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Journal FortKnox's Journal: Slashdot Editor Emails His Support 20

A few days ago, when the article about the guy that gave up Linux for WinXP, I wrote a comment reinforcing his point that Elitists are what makes Linux weakest.

To my surprise, I recieved an email from the slashdot editor Cliff (he's in charge of "AskSlashdot") that showed his similar feelings as a reply to my comment. Here's what he had to say (FYI - I did ask his permission first):

You posted this on Slashdot:

Best Point (Score:5, Insightful) by FortKnox on 01:52 PM July 10th, 2002 (#3858260)
(User #169099 Info | | Last Journal: 01:43 PM July 10th, 2002)

The greatest point he makes is that, although there are plenty of gurus willing to help newbies with simple questions, there are even more elitests that will either flame your question or give you a "RTFM!" I say, if you are friendly and willing to help newbies, answer their questions. If you want to flame, or send a RTFM, stay silent. If they don't get an answer, they'll eventually look their, anyway. Elitests are the biggest weakness of Linux.

--- his reply ---

A *fucking* men!

Can I get a "HELL YEAH"?

One of the largest problems recently with me doing Ask Slashdot is this kind of mentality. I've been doing it for around 5 years and people *still* don't get it.

Ask Slashdot was never about being a "replacement" or an "alternative" to Google (as found in more of the insensitive comments), it was supposed to be a place where people who needed the help could get it and people who WANTED to help could give it. More often than not, now, with the recent growth to AS, I'm *still* getting posters who say:

"Gee, and you couldn't look this up on Google"

If I was the type who advocated violence, I'd throttle everyone who says that.

Search engines hardly ever provide a complete answer, and more often than not, they provide CONFLICTING ones. Google, as good as it is, is no better. I *try* to stray away from the FAQ questions, but even then sometimes a few slip thru the cracks. I admit I'm not the best editor, but I do the best I can with what I am given and for the most part, it works.

The whole point behind AS in particular, and Linux advocacy in general is that there is merit in *discussion*, not blind recital of facts, many of which can be *wrong*. I wish most people would learn this, or at the very least, learn that if you have nothing worthwhile or constructive to say that the best option is to STFU.

Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest, and since I just became your most recent fan, I figured you were a decent target. ;-)

Thanks for reading.
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Slashdot Editor Emails His Support

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  • that's just plain cool.
  • I'm glad to see there are others with this view. I have heard people in the office say things like "oh, you read /. isn't that just a big linux site?" and I tell them "No, I feel that at least some of the editors at least some of the time get the idea that the people will do whatever they want and views can't be forced down their throat." I'm glad to see I can now point to Cliff specifically when I say this. Yes, many linux stories make it to /. and yes, many things that point out the emperor has no clothes (anti-MS stuff) so it tends to get theme/anthem that linux is holy, but I feel I've been able to see editors rising above this in story selection, and somtimes even the moderation system promoting an open atmosphere. I'm not saying the moderation is great, or that editors have to explain their views to anyone (it should be apparent in their work) but I am glad to see some people get it.

    I see a strong link between OS choice and organized religion practicing. Many people out there have very strong views, and having discussions about their differences is a fine way to learn about what goes on on the other side of the fence. But, going into such a conversation being rude and forceful thinking you're going to convert someone because you're right, and they're wrong isn't going to help them see your views clearly and it's not going to say good things about yourself.

  • After reading this comment, I added Cliff as my friend. It is nice to see editor's like Cliff, instead of editors who will remain nameless who think the own you, arn't open to critism or suggestion, and are part of the problem rather than the solution.

    Cliff, it is nice to see you are still a user, and that power has not corrupted you!
  • I have to agree with those comments. I know from asking around, that people here aren't all Linux fans, and that many of the are devout users of all kinda of OS. Though you find lots of developmental stories here about Linux, thats prolly just cause it changes faster.

    So Kudos to you all.
    And don't forget the Cheese.

    ~Bunny has spoken~
  • that's cool.

    I like this post. I like Cliff for being cool. It's nice to see that there are other people who aren't willing to let others join the clique.

    Linux is kinda cliquey (sp?) -- it seems that in order to get in, you have to go through just the right amount of stumbling without asking "stupid questions" That in itself is enough to scare a bunch of people off.

    so..uh, cool.
  • I remember when I submitted a question to "Ask Slashdot", and he emailed me privately, and said something along the lines of "Search google using these terms, and if you still want to submit the question, then I'd be glad to do it for you.". I think that that was pretty cool, because it helped to balance things between posting stupid questions, and helping me to find what I need.

    I'm glad that he replied to you, and that you posted his email. I've seen a lot of questions, and in my personal opinion, they seemed so *stupid*. Now that I know what the goal of "Ask Slashdot" is, I believe that it is really cool that they are willing to answer these types of questions, and that these questions aren't stupid. It just goes to show that not all editors are elitist.

    Thanks to everyone.
    • Ditto. I also had an 'Ask Slash' bounced with a private email. I was cool with it. Until a nearly identical question was posted less than a week later:) But, in retrospect, perhaps he thought it was a common question, so why not post it.

      • by Cliff ( 4114 )
        Many times the most critical factor that determines whether a questions posted, is the timing. If I've done a question before, I usually try and stay away from it for at least 6 months unless new information has come to light. Other times, there's a sort of "internal counter" running, and if I haven't posted about an issue when that counter hits a certain threshhold, I'll start looking for submissions that ask about that particular subject. It's quite possible that this is what happened to your submission.

        I don't know exactly what question this is in reference to, but if you would like to discuss it further, you can get my email easily enough (hint: check the header on this message. )

        PS - Another problem, that admittedly isn't really anyones fault, is that I get numerous submissions that folks could find if they just tried even a simple Slashdot search, but Slashdot's search currently sucks, although we're rapidly working on making it suck less. Watch this space [] for updates. :->

        • Yes, slashdot's search does suck.

          The 'ask' in question was about ripping lp's. My question concerned getting best sound out of it, whereas the posted question (if I remember correctly) was software to break up the tracks. In any event, I believe my questions were answered in the ensuing thread.

          (FWIW, see my .sig, and expect an Ask Slashdot submission soon:)

  • Is that an editor is on your 'friends' list. Kooky.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin