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The 10 Tech People Who Don't Matter 520

Posted by Hemos
from the ouch-that-hurts dept.
TopShelf writes "Business 2.0 recently ran a feature on the Top 50 People Who Matter in the business world, but perhaps more interesting is their list of the 10 People Who Don't Matter. Leading off the list is a Slashdot favorite, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer..." Given, Rob's in there as well, but I'd say his company in the list is pretty decent.
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The 10 Tech People Who Don't Matter

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  • Re:/. on the list! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by andrewman327 (635952) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:28AM (#15605809) Homepage Journal
    Aside from /. I still disagree with some of the nominations. I use FaceBook several times every single day, whereas I do not actively use MySpace. Also, I much prefer Netflix's low rates and ease of use to having to deal with the hassles and DRM of on-demand services. My girlfriend is considering switching from Comcast On Demand to Netflix so she can have more choice over what to watch.
  • to be honest (digg) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sebastopol (189276) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:29AM (#15605816) Homepage
    I see stories on Digg, Wired, and Drudge hours (sometimes DAYS) before they are on /.

    Granted, I can't live without the flamewars and discussions I've come to know and love in this moderated world of slashdot (at least since 1998), but I think the article may have a point...

  • Too bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by east coast (590680) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:29AM (#15605818)
    Yeah, sadly slashdot is becoming less and less a part of my daily habit. I use to be sure to meta moderate and try to give meaningful contributions to the site but seeings as where the development end of things have been in a nose dive around here and the site has become more a Bush bashfest than a technical news source... eh... I just don't feel bad not being as much a member of the community anymore.

    On another note about the top ten: I have to completely disagree with the "DVD is an endangered species" noise mentioned for NetFlix. While I'm not a NetFlix subscriber physical media like DVD is certainly nowhere near its endlife. I just don't know what people think is going to replace the physical aspect of DVD media in the near future. I've heard this boy cry wolf before and frankly it's gotten old.
  • Who matters at all? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gelfling (6534) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:31AM (#15605837) Homepage Journal
    In the thirty years I've been involved in IT I have to guess that we're approaching the point where hero-god-gurus don't matter much at all. Hasn't the industry matured to the point of being boring yet? When are we going to get past eccentric non repeatable brilliance and to the point of dull efficient execution?
  • Linus on the List (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neongenesis (549334) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:32AM (#15605843)

    Linus has the one entry that is really a compliment.

    Dennis Ritchie gave a nice talk on the 21st(??) birthday of Unix about how it is like a child growing up, leaving home, being all grown up and an adult... He felt a little like a proud parent.

    What better compliment for Linus than to have created something that has grown and matured to the point that it is beyond the creator? I can imagine few more satisfying accomplishments in life.

  • by cosmotron (900510) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:33AM (#15605854) Homepage Journal
    What was the first post on Slashdot ever?
  • by east coast (590680) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:38AM (#15605891)
    Digg is a pile of shit

    While this is true I think the article missed the idea that /. is more a "middle of the road" type of news source. It's the equivalent of reading MSNBC for business news. While I (obviously) still come to the site I find that more and more I'm spending some old slashdot time down the corner at sites like devx.com. While DevX themselves is a much less active site (an understatement) than /. I find the reading more meaningful than the endless posts by armchair engineers, pizza delivery kids who couldn't really make the geek squad and the GNAA.

