Thanks for creating K5 and letting it become what it had become.
I also really enjoyed your guest post to the The Awl mailing list last year. I did a double-take when I saw your name in the header. Is there anywhere we can see your writing on a regular basis nowadays?
Also, [insert gushing praise here], I loved k5 back in the day.
Del Griffin seems to be working on Scoop improving it on his Scoop site. He can run your Kuro5hin and maybe even fix the cancel button and other things. He's currently adding HTML tags and trying to fix the https links without the a href tag in autoformat.
It tells the truth on technology companies and how they cheat software consulants out of money.
Just drop into #archiveteam on EFnet IRC and let someone know its ready for ArchiveBot to ingest when its back online.
That's kind of an interesting question. There's certainly some stuff there worth saving forever, but there's also stuff that's just plain bad or that's the intellectual equivalent of embarrassing childhood photos, which may not be worth saving at all.
I never was part of Usenet, but I understand a lot of people were angry at Dejanews and Google when what was once (perhaps naively) viewed as ephemeral communication was turned into a public searchable archive. At least most people on Kuro5hin used pseudonyms.
I can forgive that sort of attitude among the early users of Usenet, because there was a long period during which it was just technically infeasible to have a permanent archive of everything (and it's still kinda true, if you count binaries groups; most Usenet providers don't keep everything forever). But that was definitely not the case by the time K5 came around.
The site's culture, at least IMO, was that if you really embarrassed yourself your way out was by ditching your pseudonym and starting over (or by saying the dumb thing under a throwaway account to begin with, which was perhaps too easy on K5).
There's perhaps some argument to be made that forums that require real-name registration ought to allow comments to either be deleted (bad) or anonymized (probably better) on request, to allow people to move away from past statements. But I don't know if that's ever really been a reasonable expectation on a pseudonymous forum, at least of the non-toy/non-amateur variety.
That isn't your call, and is nobody's call, really. Better to preserve it all and let people decide for themselves when they look at it.
Kuro5hin came along to fix this, but discouraged posts that were just links to pages elsewhere on the web. IIRC, this was called "link farming". How many users had the talent and time to create original content, and then survive the ridiculous Kuro5shin editing process? Not many.
Digg then encouraged links, but shot itself in the foot with a stupid redesign.
Nowadays, reddit is king because it avoided the obvious mistakes of its predecessors.
Outsourcing moderation and libertarian ideals all sound nice, but when the rubber hits the road it gradually chases normal people away. Reddit just did it it slower because the strengths of their platform and content overwhelmed it... but it's getting there eventually.
I generally unsubscribe from all of those defaults (except maybe /r/WorldNews) and almost never look at them, have some lists of subject related sub-reddits I like (ex: tech). There are sub-reddits that have communities in them I haven't found a replacement for elsewhere aside from maybe some private FB groups. There is something to be said for exclusivity or staying obscure. For every /r/The_Donald there is a /r/Sweden, or for /r/SRS and /r/RedPill there is /r/TwoXChromosomes and /r/AskMen. You aren't going to read about the good communities in the news, as polite people having interesting level headed discussions rarely makes headlines.
To me Hacker News is just another sub-reddit like site. I usually see the same links posted in my sub-reddit's as I do HN, and I'd wager the discussion is sometimes better in the sub-reddit's than it is here, it's at least on par.
Maybe I don't understand how bad the rest of the default subs are, but the last time I went to the comments in r/worldnews, I saw nothing but awful, racist garbage. Maybe the links and headlines are worth reading, but those comments have completely killed any interest in discussion there.
I get it, you want a news place that's not all US, all the time. I'm right there with you, but if I am going to "world news", then I expect news from everywhere in the world.
To see it all you have to do is go to a mainstream subreddit click on a few usernames and read the comment histories.
