- Slashdot was redesigned (it seems I really haven't been there in ages, and I had a 6 digit ID starting in 1 :) )
- Slashdot Media is doing badly:
"revenues decreased 9% year-over-year to $4.3 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 from the comparable 2012 period, due primarily to the financial results at Slashdot Media"
"advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero"
On SoylentNews itself, I don't think a MediaWiki install will take away users from Slashdot, I see they're trying to install SlashCode, good luck with that.
I've always believed that admin moderated link aggregators have a ceiling as far as traffic/popularity goes. And so far, I seem to be correct in that belief. Sites like mefi, /. and fark all hit a peak than plateau or more commonly, drastically decline. I firmly believe a large part of that is due to the moderation itself. When you have the same group of minds selecting the content that gets seen, over the course of years, the users eventually get burnt out seeing the same type of stuff, chosen by the same people over and over again. The content becomes stale even if its fresh (if that makes sense).
There is one exception to this, however. That's reddit. Reddit's genius lies in its subreddits. That, in short, is the ability for users to create their own link aggregators within the site. In this, the content can never 'get stale' because if you get bored visiting /r/Cars, and your interests are now about photography, there are a dozen different subreddits focusing on that niche. There is always something there to keep your attention. Maybe you're a political nut, maybe you're into botany, or even my little pony. There's literally something for everyone. It's a link aggregator with virtually no limits.
I think the biggest thing that separates reddit from all the rest, however, is that the links aren't moderated by the admins or paid employees of the site. Each subreddit/community has its own mods who make the rules. Some communities are modded very laissez faire-ish while others like /r/askscience are modded with an iron fist. The drawback to that is it can give rise to internal drama, but I believe that's easily offset by the limitless potential. I think reddit will eventually be spoken in the same breath as twitter and facebook a few years from now and sites like slashdot, fark and mefi will all but be gone or forgotten.
There's a cycle: Clique with narrow shared self-moderated interests, becomes cool, attracts more people with broader interests, self-moderation becomes wider and people vote up things with more general appeal, until ultimately it all becomes a new "cool things on the internet" bucket. I tend to prefer sites with stronger guidelines and stronger moderation.
Stack Overflow has strong guidelines but still gets its share of detractors, because it doesn't allow "cool things on the internet".
Slashdot is still mod-curated, has sections, but stories don't hit the front page unless voted up. It's a different model to HN, but not that different. It still relies on other people's clicks to make me see it, and in that model the community becomes the key factor. Is Slashdot's community dead? That's the question, not just the infrastructure.
The moderators on MetaFilter do not select the content for the site. They can delete posts, and do so several times a day, but it doesn't influence the content to nearly the same extent.
I've been away from slashdot for quite a while (I have a 4 digits username there), I checked the beta site, and while it looks a bit bland to me, I don't get why it is such a big deal for the active users. Would love to have pointers that describe exactly what happens/why it's happening now.
And I'm just one guy doing this , there are corporations who manipulate reddit all the time , there is even a sub-reddit dedicated to talking about it.
There are also people who have created businesses on selling accounts and votes on reddit. That's how corrupted that place is.
Is it something to do ? Yes. Do I see it in the same league as facebook and twitter ? NO Way.
And because of the shadow bans you are never really free to say what you want , which is another reason reddit sucks.
Plus the very concept of the shadow ban deserves that they should get abused.
Where did all projects go? GitHub?
One interesting thing to think about is I don't use google searches as a portal into /. SF or GH so this might be a better graph of 1st deriv of noob traffic than actual traffic. Its quite possible SF is still much "larger" than GH, just GH is currently growing faster.
But I notice one project I'm an avid user of (LMMS) just moved from SF to Github ... aaaaand suddenly there's a buttload of extra development work, such that in a few months they went from "nothing going on here" to a 1.0 RC.
Mediawiki site is just a temporary thing.
I'm not sure what I'd recommend as a replacement. However, what I actually did when I last suffered Slashcode was replace it with WordPress and a suitable set of extensions (e.g. a submission extension). Which, for all its problems, didn't make me actually want to stab myself in the face repeatedly whenever I went to touch it in any manner whatsoever, including to post anything.
The LessWrong codebase, which is a derivative of Redditcode, does pretty well for that site. https://github.com/tricycle/lesswrong Might suit a Slashdot replacement. Not many maintainers, could do with more.
The quality of Scoop's code and the vibrancy of its development community can both be inferred from the fact that, in 2014, its FAQ warns you that it doesn't run well under Apache 2.
(Or reading it through Google Groups: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/comp.misc )
Among those recommended are: comp.editors, comp.os.linux.advocacy, sci.electronics.repair, rec.games.roguelike.nethack, sci.logic, sci.physics.relativity, alt.philosophy & uk.rec.sheds
But do not tell your readers what to do. The "don't visit slashdot during this week" advice is a bit weird and isn't helping. Focus on your project, not on another one.
It is my decision to visit if I want.
If slashdot serves me a beta page (which they just did) I'm out and they will see less of me that way.
>"News fresh as processed corpses"
I can't even describe how bad this is. I guess it's slightly better than if they called it "The Cake is a Lie News".
Personally, I don't think the design is the problem but the person who seems to be selecting the stories...
Ten years ago, a Slashdotting was in the hundreds of thousands of hits. Nowadays, it's a couple of thousand over maybe six hours.
So this is an attempt at a rump community forking a dead product.
Really? Are they kidding?