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To Live Is To Die

By GandalfGreyhame in Op-Ed
Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:51:44 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

R.I.P Kuro5hin - 9 / 18 / 00 1:00 PM EST

Yes, you read that right. Looks like a tombstone marker, dosen't it? Wait, I forgot the cause of death. Let me add it here:

R.I.P Kuro5hin - 9 / 18 / 00 1:00 PM EST OF THE REAL SLASHDOT EFFECT
[editor's note, by Inoshiro] This is a fairly hot topic. It's been sitting in the queue a while now (a week). Don't get too overzealous :-)

There we go. That's a bit better. The real slashdot effect you might ask? What I'm referring to is the destruction of the Kuro5hin that I used to know and love. When the Old Ones (#kuro5hin) initially saw the huge spike in page views and user accounts, we were overjoyed. Kuro5hin was back and it was doing well. A small DoS attempt didn't even faze it. Life was Good. Then, we began realizing something. Something wasn't quite right.

At first, we figured the large amount of stories in the queue were because everyone had stuff pent up over the summer. Then we began reading the submitted stories. They were like Slashdot stories. Short. One link. Nothing at all discuss. Some of the Old Ones tried to correct the newbies, show them the way of the Kuro5hin. But they ignored us. Then This got posted to the front page. Barely a MLP story if all the moderators were high or Stoned, gets posted to the front page. Utter crap.

Yes, Kuro5hin is alive now. We're back online. But its in the process of being fundamentally changed. There are no discussions worth shit on Kuro5hin now. Only stories which That Other Site would reject have been posted.

What's to become of Kuro5hin now? I don't know what I see in Kuro5hin's future. A couple better articles have appeared in the queue as I've written this. But will it continue? Or will the newbies continue to out-vote the Old Ones, and turn Kuro5hin into a half assed slashdot, wanting to be a Discussion forum but ultimately failing?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Slashdot
o Kuro5hin
o tried
o This
o Stoned
o That Other Site
o Also by GandalfGreyhame

Display: Sort:
To Live Is To Die | 118 comments (91 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
ok (1.43 / 16) (#2)
by evro on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 06:48:17 PM EST

im not the only one who noticed this. I, for one, forgot how to write a good k5 piece in the time it was down. Oh well.
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
Give it time. (4.32 / 28) (#3)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 06:49:19 PM EST

I think it's a self-correcting problem which, left alone, will fix itself. Of course, that may be just as religious as the blind faith in the market shown by libertarians. :)

Seriously, though: the only reason any of the newbies are here is that there was something missing in slashdot that they wanted and were hoping to find here. Which means that if the site is too much like slashdot, either people will go away, or they will adjust their behavior in an attempt to correct the problem. (The risk is, of course, that the people who made the site interesting before the crash will go away --- but isn't two days a little too hasty to make a judgement?

I've noticed the change in behavior in myself: yesterday I would always vote 'I don't care' for story submissions that I wasn't excited about because I didn't feel like it was reasonable for me to veto other people's conversations; today, explicitly because of my irritation with the same story this article was complaining about, I've been much more likely to vote 'dump it'. It's a small change, sure, but if enough people react the same way ...

What's indisputable, though, is that the K5 community today is different from what it was in July; a lot of that has to do with /. publicity. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing; change is about the only constant thing in the universe, and trying to cling to the way things were instead of trying to influence what they are going to become is doomed. The K5 community is evolving; that's natural --- and it's suffered two serious traumatic shocks (the knocking down, and the influx of new people after it came back up); imagine it, to be metaphorical for a moment, to be like a guy just knocked down by two sucker punches --- he stands up again, but is swaggering and a little unsure on his feet for the first couple of minutes.

I think it will settle down, and in a week or two we'll have a site that isn't exactly like it was in mid-Summer, but still maintains the core of what made it different from /., and the sense of community feeling that we want.

Or maybe i'm an optimist; is the glass half-full? :)

the irony (2.23 / 17) (#4)
by ketan on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 06:50:20 PM EST

The irony is that this isn't content either.

Re: the irony (1.56 / 16) (#6)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 06:51:56 PM EST

That is why it is a rant. Take note of what its posted as. Paying attention is a Good Thing. Stupid fucking newbie.

[ Parent ]
Re: the irony (3.60 / 5) (#29)
by Arkady on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:42:32 PM EST

Now, now; let's stay civil about it, shall we? And isn't that supposed to be "a Good Thing (tm)"? ;-)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
Ho Hum... (3.79 / 24) (#7)
by XScott on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 06:58:11 PM EST

This is like the fourth comment lamenting the loss of the good old days. These comments don't have any interesting substance either. If you have something interesting to say, say it. If you think a submission blows, then vote to dump it. If the signal ratio drops too low to be interesting, make a private server for yourself and the other l33t old timers and forbid us new readers from playing in your playground.

Seems to me there are two ways to improve a signal to noise ratio. Minimize noise, or increase signal.

Not that I'm doing either with this reply, this is just a reply and not a top level submission. :-)

-- Of course I think I'm right. If I thought I was wrong, I'd change my mind.
Not trying to be elitist (4.00 / 10) (#10)
by GandalfGreyhame on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:05:26 PM EST

I'm not trying to be elitist, though I realize it comes across like that. What I, and other people, have been trying to say is that Kuro5hin is for _discussions_. Most of the crud that's getting to the front page looks like /.-rejected news. And that's not what kuro5hin. Look at how much discussion the lego-DJ story has generated. Hardly any at all. That's not what front page stories are for.


[ Parent ]

Re: Not trying to be elitist (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by orthox on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 01:45:46 AM EST

Actually you should watch when you say things like, "And that's not what kuro5hin." (Other than the missing is. (Although IIRC grammatical/spelling correctness used to be relatively important before DoS (BD). At the least, I preferred it :) )).

Kuro5hin is (as others have mentioned) definied by its user base. Perhaps more-so than most others because of the story moderation system. Your statement had an air of absolutism. Like thats the way it has to be (and with out a reference to another source its reason becomes "because i said so"). I understand your frustration, and the environment you miss (altho i'm not sure if i'm an "old timer" or not (does id 2842 count?)).

Actually I think I remeber you as a newbie. How the times change. That's the one thing you can count on. Eventually i'll bet you'll watch someone complain about the latest boat of immigrants from the old world. Let it shake down for a few weeks, then write the obit. (On a less optimistic note, i've watched /. for the past few years. All things have a lifecycle, /. is winding down. kuro5hin will eventually do the same (heck even the roman empire fell) but i think k5 still has a ways to go.)

[ Parent ]

Re: Ho Hum... (4.42 / 7) (#17)
by kraant on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:14:51 PM EST

Heh think about it this way...

We want you to play in our sand box... we realy do...

But we don't want people running around kicking over all the sand castles either because we put a gosh darn lot of effort into building them. ;)

Does that explain it better?

ps. It might interest you to note that a lot of old timers voted down a fair few of those laments for the old times articles.... We do have our standards and we only want the best to get through... *grin*

pps. There is no cabal :)

ppps. No realy there isn't
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
Yes! (1.36 / 19) (#8)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 06:59:32 PM EST

How true it is, Gandalf. And thanks for the shoutout to Smokedot (which is back up as of this morning :-).


GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Don't know what to think... (4.44 / 25) (#9)
by hurstdog on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:01:17 PM EST

I'm sorta swung on how to vote about this story. In some ways I agree, in others I do not. For one, I am totally against eliteism. Now I don't mean I'm against letting some person who is clueless and rightous about being clueless be put in their place, but I am against the general "I am better than you, I've been here longer, listen to me or leave" attitude (that is not an actual quote, its hypothetical, don't worry, no one actually said that that I'm aware of). IMO that is just wrong. Some people just don't know yet about some stuff. And I don't think they should be blamed for that.

I do agree that this is not the same old k5 as pre-DoS days. That is to be expected. K5 has had a surge in popularity with all of the news it has received on /. and other sites. There will be a period of adjustment as things settle down again. On the other hand, this will never be the same k5 as pre-DoS. never, so quit holding your breath. This can turn out to be similar, and may even look the same. But since k5 (and other weblogs) are their user base, since we have a newer, larger, different user base, this is not the same k5 as before.

