>The reason many of us like sites like Kuro5hin and the old Technocrat is because many people chimed in with worthwhile thoughts.
Which is a valid concept, but not the only one. One of the problems of places like this is that the expert voices don't get precedence over everyone else, so they can easily get lost in the noise (not intended in a negative context, but I can't think of a better word).
Another problem is that sites like this tend to work quickly, but shallow. There's little depth and complexity to the discussions, and not a lot of research or reflection.
A third problem with sites like this is there's no good signposts available for users to determine who the experts are -- everyone has to make up their own minds from the context, and on sites like this, context tends to force discussions to a general consensus, which may or may not be an informed consensus. So an informed contrary voice tends to get lost...
So there's a need for both the open discussion, which works wonderfully as an information concentrator and as a way of flagging emerging stories, and for sites that are aimed more for formal essay, with more knowledgable users taking a slower, more studied look at issues. It'd be nice to also be able to discuss those views, but there's no need for that to be on the site distributing the messages.
If you think of this as a learning system, sites like this are the group discussion classes, and Technocrat seems to be reinventing itself more as a lecture class. Both have their uses and both have their strengths and weaknesses (can you imagine learning calculus as a group discussion? Chaos...) -- but a lecture class is only as strong and as interesting as the lecturer, so it's going to depend a lot more on the person running it and the people he chooses to contribute. But it sure sounds to me like it's worth a shot.
>What's sad is that a number of people volunteered to take it over and he seems to be ignoring them all.
why are you assuming he ignored them? More likely, that's not what he wanted to do. It wouldn't be the first time someone decided it was time to rethink a web site and do something differently -- and since it's his site, isn't that his right? he clearly has a view of what he wants out of the site, what he was getting wasn't that, and he's trying something different. More power to him.
If you like the current set up, work up a deal to grab his software and put up and run a new site using it. Nobody's stopping you..
Chuq Von Rospach, Internet Gnome <http://www.chuqui.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> "The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging"
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