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Ask Slashdot: How Can We Improve Slashdot? 1839

Hi all. Most of you are already aware that Slashdot was sold by DHI Group last week, and I very much enjoyed answering questions and reading feedback in the comments of that announcement story. There's no doubt that the Slashdot community is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and prolific communities on the web.

I wanted to use this opportunity to get a discussion going on how we can improve Slashdot moving forward. I am not talking about a full re-design that will detract from the original spirit of Slashdot, but rather: user experience, bug fixes, and feature improvements that are requested from actual /. users. We appreciated many of your suggestions in the story announcing the sale, and I have taken note of those suggestions. This story will serve as a more master list for feature requests and improvement suggestions.

We welcome any and all suggestions. Some ideas mentioned in the sale story were, in no particular order: Unicode support, direct messaging, increased cap on comment scores, put more weight on firehose voting to determine which stories make the front page, reduced time required between comments, and many more. We'd love a chance to discuss these suggestions and feature improvements and pros and cons here before we bring them back to our team for implementation.
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Ask Slashdot: How Can We Improve Slashdot?

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  • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@gma i l .com> on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:43PM (#51425941) Journal

    here's no doubt that the Slashdot community is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and prolific communities on the web.

    You must be new here.

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:00PM (#51426115)
      I don't want to toot the site's horn too much, but have you looked at other communities on the internet lately?

      Slashdot might not be objectively good, but compared to plenty of other places it may as well be the pinnacle of internet civilization.

      If there were honestly something better in a general sense, there would be far fewer people here.
      • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:21PM (#51426299) Homepage Journal

        I don't want to toot the site's horn too much, but have you looked at other communities on the internet lately? Slashdot might not be objectively good, but compared to plenty of other places it may as well be the pinnacle of internet civilization. If there were honestly something better in a general sense, there would be far fewer people here.

        Heh. Remind me of the comments I've seen in assorted places, to the effect that the intelligence of any group of humans is an inverse function of the number of members.

        There's dispute about just what the inverse function is. This might be settled, in a sense, by the easy observation that the large body of internet groups show wide variation in visible intelligence, and it's fairly easy to show that this variation is very poorly correlated with a group's size. The conclusion is that there's not just one inverse function between population size and intelligence, there are many such functions.

        This opens up what could be an interesting research proposal: Can we collect enough detailed data on populations, including not just their sizes and apparent intelligences, but various other quanitites that might be measurable (and which the groups' leaders will tell us)? If so, maybe we can infer useful information about why some online groups have the intelligence levels that they do.

        Or maybe it's all just a hopeless mess. The value of the current IQ tests gives us little hope. But we do have something they don't: many petabytes of comments on all topics by billions of humans, most of it backed up so that repeated access is possible.

        OK; it probably really is a hopeless mess. But think of how useful it could be if we could give discussion leaders useful guidelines for improving the intelligence of discussion groups. OK, with things like politics and religion, they'd just use it to drive the level down, but for most other subject, it could lead to an improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:08PM (#51426201)

      You must be new here.

      This. There are several missing important moderations. "You must be new here" should be one of them. Along with "+1 Troll" (or "+1 look at that") a positive mod for things which are sufficiently bad to be worth reading.

      • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:49PM (#51426615) Homepage Journal

        You must be new here.

        This. There are several missing important moderations. "You must be new here" should be one of them. Along with "+1 Troll" (or "+1 look at that") a positive mod for things which are sufficiently bad to be worth reading.

        The simplest way to get this is to separate the qualitative from the quantitative i.e. have one drop-down with the score (+ or -) and one with the qualifier. More or less the way metamod works now, but with all the options all the time.

    • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:36PM (#51426475)

      I will give the Slashdot community credit in one area: it is possible to express an unpopular perspective without being moderated into oblivion. State your perspective clearly, and you may even be moderated up. That's difficult to find elsewhere.

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:44PM (#51425945)
    There's no doubt that the Slashdot community is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and prolific communities on the web.

    Used to be. Can you return it to that?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:44PM (#51425947)

    SourceForge still packages malware in its users distributables. Fix that first.

