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Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community?

wbr1 (2538558) writes | about 9 months ago

21

wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

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Yeah... Maybe (1)

Common Joe (2807741) | about 9 months ago | (#46172649)

Fancy that. You're not the only one with that idea. :)

-- Common Joe

Slashdot Valentines Day Massacre: Boycott Slashdot because "Fuck Beta!": February 10 - 17

And Support Okian Warrior's Alternate Slashdot [slashdot.org] Idea!

Either... (1)

advid.net (595837) | about 9 months ago | (#46172791)

Build an alternative /. site with open source slash code or...
Heavily greasemonkey script the /. page to make it work as it should.

Re:Either... (1)

tftp (111690) | about 9 months ago | (#46180451)

Heavily greasemonkey script the /. page to make it work as it should.

That's about as useful as buying Windows 8 and then modding the hell out of it so that it resembles something usable.

You may do that, but MS will shout from rooftops that they sold you a copy and you just LOVED it. Millions of other people will hear it and buy Win8 themselves, even though they are unable to transform it into a usable OS.

Re:Either... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#46196351)

Is there any OS where you don't have to do that? Even under Linux, I have to put an increasing amount of work into making it work at least mostly as I want it to.

Re:Either... (1)

tftp (111690) | about 9 months ago | (#46198131)

It's easier if you are a KDE fan, like I am. Linux Mint KDE is perfectly good for me as it comes out of the box.

I heard that GNOME has more complaints. I wouldn't know that firsthand. Ubuntu is not an option for me because of tracking and because of Unity. I tried it, did not like it. I have Ubuntu LTS on a few servers, but their GUI is called SSH, so I don't care much; and they are old enough to not have *-lens on them. Some are server distributions, with neither X11 nor the desktop environment.

More conversation on this (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | about 9 months ago | (#46173159)

There's some talk of this in another submission thread - http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3319369 [slashdot.org] .

What's needed most at present is unity and a little organization.

Re:More conversation on this (3, Informative)

unitron (5733) | about 9 months ago | (#46173321)

This seems to be where it's getting organized

http://www.altslashdot.org/wik... [altslashdot.org]

Yeah, well... (4, Insightful)

VIPERsssss (907375) | about 9 months ago | (#46173409)

I'm gonna go build my own website, with blackjack and hookers.

In fact, forget the website!

Alert the media! (4, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 9 months ago | (#46173579)

In addition to trying to re-create what we love about Slashdot, we should also make public what Dice is doing with the original. Post articles on other websites about how Dice has created an abominable new design and is totally ignoring the wishes of its users. Tell how the community is unified in its disgust (and never ever have I seen such a unanimous hate for a product; even the Metro interface got /some/ love, but not so for Slashdot beta!). Mention how the commenters are either looking to create new alternatives or just giving up and going to other websites.

Dice isn't doing this solely to piss off its users. They think that the update will somehow bring them in more money. My personal theory - which I have espoused several times - is that Dice is purposely minimizing the import of the community's contribution in order to become a more controlled news source that will appeal to a more business-oriented audience. They are hoping to cash in on the cachet of the Slashdot brand while at the same time distancing themselves from the overtly geeky atmosphere we all love (business readers attract better advertising and are less likely to use adblockers to boot!).

I have my doubts about whether such a plan would work, but it certainly will not succeed if the new website gains a bad reputation beforehand. Even c-level execs will look askance at a website that is so overtly hostile to the desires of its readers; how can you trust its editors if they so obviously operate solely for their own benefit? Especially when there are so many alternatives for them to read.

Re:Alert the media! (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 9 months ago | (#46185527)

I think you're spot on there. The simpler interface, BI & Cloud sections, and so on all point towards targeting a more managementish clientele. They want to shift to a more profitable add demo and wave their flashier (and FLASH-ier) adds at them. The fact that the endorsement of the beta on slashmedia is from Business Insider is telling.

Re:Alert the media! (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 9 months ago | (#46189039)

So their business plan seems to be completely change the website and hope that some number of members stick around long enough to...bootstrap the new site? Counting on people to "abandon ship *just* slowly enough" to do something seems like a rather poor and probably unethical position.

Re:Alert the media! (1)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 9 months ago | (#46189583)

That is one possibility. Given other recent changes (such as the addition of the Business Intelligence - SlashBI - section) and the fact that Dice owns numerous career-related websites - such as ITJobBoard - there seems some evidence that they are less interested in community-driven sites and more one where they have stronger editorial control of the content. The new design does seem more in line with what we see on other business-related sites (low-density content which does not require an overly long time to digest, especially with regards to how they are minimizing the impact of the comment section).

But is this really what is going on? Maybe not. If we take them at their word, Dice still wants to maintain a community-driven site while at the same time expanding the potential audience. This is different from the above as instead of switching to a more lucrative demographic, they hope to retain the current audience while at the same time attracting new eyeballs to the site. Who this new audience is remains a mystery: Business folk? Ordinary users? Tech-geeks who don't know about Slashdot or find the current community too intimidating? Is a website redesign enough to attract a new readership, and can Dice manage to increase their presence on the web without sacrificing their current readers?

