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Meta: shameless plug, lowerbound of taste? Film at 11.

By kmself in News
Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 08:14:28 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

There's a submission, currently in queue, for a site which is interesting enough that I'll mention it -- http://www.lowerbound.org, though I found the way in which it was submitted to Kuro5hin to be disturbing -- an Anonymous Hero plug by the developer of the site itself, who failed to identify him/her self in the body of the item, or provide a detailed description of why the site was something revolutionary.



I voted against the story -- it disturbs me. It's not that I think self-promotion is inherently bad -- my employer will have some news worth posting shortly (I hope <g>), and I probably will drop an item here -- but you know who I am, and I plan to make the story something worth looking at. Immediately after submitting my vote I felt a strong need to justify it with text...but I found it's not possible to modify or amend a vote once it's been cast.

I sent what I would have posted to Rusty in an email. He agreed with several of my points, though he'd voted for the article, and gave me a couple of things to think about, including technical difficulties at Kuro5hin which might have prevented creating an account.

What got me was the lead and content of the post. Again, I don't typically credit spam, but I'll chalk this one up to ignorance rather than malice:

Does pricewatch *really* give you the lowest prices?

Pricewatch isn't the only hardware-price listing service out there -- in fact, Yahoo lists at least sixteen of them. If you only search pricewatch before buying hardware, are you really getting the best price?

I wondered the same thing -- so I wrote a script to scan eleven different pricing sites and show me the "best-of-the-best". Gradually that script evolved into a website so that others can benefit from it as well. Check it out at lowerbound.org

The problems?

  1. Disguised as a news story. "Does pricewatch *really* give you the lowest prices?" would indicate some analysis of the question. No, it's just a tease to suck you in to the story. Not bad from a PR point of view, but bordering on the lower bounds of taste for a community site.
  2. Doesn't answer the question. You'd think someone who'd spent the time putting together a site like this would know the answer to the pricing question -- so does Pricewatch beat the competition, and if not, how far off is it?
  3. Anonymous. An AH post in and of itself isn't all bad, and as noted, it might not have been possible to create an account. Still, there's nothing to keep someone from adding their name and contact information to a posting, particularly when promoting their own site. I have a similar dislike for answering list emails in which person doesn't identify themselves (or even support requests at work). It's one of those little niceties of doing business.

The jury's still out on the submission as I write this. It looks like it may get posted, though the voting is heavily mixed, and a number of people are citing concerns:

alisdair
Price isn't everything.

ramses0
Even though this guy is probably just trying to score some free advertising for his website, it's actually neat and useful. The "copyright" information is also very interesting and thorough to read.

kraant
An anonymous posting of a website without much of an article seems too much like a hit and run promotion for me to be comfortable with voting it in. And I'm starting to agree with the people who think that link propagation without any relevant write up is not something I want to see...

So to whoever posted this in the first place maybe get a user account here ... but definetly give us some kind of article giving a more personal insight into this lowerbound.org site and I will vote +1 on it even if it is postend anonymously

soulhuntre
Seems like a commercial troll to me - but I am not convinced. I'll stay neutral.

ken
lowerbound is a nice and useful site, but the submission is just self promotional. Sorry, I don't think it's a thought provoking article, and I don't think it's appropriate for this site.

Driph
This is something that should be in a .sig, not an article.

Pinball Wizard's comments are worthy of a discussion of themselves.

I suggested a couple of things to Rusty.

One was that there be guidelines for promotional postings. Even if informal (say, added to the submission guidelines), they would form the basis for evaluating whether or not an item ought to be voted up or down, and would be useful to PR types (hey, they're not all bad -- I even know one with a consience -- PC) who, if they're good, really do try to fit their copy into the style and theme of a site. I think both Rusty and I don't think a B&D approach needs to be used here, and the moderating scheme seems to be working, but guidance could be useful.

The other was that the submission voting and comments be opened up a bit. Presently you can only see other people's votes and comments on a submission after you've voted, and your own vote and comments cannot be changed (hence this article). I think that there are times when seeing what people have to say, even without seeing their votes (as I've excerpted above) can be useful to provide an additional angle on submissions. I know some of my own decisions would have changed had I seen what others had written on a story, going both ways. Rusty and I differ, but I terribly strongly, it's just a thought.

