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posted by NCommander on Monday September 15 2014, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the warning-long-post-ahead dept.

Now that the latest release of slashcode has settled, and we're moving ahead towards towards getting the site self-sufficient, it's time to look at our longer term plans. I have talked about the direction I want SN to go, as well as some of the trouble getting from here to there. With the help of the staff, what I present here is a more unified plan on how we get from here to there for the community to evaluate. This should however be considered a draft, so, as usual, feel free to rip it to shreds, etc. In short, here's what I want to get done over the next six months:

  • SoylentNews PBC reaches self-sufficiency
  • Beginnings of a major "port and polish" on both content and the site itself
  • Build a more uniformed sense of community throughout the site
  • Compilation and completion of a "style and policy" manual
  • Preparations for running a crowd-funding campaign to get initial capital
  • Define, with assistance and input from the community, a mechanism for community governance
  • If possible, try and reach out to other not-for-profit journalist organizations for advice and guidance
  • Bootstrap the NFP umbrella from the B-corp's funds
  • Define a framework for which original content will be used on SoylentNews
  • Identify people who may be willing to work in a journalistic capacity with us
  • With the above frameworks in place, fundraise
  • Original content launches on SN

As usual, I'm going to go through these one by one, so check past the break

SoylentNews PBC reaches self-sufficiency

This one is pretty much self-explanatory, and we already have the basic plan in place. It is our hope that a combination of shop revenue and subscriptions will be able to offset our hosting and legal costs. Ideally, we need to raise about $10k a year to have a safe buffer here, though we can make do with less. As of right now, we have earned approximately $1300 from subscriptions and shop revenue, so we've made decent progress in this regard.

Broken down, our annual costs look like this (all values in USD):
  • $~3600 yearly hosting costs (can be reduced at the cost of site reliability; having multiple machines has already paid for itself in many regards. Active efforts in this area are ongoing)
  • $1-2k retainer for accountant + services at tax time
  • ~$5k retainer for a lawyer for the organization (something we will need sooner or later)

Ultimately, this is the most important thing that the site hinges on; even if everything else we do goes bust, as long as the site can pay for itself, it will continue to keep going, regardless of any of the staff's economic situation. Always remember, the site and the community come first.

Beginnings of a major "port and polish" on both content and the site itself

Let me break this into two sections for the sake of clarity:

The Site Itself

As far as websites go, SN is functional, but its UI isn't exactly great, with lots of tiny text and easy to miss boxes. There's room for improvement here to help make the site more usable for everyone; some low-hanging fruit is reorganizing all the preferences onto a single page, adding more descriptive help text on various things, and all-and-all improvement. We've already made a lot of great strides here, but the fact is, the site doesn't look much different from when we launched back in February.

Now, I will first up admit I'm not a website designer, nor a UI specialist, but those who weren't deeply involved with the other site will likely struggle to understand the interface. I think there's grounds here for a series of small but incremental tweaks to streamline the site for the general public, while allowing individual users to keep the current look-and-feel if they so choose. For instance, the improved threading interface, while a massive step up from 1997, is still somewhat awkward and feels tacked on. Unfortunately, our last recruitment drive was something of a bust, but I'm hoping if we bring up the topic as a dedicated article, we may be able to attract someone who is at least able to outline and identify the roughest points of SN, and help us modify the UI to streamline them. The current plan is for the next development cycle of the codebase to be mostly dedicated as a port and polish, fixing some longstanding pain like Apache 1.3, or finishing the long promised and underdeveloped modpoint rework.

As usual, we can use JavaScript/CSS and such, as long as the site degrades nicely, and loses no major functionality when either of those is disabled. I realize this adds a real burden to the frontend side of things, but we've already promised (and frequently delivered) that extra mile, and I have no intention of stopping. Most of our users have been with us since golive, and I don't plan to alienate anyone by disrupting how they use SoylentNews.

The Content Side of Things

First off, this isn't flack towards anyone; this is simply a statement of my observations and a feeling I've gotten from reading comments posted by the community. All and all, I think the editorial team does an amazing job in getting submissions in order and ready to go, and I can honestly say I want to see you guys keep up the good work. I do realize though that all of us are volunteers, and time can be very limited, as well as the position of editor being a lot of work, and relatively little praise. The purpose of this section is to acknowledge points that the community has brought up in comments and our progress at addressing them.

From where I'm sitting, we've done a relatively good job on getting a good variety of content out the door. While our focus is a bit scattered, I think we have sourced a decent variety of articles for community enjoyment and discussion. We've had some very broad and lively discussions on diverse topics, with some articles breaking 100 comments. Unfortunately, for as many successes as we had, we've quite a few posts go out with technical errors such as obvious typos, which sometimes go unedited even after the post has been publicly out for awhile (and said typos frequently get called out in comments). While the main-page at any given time is usually in good shape, folks tend to remember the bad, and not the good, so we need to find better ways to minimize the amount of mistakes that go out the door.

When it comes to editorial quality, my standards are the same as the Borg: absolute perfection.

On this front, I will be looking at ways to allow the community to suggest edits and revisions to the article (perhaps something similar to the Wikipedia "Proposed Revisions" functionality), to allow folks to fix what they see as wrong.

On the other hand, on any discussion regarding articles themselves, we need to talk about the content itself. I do recognize that is a bit of a more subjective subject thing, but we have a bad tendency to be hit or miss. I'll be the first to admit that we're a little all over the board and generally run whatever comes into the queue. This isn't helped since I've pushed the angel of "general journalism" vs. limited to a subset (ala arstechnica), which I suspect has made it difficult to define what we will and won't run.

For example, here are two articles that were at the top of the page from when I originally draft of this post:

Scrabble Champ Wins with Vowel Movements
Download Wrappers and Unwanted Software are Pure Evil

One of those is very high quality, and an excellent summary, while the "Download Wrappers and Unwanted Software are Pure Evil" is... not. As someone who always strives for the best, I think we need to tighten this up. Either we have to be more liberal with the use of the "Reject" button, or willing to go the extra mile and edit things into a consistent level of quality. Since I brought this issue up internally, there has been progress on defining a specific and firm guideline on how to format stories, and the criteria to decide if we approve them. As of this writing, this is still somewhat of a draft, but I am looking at running a dedicated article on this subject for some time this week, to get community feedback.

Build a more uniformed sense of community throughout the site

So, this one might be a bit controversial, but in some respects, our community is somewhat scattered. The fact is that the only venue for discussion on the site is on articles themselves, or on IRC. As a group, we're more or less united against becoming what the other site became. I see a couple of common names on posts, but I don't really know fellow posters that well. On various discussion forums I was active on, such as Bay12, you frequently get to see and perhaps know others. Within the developer community for Ubuntu, you frequently talk and discuss matters with other devs on a regular basis; as far as user-to-user communication goes on SN, one's options are essentially limited to email, journal posts (which have their own limitations), and conversation via threads. This is definitely not ideal, and while we have the friend/foe system (referred to as the Zoo), I suspect 99% of users never use it since they don't really know anyone in the community.

A lot of it is that the general involvement in SN is a passive one; folks read articles, and perhaps comment or submit something interesting. There isn't an active focus on discussing things except for the occasional "Ask SN" topic that pops up every once in awhile. Now obviously, this isn't something we can just magically snap our fingers and make appear overnight, but it is something we can help provide the tools for allowing this sort of kinship between users to form. For one, having general purpose discussion forums would help provide a venue where users can bring whatever comes to mind, and just socialize. Sub-slashes is another venue where a group of users can form to follow a common interest, such a DIY community, or folks who are interested in Magic the Gathering. The objective here is to figure out how to allow folks to us SN to socialize and form a cohesive identity, while still allowing folks to create communities-within-communities.

I'm open to ideas on how to improve the site in this regard, and perhaps run a more general (Ask SN) discussion on it.

Preparations for running a crowd-funding campaign to get initial capital

So, in previous brainstorming sessions on how to fund the site and original content, one of the ideas that came up and stuck was doing a crowdfunding campaign. As things stand, I think this is likely our best source of being able to fund our operations, as well as being most in line with our founding principles and goals. As with all things, crowdsourcing comes with various risks and never is 100% guaranteed to be successful.

As things stand, we need a sufficiently large userbase to successful fund such an endeavor, as well as a need to identity folks who would be willing to write for us. In a broader sense, we need to identify what we're looking for from authors, assemble a plan and business model to pay them from raised revenues, and then proceed to implement it. Some high-level ideas have been thrown around before, but we need something tightly focused here to help build out our business model.

Furthermore, in the interests of remaining a free and independent entity, preparations, and further research in bootstrapping a parent NFP should begin to take focus here. This leads in directly to my next point

Define, with assistance and input from the community, a mechanism for community governance

The fact is, a good chunk of the community is likely to be pretty 'meh' on governance issues. This is an unfortunate reality we need to live with, but at the end of the day, these same people are the group we are accountable to. As such, they need a way to have a direct say in our operations, while still allowing the staff to be able to operate the day-to-day business without getting overburdened in bureaucracy.

One possible solution for this (and for now the primary plan), is to have the SoylentNews PBC bootstrap a parent not-for-profit, which in turn draws its board directly from the community via elections (also known as a member NFP). While the specifics need to be determined, in a broad sense, I'd like to see where the board can nominate candidates, and if need be, the community can also elect and appoint its own representatives. Once established, the PBC would "sell itself" to the not-for-profit, giving majority control of the company to the board of directors, creating in effect a two level system.

* The SoylentNews PBC will continue to manage and oversee site operations, as well as being self-financed, and continue to operate as an independent entity, The NFP board will be able to "pull rank" via shareholder meetings if need be should the PBC board get out of line, providing the necessary community oversight, while still allowing the staff and directors of PBC a relatively free hand in managing site operations. To help fund the PBC, a method of allowing some of PBC's revenue to migrate into the NFP will be established to allow the NFP to function.

* The NFP itself will be tasked with broader objectives as defined by the manifesto, such as public awareness on freedom of speech, etc. Depending on the circumstances, the NFP may or may not pursue 501(c)(3) status, as well as helping to establish other projects in the name of freedom of press.

As some may have noticed, this is a somewhat different position than I had been pitching before; the reason being is in many of the discussions that arose since completing incorporation, it has become clear that we need to be accountable in some fashion. While many people have stated that we could just fork the site, the fact is that would splinter the community and cause a huge repetition of effort. Our best line of defense is to allow the community to, if need be, take action should they feel the need to do so.

