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Journal Journal: Is Slashdot fading? 1

I notice today that Slashdot is pimping subscriptions with early looks at new stories. Okay, who needs that? Several times I've seen people ask for the power to vote on stories to appear. Pretty easy to see the attraction of that. Pretty easy to see how the Slashdot editors would be loathe to give up any control, too. But Slashdot was novel and became popular exactly because of its participatory nature. Seems like the editors will have to decide whether giving up a little control or getting more subscriptions matters more....

Then I notice the begging has increased slightly for people to meta-moderate. Personally, I find meta-mod easier than modding, and the prodding is probably the only thing that reminds me to do it. But I have to assume that the new message tone means 1) Slashdot needs more moderators and 2) moderation quality is slipping.

Which makes me curious to see statistics on mod points per story & post over time. Something one could calculate, certainly. But I'm not that motivated.

So for lack of data, I'll stick with my assumption that the thought leaders are losing interest in posting & moderating on Slashdot, and offer a few guesses why:

  • blogs - now you can write all you want and not feel like your wisdom wasn't moderated to sufficient visibility
  • Linux - It's stabilizing. Most hardware supports it, either with specs or code. IBM supports it. Microsoft has mostly given up attacking it. Performance is good for most people. Not much to write about, is there?
  • Tech Bubble - It popped. The economy stinks. No IPO's The most popular tech news is the spam war. Who wants to read about war every day? Where's peace & happiness?

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell