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Advice for Websites Combating Net.Obscurity?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the finding-and-keeping-your-audience dept.

Censorship 173

waveclaw asks: "A Catch-22: how to initially draw people to a community when the a community itself is the selling point and your being drowned in information sea that the web has become? Many people take the popularity of Slashdot and other 'people concentrators' for granted. Whole communities are developing, as they have done for thousands of years, on web logs and news sites via reader feedback. Unfortunately, not all sites are well traveled. (Side note: a lot of reseach has apperantly gone into this.) For instance, the special interst publication Dragon Spirit Magazine is closing their doors due to a lack rather than surfiet of viewers. Belfy Comics lists an entire section of online-only comics which are (for lack of a better term) abandoned by both viewer and creator. Porbably the most powerful force obliterating free communication is neither fundamentalist nor jack-booted: it's obscurity."

"While network outages are easy to diagnose by comparison, what does a site do when it's dying? Sites like Keenspace and Webring and wiki try to build self-referential collections of sites and pages that sometimes work and sometimes don't Has anyone out had their back to this wall a lot and come out winning? Short of a listing on Slashdot, how?"

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Speed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2646991)

What 20 secs ?

Re:Speed (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647252)

A wise man [honchie.com] once said "The Chinese guy called! The Chinese guy called! Holy shit, Mamma, the Chinese guy called!"

WHAT CNN DOESNT TELL YOU!! (-1)

King Africa (262341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647268)

03 December 2001 : Mullah Umar's Dream
Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah's Apostle (SAWS) said, "When the Day of Resurrection approaches, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of forty-six parts of prophetism, and whatever belongs to prothetism can never be false." [Sahih Al-Bukhari 9:144]
Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah's Apostle (SAWS) said, "Whoever sees me in a dream then surely he has seen me for Satan cannot impersonate me. [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:110]

It is part of the Islamic belief that the Muslims believe in good dreams, not as a source of legislation or Shariah rulings, but as signs of good news for the believers. It is widely acknowledged that the Mujahideen on the front- lines are the closest to Allah because of their actions. During the time of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, the Muslim scholars would refer any disagreements amongst them to the Mujahideen scholars on the front-line, because it was considered that they were closest to Allah. For this reason, it is very common for the believers engaged in the action of Jihad and the worship of fighting that they see dreams as glad tidings for them and as a means of boosting their morale. Some of the dreams that that have authentically been related from the Mujahideen in Afghanistan recently, are given below. Some are self-explanatory, whilst people of knowledge have given interpretations for ones that are not immediately apparent.

1. Mullah Muhammad Umar, Ameer-ul-Mumineen of Afghanistan saw the Prophet (SAWS) in a dream in which the Prophet (SAWS) ordered him to stay in Kandahar and not to leave it for Allah will give victory to the Mujahideen there.

2. Mullah Muhammad Umar saw in a dream that a cruise missile was fired at him, and he ran away from it as it exploded. Then another one was fired at him and he ran away from it as it exploded. Eventually, the last missile that was fired at him, exploded and a frozen man came out of it. People of knowledge interpreted this dream as meaning that, as Allah says in Surah Rahman [Quran 55:35]: "There will sent against you both smokeless flames of fire and molten brass, and you will not be able to defend yourselves." The Afghan have been bombed with missiles trailing smokeless fire and they have not been able to defend themselves against them. However, in the end, victory will be theirs because the last missile exploded into a man, not fire or flames. As for the frozen man, then it signifies a man who cannot move. Allah knows best, perhaps this means that the victory for the Mujahideen will come in the winter.

3. Palestinian Sheikh Abu Waleed Al-Ansari saw the Prophet (SAWS) in a dream whilst he was in Kunduz. The Prophet (SAWS) gave him glad tidings of help from Allah with 500 angels to help the Mujahideen.

4. The following dream was seen by many of the Mujahideen in Kunduz. They saw the sky split into two halves and the Angel Jibreel came down to help the Mujahideen.

English Female Journalist Raped by Alliance Troops in Kabul

A female English journalist was raped by two Northern Alliance soldiers in Kabul. This further underscores the fact that even foreigners are not safe in Alliance territory, let alone the Afghan people.

17 CIA Agents Killed in Takhta Pul

17 American CIA agents and 100 tribal Pushtuns allied to America were killed during fierce battles around Takhta Pul. Regarding the Taliban Intelligence Minister defecting to the Northern Alliance, this news is false. A low-level intelligence individual who was dismissed from his job five years ago defected to the Alliance. He does not possess any sensitive information nor pose any danger. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, it has been confirmed that 9000 Iranian troops are on the ground in Bamiyan Province and Kabul, in order to fight against the Mujahideen.

15 US Commandos Killed in Southern Afghanistan

CHAMAN (AAN): A unit of US Commandos was searching for Al-Qaida units in Southern Afghanistan when they were ambushed by a Taliban patrol with heavy weapons. We are waiting for American and British Forces

LAHORE (Islam News): Taliban Official Mullah Muteeullah said that Kandahar Airport and the surrounding provinces remain under Taliban control. All reports stating that Alliance forces have taken Kandahar airport are baseless since there are no Western journalists in Kandahar. The Western media issues its Kandahar news reports from Kabul and this was confirmed by a Sky News journalist. The Taliban are waiting for American and British troops to attack Kandahar. They are fully-prepared, waiting for them and have prepared a surprise for them. Spin Boldak remains under Taliban control as does Takhta Pul on the road between Kandahar and the Pakistani border. Losses amongst the Mujahideen and the Taliban have been minimal so far in this war. The only senior Taliban official to be killed so far is Mullah Abdus-Sattar who was martyred in Mazar-i-Sharif, may Allah have Mercy on him.

US Government Deploys Special Corpse-Destroying Troops

Due to the inability of the American public to accept casualties, the US Government has deployed special landborne and airborne military units in Afghanistan whose sole aim is to retrieve the bodies of American soldiers killed in action and withdraw. If they are unable to take the bodies, they call in airstrikes which launch bombs that spray a special chemical over the area and the bodies, disfiguring them so it is not possible to recognise that they belong to Americans. Evidence of US Chemical Weapon Usage on Civilians Coming Soon

Hundreds of Afghan civilians have been attacked using US chemical weapons. Photographic evidence of this will be posted on this web-site soon insha- Allah.

Keep posting those news dude!,... AND (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647370)

please give links to sites containig them. This is imortant to balance the newsflow.

FP, Class Two (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2646993)

Why is this story on the front page?

I find ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2646999)

... putting "FREE XXX PICS" "britney" "melissa joan hart" "nude" "fucked" "anal" "watersports" and "goat" into the metatags works for me.

its called evolution (2)

zephc (225327) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647000)

the better memes (more interesting sites) survive, while the dull ones without any care from the maintainers fall to the side. This isnt the rule, just a general case.

also, can one of you admins restart the daemon that updates the front page stories' number of posts?

Re:its called evolution (4, Insightful)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647065)

Hasn't this always been true, not just with web sites? There are millions of books in publication, but why is it that we only hear of or care about (probably) 2% of them? Because the good ones are popularised while the not-so-good ones get lost in the sea.

Re:its called evolution (2, Interesting)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647541)

Well, you have to admit, a lot of what we hear about books is either popularized by the media, promulgated by our friends, or... or... shit, guess that's it...

I mean, when was the last time you were in a bookstore just looking for a particular book, and you bought something else because it just looked interesting? Not because it had a celebrity on the front cover, not because you had heard about it on Oprah or wherever. You had an extra 10-spot and just bought it.

Lemme guess. Been a while. Same for me, really. The only reason I started buying any of the old Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout was because I really dig the series on A&E. Am I hooked on the books, even though a lot of the ones I have read haven't been turned into TV shows? Hell(tm) yes! But I had that impetus because of the show. Without that show, I probably never would have bought any of them.

Same with web-sites. Unless you get that initial "oomph" to check it out AND unless it hooks you, odds are you're never going back. And even then, if you find something newer, shinier and better, it's still a toss-up as to whether you'll stay.

Kierthos

Re:its called evolution (3, Insightful)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647113)

Thats the problem - this has broken down because there is SUCH a sea of sites out there that the chance of me 'catching' a good site is minimal.

If you look at sites as virii - I 'caught' /. about a year and a half ago when I was pointed at it by a geeky chum to see some piece of new about a new CPU. I've probably pointed a couple of people at it, they caught it too. /. is highly contageous, and easily transmitted.

The problem is that the chances of me 'catching' another site is minimised because there are too many sites to visit - so I don't come in contact with the VAST majority of them. There might be a great site dealing with stuff I'm really into that I just never come across because its insulated by a sea of crapola!

If you look at the material on the paper version of this site [legshow.com] in the paper version of THIS site [funkybusiness.com] there are some good insights into the difficulty of finding your market for a niche product - and the possible rewards.

Re:its called evolution (1)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647618)

Thats the problem - this has broken down because there is SUCH a sea of sites out there that the chance of me 'catching' a good site is minimal.


Absolutely agree. Information overload is possibly one of the biggest problems we face. How many of us go to (insert you fav search engine here) type in a keyword(s)/phrase and get that much information, crap and unrelated crap returned that its just not economical (time or money) to try and filter it.

In future I think our initial focus (to be successful) is not on the answer but the question.
.

Its called be luky (1, Interesting)

YearOfTheDragon (527417) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647205)

the better memes (more interesting sites) survive
But what happened with a good meme that is never read by a "good" reader?
Cocacola.com has his audience despite the fact that has no content because they have money.
Each content need his audience, but not always audicen and content meet.

Re:its called evolution (1)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647571)

I agree with the point you make - but not all the sites that disappear are crap.

Community sites need to reach a critical mass of regular members/viewers to continue attracting new members/viewers. The more people that are involved the more interesting and diverse the opinions are.