And the submission moderation appears to work, too. Rusty mentioned a submission which might generously be called "controversial" (aka flamebait) which was rapidly voted out of the queue.

What we've got here isn't broken, but we might be able to apply some more polish to it.

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Display: Sort:
Meta: shameless plug, lowerbound of taste? Film at 11. | 20 comments (20 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Good article and such. The ad story... (3.66 / 3) (#10)
by Anonymous Coward on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 04:49:49 PM EST

Anonymous Coward voted 1 on this story.

Good article and such. The ad story was already posted. But that's because 90% of stories get posted. I think that it may just be that the average person... isn't capable of honestly judging something. If that's the case, then this site isn't going to pick up. This already makes me somewhat want to leave - I don't like seeing crappy articles all the time. Who cares about some guy's site? I can find ads elsehwere. I want technology news here. Yes, the idea of the viewers choosing the stories is wonderful, but only if they're bright enough to pick out appropriate from inappropriate. I've noticed that on-topic, well formatted stories get posted rather quickly, but off-topic, crappy stories get posted too - just slowly. Too many really nice people.

You speak the truth. That post suck... (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by xah on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 04:50:44 PM EST

xah voted 1 on this story.

You speak the truth. That post sucked. We've got to have a mechanism for removing spam on K5 or waves of ex-/.'ers will start posting all kinds of crap on this site.

I think that just the fact that an ... (4.00 / 1) (#1)
by joeyo on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 05:22:30 PM EST

joeyo voted 1 on this story.

I think that just the fact that an article like this can make its way into the queue so quickly proves that things ARE working the way that they should.

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

I think that there are times when s... (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by alisdair on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 05:28:04 PM EST

alisdair voted 1 on this story.

I think that there are times when seeing what people have to say, even without seeing their votes (as I've excerpted above) can be useful to provide an additional angle on submissions.

This is especially important. I hadn't even considered the fact that this was a purely promotional post until I read other people's comments. I just checked out the site, and read the post, and made my comment (which I now realise was somewhat irrelevant.

I think we just need to keep an eye out for posts like this in future, or k5 will end up like an ad board. I'm not sure that any special additions to scoop need to be made; just be aware of what we want (content, not link propagation).

[I hope my HTML is okay in this post: I can't preview it. Yet :-)]

I don't know, the first half of the... (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by evro on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 05:28:56 PM EST

evro voted -1 on this story.

I don't know, the first half of the submission in question was thought provoking sort-of... how do you KNOW they're giving you the best price? maybe they have a deal with some of the vendors to not show you anybody whose price is lower. As for the plug, I don't think it's the end of the world.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"

One was that there be guidelines fo... (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 06:07:57 PM EST

FlinkDelDinky voted 1 on this story.

One was that there be guidelines for promotional postings. Even if informal (say, added to the submission guidelines), they would form the basis for evaluating whether or not an item ought to be voted up or down, and would be useful to PR types

Okay I like this, if you're promoting a commercial product, submit it under a catagory called promotional or something (it's icon can be a can of spam). I actually think community edit could be very important here. I think CE should be somewhat sensitive, meaning it takes relatively few edit votes to force the article out of the que and into a section where the 'editors' can discuss things with the author.

I don't really think it matters though. I think we have to consider that K5 is still a baby. Features are being discussed and added pretty fast and the community is still small (but growing so fast).

This is important to recognize because the que is small, often just one article. In a year we may have five or six articles and this will strongly impact our phsychology when voting. It will become more difficult to get to the front page as K5 heats up. Where going to get more oppurtinity to be comparativlely critical.

The other was that the submission voting and comments be opened up a bit

I share your concerns but in a different way. Once I forgot to vote because I went right into commenting so it went in as a 0 when I wanted a +1. What a really want is a preview like we've got on regular posting.

Presently you can only see other people's votes and comments on a submission after you've voted...I think that there are times when seeing what people have to say, even without seeing their votes (as I've excerpted above) can be useful to provide an additional angle on submissions

I actually like this behavior. It's your unadulteraded opinion of the merits of the article. Other peoples votes (that change how you feel about the article) are 'value added' to the article. I think by voting you're taking the responsability to evalute the article yourself.

There is a tension between what you're going to vote and why you voted that and what everybody else voted. We are social animals after all. However that tension serves to motivate the voter to really think about the article.

