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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!


The summary of the financial model is: People who help run the site will get an annuity in perpetuity. This means that the annuity will survive after the death of the recipient, it can be inherited, and so on.


The proposed business model is here. Some business planning is here.


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... Another issue might be security vulnerabilities. Anyone want to audit the code?


Contact me if interested

John (at) AltSlashdot (dot) org

Come on IRC channel #slashdot at irc.slashnet.org. Or use the web client: http://www.slashnet.org/webclient

Status

  • We need a new name, see New name discussion
  • 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.
  • 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)

Mailing list update Messages are here

Done

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

ToDo

  • Install SlashCode on the production site
  • Get some people to help with the site
  • Run a contest for a better name
  • Incorporate
  • Consult a lawyer
  • How to handle Advertising (necessary evil) - Opt Out, Limited, Standard ??
  • Find and submit some stories
  • Improved Mod/Meta-Mod/Story-Selection system to minimize required editor input
  • Profit!  ???


List of Discussion Pages

Finances MailingListUpdates Submission guidelines Business

- That's all I see at the moment


Comments

  • 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. 173.13.21.65 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."

    • 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)
  • 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.


  • 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. --141.84.69.20 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. --141.84.69.20 03:20, 6 February 2014 (MST)
  • John@AltSlashdot.org 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)
  • Re: combining efforts. User somenickname (1270442) has registered bangslashdot.(org|net|com) [[1]]

Less Political Bullshit

Will your site have less global warming bs on it? That would be an improvement...

I think the climate change discussions land pretty squarely in the Science area. It's only "Political Bullshit" when people move it that way. - Cactus

It wouldn't be slashdot without hot-button topics generating hundreds of posts in areas on the more political charged side of science (global warming, nuclear energy, weapons, evolution, etc.)


[2]

Slashdot might cave and go back to the original layout, so where would that leave us?

I've noticed that the quality of articles on Slashdot has gone down a lot in recent years. Even if Slashdot goes back to the original format, I think we can make a much better site by having better articles.

I've some ideas on how to do this, but right now I'm pressed for time. Perhaps someone could start a separate discussion page for submission guidelines? - here