Saturday, July 27, 2013

Seven months since leaving Slashdot

At the end of December 2012, I left Slashdot. Cold turkey, no more reading, no more story submittals, no more comment moderation. I had good karma and I have no idea what they did with it. Like others, I posted under a handle so you won't find my contributions without working at it.

In case you are not familiar with Slashdot, it "is a technology-related news website owned by the US-based company Dice Holdings, Inc. The site, which bills itself as 'News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters,' features user-submitted and evaluated news stories about science and technology related topics." (Source: Wikipedia)

I left for four reasons: I have better sources for "News for Nerds," they refused to track a story back to its original source, the editing of stories was atrocious and I got tired of the stupid comments. Let me expound on these.

Better sources: I have several blogs and other news sources for my tech news. As a whole, they are faster and have better reporting and editing than Slashdot. One of the last straws in December was when Slashdot posted a story that I had read elsewhere two days earlier.

Original source: Slashdot relied on reader-submitted stories. While there is some original reporting on the Internet, many news sites simply scrape and rewrite content from the originators. How many times have you read a story in a major media source and realize that it was written by the Associated Press? The readers who submitted content rarely took the effort to track the story back to its roots, something I always try to do on this blog. This resulted in incorrect information and incomplete stories.

Sometimes, they had ridiculous situations where an Australian news publication was used a source for a United States story. It also resulted in a couple of cases where someone was able to sneak through a story that was a couple of years old.

Atrocious editing: Readers are nerds and their submissions need editing. This didn't happen as much as it should have. Ranging from misspelled words and wrong word usage to summaries that totally misrepresented the stories, this got really obnoxious after a while. Also, the problems listed in "Original source" were passed right on through by the editors.

Stupid comments: Every blog or other site that allows comments has to have a way to deal with stupid ones. Slashdot had an excellent moderation system that used people like me with good karma to keep the stupid comments in line. It was just too much work and there was just too much stupidity to deal with.

I really have a problem with tech people who work exclusively in a Wintel world (Windows + Intel) world and have no clue that there's other worlds out there that have nothing to do with Microsoft or Intel. They would be amazed to know that there are servers out there that don't run any antivirus software and yet are not vulnerable to malware!

Last year, I was wasting too much time cussing at stories and comments on Slashdot. Now I have that time back to do other things, like write this blog.

Updated Aug. 9: Replaced "stupid commenters" with "stupid comments." I really shouldn't call people stupid. People aren't stupid, they just do stupid things, like post stupid comments. As Forrest Gump's mother used to say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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