This is reflected in many systems - take some of the more obscure /. articles if there are few posters in a given time frame people don't bother viewing and commenting on the articles (Go have a look in the older articles section).

Same can be seen on Counter Strike (pick you game) servers. In a list of identical game servers available, the ones already established (with say 10+ players) will continually attract people rather than the sub 10 player servers.

The critical mass required to survive varies on the system it is required for. But get it and theres a good chance you'll keep going (till the system environment changes and natural selection culls you again: ).

Change (2, Insightful)

The Gardener (519078) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647002)


If people don't like it, change it. Lack of interest is the public telling you something. People go to sites like Sluggy Freelance, Slashdot, etc. because the site offers something they enjoy and tell theri friends about. One email blitz of friends telling friends can make a huge difference. People just have to like the contents.

The Gardener

And Further... (3, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647048)

The sites you put up as examples are sites where the user interest is nonexistant. I don't care about a "cute lil' cat" or "cute lil'" anythings, for that matter. I don't think I'm alone among netizens for that. And I don't think that "Magick" has a huge following either.

However, if you want a media system and a belief system that are popular, Star Wars [theforce.net] and Christianity [christianitytoday.com] are both doing fine.

And sites become popular overnight! Need I remind you of the dancing hamsters [dancinghamsters.com] and "All your base" [planettribes.com] phenomena that took the nation by storm inexplicably with only wierdness to pull them along?

Also.. (1)

tabbyTime (222620) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647363)

It helps to be able to spell and use English grammar correctly -- in this sense, Slashdot is an exception. There were about 10-15 spelling/usage errors in your question, which lends an air of ignorance and stupidity to your online effort. At any rate, good luck for the future!

it's really fairly simple.... (3, Insightful)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647011)

sites and communities fall into obscurity for one of two reasons:

a: They're way to limited in their scope, thereby alienating a large potential audience; or

b: They lack any interesting or original content, and thus don't attract any new members/users.

A lot of webmins are quick to blame the audience for their lack of ingenuity or creativity. Remember - if it's not very interesting, who is going to be interested? Furthermore, if it's not very original, then most people will gather around something that is.

Re:it's really fairly simple.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647018)

damn. shoulda previewed.

Re:it's really fairly simple.... (4, Insightful)

reachinmark (536719) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647190)

I'd add to that the fact that people are drowning in well-advertised products and content. I think the average American has become lazy when it comes to finding interesting products, because it has become so easy to just select whatever has been advertised the most.

It is the little fellow who can't afford to brand his site that is losing out in our modern brand-driven society. People need to get off their buts and find things that interest them, rather than allowing advertising to choose for them!

Sounds like my problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647340)

LIMITED SCOPE: I started a site called FRUITILITY [fruitility.com] that is devoted to discussing how software development can be both futile and fruitless.

LACK OF CONTENT: I tried to get some heavy hitters to post original content (e.g. Kent Beck, Ron Jefferies, and the rest of the Agile Alliance gang). Many of them stopped by and some of them even left a little content. However, the other hundred or so visitors did not feel compelled to comment or leave their own content.

Many people have liked the idea, but even those who initially loved it have not yet left any content. It makes me wonder what percentage of a sites members go there to post versus go there to read.

Steve
FRUITILITY [fruitility.com]
The fruitiless futility of software development.

valuable enough (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647656)

1) the site has to be apparently valuable enough that people will bookmark them and will continue to use the resource.

2) The support mechanism for the site (products advertised, etc) have to be valuable enough that people will go for these as well.

Maintaining the character of a site, breathing life into it so that it is constantly alive, is WORK. Some folks burn out on this faster than others.

An example of this are sites like ubersoft [ubersoft.net] , a comic strip which is decent, often excellent, but where the author sometime falls behind due to distractions or other details, or the well runs dry for a day or two.

In a website like slash, the number of stories submitted, comments posted daily typically is something like one percent of the active users that day. It also depends on the events of the day, etc. A very crude measure to be sure. of course, you can have someone just pumping out stories for a year or two, But you better have an edge, like spinsanity [spinsanity.org] does, being located in DC, etc.

Re:it's really fairly simple.... (2, Insightful)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647766)

I disagree. The best site in the world (be interesting, funny, informative, whatever) can be sitting on a web server some where out there and who would know? Think about it before people reply. If you wanted to create a web-community on what ever subject matter how would you attract people? Advertise on related websites/mags? How much time/effort/money do you want to use to market your site? So you plough resources into marketing your site, I've said in an ealier post, if you don't reach a critical mass of numbers you'll fizzle out. Established brands (what ever they are) don't have to exert to much effort to market themselves - new commers however have to expend massive amounts of resources to establish themselves and make people aware they exist.

While there are sites/brands that do flourish on technical merit alone they are the exception rather than the rule.

Natural selection kills the unfit(for the environment), stupid and the unlucky. Most that are created will fall into one of these three catagories (in which ever situation you choose).
.

better content? (3, Insightful)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647013)

I think the poster is thinking about this the wrong way. When it comes down to it, if no one visits your website, it means that nearly no one WANTS to visit your website. This either means it sucks, is on some topic nobody cares about, or is a mixture of the two.

Even if it's on an obscure topic, it eventually will pick up search engine hits etc... I have friends who ran sound mixing websites and even an RV parts store. They do nothing for advertising and started having all kinds of hits in the first case and orders in the second (very different types of websites).

Anyway, if your site is dying, it's because of a more fundamental problem.

Re:better content? (2, Interesting)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647193)

Not necessarily. The web suffers from two problems which make Web marketing incredibly difficult:

1 - If you put up a Web Site, the only way people will find out about it is if other pages link to it, or you directly tell people about it. At least if you open a shop, people will walk down the street and they can't miss it.

2 - The chances are that somebody has made a slightly better site than yours on the same or a similar topic. The Web is global, so you only need one or two sites for any one interest to please the global potential audience (see /.). So every new site that starts up *has* to compete with the big boys and will inevitably fail.

I've been developing Web sites for years now, and I've found that your Web Site will only survive if you want it to. If you keep putting work into it because you enjoy it, and if you can find a clique of users who will enjoy it (forums, message boards and other interactive features help here), then there's nothing to worry about. Your site may remain obscure, or it may grow. If you've done the site really well, and you maintain it well for years, it will slowly blossom. Just don't get impatient, otherwise you may as well not try!

If you really, really want a big site, then you'll just have to find a big gap in the market, put a lot of work into it, get a team to help you develop it, and put a lot of spare cash into advertising.

Re:better content? (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647281)

Some of the problem can be that some people do visit the website, just not enough to pay the bills. Thats hard. Because in many ways costs can go up with viewership. Many websites are good and usefull they just only intrest a limited set of people. Some of them are nonprofit, but even in that case you need to find a way to pay the bills. Just in that case you can find wealthy folks to give you money, if what you are doing intrests *THEM*.

Common Problem (5, Informative)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647020)

I have worked on many projects which have failed due to a shortfall in uptake. The sites themselves were excellent, and beloved by their userbase - but the userbase just wasn't big enough.

Running the risk of a granny egg sucking session, here are some observations of things which HELP a site.

Novel Material / Early News
If your site can be first with the news, or provide good novel content which is interesting / useful enough for people to print / bookmark you have a good chance of being referenced. This is a key FREE way to spread the word.

Forums
Wether /. style, live CHAT style, or some hideous mix as we did recently these are the key to any site working. Even one that is not there specifically to allow interchange - enable it and you give the site a sense of place - of commonality - of community. It's fluffy - but it works!

Hard Copies
It sounds stupid - but the sites we built early on, which had a paper newsletter (usually quarterly) asociated with them have done well. People seem to repond to the paper mail and visit the site. Coincide the paper issue with a new feature / big story and you multiply the effect.

Email
Give people a reminder email every couple of weeks - its not spam - they signed up for it. Say something in the email - not just 'visit us'.

Recommend a Friend
Give people an easy way to forward links to the site, and to every individual item within the site straight from the page. We know they can do this easily without a 'recommend a friend' button - but they really do work. Up to 50% of new members are coming from this on some sites.

Stats
Show people how many people are using the site - make people visible, through forums or other mechanisms. If you see a site thats obviously been updated TODAY and has a bunch of visitors your more likely to take it seriously.

And some stuff you would THINK would work but in my experience doesn't.

Directories
Niche directories sound great. Operate a definitive list of great sources of information for people to access. Hope they start using you as their own bookmarks for this topic.
On the whole our feedback shows most people are happy with google, AV, etc... for 90% of links, so don't need this kind of thing. These are costly to maintain well, and of little benefit.

Too many options
A mature site can cope with tonnes of options to switch this off, that on, remove images, add a reminder service etc... But again, we find that this stuff just puts people off if its there before an established community.

Client confidentiality, DPA, etc.. stops me citing the examples - sorry.

Re:Common Problem (3, Interesting)

aallan (68633) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647157)

Directories
Niche directories sound great. Operate a definitive list of great sources of information for people to access. Hope they start using you as their own bookmarks for this topic. On the whole our feedback shows most people are happy with google, AV, etc... for 90% of links, so don't need this kind of thing. These are costly to maintain well, and of little benefit.

Interestingly I'm part of a team that runs such a site [ukrecscuba.org.uk] and while there is a whole bunch more content, after all its the website of a usenet newsgroup [news] , alot of people (at least according to the site statistics) seem to use it as a bookmark substitute.

Why is this interesting? Originally the bookmarks weren't a major part of the site, but the section seems to have grown, taking on a life of its own. Certainly its become the backbone which draws traffic to the site.

Moral of the story? It seems to me that the more popular "community" sites grow, they aren't designed. There isn't any point trying to design a killer community site because you'll almost never figure out what the people want. Its definately not a case of "build it, and they will come" no matter how good your ideas are...