Now on the subject of k5 "newbies". So what!? Who cares if someone's idea of a story doesn't confine to your idea of a story. Let them post it. What I don't like though is that everything is getting posted. Why are so many stories getting posted to the main page? Kuro5hin is aimed at discussion, not news. thats what slashdot is for. Thats what slashdot is good at. Kuro5hin is not trying to be slashdot. That is why so many "old timers" are getting pissed off at seeing all of these short stories going to the main page. there is nothing to discuss, so why post it? There have been numerous comments about what when and why to post a story, so I'm not going to rehash them here. I would suggest reading the K5 bootcamp article. It has a pretty good explanation of what works to create discussion, from someone who has been around for a while so he knows what he's talking about (not trying to be elite, just giving credit)

On a side note. I mean nothing personal by this post, to any of the old timers or newbies. I'm just pointing out my view. Gandalf is a good friend of mine, and he just happened to post a story that made me want to respond.

Either way, I would like it if people were more selective of what they vote to the main page from now on. Ask yourself "Is this going to create discussion? Does it look like this person put some thought into this article, or are they just submitting it because slashdot didn't take it?" Be selective. It is a lot easier to get a good discussion going without 15 stories per day flowing across the main page. oh yeah, and please use the (+1 to section ONLY) choice.

Re: Don't know what to think... (4.14 / 7) (#22)
by faichai on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:30:49 PM EST

I am (was...perhaps) a slashdot regular, I had visited Kuro5hin before it went down, but will admit to not really look under the skin, to see the values of the community that has been built up here. With the recent exposure on Slashdot, and some info on what K5 is all about, I thought I had discovered something I had been longing for...intelligent discussion.

Yeah, I am a geek, I love technology and its implications, I want to learn more. I also know that I have an opinion and some insight into some areas that I can share with others, and my opinions may inspire or otherwise influence fellow community members in some fashion. Likewise, I want to see what others think, I want to have my viewpoints challenged, I want debate, I what my values called into question, all in the hope of understanding technology, people and myself a little better.

I am of course only speaking for myself, but other Slashdotters may agree with me, when I say that I want to help make Kuro5hin a place where the above can take place, and where unlike other sites, user's opinions are actually influenced by the discussion, and hence the user can evolve over time rather than sticking steadfastly to the same opinions, and rehashing them time after time.

[ Parent ]

-1 Stop whining, write a good article (3.20 / 20) (#11)
by Majamba on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:07:37 PM EST

Ok Iím new to kuru5hin.org . At first I didnít spend much time reading the old articles and voted +1 for almost everything (who wantís to read two months old stuff on the front page? ) . I even wrote my own article at 2 am.

My article got bashed. I have withdrawn it for rewriting. Read the k5 Bootcamp. Start looking for gems in the archive. Felt in love with meta discussions. Hate to see when an article slowly makes it to the front page (after two days and 250+ and 180-) and start voting Ė1 on every article which I think isnít worth to make it to the front page.

Maybe someday I will even understand the difference between an editorial and topical comment

OT - Editorial vs. Topical Comments (none / 0) (#114)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:47:20 PM EST

That bothered me as well for a while, since the fact that there are two types of comments isn't mentioned in the FAQ anywhere (yes, this is a hint to the FAQwriters =)

Basically editorial comments are written about stories still in the submission queue, and apply to editorial concerns - formatting, whether the post should be more general, include more details, whether it's in the wrong category, etc. They disappear after the story has been posted (if it does in fact get posted), since they obviously are not longer relevant past that point. Topical comments are your "normal" comments - they apply to the actual content being discussed in the story, and if they were written while the story was in the submissions queue, they remain once it's been posted.

[ Parent ]

Thoughts (3.60 / 15) (#13)
by Dacta on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:09:42 PM EST

I'm not a #kuro5hin illuminati, but I am uid #281, so I guess I'm one of the old ones (no capital letters for me, please!).

I voted the Lego DJ to the MLP page, which is where I think it should have gone. However, I don't mind that particular story going on the front page too much - it is a pretty cool hack.

What I have an enoumous problem with is the huge number of "lets start a help desk" and "look at my website/free software project" stories being sumbitted.

Perhaps some of them were worth-while stories, and I think some of them I section-voted for. I didn't really read them in enough depth to find out - when there are 10 stories in the queue, I just try and get through them.

I say give it a couple of weeks and we'll see what happens. I'm a little pesimisstic, though - there's too much "Us & them", and no modertation system, no matter how well designed can make us return to "the good old days" (Which I'm not sure were really that good - the "In depth discussions" weren't always that "in depth"

Re: Thoughts (2.00 / 3) (#19)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:16:33 PM EST

but I am uid #281

I feel clueless: how do you find that out?

[ Parent ]
Re: Thoughts (2.33 / 3) (#25)
by zaugg on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:36:35 PM EST

/me peers into his crystal ball (or hovers his mouse over this link) and divines that...

...aphrael has uid=257.

Damn, you guys make me feel new (but I signed up BC, so to speaks.)


.sig free for eight months!
[ Parent ]

[OT]How to find your UID (3.50 / 4) (#27)
by kraant on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:40:31 PM EST

Look for a post you've made.

Find the User Info link.
Check the URL that it points to.

for example for me it's

for you it's

that means that I have UID 229 and you have UID 257

Woaugh either you got lucky or you are an oldbie one ;)

HTH :)
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
Re: [OT]How to find your UID (1.50 / 2) (#30)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:59:11 PM EST

Woaugh either you got lucky or you are an oldbie one ;)

I got an account on K5 a long time ago, looked at it, lost interest, wandered off, and came back in June --- it had reached critical mass by then. Now, of course, it looks like it's reached supercritical mass, but ... :)

[ Parent ]
Re: Thoughts (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by pwhysall on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 07:59:58 AM EST

FWIW, I'm UID 443 and I guess that makes me a CPMer.

However, I have to take issue with one thing you've said:

What I have an enoumous problem with is the huge number of "lets start a help desk" and "look at my website/free software project" stories being sumbitted.

Cheesy spelling and grammar aside, there flat out hasn't been a "huge number" of these. One or two. I submitted the only help desk suggestion that I've seen, and K5 spoke. They didn't want one. That was fine - but many people missed the point of voting; they should have voted the story up and then disagreed with me. But hey. The point was made. I think.

Far more annoying has been the fact that people don't seem to realize that here at K5 presentation does matter, and that you will get voted down for style or the lack thereof. Also a link and one line does not a K5 story make.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

Death of kuro5hin... film at 11 (3.70 / 17) (#14)
by randyrat on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:10:41 PM EST

Although I noted I want this story posted, in some ways I don't.

I personally think it is counterproductive and whining and sniveling about "the good old days" is a load of rubbish. Yeah, it is fun, but as one of my favorite Jello Biafra songs goes this is "nostalgia for an age that never existed."

I have to ask - how much has been said on the system about "We want content!". Okay, there has been some - but it has be drowned out. In other words, YOU GUYS ARE NOT YELLING LOUD ENOUGH!

When I first came to kuro5hin way back in, lemme think - Feb or March? Hell, I don't know, so let's just say it was a long time ago - I constantly saw on here that you guys wanted stories that had some meat to them. When k5 came back on Monday, I saw very little of this stuff. Very little. Since then I really have not seen a lot more. Or, if I have it has not stood out like it did back B.H. (that is Before Hack).

I look at this place a lot like IRC. You try to run a room, have fun in the process, and make new people feel welcome. Well, like it or not, there has been one hell of a lot of new people checking this place out. When k5 went down, it was all my friends and I talked about one Sunday for a half an hour. Trust me, that is major for my idiot friends to want to talk about. Over the month+ that k5 was down, we kept seeing stories all over as the page got updated. People like me who were here for a while missed the place big time. People who were never here got to read about it and think to themselves "gosh! What is k5? Is it as cool as people say?" Hell, just a few hours ago rusty posted a url to a story on the IRC channel about k5 from some site in France! I don't know how many French people are going to come here, but I bet it will be a lot more than the number of US people going to some French tech website.