  • Not enough content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sigvatr ( 1207234 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:45PM (#51425953)
    There's not enough content on the front page every day. I know there are many submissions that are made everyday that never make it to the front page. Perhaps loosening the filter or helping people post quality front page material would help. Sometimes good stories never make it through because the guy who wrote it has bad grammar or something. That's a shame.
    • by whipslash ( 4433507 ) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:47PM (#51425971) Homepage Journal
      That's a good point and something we will look at. Should we weight firehose voting more heavily so that highly voted stories make the front page regardless of an editor?
      • by ancientt ( 569920 ) <ancientt@yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:02PM (#51426143) Homepage Journal

        Should we weight firehose voting more heavily so that highly voted stories make the front page regardless of an editor?

        What I'd like is an option in preferences to have the highest firehose voted stories included on the front page. I already get preview stories highlighted in red, maybe have the five highest ranked firehose stories highlighted in yellow.

        The temptation will be to push them as a default option, but resist that temptation. Advertise it like the firehose is advertised (and there ought to be a link on the footer all the time) but don't make it the default for established users and only make it the default for new users if adoption and feedback are consistently positive.

      • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:12PM (#51426227)
        I think there are other ways to go about getting more content. If you're going to have a paid staff, you could have periodic features, such as an article going into more depth about an open source project on a regular basis. Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is more articles related to scientific research without the usual media misrepresentation (i.e., it probably didn't cure cancer, but that doesn't mean it's not interesting) that seems to go along with the stories. Again, if you're going to have paid editors, have them reach out to scientists and do some interviews related to their research to generate some original content. Perhaps a weekly article highlighting a DIY project that might be of interest to the community. You could even try having more reviews of science fiction media or such things. There's all kinds of things to try that seem more interesting than aggregating news stories from elsewhere.

        Try a few things out and see what sticks or what people respond to. At worst, something doesn't gain traction and you move on to something else instead.
    • by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:48PM (#51425981)
      Second that. Sometimes it's 3 or 4 hours between new stories on the front page - on a work day!
  • HTTPS support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:46PM (#51425967) Homepage

    Because seriously.

  • by minkowski76 ( 2611417 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:48PM (#51425983)
    Fresh, solid and intelligent articles on TECH, and a banning of any and all trolls. Start there.
  • by smoothnorman ( 1670542 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:48PM (#51425987)
    It's lamentably inconsistent with the business sense of "moving forward", but it should be stated that the old "no_beta" slashdot was superior in nearly every way. That is, the less you manage to do, the more the loyal old farts (myself among them) will sing your praises. Make glitzy choices which head opposite to a clean text interface and you will lose four geeks to only one newbie gained.
  • What I want (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:48PM (#51425993)

    Give me more ways to make people understand just how wrong they are when I write a reply that contradicts everything they said. Some way to really make them realize their stupidity and experience terrible shame because of it.

    I think that would help your bottom line quite a lot, since that seems to be what the majority of people come to slashdot to do.

    (Yes, this post is a troll. I won't apologize though, as that would violate slashdot tradition.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:54PM (#51426071)

    He used to work on this site, would sometimes post stories as "Cmdr Taco".

    Oh, yeah, and started the friggin' thing.

    It'd be like Apple bringing Steve Jobs back, only not as expensive.,

  • by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:56PM (#51426083)
    I actually like the current 5. If something has 5, it's enough to notice and probably worth reading. Other moderators can then spend time to up or downvote other comments, rather than pile on the bandwagon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:58PM (#51426095)

    It's the only way to be sure.