    And older articles on other more specialized technical sites have more impact and more value. I'm wondering if more people are like me and are looking for more technical meat over flamewars and bad noise.
  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary,address,for,privacy&gmail,com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:39AM (#15605898)
    I feel with you, I too am tired of such crappy web pages. What are they trying to achieve?! I went through pretty much the same steps as you did, however it did work [cnn.com] in my Firefox. For extra lack of credibility, they do the layout, not with CSS, not even with tables, but with frames (!), and the list is not in a single page, no, you have to navigate between the different people with some more javascript. So much for the HTML elements "unordered list" and "list item". *crying*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:40AM (#15605905)
    Alexa is spyware, is it not? If Digg is getting more visited by Alexa users than Slashdot, to me that signifies that more people that read Digg are unsavy enough to have spyware installed on their machine. To me, having a lower rank in the Alexa ranking system when you are talking about a tech news site means that the readers of the lower scoring sites have better spyware protection and are more tech savy. This lends MORE credence to slashdot than Digg, IMHO.
  • I must agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Judg3 (88435) <jeremyNO@SPAMpavleck.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:48AM (#15605950) Homepage Journal
    Sadly, I have to agree with most of the sentiment regarding /. now, compared to /. back then.
    I've been posting a long time (This UID shows it) and reading even longer. But over the past several years, the quality has waned - I now come here more as a novelty instead of a necessity. Shame really - I really loved this place.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by east coast (590680) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:49AM (#15605957)
    I think that the article (flawed or not) is about those who use to make a stir in the tech world who have seemed to have slipped by the wayside. I think slashdot use to be more significant in the past than it is today and I agree with the article that digg is part of what makes it less significant (for better or worse frankly, hopefully digg will help to take away some of /.s deadweight).

    And for the Linus thing. I have to kinda agree. While Linux isn't dead by a long shot I think that the general tech community expected more to happen with it. So far the only real stir it has created is in the server room and this is years and years after some fairly loud Linux supporters were telling us that Linux was a MS killer. So far that just doesn't seem to be the case. Perhaps someday...
  • by technoextreme (885694) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:51AM (#15605974)
    That article is prety stupid to make a reference to Alexa. Im looking at the graph for Digg vs Slashdot and something seems fishy. For the past few monthes Slashdot and Digg were pretty much neck and neck which makes sense. In April both Slashdot and Digg jump almost straight up in page views. Something is odd with that data.
  • by garcia (6573) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:55AM (#15606001) Homepage
    The thing is, where to go?

    I have found plenty of other things to bide my time. I started swimming again (after several years of getting fat), I spend more time with my wife, I spend more time reading, and I spend more time doing shit outside.

    As far as getting my "fix" on news? I go to CNN, Google News, and a multitude of other sites other than Slashdot, Digg (I've been there twice), Fark (been there once), and any of the other bullshit sites out there that everyone is obsessing over.

    Perhaps it's because I've been involved with Slashdot from near the beginning (compared to most of the people here now who still carry on old inside jokes and rants that they don't even understand the meaning of) or perhaps that it's just because I have other interests... I don't know what the reason is but there are plenty of other things that people could be doing than sitting here defending what Slashdot has become.

    Either Slashdot's "staff" needs to get over themselves and their belief that they are somehow still relevant these days and actually bring the site back to its original "glory" or they need to just shut it down before it becomes sadder than it already has.
  • by rwven (663186) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:58AM (#15606025)
    I think you've got it backwards. I feel that people got tired of waiting, sometimes hours, for a new story to be posted. At digg you can go to the site and skip the articles you dislike and savor the articles you like at any pace that you like. If you are bored at on the web or something, there's almost a guarantee that every 15 minutes there will be a new article up on the main page. Or you can look at the listing of recent articles posted that have no made it there yet.

    An added benefit of digg is that just because an editor doesnt like an article, doesnt mean it won't be shown. If the people like the article, tons more people will see it. If they don't, it will be lost. With the current /. method, any one editor can veto the posting of an article simply if he's the one that reviews it. I know plenty of stories that have been submitted to /. that were LOVED on digg...yet were rejected by a /. admin.

    People go to digg BECAUSE of the fast pace at which is flows...not in spite of it. That's what people want. I'm not dogging on /. here. /. DID pioneer the tech news industry that exists today, but it is possible that it's time for something new to be tried. Just try to "keep an open mind" about things like digg. Just because it's competition to /. doesn't mean it's evil.
  • by pr0nbot (313417) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:00PM (#15606032)
    I'm a free market believer because I believe in ultimate freedom for the consumer. The only way that can happen is if the producers are given the chance to compete without favoritism, preferential grants or subsidies, or anti-market entry taxes, tariffs and regulations.