Al.

Re:Common Problem (2)

WizardChild (86705) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647259)

Email
Give people a reminder email every couple of weeks - its not spam - they signed up for it. Say something in the email - not just 'visit us'.


I'd be very careful with this one. I will purposely avoid sites with even a hint of spam-like tendancies.
Only send emails to individuals that have indicated they would like to receive mailings.

Re:Common Problem (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647406)

Slashdot-style polls work. My site doesn't get much content from the users, but if I put up a poll, people vote. They can't resist. They instantly click on the poll option that they like the most (or think is the funniest). Heck, sometimes they incite a comment.

Re:Common Problem (2)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647492)

Yep - I concur and wish I'd listed it. Of the 6 sites we've tried these 5 have found them to be among the most popular sections (in terms of the %age of users to visit >1nce a month).

They can also be a good generator of novel content!

Re:Common Problem (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647521)

The reason they work is the low threshold in submitting a vote. And the feedback is instant. Very enjoyable for a first-time visitor. They fluff a little bit, but they work, just like fora(sp?)

Re:Common Problem (2)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647540)

Wether /. style, live CHAT style, or some hideous mix as we did recently these are the key to any site working.

No. Chats and forums drown a site in drivel in all but a handful of cases. Forums on small sites are pathetic. Seeing two new posts a week confirms to the user that it is an unimportant site.

Yup, this is a valid problem... (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647022)

I run hackerheaven.org [hackerheaven.org] and I am also suffering from lack of content. As things move slow, the site isn't updated for a long time. This will ultimately kill it of course. I also know that things like these start slow. I guess I'll have to tough it out. In the end it comes down to how much patience you got...

Uhm... (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647024)


Ever heard of "porn"?

Re:Uhm... (2)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647047)

Actually porn doesn't really work very well. I've tried it. There is just so much of it available that it's difficult to generate actual interest unless you can really put some advertising dollars in.

I've considered that problem (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647073)

To run a successful porn site, you need to differentiate yourself from the sea of mediocrity. I figure the next big thing in the porn industry will be 3D. Various 3D display types already exist (I like the head mounted ones myself.) So you'd have to film two video streams at the same time and synch them up, then run them through the 3D display. Until everyone else catches up, you'll have the whole market to yourself and should be able to make a killing. By the time they DO catch up, you'll need to have moved to something else (perhaps combining the www.fufme.com technology with the www.realdoll.com technology?)

Or you could just cover something that no one else does. Like goats.

Re:I've considered that problem (1, Offtopic)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647416)

Way back in the days of 2400 baud modems I had a lil research project for online VR sex. My girlfriend at the time was going to school halfway across the country which as every geek knows leads to lots of online flirting. Both of us being geeks we were developing a pair of suits that would stimulate each user according to what the other was doing. It couldn't handle live images/sound but it could playback canned samples to fit the situation as best as possible and certain lil toys would be stimilated in the suits depending on your actions together. I've sometimes wondered if something like that would sell. It's not the real thing but it's better than most toys. ;)

One of my current projects is a combination of Google's image search and Slashdot's community. Allowing images to be searched, user moderated, discussed, put in albums, etc. If I had a financial backer I'm sure I could turn it into something very cool but there is just no way I can afford a server with the needed bandwidth and harddrive space to make the site into a real business.

Re:I've considered that problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647573)

In the future, I would recommend that you not discuss the sex suit to potential investors. Just a suggestion.

Re:Uhm... (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647387)

Yes, but I think it's tacky as hell.

Another thing is that you'd just be "just another pr0n site". They are all the same, and also all boring.

I have yet to see a pornography site that is actually doing something that will turn my head around. (With that I mean that they are really doing something cool with pornography, not just the tacky "SEE TEEN SLUTS BOBBING FOR CUCUMBER" type of yelling shouting and awful BLINK tag hell, oh, and the popups, and the tacky resize-your-browser-fullscreen-and-bind-all-mouse- events-so-that-the-unsuspecting-onlooker-is-stuck- there kinda antics)

Usually porn sites just piss me off. I'm not alone.

Another case of denial.......... (3, Offtopic)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647026)

Why don't people visit my website?

Why don't people want to help code my open source project?

Why don't people want to help test my program?

Why don't people go all ga ga over what I'm excited about?
Why doesn't want to go on a date with me?

Slow morning? (2)

Christopher Bibbs (14) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647029)

How does a slightly over 3 year old Wired article and the observation that some sites get no traffic deserve a story posting? Are we going to start asking why some magazines go out of business or TV shows get cancelled?

Sometimes people have really great ideas that get put out on the Web and like minded individuals flock to them. Other times you end up with utter crap [webpagesthatsuck.com] .

Re:Slow morning? (3, Funny)

CrosseyedPainless (27978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647095)

The person who submitted the story has worse spelling and grammar skills than CmdrTaco. That's *always* newsworthy.

Re:Slow morning? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647172)

Utter crap like:

"A Catch-22: how to initially draw people to a community when the a community itself is the selling point and your being drowned in information sea that the web has become"

which contains several basic spelling/grammar mistakes. Perhaps if your website stank less it wouldnt be a problem?

Have fun with it.. (2)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647030)

If you try to start a community like a business it's going to suck. Nobody wants to join a site just so the site owner can retire to six mansions. Do something you're interested in and make an effort to do it well and then just build in ways the community can add on to what your already doing.

Advertise. It sucks but yes if you want to get your site going quickly the best way to do so is to find newspapers, magazines, etc about the same topic and advertise your site. If people don't know about your site nobody will come to it.

Re:Have fun with it.. (2)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647142)

Nobody wants to join a site just so the site owner can retire to six mansions.

I think this is incorrect, it applies perfectly to most /. readers, but to the business community and the majority of the consumer community the opposite is true. On the whole if someone provides us with a product we enjoy we want them to receive appropriate rewards.

Everyone that buys PlayBoy knows Hugh has FIFTY bloody mansions - it doesn't stop them paying out their money. If /. went pay per view next month no one would subscribe.

But if a genuinely value added unique 'mainstream' site with a user base as loyal and wealthy as /.s went PPV I'd bet they'd retain a good %age of readers and turn a good profit.

I've been involved in setting up business forums charging upwards of 500 sterling per month for membership which are doing well against 'free' competition with very similar features. It's all about perceived value.

Re:Have fun with it.. (2)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647379)

I didn't mean to say that users won't use a site if the owner does well. I meant that users won't use a sucky site, contribute 100% of the content, etc just so someone can get rich with little effort. Users don't give a damn about your business plan.. users want something interesting or useful. Having a strong user community doesn't mean you'll make money though. A successful site needs both a business plan and an interested community.

*shrugs* If /. went PPV I'd probably dump them simply because they don't provide enough unique content to be worth my while of paying for. /. is a strong enough site to be my homepage but not strong enough to make me pay for their service.

Ironic (1)

sh00z (206503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647289)

The community hosting my web site [tromaville.com] is currently in the throes of going under, but it's hard to imagine that it's from a lack of traffic. In the year and a half I've been with them, banner ad rates dropped three times, they tried pop-ups, and I started shopping for a new host when the pop-unders appeared. *My* site's traffic is going as strong as ever, however, primarily due to getting listed in Yahoo's direcory. On average, Yahoo sends about 150 new visitors a day. I think a proper listing in Yahoo, Open Directory, and Google have kept me going strong.

can not spell nor type? don't post (1, Redundant)

GC (19160) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647033)

Porbably the most powerful force obliterating free communication is neither fundamentalist nor jack-booted: it's obscurity

huh? Porbably???

Everything looks the same ..... (3, Interesting)

reaper20 (23396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647034)

Most 'community' sites are basically all clones of each other. Pick your favorite subject. There is always a forum, weblog, obligatory Yahho Group. Now multiply that by 50.

Nowhere is this more rampant than the linux community.

How many linux news sites running slash/scoop/nuke are linking to all the same stories? Can you even tell them apart?

It doesn't matter where a surfer goes, eventually it all goes to the same syndicated Reuters stuff, ZD FUD, or goatsex.

Everything's been done, we're in a rut ...

Re:Everything looks the same ..... (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647111)

Ah, goatsex [goatse.cx] . Sweet, sweet goatsex [goatse.cx] ....

Put the link in your sig (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647045)

That's how Rusty [kuro5hin.org] got noticed.

Re:Put the link in your sig (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647057)

Yup, that works somewhat. When I check my referer logs I see lots of visitors coming from here. A little self promotion hurts nobody. :-)

Re:Put the link in your sig (1)

Zeshan (156109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647162)

Of course, you have to have worthwile content when you get to the other end of the link, which why people go back.

kuro5hin succeeds because, for whatever reason, it seems to attract a lot of intelligent discussion. Presumably once it gets popular enough, the s/n ratio will go downhill as can be readily witnessed on a certain other site ;-)

That said, I usually read slashdot with a threshold of 4 (sometimes lower, it depends on the number of postings in the given thread), which makes it fairly tolerable.

Zeshan

Re:Put the link in your sig (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647231)

That said, I usually read slashdot with a threshold of 4

And yet you post at 1, you don't get moderated up. Doesn't look like you add too much to the community either, you pseudo-elitist fucknut.

Re:Put the link in your sig (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647464)

Are you suggesting that everone ought to read at -1 ?

Most people who read /. don't even bother posting. Hows that for community !

Fuckbeans (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647046)

I'm currently working on creating an online community based on the worship of Looge - a drug-crazed demigod-slash-mechanic.

Scenario 1:
Me: There's something wrong with my car. Can you fix it?
Sober Looge: Yeah. Leave it with me and it'll be done by the end of the day.

Scenario 2:
Me: There's something wrong with my car. Can you fix it?
Stoned Looge: Yeah. From here it smells like your air filter is playing up. *insert two seconds of banging and clunking noises as he fucks around under the bonnet*... Okay. All done. No charge.

This man is God, and as a result, the online community will reign. Sure, it comes into the "obscurity" category, but fuck it. It's fun writing the code. ASP is great!

So anyway, this topic will be very helpful. The only good thing I've ever seen on Slashdot! Should make up for the wanky P2Pants topic earlier, but there's still a shitload of stuff you have to work on.

Oh yeah. And suck my dick bitch. Can't have a post without some troll comments, can I?!

A suggestion (1)

spatrick_123 (459796) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647050)

I have an idea - they should send people email promising them free pr0n with a link to the site contained within. I don't see how this could fail - we'll code name it "Armour".

Re:A suggestion (0, Offtopic)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647167)

I call that 'SPAM'.

No thanks, I'm not _that_ desperate :)

Is this bad? (2)

small_dick (127697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647059)

You mention archives that are largely unvisited.

I've been to many large municipal libraries which have special archives of books and documents...many of which have not been accessed in decades (example : one book I read had not been opened for 23 years).

I suspect the web needs this type of persistence for at least some of it's content. National archives, maybe? It's hard to tell what will be interesting to the "web researchers" of 1,000 years from now.

Maybe it will all fit on a jaz by then!

Good old Public Relations (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647063)

...or a stunt.

Even SlashDot itself didn't take off till a CNN story talked about it.

Next, you have to hook people into coming back. Analyzing my own habits there are two primary reasons for revisiting. Interresting content and frequently updated content. Slashdot, DrugeReport, DarkHorizons, DailyGrail, TheRegister.Co.UK, Salon, Slate... Keep it fresh and interresting or I'll soon forget to come back. I live on the net at work and home, so weekly updates are too slow.

Re:Good old Public Relations (1, Offtopic)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647427)

DrugeReport? I assume you mean DrudgeReport, in which case I understand why you didn't list "accuracy" among your reasons for revisiting.

i've got an idea... (4, Offtopic)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647080)

If it's traffic that you want, try submitting a fairly inane "ask slashdot" question, and make sure to include plenty of links to the sites that you're trying to promote. For good measure, try throwing in a link to a Wired article.

What's this? It seems you've beaten me to the punch.

Seriously, though...can anyone else see that this is a fairly desperate attempt at driving traffic to two VERY obscure websites?

Niche popular and expensive (5, Insightful)

Kalvos (137750) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647090)

I can only speak to my own sites, particularly Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar [kalvos.org] , which is dedicated to contemporary nonpop (read "classical new music and electronia").

We started in September 1995 (using RealAudio 1.0, if anyone's old enough to remember that), have won awards (real ones, with money, such as the Deems Taylor Award for Internet journalism presented by ASCAP (yes, I know /. loves to hate ASCAP) at Lincoln Center), and have had nearly 330,000 visitors and 130,000,000 hits since we started counting in 1997.

Those aren't big numbers, and they're also not big money. When you have a kind of 'mission' -- i.e., bringing nonpop to a wider audience -- it takes a lot of time. A lot of time. And folks always want something new, which means even more time. (Even the process of editing, converting and uploading our two-hour radio shows -- real radio, not Internet bitcasts -- for posting takes big chunks of time.)

Like any content-rich site, it's also expensive -- bandwidth, storage (our site is nearly 6GB), software purchases, licenses, travel for interviews, etc. -- even if we (there are two of us) don't get paid. In fact, 80% of the site's cost is paid by us, and fundraising icons and even fundraising sales are ignored. We've had to answer inquiries from licensing agencies, negotiate agreements with composers (are remember we started three years before the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and had lots of stuff to 'grandfather'. When the New York Times print and online editions featured us at the end of October, we were hit will 11GB of bandwidth overcharges.

We've eschewed the banner ad, kept the site focused on content and not design, and maintained near-complete Section 508 accessibility. As web expectations have grown, so have we, even though we're not a design-happy site.

It's a lot of work, and we're halfway through our seventh year of doing it. People, I think, just tire of 'labors of love' after a while. We're a first-hand case of a site that has received accolades from visitors and media, and as two aging professional composers (both in our fifties) who also have day jobs, it's a pretty exhausting task. To have to pay $5,000+ a year for the privilege of doing it is even more tiring.

Will we go away? Of course we will, either when we've completed our mission (unlikely) or when we're just unable to face another day of watching hundreds of visitors suck down the contents of our site without so much as a dollar sent in via Paypal.

Dennis
http://kalvos.org/ [kalvos.org]

Re:Niche popular and expensive (3, Insightful)

dragonfly_blue (101697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647134)

Much as I agree with your mission, and like the web site, I can't help but wonder why you expect to break even from donations without making some kind of plea to your audience.


I hate to admit it, but if I were you I'd rethink your aversion to banner ads, or else figure out what you can sell on the site in conjunction with the free services you provide, if you're getting so frustrated you are considering quitting.


I know it's not everyone's favorite pasttime, but perhaps you and your partner need to sit down and hammer out a business plan. That, or file as a non-profit and try to get a grant.


Very impressive site, nice work. I hope you flourish and prosper.

Word of Mouth Works Pretty Well... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647091)

If you have a cool site that will draw people back, you don't need to tell too many people about it. Word of mouth goes a long way on the Internet. Of course, you do have to tell the right people. NPR's been going on about social network analysis recently. If you can find the right people in the social networks, you can score big in the first time eyeballs arena by telling them about your site. Though that won't help you if your site sucks or has a flash in the pan kinda cool thing going for it. A lot of sites on the net are cool the first time but since they never change, they rapidly get old. Unless you want to be constantly maintaining your site and adding new content to it, you need to draw your users in and make them part of the site (Slashdot offers a little of both, which I think contributes to its continued success.)

Thousands of years? (3, Funny)

komet (36303) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647114)

Whole communities are developing, as they have done for thousands of years, on web logs and news sites via reader feedback.

And to think that I only joined slashdot in 1999! :)

Re:Thousands of years? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647474)

One word:

porbably.

It's called (2)

gargle (97883) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647120)

Marketing. Read some books on it [amazon.com] .
Of course, it's good to have something special, something that people actually want (marketing types call this "differentiation").

Not just web sites... (4, Interesting)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647132)


I use a telnet based BBS (located in the UK) - called Monochrome [mono.org] . It's 10 years old now, and still going strong, although the population seems to remain roughly constant (but aging). It used to primarily made up of a user-base of students, but it has now evolved into a BBS for young adults, and hopefully it'll continue to evolve as time goes on.

I don't know how the admin would choose to try and boost the population however if it started stuttering into serious decline - there seems to be a resistance these days to anything without a web interface or a custom client. Trying to explain telnet to someone who has never used it before can be quite difficult - especially when they try and click on the screen to activate options. The BBS has a java client on the website, but I don't think this really offers the best solution.

The main attraction for people though is the community itself - there are files on virtually every topic anyone would want to discuss, but the files are nothing without the community. People KNOW each other there - in a current vote at least a third of the users claim to know (in real life) 20 or more other users. This is a real life community, not just a virtual one - and a perfect example of how the virtual world need not be entirely divorced from the real world.

-- Pete.

Re:Not just web sites... (0, Offtopic)

aallan (68633) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647183)

...use a telnet based BBS (located in the UK) - called Monochrome...

Wow! Mono is still going? God that takes me back a few years, its got to seven or eight years since I last logged in...wonder if my account is still active!?

Al.

Re:Not just web sites... (0, Offtopic)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647544)

No worse, you'd have to dig bak seven years to remember your password :-)

how long? (2)

anothy (83176) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647136)

communities have been developing around web logs for thousands of years? wow. huh. i wonder if Moses had to worry about first post noise or trolls.

The truer threat... (2, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647143)

...is when a site becomes popular, and the resulting bandwidth usage leads to excessive bandwidth charges.

This very problem - a problem surely manufactured by the bandwidth providers - has forced even Salon.com, and Slashdot, to consider or implement subscription systems.

This will effectively cut them off from a large portion of their intended audience because
1) Some people can't afford to subscribe;
2) Some people already subscribe to 50 places, and are NOT gonna add another load onto their finances.

This is how you destroy even the most popular ideas and sites, very quick. Bury 'em in high bandwidth costs, and scare off 90% of their audience by forcing them to go to paid subscriptions; or worse, cause them to stop operations altogether.

Be clear who you are targeting! (5, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647161)

I checked out the Dragon Spirit site just to see what it was. The main page told me nothing of what the intended audience was. I had to go to the about link to see who they were targeting (and determine that it was of no interest to me).

Compare and contrast that to /.: Right there on the main page is "Slashdot: News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters." Right off, I can get a pretty good idea of whom /. is targeting, and make a decision as to whether I stick around or leave.

On the web, you have about 10 seconds to grab my attention - then I'm outta here. Too many web sites overlook this rule - 50 second downloads of flash, useless intro pages, a failure to state what their target interest is, excluding anybody who isn't running $browser at $x_resolution by $y_resolution with @plugins.

It's just like real life (in fact, most things online are "just like real life") - if you want to build a group, you cannot needlessly exclude anybody. I belong to two amateur radio clubs - one welcomes anybody to its meetings, licensed or not. The other has two old farts who dump on anybody who didn't work with Marconi (not the company, the man!) and are abusive to everybody else. Guess which club is healthy, and which is dying!

Be easy to join, be clear who you are targeting, stomp on the trolls who drive off new members, don't be too overly narrow in your focus, and you might be able to create a group.

