepage, etc.) PQP pisses me off mainly because I used to read his posts and generally agree, or at least be moved to think, even when disagreeing. Then, it turns out he has a hissy fit and decides to thrash /. No real reason other then one too many karma whore trolls dragged down his good name. So, in three months, those trolls abandon /., spot this site, mod him down, and puts his ire up again. What is to stop him from doing the same thing? Yes, forgive and forget, but wtf do you expect me to think when that is what he has done in the past? Inoshiro, I hope you never get bought out, or make it rich, or that this site gets popular, because then you too will be the target of his jealousy/immature actions/vandalism. Along with many other people who shouldn't be allowed to drive or own a gun.

/me steps of my soapbox and goes home.

P.S. I'm posting this as a fricking ac. Know why? Because I don't trust you enough to not mail bomb me for disagreeing with you in public.

[ Parent ]
Re: AH/AC (none / 0) (#74)
by Inoshiro on Tue Mar 21, 2000 at 02:39:11 AM EST

Holy crap. Mail bomb you for disagreing with me in public? Tut, I'm not as hot headed as you (? somehow ?) think I am. I just stand up for what I think is right.

I'm a big boy, and can handle opinions contrary to my own. (Sheesh -- mail bomb? When did I become a black hat)

Anyways, if someone gets out of hands, there's a handy delete link on all comments that is very clickable by the admins (read Scoop source, it's there). Live and let live. If spamming/vandlism becomes a problem, ipchains rules can be targetted and delete links can be clicked. .. All is well in hand :-)






Now, I don't really come across as someone who'd go postal and mailbomb someone, right? Come on.. Respond! :)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (none / 0) (#57)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:03:25 AM EST

Ignore the flames, bask in the karma.

Your endianness comment rightly, IMO, has a +4 right now. It's enlightening..

Why is big endian good? :-)

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
The right to destroy (3.50 / 4) (#25)
by Philipp on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 05:04:16 AM EST

I appreciate your well though out write-up of your activities at Slashdot. But while I feel sympathetic to your feelings, I just don't think it is right of you to go on a crusade to destroy what you don't like anymore. I understand that you invested a lot in Slashdot and that you feel disappointed that it goes down the drain. But that does not give you the right to go out and fuck it up for everyone else. You are really not helping your cause this way.

Try to be more creative with your energy... Just my $0.02.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'
[ Parent ]

Re: The right to destroy (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by Paul Dunne on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:12:25 PM EST

I think you put the cart before the horse, Philipp. As I remember things, the trolls were a response, a symptom, not a cause. What kills slashdot as a forum is the sheer volume of clueless posts. Slashdot policy has been to attract numbers, to go for quantity no matter what, and of course that has affected quality. Some people who saw this and were upset by it responded by "trolling". Of course, there were and are purely destructive trollers too -- the crowd who tried to do at /. what they'd done on segfault (I think it was) spring to mind -- but they aren't as big a problem as they're made out to be.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: The right to destroy (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by Philipp on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 05:55:48 PM EST

I am well aware that the demise of Slashdot has been caused by the arrival of the me-too crowd. However, you cannot seriously argue that posting random garbage to stories, as done by PQP, was a positive contribution to Slashdot.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'
[ Parent ]
Re: The right to destroy (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by Paul Dunne on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 06:46:36 PM EST

No, I wouldn't argue that it was a positive contribution: just that it didn't happen until slashdot was already badly-damaged. Rob & co. made such a fuss about trollers et al; but the real damage they inflicted themselves. If all the trolls magically disappeared tomorrow, /. wouldn't improve much.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 07:50:22 AM EST

I, too, was a troll on Slashdot. No, not GritsBoy or Natalie Portman! But generally when I got frustrated with the system ... especially poor moderation. What was really annoying with moderation is seeing people without a clue saying nothing (Signal11? actually, he does have a bit of a clue, just chooses not to exercise it too often) getting put up as Informative or Insightful, whilst things I wrote, about topics of which I have some knowledge, were routinely ignored. In fact, the only times I ever got moderated up was when I posted something interesting as Anonymous Coward, for some reason. Here the moderation system is different, the atmosphere is different (no scrambling for First Post!). However, if we are going to get some articles written by people who don't know too much about a particular subject (e.g. security) then I may well leave.

[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (none / 0) (#32)
by hattig on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 01:44:55 PM EST

Who here hasn't trolled on Slashdot. A couple of weeks ago I found a bug in the Slashdot code - it wasn't filtering out html tags, but everyone had got used to writing in the limited-html system that no-one noticed. I managed to put colourful text up, then images, then a form that emailed webmaster@slashdot.org and then I abused the system massively by embedding Freshmeat into a reply (using the handly <layer> tag).