    I'm not sure whether you're arguing for consumer freedom with an eye to individual benefit or the collective good, but you're assuming (amongst other things) that:

    • competition is a given; but without regulation, what will stop collusion and monopolistic practices? The size of your competitors is probably the largest barrier to entry into a market.
    • the actions of individual consumers will be to the greater good of society; without subsidies and punitive taxes, how can you direct markets towards longer-term social goals?
    • that dependence on global markets is a good thing; without tariffs you can't protect nascent domestic markets, or protect established domestic markets during the transition to a global market, and without regulation how do you prevent dumping?
    The invisibile hand is invisible because it doesn't exist.
  • by timster (32400) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:04PM (#15606061)
    I remember something different about the pre-2001 Slashdot, obviously.

    OMG look at this case mod1!!!

    Here's yet another link to Tom's Hardware! Look at how bad the Intel chip is!

    Study shows Windows is totally better than Linux. Gee, but are the considering all the advantages of Open Source?

    etc. In other words, it's my opinion that Slashdot content has matured over the years. In a sense it is no longer as exciting; back in the day it felt like we were all fighting an urgent war against the DMCA and Microsoft and Intel and even SCO (and the trolls were way way better).

    These days it feels more like a news and discussion outlet. I don't think that's bad, but it just indicates the ongoing aging of the editors and readership. I feel that this makes the comments more interesting because you are more likely to see a serious debate between intelligent people with good ideas. Back in the day it was more "party line" unless a troll came in to stir things up.
  • Re:Digg is Shit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:06PM (#15606083) Homepage Journal
    Not only that, the "democracy" way of moderation in digg is vulnerable to astroturfing [slashdot.org]. I posted it on my journal.

    HOWEVER, I agree that the story submission system on digg is nice - it avoids much bureaucracy that currently exists on /. . It's not unusual for slashdot to publish stories that were posted on digg 2 days earlier. Perhaps there could be a way to make high karma users to accept or reject (or even vote on) pending stories?

    Regarding scientology, what we're seeing on digg is some kind of "gossip" phenomenon - with echoes. Digg could be used as a measure of what the geeks are thinking about today. It's like some kind of social laboratory with nerds as rats and stories as the maze.

    I wouldn't say digg is going to replace slashdot. But it's a very nice complement. As someone said in digg, "I read digg for the stories, and slashdot for the comments". This could be an indicator of what is good on slashdot and what needs to be improved.

    Apart from that, digg is becoming not exactly a technology website but a nerd website. The stories on scientology and global warming are representative of it.

    The real problem with digg competing vs. slashdot is that, as i said before, real technology stories typically posted on slashdot are posted much faster on digg. I used to read slashdot on a daily basis to find out "what's new" on the tech world. Today i read digg for that (and not the published, but the pending stories).

    In conclusion, I'd say digg is much broader than slashdot, and appeals to a less specialized public. Perhaps changing the submission method for slashdot would help us regain some popularity.
  • #1 on my list (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RafaelGCPP (922041) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:18PM (#15606182)

    People at CNN with lots of spare time and no knowledge of who is who or what is what...

    They put Torvalds as a guy who does only the core of the system, while the remaining is done by RedHat, Novell, etc... This only shows that the guy who wrote the article don't know shit about operating systems. The "core" in Linux is the OS, all the rest are daemons and programs running over it.

    To make it fair, I don't like Balmer, but let's face it: he IS the face of Microsoft today, with Bill Gates being just a nerdy guru..."

    Lists of "popular people" and "losers" are for teenager high-schoolers! Grow up!!!

  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:18PM (#15606188) Homepage Journal
    For me, I use a combination of RSS feeds that pull from news.google.com and blogsearch.google.com. I guess I've become a google fanboy but only because they offer such great tools (and APIs) for me to feed my need for information, opinions and conflict. Now that I basically have my own "wire" to all sorts of news on all my favorite topics, as well as OpEd ("blogs"), I can get what I want when I want rather than using a site like slashdot or digg.

