I understand the need to make revenue, but advertizing portals also serve malware and misleading scams, and use up a ton of bandwidth.
You could lead the way to a workable advertizing policy by allowing ads which are "image and link only".
Only allow advertising images hosted from your own servers, make a "no flashing, blinking, annoying" policy and stick to it. Set up a directory of images and choose one at every page view.
A lot of advertisers will balk at doing this, but if you hold firm and initially seed your stash with free advertizing to a few open source projects (such as SourceForge or Mozilla or Apache), advertisers will begin to see the light and want in.
(I would totally accept ads under those conditions!)
Slashdot should be a high-class establishment. Try to vet your ads with an eye towards clarity and simplicity, with a theme that doesn't insult the intelligence of the reader.
For low class examples, do a google image search on "go daddy ad". Seeing a beautiful woman in underwear is appealing, but it makes the site look like trash.
For high class examples, look at some of the ads in Scientific American (googling doesn't work for this) or the New Yorker.
Again, you may have to dig your heels in and "lead the way" before advertisers begin to see the light.
But if you can make it work, the rest of the internet might follow suit...
About 2 weeks before the November elections things go to crap on this site. If it's a presidential election, it goes to crap about 6 weeks beforehand, and reaches insanely fevered pitch starting 2 weeks before.
It will *definitely* happen this year, due to the non-typical candidate choices.
Tamp down new accounts registered during these times, so that a hundred paid "candidate XXX" supporters and congressional aides don't waste all of our time.
Maybe if accounts formed during that time only posted at level 0 until after the election, or maybe turn off new accounts (with an informative message) for a couple of weeks, or maybe allow accounts but defer activating them until after the election.
Note that I am referring to NEW accounts, and only those NEW accounts which are registered during the runup weeks! Regular accounts and long-term readers should be unaffected.
On the subject of high class, it would be nice if you limited yourself to ONE April fool's prank on April 1st.
And if you do even that one, note that an "this is obviously absurd" article is NOT an April Fool's prank. A good prank actually fools people, and the best ones fool people for more than a minute. It should be completely believable, and preferably engage the reader emotionally. Like the Piltdown man.