When a really nice niche subreddit is thrust into the lime-light by becoming a default, it usually dies from an influx of low-quality default users. If it doesn't die from that, the moderation team has to really step up their job - a job they're not getting paid to do which means moderation teams get overworked and burned out, and the quit and the sub dies from lack of moderation. If the subreddit is survives that, the more successful approach seems to be for moderation to become very heavy-handed, which does quite well in a number of places, but also forces a change to the subreddit's culture that was doing well before it became a default.
If the answer is to not become a default sub, well, then the low-quality of the default has affected a good quality sub from becoming a default and prevented quality content from reaching more users.
Unfortunately, a good moderation team doesn't just appear, and one way of acquiring talent is to gasp pay for it. Reddit's avoidance of paying moderators results in relying on unpaid volunteers to do the bulk of the work, so good teams are few and far between, and horrible racist troll-y shit is de jure.
Reddit wants to be "the front page of the internet", but when the default not-logged-in front page features shit like "What's the difference between a feminist and a gun? (self.Jokes)" (pulled just now), it's never going to rise above being dismissed as the front page for horrible trolls, racists, and misogynists.
If I'm supposed to make an account then wade through a pile of shit subreddits just to find an AskHistorians diamond or two, how about I just don't wade through the pile of shit at all?
Ah, I didn't realize you were talking about subreddits getting "promoted". That definitely sounds like a nightmare.
I think that quality subs can bubble up slowly, with manageable growth, by virtue of being featured on r/bestof and the like.
As much as I despise how close-minded and backwards society is on average, this particular argument doesn't hold. What you see on a social networks is not a likely to be valid data-point for what the average person is like; at the very least it will be heavily biased. SMBC has a very concise explanation:
Of course that's just nice a hypothesis/observational humour mix, but it fits with the well-known effect of people thinking the world is a lot worse because the news reports only the negative, or that everyone else in their (virtual) social circle is more happy and successful than them because Facebook shows the most liked posts first.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
- Oscar Wilde
Missunderstood parent poster
The amplification of the loudest and most brash is the social interaction equivalent of selection bias, or cherry picking, except without it being by choice on the recipients end. How is that not relevant?
Furthermore, a social network is nothing but interactions. That's all communication is: interaction between people.
> All you do is provide a rationalization that the world isn't as bad of a place as the comment section suggestions.
Given that I am responding to a comment that EDIT:appears to argue that the comment section represents "normal people" I think that is a pretty relevant argument. Although GP has since explained that he meant something else.
And no, it is not like hidden variable theory at all, since that argues that there is an unseen explanation of observed effect, without arguing that the observed effect is not representative. I am arguing the observed effect isn't representative to begin with.
Because nobody is suggesting that minority is anything other than a minority. Simply that having that minority is normal.
And if you are saying "this is what normal social websites look like", just say that instead of claiming that this representation maps to what normal people are like. Because that is what this message reads as:
> Reddit is overwhelmingly "normal people". Mean spirited and "toxic" is normal people. Go look at twitter, and tumblr and facebook. They all have the same thing. These sites didn't chase normal people away, they attracted them.
I agree with you, but just to be pedantic: kinda by definition they are biased; in a way that's what makes them great!
The truth is that Reddit is just full of assholes.
> Reddit is absolutely a liberal dominated forum.
Sounds like you two agree.
Ask the lefty signaler to shut up and stay on topic and you get downvoted or even deleted.
Reddit is dominated by entry-ist lefties to the point it's too annoying to read.
I had to download Reddit Enhancement Suite today (where I previously didn't bother at work) only to be able to hide r/The_Donald from r/all. It's just fucking everywhere, I can't take it. 50% of the posts are doomsday prophecies and just pure and utter shit. During every US election this happens, and your/their election process is so long you're basically wading in bullshit for 2 years.
And depending on the context of the conversation, I can totally see why placing "the Bible" and "interview question" in the same sentence would attract attention. My internal HR-department DEFCON meter just went up about two points just thinking about it, and I'm certainly less attuned to Bad Ideas than most. I'm not sure that's a reasonable thing to expect people to just leave alone, particularly again when you have threaded discussions so there's not a ton of social pressure against nitpicking.