    The great thing about this is that I tend to filter out sites that DON'T have an open comment forum at the end of the article. I still come to slashdot daily (RSS!) for the comments, but I also pay more attention to the everyman comments at other sites. I'm in it for the response of the readers, not necessarily for the "facts" in the article.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:23PM (#15606238) Journal
    I just had a peek at Digg for the first time in my life. It seems clear that I've been failing to appreciate how good slashdot actually is!
  • by Numtek (839866) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:44PM (#15606431) Homepage
    same reason I'm still checking /. Most of the time I skip the stories, and just read the comments
  • by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:54PM (#15606503) Homepage Journal
    ...Rob Malda would take me up on this offer, I'd be more than happy to edit/subedit. The fact that Slashdot even got mentioned in the top 10 is proof that it is a site with enormous power and tremendous influence. I would like it to stay that way and if there's anything I can do to help in this, I am certainly willing to do what I can.


    I do submit stories. Not enough to get in the High Score table - I generally stick to stuff I firmly believe is highly significant in science or technology, though there have been a few exceptions. Then, there's also the obvious - I regularly post, moderate and metamoderate, and even occasionally journal. I am still not satisfied, though, that I'm doing as much for Slashdot as I'm getting out of it. Any thoughts - particularly from any of the editors - on what more to do would be appreciated.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday June 26, 2006 @01:00PM (#15606559) Homepage Journal
    Interesting point, but from my viewpoint, the more trolls that go over to Digg, the happier I'll be, especially if they take all the science-denying posters with them.

    But, it's strange to see a list with Ken, Rob, and Linus as the ten least important. Linus never was important per se, so long as he did his work well, Rob is just a person (code lives forever), but pretending that Sony doesn't matter, even when they're wrong (PS3, Blu-Ray) and nuts (DRM, rootkits), is probably not correct.
  • With the way jobs are going, these are the top 10 things that "dont matter" in said industry but are not exclusive to said industry:
    1. Job Security
    2. Domestic Talent
    3. Non-Exclusionary access to all levels and all places of education(this means being able to enter into a university without Fraternity connections, dubious high school volunteer projects, or using merit as a status symbol)
    4. Morals/Ethics in corporations in all aspects
    5. Quality of Worker = Quality of Product
    6. Quality of the resulting product
    7. Worker group bargaining in any worker-favorable manner
    8. Treating anyone not of the investor class with respect (this does not include such things as mutual funds, this is more towards corporate investment)
    9. The Midwest as a valuable pool of workers worth subsidizing all education on merit blind basis
    10. Other minor areas not covered by #9
  • by zoomzit (860737) on Monday June 26, 2006 @01:45PM (#15606933)
    I agree with the parent here.

    In many ways I equate Slashdot with NPR, and Digg with a network news station.

    With NPR (and Slashdot) there is more time for each story and a more in-depth study of the topic at hand. On NPR, the increased depth is through quality reporting and in-depth analyses. With slashdot, the in-depth analyses comes from user comments. I actually learn something from listening to NPR and reading slashdot.

    With Digg, we have the nerd equivalent of "Thousands Die in Tsunami... and pictures of Britney's baby!!! More at 11:00!!!" It tells you something... in a very quick and sensationalistic manner. I suppose in many ways, it shows the difference between information, and providing actual useful knowledge.

    This is a bit off-topic, but I wonder how many slashdotters listen to National Public Radio?

  • by bonch (38532) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:06PM (#15607106)
    any idiot with an agenda moderates

    I'm posting at -1 specifically because of idiots with an agenda. Someone set up a script to watch my user page and check for new comments, then load an account with mod points and mod me down. +5 posts weeks old would still be getting marked down until they were -1. I went from +2 karma to -1 in four days. Emails to the editors did nothing.