Bootstrap the NFP umbrella from the B-corp's funds

As described above, this is where we make the step to community governance. Although the exact timing of this may vary, it is likely worthwhile to have such oversight in place long before we are handing any significant amount of money (though then again, it may be worth waiting until after our first crowd-sourcing campaign. TBD)

Define a framework for which original content will be used on SoylentNews

I've touched on this aspect before, but it bears repeating. We need a clear, defined interface between the site and independent authors/journalists. This involves the following aspects:

  • Identifying and proving a mechanism for prospective writers to step forward
  • Identify a method of trial and confirmation, allowing new authors to "cut their teeth" so to speak
  • Define a method of compensation; likely starting on a per-article basis, and perhaps migrating to salaried depending on available assets + long term contribution
  • Modification of SN itself to better accommodate original articles (clearer integration of media, easier to use admin tools, etc.)

This framework will become the basis of how we generate original content, and from here, work on moving to an actual news organization.

Identify people with journalistic experience to act as an overseer/guide/guru

The fact of the matter is though, at the end of the day, none of us are journalists. There are standards held to members of the associated press, and other media organizations, and if we're going to be seen as a serious attempt in not-for-profit journalism, we need to meet and exceed these standards; what we need is someone who knows this field to help us get the rest of our groundwork in place, and who we can hand "this is what we've done, how do we take it that final step".

Our guru (for want of a better term) should be able to go through our now-compiled policy manual, perhaps interview some of our early picks for paid writers, and help get things rolling in reporting news and information from around the world.

An important aspect here, though, is figuring out what we're covering in tight detail. I recommend we start with a narrowish focus, starting in tech news, and then bubbling out, using the advantage of the nexus feature to subdivide the site on a topic basis. With a tighter focus on original content, we should be able to limit costs and keep things tight and on track. If we're successful in this, on future crowd-funding campaigns, we can slowly begin to expand the focus of original content. Our initial funding goals should allow us to send one individual to a few conferences (perhaps linux.com.au, etc), while others can attend and report on local events in the tech world.

I'll admit, this one might be the most difficult item on this list, but I'm in it to win it, and I know that none of us have the necessary experience on the media side of things to succeed here. We've already had some impressive contact with folks from around the world, so I'm certain we can at least get advice if nothing else, but we need to learn everything we can.

With the framework in place, fundraise

Within the next six months, by having fulfilled our goals and thus proved we know what we're doing, we go forth to the world, and ask for funding. By this time, we should have a reasonable idea of what expenses and goals w.r.t. original content will be, and thus know what dollar amount we have to hit to succeed.

With that in mind, we set our goals, run the campaign, and see if we can raise enough money to change history. Or in other words, profit.

Original Content (Officially) Launch

Exactly what it says on the tin.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Comments have just ben enabled for this story. Also added the missing revenue figure. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Related Stories

Scrabble Champ Wins with Vowel Movements 12 comments

Oliver Roeder writes at 538 that for living-room players, Scrabble is a test of vocabularies but for world-class players, it’s about cold memorization and mathematical probabilities which is why top player are often computer programmers or mathematicians, not poets or novelists. Think of the dictionary as a giant rulebook of valid text strings not as a compendium of the beauty and complexity of the English language. A good competitive player will have memorized a sizeable chunk of the 83,667 words that are two letters to eight letters long. Great players will know a lot of the 29,150 nine-letter words as well.

To the uninitiated, a scrabble game played by top players looks like they had played in Martian. Here’s a taste: In a single game in last year’s Nationals, Nigel Richards, the champion of the 2010 National Scrabble Championship, played the following words: zarf (a metal holder for a coffee cup), waddy (to strike with a thick club), hulloed (to hallo, to shout), sajous (a capuchin, a monkey), qi (the vital force in Chinese thought), flyboats (a small, fast boat), trigo (wheat) and threaper (one that threaps, disputes). Richards has a photographic memory and is known for his uncanny gift for constructing impossible words by stringing his letters through tiles already on the board. "He is probably the best Scrabble player in the world at this point," says John D. Williams, Jr.. "He's got the entire dictionary memorized. He's pretty much a Scrabble machine, if such a thing exists." So, really, how does he do it? As Richards said in an interview posted on YouTube, “I’m not sure there is a secret. It’s just a matter of learning the words.” All 178,691 of them.

Download Wrappers and Unwanted Software are Pure Evil 51 comments

Call it Adware, Malware, Spyware, Crapware, it's simply unwanted. Every non-technical relative I've ever talked to has toolbars they apparently can't see, apps running in the background, browser home pages set to Russian Google clones, and they have no idea how it got that way.

Read on to learn how they get that way.

Re: Discussing the Future of SN 159 comments

After laying out my longer-term plans for the site two weeks ago, I've sat down, read the feedback, and started looking at writing a response. Under normal circumstances, I generally reply to comments as they're posted, but in this case, a more public and general dialog appears to be necessary. If you haven't read the previous post, I recommend doing so now.

Now, with that introduction out of the way... I have unfortunately been unavailable to write a more detailed response, due to real life issues. So please excuse my only responding to two of the major points brought up. I do wish to have a follow-up to address the remainder, but I can not make a promise as to when that may be.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bziman on Monday September 15 2014, @07:06PM

    by bziman (3577) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:06PM (#93557)

    "SN is functional, but its UI isn't exactly great, with lots of tiny text and easy to miss boxes. There's room for improvement here to help make the site more usable for everyone"

    On the contrary, the UI is fantastic. Please, don't be like that other site and screw it up. I can't speak for anyone else, but that's the primary reason I bailed out of the other site and came here.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @07:28PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @07:28PM (#93570) Journal

      Plus 1.

      Look and feel is probably as good as it needs to be.
      The slow steady improvements that have occurred since inception are the way to go.
      Base it on bitch levels, or maybe run a poll to find out what irritates folks the most.
      IOW, don't look to add things just cuz you can, fix what really drives users nuts.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by GlennC on Monday September 15 2014, @07:46PM

      by GlennC (3656) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:46PM (#93582)

      I concur. The UI is not an issue as far as I'm concerned.

      Remember that UI issues with another site are what prompted the Soylentils to gather in the first place.

      --
      Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Fnord666 on Monday September 15 2014, @08:59PM

      by Fnord666 (652) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @08:59PM (#93636) Homepage

      On the contrary, the UI is fantastic. Please, don't be like that other site and screw it up. I can't speak for anyone else, but that's the primary reason I bailed out of the other site and came here.

      Unless you try to view it on a mobile device. Then it is basically unreadable.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @09:08PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @09:08PM (#93642) Journal

        I suggest a better mobile device. I have no problem reading, posting or navigating mobile.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by bziman on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:33AM

        by bziman (3577) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:33AM (#93823)

        I read and post from my old Android phone all the time. If you want a really great low-bandwidth reading experience, checkout http://soylitenews.org/avantify.cgi [soylitenews.org].

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @09:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @09:27PM (#93648)

      FWIW, I don't mind experiments with the UI as long as they are experiments and the community gets the final say on permanent changes.

      As for how to gauge the community's approval - I think something that uses the site's polling function would be a way to vote. Like a list of ten possible UI changes and let people pick what they think they would want the most. Each option should include a minimum of a couple of sentences describing the change. It would be nice if there was a way to do ranked voting rather than just pick-one though.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:51AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:51AM (#93773)

        This is a good idea. I couldn't believe it when Slashdot started forcing the beta on users, and there were stories with 30+ comments and all but one or two were people expressing total anger and hatred for the shitty shitty beta site. That's the kind of feedback that should result in the beta site being taken down immediately and the project shelved forever.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:02PM (#93670)

      While the UI is a big concern, I'm also very concerned about how tyrannical moderation will be avoided.

      What I'm referring to is the bullshit that goes on at Slashdot, Hacker News, and especially reddit whenever somebody voices an opinion that may differ from what the community has deemed to be "acceptable".

      Instead of allowing these people to be heard, the moderation systems at those sites end up just crushing any view that differs from that held by the majority (or even just the minority who may get to moderate). What's left is rather pathetic, boring "circle-jerk" self-affirmation that isn't worth reading.

      Unfortunately, I saw some of this tyrannical moderation happening here in some discussion yesterday: http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/09/14/0454245 [soylentnews.org]

      Some folks with a militant love for political correctness went through and modded down a lot of perfectly good comments. Even worse, a lot of totally shit comments were modded up.

      I want to read discussion where opposing and conflicting viewpoints can both be expressed. I don't care if some of these ideas may not be considered "politically correct", they should not be modded down.

      If somebody supports, say, homosexual marriage, then I want to see at least some of those comments at +5. If somebody doesn't support homosexual marriage, then I want to see at least some of those comments at +5, too. If somebody has some alternate viewpoint, well damn it all to hell, I want to see some of those at +5.

      What I don't want to see is a bunch of "social justice warrior" types engaging in the suppression of free speech like we see happen at Slashdot, HN and reddit on a near-constant basis. The mis-moderation of the comments in that submission here from yesterday really disappointed me, and made me question just how viable this site will be as a truly open venue for discussing topics.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:19PM (#93678)

        Your whining about "tyrannical moderation" is just thin-skinned political correctness of its own.
        Anyone who uses the term "social justice warrior" non-ironically is just a whiny little bitch.
        Suck it up.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:30PM (#93688)

          That's not the vibe that I get from that AC's comment. Wanting all viewpoints to be fairly represented is not whining. It's what makes for good discussion, I think. I would be happy to see no moderation here, in fact. All comments would be shown in full by default.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:09PM (#93708)

            > That's not the vibe that I get from that AC's comment.

            Really? The fact that he thinks "social justice warrior" is a real thing ought to be a big enough viber to fully disqualify the post.
            Would you have preferred he use the term "femi-nazi" or libtard? SJW is just the latest incarnation of those, brought to you by the same butthurt people.

            > Wanting all viewpoints to be fairly represented is not whining.

            Dude is clearly whining that his "thug" posts got modded up and then got modded down. He got fair representation, what he wants is the false balance of equal representation. [wikipedia.org]

            > All comments would be shown in full by default.

            Set your preferences and you can have that.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:03AM

              by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:03AM (#93728) Homepage Journal

              Nah, sunshine, SJWs are the butthurt ones. They go absolutely bug-eyed lib-rage any time anyone has an opinion that differs from how they think the world should be. Then they Troll, Flamebait, Overrated mod your last ten comments because the folks in charge in their lack of utter foolishness didn't see fit to put in a Disagree downmod.

              They preach tolerance of everything, as long as it's something they approve of. Independent thought or opposing viewpoints? Those can never be tolerated. Aren't in favor of gun control? You must be insane and are worse than Hitler. Don't agree with socialized medicine? You're a greedy fuckwad and they hope you get shot and the hospital won't treat you.

              No, my cowardly friend, SJWs are very real and utterly vile. You'll find more intolerance and hate in one SJW than you will in an entire Klan meeting.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:08AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:08AM (#93732)

                > Nah, sunshine, SJWs are the butthurt ones.

                Yeah, you are so butt-strong that you had to respond to an AC flaming someone else with a big ole "nuh-uhhhh."
                Totally not butthurt at all.

                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:15AM

                  by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:15AM (#93736) Homepage Journal

                  My butt is rock-like in its pain immunity. I rip on people who insist on bring wrong out loud because it's fun and it's a public service in case anyone might be tempted to think they knew what they were talking about.

                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:02AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:02AM (#93748)

                    haha and now you are doing that thing where you just insist you are right, so butt-strong, so, so, so butt-strong.

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:12AM

                      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:12AM (#93757) Homepage Journal

                      Your troll-fu is weak, young one. Stay the patient course/Of little worth is your ire/The network is down.

                      --
                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:18AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:18AM (#93760)

                        > Your troll-fu is weak,

                        And yet you couldn't help but respond 3 times now.
                        Your words say one thing, but your actions say butthurt 100x louder.

                        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:51AM

                          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:51AM (#93772) Homepage Journal

                          That's "bored" that they're saying. Nothing good on TV? Waste a troll's time. All you have to do to win is not get angry.

                          --
                          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:05AM

                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:05AM (#93779)

                            And we have #4 - now with the ego-saving "I'm so bored by all this" claim.
                            You are really doing the public a service here.

                            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:23AM

                              by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:23AM (#93786) Homepage Journal

                              Why thank you, I thought so. Wasting your time with me means you're not annoying anyone who's actually trying to have a conversation. The longer I keep you occupied the better.

                              --
                              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:25AM

                                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:25AM (#93788)

                                And we have #5 on the doth protest too much train.
                                Because, clearly you keeping some random anonymous coward -- who posts with a score of 0 -- occupied is the greatest contribution you have to offer to the world.

              • (Score: 2) by keplr on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:46PM

                by keplr (2104) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:46PM (#94155) Journal

                Many of us on the left are equally frustrated and disgusted by SJW political correctness run amuck. I'm tired of real liberal values being subverted by these professional victims. I'm very far left on most issues, I'm either a Social Democrat or a Libertarian Socialist depending on the system you're using to analyze politics, and I tend to vote Green Party. Nowhere in any of these platforms will you find the "right" to not be offended--and that's essentially what SJWs stand for at their core. "Your rights stop where my feelings begin" is not a liberal value. All opinions are NOT equal. Fairness does NOT mean evenhandedness.

                Being left-wing used to mean anti-totalitarian, and that meant standing up to bigots, no matter what their particular ideology. SJW are just the latest kind of bigot.

                --
                I don't respond to ACs.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:13PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:13PM (#94172)

                  > I'm tired of real liberal values being subverted by these professional victims.

                  Like who? Can you name even one such SJW that can comes close to deserving the title of being a "professional victim?"
                  And how many of them are here?

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:06PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:06PM (#94232)

                    Anita Sarkasian comes to mind. For a parade of examples you might try browsing this subreddit [reddit.com], which is dedicated to documenting cases of that delusional worldview.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17 2014, @02:33AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17 2014, @02:33AM (#94359)

                      > Anita Sarkasian comes to mind.

                      Holy shit. If you consider Sarkasian [theverge.com] a "professional victim" then you've just confirmed every stereotype and criticism of anti-SJW crusaders ever.

                      • (Score: 2) by keplr on Wednesday September 17 2014, @05:27AM

                        by keplr (2104) on Wednesday September 17 2014, @05:27AM (#94399) Journal

                        It's also possible that you are one (SJW) yourself and are currently engaged in the exact same behavior. I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. You might just be ignorant that she's a con-woman, a thief who swindled people out of Kickstarter money, a confessed non-gamer merely focusing on this subculture because that's where she can make hay with her brand of outrage, and to top it all off, a bald-faced liar who falsely claimed to have received death threats which lead her to file a police report (which never happened).

                        If she's someone you admire, you're really being lead off the righteous path by a charlatan and her army of white knights.

                        --
                        I don't respond to ACs.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:51AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:51AM (#93745)

              I take it you have never been to college. The so-called SJWs do exist, and they do go out of their way to limit the free expression of others. For people who claim to be all about tolerance, freedom and so forth, they sure put in a lot of effort trying to censor and shut down opinions they happen to disagree with. They thrive on the Internet because a lot of web sites do have broken moderation systems that allow for abuse to take place much too easily. I personally hope that this site isn't one of them.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:06AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:06AM (#93752)

                > The so-called SJWs do exist, and they do go out of their way to limit the free expression of others.

                And since it is impossible to delete a post on soylent, not only do such people not exist here, they can't.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:27PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:27PM (#94243)

                  You can downvote people to -1, which effectively censors them by removing them from the default comment view. Most people never change the default settings, so they never see those posts. It's a problem with any system that allows downvotes and has a view threshold.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:01AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:01AM (#93747)

              I just read through all of the comments for that submission, and I didn't see any trace of racism. And I think the use of the word thug was reasonable. Thug isn't a race specific word. It applies equally well to anyone of any skin color who would, say, shove a shop keeper while engaging in robbery. After all, the definition of thug [reference.com] is "a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer." That totally describes the person in the surveillance video who was shown attacking the shop keeper. If any comment here using the word thug was modded down then I have to agree that there is something wrong going on. Comments that are correct shouldn't be downmodded. They should be upmodded. Anyone who engaged in the bad modding should totally lose their modding privileges. They clearly don't know what they're doing.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:14AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:14AM (#93759)

                > Thug isn't a race specific word.

                And fag did not used be a derogatory term. Language evolves, and if you are legitimately unaware of the modern usage then you really aren't qualified to comment. I suppose it is possible to live in such a bubble, but I'm not going to give you the benefit of that doubt.

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:06AM

                  by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:06AM (#93808) Homepage

                  That's why the fight against creeping political correctness is a never-ending one -- because assholes like you try to make more and more words forbidden and disappeared down the memory hole.

                  And who declared you arbiter of which words should and should not be spoken? No, fuck you. I'm not gonna let an asshole like you tell me what I can and can't say. I'm not "living in a bubble," I'm actively pushing back against control-freak assholes like you both online and in real-life.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:37AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:37AM (#93862)

                    That's why the fight against creeping political correctness is a never-ending one -- because assholes like you try to make more and more words forbidden and disappeared down the memory hole.

                    No one here is making words "forbidden" - no post has ever been deleted here for any reason, much less for the use of any particular word.
                    But freedom of expression does not mean freedom from consequences.
                    Personally I love it when people self-identify as racist by their language. It is a valuable heuristic. It lets me know right up front that their perception of the world is so skewed that whatever other opinions they might hold have a good chance of being the opposite of reality.

                    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:23PM

                      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:23PM (#93980) Homepage

                      So, then, will you include being religious as part of that heuristic? Because in my opinion being religious has less basis in reality than being racist. Being religious is a valuable heuristic. It lets me know right up front that their belief in an imaginary being is so insane that whatever other opinions they might hold have a good change of being out of touch with reality.

                      Or do they get a free pass from you?

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40PM (#94069)

                        Being fundamentalist gets them same treatment. Fundamentalism and racism are on about the same level of stupid. The thing about racism is that it always boils down to bad math - primarily selection bias - and math is inherently knowable. A general belief in the divine is unknownable - neither provable nor disprovable. I don't have a problem with faith in something that can't be disproved (and a god of the gaps doesn't count). I do have a problem with people who wilfully choose to believe in something that can and has repeatedly been disproven in various ways in various cases over the long history of civilization - and that is something that fundamentalists and racists have in common.

              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:55AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:55AM (#93801) Homepage

                There's no good way to get rid of bad downmods ... and I say this even tho I think the majority of downmods are unwarranted, outside of the obvious spammy posts.

                But I'd suggest making downmods more "expensive" -- so for every downmod, you use three mod points instead of one. If you really feel strongly enough to spend three points to take a post down by one rating, then you can still do it, but you can't spend ten points downmodding ten posts; you'd only be able to downmod three posts (with one point left over which you can still use to upmod).

                Also, the "when you get mod points again" thing could be skewed so anyone who gives a lot of downmods gets mod points less often.

                • (Score: 2) by Kell on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:08AM

                  by Kell (292) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:08AM (#93879)

                  This is a very interesting idea - it encourages good comments but still allows trolls to be addressed. The only problem might be that sockpuppets can cheaply keep trollish posts afloat, basically reducing the community's ability to fight them. It's a balancing act. Perhaps it should instead be a cumulative thing within a batch of points: cost 1 point for the first downmod in a single thread, 2 for the second downmod, and 3 points for the third and so on.

                  --
                  Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
                  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:50AM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:50AM (#93930) Homepage

                    That's a good thought too -- make downmodding progressively expensive, so there's not too much penalty for killing junk. Or maybe it could depend on your up to down ratio -- the more downmods you give, the more expensive it gets.

                    But I don't think the sockpuppets are too much of a problem unless they get upmodded, and who's going to do that? other sockpuppets? how are they going to acquire the karma to be given that many mod points?

                    Whatever we try here, we're not married to it -- if it doesn't work, revert it.

                    Another thought is to add "Disagree" (and maybe a couple variants) and not have it affect the post's score, but make the tally of "disagrees" show next to the score, or let the user set it as a downmod in their personal view (much like the friend/foe plus-minus option).

                    And a further thought is to make downmods non-anonymous -- if you downmod, your username goes in the score. That could produce some pride in zealously downmodding spam, while making it embarrassing to downmod just because you don't like or disagree with the post.

                    Myself, I find that even with my threshold set to 0, there just aren't that many garbage comments here. We've seem to have a much higher proportion of ACs than that other site, and quite often they have something worthwhile to say.

                    • (Score: 2) by Kell on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:46PM

                      by Kell (292) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:46PM (#93962)

                      Another thought is to add "Disagree" (and maybe a couple variants) and not have it affect the post's score, but make the tally of "disagrees" show next to the score, or let the user set it as a downmod in their personal view (much like the friend/foe plus-minus option).

                      Heeeey, that's a really good idea! I absolutely adore the idea of post 'metrics' displayed next to the score that indicate level of agreement and moderation. I wonder how it would affect moderation if you could simple click a + or - button for 'I agree with this" that is simply consensus building, vs "offtopic" that affects visibility. This can hook into some of the points made in previous posts here about how minority views are often silenced - why not take the politics out of moderating and use it as a quality control instead of the ersatz political commentary that it has become.

                      Sir or madam, thank you for your interesting and helpful post! I hope your idea is implemented.

                      --
                      Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
                      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:17PM

                        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:17PM (#93976) Homepage

                        Kinda like the Like and Dislike buttons on Youtube... doesn't affect visibility but tells you how many people agree or disagree with your tastes and opinions. OTOH, a good many thinking folks might just bail entirely if it became overly clear that their opinions were considered garbage by the majority.

                        Personally I think anything that encourages "consensus" should be discouraged, because all that does is contribute to groupthink. And that's why I don't think "I disagree" should be any sort of downmod for the post's visibility.

                        On thinking more about it, I'm not sure I like my own suggestions. :(

                        • (Score: 2) by Kell on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:25PM

                          by Kell (292) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:25PM (#94022)

                          -1 disagree. :)

                          --
                          Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
                          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40PM

                            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40PM (#94070) Homepage

                            +1 Insightful :)

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday September 15 2014, @10:28PM

        We've been discussing that since the beginning. Personally, I'd like to remove Underrated and institute meta-moderation in such a way that bad moderators will die of old age before they get mod points again. My say isn't what gets coded though; that will have to be debated until we come up with something most people will dig. We really don't have the coding manpower right now to both work on small features/bugs and meta-moderation though, so if I start on it in October like I'd planned, it will mean only the coding paulej72's overworked backside can manage will be in the 14.12 update. Unless I finish it in time to thoroughly test it before then that is.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:41PM (#93695)

          What about removing moderation almost completely, and showing almost all comments without obscuring any of them?

          The only situation where a comment would be obscured is if it's obvious commercial spam. I'm talking about the "CleanMyPC" (or whatever it actually is) comments that are posted to Slashdot on occasion.

          Anyone caught abusing this functionality by moderating down non-spam comments would lose their moderating privileges forever after the first offense.

          The meta-moderation system would be open to everyone. When a comment is modded down as being spam, a button is shown next to it. If a sufficient number of people use this button to mark the comment as incorrectly moderated, then the moderator is punished as described earlier.

          This would allow comments that truly are visually disruptive to be obscured by default, while all other legitimate discussion is visible by default, without biases causing intentional or unintentional censorship to happen.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:13PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:13PM (#93710)

            > What about removing moderation almost completely, and showing almost all comments without obscuring any of them?

            Log in, set your preferences and you can have that. If you don't want to log in, get the Redirector add-on for firefox and set it to rewrite comments URLs to show that view by default.

            Moderation is an important feature of soy, if you want a soy-lite then you can have that. If you want everyone to have soy-lite then you are worse than what you complain about.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:54AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:54AM (#93746)

              Users shouldn't have to opt-in to see all comments. It should be the other way around. Those who wish for certain content to be censored should be the ones creating accounts, setting preferences, or installing addons.

              Just because Slashdot has a moderation system that's broken in some ways it does not mean that this site can't strive to fix those problems. I thought that was one of the main points of this site. It's all about improving the Slashdot experience now that Slashdot has shown itself to not care about making such improvements.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:21AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:21AM (#93762)

                > Users shouldn't have to opt-in to see all comments.

                Sez you. If a couple of mouse clicks is too much for you then the internet is probably not your happy place.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Leebert on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:58AM

          by Leebert (3511) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:58AM (#93775)

          I've spent a lot of time over the years grumbling over moderation issues on slashdot, and I often found myself wishing for a few things, among them:

          • A moderation option that allows me to undo a previous negative moderation - perhaps costing two or more moderation points to exercise. I'd be plenty happy to burn extra modpoints to undo incorrect downmods, restore the poster's karma, and prevent such oddities as "Score: 3 (Troll)". This would help in cases like: "Score: -1 (Disagree)", "Score: -1 (Moderator misread poster's point)", "Score: -1 (Moderator Sarcasm Detector Fail)", "Score: -1 (Moderator Selected Wrong Dropdown Item)", etc.
          • An optional "rationale" text field that can be used during moderation. Sometimes when metamoderating, I'd come across a post that was downmoderated but I wasn't quite sure why. Some people, for example, are good at recognizing the usernames of known trolls, or trolls would word-for-word copy someone else's post, or some similar thing that is non-obvious when meta-moderating but could actually quite easily damage a more astute moderator (whom we'd like to ENCOURAGE).
          • Metamoderation feedback, so that I know how the community perceived my moderation. My own personal moderation technique was typically to find a good back-and-forth thread and upmod BOTH sides, but I genuinely have no idea how my moderation was perceived by the community.
          • Downmods cost more than upmods, to encourage upmoding.

          To be honest, I could come up with some arguments about how those suggestions might backfire, but since you brought up the subject I figured I'd throw the ideas out to see if they had value to anyone else.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:25AM

            by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:25AM (#93787) Homepage Journal

            Cheers, we're still wide open on suggestions.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:05AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:05AM (#93805) Homepage

            I've also occasionally upmodded both sides of an argument, and even arguments where I disagree with one side or the other, because I thought it was important to bring both sides out into the air and light, or both sides having made good points.

            And I think excessive downmodding actually degrades the conversation, by skewing it all one way -- so the sane-and-logical opposition gives up, leaving only the troll-and-flame opposition.

            I too suggest that downmods should be more "expensive" -- have each downmod use 3 mod points. I mutter about that somewhere above. I think that would sufficiently slow down the "mod down ten posts I disagree with" types without sacrificing too much of the ability to kill spammy crap. I also suggested that your up vs down mods should weigh against your future mod points -- so folks who prefer to downmod get fewer points.

            • (Score: 2) by monster on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:32AM

              by monster (1260) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:32AM (#93913) Journal

              I too have upmodded both sides of an argument, even when I only agree with one side. But at least for me the bar is: If you present a coherent post, give citations and/or a rationale while presenting your argument, you can be upmodded, no matter if I agree or not. If the post is just some name-calling and zombie arguments it stays as is or, if really goes against sane discussion, gets downmodded.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:37AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:37AM (#93928) Homepage

                Yeah, the "opposing view" has to contribute something worthwhile -- for me, it fills a gap in the back-and-forth of discussion, whether that's informative or whatever. Just arguing doesn't qualify. I know 'em when I see 'em.

                I've been on /. since 1998 and here since a month or two after the beginning, and I've given two downmods in all that time -- one to egregious namecalling that had somehow gotten itself marked insightful, and the other was accidental in the early days before I realised one had to take care not to have a comment dropdown be the focus when you don't want it finalized. So yeah, I'd like to have the option to UnMod a comment -- maybe instead of making the mod box go away after being used, switch it to "unmod" (I suppose the two modes could swap back and forth as often as needed). -- There are enough folks happy to downmod, I don't need to be one of 'em.

          • (Score: 2) by el_oscuro on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:52PM

            by el_oscuro (1711) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:52PM (#94112)

            How about a moderation preview button? It is really easy to accidentally change a previous moderation while looking at a long list of comments and not know it. On slashdot, I have accidentally moderated a comment I though insightful as flamebait becaused I pressed a cursor key or something like that.

            --
            SoylentNews is Bacon! [nueskes.com]
        • (Score: 1) by albert on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:01AM

          by albert (276) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:01AM (#93839)

          Before you subtract downvotes from upvotes, square the upvotes.

          (or use some other non-linear function)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:17AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:17AM (#93844)

            I like your general idea better than the one of making down-votes use more mod points than up-votes because making one more expensive than the other is an inherent judgment that one direction should cost the moderator more than another. That seems like a recipe for a kind of "grade inflation."

            But I don't think it needs to be non-linear. Just let a down-mod count half as much as an up-mod. Maybe that means the moderation scale has to go to 10 instead of 5, or maybe just make half-points invisible and have no effect until they sum up to a whole mod point. That might also discourage "piling on" not that "piling on" seems to be a problem here.

      • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:03AM

        by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:03AM (#93804)

        the only "tyrannical moderation" occurring in that article is Tork being mod-bombed for arguing with blatant racists and idiots. there's no evidence anywhere of your so-called "social justice warriors".

        funny how it was only ACs stirring up trouble; i wish i had so little integrity i could post as AC and then mod people down for disagreeing with me, especially when i was obviously wrong.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:33AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:33AM (#93824)

          No, no, no. You don't understand.
          SJWs are by definition wrong, they even know they are wrong they just aren't principled enough to admit it. So downmoding them is correct.
          But when a defender of civilization is dowmodded for "Bwahahahaha, ROFLMAO." that is a tyrannical SJW abusing the moderation system.

          It's not difficult to figure out why Conservatives on the Internet tend to be more intelligent. It takes quite a bit of an independent streak and some world class critical thinking skills to break yourself out of the overwhelmingly Liberal echo chamber that is the online community.

          • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:52AM

            by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:52AM (#93834)

            calling somebody a "social justice warrior" is merely an ad hominem, and people only resort to ad hominems when they know they're wrong and have no rebuttal. your incessant use of ad hominems shows that you have nothing to back up anything in your post and have no interest in debating. people who not only have no interest in debating, but actively refuse to do so, instead resorting to ad hominems and actively ignoring facts, are the ones who force echo chambers into existence through their non-stop demonstrations of their lack of thinking skills.

            its pretty clear from your post that you're one of the assholes trying to change this place into an echo chamber. go the fuck away. if i wanted an echo chamber, i'd go to huffpo or fox news.

            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:58AM

              by VLM (445) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:58AM (#93933)

              "calling somebody a "social justice warrior" is merely an ad hominem"

              That is objectively inaccurate as its trivial to pull the dictionary definition of "social justice" and "warrior" and concatenate them.

              Subjectively I'd evaluate that as an accurate summary of some behavioral observation.

              I suppose it could be misapplied, or a lovely argument could result from two observers thinking of two different situations or ...

              Its doubly objectively false as an ad hominem is "a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact". If the topic of the discussion is the aggression level of enforcers of politically correct speech, then describing the aggressors as "social justice warriors" is perfectly on topic. Or maybe in contrast, a perfect ad hominem response would be something like "he's not white" which would seem to have nothing to do with the discussion.

              I think maybe you should have accused him of something like "Argument to moderation" where he's trying to discredit your position by pointing out "warrior" behavior and therefore not moderate, rather than merely being mildly peeved or slightly annoyed.

              Its a peculiar argument, because historically inquisition and mccarthy hearing type of groups never are discouraged by pointing out their extremism.

              • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40PM

                by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40PM (#94068)

                ah, i didn't mean in general. the term probably can be applied to people properly; i've never seen the alleged actions of which they're accused personally, but its a believable proposition. i meant it in the context seen here: calling somebody a "social justice warrior" as a method of calling them an extremist in order to discredit everything they say and do. attacking the person rather than their argument is the definition of an ad hominem.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:45PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:45PM (#94071)

                  I think you should go back and read that post more closely. It flew over your head.
                  Maybe you just got poed [wikipedia.org] but how crazy does someone have to be to think that a bare "Bwahahahaha, ROFLMAO." should not be be down-modded?

                • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:16PM

                  by VLM (445) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:16PM (#94095)

                  "method of calling them an extremist in order to"

                  Did you pull the definitions of "social justice" and "warrior". Its not that negative of a connotation.