I guess what I am getting to is this - chill. People the world over are finding out about K5. They are coming here to see what this place is. They are going to do newbie things. If you don't want to see their posts, well, do something about it! Tell them you don't want to see small posts. I don't mean calling them on the phone and saying "yo! goofball!" I mean talking to them and explaining to them that posts need to be longer.

Ya get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

um, ok (4.00 / 24) (#15)
by plastic on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:10:52 PM EST

Please, oh please, just let this whole 'oldtimers vs. slashdot readers' thing die right here. Frankly, the most Slashdot-like thing that I've seen since k5 came back up is this very article. Not only is it full of venomous elitism, but it's already been said before by others.

Seriously, if you have a problem with the stuff getting submitted, then vote it down, make a polite comment, and post something yourself that you would consider 'worthy', because that's really all you can do. Instead of complaining, lead by example.

P.S. - MLP stands for Mindless Link Propagation. The story in question was exactly that: a sentence or two and the link. I voted to put in in the MLP section. It ended up on the Front Page. I've learned to let these things go and move on.

"When I was young....." (3.36 / 11) (#16)
by farlukar on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:13:23 PM EST

...... everything was better.

Over the last two days the K5 userbase has roughly tripled. After all the attention in the media you could hardly expect things to be like back in tha dayz of wayback (like 2 months ago).
I think it's just a bit too early for posts like this. It's just the first two days of (for a lot of people) a new thing. If it stays the same in a week or so, then you could start lamenting.
$ make install not war

Middle-Aged One (3.27 / 11) (#21)
by Simian on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:29:53 PM EST

I started reading getting into Kuro5hin about three weeks before it was nuked. So I'm not a total newbie, but then, I'm certainly not one of the 'old ones' either. I agree that the quality is a little low at the moment, but I think people are just getting up to speed on what this setup is good for.

I just don't see the point in starting a flamewar over this. Submit, moderate, comment. What else are you going to do? Kuro5hin's beauty is that it will become what we make of it, moreso than any other site I know of.

Kuro5hin is dead! Long live Kuro5hin!


"As I would not be a slave, so would I not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy." Abraham Lincoln
Don't like it? (1.11 / 17) (#23)
by buzzbomb on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:35:23 PM EST

Start your own weblog and run it with an iron-fist. But don't bitch and moan about it.

nono, both (2.50 / 2) (#59)
by h2odragon on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 07:47:58 AM EST

That should be:
Start your own weblog and run it with an iron-fist. AND bitch and moan about it.

[ Parent ]
I voted this story up... (3.90 / 22) (#26)
by ramses0 on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 07:38:51 PM EST

...to smack your argument down. WTF are you talking about? K5 has been back up for... um.... 48-72 hours, and you're whining about the quality of stories, and how much ~better~ this place was during the 'good old days'?

Do you realize how long it took to build up the community that was damaged by the troll attack? Try months, not days. The exact same stuff that is happening now (product announcements, mlp, badly written articles, etc...) happened for quite some time before K5 got hosed, and all your doomsaying is not going to change it one bit.

Grow up. Deal with it. This is a byproduct of new users testing out their newfound freedom. If you want to make it better, then participate by voting in the story moderation. Welcome the new readers to K5, and welcome their stories.

I'm flattered by the number of quality stories that K5 has been getting over the past few days. If I like them, I'll vote them up. If I don't, I'll vote them down. When K5 says *YOU* are in control, that doesn't mean you specifically, but rather "you" the community.

To quote a local radio station's tagline: "This might not be your favorite song, but who says your our favorite listener."

Enough people voted +1, or "Front Page" on the lego story for it to make it to the front page. Participating in a democracy of majority rules means that not everybody is going to be 100% pleased with every decision. If the community doesn't want to see a story, the community will vote it down, k?

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

Re: I voted this story up... (2.50 / 4) (#44)
by _peter on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:36:08 PM EST

To quote a local radio station's tagline: "This might not be your favorite song, but who says your (sic) our favorite listener."
Gotta know -- what radio station is this? I like that attitude.

[ Parent ]
radio station name (1.50 / 2) (#49)
by ramses0 on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 02:05:33 AM EST

It's the venerable 97.1 The Eagle here in Dallas. Don't listen to their morning show, it sucks :^)=

They've got a pretty good attitude, mostly playing heavy rock, not afraid to dip into older stuff too. Plus their signal covers a good 2 hours in any direction from Dallas, which never ceases to amaze me on road trips.

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

/. reject (1.50 / 8) (#31)
by farlukar on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 08:26:31 PM EST

It doesn't even appear to be that bad
$ make install not war

Re: /. reject (1.33 / 3) (#36)
by madams on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 08:54:55 PM EST

You mean we actually got the scoop on /.? Break out the champagne, sombody!

Mark Adams
"But pay no attention to anonymous charges, for they are a bad precedent and are not worthy of our age." - Trajan's reply to Pliny the Younger, 112 A.D.
[ Parent ]

Nahh... (2.50 / 2) (#42)
by farlukar on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:21:43 PM EST

Not really.
It's just that in the article there appeared some comparison to (as some people like to refer to it) that other other site that I thought a bit irrelevant.
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but (4.00 / 4) (#38)
by Inoshiro on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:00:18 PM EST

We're not "Kuro5hin.org || Post to us and slashdot to see which goes up first"

I find such duplicate posts highly inappropriate unless they provide some discussion.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Gandalf (2.00 / 8) (#33)
by joeyo on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 08:46:23 PM EST

Yeah its MLP, but it's ok for that to go to the front page ocasionally if people think it's good enough. I don't know what the algorithm is for choosing whether a story goes to the front page or not, and it may need some tweaking, but I don't think it's right to totally deny MLP front page access.

Anyways, maybe you could help code in the filtering features in scoop so you don't have to look at MLP again...

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

Before you flame, read the story and read this. (4.58 / 29) (#37)
by Inoshiro on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 08:57:20 PM EST

Gandalf's right. The old Kuro5hin is dead and never will be back. So what?

We, as a community, have grown my 2,000 accounts in the past few days. That puts us at a ratio of 2:1 for "old users" to new. I think that's more than enough -- we have been slashdotted before and welcomed the new people into the fold. I see many comments here on how we're doing well so far from these people, as well as the "older" ones.

We've changed a bit. Because of the new people, we've lost our focus temporarily because they're not used to how we work yet. Give them some time. Based on the comments I've seen from the new people they are just as smart and open minded as the rest of us. They're just used to slashdot, a site which posts "news for nerds -- stuff that matters" instead of Kuro5hin "technology and culture, from the trenches."

So here we are on this site with our culture which is absorbing a huge quantity of new people. Yes, we'll have to deal with a lot of crap at first. Yes, we'll likely still have a few confused people in a few weeks time who haven't yet figured out things. But we're growing as a community. I'd rather see us grow and absorb new ideas and viewpoints than stagnate. I'm sure we'd all welcome that Jon Katz guy if he could post something coherent and concise enough to get past our story moderation.

Ahh, but some of the old people have brought "stagnant viewpoints" too. Like the DeCSS/Napster stuff (which at this point doesn't have a corporeal corpse because of the swift and constant beatings it's taken). So what? They wouldn't have brought it up if they felt they had a nice closing on it. Our helpful comments and links to information should give them what they need.

Finally, I'd like to say that Kuro5hin is not about walling ourselves off from the world or stagnating. I always accept new users. Because change is growth and life. And that's what we need. R.I.P. Kuro5hin -- ong live Kuro5hin!

[ イノシロ ]
When you write fast, you forget things. (4.00 / 10) (#40)
by Inoshiro on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:03:53 PM EST

I forgot. Slashdot is what I would call a stagnant community. Yes, they have new stories. Yes, Geeks in space is cool to listen to. But have you honestly met any refreshing new viewpoints there lately? No!

The entire site seems to have stagnated on trolls, VA linux detractors, Andover detractors, nutso conspiracy theorists, and more random crap. It's not a fault of Rob or the rest of the crew -- it's just the way the system does not encourage must useful, intellectual discourse. Do we want to be the same way? NO!