    At Digg, everyone has a voice, so if one person doesn't like me, so what? I might convince other people who will balance out the rating. Here at Slashdot, you can ruin someone's account just for fun.
  • Slashdot moderation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:08PM (#15607118) Journal
    I wouldn't say it's "completely, totally, absolutely broken" but we know that our moderation system can benefit from a serious overhaul. We're actively working on major improvements. Stay tuned...
  • by bonch (38532) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:14PM (#15607174)
    Slashdot has made itself irrelevant. Digg is just a consequence. The reasons Slashdot doesn't matter very much:

    1.) Broken mod system that hasn't change since the late 90s. See me posting at -1? Piss off a moron with a script, and your +2 account is doomed.

    2.) Endless dupes. Dupes now and then are understandable, but they happen a lot on Slashdot. The reason they're so irritating is that any monkey following the front page day in and day out like we do recognizes a dupe post, so it signals to readers that editors don't read their own front page. The second irritating thing is that subscribers were supposed to alleviate this, but editors don't listen to them.

    3.) Crap, misleading stories and headlines. From stories dated five years ago to outright falsehoods to flamebait submission text (the recent VOIP submission snidely claiming most VOIP users use Firefox...huh?) to Roland articles.

    Frankly, the editors don't act like editors. It's not that hard to post good stories, edit them for clarity, fix typos, and actually visit the links to make sure they're valid submissions. I'm a 5-digit user who's been around since the 90s, and it's sad how far this site has fallen. Pay me money and I'll do a fantastic job of a story editor. I'm sure plenty of other users here would as well. Hell, why not have an open story queue and let us all do the job of deciding what gets posted? Oh, wait, I just described Digg [digg.com]...
  • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:30PM (#15607294)
    From the Linus blurb:
    His Linux operating system is fast, cheap, and out of control - and that's entirely by design.
    Torvalds's project has matured to such an extent that it's largely outgrown its illustrious creator.

    So Linus has succeeded in making something great, therefore he doesn't matter? I guess he's just going to ride off into the sunset, right?

  • by siriuskase (679431) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:30PM (#15607299) Homepage Journal
    me2

    The first thing I do when I come to /. is read the replies to my messages. It is cool to see how and why various people disagree or, occasionally, agree with me. I noticed you got a lot of replies to your Stallman messages, so I will have to go there next.

    I just went to Digg and checked a few threads, the Apple sweatshop thing and another which I forgot. The comments were stupid and uninteresting. /. has more threads that are interesting including quite a few that are both stupid and interesting. Heiarchial threading (sp?) does a better job of displaying the conversation structure. Why don't more websites use it? It's not a new idea, it's also one of the things I like about usenet.

    Minor complaint about new /. design: I have a harder time following the structure, children seem to be nowhere near their parent.
  • by TopShelf (92521) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:46PM (#15607428) Homepage Journal
    That's an interesting feature - I hadn't seen that before. Browsing back to 20010911 brought back some terrible memories.

    It's interesting to browse through those stories, and see how many posts there were, within an hour or two of the attacks, saying "now this will result in a war on terror, watch our rights get trimmed, etc." Impressively prescient.
  • I like Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rinkjustice (24156) <rinkjustice@NO_SPAM r o c k etmail.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @03:03PM (#15607590) Homepage Journal
    I've been reading it faithfully since (circa) 1998, but it's not as hardcore as it used to be. It might be I'm getting older and wiser or that I'm not as militant about Linux as I used to be, or it might be a dilution of the nerd population to other discussion forums - I dunno. But the fact is I've seen contenders vie for /.'s crown before (Kuro5hin immediately comes to mind, maybe Plastic) and they've been trounced. Slashdot feels like home. It's a part of my life. I enjoy the readership and have made lots of friends and enemies here. And best of all, I've learned alot.

    Malda may be irrelevant to the biz/tech world, but not to me and many other readers. I guess what I'm trying to say is "thanks Slashdot, for being a part of my life!"
  • by siriuskase (679431) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:17PM (#15608205) Homepage Journal
    I sorta like the slashdot system for moderation, but for some reason, I don't like metamodding.