Try, Try, and Try Again. (1)

Meefan (526525) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647173)

Persistance. If you try your best, and keep going at it, eventually you will be rewarded. The thing is that you can't stop improving - always get better, and eventually you'll have enough good content, enough recurring visitors that you'll have something to be proud of. Far too many sites become stagnant that could have become something great - you don't have to do the same. Dave

A community without people? (2)

CaseStudy (119864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647174)

A Catch-22: how to initially draw people to a community when the a community itself is the selling point and your being drowned in information sea that the web has become?

Simple. You don't. The site admins can't create a community by themselves. They sell their sites with content and interface.

content, content, content (2)

danny (2658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647184)

My book review site [dannyreviews.com] is now getting up around 4000 visitors (10 000 page views) a day. But I've been adding new content to that for nearly ten years now, and I spend many hours a week writing reviews (and even more reading books).

If you can afford it you can short-cut that process - you can buy some good content or convince friends, family, and strangers to provide it. And if the long-term approach to building up a profile is too slow, you could alwas buy come advertising (all I've ever spent was $20 as an experiment [danny.oz.au] ). Just make sure you put the content up before you do the advertising!

Danny.

success (3, Insightful)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647187)

I run a skiing portal/weblog community type site... I haven't had any problem getting members. I attribute this mostly to how I've built the site.

1. I don't have any expenses, so I don't care whether I get readers or not. Not a primary concern.

2. I concentrate on making my site interesting and easy to use. This should be your 1st goal, because most weblog/portals suck. IF a potential new user navigates to your site, and there is nothing there that interests him/her, that user won't ever come back.

Slashdot is targeted at the right kind of people for this type of media... geeks. The target demographic has a lot to do what people expect to get from your site. The vast majority of internet users don't understand what a weblog is. From that aspect, you need to provide content in a manner that normal users would understand. For example, my skiing portal is layed out like a magazine, with complete articles, and other diversions.

Have interesting subject matter. Understand your target reader.

Maybe its us? (4, Interesting)

M@T (10268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647195)


Maybe the reason there are so few "good" movies and so few "good" books and so few "good" TV shows is that, at the end of the day, we can't handle too many good things at once?

10 years ago as an undergrad I began watching the web phenomenon unfold and rejoiced as sites like Alta VIsta, Yahoo, Slashdot, mags like Wired etc., online news services began to grow and churn out content... then (for me) came quake, irc, streaming audio, streaming video(!!), mp3s, the list goes on..

.. then something strange happened. I stopped looking. Occasionally I'll do a search on something specific... even more occasionally I'll just browse. But by and large... I go to slashdot once a day now.. check my local news service once or twice a day and thats about it.

Once you get into a routine you become passive... and even though 1000 new wonderful things are out there... you lose the motivation to go and find them.

Re:Maybe its us? (3, Insightful)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647739)

Of course its us, its all about us. Reading off a computer screen is a chore. We trade off the comfort of curling up on the couch, leaning back on a Lazy-Boy, or steaming in the tub. I grab a magazine on my way to the bathroom, read a chapter or two of a novel before falling asleep at night and read the morning news while eating toast and eggs in the morning.

By contrast, when I'm online I am sitting at my desk, hands on keyboard, or keyboard/mouse, and I have to be constantly scrolling/paging, clicking, scanning for links. Frankly its not relaxing and the results are usually far less interesting than a good magazine article with better resolution/professional graphics and highly detailed photographs.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not a Luddite. I spend several hours a day on the web. It's just that I don't use it for casual entertainment or recreation. It is just plain boring compared to well-crafted print media.

According to the front page, I once again have (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647203)

the FIRST FUCKING POST MOTHERFUCKERS!

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The great content drive? (1)

Komarosu (538875) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647223)

Its a shame that some sites slip away without the people of the net spotting its special points.

Fine some people say its evolution of the internet, and i sorta belive in this. Without the newer better looking websites people wouldn't strive to improve there site and make a more interesting, content driven, and community centered site. If this never happend we would be still stuck in the dark ages of websites, with simple black and red text themes.

While sites slip away without a blink of an eye, people must strive for the traffic now...no longer can we get away with dull repetive sites that cover the ground again.

Anyway thats my 2 cents...

Free speech (1, Interesting)

Zulu One (183762) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647236)

I am somewhat minded of the Robert Heinlein quotation: "Anyone can have free speech if he owns a printing house." (IIRC) The upshot of this in internet terms is that you can only have free speech if you can get people to read what you post. This has long been a problem for magazines in that it is difficult to get people to read a new magazine until they hear it recommended by someone else.

By the way, if you want to combat this, you might like to visit my website-in-development at www.doublezero.uklinux.net [uklinux.net] . I am developing the code a bit like Slash, PHP-Nuke etc. but it has far to go before it even becomes capable of holding a community, let alone attracting one :->

Do you like my comment? Is it not nifty? (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647278)

With apologies to Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com]

Sluggy, like most web comics, if you jump into it at a late date, makes no sense...you have to go to the beginning.
Even then, well, it grows on you. And who does not like "Bun-bun"...a switchblade toting mini-lop...heh.

Link whoring biatch that I can be: PVP [pvponline.com] , GPF [gpf-comics.com] , Sherman's Lagoon [slagoon.com] a long time favorite of mine, Dilbert [dilbert.com] of course, and one that was pointed out to me recently: Non-Sequitur [non-sequitur.com] and, of course, Userfriendly [userfriendly.org] .

What is the common thread amongst all those sites I'd recommend? Intelligence, humor, referrences to other events (this usually escapes some of the younger crowd/moderators/slashdroids, no offense) and some funny characters, situations and all.

If you look at the comics on the links /. gave, well...I random sampled and was not impressed.

That's my opinion,

Cheers,

Moose.

Can somebody explain this? (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647294)

Subject: DOKSTOK - A REQUEST
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 95 11:01:38 -0500
Well, I think Dokstok is moving along very nicely. I do have one
request. If somebody could volunteer to bring some potato salad, that
would be great. So just e-mail me and let me know if I can put you on
the potato salad list. Of course I realize that the VAST majority of
you FISH-COCKED roach-fuckers wouldnUt quit smackinU the fucking
lizard long enough to even CONSIDER doing ANYTHING to help make this
Dokstok a success and so WHATEVER list I could come up with will
probably remain FOREVER vacant due to the unflappable BE-SHITTEDNESS
of you STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS on alt.slack. Jesus H. Fucking Christ on
a VOOM-BROOM, you CHEESE-CUNTED shitholes couldn't find your way
through a POOP LOG JAM if you had fucking GLASSES, you chinzy,
asshole, fucked up, LAZY, COMPLETELY STUFFED WITH RAT SHIT, lame-ass,
fucking PINKS. THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE, YOU DICKHEADS!!!! YOU'RE ALL
PINK!!!!! Your FAVORITE thing to do of a Saturday Night is to cut the
cocks off of GREAT DANES, stuff wires up the urethras so they have
some semblance of an erection, stuff them up the bloody cunts of DEAD
FUCKING CHIHUAHUAS and then EAT 'EM RAW, BALLS AND ALL, SAVING THE
FORESKINS FOR YOUR FUCKED UP MOTHERS-IN-LAW. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You
think I don't know what's going on, don't you? You think I don't know
SHIT! Well, I've got the fucking BREAK-BALLS on you - I know the SCAM
on you SNATCH-FACE! You're going great guns shoveling TONS and OCEANS
and VAST COSMIC BALANCES full of GREASY SHIT SANDWICHES into your
FESTERING, LEECH BE-STRUNG MAWS, you groveling, hell-poop mongering,
ASSHOLE-EATING-OUT, toe-jam injecting, botfly larvae munching,
AIDs-Mosquito breeding, shit-breathing FUCKWADS! You wanna know just
how much you fuckers SUCK? A LOT!!!!!!!!!!! That's how much! You suck
so bad, the ETERNAL VORTEX of G'BLHEEGLFRAN explodes OUTWARD at
6,000,000,000,000 cubic yards a fucking SECOND by comparison. That
means you SUCK COWSHIT while fucking a DEAD TURTLE while a donkey
FUCKS YOU UP THE ASS while the WHOLE ZOO WATCHES! HAHAHAHAHAHA! YA
BOO! You fucking SUCK, LIKE MAJORLY BIG TIME, you slack-cunted,
pencil-dicked, hog-fucking, poop-chomping, dog-saliva-slurping,
TOTALLY FUCKED, cock-sucking, mother-fucking DUMB ASSES!!! You dumb
shits wouldn't know what to do at Dokstok ANYWAY. You wouldn't have a
fucking CLUE! You'd just ruin the experience for EVERYBODY if you
even fucking THOUGHT about showing up. You're so fucked up and lame
that if you even MENTIONED, one time, IN YOUR FUCKING SLEEP, that
you'd once CONSIDERED thinking about CONSIDERING going to Dokstok, it
would UTTERLY fuck the ENTIRE event up for EONS TO COME. There could
NEVER be another Dokstok if ANY ONE of you cocksucking, slug-fucking
alt.slack.shitz even thought about begging me for directions, EVEN
ONCE, you slime-betrothed, pin-worm humping,
SHIT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH-EVERY-DAY, cunt-dicked SLIMY MOTHERFUCKING
SHIT-BUCKET RAPERS. You people are the SUCK-ASS-ED-EST,
dirty-leg-shit-snatched, DICKS-MADE-OUT-OF-SHITest,
RAT-CUM-INJECTED-IN-YOUR-EYEBALLSest, totally, completely, utterly,
FOREVER FUCKED UP IN THE HEADS, asshole-licking, TRASH-FUCKING,
covered in shit for all eternity, BRUSH YOUR FUCKING TEETH WITH EACH
OTHER'S FUCKING SIX-WEEK-OLD TURDS, sticking dead, half-rotten DICKS
in your fucking MOUTHS for WEEKS AT A TIME, STUPID FUCKING
DUMB-ASSES!
Rev. Sternodox