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: When you write fast, you forget things. (1.75 / 4) (#50)
by ramses0 on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 02:20:42 AM EST

Oh come on ... the conspiracy theories are the funniest things I've read in ages... except maybe for the karma recipes ;^)=

All told though, I'm glad that k5 is back in action (and speedy too!) ... thanks inoshiro!

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

Re: Before you flame, read the story and read this (3.00 / 2) (#73)
by El Volio on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 01:17:23 PM EST

I'm sure we'd all welcome that Jon Katz guy if he could post something coherent and concise enough to get past our story moderation.

I laughed so hard when I read that, Dr. Pepper almost came out my nose. Guess that's what I get for reading K5 during lunch hour... ;>

[ Parent ]

Always been this way (4.60 / 45) (#39)
by rusty on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:02:31 PM EST

K5 goes in a regular and predictable cycle:
  • Slashdotting occurs
  • Many new users show up
  • Story submissions spike upward in quantity and downward in quality
  • Too many bad or marginal stories get on the front page
  • "Oldbies" whinge
  • The thrill of voting wears off, and the weariness of too much story churn kicks in for the new users
  • New users start posting better, and voting better
  • Story volume drops, story quality rises
  • Formerly new users successfully become old hands, and prepare to whinge at the next slashdotting
And yea, so has it always been, and so shall it always be even unto the End of Days. Get used to it, be helpful to new readers, point out the differences, and accept the fact that you will have to do that literally for as long as you read the site. It just be that way. I think it's worth it. Do you?

Not the real rusty
Re: Always been this way (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by Wah on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 02:55:06 AM EST

reminds one of the rising and falling of tides, or simple waves. Here's to no more hurricanes!

I would say it's a bit early to say either way though. Six months from now will give a bit better perspective.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Re: Always been this way (3.62 / 8) (#58)
by h2odragon on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 07:35:16 AM EST

Oh, my, I've heard that song before...

Then came the September that never ended...

[ Parent ]

The September that never ended was Re: Always been (3.00 / 2) (#106)
by Mitheral on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 05:30:09 PM EST

I never made the connection before but that kind of cycle breaking has happened to a lot of internet stuff I've been involved in. Usenet and Slashdot are two good examples. Anyone here remember reading a complete news feed? The immenent death of the net is often predicated but it never quite dies; however certain subsets can have their S/N ratios decline to the point that it may not be worth it to a lot of the "old-timers". I used to read/post to usenet for several hours a week; now I read one low volume human moderated group. And I only read that because they have a web archive I can access on my Palm.

I guess my point is that I hope K5 isn't a victum of it's own success and there by end up being reduced to a lowest common denominator type of web site.

[ Parent ]

Re: Always been this way (4.00 / 2) (#109)
by aphrael on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 08:43:20 PM EST

Then came the September that never ended...

I've given a lot of thought, over the years, to why September never ended. The biggest thing, I think, is that somewhere the transmission of old USENET culture broke down --- the cultural rules never got transmitted to the newbies. I've never been able to figure out why that was so, tho; it wasn't just sheer numbers. Some of it was deliberate hostility --- I talked with a lot of the early mass-spammers, trying to convince them to stop, and they basically didn't see any reason why the rules should exist, so didn't feel they applied to them.

*Shrug* In any event, I'm not terribly worried about it here --- explicit anti-spam moderation, combined with a strong community sense, should keep the abuses to a minimum.

[ Parent ]
Re: Always been this way (3.50 / 2) (#111)
by h2odragon on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 09:20:49 PM EST

I agree with ya partially. The numbers made the difference in the lack of education you're talking about; there were hundreds of new kids to each old fart who was willing to explain why it is a good idea to be polite online or offline. That takes time, and the culture changed faster than the new blood could be inoculated. I confess that I never made the effort myself, if you did I salute your figting spirit in the face of a lost cause.

Also the cultural rules you refer to, particularly the way we as geeks were expressing them, made less sense to the newbies than usual, 'cuz the newbies were a different crowd. The number of people using Usenet whose interest was not primarily in computer related topics went up dramatically, almost overnight. That unerlying common interest base had a lot to to with the "community feeling" that existed back when. Even though you might be flaming somebodey relentlessly for preferring say, Heavy Metal over 2001, you knew you could still, almost certainly, have an interesting and rational discussion about some computer related topic.

There's going to be less of that effect here, certainly, but any community changes in character as it grows, and at some indefinite point gets "too big". After that, it is recognizably no longer what it once was, and usually it sucks more than it used to. I was suprised at how big slashdot got before it began to slide, and they've retained more value than they might have, for all their problems.

This forum is having growing pains too, but the management seems to have the situation in hand at the moment, and several better ideas I think for keeping it from hitting the wall anytime soon. Most of the ideas require actual human attention from people capable of rational thought, which is why they're working well and will do so for some time. Eventually, though, the idjits whill overwhelm this system too; I have faith in it... Make something idiot-proof and they'll build a better idiot...

[ Parent ]

Re: Always been this way (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by aphrael on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 09:32:34 PM EST

I confess that I never made the effort myself, if you did I salute your figting spirit in the face of a lost cause.

I didn't want to believe it was a lost cause. I was *much* more emotionally caught up in the net than was healthy.

Also the cultural rules you refer to, particularly the way we as geeks were expressing them, made less sense to the newbies than usual, 'cuz the newbies were a different crowd. <//em>

Some of that I think was our fault; we didn't know how to communicate with the newbies. Communication isn't something geeks are known for, after all.

but any community changes in character as it grows, and at some indefinite point gets "too big".

This is a natural and healthy thing; the alternative is stagnation. I'm a participant in an online discussion group whose origins go back to the mid-1980s, but which hasn't had any new blood, besides one or two stragglers, since 1992-93. The discussions there are incredibly boring; you already know what everyone is going to say on any given issue, and usually I find myself not even listening to what they're saying because it's just so-and-so being themselves.

I was suprised at how big slashdot got before it began to slide, and they've retained more value than they might have, for all their problems.

Slashdot isn't as bad as everyone is making it out to be --- if you turn your filters up really loud. The problem I have is that it no longer has a community feeling, and hasn't in several years, and that makes it hard to care somehow. I wonder if a site, the majority of whose members fled slashdot because they disliked something about it, can avoid reaching the same fate as it grows old?

[ Parent ]
Re: Always been this way (3.75 / 8) (#70)
by GandalfGreyhame on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 12:34:33 PM EST

Thanks for the comments Rusty. That cycle makes a whole shitload of sense, and I guess I've just forgotten about that. Add in some things going on in real life, and the rant was probably a bad idea. But it _has_ generated discussion, and that's what the site is for, isn't it? :)

Yes, its quite worth it. But that lego story still pisses me off.


P.S. Any luck fixing the Net+ preview button bug yet?

[ Parent ]

Net+ bugs (3.14 / 7) (#77)
by rusty on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 03:34:07 PM EST

Man, I'm seriously just considering putting Net+ and Opera on my permanent "unsupported" list. For being the two smallest-share browsers out there, you guys report an awful lot of problems. The browser is buggy. If it doesn't work, I'll do what I can, but there are a lot of other things higher up in the event queue, if you know what I mean. Nothing personal Gandalf-- you know I love you. But Net+... gah.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
OT - Opera seems to work fine (3.50 / 2) (#110)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 09:14:06 PM EST

FWIW, I've been using Opera v4.02 on Win98 to view k5 since its relaunch, and I haven't noticed any problems.

[ Parent ]
Re: Always been this way (3.00 / 3) (#97)
by cthulhu on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:29:12 AM EST

Glad to see you come to your senses. :)

And yes, I agree that discussions like this periodically pulled K5 from one stage in the cycle to the next.

I'm sure if you search the archives you'd find that occasionally we let some pretty questionable stuff slip by on the "slow days".

[ Parent ]
Just a question (3.62 / 8) (#76)
by techt on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 03:09:14 PM EST

If I'm an Old One, does that make you Cthulhu? Perhaps Azathoth (the mindless entity who sits on a black throne at the center of Chaos) would be more appropriate? :)

Proud member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
Are You? http://www.eff.org/support/joineff.html
[ Parent ]
Re: Always been this way (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by inspire on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:55:18 PM EST

At least until the number of 'old hands' are large enough to discourage any sort of new user activity, whining every time Slashdot links an article. Then we can be our own little closed community, making self-congratulatory speeches whilst patting each other on the back for being sooo superior to Slashdotters.