Reddit does have its share of problems, but given their apparent goal of being sort of the heir to Usenet in terms of an everything-to-everybody discussion platform, rather than simply a subject-specific discussion site, they seem to do rather well. I sometimes think they're insane and hubristic for the whole "platform" ambition, but they're one of the more successful attempts around right now.
You are the problem and you don't even realize it. You don't realize how crazy you are.
I am not a christian. I'd be fine with the koran or the bhagavad gita as a corpus. But internet lefties like you two lose your shit and ruin any discussion over mention of the bible.
It's not a coincidence that the best subs are the ones where the goals of the sub are clearly defined and the mods enforce the rules with an iron fist (/r/AskHistorians is the best example of this).
Subs that start as sarcastic mockery become havens (and recruiting posts) for true believers.
My counterexample is Kuro5hin, back when it was still a thing. In the good old days; sure, you could never really be sure who was trolling and who wasn't, but it was usually well-written, erudite trolling. It wasn't particularly repetitive, and it was entertaining.
In my opinion, the problem is not trolling, it's people expressing opinions in repetitive, uncreative and not very entertaining ways. Fundamentally, I believe that the problem is bad writing.
The admin's attitude towards speech on their site fostered a strong contingent of posters who posted edgy "ironic" non-politically correct content in what was a relatively safe space to do so. Having a place where this type of speech was normalized attracted people who actually believed those non-PC stances and they posted "ironically" as well until the lines between irony and un-irony completely broke down. A very good example of this is /r/fatpeoplehate. Before it was banned it was one of the fastest-growing subs and their horrible bullying "memes" permeated the site ("found the fattie!"). After it was banned there was a brief shitstorm in which FPH subscribers flooded the site with FPH content but after a few weeks they largely disappeared from the site. Fortunately FPH was nipped in the bud; other hate/bullying groups are established enough on the site that even the removal of their dedicated subs (like the Chimpire network) did/will not drive them off.
You may have also been under the impression that Reddit in general (as much as that can be a thing) was somehow "progressive." This has some truth to it but the events of the past few years have mostly exposed this for what it mostly really was: "brogressiveism." Basically, on any issue that would impact young white middle-class men Reddit will generally hold progressive views. This includes gay marriage, drug legalization, college tuition/student debt, etc. But when it comes to issues that do not affect that demographic Reddit becomes far more conservative. The blistering responses to Black Lives Matter (about racial inequality) and Tropes vs. Women/GamerGate (about feminism and representation in video games) demonstrate this nicely. (That's not to say there are not people who are genuine progressives on Reddit; there most definitely are but they are far outnumbered by "brogressives" and outright conservatives on the most popular subs.)
/r/The_Donald combines both of these traits. It may have started ironically as a way for people to make jokes about a joke candidate, but just as his campaign became serious so too did the "jokes" on /r/The_Donald. Additionally, Donald Trump has enough brogressive views that he can appeal to that crowd without the inconvenience of challenging them to consider people who have different life experiences than their own like true progressive candidates would. Basically, /r/The_Donald is a perfect confluence of issues that have been underlying Reddit for years.
You mean they allowed speech that didn't tread on the rights of others? I think racism is shitty too, but I'm not going to ban it. And that makes me sound like a bad person, but people's definitions of racism vary extremely widely.
It's not possible to say something without offending someone out there. If you think taking down posts that simply offend you is a good idea (rather than ignoring posts that you don't like and refusing to take those people seriously), then there are other platforms out there.
Better yet, you can make your own subreddit and stop complaining about the others on the site.
Everyone else has as much a right to reddit as you do.
There's nothing wrong with having a differing opinion.
> blistering responses to BLM [...] demonstrate [conservatism] nicely
So you're saying that people who disagree with BLM in some way are conservative?
I disagree with their methods. Am I a conservative now?
> BLM, GamerGate, Trump supporters
Do you think these groups should not be allowed to use reddit?
