Slashdot Dies


Jeremy Zawodny recently made a post about 2006 being the year Slashdot dies to upstarts like Redit and Digg. Almost as if on que, Slashdot added nofollow to submitter links.

Now the motivation for getting a Slashdot story accepted (besides fame, glory and sexy women who start IMing you naked pictures of themselves mere seconds after a story goes live)is a return link to the website of your choosing. Your creds. Your 'Reward' for sharing a cool URL with a half a million Slashdot readers.

It's not hard to figure out what sorts of stories Slashdot likes. We have a format, and a subject matter. A persistent user can simply start spamming the bin with a submission about everything he finds that comes even close. If he does it enough, he'll get a few through. Especially if he manages to get something reasonable in at 11pm when there's little else to choose from.

I think we will add a nofollow to the submittor link.

I doubt nofollow stops their spam submission problems.


Spam Submission?

"Spam" isn't the problem at all - in fact, you missed the point completely and Jeremy is just plain wrong.

The problem with some submitters seeming "famous" and discussions degrading into conspiracy theory threads had nothing to do with "spamming". All of the content posted by the editors was reviewed and the problem with some of the submissions has more to do with careless editor decisions (not checking story validity, dupe check, etc.) and potentially "link trading" between submitters and editors.

However, this was already proven to be false and just as we saw yesterday with Digg indicting an O'Reilly editor for stealing code (when in fact he was using an implementation of Pligg), the masses are not always right and too much weight is being given to things posted on the Internet.

CmdrTaco's decision to add nofollow (which I haven't confirmed he has, but I'll take your word for it) would be just as the comments in his post state - nofollow is used when a site cannot vouch for the validity of the linked site. In this case, submitter sites are not "approved" by the Slashdot editors and the nofollow application is correctly applied.

And Jeremy bases his numbers off Alexa numbers. Slashdot editors and site admins have already stated that the Alexa numbers aren't even close to accurate (how many nerds surf around with the Alexa toolbar installed (especially *nix fanatics)?) and even those numbers show a GROWING readership. Jeremy, obviously clueless in business matters and number crunching, has mistaken dieing for rate of growth. His entire article is based on erroneous facts and a lack of understanding about how the two sites actually compete against each other.

Sorry for the rant - just sick of the "Slashdot is dieing" crap circulating the web right now.

/Yes I post at Slashdot
//Yes, I have sumbitted stories
///No, I have never had a story accepted.
////Yes, I will continue to submit stories.

I'm amazed...

at how many folks fixated on the graph. I honestly thought everone knew that alexa numbers required a large dose of salt.

But I really like tossing at least one image into every blog post, and it just felt like the one to use for a "slashdot vs. digg" story. :-)

It's true

I'm afraid I've seen the truth, Jeremy really is just full of shit. It's funny how he feels he can comment on what he has no clue about that.

If Slashdot dies this year, hell, even this decade, I'll eat my hat. Black or white.

"Spam" isn't the problem at

"Spam" isn't the problem at all

well CmdrTaco said:

A persistent user can simply start spamming the bin with a submission about everything he finds that comes even close. If he does it enough, he'll get a few through.

So in a sense the ability to hit up Slashdot for attention is a concern...even if it only leads to other problems outside of search spam, conspiracy theories, as Rob Malda stated.

Invisible to the End User

But this "spamming" is invisible to the end user - this spamming only creates problems for the editors in having to do more work - but isn't that the role of the Slashdot editor? The stories that are interesting to the Slashdot community are still getting posted. The only thing the user sees is a editor approved story that matches the criteria of what the Slashdot community generally likes to read.

And just because people shout fire in the theater doesn't mean it's time to evacuate. Again, look at Digg/O'Reilly and look at Ebaumsworld. Both are recent examples of how the Internet masses were just plain wrong and uninformed. Just because Slashdot users shout conspiracy theory doesn't mean that there is one or even an appearance of one. In addition, Slashdot users in Excellent standing (like myself) have the ability to control these unfounded outbursts by modding down -1 Offtopic. Sure, it's a waste of mod points, but the tool does work and it's the self-moderation responsibility of the readers to keep the discussion on topic. This is the crux of why the community works at Slashdot and doesn't at places like Digg.

Bloggers with high profiles need to start taking more responsibility for what they post and i think the medium in general is being flooded with misinformation by self-proclaimed experts.

If people want to focus on the problems with Slashdot, they need to foucs on:

  • Duplicate stories being posted
  • Hoaxes and factually incorrect stories being posted including spell check and grammar check of posted stories
  • More timely posts
  • Better, more updated layout and interface

There is room to improve, readership to garner, but the original post paints a much darker picture. I appreciate your reply though.

and is Jeremy Zawodny qualified to pontificate?

I am with hagrin on this. IMHO decent editors/mods get the reader better stories (in general) than the votes of the proletariat.

At TW not all threads necessarily attract great numbers of responses. But are actually stories that TW readers can note without the need for responding.

Interestingly JZ writes in his own blog

After a while, you start to wonder why Slashdot's small group of dictators (err, I mean "editors") are qualified to decide what's interesting news.

Which poses the question, is Jeremy Zawodny any more qualifed than Joe Doe (or me) to pontificate on the world, the universe and the meaning of life ?

Agree sorta

I agree on the editors part. I think you need some editorial direction in choosing topics - it's the quality of the commentary afterward that just immediately devolves to noise that I think it Slashdot's weakness. I suspect the same thing happens at Digg and the others.

"immediately devolves to noise " Slashdot's weakness.

Agree with you there Brad, I find Slashdot impossible to read, even when I have a vested interest in reading it!

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