Or, the number of voting options for a story grows to a point where you'll need to have been here from the start to figure it out (kinda like knowing all the options to Emacs).

  • Vote this story to front page (+1)
  • Vote this story to section (+1)
  • Vote this story as MLP (+0.5)
  • I dont care, and dont mind seeing it on the front page (+0.01)
  • I dont care, and if people dont care why post it at all (-0.01)
  • This story needs a rewrite (-0.75)
  • This story has already appeared on TOS (-1)
  • There are not enough poll options for this story (-0.25)
  • This story is a troll (-3.14159)
  • I dont like the guy who wrote this story (-1.414)
  • This is Yet Another _________ Story (Napster/DeCSS/meta) (-0.3333)

It seems like a new one is suggested every day...
What is the helix?
[ Parent ]

Up, up, and away. (4.15 / 20) (#41)
by eann on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:04:55 PM EST

Disclaimer: Much of the first half of this is speculation. Those of you who know enough about how this place work(s|ed) to shoot me down, please do so.

Way back in the old days, rusty was careful to design the threshholds for stories as a percentage of active users. My understanding of that was that scoop was actually counting how many distinct people logged in during some reasonable recent time period (a week?). This number was always significantly lower than the number of registered users, probably by a predictable ratio. Many of us who frequented the site spring and summer could, by skimming older articles, probably remember opinions of most of the major posters. There were a few dozen "regulars", tops, and probably a couple hundred more "occasionals". We had, IIRC, somewhere around 2000 registered users. By mid-July or so, I almost felt like the place was getting stale.

The "real" Slashdot effect will wear off. We get a flood of new members every time it's mentioned Over There. This wasn't the first time, and it certainly won't be the last, but it was probably the biggest because of the nature of the announcement.

Anyway, the novelty will wear off. Those who are serious about real discussions will stay and join the community, perhaps as regulars, or perhaps only as occasionals. And those who aren't will go away, returning only sporadically to try to get their egos through our comparatively short queue (submit a story to /. sometime--theirs is routinely over 300 items). Turning off AH has probably stemmed some of the tide already.

So get over yourself, and let's have yet another of K5's famous meta-discussions. What can we do to help the quality and keep a rein on the size of the queue? What do you think of these suggested tweaks:

  • If it's your first day|couple days|week, your story has to get more mojo-powered votes to make it onto the home page. Or if you haven't posted a comment about anything in a week|couple weeks|month (excluding august, of course), have a similar restriction. We don't want to shut anyone out who has important things to say, but this would make a reasonable filter for folks who are just here for the ego trip.
  • Set a hard-coded cap on the size of the intro paragraph on the submission page. Anyone who was here in mid-afternoon knows what I'm talking about. If it takes more than (say) 1kB to introduce your topic, you may need to refine it some more.
  • What about requiring more mojo-powered votes for a story with no "extended" copy to make it to the home page? That would severely limit MLP without actually blocking it from the site.
  • Convince rusty to rescind his general instruction to err on the side of voting to home page. Even us "old ones" don't know all about what the sections are for or how to use them yet, so it's a tricky transition time while we get used to things.
  • Add some indicator to each story about how many votes are for home page and how many are for section-only.
  • Think of a good way to show the recently-rejected stories on the submission page. If you don't catch it in the queue yourself, you don't know if half a dozen people have already tried it, and you don't know why it didn't get posted.
  • Think of a good way to have an ongoing discussion about feature requests (and how this isn't Slashdot), because that's a huge part of what newcomers want to talk about, and obviously something that stirs the Eldar as well. BTW, the only "help desk" request I've seen in the last 24 hours was from pwhysall, a respected K5er from waaaaay back who knows what the issues are with having one, and decided it was important enough to suggest anyway. I voted for it.
Finally, sit back and enjoy the ride. While things are flying by on the home page it's hard to take time to discuss them, but at least (knock on wood) we haven't had any major flame wars, hot grits, etc.

I intend to keep contributing, likely at the expense of my actual day job, and even though I have a few comments where my .pseudo-sig looks doubled because I was too lazy to actually change my prefs and wrote it by hand.

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.

Re: Up, up, and away. (2.75 / 4) (#71)
by Vetinari8 on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 12:46:54 PM EST

Hmmm. I think this post makes a better story/article-to-submit than the original. :)

Think big. Pollute the Mississippi.

[ Parent ]

Elitist Crap (2.85 / 14) (#43)
by schmeis on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:25:19 PM EST

The whole point of a kuro5hin is the users to get to post what they want to read. If they want to read crap, thats what they get. Wait for things to die down a bit and for the newbies to learn the ropes. Posting this anywhere will just drive the users away.

Here's a new view (3.50 / 12) (#45)
by maarken on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 10:25:58 PM EST

Ah Gandalf, you seem to have a knack for stiring up the bee's nest! (Though, since you advocate Be, I'm not surprised. :) )

How about I know another view out there, since I'm not an Old One, and yet, I'm not a post-DoS /. monkey either.

I found K5 about 2 weeks before the DoS. I found #kuro5hin in the comments of /. And I've been part of it ever since. I consider the Old Ones friends, help people on the channel, and get helped. (Mostly the latter I'm afraid) In fact, as I write this, I'm downloading Slackware so that I can install scoop and create a WAP version of it.

Now that K5 is back, I have a couple reactions. One is utter horror at the K5 I so briefly knew being swamped in /.esq posts, and them making it to the frontpage! I joked with hurstdog this morning that I have visions of the blue borders turning /. green.

The other feeling is that K5 will survive, and once the monkeys leave, it will probably be better off. Since I spend most of my time in the channel, I've seen both smart and tech savvy people show up in the flood, and some nicks that aren't worth the bits they're using up. I've also seen most of the really dumb ones leave already, since they can't really understand the threads, so they get bored.

So I guess Gandalf's right, K5 will never be the same. It will however probably survive and get stronger after the weeds are pulled.

So, if you'll excuse me, I have some more moronic stories to get -1. :)

Oh, and yes, I just insulted some people on here and lots of people on /. . If you felt insulted by it, you deserved it.

Flip the symbols in my email.
K5 is dead. Long Live K5! (3.00 / 4) (#53)
by Zarniwoop on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 02:55:47 AM EST

Right now, we're still in an adjustment period. We proabably will be for a week or more. Eventually, though, something new and hopefully better will come along- K5 will evolve. The old K5 rocked. Let's just work towards making the new one rock even harder. No more whining... that goes for me too.

Talk about circular logic.... (3.71 / 7) (#57)
by Precious Roy on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 06:06:34 AM EST

If you think there are "no discussions worth shit," then post a thought-provoking submission instead of just complaining that there are "no discussions worth shit," which starts a discussion that isn't worth shit.

OK, now to restate that in a way that doesn't fold upon itself.

You say the site is in the process of being fundamentally changed, that it's turning into a half-assed slashdot.

My god (whichever one that is), the site hasn't even been up a WEEK yet and you're already foretelling its demise.

Be at least a little patient... many people (myself included) are learning to deal with this new mod system, and in time I think the voting WILL even out.

K5 EKG (2.75 / 8) (#61)
by techt on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 08:01:17 AM EST

It is much too early to predict the imminent death of Us^H^H Kuro5hin. Really. Things are still in flux with the new readers stirring the mix. Besides, while not on this scale, this has happened before. Give it time to settle down and the discussions and articles will parcipiate out.

To the new users, welcome.

Proud member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
Are You? http://www.eff.org/support/joineff.html
Just more "Slashdot sucks!" ranting on K (3.66 / 9) (#62)
by bkosse on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 08:27:21 AM EST

For a site that purports to be above the name calling and mudslinging, this article is just full of both with, well, little to discuss in and of itself.

I started paying attention to K5 about a month before the DoS attacks started, and it seemed to be a decent place. However, I was bugged immensely by the number of comments slamming Slashdot for, well, no good reason I could tell.

Inevitably, this crops up a few times in almost every set of replies to a story, but this is a new low, trying to post an article that is nothing but whining how K5 used to be so much cooler than /. but somehow /. killed it.