Subject: Re: DOKSTOK
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 95 11:25:02 -0500
Oh, one more thing you STUPID, IGNORANT,
inject-shit-in-your-eyeballs, whigger-shitting FUCK-HOLES. I haven't
got a fucking CLUE why I would even waste my valuable time on you
alt.slack.shitz. You are the PRIME EXAMPLE of just how LITERALLY
FUCKED UP one group of people can be. I mean, I KNEW you people
SUCKED DOGSHIT OUT OF A HOLLOW TUBE, but I didn't realize just HOW
completely and all-encompassing your turd-tongued STUPIDITY and
NON-SQUIRTING UN-PEE really were until just recently. I mean it was
just this morning I was telling EVERYBODY I FUCKING KNOW just HOW
shit-lice bestrewn you alt.slack.muthafux really ARE! I mean I was
SHOCKED when the realization of your UTTER WORTHLESSNESS slammed into
my brain like the UNWELCOME COOT-SPLAT of a four-days-dead Bobbie
NYMPHO SHIT-TONGUE TURD FARMER. Hell, I'd let Arnold Palmer butt-fuck
me ALL DAY with JANOR's DICK before I'd lower myself into the fucking
PINK SEWER to hang with YOU, you buzzard-gonad gobbling, shit in each
other's assholes EVERY DAY, MUTANT SEWER RAT FELTCHING, dog-licking
ASSHOLES! I heard you fuckers don't even listen to Reagan's Polyp or
Rudy Schwartz!! I mean, REALLY!! How TOTALLY FUCKED UP and SHIT
BESMIRCHED and Cocksucking-shit-brained can one fucking group of FAKE
SubGeniuses be? NONE of you DESERVE TO FUCKING LIVE, you
jism-farting, MENSTRUATING WHALE SNATCH SCARFING, shit fucks. You cut
off your dicks and then stretch the WOUND apart until it looks
something like a PUSSY and then you stuff it full of SHIT and THEN
you fucking JACK OFF to it. AND YOU PAY OTHER ALT.SLACK.FUCKZ to eat
the PUSSY-FARTED OUT SHIT so they can VOMIT IT BACK UP, mix it with
the blood/cum recipe from last month's "Cooking Corner",
re-blood-fuck it WITH A BIG FAT DICK, fart it out AGAIN and then
GLAND-SUCK THE WHOLE THING. And you do this EVERY FUCKING DAY OF YOUR
MISERABLE LIVES you stupid, worthless, fucked up, shit-eating,
turd-brained, hog-slime-feltching, piss-drinking, Wotan-less,
SOW-WHORE FUCKING BASTARDS! When you wake up in the morning you don't
know whether to bathe in SHIT or fucking PISS, do you? You want to
cover yourselves in each other's EXCREMENT so badly, that you don't
know what to do first. That's what I mean by you being so entirely
FUCKED UP. When you're spreading fuck-buckets of shit/cum/blood all
other each others DICKS and PUSSIES, you secretly pine of being fed a
SQUAT-DROP-BUCKET filled to the brim with cast-off PEE-MAGGOT COCKS.
That's your fucking PROBLEM, you slime-encrusted, shit all in your
dicks, NASTY OLD DEAD HOG COCK SLURPING necro-fucks! YOU'RE ALL
FUCKING A DEAD DOG RIGHT NOW, aren't you? You're just too FUCKED to
admit it. I am SO SICK of having to deal with you SHITASSES that I'm
considering CANCELLING DOKSTOK! How would THAT be, you fucking
JIT-BUTTED shit/cum drinkers? How are you gonna handle THAT? Yup, the
cancellation of Dokstok will be on YOUR heads, not MINE. Hell, I've
been busting ASS for MONTHS on this thing and YOU all just sat around
shitting in aqualungs, mixing the shit with PREGNANT JACK-ASS PISS
and taking turn HUFFING this PUTRID MIXTURE while jacking off to the
concept of dipping your cocks in SHIT, baking them in the oven for a
few minutes until the shit is sorta hard and REAL SMELLY and then
inserting these shit-covered cocks into each others THROAT SLITS.
Makes me fucking SICK just thinking about it. You people are FUCKED!
Rev. Sterno (shocked and saddened) Dox

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 95 12:46:51 -0500
I think the only other thing we need at this year's Dokstok is plenty
of extension cords and multi-boxes for the bands' instruments you
fucking TURD-BRAINED motherfucking, cock-sucking, STUPID ASSHOLE
EATING, BUTT-BREATH whigger-shitters. You fucking
SHIT-GERM-in-your-cocks, ATE-UP-WITH-THE-DUMB-ASS, shiny-bolt
plumb-bob shyte-huffers can all suck my fucking DICK with supremo
NASAL GLANCE hip-shot MASTURBATOR-KIT on a fucking DAYGLO
cooter-wharf, you asshole, dick-shitters. YOU ALL FUCKING SHIT DICKS
OUT OF YOUR ASSHOLE'S PUSSIES, you wimp-fucked shit-conniving,
TURD-KNOCKERS!!! I'll KILL ALL OF YOU stupid, dumb-ass,
FUCKSHITBUTTCUMs. You're ALL nothing but test-tubes full of virulent,
amoeba-felching PINK DISEASE-CARRYING spoor-phagocytic fucking
NOCTURNAL PARASITE FUCK-SHITS who wouldn't have the fucking BRAINS to
shove shit into their DICKS on a fucking BET, you GODDAM worm-dicked
Lice-Fuckers. You are the LOWEST LIFE FORMS on this fucked up PLANET
you SMELLY, cast-off WHORE BUTTS! You are the most completely FUCKED
UP and COVERED IN SHIT BUNCH OF WHINY SISSIES and PANSY-ASSED butt 'n
nut huggers I've ever had the SEVERE DISPLEASURE to encounter in my
ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE, you baby-shit eating, dead wino
diarreah-drinking, Felch-Worm-Camba-Cunted, GODDAM ASSHOLE FUCK,
molten fart-garbage-in-a-gease-trap fucking, SUCK-YOUR-MOTHER'S-COCK,
fucking stupid fucking ASS-FUCKERS!!!! You alt.slack.shit-fuckz are,
without a fucking DOUBT, the MULE-DICKIN'-est, FART-TONGUE
snot-fucking, grunt-spaz-butt-blowing, HIJOS de FUCKING PUTAS THAT
HAVE EVER EXISTED SINCE TIME BEGAN. When Wotan breathed life into
your putrid excuse for an earthly pale, he fucking PUKED SHIT for TEN
MILLION TACHY-EONS! He was so fucking DISGUSTED with your VERY
PRESENCE that he had to create GIGA-TONS of BUTT-FUCKED SHIT in order
to have something to SHOVE INTO YOUR WEEZLE-SIZED PECKERS, you
low-life, WHOREBUG, shit-eating, motherfucking, cocksucking BOBBIES.
FUCK YOU, EACH AND EVERY ONE.
Rev. Sternodox
Subject: Sterno is SHOCKED!!!!!
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 95 17:50:51 -0500
To everyone on alt.slack: Jeez, where do I start. Yesterday morning,
a couple of alt.slack regulars e-mailed me and asked me to join them
in #wild-card for a private discussion. I'm on Delphi (my boss pays
for it) so I don't have any fancy chat rooms like some of the
services do. Anyway, I agreed and Man!, they let me have it. It
appears (VERY surprisingly to ME) that most people AREN'T into
talking about cramming boat-loads of shit into pussies, farting the
shit out, eating it after mixing it with blood, vomiting the
blood/shit mixture all over a bunch of fucking DICKS and then jacking
off to the whole exposition. Both these folks (who I won't name at
this time) were very firm in their negative criticism of my most
recent Dokstok posts. Hell, I thought I was doing what was EXPECTED
of a SubGenius. I mean, I thought EVERY SubGenius liked this kind of
stuff. One of these alt.slackers was especially adamant in expressing
her displeasure over having her kids coming across postings about
cutting off everybody's fucking dicks, making some sort of a stew out
of them, force-feeding THOUSANDS of TIED-DOWN BOBBIES eighteen quarts
EACH until their fucking stomachs become SO BLOATED that a
gut-wrenching BUTT-BLOW-OUT becomes unavoidable and just when their
fucking guts start heaving and ripping apart, HUGE, THAWED-OUT,
SHIT-ENCRUSTED MAMMOTH COCKS from the former Soviet Union are lifted
by BLACK HELICOPTERS to right above where those stupid motherfuckers
are tied down. She (and the other alt.slacker) BOTH expressed extreme
dismay that I would go on to describe how the helicopters would
slowly lower the mammoth cocks, which are all dripping SHIT by the
fucking SHIT-LOAD, right down to the alt.slack.shitz quivering
assholes and forcibly inserting them up to the fucking HILT!!! Well,
this all comes as quite a surprise and something of a shock to me. I
mean, I've been involved in this Church of the SubGenius for over 15
years now and this is the FIRST time I've been accused of spouting in
poor taste. But, I must admit I DO understand. After all, I have kids
myself. So, I guess I'll just comply with the wishes of the majority
and, in the future, refrain from discussing shit-smeared tongues
lapping hungrily at DEAD HOG CUNTS while ZILLIONS of FUCKED UP
alt.slackers are SLOWLY TORTURED TO DEATH by having their gonads
CHARBROILED in perpetuity by the NheeGheeist slaves of those fucking
Po-Buckers who STILL TO THIS DAY can't go twenty fucking SECONDS
without shitting on their OWN DICKS and then VOMITING UP THE SHIT
(along with whatever ELSE they'd just fucked/sucked) before fucking
the LIVING SHIT OUT OF IT AGAIN.
I promise.
Rev. Sterno (the chastised and humble) Dox
Subject: STERNO to sue ALT.SLACK!!!!!!!
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 95 15:10:47 -0500
That fucking RIGHT, you Gog/Magog-humping Satan-Fuckers. I'm SUING
every ONE of you shit-begrimed DADDY-FUCKERS! I've spent practically
my whole SPRING and half the fucking SUMMER gallyvanting all over the
fucking state trying to find the CORRECT Dokstok site, and when I
finally DO find it, how many of you fucking alt.slack.dipshitz
offered to help me out a little bit? NONE OF YOU, that's how
many!!!!! You people like nothing more than slitting your momma's
fucking throat, shitting in it, mixing the throat-shit with NINETY
BILLION TONS of cast-off WHIGGER DICKS, fucking the mixture
eighty-eight times a second for SIXY-QUADRILLION GIGA-EPOCHS and then
standing in line FOR ALL ETERNITY to jack off to 3-D animated
computer renderings of yourself actually DOING the fucking, you
spam-mixed-with-pig-shit-and-then-rolled-into-a- ci gar smoking BLOODY
TAMPON SUCKING asswipes. You use EACH OTHER to stuff up EACH OTHER's
BUTTS to keep the shit-stream from becoming so all encompassing it
would literally strangle the life out of you, you isomorphic,
re-blook-fucked DICK VOMIT DRINKERS!!! Here's what you stupid
motherfuckers do EVERY FUCKING DAY OF YOUR LIFE, you dick-addled
pussy-prawns: You get up and the FIRST THING YOU DO is go immediately
to the GOAT-PISS-STREAM and you wash your fucking dicks with GOAT
PISS; then you shit in ALL the PUSSIES and fuck them en toto with
your goat piss soaked microscopic peckers; then you descend into the
local sewer where you proceed to fuck all the accumulated SHIT, PISS,
BLOODY TAMPONS, FLUSHED GOLDFISH, PISS-SOAKED RAGS and KOTEXES that
have been up some fucking BLOODY CUNT for
90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 centuries; then, sated with all the
shit-fucking you can handle for one morning, you emerge from the
sewer system (thoroughly covered in ACRES of PISS-Soaked SHIT) and
you immediately LICK all the SHIT off each other, vomit it into each
other's PUSSIES after cutting each other's DICKS off and shoving them
into each other's ASSHOLES while singing the Lord's Prayer all the
while! THEN you all sandpaper fuck an entire orphanage of crippled
children while re-blood-fucking and gland-sucking each other's
lap-fuck-vomit into each other's massively bleeding and cancerous
RECTUMS, you utter shit-mixed-with-Spam fucking TOAD VOMIT fuckers! I
think you alt.slack.mother/fatherfuckers are, without a fucking
DOUBT, the most VILE, ODOROUS, gigantically zit-infested, shit-tick
fucking FAGGOT-MEXICAN-JEW-SHIT-NIGGER-PENTACOSTAL BABY-FUCKERS in
the entire MULTIVERSE. You lick SHIT out of the VIRGIN MARY'S SMELLY
OLD PUSSY, you fucking fart-breathing SCUM-SUCKING BABY-SHIT EATING
TURD-FUCKING SON-of-a-BITCH lousy MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You
think I'm not ready to kick EVERY ONE of you STUPID ASSHOLES'
ASSES???!!! Think again, vomit-brains! I'll do better than THAT! I'll
CUT YOUR FUCKING BUTTS OFF and rent the 'roidal assholes out for
TARGET PRACTICE at the local HOMO-FUCKERY you shit-all-in-your-teeth,
COMPLETELY FUCKED UP & OVER, pay each other to butt-fuck each other's
FATHERS and GRANDFATHERS and GREAT-GRANDFATHERS all the way back into
HYPER-MEGA-ETERNITY and then fucking the futuristic CLONES of every
diseased, cum-stained throat of a fucking JIT-BAG CIRCUS in the
WORLD, DOG-LICKING PISS-FACES!!!!!!! DOKSTOK IS FUCKING CANCELLED!!!!
Rev. (So PISSED OFF I CAN'T EVEN FUCK A SLUG) Dox