You might ask, "Why didn't you e-mail Rob and tell him about the problem?". A year earlier, I might have, but now I would have got ignored. So I demonstrated the problem, and then other people took advantage :-). I bet that someone at Slashdot had a sleepless night that day, as they fixed the bugs, and then removed the offending comments from the discussion - something they say they don't do.



I have trolled on their as well, as anonymous coward, replying to stupid people that post for the sake of it, like people you find on usenet. At least on usenet you can filter people out (perlgirl I hear is bad, timrue is bad on csam) using a client-end filter. To do that on a web-log would be horrendous - maybe after each post you could have a button going "Add to killfile - [1 week | 1 month | 1 year]" which might work, but they can just create another account. With usenet killfiles work on more data than the username. I asked (mostly as a joke) for a program called Kuro5hin, not a web-based front-end, that works like ICQ and IRC and NNTP etc all munged together - taking the best bits and leaving out the worst bits, but this could work nicely if done!

[ Parent ]

Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 12:34:53 AM EST

"Who here hasn't trolled on Slashdot. "

I haven't I've never posted using the AC checkbox (since it appeared), nor have I deliberately said inflamitory things (although I've been marked as such twice now). I've been using Slashdot for a little over a year now, and it has gone down in quality. Not story quality, which is always mixed, but commentor quality. Too many people do not know when to shut up, to put it bluntly.

Take Mr. Malda.
"I'm working very hard on the slash code. However, everytime someone mails me asking for it, I push back the release another 24 hours"

He should have stopped after the first sentence. Did he? No, and it's an attitude like that that has caused slashdot's problems. Like the people who always bitch and moan whenever JohnKatz posts. So what? I mean, you can filter the bastard out, and he does occasionally have a point. The only people I know of who complain about something, then go and do the thing they complain about, are 14-year-olds..

Now adays, all these newbies who join feel the need to say something for each story (which is wrong, as you should only comment on what you know, or answer a question in a kindly way). This is the cause of the recent spate of 400+ comment stories. Why? Everyone who's ever heard of the technology the story is about feels the need to put in a comment or two. Because of this, I've started browsing at +3.

..

"I bet that someone at Slashdot had a sleepless night that day, as they fixed the bugs, and then removed the offending comments from the discussion - something they say they don't do."

I've seen many weird things. +6 scores, and -5 scores are the most weird. :-) Likely they just dropped it to -5, which you have to edit the URL manually to see.

Either way, kuro5hin is more pleasant because our good ol' pal Rusy has taken responsibility to turf any trolls. I don't get into the stories and comments as often (likely because the range is more diverse than slashdot), but I do read all the headlines, and do even poke things that I wouldn't normally (and which would certainly never arrive on slashdot).

And then there are my security features, which I might try to submit to slashdot someday (hehe, just to say kuro5hin got them first ;-), and the fact that Rusty is very, very approachable (taco hell has a bit of Rob's life, but Rusty has a frickin' web cam!). To each his/her own.

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. (none / 0) (#73)
by mattm on Mon Mar 06, 2000 at 12:51:14 AM EST

Who here hasn't trolled on Slashdot.

I haven't. (Actually I flamed Tim Behrendsen once, but I was doing it not to get attention but because he was being annoying as hell.)



[ Parent ]
Slashdot Moderation (none / 0) (#72)
by evro on Sun Mar 05, 2000 at 12:47:19 PM EST

In the recent Slashdot article about the Dilberito, I posted a comment that I would not eat anything that didn't have meat in it. This is a fact; I don't think I could bring myself to eat a meal without some kind of meat or cheese. This post was knocked down one as "troll."

This is just one example of really crummy moderation. I mean, I saw a comment recently on Slashdot that "This story was already posted on kuro5hin, slashdot is slow" and it was marked up as insightful. Please someone, explain to me how that is insightful. I don't think Meta Moderation is any kind of a cure for this, either.

And there is no forum on Slashdot to discuss Slashdot. Any time someone tries to talk about how the moderation sucks or whatever, they're "-1, offtopic." But that is something that will be "on topic" for as long as Slashdot has moderation.

I think another big problem with Slashdot is that the discussions only last for however long the story is on the front page. Any good discussion is killed because nobody will see it. I think articles that have lots of comments still being posted should be kept on the front page, at the top. An article on UCITA with 1,302 comments should not be pushed aside for something like the release of PSX2 in Japan. While that is news for nerds, I guess, it is not as important as discussion on UCITA and should not take precedence over it.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
[ Parent ]
I understand it, but this post saddens me (4.50 / 4) (#29)
by Skippy on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 10:30:56 AM EST

Forgive me if I ramble, I'm not much of a writer.