"If you don't like the moderation just start your own sub" is a nice idea but breaks down in practice. The very reason you visit Reddit is to discover and discuss links. If you don't like how a sub is moderated you can start your own but that doesn't mean anyone else will use it over the other one. If there is a general sub for topic X just starting a sub that is "X with stricter moderation" isn't very likely to attract a lot of users. However, if you frame it as "X for people [pro/anti]-hate" you are going to draw in the passionate minorities of users on either side which will cause extremification rather than moderation. Having an extreme sub may also attract users who are only marginally interested in X but have a deep interest in the hate (for or against) which will cause further extremification.
This extremification can in turn poison the general subs. On Reddit if a link is posted in multiple subs there will be an "other discussions" link which will show you where else that link has been posted. If a news story is posted in both a general sub and a [pro/anti]-hate sub the users from the latter can easily find and post/vote on the general sub's discussion. (Not to mention posting Google-able quotes and outright direct links to other subs.) This was overtly a major problem with /r/fatpeoplehate. If a link (or quote or screenshot) was cross-posted to FPH you could count on FPH trolls to show up in short order and flood the general discussion with their hate. Even when it's not that overt the extreme users can subtly shift the tone of a general sub towards their point of view over time, such as with rampant racism on /r/worldnews.
The most straightforward solution to this that I can see is to 1) moderate general subs so that their tone remains, well, moderate, and 2) ban extremely offensive subs (using the standards of society at large as an indicator of what is too extreme). That's not to say this is an easy task or even clear-cut in many cases and it will prevent some people from expressing their legitimate opinions, but if the thin extremes at the end of the bell curve need to be cut for the benefit of the fat middle on a privately-controlled website I do not see a problem with that. (I do believe that governments should not restrict speech but social media sites are not governments and should not be held to the same standards.)
EDIT: Also, to clarify, the third paragraph of my original post was regarding people's perceptions of Reddit in aggregate, not how it actually is. Reddit (for a time) had a reputation as "progressive" but the reality does not and did not not match this reputation. I did not intend it as an attack on people who have non-progressive views (I obviously consider myself a progressive), I was merely providing examples of how the reality of Reddit's aggregate political views (to the extent that millions of people can be classified as having aggregate political views) are (or can be perceived as) "progressive" on some prominent issues but non-progressive/conservative on others.
the only recent dram I have heard about is stuff related to league of legends which is humorously enough the largest sub I am on outside of /r/news
I never had any problems on Reddit until after they changed their policies, I don't go for hate speech and other things, but /r/Ferguson was about the Ferguson riots and Black Lives Matter and other stuff related to Ferguson, but the racists came in and took it over and then it became one of those subreddits that was in lock down and it warned you about it when you tried to access it. I got downvoted by racists and had to leave that subreddit.
I live near Ferguson and shop there, the people of Ferguson are good people no matter what race they are. The rioters and looters came from outside Ferguson. Maybe people don't always wave back or smile, but they got their own problems they are dealing with.
/r/all is generally a cesspool nowadays, especially with all the #TREMENDOUS /r/the_donald shitposts.
I have seen Trump-tier shitposting leak into /r/China and other completely unrelated subs as well.
It's getting out of hand.
Not to mention that reddit doesn't police offensive usernames.
While it's arguably true that the level of discourse is not what it was 5 years ago (or maybe my interests/world view has changed - probably a combination of both), a (personally) curated list of sub-reddits is still 100x better than the default reddit.
Reddit has avoided getting bitten by this by selling out quietly behind the scenes. It has partnered with those same media companies and advertisers but it simply allows them to present themselves as regular users, or present their content in AMAs or other officially sanctioned channels.
Reddit has so far avoided Digg's big misstep; making it obvious to the users that they value the money from media companies more than the memes and other junk regular users make. But make no mistake, Reddit is currently in the same position Digg was in when everybody jumped ship. It's just too subtle for most Reddit users to notice.
