Slashdot is most definitely not a "myth."

Subject: Slashdot is most definitely not a "myth."
From: "Grant, Christopher" <CGrant -at- glhec -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 15:16:40 -0500

> The people in my crowd tend to pooh-pooh anything from Slashdot, aside
> from the occasional reference to other material and its
> amusement value.
> Does anyone here actually find Slashdot useful for information?
> --
> Aahz (aahz -at- pythoncraft -dot- com) <*>

I have to say I'm flabbergasted at this opinon. Slashdot is by FAR the most
imformative site I regularly read. And it's not informative because thier
staff writers are particularly good. It's informative because lots of smart
people post to their forums.

Slashdot's structure is to present an abstract on a various news story,
relying on links to actual data, rather than summary of facts. This in
itself is a Good Thing - I don't want some web writer summarizing for me:
show me the actual items we're talking about.

Then, users can comment on the news items. What makes Slashdot unique
(though not as unique anymore as others have imitated) is that these user
comments are moderated, by the community itself. Each post is given a
rating, from -1 to 5, with 5 being the most informative or insightful, or
whatever - as judges by the community. The beauty of this system is that I
can then read all level 5 comments, which means I wind up reading good
stuff, and can avoid all the silliness. I won't ask you to believe me - go
find out for yourself.

Level 5 comments are typically VERY informative, and often are written by
experts in the field (i.e. John Carmack), smart students at respected
universities (i.e. MIT), and other smart folks. With a community as large
as /., level 5 comments are pretty solid.

To "pooh-pooh" "anything" from Slashdot... I'm utterly stunned. What a
waste! I learn about things on Slashdot weeks or months before they become
widely known, and I learn perspectives on things from the people MAKING
news, rather than reporting on it. I don't mean to offend, but it seems
incredibly close-minded to have this attitude about Slashdot.

Maybe it's the motto: "News for nerds. Stuff that matters." And I tend to
agree, at least with the latter. Maybe people are intimidated by the

Maybe like Bruce Byfield said, it's an issue of the age of the target
audience (I'm 28), but I just wanted to chime in and say that it's one of
the most incredibly useful and CONTENT-RICH sites I've ever had the pleasure
of reading.

Regardless, if you want to get respect from software developers, it behooves
you to become familiar with /. You may "pooh-pooh" it, but from my
experience, developers will scoff at you and label you a bubbleheaded writer
if you let them know you think this way. It's like pointing at a Calculus
textbook and saying, "Aww, that stuff is just for amusement - I don't take
it seriously." :)

Chris Grant

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