This is a great submission kmself.

I don't think you should be able to... (4.00 / 2) (#5)
by skim123 on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 06:42:24 PM EST

skim123 voted 1 on this story.

I don't think you should be able to post a story unless you're registered... That would solve this problem. If you really need to post something anonymously, send it to Rusty via email, and let him post it for you...

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


In reference to when you said... ... (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by tnt on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 06:42:32 PM EST

tnt voted 1 on this story.

In reference to when you said...

The other was that the submission voting and comments be opened up a bit. Presently you can only see other people's votes and comments on a submission after you've voted, and your own vote and comments cannot be changed (hence this article). I think that there are times when seeing what people have to say, even without seeing their votes (as I've excerpted above) can be useful to provide an additional angle on submissions. I know some of my own decisions would have changed had I seen what others had written on a story, going both ways. Rusty and I differ, but I terribly strongly, it's just a thought
How about having more than one round of voting. Maybe, first round be the way it is now -- getting people's first impressions. Second round takes place after you see everyone else's comments -- and you can make a decision based on that if you want. And maybe even a third round to finalize things.

I don't know how practical this would be though. It might not be appropriate with news because of time constraints. But for some kinds of posts, it might be. Just an idea.

--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

Very good points, worth discussing ... (1.00 / 1) (#8)
by raph on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 06:51:25 PM EST

raph voted 1 on this story.

Very good points, worth discussing IMHO.

An easy solution to this would be c... (3.70 / 3) (#2)
by ramses0 on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 07:06:58 PM EST

ramses0 voted 1 on this story.

An easy solution to this would be create a new category, called "press releases". Actively encourage companies to submit press releases, and allow the mass filtration system that is k5 sort them out.

When scoop gets "sections", and it's easy for software lovers to filter out hardware stories, and everybody could filter out press releases, this might not be a bad thing.

I'll stand by my original claim though- the guy submitted it as "news", not "features", and i think that "features" is where a lot of the writeup work should go.

To use a bad example, if Intel came out with a 2ghz chip tomorrow, that's news, and it doesn't really need much writeup. Just a link to the press release, and a "wow, that's cool". Now a few days later, I would expect that the above-average readership here would post some feature "questioning the usefulness of 2ghz chips, or pointing out how this much computing power can change the world" ... or something.

There is a clear difference between those two postings. One is designed to inform, the other is designed to generate discussion.

...which in a roundabout way, brings me to a suggestion that I keep meaning to email to rusty, but never get around to doing so.

The severe beat-down of the Star-Trek story surprised me, because watching it in the moderation queue, I saw some really good comments being posted, and if you would have thrown some of the different posters together in a room, I'm sure they would have had an interesting discussion that I would have enjoyed watching.

so.... my idea is for "articles", go with the +1/-1 system, but for "features", don't have "voting", but instead just allow people to post a single message to it while it's in the moderation queue, kindof like they do with voting but without the +1/-1. That way, a piece is voted discussion-worthy only if people actually begin discussing it.

I like the idea of making the first post a "blind" post, to capture somebody's true opinion on the topic. And maybe give people a "second post" in which they can respond to someone else's post.

...just an idea, maybe somebody else has some reasons (good or bad) if this would work or not.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

Re: An easy solution to this would be c... (none / 0) (#11)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 08:40:32 PM EST

so.... my idea is for "articles", go with the +1/-1 system, but for "features", don't have "voting", but instead just allow people to post a single message to it while it's in the moderation queue, kindof like they do with voting but without the +1/-1. That way, a piece is voted discussion-worthy only if people actually begin discussing it.

Actually I'm not sure of the difference between Articles and Features. Basically, if I write a lot that's a feature. But if I'm linking to a place with the story and maybe making an opinion that would be an article.

That being said, I see some merit with your idea. However, it requires greater complexity. I think the voting system is working (but I missed the ST thing, why did it die on the que? Would community edit have fixed it?).

The problem with multi-voting, preview comments before voting, as well as your idea, is that it alloys the voting purpose. I think +1, 0, -1, and Edit is all we need. The community will define its own standards. Sometimes that's going to hurt.