Subject: DOKSTOK IS BACK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 95 15:43:32 -0500
For the LAST FUCKING TIME, you scurvy-ridden pack of fifteen-billion
scab-covered WHIGGER COCKS souffled until reaching a creamy-coloured
BABY-SHIT GREEN and then inserted EN-FUCKING-MASS into the HORRIBLY
DISTENDED rectums of EVERY ONE OF YOU alt.slack.shitz, listen up. I
may have been a bit hasty in cancelling Dokstok. But your zoological
classification is STILL something like 1,000,000,000 (times ten to
the fucking BILLIONTH power) rungs BELOW anything ever fucking
evolved that exists PRIMARILY on the decayed excrement and rotting
fucking carcasses of other shit parasites. If they would have BURNED
YOUR ANCESTORS at the fucking turd stake and thus ended the scabrous,
palsied, SHIT-BESMIRCHED line of defective ribosomes that somehow
managed to replicate sufficiently to produce someTHING as UTTERLY
FUCK-SNOTTED as YOU, the very concept of you would STILL be a fucking
blight on this universe. I think a small Dokstok gathering (say 100
people or less) would be quite sufficient you 8,000 dump trucks full
of whiny PECKER HO'S stuffed righteously into the hollowed out,
petrified scrotums of 65,000,000,000,000 half-dead, rancid in the
fucking asshole, rotting dicked PARASITIC LAMPREY LEECHES. I think
you alt.slack.motherfuckers are, without DOUBT-FUCKING-ONE the most
AMAZINGLY BRAIN-IN-THE-ASSHOLE bunch of fucked up shit-injectors to
ever be verbally spat upon in the entire fucking HISTORY OF YOUR
PITIFUL AND WHIGGER-DICKED species, you MEGA-BIG-SHIT, absolutely
TOAD-BUGGERINGLY runny, drippy, corn-and-peanut encrusted
diarreah-loving (and fucking) WHORES!!!! YOU'RE ALL SO MONUMENTALLY
screwed in the SECOND ASS-THROAT that I don't even have to bother to
KILL YOU! Did any of you cut-off-a-dog's-dick-and-EAT-IT fucking
ASSHOLES think FOR ONE MILLI-SECOND that I'd even fucking CONSIDER
inviting ANY of you DICKLESS WONDERS and TITLESS JIT-SUCKERS to
DOKSTOK? HAHAHAHAHAHA! THAT's a fucking laugh and a half you
fuckshitz. You like to take razors and slit up your granny's DEAD OLD
TITS, fill them full of shit and then JACK OFF FOR EIGHTEEN MONTHS
just thinking about fucking the bleeding, shit-stuffed saggy old
juicy-flops AFTER YOU CUT THEM OFF WHILE FUCKED UP ON BEER!!!!!! You
CRAZY MOTHERFUCKERS ain't coming anywhere NEAR Dokstok you STUPID
FUCKING MOTHERFUCKING COCKSUCKING ASSHOLE-FUCKING, Mo-Fo's!!!!!!!!!
And if you think I'm going to change my mind about things THIS TIME,
you have ANOTHER THING COMING you fifteen PLANETS-THE-SIZE-OF-JUPITER
full of RAT SHIT mixed with the vomit collected from EIGHTY-FIVE
YEARS of SubGenius BEACH PARTIES, mixed with the blood from the lead
singer of Vaginal Blood Fart's fucking PUSSY after she's run the
MARATHON and then SHIT IN IT, soak your peckers in an old whore's
PUSSY and then FEED IT TO YOUR OTHER GRAMMA, fucking ass-sucking DEAD
FUCKING HOG COCKING snarf-fuckers.
Yours very truly,
Rev. Sternodox
Subject: STERNO'S NEW BAND
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 95 10:19:00 -0500
I am in a new band. It is called NOT FELCH CHRIST. The name symbolizes
our total opposition to the concept of Jesus sucking sperm out of an
asshole, something that we think is utterly disgusting and not deserving
of support from any quarter. Our idea is to, through the judicious use
of our band's name, help put a halt to the propogation of the concept of
Jesus sucking sperm out of an asshole. We don't like it, and we don't think
YOU should either. Please help by financing our new CD, "Jesus Sucks
Sperm Out Of An Asshole - NOT!"
Rev. Sterno (the pious) Dox
Subject: STERNO SEES A CUTE PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 95 16:40:51 -0500
I want to apologize to everyone who might have been offended at ...
wait a minute, no I don't. I don't wanna fucking apologize, I want to
SPLIT EVERY ONE of your fucking BUTTS in HALF, sear each half on a
zillion degrees centigrade skillet, stuff the buttholes with 90
pounds of TABASCO SAUCE mixed with COBRA SNAKE VENOM (which has been
jacked off into by a tribe of miscreant rodent worshippers from
Bhutan), then take EACH ONE of you Pig Shit EATING fuck-shits and tie
you together in pairs with creosote-soaked, cum-stained dishrags
(that have been laying in the bottom of a swimming pool filled with
camel piss, baby shit, wino vomit and dead slugs for THREE YEARS),
light the rags on fire and watch you squirm as the LEGIONS of RAPE
GORILLAS I've hired especially for the occasion piss all over you
with their blood-soaked dicks! THEN I want to untie whomever is left
alive (which I hope is NOBODY!!) and march them straight to Billy
Samuels' house to partake in Billy's version of "Skin the Pink." See,
what we do is simple, really. We just tie you up again and then SHIT
ALL OVER YOU FOR ABOUT A MONTH!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! How 'bout
THEM apples, pancake? You fucking CUNT-RAGS don't have the fucking
BALLS to even stand up for your own newgroup's fucking PISS 'n SHIT
DECENCY do you? You fucking slime-beshitted, make-apples-out-of-shit
and then eat them, fucking ASSHOLE-BELCHING and throat-pussy FARTING
snarf-felchers are ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS and FUCKED UP!!!!!!!!! I was
attempting to explain to the Sunday School class just last Sunday how
UTTERLY FUCKED IN THE HEADS all you alt.slack.assles were, but I
didn't even have the fucking words to do it!! Jesus H. Fucking Christ
on a Crankshaft, those little kids just sat there looking at me,
waiting for me to explain how TOTALLY INTESTINAL-PARASITE-FUCKING you
all were, but I couln't do it. I couldn't let those beautiful
children - those innocent babes in the woods - know just WHO and WHAT
kind of REPLACE THEIR OWN DICKS WITH SHIT AND THEN STICK IT UP EACH
OTHER'S ASSHOLES instead of going to Church of a Sunday kind of
fucking assholes you people really ARE. Now could I? Hell no I
couldn't. But NEXT Sunday I'm telling them EVERYTHING! I'm telling
them how much you all like to suck cowshit out of boot while FLOCKS
of BUZZARDS pick pieces of skanky old BUFFALO PUSSIES out of your
assholes and how you take those RANCID Fucking BOVINE CUNTS and make
sandwiches out of them, using 50-kilo TURDS instead of bread. Fuck,
you people are so fucked up IT MAKES ME FUCKING WANT TO FUCKING PUKE.
Man, when I found out about you alt.slack.dickheadz and your penchant
for prurient leech fucking, I 'bout barfed a throat turd. But I knew
that if ANY ONE of you FUCKING ASSHOLES was within 150 MILES of me
that you'd be on that vomit spray like shit on a shingle. So I held
it in as long as I could and then let it fucking SPEW all in your
GRAMMAW's PUSSY, you fucking LITTLE DICKED, PINKY DICKED and
CAVERNOUS CUNTED alt.slack. fucking.dipshitz.
Rev. Spermy-Dox

