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Re: News site for Free Software people?

On Feb 01, David Welton decided to present us with:
> What's wrong with www.linuxtoday.com or www.lwn.net ?  They aren't
> exclusively for free software, but, like it or not, neither is linux.
> On the other hand, they have more articles than slashdot, linuxtoday
> has few comments, lwn doesn't have them (I see this as a feature:-),
> and they seem faster to update.  Linuxtoday snarfs the headlines from
> slashdot, freshmeat and 32bitsonline, so you can see what stories are
> going on there...

It's not so much about "what's wrong with xxx yyy", but about
"what was right with Slashdot". I feel it became so much
successful because Rob got a lot of points right. First, it's
web-based (but then again you exemples are web-based too). There
is argument about whether this is a feature (see below).

Second and IMHO more important, it has multiple editors (and
across the community, not across a company or something). This
opens the thing for multiple points of view and more sheer
volume of articles.

Third, it has the comments. Of course you don't think this is a
feature because Slashdot folks turned it into a hell, but come
to think of it, it _is_ a feature. Sometimes the article doesn't
have all the facts, and in the "good old" times (TM) I gained a
lot of valuable data from Slashdot comments.

Fourth, it has the "topics". This is only a half win; if "our"
site had the option of filtering out unwanted topics, this would
be a major win, because we could  literally flood the users with
news, and they would read only the ones they want.

On Feb 02, Craig Sanders decided to present us with:
> i think the web is the wrong media for discussions anyway. an announce
> mailing list and a related -discuss list would be the right way to do it
> IMO.
> the trouble with creating a public forum where anyone can have their
> say is that anyone DOES have their say, and it's usually worthless
> moronic drivel. the web seems to encourage this, even more than usenet
> - possibly because a web form is less of a barrier to entry for the
> impulse-posting fuckwit.

Usenet died a couple of years ago, IMHO. We have to admit it,
the Web _is_ the lingua franca today. But let's address the
points individually;

- A mailing list would just plain suck for this. No thanks, I
don't want to download tens of articles in my mailbox,
debian-private is already bad enought; and then, I will want to
see _some_ of the comments, but to do that I must subscribe to
the list and if I do that I will have to download _all_ of them
just to see these "some". I do pay for connected time, and it's
not cheap, and that's true for most people outside US. In the
end, most people would end up reading comments in the list
archive, and the end result would be the same but with a poorer
interface. Who wins?

- News invite flamewars and etc. as you state in your second
paragraph; also, this may be unthinkable for you but there are
some places where there are _no_ available news servers. Here in
Brazil for example, most ISPs take for granted that Usenet is
dead and it isn't worth to run servers. Free servers appear
sporadically and close just as often.

Any other suggestions? Maybe designing a new protocol (which
involves lots of people coding clients and a server)?

On Feb 01, John Goerzen decided to present us with:
> Not sure exactly what you're thinking of, but I set up a news thingy at
> http://www.aclug.org/news/ and http://www.aclug.org/news/extended.html that
> has been receiving a lot of favorable review.  It is slanted towards Linux
> but I'd be glad to help with other things.

Hmm no, that doesn't look like what I had in mind :-) I like the
format of Slashdot; lots of editors who can post, most stories
are short and their entire bodies are in the main page, and the
comments. Do the people interested think differently? Is there
any better place for us to move this discussion?

      I am Lalo of deB-org. You will be freed.
                 Resistance is futile.

http://www.webcom.com/lalo      mailto:lalo@webcom.com
                 pgp key in the web page

Debian GNU/Linux       --        http://www.debian.org

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