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On Collaborative Weblogs

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the a-good-bout-of-navel-gazing dept.

The Internet 175

fernand0 writes "The 5th International Symposium on Online Journalism has dealt with some blogging issues (see the Symposium Research Papers). One that can be of interest for Slashdot readers is When the Audience is the Producer: The Art of the Collaborative Weblog (pdf). There, four collective weblogs are examined: MetaFilter, Plastic, Kuro5hin, and Slashdot, and some discussion is done about the different ways of collaboration that emerge from these sites."

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A MESSAGE FROM RALPH NADER (-1, Offtopic)

Bring back the old t (784356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296878)

OPENING THE DOOR TO NEW TAXPAYER BAILOUTS

Washington Rule # 1 -- Never underestimate the ability of Congress to repeat its mistakes.

This rule is being played out with a vengeance in the mad rush to ram the financial deregulation package through the House of Representatives before the spring recess.

The "act now, think later" stampede is sadly reminiscent of the permissive legislation of the 1980s which expanded investment powers of savings and loans, reduced regulation, forgave transgressions and enlarged the pot of taxpayer-supported deposit insurance funds that fueled the speculative gambles of the industry.

When the granddaddy of this legislation -- the Garn St Germain Act -- was adopted in 1982, only 77 of the present 435 Members were in office. That may be why the 105th Congress appears to have such a short memory about financial deregulation, and why so many seem dazzled by the pitches of the bank, securities and insurance lobbyists currently populating the hallways of House office buildings.

Memories of the financial debacle of the 1980s may be growing dim on Capitol Hill, but any Congressman who believes that the nation's taxpayers have forgotten may have less than a firm grip on reality.

When all the costs are totaled, including interest, taxpayers will have provided several hundred billions of dollars to pay for ill-advised schemes of financial deregulation and lax supervision which allowed reckless, incompetent and corrupt operators to loot an entire industry. These numbers don't include the enormous costs, real and intangible, to local economies and the loss and forced consolidation of financial services vital to consumers and communities.

Taxpayers haven't forgotten. This time around they won't be so forgiving when the news finally reaches down to the grassroots that the Congress has fallen off the wagon and is on another binge to concentrate economic power and provide banks, securities firms and insurance companies with new and lucrative profit schemes while once again transferring the risks to the taxpayers.

Already, before the legislation has reached the floor of the House of Representatives, there is a rising stench of backroom deals to satisfy the whims of lobbyists who have poured millions of dollars into the campaign troughs of the Members of the two bodies of primary jurisdiction -- the Commerce Committee and the Banking and Financial Services Committee.

What will be going to the floor will be legislation rewritten in closed-door session by a handful of Republican Members from the two Committees. Long-standing rules of open procedures -- designed to protect the public interest -- have been summarily dropped. Most of the 107 Members of the Committees have been excluded from these extra-legal markup meetings They have been little more than props for the now-forgotten open markup sessions of last year.

While the recklessness lends itself to a comparison with the savings and loan legislation, the current effort to deregulate the entire financial industry is more far reaching and vastly more dangerous than anything attempted in the legislative games of the 1980s.

The bill that Speaker Newt Gingrich and Republican Conference Chairman John Boehner are trying to slip through the House would create trillion dollar conglomerates housing banks, securities firms, insurance companies and industrial corporations under common ownership.

There is no existing regulatory structure that could properly and safely supervise such monsters. Instead of trying to strengthen and consolidate the system, the legislation scatters supervision to the four-winds, giving the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Thrift Supervision as well as the bank, insurance and securities regulatory bodies in the 50 states all part of the action.

In the end, drafters gave the Federal Reserve Board the biggest share of the regulatory turf. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was properly appreciative. He fired off a letter of glowing endorsement for the handiwork of the Gingrich-Boehner team -- an endorsement that is being used widely to lobby Members of Congress.

It is fitting, after all, that Greenspan should be out front in support of a new version of risk for the taxpayers. In the 1980s Greenspan, as a paid lobbyist, came to Washington often to urge Members of Congress and the federal regulators to broaden the investment powers of the savings and loans -- expanded powers which ultimately sent many thrifts down the drain.

Among the clients of his consulting firm were Charlie Keating and Lincoln Savings. Lincoln failed at a cost of $3 billion to the taxpayers and Keating went to jail for fraud. Members of the current Congress may want to keep this in mind as Greenspan's letters of endorsement for financial deregulation are being scattered around Capitol Hill.

The decision of the Republican drafters to allow the long-standing walls between banking and commerce to be breached has the potential for long-range damage to the nation's economy and independent banking system. Proponents of the legislation will undoubtedly argue that bank holding companies can own only small percentages of industrial corporations under the proposed language. But, such arbitrary limits are only an open invitation to widen the breaches until the walls separating banking and commerce mean nothing.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker warned the Banking Committee last year about what happens once the wall is breached:

"Once the foot is in the door, the pressures to ease the necessarily arbitrary limits, lubricated by ever larger political contributions, will grow stronger. The fissures in the dike will erode, new compromises will be struck, and the risks and concentrations will inexorably mount."

The risks of the legislation are large, and Congress has failed miserably to set up a rational regulatory scheme that could cope with supervision of trillion dollar conglomerates. Congress has done little to analyze the risks and nothing to shield the taxpayer-supported deposit insurance funds from being looted again.

These conglomerates will be a new and much bigger generation of "too-big-to-be-allowed-to-fail" institutions. This invariably will mean taxpayer bailouts not only for insured banks, but for the uninsured affiliates. Non-bank affiliates won't be allowed to collapse for fear the public will lose confidence in the insured banking corporations in the holding company.

Congress owes it to the taxpayers to learn from the mistakes of the 1980s, not repeat them.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296883)

like Blogwars! [blogwars.com]

"blog"... yep... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296893)

We don't want to use the word "site" now do we?

Slashdot as a blog (4, Interesting)

moberry (756963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296901)

When i hear the word WebBlog, I think journal. Public journal that is. Slashdot is more of a news site where users can post commets. I would like to know the author's reason on why slashdot is a blog. If slashdot is a blog, then it must have the record for being the world's BIGGEST blog.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (5, Insightful)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296965)

Probably because of the Journals [slashdot.org] ???

Re:Slashdot as a blog (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297329)

When I think of "collaborative weblog" I think of something where the individual weblogs are easier to find, and where the discussion is a little more energetic.

Slashdot's journals are a little difficult to find. There is no way for me to see the journals of all Slashdotters. The only "Journal" link on the front page is a link to my own Journal. To find other people's journals I either need to click on "Journal" and then click on "Friend's Journals". This inconvenience means less people will read the Journals.

Slashdot's journals aren't very dynamic (like your own link). There are 63 comments on this story so var. Search all comments in this page for the string "Last Journal:". A few people updated their journals on May 17 (one is a troll). My own perspective is this: My journal (when I kept it more updated) never attracted many comments. Why should I bother using Slashdot's journal when nobody reads it, especially when there are so many other tools out there already.

I've always wanted to see the journals of all Slashdotters, with most recent updates at top or something.

Kuro5hin's journals are on a sidebar on the front page. Other collaborative weblogs use the individual blogs as content for the front page. Your weblog has a much larger audience with this method.

The hidden slashdot (2, Interesting)

GQuon (643387) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297542)

True,

but if you make people your "friends" you can get messages whenever they update their blogs.

The slashcode could use some more features to bring prominent discussions and journals to the front page. (Like a slashbox with newest journal entries, etc.)

If there's too few topics on the front page, there's the Sections in the left menu, which sometimes carry more stories than reach the front page.

Then there's the
Other discussions [slashdot.org] , some of whom are not related to a story and can function as sub-group blogs.

Here are some active blogs:
BlackHat [slashdot.org]
Red Warrior [slashdot.org]
frankie [slashdot.org]

I'm sure others can reply with more active blog users.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (1)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296976)

What happens on individual weblogs? A lot of those are for news too. And like any weblog, Entries are posted on slashdot, to which the community can post comments.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (2, Interesting)

Blackeagle_Falcon (784253) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297048)

The author seems to have a fairly clear idea of what he wants to talk about (collaborative news sites). Calling some of these sites "blogs" doesn't seem all that appropriate, though. Maybe he's just using it because it's "in" right now.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (0, Offtopic)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297081)

"I would like to know the author's reason on why slashdot is a blog."

As would I. I mean, your typical blogs don't have GNAA [slashdot.org] or goatsex [wikipedia.org] posts, nor goatsex [wikipedia.org] ASCII art.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297168)

I mean, your typical blogs don't have GNAA or goatsex posts, nor goatsex ASCII art.

Uhhuh? I guess that's also why most typical blogs tend to be damn boring. The troll undergrowth is what makes /. fun to read at -1 nested (which has been my setting from the start).

Re:Slashdot as a blog (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297218)

Slashdot is more of a news site where users can post commets.

I think of Slashdot more as a comment site where users can post news. Sure, the news blurbs are the starter, but the meat of the action is in the insightful, interesting, flamebait, troll posting that occurs after. The news stories that have little potential for political/social commentary get far fewer comments than anything to do with YRO, black-box voting, etc.

In this respect, I don't think of Slashdot as a blog, but more of an indicator(s) of what the Slashdot-reading crowd, which is a tech-heavy bunch, is thinking. This is closer to a BBS than a Blog.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297375)

When i hear the word WebBlog, I think journal. Public journal that is. Slashdot is more of a news site where users can post commets. I would like to know the author's reason on why slashdot is a blog.

The term "weblog" used to refer to any site with a continuous stream of postings added from the top. (Chips&Dips/Slashdot was a prototypical weblog when the term came into common use.)

It's more recently that the word came to be associated with personal sites with political rants, pictures of cats and links to one's blogofriends.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297551)

Slashdot is more of a news site where users can post commets.

Umm... that's what a weblog is.

Re:Slashdot as a blog (3, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297554)

Slashdot has been considered a "weblog" for as long as the word has been around.

It certainly started out as one, and remains firmly in the weblog format: Snippets of news or something, posted frequently and in inverse chronological order.

It also has public comments, like thousands of other weblogs. It's just that the comments section happens to be bigger then average, but there are other weblogs that often reach into the hundreds of comments.

Weblogs aren't just "journals", by any stretch of the imagination. The link I give as my homepage is my "weblog" and the last time I had a "journal-style" entry was on my birthday two years ago.

If Slashdot isn't a weblog, then nothing is.

Alternatively, at what point since it started did it cease to be a weblog? The only major difference between Slashdot's second week of operation and now is the comment load; the format is the same, the news is the same, the stupid comments by the editors are the same.

Did we really need a link to slashdot in the story (5, Funny)

IchBinDasWalross (720916) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296905)

I mean, seriously folks, that's just stupid.

Re:Did we really need a link to slashdot in the st (5, Funny)

DoctorDeath (774634) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296964)

Not as stupid as the people that actually click on it.

Re:Did we really need a link to slashdot in the st (2, Funny)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296977)

tell me about it, i dont want us to get /.ed!

Re:Did we really need a link to slashdot in the st (2, Funny)

Depili (749436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297056)

Maybe it's just a attempt to slashdot slashdot

Re:Did we really need a link to slashdot in the st (2, Funny)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297061)

Well now at least one link in the article won't get /.ed.

Re:Did we really need a link to slashdot in the st (5, Funny)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297304)

I mean, seriously folks, that's just stupid.

Not to mention dangerous! Who knows what kind of freaky loops the recursive Slashdot effect can get us into... it may cause warps in the time/space curve, or something!

Re:Did we really need a link to slashdot in the st (1)

azi (60438) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297519)

Is that called recursive linking?

Audience is the Producer (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296911)

Sure this makes for generally interesting articles/reading. The real value I see with these Blogs/sites is it's a cheap peer-review process. I have an idea. I submit my idea. I get immediate, high-volume feedback. Saves me publishing to a journal. At least the value can be had on the surface.

Slashdot's collaboration.. (5, Insightful)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296912)

..ends with crowds of middle schoolers posting pointless inside jokes.

I have been very impressed with ./'s moderation system, though. Plus Slashdot allows anyone to post what they want - so it can be read for humor and for knowledge. Entertaining and informative.

I for one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296982)

welcome our pointless joke making anonymous cowards

now in Russia....

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297711)

now in SOVIET RUSSIA.... pointless joke making anonymous cowards welcome YOU, because out in Siberia they have no one else to make fun of!

Re:Slashdot's collaboration.. (1)

ChazeFroy (51595) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297028)

People can't post anything they want: case in point [slashdot.org]

Re:Slashdot's collaboration.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297602)

At least those morons got what they deserved; a virtual kick in the face...

Re:Slashdot's collaboration.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297055)

you asked for it:

-I'm not a middle schooler, you insensitive clod!
-I, for one, welcome our new middle schooler overlords.
-In Soviet Russia, middle schoolers make pointless jokes of YOU!
-Imagine a Beowolf cluster of middle schoolers making pointless, unfunny jokes.
-All your middle schooler are belong to us (blame the poll)

Am I missing something?

Re:Slashdot's collaboration.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297129)

please, please, stop already. it doesn't make these jokes any funnier if you put them in a long list. Its like post-modern art, its out fashion.

Re:Slashdot's collaboration.. (1)

uss_valiant (760602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297111)

From the article:
Yet for all its success, Slashdot remains very much unknown because it targets the niche of technology-savvy, highly-educated computer users. The vocabulary in most discussions is so technical that it constitutes another language. But a review of the occasional posts which discuss current events grounded in familiar issues and terms reveals a highly functional system that achieves high levels of feedback, interaction, and freedom, but still maintains a high level of insight and information in its content.
/. remains unknown? Are there really famous websites apart from google or yahoo? IT people know /., people from xy know their local websites, but there are not that many Bruce Willis in the www.
Count all the blogs, bulletin boards and other tech news sites as heise.de or even print media that link or copy the whole article from /..

Uh-oh! We have a groupthinker here! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297352)

Obviously, you have never thought anything outside of the official Slashdot groupthink. If you do you will be modded down accordingly, even if it is insightful and informative.

The first rule of Slashdot groupthink is: DO NOT TALK ABOUT SLASHDOT GROUPTHINK!

Ironicly, Slashdot groupthink has an effect not unlike that of the Upper Party's control on society in 1984, a system that Slashdotters claim to be fighting against!

Yeah I know... (-1)

XthRegiment (623218) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296920)

What he said...

Wrong (1)

(1337) God (653941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296923)

Kuro5hin SUCKS.

It's barely functioning anymore. I gave it 4-6 months, TOPS.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296975)

Rusty has in fact left K5 for greener pastures (Daily Kos), a hate site for left-wing extremists.

Daily Kos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297226)

a hate site for left-wing extremists.

You mean like people who like to think for themselves and speak their mind instead of just buying into the libertarian/right-wing dogma and spouting how pre-emptively attacking sovereign nations who pose no immediate threat is good foreign policy.

e.g. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297342)

Heavy-handed Rousseauian shitbag populists. Yes, that kind of left-wing extremist.

Re:Daily Kos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297372)

No, we mean a website where the users think that saying "screw them" when people get killed is somehow acceptable.

Kos' comment:
Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly.
That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.


Which was followed by some whining about childhood experiences, which the readership of Kos felt was a reasonable mea culpa. It wasn't.

Re:Daily Kos (1)

handslikesnakes (659012) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297681)

Are we somehow obliged to like everybody who dies?

