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Journal Journal: Reply to bad stories with "mod STORY down" comments. 3

I think I've finally reached the breaking point with regards to stories on slashdot that just plain suck. Stories which are dupes of very recent stories, stories which include ( often intentionally ) just plain wrong, inflamatory, trolling statements, stories that don't pass the "laugh test" for credibility.

Simply put, all to often these days, stories on slashdot end up being neither news, for stuff that matters. They often seem more like the most sensational, most-likely-to-generate-comments-and-page-views tripe of the day.

The problem is that we slashdot readers are at the mercy of the 'editors' here. Unfortunately, a good deal of the value in slashdot, aside from the insighful, informed comments from it's readership, is that the stories are somewhat limited in number and somewhat pre-culled from the insanely large amount of information available on the internet. By having fewer, better stories, Slashdot has the ability to be better than user-story-moderated sites like the oh-so-frequently compared Digg, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be working out that way. I like having fewer stories, but if they're dupes or trolls designed for page hits, rather than interesting, informative stories, it hardly makes for a website worth visiting.

What to do about this problem?

I'm not sure. Since we have no story moderation, really our only options are

(a) vote with our feet / pageviews. Go to some other site. I might. Don't tell me to "just ignore lame stories", sometimes it's hard to tell, and if I want to skim stories and pick the interesting ones, I can go to Digg or even Yahoo/Google/whatever news feeds...

(b) Complain in comments. A lot. That's what I'm proposing. If a story is a dupe, meaning NO new information is contained, or a troll, meaning it contains simply wrong statements made for no reason other than to inflame opinion ( you have to be careful there, but sometimes it's obvious ), hit "REPLY" and type the subject "mod STORY down". Don't just leave the comment blank, explain why the story sucks.

Maybe if enough people do this, slashdot editors will pick up a clue. Even if they don't, you and I will be able to check the comments of a story for lots of ( likely low-moderated ) "mod STORY down" comments and we'll ignore it, depriving the trolling slashdot editor of his page views.

Will it work? If not, at least we tried. Will our karma be damaged by well-meaning moderators or vengeful 'editors' ? Do you really care about your slashdot karma that much ? I'd really have a slashdot with decent stories, myself.

Oh, and by the way... do people submit stories knowing they're basically trolls? What kind of person would be so anti-social as to do such a thing ?

Well, look at this comment to find out. It appears to just be a game to some, even though it really kinda spoils slashdot for others. Dang, mean people suck, don't they?

While I like the idea of Foeing people who submit bad/troll stories, that means I won't see their comments... but will see their stories. The problem is that sometimes, though the stories are terrible, the comments are reasonable. For example, here is a post from someone who submitted a hoax story without a 'funny' category or other disclaimer. But it seems their comments may occasionally be worthwhile. We should certainly start a campaign to get everyone to foe Beatles Beatles, though, there does seem to be a consensus there...

Journal Journal: Why meta-moderating is fun...

I've always found an odd pleasure in meta-moderating posts. Today, I realized a big part of why it's actually pretty fun :

These are the posts that other people found interesting, insightful, informative, funny, trollish, offtopic, and otherwise attention-grabbing. Someone bothered to moderate the posts you're looking at. So, right off the bat, it's a selection of the best, worst and most entertaining posts that you're looking at.

Then, there's the bit that pleases my short attention span : they're posts from all over, from whenever, probably stories and posts that you'll miss even if you read /. every day. Occasionally you have to check out the context to see what's going on, but mostly you're just jumping from random topic to random topic. That's pretty fun.

Of course, a key component of the fun of meta-moderating is in judging the judges. We all like to judge, and especially we like to judge the judgmental. Doing civic duty by bolstering the /. moderation system is just icing on the cake.


Journal Journal: Track stocks of companies that slashdot hates/loves! 1

Lord Dwoemer gets credit for inspiring my first /. journal entry! He wrote :You know, someone should set up a Slashdot fund and make it available to view on a website. Just a fantasy stock market thing that would track the stock prices of all the companies Slashdot loves to hate.

I think this is actually a great idea... I'd like to expand it a bit to have a separate list of companies we like, but that's less important.

Here's a start, for the list we all know is most important, the "hate" list :


Honestly, the "love" list is ( oddly enough ) likely to be longer just because of the number of companies that now support Linux, along with the companies that just generally make nice with OSS. I'll save that list for a later entry, though, because we all know it's more fun to kick SCO than to talk about IBM, Novell and Red Hat...

If you've read this far, can you take a couple of minutes to look up the stock symbol of a company which should be on either list but hasn't been mentioned yet, and share that symbol in the comments below? Thanks. You guys rock... but then, you knew that...

Does anyone have or know of a site that will host these lists for us, collecting and displaying the market data? For the time being, I'm going to just track them in my own "my yahoo" page, just because I can't think of a different place to get the data, but if there was a page everyone could look at... well, you might get some traffic...

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