My advice? Focus on content quality - Slashdot could easily post 3x the stories it does today, and have better QA - just by maybe hiring someone with some journalism credentials rather than making the people who write the back end server code pretend to be editors. Improve the quality and make it "must read" material that people are willing to pay for. And try encouraging some writers to create original content - not BS video interviews with talking heads from sponsors, but actual longform journalism. If Slashdot is actually a good enough read, you can monetize a subscription tier that echoes "Slate Plus," "ESPN Insider," etc.
In Slashdot's "glory days," it didn't have a lot of competition. There was no Gawker/Gizmodo/iO9/whatever to read about the coolest Star Wars prequel rumors; people came to Slashdot for that. Even though there's a lot of competition now, Slashdot (barely) hangs on to a superior virtue: a better quality of commenters and a better moderation system than other "nerd" sites. Slashdot was never very well managed, even back in the "CmdrTaco/Hemos Glory Days." Inject some QA into the story vetting/writing process and you'll see a resurgence of readership.
It might become clearer that you are promoting things which are essentially opposite to each other.
I.e. Readership and commenters - not the same people. Also, quantity ain't quality.
"3x the stories" only mean that those who comment and discuss ON A SINGLE STORY now miss out on even seeing 3 times more stories.
Say, you spend an hour each day on slashdot, and it takes you 1 minute to read through summaries of 20-24 daily stories and another 5-15 minutes to read through 4++ comments, after which you'll make 1-3 insightful posts, each taking you at least 15 minutes.
Little over an hour, on average. About hour and a half on the higher end.
Multiply the number of stories by 3, and now summaries alone takes up all of your Slashdot ALLOTTED time.
While a day still comes with only 24 hours in it to do all the things that need to be done "today".
Godforbid you stumble onto an interesting discussion or debate.
There goes your time for work, for your wife and kids, you get fired, wife leaves you and takes the kids, economy tanks, you turn to drugs and online porn...
Why do you hate America so much?
And while that might seem great from the "keep them glued to the screen" standpoint of a marketing drone - it clashes with the reality where, despite the popular opinion, Slashdot readership are no longer basement dwelling teenagers.
A 6-digit UID correlates with a 30+ age now. And it's impolite to stare at one's 5-digit and lower UID. Cause they may die soon.
That's 25% (or more) of actual commenters/readers. And where nearly all of the "better quality of commenters" comes from.
Also, that's where the disposable income is, for those looking to "monetize" the "audience".
At the same time, increase of the number of stories now means those same numbers of commenters comment LESS per story - cause they too have the same number of hours in their day.
And as it took decades to reach 4+ million UIDs - there's no chance in hell that will become 12+ million over night to maintain the comments per story ratio.
More stories to read == less time to comment.
I.e. Increase in the number of stories takes up time and kills discussion - that thing everyone is here for.
And if you somehow figure out a formula for better quality of comments and discussions... I reserve the right to be the first to congratulate you on getting the last Nobel Peace Prize. Like... the final one. Ever.
As you'd basically discover world peace.
Also, you owe me 10% of that money for the idea.
Fuck it... Make it 9%. It IS world peace...
As for gamifying moderation... which is what karma boils down to...
You don't want to turn your democratic process (voting comments up/down) into a gotta-catch-them-all game of collecting perks and badges.
BTW, remember achievements? Wasn't that just awesome? Right! Right?
NOR do you want to make it a popularity contest where Uber-mods (as in above... as in meta... as in higher...) get to be more "equal" than the lowly unwashed peasants.
Same goes for Uber-commenters. Lack of life and/or OCD medication is not something that should be rewarded with more "power" or "prestige".
As for "-1 Factually incorrect"... I like that.
But stuff like that would require mods to cite factually correct counter-information OR a proof of factual incorrectness in the original post... and then someone would have to validate that citation...
And then Jimmy Waleses start popping out of holes in the ground, begging for money (it's really repulsive to see millionaires doing that) and we're back to pumping gas underground and lighting the whole field on fire.