[ Parent ]

Re: An easy solution to this would be c... (none / 0) (#14)
by ramses0 on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 09:54:34 PM EST

I agree that the "vote with your voice" would be more complicated to implement than +1/-1, but I think it's a neat idea (of course, I also think that I'm biased ;^)=

Community edit would probably have helped the ST post a little bit, but for the most part, it was due to lackluster writeup. Basically, I started typing up the story one night, went to bed, woke up, forgot about it, came back the next night, and said "oh, I'd better finish typing this thing and post it to k5" :^)=

Had it been all smooth and shiny, it would have gotten posted, but I don't think it would have gotten many comments from readers. That's what happend to my Love Pager story... it looked good and was shiny, but didn't generate as much discussion as I thought the ST story would have.

So, anyway, that's what made me think of this alternate method of "voting" for discussion-oriented stories. It's easy to say "+1, post it", but then those same people who voted don't post comments about it. But if you take the time to add a comment about it, obviously you want to discuss it.

That's the crux of the "problem" with k5's story moderation. Some people had some incredibly interesting comments about ST in their "-1 don't post it" votes. Some people had incredibly interesting comments in their "+1 post it" votes.

K5 story moderation makes it difficult for controversial stories to get posted. Even though looking at that controversy, and discussing it could be very interesting in itself.

Yeah, the "vote with your voice" method would be trickier to implement than +1/-1, but I figured I'd throw it out there. (and it even has a name now, so people can rally behind it, and put it in their .sig files and stuff ;^)=

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: An easy solution to this would be c... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by rusty on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 10:18:39 PM EST

About controversy, and controversial stories not getting posted: I think this stems from a semi-misunderstanding about what your vote means. From time to time I see -1 votes with long comments attached arguing against the content of the story. It always bothers me when I see this, because if you want to take the time to argue with the story, then it must be worth discussing, and you should be voting for it.

But yes, there needs to be tweaking. First, there needs to be a new public release (and bugfixes!!!) and a dveelopment site, so hopefully I don't have to do all the coding myself. :-) The release is my highest priority right now. But keep the ideas coming. We should set up a mailing list for this...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: An easy solution to this would be c... (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by kmself on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 08:43:20 PM EST

Several good points.

create a new category, called "press releases". Actively encourage companies to submit press releases, and allow the mass filtration system that is k5 sort them out.

Actually, the mass filtration system is Scoop...

Very good suggestion. I'd made a similar one -- or at least the germ of this one -- to Rob Malda at LinuxWorld Expo last summer, after Jon Katz's book hit Amazon. The simple truth is that eyeballs are valuable, and that there is a useful commodity here. A paid submission queue for PR pieces could be the basis for weblog revenues that a site like Kuro5hin eventually needs. The key being that rather than banners and annoyance, the ads are actually content, though it's clear that they are sponsored content, and the vox populi feedback mechanism remains in place. I've started advocating a similar approach lately at Linux user groups, where recent month's recruiting announcmements have started stretching to ten and fifteen minutes of the meeting.

So -- go ahead, pay to publish, but take your lumps with the crowd.

I believe this also gives additional leverage to crack down on spam -- commercial posts made without going through the PR channel are an unlawful taking of resources and denial of revenues.

'll stand by my original claim though- the guy submitted it as "news", not "features", and i think that "features" is where a lot of the writeup work should go.

Yeah, but it wasn't a writeup, it was a blurb. Otherwise, agreed.

To use a bad example, if Intel came out with a 2ghz chip tomorrow, that's news, and it doesn't really need much writeup.

My distinction: news is facts (or lies) about somebody else. PR is facts (or lies) about yourself.

The severe beat-down of the Star-Trek story surprised me, because watching it in the moderation queue, I saw some really good comments being posted, and if you would have thrown some of the different posters together in a room, I'm sure they would have had an interesting discussion that I would have enjoyed watching.

Which is among the reasons I think the submission mechanism can stand some serious tweaking. I voted against the Trek post -- I'm not particularly a fan, though I've seen a lot of the shows and movies. OTOH, I can see that there are those who would like nothing better than to discuss it.

Where I think we should go eventually is to a placement policy rather than a submission policy -- stories in queue can be voted for placement on the front page (or section page), and a certian number of posts will be carried. How to do this is a bit tricky -- there's a time component, an interest component, and an activity component -- I could see an older story coming back into circulation if people start posting to it again. Kinda a Usenet threads model. Sort of. Your first post/blind post suggestion sounds vaguely similar, though I'm not clear of your intent. Could you elaborate?