From reading the front page, it sure seems to me that decent discussions are still being posted to the front page.
-- Ben Kosse

Squatter Elitism (3.66 / 9) (#64)
by BinerDog on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 09:44:12 AM EST

I'm one of the people who is new to K5 since it came back up. I've seen a few different sides of K5 since I have started reading this site regularly.

I have found a forum with much better discussions and people who tend ot think before they write. As a result of this the famous other site is only glanced over for headlines anymore. I love this aspect of K5.

Second, there is a siazable group of highly elitist, conservative people here who refuse to accept that sometimes things change. There are now areas, an influx of newbies, and a rush of stories of various qualities that make some people uncomfortable. These folks seem to hold that they maintain squatters rights over an open board and hold that this gives them an elite status in a very democratic system.

It is interesting that this story, to which I am responding now, is likely to be posted even though it is little but raw flamage aimed at people such as myself. Part of any community is self monitoring and self adjustment. However, the elements of a community which constantly cry out with melodramatic comments about how the community has died because something is different are usually a reactionary minority. Hopefully this will hold true here.

While I haven't spent much time here, my comments have been met with good reactions and I have been able to participate in well thought out discussions. Hopefully the squatter elitism will blow over quickly and K5 will remain the place it seems to be: (and apparently has been), a place for well thought out, open, discussion.

-- The Entity Formerly Known as Frums (Cuz someone nabbed my name on K5) (I want it back :Ģ)

I was going to just dump it... (2.40 / 5) (#65)
by Slamtilt on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 09:57:31 AM EST

as mindless nostalgia. It sounds like 2nd years (school, uni, whatever) whining about how the place isn't the same any more, because of all the little first years. However, since it's aimed at the new rants section, I suppose it may be appropriate. So, +1 post to section.

Can we please stop talking about 'old ones', though? K5 has only been around for a few months total, so there's not that much 'old' about any it. Also 'the way of the kuro5hin'? God, don't make the thing *too* ridiculously pompous!

(1.80 / 20) (#67)
by zaugg on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 10:38:52 AM EST

R.I.P Kuro5hin - 9 / 20 / 00 1:00 PM EST

Yes, you read that right. Looks like a tombstone marker, dosen't it? Wait, I forgot the cause of death. Let me add it here:



There we go. That's a bit better. The real slashdot effect backlash effect you might ask? What I'm referring to is the destruction of the Kuro5hin that I've just come to know and love. When the New Ones (#slashdot) finally brought about a huge spike in page views and user accounts, we were overjoyed. Kuro5hin was here and it was doing well. A small DoS attempt didn't even faze it (this time). Life was Good. Then, we began realizing something. Something wasn't quite right.

At first, we figured the large amount of stories in the queue were because everyone had stuff pent up over the summer. Then we began reading the submitted stories. They were like Oldbie stories. Short. One rant. Nothing at all discuss. Some of the newbies tried to correct the Old Ones, show them the new way of the Kuro5hin. But they ignored us. At least this got posted to the front page. Finally a MLP story gets posted to its rightful place. Utter joy.

Yes, Kuro5hin is alive now. We're back online. And it's in the process of being fundamentally changed! There are no discussions worth shit on Kuro5hin now! Only stories which That Other Site would reject have been posted!

What's to become of Kuro5hin now? I don't know what I see in Kuro5hin's future. A couple better MLP articles have appeared in the queue as I've written this. But will it continue? Or will the Old Ones continue to out-vote the newbies, and turn Kuro5hin into a half assed Discussion forum, wanting to be like slashdot but ultimately failing?

DISCLAIMER: I am drunk. This was funny at the time.

.sig free for eight months!

Note to self: include subject line next time. (1.00 / 3) (#68)
by zaugg on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 10:40:35 AM EST

Time to sleep now. Damn you amber fluid, messing with my Mojo....

.sig free for eight months!
[ Parent ]

cull the newbies (3.69 / 13) (#74)
by piwowk on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 01:18:36 PM EST

I'm a newbie myself and until (/.) and when kuro5hin went down I had not bothered to see what it was.... the day it came back up I stopped in to see what it was about. I thought, "watered down /.". Then I read the mission, and the faq. I think it's great to be able to interact with people in my community. I think it's necessary to discuss, through discussion we're able to better ourselves and our environment (community).

Through persistence and example Kuro5hin will return to what it should be. Who wants a "half assed slashdot"? There is more going on here (for the individual) than at slashdot. The individual must become genuinely involved to get (anything) out of kuro5hin.

Persist. This (venue) will attract (create) the enlightened.


Congratulations (3.58 / 17) (#80)
by rednecktek on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 04:07:40 PM EST

You have single-handedly ranked kuro5hin with /. by furthering the "{insert discussion/news/rant website} really sucks now" clichť. Instead of promoting your "humble opinion" of how high the bar should be and helping it along, you rant. Thanks for making me waste my time to write this.

I truly hope you realize that kuro5hin can benefit from growth, just like, IMHO, /. has. Kuro5hin now has the advantage of a world community; different opinions, different ideals, just different. If you can't, I hope you go and start a restricted-access discussion site where you and your select group can listen to each others opinions.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
Re: Congratulations (2.75 / 4) (#83)
by ramses0 on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 06:27:28 PM EST

Wow. Proper accent over the 'e' ... that's worth a score 5 from me any day of the week ;^)=

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

It dies again every minute (4.39 / 23) (#81)
by nevauene on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 05:24:48 PM EST

Not to get too terribly philosophical here, but why is it that when it comes to things like weblogs, bbses, IRC channels, we want to, in our minds, hold them in a constant state, rather than accepting that they are constantly living and dying, growing and waning?

We're always trying to preserve and cultivate the next Scene, but something as dynamic and shifting as a weblog is never going to stay in the particular state of exalted coolness you ascribe to it. It's in yr head.

The best thing about this post, imho, is the title. It's spot-on. To live is to die. every second of the day. We all pretend that we have static, defined selves or egos, but in reality we too are constantly changing. Six months from now you likely won't be the same person you are today. Same goes for k5, for better or for worse..

There is no K5 Cabal.
Re: It dies again every minute (2.66 / 6) (#92)
by cesarb on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 07:52:57 PM EST

Where's +6 when I need it?

[ Parent ]
Re: It dies again every minute (4.50 / 2) (#100)
by Bad Mojo on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:30:57 PM EST

This is true of everything in the universe. There is only one constant, "nothing is consant." Once you understand this, life is easier to swallow. Things are what they are.

Many years ago, Linux was small and the Open Source movement was hidden. More and more people collected and this movement was soon full of newbies and mainstream folks. This is not good. It is not bad. It is.

Slashdot, also, went through a similar change. Slowly more and more people took advantage of the free posting /. allowed. Some people think /. is ruined, I just think it's different now.

-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

[ Parent ]
Well, I'm new here... (3.57 / 7) (#87)
by mwilson on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 01:34:43 AM EST

I've been poking around for a few days, seeing how this thing works and such. I must say, I like it. I like reading inteligent stories and comments from others around the world like me. I'm very much impressed with how it all works.

That said, I think that the reason that things have changed (though, I wasn't around then) is that a lot of other people like me found out about k5 from /. when it was DoS-ed off the air. Had there been a letter to newbies (upon signing up?) that explained a little about what k5 is about, then things might have gone smoother with the influx of slashdotters.

Either way, this is all very cool, and I plan on participating in future discussions with all of you.


Re: Well, I'm new here... (2.00 / 1) (#96)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 08:14:40 PM EST

Aye up Matt,
Are you sure this is the first time you've seen Kuro5hin? I remember showing you this waaay before the DDoS. I'm fairly sure I was having a smoke at the time though, cos I dont remember much. But yea, you *have* seen this place before. I'm sure. Positive....

[ Parent ]
Slap the baby! (3.70 / 10) (#89)
by driph on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 02:55:00 AM EST

Kuro5hin has been up for four days. Give it a little time before we start with the serious navel-gazing. Hell, the umbilical cord was cut only moments ago!

We've got a lot of new users. A lot. Kuro5hin is a site run by the users.

What does this mean?