Alternately, it could very well be that the changes made to Slashdot were done with the very best of intentions - to improve the site for the current audience - but it all went drastically wrong. It may be that pride and internal politics are keeping them from simply rolling back the changes. It is even possible that the changes ultimately will be beneficial to the community (but if the last is the case, Dice has not adequately shown how the updates are an improvement over what is currently being served).

Unfortunately, there is not sufficient information for us to determine which of the above possibilities are the truth (or if the story lies somewhere else entirely). All we can say is that the community is very, very unhappy with the redesign. Dice has completely misinterpreted the community's attachment to the site and has done a very poor job communicating its side of things.

Personally, I recommend a bit of patience on our side. Hopefully Dice will be more forthcoming with their intent in the next few days or week. They have stated that our feedback is important; they need to give some evidence that this is the truth. We, on the other hand, need to give them the time to show their earnestness. But while small individually-owned businesses can change direction immediately, larger companies need a bit of time to turn things around. We should not expect beta to disappear overnight, but hopefully Dice will engage the community so we can understand their point of view through more blogs and responses to questions asked by comments. Rather than unilaterally force a change upon us, perhaps they might consider giving some options that the community can discuss and vote on.

Of course, if there is no significant change in attitude over the next few weeks, then the war is back on :-)

But until then I suggest we back off for a week or ten days and give them an opportunity to reassess and consider their options.

AltSlashdot is coming (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 9 months ago | (#46174655)

I've just now registered "AltSlashdot.org".

I intend to run a site much like Slashdot used to be - better articles, less decoration and less "in your face" functionality. I'm reviewing and getting comfortable with slashcode right now. I'm looking for volunteers to help with setup and running the site.

If the site becomes profitable, I intend to hire from the pool of volunteers. If you've ever wanted to participate in a site like Slashdot, here's your chance!

I'm particularly in need of people who can:

  • Set up and manage a high-traffic site (servers, load-balancers, data sites, &c)
  • Edit story submissions
  • HTML, CSS, and script creation/bugfix/repair

Contact me if interested

John (at) AltSlashdot (dot) org

Re:AltSlashdot is coming (0)

Moderator (189749) | about 9 months ago | (#46179117)

Thanks. I've commented on the NewName page.

Re:AltSlashdot is coming (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#46181325)

Random suggestion" I always thought that Slashdot needed an official forum.

Re:AltSlashdot is coming (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#46196675)

Here are some suggestions for changes relative to the the original Slashdot, which would IMHO be improvements:

Scores:

* When applying user-defined additional scores (that is, those which are added according to your personal preferences), allow those extra points to exceed the +5/-1 bounds.
* When moderating, additionally show the unmodified score.
* When showing the percentages of moderations, round to 1% instead of 10%.
* Possibly even allow more detailed private score changes through a simple scripting language (not Turing complete, of course, to avoid DoS attacks). For example, allow scoring based on regular expressions applied to the title (this would e.g. allow to automatically score down posts with the title "First Post"). Note that the type of audience you want to attract is exactly the type who is not afraid of scripting.

Comments:

* Provide the option to always automatically show the parent post to any post shown, possibly in collapsed form, even if the post would otherwise below the threshold.
* For long comments, give two lengths to configure: First, the threshold starting at which it should be shortened, and second, the length of the part shown in that case, defaulting to the first value (for me, the second one would be smaller, because I hate it to click "read the rest of this comment" only to get about two more words shown).

Friends/Foes:

* If someone changes your Friend/Foe status through the buttons in one of your comments, provide the information which comment that was.

My 2nd post ever... (1)

A63ntX (569443) | about 9 months ago | (#46174875)

just to say, yeah. this place sucks now. ok, going back to sleep for another 12 years...

Buy It Back (Run it non-profit) (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 9 months ago | (#46176343)

As I posed in another thread, I think the only viable long term solution is for Slashdot be be run by a non-profit organisation/trust. Ad supported, but basically not a juicy enough plum for the likes of an MBA to raid.

Slashdotters should look into starting a trust, and using a Kickstarter campaign to buy the domain, site archive, code, etc, from Dice. Appartently it's worth several million, but I think this is one kickstarter campaign that could actually succeed in getting to that level.

Re:Buy It Back (Run it non-profit) (1)

bopal (201900) | about 9 months ago | (#46178883)

Awesome Idea. Best time to do this will be after the boycott next week when dice falls really hard and they have to bury their wet dreams about advertising revenue.

Re:Buy It Back (Run it non-profit) (1)

tftp (111690) | about 9 months ago | (#46180569)

I would not give a dime to extortionists. They can have their domain and their archives - and especially the site code.

The old SlashCode was published long ago, and I don't think that it was much improved since then. All the effort went into JS sliders and whatnot, which I cannot even see. None of that is needed. Slashdot's value is in comments, not in how shiny they are rendered.

Re:Buy It Back (Run it non-profit) (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 9 months ago | (#46184603)

Appartently it's worth several million

when a kickstarter campaign reaches several million, you might find the "value" increases

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