    My idea for a mod system would be sorta diggish, in that everyone who reads can give a thumb up or down at any time, but different users would have different weights based on their karma. Metamodding wouldn't be necessary because the system would be able to see whether your mods were out of whack. The more out of line your mods, the lowing your mod weight would become. Please no fat jokes!
  • by cagle_.25 (715952) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:46PM (#15608404) Journal
    On the chance that you're taking suggestions, I'll start a thread:
    1. Get rid of "Troll". There are relatively few genuine trolls compared to the number of people of simply express unfounded opinions. Not that we want to reward that habit either, but calling them "trolls" is rude.
    2. Get rid of Underrated/Overrated, or make it subject to metamodding. There is a very good reason to allow people to post Anonymously. By contrast, there is no good reason to allow people to moderate without being subject to metamods. Underrated and Overrated both allow that. As a result, Overrated becomes the scoundrel's refuge: "I don't like [Republicans|Democrats|atheists|Christians|your sig], so I'll ding you a spite point and hide behind the Overrated rule." And anyway, what could "overrated" possibly mean? Rated over what level? Well, obviously, my subjective assessment of the comment's ideal score. That's nonsense. Every mod point assigned should have some objective component to it, else it is meaningless as feedback for readers and posters. "Overrated" and "Underrated" encourage pure subjectivity.
    3. Allow for a "Useful Sources Cited" mod, which would reward those who take the time to provide useful references for the rest of us. Yes, Google can and should be used by all ... but effective Googling should be rewarded. This is different from Informative in that it rewards process rather than content.
    4. Provide options to mark something as "Counterfactual" or something like that. Suppose Alice posts something that gets modded as +5 informative, but which Bob challenges. The moderator sees the challenge, checks the info, finds out that Bob is right, and wants to bump Alice down a bit. What are the choices? Troll, Flamebait, or Overrated. Troll and Flamebait do not fit the situation. Overrated is overly broad (leaving aside the issues mentioned above). A "Counterfactual" option could be very useful here to give specific content to the negative moderation. Also, a Counterfactual mod could be easily scored by a metamod.
    5. Ditto for a "Sound Argument" mod.
    In general, the current mod system tends to reward those who think thoughts agreeable to the majority of moderators; that is, it rewards content instead of process. As a result, comments often become cheerleading for one side or another. A good moderation system would reward those whose thought process furthers the conversation at hand, not those who spout party line.
  • by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:29PM (#15608785) Journal
    Thanks for the suggestions. We'll be allowing all that and more, I think. And under/overrated will probably go away, yes.
  • John Dvorak (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aqua OS X (458522) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:35PM (#15608838)
    How do you have a list of tech people who don't matter with out leading off with John Dvorak?
  • by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:22PM (#15609452) Journal

    Cagel, while I agree with your post, I have to add as someone who regularly meta-mods, the troll mod is rarely used correctly at all. By "correctly" I mean posts like the GNAA crap and goatse links. Usually the troll mod is used by a mod who disagrees with the post, even though the post may be politely-worded and thoughtful. As a rough estimate, I'd say I see it used correctly only 1 in 7 times I see it used at all.

    "Off-topic" and "redundant" are also over-used by modders. How is a post off-topic when it's about the subject of the article? Beats me, go ask the people who've modded such posts as "off-topic". I see that at least once a week, often more. And "redundant"? How is a post redundant if no one has has said what the commenter posted, nor is it in the article? Again, I don't know, but I see this one mis-used very often. All of these three, "troll", "off-topic" and "redundant", are most often used as "I disagree with you and are digging you down" moderations rather than how they're supposed to be.