I doubt you would say "screw them" is unacceptable on hearing of bin Laden's death. Why is this any different?

don't forget the other site... (0, Offtopic)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296924)

Don't forget HuSi [hulver.com] !

Re:don't forget the other site... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296971)

"HuSi" was created to be a home for runaway Kuro5hin users who felt their diaries weren't getting enough time on the front page. Pathetic, if you ask me.

Re:don't forget the other site... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297520)

A more believable theory is that they got sick of the trolls on K5.

And colaborative 'ciclopaedias? (4, Interesting)

Pope Raymond Lama (57277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296926)

I just gave a lecture on colaborative construction of knowledge on the WEB last week.

I just mentioned wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and everything2 [everythin2.net] on my work.

One interesting thing I found out: the content in wikipedia is much more "professional", and enciclopedic than E2's. But the software for E2 has much more possibilities, and is far more entertaining to create content for than wikipedia's. E2's larger weakness seem to be the lacking of support for image uploads or linking.

Re:And colaborative 'ciclopaedias? (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297074)

I use the Google Deskbar [google.com] and have custom shortcuts set-up to everything2.com and wikipedia.com (amoung others). I just type in a term into the textbox on my taskbar and hit Ctrl+E, for example. Since it's so convenient, I use both on an almost daily basis.

My two cents: I find myself going to E2 if I'm looking for a more informal, pop culture-ish term (street slang, latest meme, etc.). Wikipedia is where I head when I'm looking for content more consistent with a traditional encyclopedia. I know that Wikipedia also has the pop culture terms as well, but I feel that the more informal nature of E2 makes it superior in that realm.

I consider this a good thing. Too many websites try to be an über swiss army knife. Probably a carry-over from the portal wars in the late 90's.

Re:And colaborative 'ciclopaedias? (1)

costas (38724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297301)

You maybe interested in memigo [memigo.com] (shameless plug). Memigo attempts to complete automate the slashdot process: anyone can submit an article, but a) the site code does the QA of the article itself automatically, and b) the users rate each and every article, in effect moderating the front page. As an added bonus, memigo is context-sensitive (so you can monitor topics you're interested in) and of course Amazon-like collaborative filtering. Check it out...

Everythin2 (2, Insightful)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297363)

The problem with E2 is that users 'own' whatever they post. You have a ton of nodes that, while good, haven't been updated in years and nobody really visits them. E2 is really just a stupid contest to see who can get the most points. People try to be real witty so they can game the system and gain more powers. The editors also tend to be insular and elitist, in contrast to Wikipedia's almost fanatical permissiveness and acceptance of new contributors.

Re:Everythin2 (1)

Pope Raymond Lama (57277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297433)

That "contest for points" is what I found out is what compeles one to go writing in there.

The main difference to wikipedia seens to be on the very nature of the userbase, which, as shornand noted above is more "pop/informal".

The problems you mention are real, but the best of both worlds is probably a tweekedt E2 to allow for compensating for it's problems.

The problems you mentioned could be addressed, for example, making an "outdated" voting option on articles taht would made the initial poster to loose points - tehrefore there would be an interest in keeping things uptaded. Similar features can be easily thoguht on the system to let it go usable -
I just found wikipedia way too much permissive, and without a proper reward system.

What can't be fixed in E2 is it's userbase - and since the ones that became editors are insular and elitist as you have noted - it is a major drawback to the site (I myself can't say if it is or isn't that way, I am not that active on the site)

If one is to start a new projetct in another language, that is another story.

New Name Proposal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296931)

Hive-Blog

wiki (5, Insightful)

galtenberg (646020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296938)

Would Wiki not be considered a type of collaborative weblog?

It happens a lot (too often) that Wiki is forgotten... in so many discussions on internet technology... when it's probably as r/evolutionary as email and chat. Maybe not, tho, maybe blogs are better, and maybe wikis are flawed in a way that they deserve to be ignored... not sure...

Re:wiki (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297069)

I see blogs as something that happens thru time. i.e. today happened this, tomorrow or the next hour other things, and so on. The "default" order is always related to time, latest things on top, and earlier things, maybe more important or relevant, go to the storic archives. Slashdot, newspapers, personal blogs, etc are good examples.

In the other hand, wiki more about "static" knowledge, like a conclusion you reach after discussing something, and the order is more like a tree of knowledge. Think in wikipedia. Is an encyclopedia, the "natural" order are the words/events/people/etc you are defining (and yes, defining is a good term for that), not the time you posted it.

Both are examples of collaborative work, of course, but of different kind.

There are another kind of collaborative work, that is the process of discussing something. Is not announcing, nor defining, but a lot of people talking around something interchanging points of view, giving new data, etc. Usenet, forums, comments attached to wiki pages or blog entries, even this very discussion, are examples of this third kind of online collaboration. In the discussion you maybe not reach a "conclusion", is not part of the forum itself (but someone could extract what he interprets as a conclusion on some topic and post it in i.e. a wiki page), is the discussion what is the final objective.

You can see slashdot (well, and probably most of the linked sites on this article) in two ways, if you see the front page is a collaborative weblog, but looking to single article is more like a collaborative forum.