  • A few ideas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by red_dragon ( 1761 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @09:59PM (#51426105) Homepage
    Just a short list of ideas off the top of my head: * UTF-8. I used to get around it by using HTML entities, but nobody ain't got time for that now, and it's been a source of complaints for over a decade. * Click-bait headlines have no place in a site dedicated to serious technical subjects (or that at least takes technical subjects more or less seriously). * CmdrTaco, Hemos, and the rest of the original crew used to occasionally become involved in the discussions and rarely felt the need to withhold their opinions (iPod, anyone?), which gave the site a more personal feel -- a hybrid between a blog and a news site. This still can be seen in sites like some of the sites run by Gawker Media, and it seems effective in maintaining the readers involved. * If there will be editors, they ought to edit.
  • Random list (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kobun ( 668169 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:00PM (#51426111)
    In no particular order:

    * Editors who can spell correctly and understand english grammar.
    * Some form of control over dupes, perhaps a commitment along the lines of "we won't repeat stories within 2 weeks of each other". This isn't about updates to previous stories, but ones where they are effectively the same posted back to back.
    * Fix the mobile interface or get rid of it. As an example of busted - the "top commented" story does not display on my iPad4. I literally cannot see the most active content on the site when I visit using it (it's up to date and using Chrome).
    * Expand the friends/foes list limit. I've got a hell of a lot of trolls permanently downmodded from over the years and am capped out. Either this, or find another way to control trolls. I realize this doesn't affect ACs at all.
    * Consider rewarding users with good karma with less delay between posts. I write pretty darn fast and have wandered away from more than a few good posts due to the speed limit.
    * Come to think of it, I've never noticed a place to report bugs or a bug tracker. Is there one? I haven't gone looking.
  • Fix the summaries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:00PM (#51426119)
    I hate it when a summary says "frobozz version x.y.z has been released, this release has many new features and bugfixes", yet never tells me what frobozz does.

    I also hate summaries along the lines of "Researcher discovers exploit in ABC using TSR algorithms tweaked with RNG enhancements. This can lead to new discoveries in FNG with QRZ and CDR possibilities". Then the summary never tells us what any of those acronyms mean.

    Finally, remember this is news for nerds. Keep the BS articles (I'm looking at you Forbes) to a minimum.
  • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@gma i l .com> on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:01PM (#51426131) Journal

    1. WRT Unicode, the biggest problem is "smart quotes." The quickest solution to get rid of this annoyance is to use a regex to replace smart quotes with regular quotes. The rest can wait for more testing before rolling it out.

    2. The current comment score cap works. It's less likely to promote group think as it can quickly be knocked back down or up without having an unreasonable distance to cover. People who worry about comment scores need to get over it - it's just a number. And if you're not browsing at -1, you're missing some good stuff that's gotten buried by the echo chamber. "It ain't broke, don't fix it."

    3. Direct messaging? Are you kidding me? Promote use of journals more if you want to encourage inter-personal communications that might be off-topic in a discussion elsewhere. People can also put their email, skype, etc info in their profile if they really need interpersonal communications that are not public.

    4. Reducing time between comments? That's only a concern if you have crap karma, and it's easy to go from zero to excellent in a few days, so anyone making any real contributions will quickly find this is not a problem.

    5. Fix the color scheme that makes it almost impossible to see the link to the source of the article in the title bar. Go back to putting the link at the top or bottom of the story if it isn't already embedded.

    6. Fix the mobile app on android. If you don't know what I'm referring to, try it for a while. You'll get the idea.

    7. Do NOT allow inline display of images. Those of us who have already learned not to click on goat.se links don't need to be forced to see it again and again.

    8. Get rid of the page between when you click on a link in your message list, and the actual message display. It's redundant.

    9. It's not hard to allow people to append to their comments, with a time-stamped notice along the lines of "EDITED: 2016-12-24@whenever added the following" and then the new text. This way, nobody can change their original post, but they CAN correct it in the original place.

    10. Increase the .sig length - even tweets are longer. People often use sigs to quickly identify other users (nobody looks at the user name).

  • by macklin01 ( 760841 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:02PM (#51426141) Homepage

    I miss the old days where there was a side bar freshmeat feed of new SourceForge releases. Could we possible increase the SlashDot / SourceForge links this way? A running feed of releases would be nice, and it would help bring us back to our FOSS roots.

    Also, in the scientific community (I'm in the cancer simulation field), "grand challenges" are popping up, where there would be a dataset or two, and a challenge to create an analysis or modeling tool for those data. Some really amazing creativity can emerge from those challenges.

    It would be interesting if such a thing could be done here, similarly to the "ask slashdot" articles, but then linking to a development space on SourceForge to keep it going. I would love to engage the developer community here on our data standards and other cancer projects, and I hope they'd like to pitch in.

    Thanks -- Paul

    PS: Please consider stopping the SourceForge spam. I'm not sure I need any more "SourceForge Resources" emails on "Flash Storage for Dummies" and business intelligence / analytics / etc.

  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:05PM (#51426175) Homepage Journal
    I want the power to decide who lives and who dies.
  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:16PM (#51426257)

    Put the "read more" link back after the story summary. Also put the comment count down there again. See soylent news for an example of how it use to be.

    Also a couple of years ago slashdot had a wonderful mobile site that looked very much like the desktop site, but was extremely functional (commenting, moderating, filtering comments, everything). The latest mobile site is useless as far as I'm concerned. In fact I the desktop site is more usable on a phone than the current mobile site. Slashdot is not Ars Technica. Slashdot *is* the comments. The stories are just there to spur discussion.

  • Some input (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brennz ( 715237 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:17PM (#51426263)

    Slashdot was "News for Nerds"

    Lately though, half the posts are some SJW topic.

    Bring back the tech.

  • First fix (Score:5, Funny)

    by blackbeak ( 1227080 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:22PM (#51426309)

    I wanted to use this opportunity to get a discussion going on how we can improve Slashdot moving forward.

    Let's start by banning the phrase "moving forward" unless you're talking about physical motion in a forward direction. Without a time machine there is no other direction for the "movement" of which you speak.

  • This is another black eye on slashdot, IMHO. The search function has never been useful. I don't know how they managed to devise such an awful search function - it often seems to return anything but what I am actually searching for - but they did. I remember some time several years back the search function was broken enough that slashdot allowed google to index the site and the searches all went through there, which was a massive improvement.
  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:22PM (#51426321)

    Polls belong on the sidebar. But don't believe just me. Go back and look at all the prior discussions about it.

    Actually just go back and look at /. history. Whenever the old management did something contentious there was always a lot of vocal and well reasoned arguments as to why what they did was BS. The trouble was that nobody at /. actually listened.

  • More specifically, it appears that some of us (such as myself) are on a list of people who never get mod points. I have not had mod points in ~2 years IIRC. My karma is consistently excellent here. Others have reported the same.

    There also have been times when people have been given differing numbers of mod points. It used to be that people would only get 5. Then some people started getting 10. Some people claimed they got as many as 15. I never heard an explanation for that, either.
  • by Chris Reeve ( 2962081 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @10:29PM (#51426393)
    There is a common pattern with aggregator sites today which deal with scientific press releases to simply regurgitate press releases that other sites are posting. These stories are typically chosen because they fit a narrative which the Slashdot community already believes. But, such "news values" are not in the spirit of Silicon Valley, which has a strong tradition of leading the world on issues related to science and tech.

    Modern aggregator sites today are increasingly realizing that there are two types of stories: those stories which exploit the users by feeding their worldviews back to them (directly termed "exploitation") and those stories which encourage users to learn new ideas which might challenge their preconceived notions ("exploration"). Slashdot has since the beginning focused entirely upon exploitation, which satisfies the user base, but also makes the tech community more insulated from competing views. This is most obvious with regards to what is happening at the geographical center of the tech world, in the Mission in San Francisco (where there have been some high-profile incidents with regards to gentrification and overall disrespect for the native culture), but the effects of such policies are also -- perhaps more importantly -- observable in the world of science.

    Why not try a bit harder to educate the tech community on some of the most vocal critics of both science and tech? There is a rather long list of such critics to work with, some of them have very impressive CV's, and some of the claims they've made have been really quite extraordinary.

    Martín López Corredoira is an astrophysicist, philosopher and academic whistleblower. He has published more than 50 cosmology and astrophysical papers on subjects like the structure of the Milky Way, stellar populations, and observational astronomy topics which required analytical calculations, computer simulations, statistics, photometrical and spectroscopical observations and analysis. He wrote in The Twilight of the Scientific Age ...

