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AltSlashdot (altslashdot.org)
35 points by worrieddot on Feb 6, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments

Seems to be starting from a technical place to replicate slashdot. Slashdot is a great site and the new beta sucks, however I would try and take what works (Curation & community (and historically moderation)). Slashdot kept its relevance for many people because of the community and the curation. I read hacker news for the most up to date feed, But I read sites like slashdot for their insight and summarisation. Not being so caught up in the moment means the stories often have more information available, and are less likely to "jump the gun".

I wouldn't use slash code though. Slashcode is older style perl code, hacked as was required to keep slashdot running on modest hardware at a time (less powerful then your phone) where it composed of a significant portion of internet traffic. This means that your going to have a whole pile of technical debt that your going to have to deal with.

You would be better off with a new minimal interface + moderation system (hell make it look like old slashdot, just build it in <INSERT MODERN STACK> ). I would even say taking the HN interface and simply reducing the number of articles in half, and adding a blurb to each article would get you a quick start.

I really want the slashdot to be reborn, but I think this will be more a case of a spiritual successor shall succeed as opposed to a clone. Slashdot worked because Cmdr. Taco was strongly interested in journalism and technology and brought those two together to make Slashdot.

Slashdot stopped working well before Malda left. More ads, desiring to become an Engadget style site filled with videos (almost all seeming like paid segments by the interviewee), and native advertising. I suspect his influence waned greatly near the end and things only got even worse after he left.

Nothing has really yet replaced it in quality, but that is only due to the stubborn userbase that clings around. Even us stalwarts will eventually give up the ship, though and say goodbye to our three and four digit UIDs after being thoroughly fed-up with the direction the site has taken.

I keep looking for a new home on the internet, after about seventeen years on slashdot. I haven't found one yet. Places have a user base that is too fleeting. Or a poor signal to noise ratio. Or a poor curation/submission process. Or a poor discussion system. Or awful moderation. Or too much moderation. Or they mix in too much non-tech/geek content.

Really, it is kind of sad. It was an almost daily part of my entire adult life, stretching back to late '97. That, usenet, and IRC have been the most enjoyable, content-filled, tools I've ever found and each filled with a great group of people.

Amen. You said it better than I did. Slashdot is not just an aggregation site, is was Taco's baby and reflected his ambitions to curate a meta-news site and a healthy community.

The irony I find with the recent beta backlash is that Slashdot hasn't been relevant in my life in close to 10 years. The last redesign was a mess too ... and that's the nature of the audience Slashdot has. The site was always doomed to irrelevance eventually because 1) impermanence 2) their geeky audience hates change. Always have, and apparently, always will.

I don't think it's a geek thing. Most people don't like it when something familiar changes. And this is doubly true when that something is a platform they feel invested in.

I think you are correct, though, that Slashdot probably peaked somewhere in the early 2000s.

> older style perl code

some bad advice here based on bad assumption. You assume and suggest that going with another "modern stack" is somehow going to be worth the extra effort. Re-inventing the wheel is a recipe for wasting time and effort that can be better spent elsewhere - like on building and driving the community.

Normally I would agree with you but I think with a code base like slash code your going to end up having a lot more time free going back to something much simpler. Your going to spend ages dealing with little foibles with a code base that old, and struggle to find people who are willing to spend the time maintaining a legacy stack. If you have a team of perl monks who are wiling to take it on, then by all means keep the existing code base.

However if you don't, I think your going to be better rolling a minimal site as your able to tap a wider pool of volunteers. Slashdot isn't some technological marvel, yes it will take time to rebuild it, but you will be able to execute much quicker being able to tap existing resources that have developed since.

Apparently the Beta ruins the moderataion/metamod system. That's a fatal mistake IMHO.

Slashdot has the best moderation system I've seen implemented on any forum (note: it is more than implemented, it's been grown, including the metamod culture).

You are to kind :)

Announcing an intention to establish a Slashdot replacement seems like a pretty silly move. If you go back to the genesis of most news aggregation sites, rarely were they announced with pomp before being unleashed. Usually they're built, seeded with content and an aura built around them by a dedicated and high quality early audience.

Besides, Slashdot built it's model up in a digg, reddit and hnews-free world. To say nothing of Twitter and Facebook. Good luck in your endeavor, but I'm going to spend my limited mindshare elsewhere, thank you very much.

It's truly astounding how the community has rallied against the beta changes.

When I look at stories from today and yesterday, viewing all comments (including the ones that have been moderated down), I'm seeing at least 90% to 95% or more expressing outrage over the beta site.

Go back merely a week, and there are only a handful of such comments within the stories.

Although I rarely visit that site any longer, I don't think I've ever seen such a highly concentrated degree of anger from so many users over a website update.

I think the uniformity and the wide-spread nature of this displeasure is truly a testament to just how bad the beta site actually is.

    Although I rarely visit that site any longer, I don't think I've ever seen such a highly concentrated degree of anger from so many users over a website update.

Digg is the only one I can think of -- weirdly coincidental that the link taking you to the new design on the main site is anchored as 'new digs'.

Slashdot has been dying for years due to things like sponsor astroturf reviews and the one-sided use of the site to promote specific political views, etc. Make any technical platform you want, the problem is the people

> one-sided use of the site to promote specific political views

How do you mean? I've not encountered any similar community which isn't also a political echo chamber - unless you're talking about something more specific that I'm unaware of.

Constant, heavily politically slanted editorializing from the editors in a large share of posted stories is not the same as an "echo chamber" defined by the common demographics of a site

It was an earnest question. I'm not familiar with slahdot or it's community.

If you dislike the beta redesign but still want to read Slashdot and don't mind missing all but the top 5 comments on each story (which is probably good against procrastination) I recommend http://slashdot.org/palm. The Palm version has been the least cluttered way to read Slashdot for over a decade. It might even make you RTFA. ;-) Unlike the later, now defunct, http://m.slashdot.org/ it works with every browser I've tried, including Opera Mini.

Hopefully they won't discontinue it when the classic design is eliminated. I hardly read Slashdot now but I find the continued existence of their Palm version neat.

This will probably date me, but the first thing I thought of was Alterslash: http://alterslash.org/

Alterslash is actually an even better gauge for how things currently look at /. - just try to find an on-topic comment on that page. It'll be hard... nothing but beta-related complaints. Think Dice will listen? Neither do I.

Slashdot was a pretty big deal to me in the late 90's. Obviously due to the technical content, but more importantly because I actually ran my dorm room site on slashcode for a while.

This site has done a better job with content for me, but I'm not sure my college-age self would want to use the code for a personal site (I'm thinking about function, not language choice). It would be nice if the go-to place for content was also a great platform for learning; something akin to what a Ramones album is for a guitar playing teenager.


> something akin to what a Ramones album is for a guitar playing teenager.

Couldn't agree more. Blitzkrieg bop is as infectious and fun to play as it is easy to pick up.

...this is only just now being realized? The site took a dive quite some time ago, with Rob Malda's departure it was effectively quite dead and buried. Now this - is their "Digg" moment.

I don't know - the look is new and sleek compared to their current live look, but the functionality seems approximately the same.

New... yes, the look is certainly new compared to 'classic' slashdot. Sleek is not a term I'd use for it though, and when it comes to functionality the beta falls flat on its already flat face. It wastes space, makes it hard to follow threads, is fully JS-dependent, lacks contrast (but this is easily solved), contains images where none should be, etc. Realise that many of the complaints are made by those who currently use the 'classic' version of slashdot, often combined with the 'light' option to get rid of images. This is not the version you see when you just view the site as a passing visitor. Compared to the 'classic' site, especially when combined with the 'light' option, the beta is a dysfunctional riot of wasted space and script.

It's weird, I switched over to reading slashdot through an RSS reader (desktop app, then Google Reader, now NewsBlur) like 7 or 8 years ago. Mixed in with everything else the content is still decent and original and different enough I appreciate it. I haven't been on the actual site in ages. At a glance it looks acceptable.

As I commented there, everybody concerned with this (especially the slashdot staff doing the change) needs to watch this talk by the people at Fark on how they failed - and recovered from - their "You'll get over it" moment.


This is one of the best discussions I've ever found about what is the most important lesson in running a "social" site: you involve your user in everything (do NOT surprise them with forced changes), or your members will find a new place to go hang out.

"Registered "AltSlashdot.org", also ".com" and ".net"."

If that name is temporary, why bother with more than one domain?

How many alternatives to HN spin up? How many last? I'd be confirming whether the interest was there before I got stuck on too many details like legal and load balancing.

I was once involved with an overly broad community-built site that jumped to details before core content. It started to breakdown round about when we got caught up voting on the voting process. That deterred the 'doers' who had practical skills and so not much was done after that.

For the sake of a few dollars, it's insurance against the domain being less temporary than originally thought. Domain squatters are a cancer.

> I'm building a news site alternative to Slashdot

Starting a wiki to help build a site to compete with Slashdot seems very retro. But maybe I'm just being cranky. I wish you the best of luck, though.

Google cache: http://bit.ly/1buD4wq since it's not up to handling (any?) concurrent users?

And apparently so is this alternative slashdot! ("Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties.")

In true Slashdot form, the coral cache : http://www.altslashdot.org.nyud.net/wiki/index.php?title=Alt...

Funny to see AltSlashdot suffer from the Slashdot effect.

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