                  Maybe you could pull off an intentionality fallacy claim, but you're going to have to try a lot harder.

                  "attacking the person rather than their argument is the definition of an ad hominem"

                  Um, no, not even close. Most definitions contain something along the lines of "rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author". So you're not complaining about the label being used, as in its properly being used, but instead are claiming that its totally irrelevant to discuss behavior descriptions in a discussion about behavior. Well then.

                  See the problem with just making up definitions that sound good is you can't really talk about stuff anymore.

                  I'm guessing you're trying the moral high ground tack or maybe thought-terminating cliche. But if you're just going to redefine stuff...

                  • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:27PM

                    by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:27PM (#94102)

                    Abusive ad hominem [wikipedia.org] usually involves attacking the traits of an opponent as a means to invalidate their arguments.

                    Ad hominem: [purdue.edu] This is an attack on the character of a person rather than his or her opinions or arguments

                    Fallacy: Personal Attack. [nizkor.org] Also Known as: Ad Hominem Abusive.

                    is your pedantry so extreme that you can't even read past the first line of a definition?

                    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:42PM

                      by VLM (445) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:42PM (#94109)

                      I have faith we will reach common ground eventually. Well, maybe not. But some forward progress. It is getting boring however.

                      Yes that is an excellent ad hominem along the lines of "rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact" pedantry as a personality trait and all that, which has absolutely nothing to do with the correctness of observational facts and definitions and general strategic / tactical discussion.

                      So perhaps are you operating under the weird idea that being a social justice warrior is bad? Or that its the acting like one thats bad? Or the acting like one in inappropriate situations thats bad? Might help your strategy to define your terms.

                      • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:02PM

                        by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:02PM (#94117)

                        i wasn't dismissing your post based on your pedantry. the pedantry around here drives me insane because context is everything, and pedants intentionally ignore context. its frustrating always having to spell everything thing out that should be implicitly understood.

                        the context i'm using for "social justice warrior" being used as a pejorative comes from the post [soylentnews.org] i originally replied to: "Some folks with a militant love for political correctness went through and modded down a lot of perfectly good comments." in the summary of his paragraph, he says everyone applying those "tyrannical mods" are "social justice warriors". there's also mighty buzzard's post [soylentnews.org] a bit further down which clearly states that social justice warriors are vile, despicable things. as i am replying in this thread, it should be clear that thats the context i'm using when i state that calling somebody a social justice warrior is a way to dismiss everything they do by labeling them as extremists; in this context, its being used to generate the same effect as if you were to call somebody a racist.

                        looking at the definitions for each, even the urbandictionary definitions, i can't see how being a social justice warrior would be a bad thing, but its pretty clear from the context that its being used as a pejorative.

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:31PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:31PM (#94149)

                          You really have some patience there.
                          I read VLM's post and what I see is someone playing dumb.
                          The sort of smug dumb that is, "I know exactly what that word connotes but I'm going to claim that it is a totally neutral term because I agree with the connotations of the usage and I'm right."

      • (Score: 1) by fleg on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:11AM

        by fleg (128) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:11AM (#93868)

        >Some folks with a militant love for political correctness went through and modded down a
        >lot of perfectly good comments. Even worse, a lot of totally shit comments were modded up.

        i disagree. i read at -1 and its rare for me to see posts modded up or down that dont seem
        about right.

        however, if you see some comment that had a points total you dont agree with it would be
        useful to post a comment pointing that out and then the community could discuss it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:22PM (#100928)

        3 Q's:

        1. What the hell is meant by "social justice"?
        2. Are those types "warring" against or for it?
        3. Are you intentionally invoking selection bias in your audience?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:49PM (#93698)

      I can't speak for anyone else, but that's the primary reason I bailed out of the other site and came here.

      Oh, you can speak for me on this. I insist.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:05PM (#93707)

      that's the primary reason I bailed out of the other site and came here.

      I am Lord Voldemort.

    • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:06AM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:06AM (#93750)

      mod +5 insightful (if I only had points ...)

      The UI is why I came here.

      its simple, clean and doesn't make your eyes bleed.

      Site admins please note;
      The UI works. Don't fuck with it

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:07PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:07PM (#94296) Homepage Journal

      This point wasn't clear in this post, and the next follow up will address it more specifically. When I talk about the UI, I'm referring to things like the preferences area, messages, and some simple tweaks (if a user has JS enabled, having an inline reply box would likely be a net win, else have it fall back to the current form). Things like scoring and moderation could be made more clear, as well as user identification and such. Nothing like beta, just cleaning up and tweaks like we've been doing since day 1.

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by turgid on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:52PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:52PM (#100653) Journal

      And me. Except the primary reason I bailed out of the green site was the quality of the stories, and especially the discussions, was atrocious. The poor quality of the UI was second (I got the "classic" view - not beta - which was still bad and broken on my mobile phone). No, this place is better all round.

  • (Score: 3) by Kilo110 on Monday September 15 2014, @07:09PM

    by Kilo110 (2853) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:09PM (#93558)

    Any progress on allowing subscriptions to be paid in bitcoins?

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday September 15 2014, @07:15PM

      Yes! The code is done and awaiting review and deploy. Look for it as soon as paulej72 can find the time to go over it and get it rolled out.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by Lemming on Monday September 15 2014, @08:29PM

        by Lemming (1053) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:29PM (#93620)

        Fantastic, thanks! I'll subscribe the day this is available.

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:10AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:10AM (#93813) Homepage

        Speaking of subscriptions, sorry, I can't justify $20 on my finances. But I've done the $5 sub to that other site for 12 or 13 years. You might consider tiers to accommodate the penurious.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:42PM

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:42PM (#93960) Homepage Journal

          Just to be clear, it is $20/year not $20/month. We are looking at being able to do partial subscriptions (mostly as a way to gift to others) but they're a ways out yet.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by Tramii on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:25PM

          by Tramii (920) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:25PM (#94120)

          $20 a year is really REALLY cheap. It's less then $2 a month. If you can't afford $2 a month, then that's cool man. But I suspect most people that regularly visit here could easily afford it.

          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:45PM

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:45PM (#94125) Homepage

            Maybe so. But consider if every site you like or regularly use charged that much for subscription. Suddenly it would be an expensive habit. Also, I wonder how many more people would subscribe at the no-brainer rate of $5 or even $10/year.

            • (Score: 2) by Tramii on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:19PM

              by Tramii (920) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:19PM (#94174)

              But consider if every site you like or regularly use charged that much for subscription.

              Most of the websites I visit are frankly garbage. They only reason I visit them is because they are free. If they wanted to charge me anything, I'd leave because they aren't doing anything unique or useful for me. There are a few websites which actually provide useful information or quality entertainment and I am totally willing to spend money on those.

              Websites have to make money somehow. Either they have to charge for subscriptions or they gotta sell advertising. I'd much rather pay $20 a year instead of dealing with having my personal information slowly collected and auctioned off to the highest bidder. The really good websites already charge you a subscription fee now.

              I wonder how many more people would subscribe at the no-brainer rate of $5 or even $10/year.

              I wonder that as well, but my gut tells me lowering it to $5 a year wouldn't suddenly get us over 4x the subscribers we have now.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:23PM

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:23PM (#94305) Homepage

                Well, I suppose the way to find out is to offer tiered subscriptions and tally the results.

  • (Score: 2) by Tramii on Monday September 15 2014, @07:20PM

    by Tramii (920) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:20PM (#93566)

    As of right now, we have earned X from subscriptions and shop revenue, so we've made decent progress in this regard.

    Did someone forget to fill in the real number? I would be very interested in seeing how much money SN has managed to raise so far.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday September 15 2014, @07:24PM

      Heh, looks like. The number is $1300 for now and very shortly will be coming in a smurfy little progress bar in the site-news slashbox.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @07:37PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @07:37PM (#93574) Journal

        Someone said on irc that subscriptions brought in almost 100 times what swag sales did? Is this true?

        I understand that swag is mostly fire and forget, and once you have your designs you are mostly out of the picture as far as level of effort.
        But if the ratio is that high, maybe we need to break the rule against no advertising and at least have a swag link in the side bar.

        And the progress bar will be a good addition, as are the star badges. We need a "leach badge" for ACs. ;-)

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by buswolley on Monday September 15 2014, @07:50PM

          by buswolley (848) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:50PM (#93583)

          I think swag links are OK.

          --
          subicular junctures
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday September 15 2014, @07:58PM

          Off by a factor of ten. Subscriptions to swag dollar ratio is about 10:1 as of the last time I heard mrcoolbp check.

          There is a link over in the site-news slashbox[1], though it's apparently easy to miss. We do have plans (some vague, some concrete) to run items that are exclusive to a particular timeframe such as my demand that we sell a stein during the Christmas[2] season and changing the designs up for each year of operation.

          I was thinking a badge for contributing submissions.

          [1] On the right, second slashbox down.
          [2] I would have said Haunaka too but I can't spell it.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Monday September 15 2014, @07:27PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:27PM (#93568) Journal
      Fixed. Thanks for catching that.
      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @07:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @07:38PM (#93577)

    "moving ahead towards towards"

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Papas Fritas on Monday September 15 2014, @07:52PM

    by Papas Fritas (570) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:52PM (#93586) Journal

    Quality and quantity of submissions is still an issue at Soylent as you note in your write-up. There are some changes that could be made in the pending submissions list that could increase the number and quality of submissions.

    1. Right now the pending submissions list shows only submissions that have NOT been accepted yet. However, once a submission has been accepted it comes off the list even if it has not been published yet so a submitter doesn't know if someone has already submitted the same story and it has already been accepted but not published. Before I write up a submission, I would like to able to look at the firehose and see if a story has already been submitted and accepted so I don't waste my time writing a dupe.

    2. If a submission is of sufficient quality to publish, then accept it right away. I find it frustrating to make a submission, then have to wait for a day or two to get a decision on whether it has been accepted. I would make more submissions if I was getting the positive feedback of an accepted submission faster even if the accepted submission isn't published for a couple of days.

    3. Let readers vote on submissions. That takes some of the onus off you for accepting and rejecting submissions. It gives the community more input on what topics they are interested in and it also gives submitters more immediate feedback on whether their submission is one that appeals to a wider soylent audience. I'm not saying to have readers vote on what goes on the front page like reddit or digg, but to use your readership to identify dupes, off-topic submissions, or identify submissions with typos or errors. The final decision to accept or reject a story would still lie with the editor.