    "A superficial view may lead us to think that we live in the golden age of science but the fact is that the present-day results of science are mostly mean, unimportant, or just technical applications of ideas conceived in the past."

    "There are several reasons to write about this topic. First of all, because I feel that things are not as they seem, and the apparent success of scientific research in our societies, announced with a lot of ballyhoo by the mass media, does not reflect the real state of things."

    "Science is not a direct means for reaching the truth. Science works with hypotheses rather than with truths. This fact, although recognized, is usually forgotten. It gives rise to the creation of certain key groups within science which think that their hypotheses are indubitably solid truths, and think that the hypotheses of other minority groups are just extravagant or crackpot ideas ...

    all through history, and even now, there have been many instances of discussion about how to interpret aspects of nature, with various possible options without a clear answer, in which a group of scientists have opted to claim their position is the good or orthodox one while other positions are heresies."

    Or, how about Jeff Schmidt, who published a scathing critique of the physics graduate program titled Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-battering System That Shapes Their Lives?

    "My thesis is that the criteria by which individuals are deemed qualified or unqualified to become professionals involve not just technical knowledge as is generally assumed, but also attitude -- in particular, attitude toward working within an assigned political and ideological framework."

    "At the end of the week the entire physics faculty gathers in a closed meeting to decide the fate of the students. Strange as it may s
  • IPv6 support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @11:24PM (#51426973)
    For a tech site, slashdot should be an IPv6 enabled website
    • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @05:25AM (#51428513)

      I'll add my +1 for putting Slashdot on IPv6 quickly, and then Sourceforge too when you have time. Virtually all ISPs, colos and hosting providers offer IPv6 already, and all the well known CDNs have done so for many years. With IPv6 uptake at 10% and growing ever faster, it's beginning to look bad for a tech site not to have IPv6 enabled. (It works perfectly, seamlessly and effortlessly, by the way.)

      While many good ideas have been suggested in this thread, 4 of them stand out for me as very clear technical interests for many techies:

      - HTTPS.
      - Javascript optional and decreasing.
      - Unicode.
      - IPv6.

      The huge interest in security and privacy among Slashdot readers make the first two items of special importance. It's no longer an innocent world of academics and enthusiasts like yesteryear, and readers need to protect themselves and the companies from which the site is often read with link encryption and effective script restrictions.

      It's no surprise that use of NoScript is huge among the technical readership, nor that the JS orgy of forbes.com was despised so much.

      My best wishes for this new era of Slashdot. I'm looking forward to another (almost) two decades of interesting technical discussion. :-)

  • Primary news source (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @11:27PM (#51427001) Homepage Journal

    I don't know if you are interested in this but...

    During the 2nd war in Iraq, one of the most interesting accounts was a lone blogger in Baghdad who made nightly posts about what was going on and his views on the situation. He wasn't a journalist or anything, just a guy in an apartment watching missiles destroy buildings in his city. Sadly, he wasn't allowed to continue his reporting after the fall of the regime.

    Since we're nerds, it should be possible to get interesting views from conflict areas around the globe in an anonymous manner. Perhaps partner with WikiLeaks to get anonymous interviews and points of view from these areas.

    They say that the first casualty of war is the truth, but we're now living in an age where the average reader can dig down to find original sources for some of the media bias and spin.

    I would love to read the (anonymous) views of a Chinese engineer, or Indian customer support person, or a Cuban hacker, or Ukranian spammer.

    I would find it much more interesting than a talking-head video of some software package founder.

    If you're interested in being a primary news source, having the occasional "scoop" where the MSM refers to Slashdot as the breaking story, and have the courage for a high-level of journalistic integrity, then you could do this. Let WikiLeaks handle the anonymity and authentication, you just post the interviews.

    It's not for the faint of heart, but it's something you could do.

