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Frequently Asked Questions

Site Announcements

We have a temporary name!

Thanks go out to everyone who made suggestions - some of them were absolutely brilliant! For example, it hadn't occurred to me to choose a name based on a non-English word, or a palindrome, or a puzzle. Many of the entries were quite clever. (Adies, it took me more than a day to figure yours out. Bravo!)

I won't post the runners up because squatters might take the names before we hold the real contest. We'll figure out a way to prevent this somehow - at worst case we can choose judges and do it privately (like I did, but with more people).

Jerry had the winning entry.

The temp name is: SoylentNews

And the tagline is: SoylentNews is people!

Does this rock? It hits the trifecta of website goodness:

  • It's descriptive in a way that mundanes will understand (compare "photoshop" with "gimp", "Internet Explorer" with "Firefox", and "MediaPlayer" with "VLS")
  • It's part of Nerd culture, a pun, and slightly twisted
  • It's suggestive of being community driven

This will be a hard act to beat. Start thinking up names for the contest, or throw your weight behind this one. The contest will be held soon after we open the doors.

(And it was poutine (from IRC) who suggested we use a temporary name. Others may also have suggested it, but it was his post that I noticed. This was all his idea, so send some love his way if you can.)

To everyone involved... THANK YOU!

We are building a news site alternative to Slashdot. We have started only a few days ago, and this wiki is a temporary measure so that volunteers can coordinate and others can see what's happening.

The idea is to build a news aggregation site that delivers what's important - better articles, less fluff, and all the functionality you expect from the moderation system. We are still looking for volunteers so stop by the boards and the IRC and let us know you want to help!

The proposed business model is here. Some business planning is here. A statement of functionality (turn into a requirements document?)--- FeatureList

Get Involved

Hop in to IRC! - IRC: ##altslashdot on (Webchat)

Register on the forums -

  • Go to and register a user
  • Go to your user panel (UL corner of page) and then "Groups" tab
  • Add yourself to whichever groups you are interested in

Mumble (Voice / Text Server) :

Slashcott Organized boycott of the Dice-owned Slashdot pages

  • Show your support for the "Get rid of Beta" crowd by avoiding Slashdot during the week of February 10-17

Contact: If you want to send the project lead a message: John (at) SoylentNews (dot) org


Check out the FAQ

  • Forums are available at
  • We upgraded the hosting by two tiers - this should fix the problems people were having yesterday accessing the system.
  • The System team is working on installing SlashCode. If all goes well, we expect to have a working system by Monday. Everyone believes this goal is achievable.
  • The site now has forums with four user groups: Code, Content, Style, and System.
  • Probably won't be non-profit, see business model.
  • We won't poach from Slashdot. This includes articles and logos, also "style" to a reasonable extent.

Mailing list update Messages are here

  • THIS JUST IN: Dice is officially killing /. : "[...]Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.".Refer to this comment, Report is here (section Recent Developments), ([ pdf] here, page 3).


Slashcode Todo list

  • Install SlashCode on the production site
  • Get some people to help with the site
  • Run a contest for a better name New name discussion
  • Incorporate
  • Consult a lawyer
  • How to handle Advertising (necessary evil) - Opt Out, Limited, Typical(box with ads in the top-right corner)?
  • Improved Mod/Meta-Mod/Story-Selection system to minimize required editor input
  • Provide a voting system to decide which articles hit the main page (Mod point related?)
  • Find and submit some stories

List of Discussion Pages

That's all I see at the moment, please add more as you start or find new pages.


  • I've picked up the domain, and I'm looking to be a part of a join effort to create a slashdot alternative more in the style of the classic slashdot system. I picked up this domain simply because a lot of the alternatives being discussed (e.g., may end up being the target of a trademark dispute. The "trademark" for would be altslash, with the "" being merged into .org. It reads the same way as the original "," but looks very clean in my opinion. If anyone wants to setup a group to use instead, let me know.
  • Have you considered talking with Bruce Parens? He had a site called "" that some people from slashdot were quite fond of not too long ago. It seems some people on slashdot are already trying to get him to re-launch it. I don't know if the two of you would have compatible goals or not, but it might be worth sending him an email. He has a parking page up on right now that has his email address on it.
  • I'm a professional web developer and can help. I was about to register a domain on my VPS to start something like this. If you want, I'll do what I can to help. I've built a few CMS from scratch and am downloading slashcode right now. Incidentally I'm a hybrid as I am also a digital artist (namely in UI). We need an IRC channel to talk about this I think.--Hedgie (talk) 18:34, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • I don't know about other people, but I think I would be more liable to stick with an alternative if it scraped content from original /. in addition to whatever else you do. 09:21, 6 February 2014 (MST)

I'm against this. I don't consider it fair - they've put a lot of effort into building up their brand and community. If we are to succeed, we need to do it on our own merits."

There are no doubt legal as well as moral objections to content scraping, but when you say "...they've put a lot of effort into building up their brand and community...", well, for over 15 years *we* have been that community and if not for us there would be some former college students who used to have a little hobby site.--unitron

    • Scraping bad. Having editors dotted around the timezones that create their own better versions of the summaries, even if they contain just the same links as the /. story that inspired them, not bad. FatPhil (talk) 14:14, 6 February 2014 (MST)
    • Agree with scraping bad. The general trend for the summaries has gone downhill badly over the past few years so better to have editors (re-)publish articles even if they use the same (or better) links (Qwade)
    • Scraping Slashdot is pointless. It's been said many times, the discussion is the thing, not the articles. Considered purely as a news site, Slashdot is CRAP, always has been. Speaking of discussion, a Wiki is about the worst discussion medium I can imagine - is there anywhere we can move this to? - Mike Baranczak, 2014-02-07
  • Maybe a wiki is the best way to do this? I see you've started with slashcode, but that might be a misstep. You have noticed by now that slashcode hasn't been updated in many years, hence it will be way behind the current slashdot. I think you might be better off hacking a wiki into slashdot-style functionality.

I agree, this may be a misstep (and this occurred to me independently of your note). My best guess is to attempt installing slashcode and see where that goes, and try for a new system if it's unworkable. We'll see.

  • I think hacking slashcode into slashdot-style functionality would be easier and better than hammering a wiki into that round hole. Mfnickster (talk)
    • [Wikinews] is Wikimedia's attempt to turn a wiki in to a news site. Not sure how easy that would be to mold in to a more Slashdotty site
  • If you don't want to use the old slashcode, have you considered looking at discourse as the site server? AFAICT, it's a reasonably new project which being developed intended to address the authors' perceived flaws in the status-quo of forum software. It's written in JavaScript, but it might serve as a starting point for a new codebase, or worth a look to get some inspiration:
  • Do this as a non-profit, user-run organization please. From what you write it looks like you want replace the regime, not giving the users the control over the website. Why should we trust you not to sell the website to a DICE-like company after it becomes successful? I applaud your efforts to change things, but I really believe that a Debian Project like institution that is both non-commercial and controlled/run by the community has a much higher chance of securing the goals we fight for right now in the long-term. -- 03:20, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • I like the comment on a Debian like project organization, also, maybe we can create a freenode IRC channel to further organize?
  • see Freenode, #slashdot-refugees for real time discussion.

UPDATE: My proposed business plan should allay these fears.

You make some good points.

In my experience, community-driven projects don't usually do well. This is not to say that no such projects succeed, but the balance of probability does not favor group management.

There is a wide selection of projects which are successful because one person had a vision and the drive to make that vision happen - every successful business starts this way.

I've run businesses that use a lot of volunteer help, so I've got some experience there.

As far as selling the website, it's crossed my mind. I don't want to "sell out" and destroy the community, but it would be nice to have an "exit strategy". Commenting on Slashdot fun, but doing it as a day job will probably get tedious.

I don't know what the answer is - it's something that we'll have to work out.

  • (I put in a topic with a suggestion on the discussion page so this doesn't get too cluttered. ~ElectricTurtle)

  • Additional points: Make the whole website (including stories/comments) available under CC-BY-SA to retain the right to fork. You should also reconsider the name. I imagine "AltSlashdot" could get you into all sorts of legal trouble, since it is very close to the "Slashdot" trademark. -- 03:20, 6 February 2014 (MST)

  • Attempt to coordinate and combine the parallel efforts. E.g. Slashdot user dotancohen has apparently registered the domain "slashdotan" and is looking to build a new Slashdot there. There are probably a dozen people hacking away separately on similar efforts. Competition is probably good, but combining efforts should be considered. --Slashdot user JustinOpinion.
  • I'm the dotancohen mentioned by JustinOpinion. I have some limited experience with Amazon Web Services to run cloud servers for sites with very dynamic load profiles. Altslashdot seems like the perfect application of that technology, as we can expect to get slashdotted at any time. I also agree that we should coordinate efforts, as the whole premise is to keep the /. community together. Dotancohen (talk) 08:38, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • Re: combining efforts. User somenickname (1270442) has registered bangslashdot.(org|net|com) [[1]]
  • I (Bryan) also plan on making a slashdot-inspired site. The website will be called "Pipedot" and be reachable at or The motto will be "News for nerds, without the corporate slant." Get it? A pipe character looks like a slash without the slant! However, I plan on creating my own software instead of using slashcode/mediawiki/etc so it may take a while to get feature complete with slashdot classsic. (Why? Because I've always wanted to scratch that itch. Duh!)
  • I think it would be best to just go over to Usenet. It is distributed, uncensorable, scales extremely well, the infrastructure is already in place, and it works. No Javascript, no business models, nothing but pure text-mode comment goodness. Eternal September is free and works well, but does not allow binaries. That's fine, we have magnet links these days. EDIT: comp.misc is the new Slashdot. It's official now. Join us there and keep it free as in FREEDOM!
  • relevant slashdot stats from 2011 [[2]]
    • 5.5 million user visits per month.
    • 7,000 comments are added every day.
    • Over 9 million pages views daily.
    • Over 21 million comments.
    • Average monthly bandwidth usage is around 40-50 mbit/sec (450GB/day)
  • I suggest that when updates to the code are made, it should be in the charter (or whatever we are calling it) to make that code public. -- CommonJoe