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

Apology, etc (3.70 / 3) (#13)
by megacz on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 09:52:20 PM EST

Wow. I'm really sorry that I caused all this ruckus -- it appears that I'm not fully acquainted with the rules of ettiquite here on k5.

I'd like to apologize if I offended anybody. There have been a bunch of questions posted to the original story and to this one -- I'll try to answer as many as I can.

Why was the story posted anonymously?

I despise cookies, and try to avoid them on any site I visit. I read slashdot, k5, and advogato, but without an account at any of them. After I posted the story, I wanted to check it in the submission queue (ok, and put up a +1 vote for myself <grin>), so I created an account ("megacz") for that purpose. If I had had the account at the time I posted the story, I definately would have used it. Also, lowerbound.org has my contact information on it, so I don't feel that the post was truly anonymous.

Why didn't you post an actual story intead of just propagating a link?

Ok, this is yet another one of my goof-ups. I assumed that the best thing would be to keep my post short and simple, and let those who are interested explore the site. Apparently kuro5hin's style is to write a short-and-sweet teaser for the front page, and then a detailed analysis for the comments page. I'm sorry that I didn't do this. See below for a bit of belated detail.

Why did you post this to kuro5hin?

Honestly? I thought people here could benefit from this technology the same way I have. I figured that the people at kuro5hin would appreciate it.

Was this post malicious?

No, just inept.

Do you consider your post to be spam?

I'd like to think not -- I chose a group of people who I believe are especially interested in a price-metacrawler and let them know about it. They collectively voted it good enough to post.

Untactful? Yes. Spam? No.

Are you making money off of lowerbound.org?

No.

Interesting copyright explanation on the site, btw. Isnt it effectively just a metacrawler, but only for price sites? Nothing new there as far as legalities, I'd think..

No -- metacrawlers (ie dogpile) republish the content they crawl verbatim. Our site actually comprehends the listings it downloads (see the last question in this post) and publishes a summary. It's no more illegal than publishing a review/summary of a book you read (but not the book itself). Comprehension is the difference. Think about plagarism vs. research.

Do you correct for shipping prices?

Unfortunately most of the engines don't post shipping prices (AFAIK, only shopper and pricewatch). So we really don't have enough data about that to post. We're looking into ways to take shipping into account -- if you have any ideas, let me know!

So, does pricewatch really offer the lowest prices?

I guess this should have been in the original post. For pure-commodity items (ram, cpu's), yes, pricewatch tends to whomp on the competition. However, for lower-volume commodities (drives, sound/video cards), we've found ibuyer.net and shopper to be contenders. The other engines clock in at the top every once in a while.

Interesting note: IMHO, ibuyer.net is way too disorganized for humans to use -- I think lowerbound as a front end to their site actually makes it very usable. A good thing, too, since they have really competitive prices.

How many hits have you gotten from k5?

Somebody asked this, and when I went to check I realized that my hosting provider has chosen an asinine setting for the apache log file format which doesn't record referers (I'm having him fix this right now), so I don't really know.

When are you going to release the source?

Heh. Good question. We're still discussing the best way to deal with this request -- keep your eyes peeled later this summer.

Can you tell us a bit about lowerbound?

I started coding lowerbound in the early summer of 1999 when I was working for Sun Microsystems in California. At the end of the summer I asked Tobin Coziahr to help me out. Since then we've been working on it on-and-off between classes at Carnegie Mellon University (To other CMUers, yes, I'm posting this during Carnival...).

Lowerbound implements some really neat technology -- aside from crawling all the pricing sites, it actually understands the product listings that it downloads -- it knows how to recognize that a listing is for, say, a Tyan S1894S/L/A motherboard, and that all such motherboards are ATX form factor with a 440BX chipset, even if the listing doesn't mention those facts.

More interesting than that, lowerbound can actually learn from the listings it downloads! We're currently testing this only in the Audio/Sound_Cards section. We teach lowerbound how to recognize a whole bunch of different brand-name sound cards. Lowerbound then sorts the listing by which brand name they belong to. By scanning the listings for, say, a Creative Labs Sound Blaster PCI128, lowerbound notices that a large proportion of the listings claim that this card is Full-Duplex. If enough independent listings confirm this, lowerbound will infer that ALL SBPCI128's are Full-Duplex, and attribute this feature to all SBPCI128 listings.



Search pricewatch, streetprices, and others all at once with lowerbound.org (now with discussions!)
Re: Apology, etc (none / 0) (#15)
by ramses0 on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 10:03:24 PM EST

Hey, don't apologize... *you* were right on the money for posting this article here *at this time* (imho), and you're exacly right, it got posted by the collective will of the people, so no complaints.

I think that maybe others are worried that this might become a regular thing, and 100's of companies would spam the submission queue with anonymous press releases. (although I'd bet that after the first 2, all the others would get beaten down ;^)=

Thanks for the great response and information. I don't think that every posting needs tons of writeup to go along with it (otherwise k5 would become too dense and meaty, not fun to read).

Peace, and thanks for the great service you're providing... I like the ideals that you promoted in your faq/about section.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Apology, etc (none / 0) (#16)
by rusty on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 10:13:29 PM EST

Thanks for the reply. I had a feeling (from the post, and the site) that your intention wasn't to spam us, but to draw attention to something a lot of us probably might want to use.

The "culture" issue tends to crop up every now and then. Yes, we do tend to prefer writeups rather than the slashdot-style fast-link. However, I'm not ever one to tell people what should or shouldn't be here. Anyway, I appreciate the info. There hasn't been too much ruckus. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Meta: shameless plug, lowerbound of taste? F (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by piloteer on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 01:17:28 AM EST

IMHO people have been coming down a bit hard on the lowerbound post.

Is it spam? Not at all. The author is providing information on a website that provides a quality service to the community. Plus the service is free. I found the site useful, and I am glad the submission was posted. To me it is not important that the poster also happens to run the site.

Now the question. Where should posters like this go, if not to weblogs like K5? Slashdot...never! Malda would never post that information. At K5 the voting process ensures that posts actually have a chance of going through! Freshmeat? but its not software.

The bottom line is there are no real places for free service providers to go. Like the authors of free software, these people are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into projects that they recieve no compensation for. They should be respected for that alone.

Before leveling accusations of "shameless plugging" or "spamming" a simple question should be asked: "Who is benefitting from the posting of this story?". In this case it is surely not the author who is not charging for the service. No ads on the site, so he won't be seeing his ad revenue skyrocket with the additional traffic. No, the people who benefit from the post are the readers of K5 who might now save some money on their next hardware purchase.

spam doesn't discriminate (none / 0) (#19)
by mattdm on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 04:30:18 PM EST

Concepts like "who does it benefit" should not be applied to spam. I routinely see spam from religious sects, well-meaning charities, and ignorant politicians. I'm sure they all think that their message is for my good. (As do the "make money fast" people, for that matter.) That doesn't make it right.

[ Parent ]
No place to call home? (none / 0) (#20)
by kmself on Sun Apr 16, 2000 at 08:46:22 PM EST

First, an apology has been posted, and I accept it. I think the conversation has been useful.

Community related sites do have a number of places they can spout to. I mean -- we all found Kuro5hin, didn't we? Other sites I remember spreading by word-of-mouth and non-overt advertising include Google and Slashdot itself, as well as resource sites such as Tom's Hardware.

There are places to note a service, including LinuxToday, which have been rather friendlier to lower magnitude projects than Slashdot. Even a well placed sig on a frequently used email account can be effective. Likewise, posts to local Linux user groups, etc. If the site's really good, WoM will take off, and nothing works like it. Likewise, comp.os.linux.announce or comp.os.linux.hardware -- if phrased appropriately.

And, FWIW, Kuro5hin itself is a fine venue, if the post is genuine, both in facts and intent. My problem was less with the effective content ("Hey guys, cool new hardware price comparison site") than the way it was pitched, detailed in my article.

I'll also quibble with your "who benefits" point. Eyeballs are value, as is community. Even if the benefits are indirect and/or nonmonetary, I'd say that the site maintainer is benefiting from marketing the site. Again, no problem with promotion, but I would like to make clear that there are benefits to be considered here....and that benifit is not a zero-sum game -- it's possible for both a buyer and seller to benefit from a transaction -- and in the best (and usual) case, both do.

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