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An open letter to the management of Slashdot.

onyxruby (118189) writes | about 2 months ago

14

onyxruby (118189) writes "I have been watch for some time now as Slashdot has started beta testing a new version of the website. As you are well aware the new site would constitute a complete change to the look, interface and functionality of Slashdot.org.

Change happens, and for those of us who work with technology for a living it is the only constant. Change is a process and in and of itself is not a bad thing when it offers improvement. Unfortunately the change that has been offered negatively impacts the look, interface and most importantly the functionality of Slashdot.
Many people have had trouble reverting back to the classic interface. The new interface simply does not offer the functionality of the old. Things like statistics, comments and layout are very difficult to find. You have a community that lives and breathes data and want to know their data. How is my comment ranked, how many people responded – it’s really all about the dialogue. Can I get the information that I want in a readily digestible format?

As you’re well aware the new site does not offer the very thing that people come here for. This in and of itself is not why your community has organized a boycott of Beta. The boycott was originated because the new version will be implemented whether the community wants it or not.

I want to explain why this change has gone down people’s throats about as well as Windows 8’s Metro interface. The reason has absolutely nothing to do with the interface and everything to do with the perception that the editors and management of Slashdot appear to have.

The message that has been consistently handed down is that we are “your audience”. We are not your “your audience” we are your product. People do not come to Slashdot for the news stories, there are untold other sites that provide those as well as professional and original writing about them. People come here for the community of insiders from across the industry.

Please respect the community and stop what you’re doing. You have commented that you don’t want to maintain two code bases. Your community works in the industry and understands this, which leads many to suggest you abandon the new code base entirely so that you are only maintaining once code base. Tell us what your trying to accomplish and I would imagine that a wide range of experts would be more than willing to help you meet your goals."

14 comments

Noted (2)

Soulskill (1459) | about 2 months ago | (#46185375)

Thanks for the feedback and the commentary -- I'll make sure management sees it.

Re:Noted (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 months ago | (#46185683)

Thank you.

Re:Noted (1)

Common Joe (2807741) | about 2 months ago | (#46186663)

Very nice letter. Fully agree with it.

-- Common Joe

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

Support Okian Warrior's alternate slashdot idea! Information can be found here: www.altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org].

Re:Noted (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 2 months ago | (#46186005)

Would you kindly tell us in clear, unambiguous language what management is trying to do in regards to social media and Slashdot?

Re:Noted (1)

unitron (5733) | about 2 months ago | (#46187171)

Would you kindly tell us in clear, unambiguous language what management is trying to do in regards to social media and Slashdot?

The phrase SlashingtonPost comes to mind.

Re:Noted (1)

Soulskill (1459) | about 2 months ago | (#46198497)

Not much to tell -- the sharing icons are a bit more prominent on the beta, but they already exist on the classic site, and have for a long time. There aren't any grand plans that I'm aware of, but every now and then we see a use-case that involves social media, and we try to smooth that out.

For example, we've had Facebook/Twitter feeds running for a while, and we noticed that people would comment on them. But the discussions never really got going, since most of the commenting happens here. So we added the ability for people to log in through their social networks.

It's a small feature, and a small amount of people use it, but there's not really a goal beyond smoothing out how people use the site.

Re:Noted (1)

HexaByte (817350) | about 2 months ago | (#46191113)

onyxruby is correct, we come here for the community of insiders. Change the way /. is, you'll drive us away.

I may be in 6 digit land, but I lurked for years before I joined, and don't want to do thru trying to find another suitable site.

Re:Noted (2)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about 2 months ago | (#46193043)

If you don't mind, can you also pass along how utterly offensive it is that articles are being deleted that are critical of the new site. It's worse than the beta itself. This is a user content site, and has always been open forum. The very fact that criticism is being squelched makes me want to walk away in disgust.

Your users aren't idiots, stop treating us like them, or there won't be any left in a month.

Re:Noted (1)

Soulskill (1459) | about 2 months ago | (#46198515)

No comments or submissions have been deleted.

Heck, take a look at any of the stories from a few days ago -- all the highest rated comments are complaining about the beta.

As for the submissions -- things naturally fall out of there after a period of time, including complaints. That's why you don't see things in there from last week, or the vast ocean of spam that gets submitted constantly. It's easy enough to test; just bookmark the submission URL when you submit it. It'll stick around forever, and it'll be easily findable on your user page if you were logged in at the time.

New Interface (1)

Sir Isaac1 (797524) | about 2 months ago | (#46185911)

The new interface looks nice and clean, I just don't like having to open a new window just to read the whole article. Meaning that one has to click 'read more' to finish the article.

Re:New Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46188993)

I don't care about beta anymore. Deleting posts and modding down stuff that they don't care is MUCH WORSE - THAT'S whats really killing slashdot.
So farewell. See ya at reddit.

Thank you. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 months ago | (#46210235)

Thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful and polite letter, instead of joining the trolling crowd. This is a lot more likely to get attention than a bunch of trolls.

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