  • by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @11:30PM (#51427029) Homepage

    Being one of the greybeards who still reads Slashdot, I'll add a few:

    - Add the ability to edit comments until they are moderated or have a reply
    - Stop linking to Forbes articles and posting Slashvertisements
    - Stop running articles about Martin Shkreli or other things that have nothing to do with "News for nerds"
    - For the love of all things absurd, please add CowboyNeal back as the final poll option
    - If you need money to operate the site, try asking for it from readers. That way you can reduce or eliminate advertising useless junk that nobody wants

    • by Astro Dr Dave ( 787433 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @02:56AM (#51428105)

      - Add the ability to edit comments until they are moderated or have a reply

      This would have to be done carefully, i.e. you can't post an edit after someone has clicked the reply button (not actually posted the reply). And the person replying would need to be notified if the post had been changed since the page was loaded.

      Earlier in this discussion someone suggested to allow appending comments to your own post with a timestamp, but not editing the original text. That might be a better approach.

  • by whipslash ( 4433507 ) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @11:33PM (#51427053) Homepage Journal
    Would anyone be interested in the option to see the most popular stories from the firehose on the front page? They'd have to hit a very high popularity threshold and also would be marked/color-coded as such.
  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @11:40PM (#51427103)

    I just waded through this whole mess of comments. 99.9% of them are stupid ideas. By far the most important way to KEEP slashdot good is DON'T FUCK WITH IT. It doesn't NEED "fixing", and these ideas would ruin it.

  • Metamoderation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Tuesday February 02, 2016 @11:53PM (#51427181) Homepage
    Back when I first registered here, metamoderation consisted of examining how posts had been moderated and judging it was deserved or not. That is, you'd be given a post and told that it had been given a +1 Informative, and asked if it deserved that. I really enjoyed helping out that way and almost never failed to metamoderate.

    Now, you're shown a set of posts that have been moderated and asked if they're good posts or bad posts, with no idea of how they were originally rated. You have no context, no way of knowing if you're being asked to judge an upmod or a downmod (For all I know, you're being asked to judge all the mods a post received in one lump.) and no way to tell what effect your decision will have.

    It's been years, now, since I've even bothered with metamodding, but if you went back to the old style where people knew just what moderations they were checking, I'd gladly start doing it again, and I doubt I'm the only person here who feels that way. Metamoderation used to serve an important function here, and I'd like to see that come back.
  • by Soulskill ( 1459 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @12:27AM (#51427397)

    1. It's nice to see you're already communicating with the users. It's something I could never get previous leadership to do. Keep it up! You won't be able to bring them everything on their wishlist -- but don't let that stop you from telling them what you are bringing them, and why the other stuff got pushed lower on the priority list. They're reasonable folks; as long as you're working with them, they'll be on your side.

    2. Small changes are better than big ones. Don't push ahead with a massive, grand plan and assume the community will jump on board (like video and beta). If they tell you they don't want it, they don't actually want it. When in doubt, trust Tim L. and Tim V. Nobody cares about the site and its users as much as those two.

    3. Build for the community you have, not for the one you want. Don't chase the hockey stick. It's not going to happen. But there's still a path for evolving Slashdot to support an incredibly broad tech/geek community.

    4. Nobody should make decisions about the site without being an active user.

    5. Ask the community for help more often. The biggest area that needs it right now is submissions. They're the base from which all content flows, and they've been slowly drying up. Submission needs to feel less like screaming into the abyss. Consider reviving the IRC channel to give people direct, instant access to editorial. Try to find ways to solicit particular submissions from known experts. (For example, a submission about a new C++ release from an actual C++ engineer is worth its weight in gold.

    6. Reward readers for doing things that benefit the site. Used a mod point? +1 subscriber (ad-free) page. Got a score:5 comment? +10 pages. Accepted submission? +10 pages. Or more. Be generous; these are your most valuable users.

    7. Empower and invest in editorial. It is literally their job to know and understand the community, so they shouldn't lose fights centering on the community.

    8. Ads have been in a bad place for a couple of years. Pulling it back will cost you revenue in the short term, but may ensure the site's sustainability in the long term.

    9. Slashdot's founder, Rob Malda, still cares deeply about Slashdot. I'm sure he'd be willing to offer some advice.

    You've been saying a lot of the right things about Slashdot an SourceForge. I sincerely hope you make it all happen.

    Best of luck,
    Jeff

"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk." -- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_

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