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Revision as of 18:32, 6 February 2014 by (talk) (New Name)

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A little less terrified...

I'm building a news site alternative to Slashdot. I've only started a couple of hours ago, this wiki is a temporary measure so that volunteers can coordinate and others can see what's happening.

I intend to run a site much like Slashdot used to be - better articles, less decoration and less "in your face" functionality. I'm looking for volunteers to help with setup and running the site. If the site becomes profitable, I intend to hire from the pool of volunteers. If you've ever wanted to participate in a site like Slashdot, here's your chance!

I'm particularly in need of people who can:

  • Set up and manage a high-traffic site (servers, load-balancers, data sites, &c)
  • Edit story submissions
  • HTML, CSS, and script creation/bugfix/repair

Is anyone really good at getting big packages up and running? Slashcode has not been updated in several years (as far as I can tell) and it may be a little clunky at first. It's based on MySql, Apache, and perl. I have "passing familiarity" with these, but an expert could probably blast through it in a couple of hours...

Contact me if interested

John (at) AltSlashdot (dot) org


The contact E-mail is fixed (explanation below). If you tried and got a bounce, please try again.

I've answered individual questions below, but the synopsis is:

  • We need a new name, will hold a contest once the site is running
  • Probably won't be non-profit (see explanation)
  • We won't poach from Slashdot. This includes articles and logos, also "style" to a reasonable extent.
  • We won't monetize our readers (ie - we won't sell contact info to spammers)
  • The site is intended to make money - in the same way Slashdot does (ads, merchandise, job postings)

Current Progress

  • Registered "", also ".com" and ".net".
  • Purchased hosting through BlueHost
  • I'm wading through SlashCode, learning the install procedures.


  • Install SlashCode on my home server.

When I'm comfortable with the install and get the kinks worked out, I'll try installing it on the production site

  • Install SlashCode on the production site
  • Get some people to help with the site
  • Find and submit some stories
  • Run a contest for a better name
  • Incorporate
  • Consult a lawyer
  • Hot grits, Natalie Portman, Netcraft, Soviet Russia, beowulf clusters
  • How to handle Advertising (necessary evil) - Opt Out, Limited, Standard ??
  • Profit! <--- A non-profit can't
  • Improved Mod/Meta-Mod/Story Selection system to minimize required editor input


  • 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.
  • 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?

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.

  • 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)
  • seems to be bouncing. I'd like to help.

It's fixed now - please try again.

(I created the E-mails through the registrar and tested them. When I pointed the DNS to BlueHost the E-mail target changed along with the web. Didn't expect that to change, so never bothered to check after initial test.)

  • 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)


  • 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."


  • I'm always up for a good fork (if there are good valid reasons).. I would consider helping, although may be limited to reviewing submissions. I have limited skill in the other requested areas, but probably not enough to be what we need..


  • Really, I'm sold on AltSlashdot, but I just want to make sure that there will be enough Natalie Portman.

New Name

Name it "DotDotSlash" as in cd ../

I vote for hashbash as in #!(/bin/zsh)

I agree with everyone who has suggested a name different from "AltSlashdot".

So far, none of the suggested alternatives seem to be popular (I considered "ForkSlashdot" myself, and discarded it).

I think the best course is to get things up and running and then hold a name contest. A community effort should make this task easy.

We don't have to do this immediately. "AltSlashdot" is significantly different from "Slashdot", and we won't be poaching any of their stories or (as much as practical) style.

  • Consider a name change. If you're serious about this, then the name "AltSlashdot" will run you into legal trouble down the road, since Slashdot/Dice/etc. will sue for Trademark infringement (and will have a solid case). Slashdot user tpaudio suggested "Plusdot". Another idea (mine) is to call it "divergence" or "divergence operator"... the logo would be the mathematical form of divergence, i.e. nabla symbol followed by a dot (which looks like an augmented "slash dot"). --Slashdot user JustinOpinion.
    • Perhaps Sounds far enough from slashdot to avoid problems, but close enough to clue in any refugees. Max Hyre (talk) 08:34, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • I agree that AltSlashdot is hard to pronounce, but wasn't that the idea behind h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slash-dot-dot-o-r-g (that is should be hard to pronounce)? Dotancohen (talk) 08:41, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • The name "AltSlashdot" does not "mouth" well. May I suggest "Slashfork"? --Koen (talk) 08:52, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • How about or similar? After all, we all know what created this. Another option would be some meme-based thing, like Actually, would be both unique, and make most Slashdotters feel right at home. Greets, Iskender (1040286) 09:39, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • Backslash. Back to basics. Back to the old school. Hell yea.
  • can we get one of those new top-level domains, like .bank, except instead get .dot? Then name it ;-)
  • I second the person who suggested dot-dot-slash (../). Going up a directory is like going "back", which is the purpose of the new site - going back to how things used to be.
    • This does seem to be the clear winner. Though (which appears to be a parked domain) would work well too, since it's not *immediately* obvious legally that we stole the name (back slash dot com) from slashdot. Too bad and are both real in-use sites. appears to be parked, though.
  • May I suggest HashBang (#!), I think it has a slightly better ring to it than hashbash
  • I think anything with "#!" is probably going to be too close to Crunchbang Linux. They use that exact shorthand symbol.
  • Some fantastic ideas: SlashStar (/*), SlashSlash (//), ShebangShebang (#!#!), HotGrits, SovietSlashdot, DotSlash (./), DotSlashDot (./.), GNU/Slashdot (GNU//.), GNS (GNS = "GNP's Not Slashdot", and GNP = "Grits on Natalie Portman"),,, BangBangBang (!!!), CarrotSlashSlashSlashDot (^\/\.),, NoDiceSlashdot, SlashReset (/Reset), Carrotdot (^.), SlashHash (/#), PurpleTaro, CowboyNealOption,, Ctrl-H (^H), Ctrl-C (^C), HGNP (Hot Grits on Natalie Portman)
  • *.onion