I understand it, but this post saddens me. I found /. probably about a year ago. I started just before moderation did. It felt like home because I'd finally found a place where people who thought like I did frequented. I learned a lot reading Slashdot, not because of the stories, but because of the comments of people like you (I know I thought a lot of your comments were worthwhile because for some reason instead of associating quality with user names I associated with .sigs and yours is pretty unique.) Slashdot, and all weblogs, by their nature are creations and reflections of their community of users. We all helped make Slashdot what it was, some more than others and most more than me. So we feel a sense of ownership. Regardless of how much you contributed to the incredible place that Slashdot was, your contributions were just that, contributions. You GAVE to the community and you got back good discussion and perhaps knowledge you didn't have before. That was what made Slashdot special. Now that you have decided that Slashdot is not the place for you anymore and that you no longer wish to give, please don't take. What you do by trolling is TAKING. If you don't want to give anymore that's fine, but please don't help take take whatever goodness is left there for those of us who are still willing to dig through the rubble to find the occasional nugget o' wisdom.

Once again, I understand your position and your anger, but I also think it's ethically wrong. I'll get off my moral high horse now, shut up and go back to lurking.

Thanks, Rusty, for the forum. I think I've found my new home. Fluffy grue, I'm glad you're part of this new place and I look forward to learning more from you in the future.

Skippy
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]
Re: I understand it, but this post saddens me (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by Paul Dunne on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 04:13:55 PM EST

You sum up very well what was good about slashdot. But it's because I agree with you that I find myself having some sympathy for those trolls who were trying to make a point they felt couldn't be made any other way. After all the fact is that, if you try to make some serious points about aspects of /. which you don't like, you will simply be drowned out by the hordes screaming "if you don't like it, don't read it!". A tempting response to that kind of idiocy is to just take the piss. Childish, maybe, but understandable.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Another troller confession (none / 0) (#75)
by Notromda on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 11:42:21 AM EST

This post is a bit late in the story timeline, but here it is anyway...

I too, participated in a trolling contest... The story where we kept replying with rhymes, which broke the formatting of the page when it got too far to the right.

But, then again, it was a fun thread.... :P

BTW, if anyone does read this, I wonder what can be done to keep conversations going in these threads even though the story has long sinced scrolled...

[ Parent ]

Re: Another troller confession (none / 0) (#76)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:58:20 PM EST

There are two ways to keep old story conversations going so far, neither of which is really adequate. One is the way I found this comment-- Go to "search", select comments, and put nothing in the search box. It'll give you a list of all comments, newest to oldest, that you can page through. I do this several times a day to look for new comments on old stories, like this one. :-)

The other way is to mark stories you're interested in with the hotlist feature. Look up at the info bar under a story title, and you'll see a "Add to my hotlist" link. Clicking this will create a new box on the right-hand side with a link to that story and the current comment count. This will stay until you go back to that story and clikc the same link again (which is now a "remove from hotlist" link).

Neither of these is really adequate though. There needs to be some other way to maintain discussions, and also a paging system to limit the number of comments per page.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

K5 conversation features (none / 0) (#77)
by Notromda on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 09:24:29 PM EST

Yeah, I'm using the hotlist, which is good, if enough people used it. I'm also looking at my user info to look for replies to my comments - works sometimes, but I might miss equally valid stuf that wasn't replied directly to me.

I'll have to try the search thing... :) What if we had a way to click on a link which marks all comments on a given story as read, and then next time we come there is an indicator of how many new messages. That would indicate the rate of posting on recent but fading stories...

Also, maybe a "slashbox" at the side that lists old stories that have had a new comment posted. It would need some kind of metric to determine what an "old" story is. Also, a link by that story could be to put it on the "coldlist", which means you really don't care about that story and don't want to know if there are new messages.... ack... and if..... :P

[ Parent ]

Peer Press (4.60 / 5) (#62)
by Radagast on Thu Mar 02, 2000 at 01:33:44 AM EST

We've set up a mailing list for the discussion of how a syndication system should develop. We call it the Peer Press Federation. The mailing list is at http://lists.styx.net/mailman/listinfo/peerpress-main

I urge everyone interested in this subject, whether you run/contribute to a site or not, to join the list and state your opinions. I think we can build something that could change a lot of the way news and community works, without the negative effects of large sites.

Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. | 76 comments (76 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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