Is /. truly a weblog? (5, Insightful)

Cloudmark (309003) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296939)

Does /. really count as a weblog anymore? For that matter, do any of the sites mentioned? It's a hard call - BoingBoing [boingboing.net] and similar sites seem to fit the bill for collaborative weblogs far better than discussion forums like /. I think the sites listed have really moved beyond weblog status. They really seem to be closer to forums and aggregators. This isn't a bad thing - it's just different and may require independant analysis. They've grown beyond (and in many cases existed before) what is commonly considered a weblog these days.

Interestingly, this month's Wired [wired.com] had an article on weblogs / nanopublishing and highlighted a variety of collaborative weblogs, likely as a tie-in to the conference.

Whats the point..... (1)

Steno-RFC (748046) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296940)

of posting a link to the slashdot mainpage?

"blog" buzzword for "Wiki" (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296950)

"wiki" is the term i prefer over "blog" which is just a buzz word for a wiki that is focused upon a specific application (logging or journals)

but since the underlying concept is that of "group colaboration" regardless if it is being used to log daily events or to track issues on a group project and allow people to come together in new ways. Wiki's are the only way to go.

TWiki being among the greatest examples. [twiki.org]

Re:"blog" buzzword for "Wiki" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296987)

bullshit. wiki's and 'blogs (i don't like the term either) are fundamentally different things.

Re:"blog" buzzword for "Wiki" (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297062)

But it's very easy to implement some form of blog framework inside a wiki, like the discussion pages on mediawiki (wikipedia). The same cannot be said the other way around.

Re:"blog" buzzword for "Wiki" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297293)

"wiki" is the term i prefer over "blog" which is just a buzz word for a wiki that is focused upon a specific application (logging or journals)

But doesn't a wiki by definition use specific software? A "blog" is a "web log" which might use wiki software, but could use something else, or may even be updated by hand. On the other hand a wiki may be a blog, but it may also be almost anything else, eg a FAQ or encyclopedia. Both terms have their place.

Oh dear (4, Funny)

panurge (573432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296958)

If too many people read this paper and the nice things it says about Slashdot, we will be overwhelmed by aspirational would-be techies...fortunately it's been posted on Slashdot, virtually guaranteeing that hardly anyone will actually read it.

Slashdot is a FORUM (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296970)


where topics are discussed and debated

a [web]log is the modern equivalent of a diary except publicly accessable, since when has public discussion ever been part of a diary ?

Absent (5, Interesting)

KoriaDesevis (781774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296974)

The article talks a bit about the moderation system, and karma, and all the fun stuff we have come to love here at SlashDot. What it carefully avoids is the discussion of trolls and AC posts. It is summarized by stating that -1 in the moderation system is sufficient to render a troll invisible.

Over time there have been a lot of discussions here about trolls and ACs. They have their place here, and they each contribute as well as take away. It would have been interesting to have read a little more about what the study found about trolls and AC posts, positive and negative...

Re:Absent (1)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297122)

What it carefully avoids is the discussion of trolls and AC posts.

A lot of what makes Slashdot Slashdot is how Slashdot has handled the problems of trolls and AC posts in real time on a live system. I'm not sure that there even is a "solution", but so far at least, Slashdot has seemed to be able to cope with it. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs.

Re:Absent (2, Interesting)

KoriaDesevis (781774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297160)

A lot of what makes Slashdot Slashdot is how Slashdot has handled the problems of trolls and AC posts in real time on a live system.

Not all trolls and ACs are problems. Sometimes, a good troll adds a bit of interesting humor to an otherwise dry thread. That said, that's not often the case... ACs are a completely different animal. It is all too often that you see someone who posts anonymously just so they can snipe at someone while hiding behind anonymity. Other times, there is a fascinating and well-thought-out post that is anonymous, which is a shame for the poster because it would be worth good karma points. I have yet to figure out why there are AC posts like that.

The article skipped journals, too. There's a whole lot of stuff happening in user journals. And not all of it technical. You're as likely to hear about a dead hard drive as you are to hear about someone's recipe for chicken soup in journal entries.

Re:Absent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297524)

. Other times, there is a fascinating and well-thought-out post that is anonymous, which is a shame for the poster because it would be worth good karma points. I have yet to figure out why there are AC posts like that.

Because I've had 50 karma for years. I don't really give a shit about karma. Positive or negative. I usually post AC when I don't want something permanantly being able to be tracked back to me.

Mod parent down (1)

WanChan (548461) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297320)

troll.

ROR (-1, Offtopic)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296980)

Tex Bigballs made the front page of Slashdot. Congrats.

Piss off mods (-1, Offtopic)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297314)

It's not offtopic you sniveling shitstains. Read the PDF, kthx.

Collaborate this... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9296984)

yatta [martin-studio.com]

RTFA (-1, Redundant)

The-Dalai-LLama (755919) | more than 10 years ago | (#9296996)

I'm in the process of R'ing the FA. Hopefully, by next weekend I'll have read enough to post some thoughtful commentary.

The Dalai LLama
...hmmm..I might be able to cut the reading down to 13 pages if I only read the part directly pertaining to Slashdot...

