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Comment: The Slashdot census project (Score 0, Offtopic) 274

by User Census (#6837352) Attached to: Dotcom Era Fads
The Slashdot Census Project

Slashdot has now a very large (>700000) number of users. So in the article discussion one is often faced with the fact that you don't really know with what persons you are discussing. This leads very often to misunderstandings and very large flame threads.
However, CmdrTacos innovative programming skills have provided the Slashdot community with the tools to change that. Indeed, the "Zoo" features enable us to create a decent Slashdot census - a source of information where you can get all details of users needed in a serious and sensible discussion.
Of course, the Slashdot census data doesn't pop up from zero tempature vaccum like innocent electrons, we have to do some work to get it.
For this purpose this census coordination account was created. Any Slashdot user who want to participate in the Slashdot census endevour has just to create a census account of his favorite topic like "Linux users", "Mozilla users", "Security experts", "Quantum physicists". See e.g. this BSD user registration account. Then he chooses this coordination account as a friend and is in turn made a friend of this coordination account. As a next step he just marks all users fitting into his census scheme as friends.
Summa summarum gives this a perfect census of the whole slashdot population.

Important notes for getting a useful census:

  • There should be always at most one account for a census topic. Make sure that there are no duplicate account.
  • However, subcategorizing and some intersections are inevitable and might sometimes even be useful. E.g. BSD users can be viewed as a subcategory of OSS users and some BSD users might be Linux users, too.
  • Don't mark anyone as a foe: while it might seem to tempting to view "Windows users" as the opposite of "Linux users", such categorizing is usually not unique and therefore the foe option should go on unused.
  • Notifiing the censused user might be appropriate but is however clearly off-topic in Slashdot article discussions.
  • Don't use any insulting/racist/not politically correct categories like e.g. "Fags" or "Stupid" or "Low IQ".
  • Don't forget to choose this coordination account as a friend.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire

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