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User Journal

Journal Journal: My thoughts about the Slashdot blackout 3

Okay, I've read the Great Slashdot Blackout journal entry by rho as well as the Boycott the Blackout journal by someone else (sorry, I forget the usernames a lot). These are just my personal opinions and my feelings on the matter based off of my limited experience.

I don't think the Blackout will do any good. I don't think boycotting the Blackout will do any good either. Personally, I think both sides, as well as the editors, have overpersonalized this whole deal. I believe that if the people supporting the Blackout would sit down and the Slashdot editors would sit down across from them and the two sides would talk this out, things would be better. I admit it's idealistic, but then, I'm an idealist. :)

The editors do a lot for Slashdot. They do a lot of the coding, they review the articles submitted, and sometimes they write articles themselves. They catch a lot of flak for all this. It seems like being an editor is kind of a thankless job. Many people think that they could do a better job, so they insult and denigerate the editors. Jon Katz gets a lot of this for his editorials. Yeah, sometimes he states the obvious. Sometimes his facts are off. I've always thought of him as more of a visionary journalist who is trying to rally people to a certain cause instead of a reporter. Also, the stuff he writes is more geared towards the mainstream (re: non /. crowd). He seems to be trying to get people who aren't "geeks" to stick around and see the other articles.

CmdrTaco also has caught a lot of flak for the way he looks at things. He seems to be more "business" minded about Slashdot. He doesn't strike me as the empathetic type. He sees things in a very analytical fashion and doesn't couch what he believes in terms to prevent people from getting their feelings hurt. Sometimes that's good; other times it's bad.

I, personally, like the comments. And since that is what this whole mess is over, I guess I should at least mention them. :) I like to read the articles, wait until there are about one hundred or so comments, and then start seeing what others have said. I don't post too often myself because I usually don't quite understand all the issues involved. However, I really enjoy reading the comments because they help me to learn more about what is going on.

CmdrTaco apparently said that he didn't think the comments were the most important part of the site. He has a point since the reason /. exists is to provide news; not commentary. However, the comments have become important because they often help to explain the articles to people like me. The comments are what makes the community. But, they aren't the central purpose of /.

But, I can see where people who have been here a long time and who post a lot feel like the comments are a very important part of the community and that CmdrTaco should recongize that. I think in his own way he does, since the comments and the ability to comment are what keep many people coming back to /. He just doesn't feel that they are the sole purpose of /.'s existence.

Jamie made a good point in rho's journal about how much time and effort go into coding Slashcode for the comments. If the editors thought that the commentary wasn't worth the time, they wouldn't spend it on coding for them.

Anyway, I just took a long time to say that I think that the Blackout won't work and that both sides just need to sit down and talk things over civilly. If they can't reach an agreement, perhaps they could just agree to disagree.


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