    I have no advice to give here, because frankly I'm sick of the moderation systems everywhere, even though I have mod points right now. I'm sick of everything I say being subject to the approval of others. It's that way everywhere on the internet; forums, chat, comments at various sites, you name it. It was nice to get back into having an actual social life simply because I could say what I wanted without my statement being modded. I understand the need for moderation because of actual trolls, but the moderation system creates more trolls by pissing people off -- and often enough they are quite justified in being pissed off about it, just not how they choose to act on it. But then they have no other recourse, do they? Meta-mods can't do anything about posts that were modded badly when they see them, only those they are given when they meta-mod. I suppose that could help, giving those who have meta-modded well the ability to "spot" meta-mod every once in a while. But as long as you have a moderation system on large site you will have those who abuse it freely. Go read the posts at -1 (all of them) to several articles and you will see what I mean very quickly. You will also see many, many posts about the moderations themselves, which almost invariabley get modded down as well. That's why I set my threshold to -1 with 0 for redundant and off-topic; after meta-modding I soon saw that I was missing a lot of good comments that were modded down for spite.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:26PM (#15609473) Homepage Journal
    The biggest problems with the moderation system are: the folks who mod down opinions they disagree with in effort to skew a discussion, the nitwits who have no sense of humor and throw mod points away modding down humor as "troll" and "flamebait" (while letting goatse remain at 1 or 2), and folks who have multiple accounts where they lurk from one account (since the mod system obviously favors lurkers) and post from another. However even though the system is broken, it's better than certain other sites I'll refrain from mentioning.

    Metamoderation does help to alleviate some of the above issues, but what's up with metamoderation bringing up posts from threads which have been archived and can no longer be posted to? Even if the system DOES in fact weigh for or against users' eligibility to moderate in the future, it does not resolve the issue of points which have been thrown away on "funny" mods (especially modding them down as flamebait or troll). Once - Just Once - I'd like to read a popular topic (be it Copyright, the current administration's policies, etc.), be able to set the threshold to 5 or even 4 and see a readable topic. Right now with moderators throwing points away to mod down rather than up it's just not possible.

    Lastly, the system is skewed too far away from active users. Why should lurkers be more eligible to moderate? This only encourages people to create multiple accounts, to post from one and mod their posts up with the other (or mod others down with the other), and with people not bothering to metamoderate because they never get mod points (their excuse for not helping out - why tap the bar if you don't get the sugar pellet?) the check-and-balance system that you put into place is not being utilized well enough, allowing bad mods to continue getting points, while active users who can maintain objectivity while moderating do not get mod points often enough.
  • There's always the Fark method.

    At Fark, a small team of "editors", if you will (drunk people, if you won't), select news items based on weirdness, stupidity, or popularity to post to the front page for the freeloaders.

    However, there is a way to see every single submission to the queue on Fark- TotalFark. The catch? The user pays $5/month to do so.

    One would think that would seem kind of backwards, but it actually works out well. TotalFarkers take over threads that won't hit the main page(s) (redlit threads) to discuss an issue that is on the main page (a greenlit thread). The overhead tends to weed out most, if not all, trolls in discussions, which leads to more fulfilling (and more to the point) debates.

    Aside from that, some TotalFarkers also take it upon themselves to alert admins to dupe threads, which is why Fark has such a low number of duplicates (when compared to, say, Slashdot.) They also will alert admins about links with spyware or spam links (to the point that Fark has added an "Alert an admin" function to each individual thread).

    The downside/upside to this is that the regular posting TotalFark users have become a much tighter-knit community, and you see a lot of threads asking for day-to-day advice and complaining about various (personal) problems. Since Fark is a non-serious site, the users revel in this stuff, but it would make it harder to have serious discussions about technical situations. Can you imagine trying to find information about the latest wireless specs amongst such submissions as "hey guyz wut should i use for my pc" and "Download this awesome new web client! We swear it's not adware!"?

    While Slashdot may get stories a bit slower or with bad synopsi, the user comments and heavy story filtering make it a site worth visiting.

    Disclaimer: I am a TotalFarker.
  • by identity0 (77976) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:14PM (#15610442) Journal
    I think one of the problems is that the mods system tries to do in one dimention categorization that is in multiple dimentions - Topicality, abusiveness, quality, humor. A post can easily be funny and flamebait, or insightful flamebait, or interesting and offtopic.

    I would like to see the mod system as a series or radio buttons that go like
    [Funny | unfunny], [on | offtopic], [redundant | overrated | underrated], [flame | tame], [insightful | interesting | informative | incorrect]

    with the ability to customize your view to rank comments based on humor, topicality, etc. instead of just the numerical ranking.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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