This means that all these news users are just starting to learn the flow of the site, proper submission, story moderation, and so on. Give them some time.

Personally, I have faith in all of you who have just joined us, and I welcome you to kuro5hin. This site is truely interactive, and blooms or withers based on it's users. I believe you'll find it an enjoyable and addictive site, and that all of you will push it forward.

Sure, we all make mistakes. We stumble, do something wrong. But then we are flamed to death and threatened and yelled at and we make damn sure we don't fuck up the same way the next time. Instead, we fuck up a different way.
Hell, look at the flak we are taking for the interface. I really hope no one is going around saying, "Well, this is the death of Kuro5hin. The design has been added to, new features enabled, new layouts tested."
Because ya know what? We're gonna continue adding to the design, features and layout. If you don't like something that is done, voice your opinion! But give it a chance, and the more thought put into your opinion, the more value it will have.

Now replace design & layout with "users". Everyone who has signed up this week is adding to the site, testing the system, seeing what works and what doesnt work for them. Yes, unlike other sites, kuro5hin DOES have a learning curve. An expanded FAQ is being worked on to lessen that, but due to the nature of the site, we won't(nor would we want to) ever see a kuro5hin where you've figured out everything the moment the URL loads.

We're all learning. And ya know the best part? That learning is never going to end. Kuro5hin will continue to grow, to change. Will it all be for the better? Of course not, we all have our own opinions, and I'm sure some of us are going to disagree all the time. But I'm willing to bet that overall, everyone who sticks around will find the growth and changes to be ultimately for the good. The reason why? It's those of you who are doing the sticking-around who will be spearheading these changes.

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: Slap the baby! (2.66 / 3) (#91)
by scorpion on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 08:03:55 AM EST

I have been here from the beginning and still consider myself a "Newbie". I know I may be a little slower than many of "you" "geeks" but I was wiring boards and using "cards" and "paper" and "magnetoic Tape" long before many of "you" were thinking about what a computer was. My little brain can only grasp so much over all these years , including to learn and then start to program in Fortrain etc. and those early DOS systems and then "teaching " some of "you" how to push those little keys on the keyboard. Driph has said it correctly... give us "Newbies" a chance ! This is another forum which may take "Me" a little longer to grasp. I am however going to build ANOTHER computer and learn LINUX, PERL and some more of this stuff before my time runs out. I LOVE K5

[ Parent ]
Shit like this might just happen (3.00 / 4) (#90)
by skim123 on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 05:06:01 AM EST

If k5 is truly a community site, one whose direction is guided by the community, then it will naturally follow the direction that the majority of visitors want it to go. Hopefully it will stay as a high-quality, great-discussion forum, but it may turn into a listing of pr0n links. If this is truly a community site, Rusty, you'd let it become wherever it goes, even if it turns into a forum on espousing the benefits of Windows. :-)

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

A post from a newbie (2.50 / 4) (#93)
by sporty on Sat Sep 23, 2000 at 09:21:17 PM EST

To every discussion forum, there are different social qualities to them. I remember back in the BBS days, i used to go to this local HS BBS, TechNet. It was of about 12 people. It was <u>great</u>. We talked about what we felt was relevant and everyone was happy.

I remember trying to join boards on Prodigy with people who liked the same topic. Problem was, I was not like them. I was somehow naturally alientated. The social climate was wrong for me, so I left.

Slashdot has the same effect on me. I don't like thier metamoderation system and am willing to try something new.

Point being, a lot of people will like and hate it. Give it time, maybe you'll like it. But nothing stays the same forever.. unfortunately.

Life's changes (3.00 / 3) (#94)
by dleal on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 06:30:04 AM EST

Why, oh why do people feel this need of writing things like this. How it used to be so 'leet and now is full of people who don't understand the system... It's so easy to criticize without giving any suggestions as to what to do to improve the problem...

But, ok, here's my suggestion: Maybe new users (and I'm one of them, come from /.) shouldn't be allowed to submit stories for a while, so they have the time to get the feeling of how things work.

Or, maybe there can be a 'newbie queue' visible only to some kinds of users (k5 old-timers). Submissions in this queue can get promoted to the 'normal' queue and a newbie with a certain number of positive submissions can be eligible to post submissions in the 'normal' queue permanently.

Or maybe everyone can be allowed to post to the normal queue, but only old-timers are allowed to vote on which ones get posted.


Bigger problem... (3.33 / 3) (#95)
by rongen on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 01:59:03 PM EST

What we are seeing here is a problem that affects all web-based forums after they reach a certain level of popularity. Personally, I think this site is still fine, and have found a few interesting discussions to join into recently.

Anyway, as forums grow large it becomes impossible to filter out the noise, etc. Most sites turn to human moderation... But this allows a disagreement of opinion to be the basis of moderation as opposed to the relevance or merit of the content (I am Canadian, eh, so I think this is bad). Now, I take the high road and moderate up comments on Slashdot that I disagree with as long as they are well-argued and seem genuine. I don't even moderate here since I haven't seen enough "noise" to bother me yet...

OK, I just said I don't really like human moderation. Is there an alternative? Yes. You can use "attention metrics" to figure out how popular a post is just by seeing how many people read it and the posts associated with it. There is more to it than that but basically I think that eliminating human moderation in favour of algorithm based moderation is essential to the future of public web-forums. Human moderation just doesn't scale well. If you don't get a comment in on Slashdot in the first 50 posts or so you can ussually forget about seeing it moderated up regardless of how much merit it might have had.

At first glance it looks like the moderation-by-algorithm thing wouldn't help that problem but it can. NLP/AI algorithms and some fast, parallel hardware could make auto-moderation tractable and also have different values for each reader depending on thier interests and previous reading habits (I think that the system should also serve up documents likely to be found controversial, also).

What do you think about this?
read/write http://www.prosebush.com

Re: Bigger problem... (3.00 / 1) (#102)
by MmmmJoel on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:02:43 PM EST

Most readers don't read every comment in a discussion and many don't even scroll down to see what other comments have been posted. If we sorted comments based on attention metrics, then many of the comments would go unheard.

For example, if you are the 200th person to comment on this article and write a beautiful and eloborate comment, chances are no one will here you. The comment will be at the bottom of the list because not many people would scroll all the way down to see your comment. With human moderation, later comments have a much better chance of being heard.

[ Parent ]
Re: Bigger problem... (3.50 / 2) (#105)
by rongen on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:40:01 PM EST

What I am talking about is using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques (like clustering documents based on content) to figure out what someone is likely to be interested in based on statistics about what they have read in the past. You could factor in metrics they have explicitly stated (like "I like hockey" or "I don't want to read brief comments", etc) and also factor in other peoples reading of it (a popularity metric).

This is processor intensive and there are some tricky algorithms involved (this isn't something you implement over the weekend) but in time the hardware for it will be affordable and the NLP algorithms are certainly tractable.

It can be done and it will become necassary to do this when web forums get so popular that Slashdot will look like a personal blog. If you look at the rate at which global web usage is growing, this will almost certainly happen.
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]

I'll see it though (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by pwhysall on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 07:12:18 AM EST

Because I view comments newest first.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]
You have to take them in another direction. (3.00 / 1) (#107)
by static on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 06:55:54 PM EST

For instance, I help administer IWETHEY, a web forum community that originated out of a magazine's web site forum. The story is long and probably uninteresting as to why we started up on a free web forum site, but we eventually realized that IWETHEY is not a democracy or ruled anything like Kuro5hin or even Slashdot. It's an autocracy. But it works because we have a community.

I can't see Kuro5hin really going down that path mostly because there is so much time and effort already expended to get it's current moderation system working, but also because the weblog format gently discourages it.


[ Parent ]

Kuro5hin's future... (3.25 / 4) (#98)
by fengor on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:03:31 AM EST

I liked the old kuro5hin before the great DoS and must admit the quality of the stories was higher then. At least it seems to me like that. But i don't doubt that with the idea of adaptive scoring and group lens the quality of areticles will improve again. And even if adaptive scoring and group lens will never become mor than an idea my faith tells me that the community will selfregulate ;-)

kuth - keep up the hope
hackers do it with bugs.
Well, this certianly has been interesting... (3.12 / 8) (#99)
by GandalfGreyhame on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:00:07 PM EST

Well, this little rant o' mine has certianly generated some discussion. I certianly wouldn't have seen it posted to the front page, I think it belongs just in Rants, but hey, people of Kuro5hin have voted and this is where they want it, so this is where it Be.