Ironic (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297019)


that the report is in PDF but they are talking about the web

try HTML if you want people to read your article on the Internet
instead of that disgusting Adobe PDF format, you might as well post a swf flash file if we are going down the route of plugins and third party formats to read goddam TEXT on the internet

i guess some people never realised what PDF is supposed to be for

Using the catchphrase "weblog"... (3, Interesting)

Stigmata669 (517894) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297057)

is a bit misleading. The author is simply talking about online communities. From pages 7-8:

In theory, the organization of a group weblog is similar to the structure Hamilton was searching for. This form of weblog also falls into the general category of an online community, alongside more traditional community forms like bulletin boards and chatrooms.

In his study of decentralized mob behavior, Rheingold pursued this line of inquiry further (2002). He also highlighted Slashdot and its 300,000 members as an example ofself-organized behavior by "smart mobs" and "swarm systems," which grow to exhibit collective intelligence that is greater than the sum of their parts (Rhengold p179).Rheingold notes that the many-to-many media model found in a group weblog empowers the audience by allowing them to "create, publish, broadcast, and debate their own pointof view" in ways previously unheard of in the print and broadcast mediums. Like others before him, Rheingold was not sure if this newfound ability would provide a legitimatecounterforce to society's dominant forces, or just be a simulation of a counterforce that feels empowering but, in reality, is toothless. Nevertheless, he concluded that beforeanyone could reach such a verdict, or determine a way to alter that outcome, there is a need for more knowledge of how such technologies, and the people that use them,function today.

The author then continues to refer to Slashdot (and the others) as collaborative group weblogs without ever trying to make the distinction between a weblog and the aforementioned "online community". So as best as I can tell, the author simply likes the buzzword "weblog" and is actually studying online communities and group/thought dynamics(how's that for a buzzword?) on the web.

Yeah, cool idea, post a link to slashdot! (2, Funny)

alephdelta (623512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297075)

You fool, you have slashdotted Slashdot [slashdot.org] !

Re:Yeah, cool idea, post a link to slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297105)

so have you, f00

Re:Yeah, cool idea, post a link to slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297373)

Don't be silly. That would imply that people RTFA.

hmmm... (2, Insightful)

abes (82351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297128)

Apparently all these years that I've been using the words 'procrastinate' and 'waste of time', I really could have used 'colloborative weblogs'. It makes it sound like you're doing something useful.

Hmm.. (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297134)

All 4 are kind of the same thing. It's the /., you have karma and ratings and all that.

But in NO way do I think of any of these as weblogs. They're discussion boards. Actually I think of them as slash-sites, but whatever.

If they wanted to review something that is influential AND innovative, they should take a peek at DailyKOS [dailykos.com] . A more traditional weblog, but mixed with more promiment community collaboration features and slash-style ratings.

It works really well for serious discussion of topical matters.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

irix (22687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297627)

something that is influential AND innovative

More political navel-gazing by wanna-be political scientists with an axe to grind, powered by Scoop. Where I have I seen this before?

Influential an innovative ... give me a break.

/. First (2, Funny)

Ebon Praetor (459548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297148)

This may quite possibly be the first time that all the readers have read at least one of the linked articles in the story. Maybe the editors should link back to /. more often.

Purple monkey syndrome (4, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297157)

The problem with sites like those mentioned is what they call the purple monkey syndrome. Take a monkey from a social group and dye his fur purple. When you put him back, the other monkeys will throw him out of the tree. Because he's different.

This behavior can most distinctly be seen on Metafilter, a site I don't even bother to participate in. If you are not (1) radically liberal and (2) distastefully sarcastic, you are not welcome there. As soon as your opinions become known, your remarks, no matter what the topic, will be met with derision and hostility.

This is both not as bad and much worse on Slashdot. It's not as bad because there's more diversity of opinion here, but it's much worse because Slashdot's "moderation" system makes it possible for unpopular opinions to be literally silenced, pushing them down below the threshold of visibility.

Collaborative content sites quickly become exclusive oligarchies.

Down with democracy. :-)

Re:Purple monkey syndrome (2, Interesting)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297177)

Actually it used to be MUCH worse around here. It used to be that if you wern't a strict libertarian, you'd be modded into oblivion. Things are a lot different now, but that's how it used to be.

Back when /. was a painfully ugly site to look at as well.

Re:Purple monkey syndrome (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297186)

Back when /. was a painfully ugly site to look at as well.

My, how things have... changed?

Re:Purple monkey syndrome (1)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297458)

They changed for me when I configured my logged-in account to view slashdot in 'light' mode, and configured mozilla to block images from images.slashdot.org.

It's also nice that Slashdot uses a limited number of banner-advertising services so those can easily be blocked as well.

Slashdot has never been about the graphics or pretty pictures. I do miss a few of the icons. Always have liked that roach image for 'bugs' and the 'Christmas Cheer' icon sort of cheers me up.

So that's why (1, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297239)

his is both not as bad and much worse on Slashdot. It's not as bad because there's more diversity of opinion here, but it's much worse because Slashdot's "moderation" system makes it possible for unpopular opinions to be literally silenced, pushing them down below the threshold of visibility.

my comments are always modded -1, Troll. I thought that they contained no relevant discussion value, but it turns out that I'm a genius and it's just some mean people on /. modding down my opinion becuase i'm in the minority.

Too bad nobody will read this, becasue it will be modded down and all.

/. is not that bad (1)

asoap (740625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297303)

Becuase of the fact that you've already stated.

This is both not as bad and much worse on Slashdot. It's not as bad because there's more diversity of opinion here, but it's much worse because Slashdot's "moderation" system makes it possible for unpopular opinions to be literally silenced, pushing them down below the threshold of visibility.

You are right that there is a lot of diverse opinions here, which can also cause those unpopular views to be brought to forefront due to the "moderation" system. There are enough people with unpopular views, that also have the ability to mod up.

Whenever I read the comments of an article, I always get the ideas of both sides of an argument/converstion. Regardless if the unpopular view has been moderated down, because the people flaming the unpopular view are usually modded up. Also the people flaming the unpopular view usually quote the unpopular view, letting you get a peek at the.... *drum roll*... unpopular view.

-asoap

Don't forget user adjustments to mods. (3, Funny)

solios (53048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297529)

Yeah, there's the occasional really interesting /. comment that gets nuked off of the face of the earth- but all too frequently, there's an assload of repetetive and redundant comments that get modded up.... and damned near all of the "Funny" posts are just NOT funny. At all.

I love the fact I can twiddle my user prefs to smack a -5 on "Funny" mods and a +3 on "redundant". It's not perfect, but it kicks a hell of a lot more ass than the k5 mod system, imo.

Escaping the purple monkey syndrome (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297575)

Yeah, unfortunately the moderation system ends up promoting a certain status quo of opinion in a particular community. The simple answer to this is for the "repressed" groups to start their own blog / community. The code is out there. No one is forcing all of us to behave as one.

An interesting exercise for the future would be how to get these disparate communities to interact with each other.

"We" are the "intelligent mob"-really this way ? (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297189)

Yet there are times when Slashdot s members and readers function as one cohesive whole, and it hints at the potential power of such collaborative projects. Occasionally Slashdot will link to a website that is unprepared for the massive flow of traffic from millions of Slashdot users clicking onto the same link. The site s server crashes, leaving the site technically overwhelmed, or Slashdotted. (page 18)

In his study of decentralized mob behavior, Rheingold pursued this line of inquiry further (2002). He also highlighted Slashdot and its 300,000 members as an example of self-organized behavior by smart mobs and swarm systems, which grow to exhibit collective intelligence that is greater than the sum of their parts (Rhengold p179). (page 8)

Now this implies that each traffic jam is an example of boosted collective intelligence. Hmm ?

CC.

Re:"We" are the "intelligent mob"-really this way (1)

wjwlsn (94460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297409)

I generally agree with the "collective intelligence" aspect, but question the "greater than the sum of their parts" assertion. The old formula for collective intelligence is something like [floor(IQ)]/N, and that usually seems pretty accurate for Slashdot. :)

Wow, a first in /. history! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297224)

Linking to slashdot in a slashdot story means that for once in its history all the comments on slashdot are by people who have at least partially RTFA-ed!!

Weblogging as a direct digital democracy tool (4, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297236)

How long until these technologies can be used for running a government / community? With just a few minor enhancements, such as e.g.:
  • better security through heavier use of digital signatures
  • polling / voting, complete with:
    • discussion forum logs
    • the ability to change your vote as time goes on
    • the ability to delegate your vote out to people you trust to uphold your interests
    • all of that other auditability, transparency, and anonymity stuff you need
  • issue ranking / prioritization / tracking
  • taxation / donation / fund allocation / redistribution
it seems like it would be fairly straightforward to allow everyone to perform collaborative decision making mediated through a good blog-based "community operating system".

This goes a little bit beyond simply "e-voting", but not too much given all of the other technologies available. It would also be funny to have a public record of all the flamewars that erupt in the process of sausage-making :P . But particularly because all that frank discussion would be there and wouldn't have to be revisited later down the line.

Anything like this out and about?

Please, don't ever have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297250)

any more such astronomically stupid ideas. Believe me, it's for your own good.

Re:Weblogging as a direct digital democracy tool (1)

starm_ (573321) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297558)

I think it would be interesting to have an official government message board with moderation implemented in a democratic way. For example everyone should have an equal number of moderation point for each story or debate along with all the delegation and features the parent post mentionned. It shouldn't have any real executive power(not for now anyways), but government officials could consult it and see what ideas are popular before making decisions. Of corse that is assuming that the government is interested in what people think...

Already out of date re. Kuro5hin (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297245)

The analysis of rusty's March 26th announcement is shoddy. There never was anonymous posting on K5, and no "trials" for news users were announced. The announcement was that each new user would have to be sponsored by an existing user, and that if the new user was banned, the sponsor would be too.

Whatever the practicality of that, what actually happened is that since March 26th, new user registration on Kuro5hin has been closed. The sponsorship system has not been turned on (or implemented, although rusty claimed it was effectively done when he announced it). It's just closed. As of the time of writing, you cannot create a new account on Kuro5hin, and so you cannot post.

The catalyst for all this was some users posting links to a badly photoshopped fake image of rusty's wife's head on a porn body. rusty's reaction was instant and extreme. The accounts were banned and several other long term trolls were purged in the aftermath. To this day, the criteria for banning is still unclear.

It should be noted that rusty has previously removing rating abilities, banned and anonymised (i.e. wiped commands of) accounts, and IP blocked posters at his sole whim and discretion. The freedom of Kuro5hin is the freedom to things rusty's way or not at all. The trouble with having a benign dictator is that he's still a dictator. Without oversight, there's no security.