General Slashdot Discussion: Come on IRC channel #slashdot at Or use the web client:

AltSlashdot Discussion: Head to IRC channel ##AltSlashdot on, Web client is here:


Anyone else get banned from Slashdot? I did a few 'Fuck Beta' posts and a Beta submission, and apparently this was enough to get a temporary ban. - Robotron23

That is surprising, I posted several times today and did not get anything. I wonder if it had something to do with the Beta submission. - Nightbrood

I've posted loudly, angrily, reflectively, snarkily, thoughtfully, sarcastically, and in many other different ways today (classic and beta). Yet, I've not been banned. - cervesaebraciator


What features worked and what features did not work during the lifetime of Slashdot? I would like to create a section about this but there's no link to do so.

IE: Feature that worked was the karma system allowed users to voluntarily disable the advertisement, made them feel happy even though it did nothing different for the business.

Feature that did not work: Adding a sponsored poll / slashvertising

I'm trying to list out all the critical features of Slashdot plus some clarifications and minor changes here: FeatureList

Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user

Day 1: It wouldn't stop, the redirecting. At first I thought it was malware. Had my first drink in a long time.

Day 2: Barely had the strength to carry on as the BETA REDIRECTIONS continue.. trying not to talk to hallucinations at the bar and in the bathroom which laugh at me about these redirections.

Day 3: Discovered the BETA redirections were random, and while at first they looked somewhat usable, when I looked at me and my monitor screen in the mirror, a horrible woman with flesh hanging off of her body looked back, trying to lead me into a dance as the word BETA appeared across her rancid breasts.

Day 4: These BETA corridors go on FOREVER! On the plus side, I've taken up disassembling vehicles to corner this BETA beast and sacrifice myself rather than lead others to discovering it. I ate some red snow.

Day 5: Finding it harder to concentrate. I've ate some more of the red snow. The taste is starting to grow on me.

Day 6: This typewriter is the only entertainment I have, apart from throwing things at the walls, trying to get some response from the BETA which is now taking over my mind.

Day 7: Hahahahahha! Would you believe it? I'M STILL BEING REDIRECTED TO SLASHDOT BETA PAGES! AHAHhahahaah! Type, type, ding, ding! Wooo!

Day 8: The hallucinations are actually real! Would you believe it? They have offered to help me if I agree to work for them. I'm thinking about patenting this delicious red snow, the taste is unreal!

Day 9: Having black out sessions where I cannot remember large passings of time. Found some makeup, thought I'd paint a joker smile on my face to amuse the people only I can see!

Day 10: Productive today, part of what I wrote for my new screenplay:

I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA! I cannot opt out of Slas

(drops of blood on paper)

(obligatory reference to parsing HTML with regex over on stackoverflow)

Shameless plug for myself

Would appreciate some eyeballs and thoughts on this while it's still available

Telling the world about

I don't know what John wants as far as advertising this page but I'm sure he wants as much exposure as possible. Please mention as much as possible. It seems like the word is spreading (about 15,000 overnight?) good job everyone! Any idea on how and where to make sure people know about this project, please post them here?

> I'd send a note along to Ars Technica & BoingBoing. (That would get some attention)
> Anyone have a Reddit account with a reasonable activity level?
> The Register, Digg, Hacker News and anything else (2600  :-)


Apologies for the repost, but this got buried in a talk page and I think we need to start discussing licensing beyond just the term "open-source".

If no one's said it yet, I think we need to move the updated version of Slash to AGPL and get it in a git repo for people to hack on (preferably github). First step in seeing if that's possible is finding out if it's GPLv2+ (i.e. with something like the phrase "or any later version"). Then you go GPLv3 --> AGPL.

Case for the AGPL: It's recommended by the FSF for any Web software, or really any that runs primarily over a network. In my view, it will protect us from seeing the fruit of our labors turn into another locked up DiceDot... how nice would it have been to have at least the updated "Slashdot Classic" interface available now to hack on instead of the circa 2009 version? The AGPL would have made that possible by requiring the release of modifications to Slash.

Regardless of whether the forked version of Slash goes AGPL, we should still have a clear idea what the license will be. It may require the consent of the original authors to move to a license besides GPLv2 (Rob Malda, Jonathon Pater, Patrick Galbraith, Chris Nandor, Brian Aker, Cliff Wood, Jamie McCarthy), and being stuck forever on GPLv2 would be a shame.

Whether or not the project is going to have a CLA that assigns copyright to some organization, or specifies some other terms, is another question that needs community discussion.

Keep up the great work everyone, very glad to see this materializing! ~ Seandiggity (talk) 12:36, 9 February 2014 (MST)