I try to keep up with CmdrTaco's journal on a fairly regular basis, since he often notes interesting things about Slashdot and where it's going. When I read his latest entry, however, something really struck me the wrong way.
CmdrTaco says: "...we just wish someone would give us patches 'cuz we're to [sic] busy just trying to keep up!"
So let me get this straight. CmdrTaco, who founded a website that has since been bought out by another company which pays him a salary to run the site, wants us to work for free to make this site better?
CmdrTaco, if the site isn't making enough money to hire more developers, you guys need to get your heads on straight and figure out a marketing plan. Make it worthwhile to subscribe... I couldn't care less about blocking ads. Make sure that you respond to feedback from the community. Hold a Slashdot community forum on a regular basis: say, monthly. Check your spelling and grammar on article posts. At least make an effort to make your site the most kickass site out there.
I don't think it's reasonable for the Slashdot editors to get paid to work on the site, but then expect readers (who already contribute to the site in the way of submitting articles and posting comments) to do the same work for free.
We keep telling the editors to spell-check, stop posting duplicate articles, and actually listen to the readers (and I don't mean respond to emails; I mean hold a community forum and really get involved in the site). The editors continue to ignore us. They also shaft meta-comments (comments regarding anything but the actual text of the article) with "Offtopic" moderations.
I know that some of you are thinking, "So if you're not going to help out, don't. Why are you writing this?" My best response is that I only wish CmdrTaco would not expect a double standard -- "we get paid, but you don't." Slashdot should do what any other for-profit company would do: either hire more people to get the work finished, or just accept that some things just aren't going to get done. Begging people to do free work isn't the right solution.
What do you think? Post a comment. As usual, I'll read all of them.