Of course, rusty can do whatever he wants with his site. Except that, in his own words, after taking $70K (or $35K or $45K or $80K or whichever of his various figures and calculationg that you want to believe) it's not his site. "I think the clearest way I can put it is: you just purchased Kuro5hin.org". [kuro5hin.org] Well, that's a funny kind of ownership.

K5 might recover. Stranger things have happened, and a (sketchy) article on prime numbers just made it to the front page, so there are still non-trolls there. They just don't contribute much content any more.

In the long term though, it can't recover its past popularity without new users, that's for damn sure. The salient lesson: dictators are never a good idea, no matter how benign. In fact, the more benign they appear, the harder they can finally snap.

Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297338)

And hulver's going to be sooo much better at not interfering. Right.

You're a good writer. What the hell are you doing over there at the gay temple of metawankery? Your real purpose is clear to me: Rogerborg for CMF President.

Re:Already out of date re. Kuro5hin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9297343)

Dude, post some ASCII art.

So what is a good ragchew site these days? (2, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297448)

So what is a good "ragchew" site these days? I mean a place where you can establish a two-way conversation and permanent relationships. Slashdot is great, but it doesn't perform those functions.

I hung out on half-empty for a while, but eventually stopped going there, I guess partly because almost everybody there was a college student, and I didn't feel like I had much in common with them. (I'm 38, and have a family.) The new half-empty.org seems cool (just created an account today), but it seems to have a completely different focus (reviews).

Kuro5hin was cool, but now it's dead. I don't have any hard feelings against Rusty, but he clearly got frustrated and intentionally killed it off. (I did subsidize the site slightly by buying ads, but I hope nobody is under the impression that the money people gave Rusty even came close to paying for the time, money, and anguish he put into the site.)

Husi [hulver.com] seems to be a nice Scoop site, but it's got extremely low traffic so far. It'd be nice to see it take off. Seems to have a UK focus, though.

Re:Already out of date re. Kuro5hin (0)

irix (22687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297496)

K5 isn't a lesson on dictators. It was circling the bowl long before Rusty pulled the plug on user registrations.

K5 is just another experiment that proves the tragedy of the commons [aol.com] .

I remember when K5 got popular, many people held it up as some sort of standard that slashdot should emulate. That made me laugh.

Say what you want about slashdot's closed story queue or moderation system, but they have stood the test of time. They have survived populatiry and the trolls and crapflooders that have come with it. K5 on the other hand suffers from:

  • Idiots polluting the story queue with garbage and then voting that garbage up
  • A fundamentally broken moderation system where you can post and moderate in the same discussion and where there are no checks and balances

That "sense of owndership" that gulliable K5 subscribers have is shared with all of the other idiots who make up the site and piss on the commons. The paper linked to in this article effectively reaches the same conclusions.

Re:Already out of date re. Kuro5hin (2, Interesting)

dschl (57168) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297506)

There never was anonymous posting on K5
Sure there was. Perhaps you just weren't around yet way back when the option to post as an Anonymous Hero [everything2.com] was removed. I think the option is still in the Scoop code (see warchalking.org as an example of another site powered by Scoop), but I think Rusty turned it off at k5 ages ago - a harbringer of things to come, I guess.

Re:Already out of date re. Kuro5hin (1)

GQuon (643387) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297669)

OK, you've got the link to the fundraiser. But that post isn't really informative without a link to the pictures that you mention.

Seriously though. I'm not a Kuro5hin user (didn't like the content), but this sort of situation might be explained as something else than, or in addition to, dictatorship.
Fatigue.
One of my favourite magazines stopped comming because the editor just snapped one day. He had been a real locomotive, but the steam had just run out and the boiler was broken. Last I heard from him, about five years ago, he said he had retired to doing some graphics work on and off.

Poorly researched, quickly written. (1, Interesting)

delld (29350) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297252)

Reading this, I came to the quick conclusion that the author only performed a cursary summary of the four sites, without actualy participating in them, or interviewing the people behind them. It is unfortunate, I would be up for a good news argregator and discussion site disertation.

REAL collaborative blogs (1)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297309)

As other posters have pointed out, sites like Slashdot aren't really blogs. In point of fact, not only are they not blogs, they're only partially collaborative (each to a varying degree), so it seems kind of nonsensical to write them up.

Let me slip in a plug, then, and say that for a REAL collaborative blog you can check out the site in my sig, and the interesting aspect of its collaborative nature is that you're invited to contribute.

Eh BOO (2, Interesting)

cookiepus (154655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9297586)

Ok to be honest I didn't have the patience to read this whole thing but I did post it as a Quick Link on Plastic, one of the sites referenced (and of which I am a frequent user)

Now I am sitting in Plastic Chat, watching people comment on the paper. It seems as if the author has barely spent any time on Plastic, and he seems to have missed the forrest for the trees (as in, he looked at details, decided he didn't like them. Meanwhile all these features added up together make for a pretty nice, relatively diverse community/discussion)

Not that I am encouraging you people to give Plastic a try. More like, I am commenting on the lack of thoroughness in the paper. Which, admitedly, I did not read.

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