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User Journal

Journal: Stupid Web Formatting (Slashdot user pages)

Journal by NetSettler

Am I the only one that sees on his Slashdot home page, a set of "menu items" under Last Journal Entry that go vertical in the last column? That is, "Friends' Journals" appears vertically arranged, one letter per line, instead of horizontally, unless I make the browser window really quite wide (I'm guessing 800 or 1000 pixels). I shouldn't have to stretch the window so wide to get a rational view of the page.

Click here to see an example of what I see in Internet Explorer 7 when I view my page.

User Journal

Journal: Recovering previewed posts after web browser failure

Journal by NetSettler

I just lost yet another draft post because of my browser losing ("Operation Aborted." after pressing Preview), and was unable to press Back on my browser to recover. And yet, I know the bits had gone to them, and with little effort they could be saving the preview until my next preview comes... perhaps even only if I'd set a profile option saying I was willing to let them do that, if they were worried about privacy.

Is there any reason at all that Slashdot couldn't allow me to see my unfinished drafts within a small (or large, if they could handle it) time after I return anew?

Am I the only person who's ever wished for this?

Slashdot.org

Journal: Managing Non-Technical Bugs in the Slashdot paradigm 1

Journal by NetSettler

I find myself puzzled about how to feed back ideas into the "Slashdot process" about how to make that process better. So I'm thinking aloud here.

I asked about this a long time ago, and I was told to submit reports to SourceForge. But since the reports I submitted were not technical but process (for example, remarks about what moderation keywords should be permitted--I had some new ones to suggest), the SourceForge people were (probably rightly) confused about why I was bothering them.

Last night, I received my first report of meta-moderation having decided one of my moderations was inappropriate. To me, this is plainly a bug, and yet I can't figure out where to submit the report. The bug isn't that someone disagreed with me, or even than many people did. The bug is that they decided they disagreed with me based on the outcome and their inferred notion of why I had moderated as I did, rather than by actual communication.

The fact that the moderation system provides no way for me to say "This was a judgment call, but here let me explain my reasoned opinion." makes it very likely that people who haven't thought as deeply (and yes, I dare suggest that sometimes that will happen) will not understand my choice. It also means that when someone overrides me, they are not asked to explain their rationale to me so I can't tell if they are thinking clearly. ... And in reverse--I am robbed of the ability when meta-moderating to explain why I thought something inappropriate.

I still think I was right and the many meta-moderators are wrong, but that's of little consequence. What is of consequence is that there is no dialog going back and forth which might lead to more enlightened moderators and more enlightened meta-moderators. Instead, people just get more and more entrenched because each camp is sure the other camp is comprised of idiots--the natural effect that always happens when there is blocked communication over use of a necessarily shared resource.

But at the meta-meta-level, the problem is that Slashdot has no procedure for nor place for discussing what might make Slashdot procedures better. Things that are not out-and-out technical bugs seem to have no place at all. And so I'm just making my remarks here, in case they get heard and maybe something gets triggered. Or in case someone knows of a feedback facility that I don't.

I actually think Slashdot has an overall wrong theory of how to manage moderation, etc. However, I respect them for having worked through a theory and tried it, and I think there's value in that even if it isn't what I would have done. It's something about which reasonable people can disagree. And even within a paradigm I myself might not have chosen, I think there are local optimizations that could be made that are appropriate to the chosen paradigm to make it work better. That's what I'm trying to do here.

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham

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