Perhaps if Reddit's comment moderation system were a little more sophisticated- Slashdot's Funny/Informative/Interesting/Etc and meta-moderation may seem a little cumbersome, but it definitely seems to have helped keep the conversation above a junior high level.
Hacker news ain't bad, either, mostly because the people who know about this place seem to be fairly intelligent and educated. The interface could maybe be a little better, but I can put up with it to read better, more informed comments.
k5 had a diary section where you could publish anything you wanted.
I think the biggest problem with k5 were the annoying "trolls" that were allowed to to shitpost without any restraint whatsoever and eventually overran the whole site.
The other faction were people fed up of what they percieved as groupthink, who ran a much more subtle and 'traditional' trolling campaign culminating in the foundation of Adequacy.org . I still refer people to their great general-purpose essay "Why the Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics".
"Mindless Link Propagation" was the term of art at the time. Still true.
reddit even seem to have found a way to deal with obnoxius moderators - allowing multiple subreddits
Here's the secret: you never have
If you push your company in a direction that gets you no customers you're done
It's like a boat in the wind, if you're good you can maneuver using the sail and in a way go against the wind with some limitations, but you're still dependent on it
Edited to add: OK, that comes off as a bit mean. I'm leaving it in case someone likes it, which really just goes to show my point: Beyond a certain size, it's impossible to please everyone. You can please a good standard deviation or so worth of people, but you do that by offering content which almost aggressively cuts off the long tails. Think prime time TV circa 1990. The smaller voices just get drowned out.
The solution is so rock-simple obvious to me that I'm surprised it isn't standard practice: Allow the users to create newsgroups (or subreddits, or fora...) and let them manage them mostly-autonomously. Allow the small voices a place to dominate. If they want echo chambers, fine: The mainstream is even more of an echo chamber for people who live almost exclusively in the mainstream.
Slashdot was definitely the OG, though. Got to meet CmdrTaco at a talk I gave a little while ago and tell him thanks for everything he did to inspire us at Reddit.
There were plenty, and the ones that did were great. If you browsed the Diary section, there were running short story collections like "Fast Times at Phillips 66" that were just amazing.
I stopped paying attention around the time that they required payment for new registrations, and then shut down registrations completely. The dupe-account roleplaying was among the best aspects of the site.
The community had grown huge and become terrible (without small high quality subreddits to retreat into).
By the time the redesign happened there wasn't much to lose.
when it comes to tech sites and geeks the last thing you want in intelligent stories and conversation is politics
The most well-known site I'm aware of that used Scoop was DailyKos, which I believe started on WordPress, then moved to Scoop (highly customized and eventually almost entirely rewritten I think), then finally onto its own custom-build CMS. There may have also been one more stage in there.
Source: 3-digit UID on DK, and was a regular way way back when on both k5 and HuSi.
 Wikipedia is quite strict with how cites are referenced, and unfortunately, I couldn't take your word for it!
Ah, all these years I thought it was a Japanese name..
The trolls turned incredibly mean though. They didn't ever come out of the woodwork, and they were completely anonymous. They were the harbinger of what was to come about half a decade later.
Anyone know of a mirror or an effort to mirror and host the site?
Here is a summary of what I have in my archive:
Here are some tables showing which kuron had the highest number of posts over the lifetime of k5:
Some of my very first publicly useful code was a script to download and backup my diaries, so I have that extremely embarrassing reminder of my college years.
A "site:kuro5hin.org" query shows results, so I'm guessing the original one isn't a block-all.
All that lost content...
Still enough for TWBM to kill all its archives. It's ridiculous :(
I loved k5 when it was good. But when it was bad… man, it was really bad.
I will remember it with a sense of fondness, but given I only checked in on it twice in the last 4-5 years shows how little I'll miss it.
Rusty appeared above and told what happened (datacenter moved), and said k5 might come back some day. I rarely use twitter, but I'll put a link to my site here: https://twitter.com/taxicabjesus