A few comments on my little rant, now that its been a few days.
1) I would like to say, welcome, to all the newbies. Once you get all that /. out of your system, I'm sure you'll all be great additions to the kuro5hin community.
2) Yes, I was a bit hasty in posting the story. However, seeing it was a rant, I don't regret it all that much. It was what was on my mind, and the Lego-DJ story just pissed me off.
3) Yes, I was a newbie too :)

I am certianly glad this story has generated discussion. Brought a lot of different viewpoints to my mind, esp. rusty's Slashdotting-Newbie-"old tymers" Bitch-Back to normal cycle. Lets hope it holds true this time as well :)

G'day all, and have fun discussioning :)


P.S. Rusty : When are you gonna fix the Net+ preview button? C'mon now, you know you want to.

Re: Well, this certianly has been interesting... (3.80 / 5) (#101)
by Mobbsy on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:27:41 PM EST

1) I would like to say, welcome, to all the newbies. Once you get all that /. out of your system, I'm sure you'll all be great additions to the kuro5hin community.

Possibly phrasing that in a slightly less patronising tone would have engendered more of a welcoming feeling.

I'm a newbie here, a "post-DoS /. monkey" as somebody charmingly phrased it. I'd never heard of kuro5hin until it was too late. However, I've been contributing to electronic forums (mostly Usenet) for long enough to know how to be a newbie (err... and flaming regulars isn't exactly it I must admit :-).

I understand why the regulars don't want it to change, but you have to change to avoid forming a clique hostile to all outsiders. I've seen discussion groups stagnate when no new input is available, the regulars rehash their long established views, continually fighting the same old verbal battles. Nobody really says anything interesting, everybody loses as the regulars leave one by one and there is nobody left to replace them. We have new ideas, new information, new approaches, sometimes they may annoy you to begin with, but we bring new life to keep the conversation dynamic.

kuro5hin is good, I never bothered creating a /. account despite reading it from before accounts invented. I created a k5 account within a couple of days. k5 feels like one of the quiet backwaters of usenet where pleasant, intelligent discussion is still possible. Most importantly, /. doesn't allow discussion, it moves too quickly, by the time a point is made and answered the link has been pushed off the front page before a counter-point can be posted.

[ Parent ]

Re: Well, this certianly has been interesting... (3.50 / 2) (#108)
by aphrael on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 08:33:26 PM EST

k5 feels like one of the quiet backwaters of usenet where pleasant, intelligent discussion is still possible

I think the problem is that most quiet backwaters of the net feel like they're under siege --- I know i've seen dozens of such backwaters either get overwhelmed (like /. and much of usenet) or fall into disuse, or stagnate and die; i'm sure everyone else in this community has, as well. So it's only natural that there is a bunch of breast-beating, driven by fear, about how we can prevent that from happening here.

[ Parent ]
"the old ones (#kuro5hin)" (3.80 / 5) (#103)
by neonman on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:13:02 PM EST

While seem to share the same feelings about kuro5hin's current state, I didn't like reading this crap about "the old ones (#kuro5hin)". That's a load of nonsense as far as I'm concerned. You present yourself as having a very narrow view of the community that kuro5hin is/was. My uid on kuro5hin is only 222, and not once have I been on the irc channel. Yes, it is extremely clear that kuro5hin is different from what it was, but I don't think we need start making claims about how much longer we have been coming here. This is an open, dynamic web community. Communities don't just instantly reach a state of perfection. When they become interesting, the influx of members is inevitable. Kuro5hin will simply need to evolve in order to handle this problem. Your inflamatory claims will not be helpful in this process.
Aaron Grogan
Re: "the old ones (#kuro5hin)" (4.00 / 1) (#115)
by kraant on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 03:38:54 AM EST

The Old Ones is a rather obscure joke.

Heh. I'm rather disappointed so many people didn't get it and instead got all hissy about it....

"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Pointless Nostalgia (3.83 / 6) (#104)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:17:13 PM EST

I think this is somewhat pointless nostalgia. The newbies are here, and k5 will have to deal with it. Perhaps point out some of the things that people may not know (and point people to the FAQ), but you're not going to be able to just do without everyone who came after a certain date. I suppose I would be one of the "Old Ones" on /. (UID #597 out of 200,000+) so I could spend my time whining about how it used to be a good discussion-oriented site (much as k5 is trying to be now) and has devolved into a "post some news, talk about it for a few minutes" site, but that wouldn't do any good. Slashdot is what it is, and k5 is what it is, and rather than bitching about newbies, educate people and perhaps point out problems in the system itself (if any are readily apparent).

Newbie's thoughts (3.75 / 4) (#117)
by kamakazi on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 01:22:10 PM EST

I better say this quick, or I won't qualify as a newbie. I never knew the "old" kuro5hin, in fact the first time I was after the /. mention that it was back. I am afraid you are in a real pickle here. I imagine there are scads of people like me who have no idea what it was like "back then" we have come from /., and to us /. is an invigorating breath of fresh air in the world of press release news. Now you are asking us to regard /. as a source of soundbite news, and to stretch ourselves and look deeper. To read /. then think about things and post our perceptions of ramifications and repercussions. (do I get bonus points for big words?) The problem is that our society has not taught anyone under 30 to think. Don't flame me, I did not say <30's couldn't, they just didn't learn it from society. If kuro5hin really was a bastion of thought and discussion, the only way it could survive is by having newbies trickle in, so that the newbies are significantly outnumbered by the Old Ones. By making the slashdot news, worse yet, by getting favorable comments from the slashdotters, we newbies probably outnumber you stalwarts. Coming from slashdot, articles are rated for newsworthiness, are they stuff people ought to know about. These rating habits are obviously being applied here, when actually, what the original post is saying is that they should not. The assumption is that people here already know the news, from /. or wherever, and the ratings here are supposed to reflect the fepth or contributive merit of the posting.

Now what I think: The only way I see is for Rusty and Inoshiro to manually kill stuff that doesn't measure up, which would obviously open up a whole new can of angry worms. The only other alternative I see is to wait out the surge and hope the quick news seekers fall back on /., which does cover a lot (quantitively) more news.
Proximity to wonder has blunted our perception and appreciation of it. -Tim Hartnell in _Exploring_Artificial_Intelligence_on_your_Commodore_64_-
ICQ comments (1.00 / 1) (#118)
by pac4854 on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 11:09:56 PM EST

Was that Hemos or Roblimo you were going to kill? That is all.
-- Microsoft is to the internet what Jerry Springer is to television.
Closest to /. I've seen on K5 yet... (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by freebird on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:38:56 PM EST

All this ranting about Newbies and Old Ones (on both sides) is the most slashdotisch stuff I've yet seen on K5.

Get over it.

Maybe I'm not one to talk (being a brand-newbian myself) but I think this current incarnation of kuro5hin is wonderful. I think you can't claim to have a real community until there's some newbies and idiots on board, otherwise you're just preaching to the choir, or talking to yourself, or wanking to be quite blunt.

I find the discussions rich and interesting, and one get's the feeling people actually spend some time on their posts, editing and rereading them. It's almost like a true literary/journalistic enterprise come of age! Thanks so much for restoring my faith in what these 'online communitites' can be, and get off the 'slm the door shut behind me' elitism. Vote lame posts down and get on with what's important! So an occasional lame post made it through in the first few days of the new regime...do you really not have anything worse in your life to worry about? I envy you then!

And furthermore, talk smack all you want, slashdot has been a seminal part in developing this new medium (you all still define yourselves in terms of how 'different' from it you are, that tells me something) and I think it's excellent, for what it is. I'm glad there's places liek this for a more thoughtful perspective and set of interests, but I'll keep reading slashdot (with very high thresholds of course) for their type of news.

After all, though I realize it didn't belong on the front page here, I thought DJ-lego was cool. That's what slashdot is for.


To Live Is To Die | 118 comments (91 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
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