Re:Can somebody explain this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647516)

I think it's one of those high-level Scientology documents.

Think about why the web was created! (5, Insightful)

linuxrunner (225041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647309)

The web was meant to share information. Really! No Really! That's why it was initally created.... Not to sell stuff. No Really....

Idealy, portals are just that, a way to share mass amounts of information and allow users to find their way there. Also communities are a way to share information of a like idea, sport, subject matter, whatever....

It's when you throw in a large commercial aspect of pop-up ads, click here for this, or buy that from me, that people / surfers loose interest in your site. They are there to share ideas and information, not buy something. If they want to buy something, then they'll go to the appropriate store or online store, not a community that sells it. Just go direct to the horses mouth.

A web community that I'm still apart of went through this failed transition. He wanted to make money off of his extrememly popular and traveled web community. He added lots of ads. And took it from a small, focused community, and made it into a large portal. This failed because the focused community only cared about one thing, not the rest. He dropped back to where he started. He then charged a small fee and made a membership section. I paid for a membership. Very few did.

Everyone else jumped ship and went to another FREE community. Communities are easy to build and find. If it's good, and the information is there, people will come. If you force advertisements and memberships or sales down the throats of users, they will leave. Information was meant to be free. Keep it so, and people will come.

My advice:
Don't do it for the money, do it because you love it. Do it because you have something to share. Do it because you want to talk about what you enjoy with others that enjoy the same thing. Don't do it to make a quick buck... It will never work.

The solution: (0, Offtopic)

Hugh Kir (162782) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647352)

Polls with CowboyNeal as an option.

How do you define obsurity? (2)

Spudley (171066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647371)

Different sites will always have different numbers of visitors. It's obvious - a site about Star Wars will always have more visitors than an equivalent site about say, fly fishing (for want of a better example), simply because Star Wars is more well known. But that doesn't mean that the fly fishing site is obscure - it might be the most popular fly fishing site on the web.

The real question is how much of your potential audience are you attracting? Do fly fishermen know about your site. If your target audience is interested and visiting the site then you're doing fine. If not, that's when you need to worry.

oh dear (1)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647455)

The site is so unpopular it's not even /.ed right now!

graspee

Typical slahbrat thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647458)

I could paraphrase the original article as, "Golly, I like Z, so I want the whole world to like and embrace and support Z so everyone like me will be happy."

I just love how so many (but definitely not all) slashdotters thump their chest and bellow about how the free market should rule everything, and then refuse to put their money or time where their mouths are, or even recognize how their precious free markets really work.

Web sites are like products in that they're competing for the attention of customers. Those that give visitors a good deal for their investment in time and/or money will thrive, those that don't will shrivel and die. It really is that simple.

Problematic solution for a non-existent problem (2)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647546)

That's what I see, anyway. I've been a part of multiple small communities that've turned into something big. The Planetquake community that became Gamespy Industries, the Contaminated.net community that was devoured by GSI and became planethalflife.com, the group of Lowtax fans that became SomethingAwful.com readers, and the Politechbot.com members that became readers of what has to be one of the most popular mailing lists around.

Your readers may say they love what you do, but if they loved it enough word of mouth and power of linkage would keep your hitcount rising. This is where I come to the 'problematic solution' part: when it's decided that content-creators somehow are entitled to success in return for their having worked hard to create something not many people want, we'll get our savior; it'll be 'Philip Mepocketz', saint of consumerism. A website's existence will become even more dependent on advertisers, and achievement through one's own talent will become obsolete in the face of large marketing firms that can be hired to make "Bill Gates' personal journal" page the most popular site online -- much like how, today, a large record company can give a pile of shit a pretty face and make it the most popular band in America (among young people who've been raised in a world that holds physical perfection as it's #1 priority). And the day that happens, is the day I sell my computer.

Re:Problematic solution for a non-existent problem (0, Offtopic)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647578)

I should say 'physical beauty' instead of perfection, since really non-biodegradable body parts don't constitute perfection. I kinda went off on a tangent, huh...

Stale info? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647574)

the article referenced in this phrase:

(Side note: a lot of research has apperantly gone into this.)

which is

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/6.01/bronson_pr .html [wired.com]

well, this is dated January 6, 1998.

Is it just me, or is this info simply dated, coming as it does from the middle of the dot-bomb boom, three years before the edge of the cliff was even visible?

Weren't you a geek in high school? (4, Funny)

ers81239 (94163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647582)

Didn't you or at least one of your friends go through that 'Nobody likes me, how come I'm not popular' phase? Well, in case you didn't, here is the lesson to learn:

You don't become popular by whining that you are not popular.

This thread reminds me of all the stupid web site surveys I've put up for clients. They ask dumb questions like 'Do you think this site is cool?', 'Would you recommend it to a friend?', 'Do you plan on coming back to this site, if so how often?'.

Nothing says 'I AM A LAMO' like these types of questions.

I agree that building a community is hard. But like others have said so far, it is a social/marketing problem, not a technical one. I think communities are made by leaders, not by good ideas.

weak... (0, Offtopic)

novarese (24280) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647599)

Ask slashdot: how to sucker people into visiting my lame website when the crappy content isn't getting the job done?

PS: wtf is this doing in the "censorship" category? Someone's failure to be an effective marketer/hype generator is not censorship.

One possible reason... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2647624)

Could be that your site sucks. But I wouldn't knoe because I'm not going to go to it. Your post is a lame attempt to get Slashbots to hit your site because it was here.

I'm not biting.

dangerz.net (1)

dangerz (540904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647658)

i run dangerz.net, and i have a nice fanbase. one thing that kills a site is downtime tho. i was averaging ~500 a day back in the day, and was gradually rising. then my server went down for a month, that went down to like 20 a day. i was able to pull it back up to 300, till my host went down again for a month. now i'm at 70, and gradually coming back. having people with sites like yours, that are more popular, link you is a big help also. dangerz.net is a fun hobby for me. have fun with your site, and don't worry about the hits. by the time you remember to check your hits, you'll realize you're getting a lot more than you thought. and remember, it's all about the fans. and a little about you.

Hard to compete (2)

DaoudaW (533025) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647668)

This may be the number one problem facing the Net. If I start a restaurant in Denver, I don't have to compete with those in San Francisco or New York. On the web, everything is one click away. If a site isn't the best in its niche (or one of the top few depending on the size of the niche), it faces obscurity.

The ease of publishing on the web is really deceptive. The marketing of web content is really no easier, possibly harder than for print media. We don't have the equivalent of the magazine rack in the grocery store or news stand.

Gotta get in on this... (5, Interesting)

under_score (65824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2647700)

I've been trying to promote my own community web site for about 8 months now. (For those who are interested, the link is in my sig.) I have some practical observations for promotion based on a _very_ small budget: First: your two best hopes are word of mouth and being mentioned by a place that gets _lots_ of traffic. Second: don't bother spending money on something like Google unless you can find a really good demographic to target. I tried this for quite some time and I think I maybe got 3 or 4 people joining for my efforts and dollars (about $300) - definitely not worth it! Third: take advantage of sites like slashdot where you can use your sig, and from time to time post comments which actually are on-topic and attract people. I've done this relatively successfully and been modded up for my efforts because I was careful to post appropriately. Fourth: find portal sites that are apropos to your community site that allow you to submit links. Submit your site. For the amount of effort, this really helps with search engine rankings and a little bit of traffic. Fifth: email people who's personal sites indicate they might be interested in your site. This is unsolicited, but most people appreciate feedback on their own efforts and also are interested in opportunities to promote themselves. Community sites often offer this opportunity one way or another. Six: well, my site isn't "successful" yet, but it's growing slowly but surely. To be frank, I don't really want a _huge_ surge in attention because I'm not sure yet about the scalability of my servers. Be careful what you ask for: I personally believe that slow but sure growth will be worth more in the long run. (And that isn't just sour grapes: I've learned a lot by having people provide feedback. If I had a huge surge, I probably would have ended up with a lot of dissappointed users.)
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