    Best Regards,

    Hugh Pickens

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday September 15 2014, @08:09PM

      Re:1, strangely enough, that was the bug/feature request I'd picked to fix tomorrow. Look for it to roll out in the 14.10 release if not sooner. Might be a subscriber-only feature at first, might be all registered users from the get-go, will likely never be available to ACs.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @08:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @08:21PM (#93611)

      Good suggestions IMHO.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @09:06PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @09:06PM (#93641) Journal

      2. If a submission is of sufficient quality to publish, then accept it right away. I find it frustrating to make a submission, then have to wait for a day or two to get a decision on whether it has been accepted. I would make more submissions if I was getting the positive feedback of an accepted submission faster even if the accepted submission isn't published for a couple of days.

      I have no problems letting a story sit in submitted status, especially when the subject matter has no stale date. If there are a lot of good stories and some are time-sensitive, letting it sit there hurts nothing, and as you mentioned, once accepted you can't see it any more, which might engender a lot more dupe submissions until that issue gets fixed.

      3. Let readers vote on submissions.

      Ah, the old fire-hose of that green site. FTR, I never thought the fire hose did a thing to improve the other site other than allow the mod armies (and people with a gazillion accounts, *cough*) more time to log in and deep six stories they didn't want to see, or pump up those that they did.

      Dupe identification and write-up-quality have some merit. But off topic? Nah. We really don't have hard and fast rules about topics.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:12AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:12AM (#93815) Homepage

        Since these sites ARE my news feed, I'm not at all against some stories that are "off topic".

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by evilviper on Monday September 15 2014, @09:12PM

      by evilviper (1760) on Monday September 15 2014, @09:12PM (#93644) Homepage Journal

      There are some changes that could be made in the pending submissions list that could increase the number and quality of submissions.

      There are plenty of submissions. The problem is a bunch of inflammatory crap getting approved. That makes me not want to bother submitting any more.

      Such as this recent one:

      http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/09/14/0454245 [soylentnews.org]

      In fact it's your own crap submission just days ago that made me finally swear-off Slashdot permanently, and to add insult to injury, now I see the same damn bullshit just got accepted by SN editors:

      http://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=3827 [soylentnews.org]

      If this place is just going to turn into HuffingtonPost with comments, I'm gone.

      Screw all else. Editorial selection will make or break this site. And after several months, it looks like we're headed squarely towards "break".

      --
      Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @10:00PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @10:00PM (#93668) Journal

        The problem is a bunch of inflammatory crap getting approved.

        Too true.

        I can see a clever hook in a title, but any time any political party, religion, or cause De-jour appears in the title of a story, you know its going straight down hill from there.

        We would all be better off if submitters would at least TRY to explain both sides of an issue, or editors would send them back for a more balanced re-write.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:16PM (#93675)

        I totally agree that that submission should have been discarded. It's totally contradictory to what this site should be about, and what Slashdot was about in its early years.

        Additionally, I'm appalled at how bad the comment moderation was within that submission. All sorts of unsubstantiated crap and blatantly false accusations of racism were voted up, while perfectly good comments were voted down.

        I'm too will not come to this site if the stories are all politically-oriented. I will not come to this site if perfectly good comments are censored just because they may offend some weak-minded moderators.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:18PM (#93676)

          I can guess which AC you were.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:22PM (#93680)

          > blatantly false accusations of racism

          Never in the history of racism has a racist believed they were racist.
          They always have some internal rationalization that lets them avoid taking responsibility for their opinions.

          • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:14AM

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:14AM (#93758) Homepage

            The problem is that too many people are crying "racist" (or sexist, or whatever -ist) because it is a convenient way to discredit people they don't like and put a quick end to the discussion.

            For example, pointing out that the majority of NFL coaches and quarterbacks are White while the other players are overwhelmingly Black is not racist, although people here would mod me down for posting that even if it were totally related to the discussion.

            Something is not "racist" just because it's politically incorrect and/or makes you feel uncomfortable. The way the word "racist" is thrown around nowadays is an insult to people who have been on the receiving end of real racism.

            Yes, I get it. We want to be civil. But too much safety and censorship, self-imposed or otherwise, is intellectually dishonest and as others pointed out we don't want to be another Reddit or latter-day Slashdot. Nobody here should be afraid to point out that the majority of people who work for Google are White or Asian. Nobody should be afraid to call Randall Munroe a cocksucker for being so self-righteous about diversity, how many times has he complained to his employer about their lack of Gypsies, Bushmen, and Abbos?

            In fact, if you're gonna mod people down with your itchy trigger-finger, let it be me. I seriously laugh out loud everytime my comments are modded down, because I imagine that whoever modded me down is throwing a fit and looking like a bitch. That makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

            • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:43AM

              by evilviper (1760) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:43AM (#93769) Homepage Journal

              ...and here I thought it was all that Ethanol that made you "warm and fuzzy inside."

              --
              Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:16AM

              by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:16AM (#93818) Homepage

              Accusations of -ist are the downmods of the world.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:36AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:36AM (#93826)

              > because I imagine that whoever modded me down is throwing a fit and looking like a bitch. That makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

              When in reality they are just rolling their eyes and thinking jesus, this guy is a one-trick pony.
              But whatever helps you sleep at night.

            • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:11AM

              by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:11AM (#93843) Journal

              I imagine you as bipolar, but I'm never quite sure what to think of you. I've modded your comments both up and down. Some days, you have interesting things to say. Other days, you make zero sense, go off the deep end, and are inciting flame wars. And sometimes you're in the middle. A lot of people think you comment the way you do only for for trolling reasons. I don't rule out that possibility.

              Yes, I get it. We want to be civil. But too much safety and censorship, self-imposed or otherwise, is intellectually dishonest

              No, you don't get it. Civility does not mean safety nor censorship. If you want people to pay attention to the interesting things you say, I suggest you be civil 100% of the time for a few years and get rid of your "ethanol-fueled rages". Keep it calm, and write out your arguments rationally in a civil way all the time. Keep the post as short as possible.

              Once you learn to do that, the next step is to re-learn how to be what you deem as "uncivil". A civilized person with a rare bout of sharp wit will go a lot further than the you of today can. It would also make the majority of your posts much more coherent.

              I seriously laugh out loud everytime my comments are modded down, because I imagine that whoever modded me down is throwing a fit and looking like a bitch. That makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

              Classic example: This particular post starts off moderately interesting then slowly degrades to trolling. Keeping this post 100% civil would have made for a more interesting comment. The only reason I even bothered to reply to you is that I'd like to see more of your interesting comments and keep out your less interesting ones. (Don't mistake that as an "encouragement" to keep doing what you normally do. I've modded a number of your comments as troll and will continue to do so as needed.)

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:27PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:27PM (#93951)

                That sums it up perfectly!

            • (Score: 1) by fleg on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:20AM

              by fleg (128) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:20AM (#93871)

              >The problem is that too many people are crying "racist" (or sexist, or whatever -ist) because it is a
              >convenient way to discredit people they don't like and put a quick end to the discussion.

              so have the debate. if someone calls you racist, debate them, maybe someone will
              learn something.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:52AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:52AM (#93884)

                As you can see from what happened to Tork in that thread, debating with racists gets you downmodded by racists.

                It really is informative to see all the thin-skinned racists complain about systemic bias against them when the only actual example of such an abuse of moderation was what happened to the guy debating them and he didn't whine about it either.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:51PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:51PM (#94076)

              For example, pointing out that the majority of NFL coaches and quarterbacks are White while the other players are overwhelmingly Black is not racist, although people here would mod me down for posting that even if it were totally related to the discussion.

              Now that is a persecution complex if I ever saw one.
              No one is going to mod you down for saying that - the fact that your post has not been modded down is empirical proof of that.

              What you will likely be modded down for is making unfounded conclusions which you defend as justified by citing those facts.

      • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Monday September 15 2014, @10:29PM

        by buswolley (848) on Monday September 15 2014, @10:29PM (#93687)

        I disagree.
        This is a community, and not every topic will be enjoyed by every member of that community every time. Some topics might be inflammatory to certain community members, but not all inflammatory topics are unworthy topics...Many geeks think police militarization is an important topic. This community often expresses concern regarding encroachments on our liberty and privacy, the militarization of our police, and other threats. We will talk about these things. You are free to submit on these topics presenting other points of view, but there it is.

        --
        subicular junctures
        • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Monday September 15 2014, @10:54PM

          by evilviper (1760) on Monday September 15 2014, @10:54PM (#93700) Homepage Journal

          I'm fine with the occasional story about police militarization. The story I linked to was not about that in the slightest. Instead, it was the latest piece of unconfirmed trash out of the media rumor mill.

          Similarly, I don't come here to read about every "important topic". I come to sites like this for the science and technology. That's what gave /. its popularity, and its intelligent community that made the discussions more insightful than, say, YouTube comments.

          If that's where this site is headed, I'm out, plain and simple. /. went downhill that way, and SN is a lost cause and due for imminent failure if it is going in that same direction.

          --
          Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
          • (Score: 1) by aiwarrior on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:08AM

            by aiwarrior (1812) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:08AM (#93730) Journal

            You imply that you come here for the science and technology articles, yet, most of those articles are devoid of comments. Don't get me wrong I love them too, and I would even dare to say they are better, more substantiated (directly from peer review fronts) and in higher number than even Ars Technica. That said, they still get a really low comment count, which is harmful for the sustainability of the site.

            On the other hand one funny thing of Internet, when compared with other information media, is that you have the power to ignore information you don't care. Most of the times with the power of a scroll in the mouse. I can understand that it is logical you don't visit a site which often has things you don't care, and that too can mine the community. A system of tags similar to slashdot that would allow for hiding stories belonging to some tag would be the best of both worlds in my opinion. The only disadvantage is that development resources are already stretched.

            In the mean time please do comment on the science/technical articles, they need our help. Also maybe trying to figure out a way to make technical submissions more interesting would be important. For example including a small primer on the subject for people of other areas would improve understanding of such technical subjects, therefore allowing for a minimally educated comment.

            Some form of technical staff that would man the technical articles with some interesting insights on the field and on the problems would be a possibility also.

            • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:11AM

              by evilviper (1760) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:11AM (#93756) Homepage Journal

              That said, they still get a really low comment count, which is harmful for the sustainability of the site.

              A) It's not true that a low comment count causes problems for the site. And posting stories a bit less frequently would get the comment-count up, and more in-depth discussions rather than superficial comments.

              B) Going down that lowest-common-denominator rabbit hole is what ruined /. more than anything else. People only "come here for the comments" when the comments are GOOD. Quantity does not result in quality.

              C) There are network effects... If SN attracts a flood of idiots with flamebait articles, then the moderation across the site, including on those technical articles, will suffer, too, and the signal-to-noise ratio will fall precipitously. See "Eternal September" [wikipedia.org] for an example of what happens.

              --
              Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
              • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:11PM

                by paulej72 (58) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:11PM (#93940) Journal
                For point A, no amount of extra time will get a science post of 5 comments more comments. This particular story has over a hundred comments, but only spent twice what a normal story does at the top of the page. For some unknown reason our community does not fell the need to comment on science stories. If anyone knows how to fix this I am all ears.
                --
                Team Leader for SN Development
                • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:35PM

                  by evilviper (1760) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:35PM (#94124) Homepage Journal

                  For some unknown reason our community does not fell the need to comment on science stories. If anyone knows how to fix this I am all ears.

                  The /. method has always been to put just the right hook at the end of the summary, asking the readers some basic and stupid question. It's easy to screw-up and really piss everybody off, though.

                  Top story on /. right now ends with:

                  "What do you think? What place do those with liberal arts degrees have in companies such as, say, Tesla or a biomedical engineering firm?"

                  But back on-point, it was at-least understandable when /. switched to click-bait, because they are for-profit and ad-supported. SN doesn't get that benefit out of it, so it's quite strange to hear the desire to sell-out within just a year of opening. I suppose those who founded and run this site just don't really know what made the old site great, way back when, and certainly haven't been listening the several times I tried explaining. [soylentnews.org] Oh well, I guess it's going to be necessary to start over again.

                  --
                  Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
            • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:39AM

              by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:39AM (#93828) Homepage

              Actually we have already worked on the code that would allow users to filter content based on certain topics (they're called nexuses) but we are waiting on getting wildcard certs before we can implement them.

              --
              (Score:1^½, Radical)
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:27AM (#93820)

            A video of witnesses reacting to the murder of an innocent as it happened is "unconfirmed trash out of the media rumor mill"? No; while its not a video of the crime itself, its probably as close as we'll be able to get.

            Just because something disagrees with your worldview doesn't mean its wrong. The kind of people who assert that are often only seen as geocentrists, creationists, global warming deniers, etc; you know, the kind of people who start with a conclusion and work backwards from there.

            Your bias is showing; you might want to cover that up, its embarrassing.

      • (Score: 2) by Covalent on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:09PM

        by Covalent (43) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:09PM (#93970) Journal

        Sadly, I think the firehose approach is the only way to fix this. There have been a number of good suggestions as to how to make this better (most notably not allowing ACs to metamod) but I'm not sure it will completely fix the problem.

        One thought I had was that many time-sensitive stories don't make the front page until too late. How do we fix this...maybe metamod on the front page??

        --
        You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:08AM

      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:08AM (#93731) Journal

      3. Let readers vote on submissions.

      Let users comment on a submission: no moderation on those comments, the prepublishing comments are discarded once the submission is published.
      Rationale: such comments may bring in additional information useful for the editorial process.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by tonyPick on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:06AM

      by tonyPick (1237) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:06AM (#93866) Homepage Journal

      1. Right now the pending submissions list...

      I've been caught out by this once or twice... It's annoying,

      I'd add
      4) Let submitters edit/update submissions, to fix typos and provide better links...

      Don't know about votes, but allowing comment threads on the submissions themselves for corrections and additional links (which get dropped when the article goes live, obviously) would be useful. I've had a few submissions where the early comments have made me think "I could have worded that differently/better"

      I suspect this is a harder coding challenge though.

    • (Score: 2) by zafiro17 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:52AM

      by zafiro17 (234) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:52AM (#93916) Homepage

      Pipedot's "Pipe" allows people to upvote and downvote articles. When there's a bunch of stuff submitted, it's helpful for the volunteer editors as it allows you to see which articles the community would most like to read and comment on. You can see it in action here: http://pipedot.org/pipe/ [pipedot.org]

      That said, when the pipe is dry ... not useful.

      --
      Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
      • (Score: 1) by cngn on Tuesday September 23 2014, @01:54AM

        by cngn (1609) on Tuesday September 23 2014, @01:54AM (#96997)

        How about allowing people to start donating directly via PayPal, instead of waiting for the crowd-funding thingy to get off its behind?

        And don't throw stuff at me if I've missed some link or article that says you can send us money here....

        As long as BitCoin isn't part of the deal and real currency is used I'm happy to chip in on a semi-regular basis.

  • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Monday September 15 2014, @07:52PM

    by buswolley (848) on Monday September 15 2014, @07:52PM (#93587)

    You should keep this story on top for a while. New stories can appear below.

    --
    subicular junctures
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday September 15 2014, @08:14PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:14PM (#93605)

    "Our initial funding goals should allow us to send one individual to a few conferences (perhaps linux.com.au, etc), while others can attend and report on local events in the tech world."

    Technically that wouldn't be original content unless you had a talk presenter write the article or maybe did an interview (not entirely a bad idea). O.C. would be like an article from "The Intercept" with some actual research and analysis, not a report of someone else's work. "Journalism major gets wired to pay for DEFCON visit" isn't necessarily any better if its SN doing the paying.

    The most fun O.C. always seems to cost money. Like anything something technical intersects with the legal system, it would be fascinating to pay for a legal opinion although that gets off topic (like, welcome to groklaw rather than most SN content) and is expensive.

    Honestly I think not being useless is probably more important at the start than being famous. So next time there's a science story, corral the first grad student you can find and get a decent interview on topic. Maybe this is not the best idea but not totally crazy either.

    You might be able to get a big name in a small pond. I don't think there's any chance of Linux or RMS showing up here in the short term. But everyone here likes or tolerates DF so toady so that sounds possible.

    I suppose paying a journalist to be a journalist wouldn't be that bad, its just not original content, its a report about someone elses original content.

    • (Score: 2) by Popeidol on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:50AM

      by Popeidol (35) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:50AM (#93799) Journal

      You've covered most of the options there, but since I lack mod points I'll just put them in a list.

      Most sites trying to get into Original Content probably fall into one of these categories:

      1. 'Hey, we're going to conferences and IT companies anyway, lets just make a video or interview some people or write up a summary!'.
      2. Creating a reporter role, where one or two people are tasked with bringing in X stories a week.
      3. Community produced content. The quality of this varies dramatically, but the subject matter is usually of interest.
      4. Freelancers. You find some freelancers who do good work in the field, and you pay them - either for a pre-written article or you're saying 'we want the next article you write about computer'

      Options 1 and 2 fail more than they work - you can just link to the same content done by professionals instead. Freelancers can get you much better content but it can get expensive, fast. Boingboing is probably a good example: Lots of links and short summaries mixed in with long and interesting pieces they buy in from outside.

      Community produced content 'fits' the soylent spirit, but you need a community that actually produces things. It works great with hardware hacking communities (think hackaday or overclockers.com.au), because there's always hundreds of people who want to show off the arduino-pelican hybrid they've been working on for months. Breaking news is trickier, but we could do in-depth coverage or opinion pieces well. I'd happily read a run down from ncommander about how canonical works from the inside, or from subsentient about design choices and tradefoffs in the Epoch init system. I'm sure we have enough people who are doing or thinking interesting things, I just don't know how many of them have the skill, inclination, and time to actually write it up and submit it.

      You can optionally set up a compensation scheme, but getting it right would be tricky. You'd want to encourage quality over quantity but avoid penalising controversial topics. I'm not sure of a fair way to do that.

      If you want to dip your toe into the water of community content without changing much, just add a 'Submit as Article' button to journals. You can take your time writing and editing, optionally have other people see or comment on it in-progress, and when you're happy just push it straight through to the submission queue.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:44AM (#93864)

        > 4. Freelancers. You find some freelancers who do good work in the field, and you pay them

        One of the ways the big publications get essentially free content is to let authors advertise their books by posting topical excerpts. Author writes an article that is 90% a re-purposing of a chapter from their book and then includes a blurb at the end of the article about the book itself and a link to the amazon page.

        Whenever I see those I am suspicious but, for me personally, disclosure at the top of the article rather than at the end would make me more forgiving. It would feel less like the writer and the magazine were trying to get one over on me since I knew up front what I was getting in to.

  • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Monday September 15 2014, @08:17PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:17PM (#93608) Journal

    > This should however be considered a draft, so, as usual, feel free to rip it to shreds, etc.

    Actually that's quite thoughtful. Keep up the good work guys.

    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday September 15 2014, @08:28PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:28PM (#93618) Journal

    The tagline says "SoylentNews is people" which doesn't convey much meaning. Presumably from the use of slashcode, SN is a site for news and discussion.

    But what kind of news? Is SN basically Dice Free Slashdot? News for nerds? Or is the news going to mix in more corruption watch and whistleblower items, a little like Wikileaks? Or maybe a bit of science advocacy? Bash the flat earthers, climate change deniers, creationists, moon landing hoaxers, book burners, and other anti-intellectuals? Or try to stay above that and go for a more educational and informative approach on science? To stay abreast of science it might be best to run separate boards each devoted to an area of science. Maybe SN will spread out, be like reddit but with less noise?

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday September 15 2014, @08:50PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:50PM (#93630) Homepage

      From the Dept.-of-Redundancy-Dept.

      "Soylent News is People" is very appropriate as a motto, being the perfect combination of makes-sense-explanation and niche-nerd-chic.

      It just looks silly how the motto is part of the logo, and then written again in the tagline directly below the logo. Either the motto should be removed from the logo, or the tagline should be changed. I prefer "Live Free or Die," but perhaps it should be a regularly changing thing like during the intros of Futurama.

      This is, of course, a minor gripe not worthy of anybody's attention.

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:30AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:30AM (#93822) Homepage

        Repeating the motto may look a little silly, but keeps it visible for screen readers, and for sore eyes that have site colors turned off -- which also makes the logo graphic vanish.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @09:15PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 15 2014, @09:15PM (#93645) Journal

      What ever we decide to be over time, there should be topics in the list of topics available when posting a story to accommodate these other interest areas.

      Its a tad thin, and you end up getting the feeling that an interesting story maybe doesn't belong here as soon as you look at the available topics.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Monday September 15 2014, @08:32PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:32PM (#93621)

    If that Hugh Pickens clickbait linkspam diarrhea post is an example of the kind of posts we want around here, count me out.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Monday September 15 2014, @08:49PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:49PM (#93629)

      Ok, thinking back, that post was a bit more trollish than I wanted to sound. But, seriously, the linkbait articles that seem to have no clear direction are annoying.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday September 15 2014, @08:55PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday September 15 2014, @08:55PM (#93634) Homepage

        For the millionth time -- If you think everybody's submissions suck, then you submit your own. What, are you chicken? Afraid to be told that your submissions suck? Afraid to be called a bad word online?

        You'd better be, look at what happened to Bennett Haselton -- he was never quite the same after we left Slashdot, as his first submission to Soylent News demonstrated.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:25PM (#93682)

          It's not about "being chicken", or being "afraid" that the submissions may be critiqued. Bring it on, Sally!

          Look, I just don't want to risk wasting my time writing submissions that won't be accepted at least every now and then.

          I can tell you for a fact that my submissions would not be like the crap that Hugh Pickens shits forth upon us. That's what makes me think I'd be wasting my time.

          If the sorts of submissions that helped ruin Slashdot are being accepted here, and the sorts of submissions that once made Slashdot great are being rejected, then I will indeed be wasting my time with any submissions I may make.

          Sorry, I don't have time to waste. I need it to be proven to me that good submissions will get accepted, and shitty ones won't. That hasn't happened yet.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:28PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:28PM (#93717)

            Your argument is bullshit.

            You say the fact that Hugh Pickens's submissions are accepted makes you believe your unwritten submissions won't be accepted. For that line of reasoning to have any weight you would have to argue that all or at least the large majority of submissions, not just Hugh's, are in contravention to your theoretical submissions. But there is a wide diversity in the submissions so far, Hugh may have the record for number of submissions by one user but he's still only a small percentage of the total. Furthermore, as someone who watches the submission queue a couple of times a day, I can tell you that the number of rejected submissions is pretty damn small.

            What's really going on here is a smokescreen rant against Hugh. Shoo fly.

          • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:39AM

            by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:39AM (#93827)

            so, you're so fucking amazing that all you can do is tell us about it, but you don't "have [the] time" to prove it? lol

            if my article about slight progress in decoding dolphin language [soylentnews.org] can get accepted, then any garbage you write could be accepted too.

            if you're not submitting then you have no right to bitch about there not being any good stories. the editors have the choice to either publish nothing or publish what's in the queue; if you think nothing would be better than the so-called "crap" that's being accepted, then you should change your browser to notepad, or at least gtfa.

        • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Thursday September 18 2014, @06:18PM

          by nitehawk214 (1304) on Thursday September 18 2014, @06:18PM (#95111)

          I don't think everyone's submissions suck. In fact I particularly like yours. If one person posts one submission that is bad, I probably won't say anything. Just a couple of repeat offenders that keep showing up with really lousy obvious self flagellating linkbait submissions.

          The fact is that I do not follow many blogs that are not already news aggregators. I have little to contribute in this fashion. Unless you are interested in daily updates on astronomy, skepticism, homebrewing; most of which i do not find would be interesting enough to post here.

          And if I had to choose between Bennett Haselton and Hugh Pickens, I would take Hugh Pickens every time. (Not that this is exactly a ringing endorsement.)

          Also, nobody but nobody calls me chicken! (proceeds to make a submission :)

          --
          "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @09:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @09:48PM (#93659)
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @10:03PM (#93672)

    Three days from now, you will be asked a simple question: 'Should Soylent be an independent website?' If you care about about the future of this great society, vote 'No'.

    There are those who try to convince you to vote in favour of this horrid proposal. They tempt you with lucre, seduce you with bacon, and will lead you astray. Beware of wolves who come in soy clothing.

    But don't just take my word for it. Listen to Joanna Lumley, to Janette Tough. They all know that an independent Soylent, though in principle a noble aspiration, is nonviable. Support the common good, do not aid our common downfall.

    Come Thursday, do the right thing. Vote 'No'.

    -- LentilSoupIsMentalFruit

    • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Monday September 15 2014, @10:27PM

      by Blackmoore (57) on Monday September 15 2014, @10:27PM (#93683) Journal
      What LentilSoupIsMentalFruit has forgotten to tell you is that he's a paid shill for meganewsandchildcannibalismcorp.  It's his job to remove independent voices from the Internet.

      and if you like your Independence you should vote YES to a news source that is not subject to the whims of corporations, Yes to a news source that let's you discuss and deride the News (and the editing) and a vote against meganewsandchildcanibalismcorp and it's greasy little fingers.

      Now if you happen to like cannibalism of live children -- you go ahead and vote against a Free and Independent Soylent News. There is no saving you at this point. 

      For the rest of us. Vote YES. Vote Early, and Vote Often.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:34PM (#93718)

        But if you happen to like cannibalism of live children and you like your Independence, how should you vote ?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:40AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:40AM (#93767)

          By moving to Texas?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by prospectacle on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:32AM

    by prospectacle (3422) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:32AM (#93740) Journal

    At another forum I would always sort by most-recent-comment, that way I could see currently active threads as well as new ones.

    Without this option, conversations on this site have a very short half-life. Once they're off the front page, there's little point commenting on them as virtually no one will see it. With a sort-by-recent-comment option, some articles would get more active after a day or two, as can be seen on any site that implements this feature.

    The default sorting could remain "Article Date", but if there's a quick and easy way to sort by "Most Recent Comment" then this would transform a fleeting collection of article comments into proper discussion threads, some of which would last for a long time, but only for those who are interested. Everyone else would continue to see the default sorting option which shows the most recent articles.

    So if you come here new articles you could continue doing so, and if you come here for the discussions and debates then you could explore the issues that interest you in more depth, and discuss them for more than one day.

    --
    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:45AM (#93770)

    I vote against it. That's a full time mission for a site, and you guys already have one, and that is to be a better Slashdot (or return to what Slashdot was, at least in people's clouded memories).

    When you have too many missions for a part time staff they can't all be done optimally. What's worse, is that concessions have to be made to keep the weaker one(s) afloat. Think of the Dice Holdings-sourced content ("How to Ace That IT Interview") that appeared on Slashdot.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:41AM (#93831)

      > I vote against it. That's a full time mission for a site, and you guys already have one, and that is to be a better Slashdot

      I'm going to 2nd that. It is good to have goals, but that's a "stretch goal" at a minimum. I remember just how well all the Jon Katz content went over at slashdot and they had way more money compared to soy.

  • (Score: 2) by Leebert on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:33AM

    by Leebert (3511) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:33AM (#93792)

    Yes, I know why opinions are like rectums. Nevertheless, my thoughs on some of the various issues raised, in order of my perceived importance:

    The Content Side of Things

    My previous reservations [soylentnews.org] notwithstanding, I'm glad to see some self awareness about the issue and a clear desire to do better. Bravo on it; I think the subscription is back on the plans for this upcoming weekend.

    Define, with assistance and input from the community, a mechanism for community governance

    This is actually pretty important from my perspective. I've been watching with growing dismay at various organizations that I formerly loved and trusted suddenly turning and going off the deep end. The most recent notable ones being the The Mozilla Foundation and Wikimedia Foundation. They're clearly becoming self-serving entities that are diverging from their original community mission, and there isn't much the community can do to stop it.

    I like the discussion of accountability, but if in the future Soylent were to go mainstream (which is, frankly, highly unlikely IMO), I fear we might start seeing symptoms of organizational dysfunction like Australis, Visual Editor/Media Viewer, or Beta. Not the specific projects I listed, but the clear politics that surrounded each of those examples which reflected the growing disregard of and contempt for the community which helped make their respective organizations mainstream.

    Build a more uniformed sense of community throughout the site

    Part of my problem with community is that there are only two ways I can recognize another poster is through a username which has no other context, or a signature. I usually have little to no idea who I'm replying to (with a few exceptions like Ethanol-fueled). I'm not sure how you fix this; for someone like me I'd be much more likely to recognize something like an avatar or profile picture, but then again I hate sites with avatars, so... :) Perhaps an "about me" kind of page that's hyperlinked from the username that's kind of Facebook profiley or something, that would let me know stuff like: "Oh, this guy's name is Greg and he's a grad student at University of Puerto Ayora studying Lampshade Manufacturing." That would add a bit more context to the username, if I were to ever be bothered to actually check.

    Define a framework for which original content will be used on SoylentNews

    To be frank, this worries me. I've already seen threads of advocacy in the stories that tend to be run by SN, and I have a hard time imagining that this won't be as bad or worse.

    Anyway, keep up the great work. No it isn't perfect, but for what you've had to work with you guys have been doing a fabulous job.

    • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:57AM

      by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:57AM (#93837) Homepage

      Perhaps an "about me" kind of page that's hyperlinked from the username

      Click "Preferences" in the left navbar (under "You"), then click "user". Add a bio. Enjoy = )

      --
      (Score:1^½, Radical)
      • (Score: 2) by Leebert on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:31AM

        by Leebert (3511) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:31AM (#93901)

        Fair enough, and I guess I generally knew that was there, but I was thinking something more structured. For example, like Facebook's way of adding schools, employers, etc. So I might be able to, say, click my employer in my profile and see other people in my company who are on Soylent.

        It's a fair question to ask what could be changed that would make people both fill out and view bios and other profile data. I don't know, and since last night's headache is still present this morning I don't think I'm going to burn too much cognitive energy trying to figure it out right now. :)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:20PM (#94058)

    Okay, I'm really seriously considering subscribing now. The comment about having the site degrade to a working state when javascript isn't enabled is just.. so nice to hear! Having sites not work while javascript is disabled, because they flatout replaced standard HTML with it, is maddening.

    On the small chance someone from SN sees this.. would it be possible if I create an account and subscribe, to have my currently AC posts (like this one :]) assigned to it?

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:11PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:11PM (#94299) Homepage Journal

      Not really. Unfortunately, the only way we can track posts for ACs is by IPID, and that would require database fiddling on an epic degree which I would be unconformable with doing. As a note, if you have an account, there is a "Post Anonymous" check box for when you want it.

      --
      Still always moving
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:11PM (#94093)

    moving ahead towards towards
    Comments have just ben

  • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:11PM

    by cmn32480 (443) <cmn32480NO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:11PM (#94234) Journal

    since I've pushed the angel of "general journalism"

    Who is this angel, and why did you push him/her? That wasn't very nice.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
  • (Score: 1) by WolvesOfTheNight on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:23PM

    by WolvesOfTheNight (4704) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @09:23PM (#94240)

    On that other site the first few high scoring comments come to dominate. If a few threads have taken hold and you want anybody to ever read & mod your comment you pretty much have to post it as a reply. This encourages off-topic replies, topic hijacking, first comment competition, and a don't RTFA mentality. If you take the time to read the article, think about it, and make an insightful comment, a few threads will have taken over the discussion. You will not be noticed.

    So, what about having the root level comments presented in a random order? This would solve the above problems. The obvious downside is that the comment page would really change when reloaded. Maybe a random order the first time, but (for a given user) then it stays the same until they clear cookies; if they reload new comments are added at the bottom. Also, whatever the default behavior is, I would let users set their own preference. E.g. offer options of: Don't randomize, randomize only on the 1st load & on reload new stuff is on the bottom, and randomize on reload. Well, except, maybe, for insuring that nobody can tell who was the first comment. Maybe don't show any comments at first; just queue them. Then after 10 min those are all posted in a random order.

    Anyway, there are some problems with the idea, but I think it is worth a bit of thought.