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+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

+ - Slashdot users give new beta design a huge Bronx cheer 2

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Alice Marshall reports that:

Slashdot users are extremely unhappy with the new Slashdot Beta design. The comment section of every single post is devoted to dissatisfaction with the new design. ... ... The thing to keep in mind about community sites devoted to user generated content is that the users generate the content.

"
Media

Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."

Comment: Re:Missing option: (Score 1) 128

by tickticker (#43032611) Attached to: If asked to read a corporate white paper, I feel like ...

I really wish I had some mod points for you folks! Made my night.

Can you direct us to a white paper enumerating best practices for optimal client-centered Buzzword Bingo methodologies?

We should not overestimate the transformational power of industry buzzwords, nor the new synergies they can help us achieve in emerging vertical markets. What we need is a new paradigm embracing the best practices that will lead us to ever growing profitability.

While you touched on many important paradigms, I think it's crucial to understand that the core of the problem with the buzzword complex is that it overemphasizes the transformative cultural forces present in highly interactive social network ecosystems.

What we truly need is a flexible and authentic approach to telling deep, engaging stories about a performative community culture that focuses not only on iteration but also on building meaningful relationships within our social graphs in order to create an innovative and multifaceted story-based brand, through which we can see past the unnecessary and false dichotomy between sustainable growth and scalable, engaging profit opportunities.

Comment: I call shenanigans! (Score 1) 262

by tickticker (#40963099) Attached to: Patient Just Wants To See Data From His Implanted Medical Device

I've had 5! Count 'em 5 ICDs. When they do the reading, you can always get a copy of the readout. They print them up, and clear the memory.

Every time, without exception no matter the technician, over the course of at least a hundred of these data dumps did I NEVER get a copy and I still have quite a few of them. They even go over them with you. You do have to have a modicum of cardiac AND electric knowledge or it's pointless of course. I have plenty of both so it wasn't an issue. EVER.

Comment: Re:Any company (Score 1) 555

by tickticker (#40837025) Attached to: Is Phoenix the Next Silicon Valley?

I suggest you put down most of your computing devices then. Intel is HUGE here, as is Motorola and Microchip. American Express and Goodyear Tire are also huge here (eg Goodyear, AZ is a real town named after.... Goodyear Tire). So no electronics for you, no plane rides (who do you think makes the tires for the planes and the emergency chutes you jump on to escape the plane?), lose those tires. Cut up that card.

Oh, and if the AC is calling my died in the wool liberal wife racist? Get a life. A state isn't racist, mentally handicapped conservatives in the state legislature are. They get voted in by snowbirds, the elderly who relocate here 6 months out of the year. Like your grandparents.

Comment: Thanks! (Score 1) 1521

by tickticker (#37212390) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
I first came here doing a search on why my 3 floppy disk install kept failing and discovered floppies suck and linux floppies are or were... sensitive. I remember thinking "CmdrTaco? Must work at Taco Bell to earn money."

After lurking for awhile I had to make some snappy assed reply to someone and finally took the plunge to make an account. I thought ACs were... ACs. Then I promptly forgot said username/password and lurked more until I started taping them to my monitor... j/k!

I remember being thrilled that Slashdot stories were on Google News! So many great stories, so many snarky trolling comments, so many incredibly accurate polls, so much wasted time and time well spent.

Thank you CmdrTaco. I salute you!

Comment: AIM Group self interest? (Score 5, Insightful) 316

by tickticker (#35305954) Attached to: Study Calls Craigslist 'a Cesspool of Crime'

We are the world’s premiere research and consulting firm for the classifieds industry. We’re widely quoted in the press, including Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.

We are experts in developing successful revenue strategies around automotive, real estate, recruitment and merchandise advertising, encompassing print, online, mobile, video and social media.

Which I'll bet includes all types of classifieds and advertising EXCEPT Craigslist.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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