SoylentNews

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Frequently Asked Questions

Site Announcements

Feb 11, 2014 12:01PM EST: We need some CSS and sphinx help


As part of the SlashCode rollout we need to fix a lot of broken CSS and to install sphinx (search engine). We need 2+1 volunteers to help with the conversion this afternoon via IRC. Two to fix CSS issues, and one familiar with install and config of the sphinx software package.

We need people who are fast, so I'll choose based on experience.

If you're interested, please send ONLY a one liner of the number of years you've been doing CSS or sphinx. Something like this:

3 years doing CSS professionally

This will be on IRC, coordinating with robin and our tech lead.

Thanks go to everyone - it looks like we're on the final stretch!

If interested, send E-mail to: John (at) SoylentNews (dot) org

P.S. - Check out the logo.


3:01PM EST: Status

We have a working system, and two people fixing the CSS (sadly, none for sphinx). As far as I can tell, we're trying to get the high-bandwidth aspects of the site running: Varnish, MySQL configuration options, and such. We want the system to be able to withstand a tsunami of visitors 10 meters high.


The system team has been working around the clock to get things running, and I mean that literally. I have to as-much-as order people to break off at night and go to bed. They *really* want to see this thing work. Send them some love in chat if you can.


Note that these are not "deadlines", nor do I particularly care if we miss them: We're reporting when we "predict" things will be ready. The first 90% of the project is done, now we're working on the remaining 90%.


Stand by for launch...



The Slashcott is getting attention

A selection of Slashcott/Beta comments from around the web.......

Feb 10, 2014: We are still working on getting the &^#$*$%^ code to run. If everything comes together, we hope to open the doors on Wednesday. Cross your fingers everyone! When we are ready for "soft launch", we'll invite a bunch of people to use the site and see how things hold up.

There may be some teething problems in the first couple of days. We will bump the server to whatever level is needed, but it may take some hours of slow access before we decide to do that.

The Slashcode group has been working very hard to get things up and running. Consider that SlashCode is 5 years old - it's got sharp edges and rough spots. Please have patience.

Check out the look and feel of the new site!



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 chat.freenode.net (Webchat, we are growing in strength!)

Register on the forums - http://forums.SoylentNews.org

  • Go to forums.SoylentNews.org and register a user
  • Read this post if you are having problems. (Thanks MrGuy)
  • Add yourself to whichever groups you are interested in
  • For tech issues with the forum software, please Email Joel: soylent (at) finite (dot) ms

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

Tell Somebody A friend, a colleague, any major news source....

  • Do what you can to get the word out


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


Mumble (Voice / Text Server) : voice.whackperiod.org <--- Does not appear to be working ??

Status

Check out the FAQ

  • Forums are available at forums.SoylentNews.org
  • 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

Site Name

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 with the tagline: SoylentNews is people!

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

  • Descriptive in a way that mundanes will understand (compare "Photoshop" with "GIMP", "Internet Explorer" with "Firefox", and "MediaPlayer" with "VLC")
  • It's part of Nerd culture, a pun, and slightly twisted
  • It's suggestive of being community driven
  • It is attached to some movie about eating corpses and implies "News fresh as processed corpses" (??)
  • Trademark issues
  • We are getting some community flak on the name

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. Be sure to thank him if you see him on IRC.)

ToDo

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)?
Why can't we have an advertising cookie with things we are in the market for? I.e. if I'm in the market for a computer, I see computer-related ads. If I opt out, then I don't see any ads. An interest-centric (not user centric) cookie. <==+1 Insightful
  • 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

Noteworthy Comments

  • Grabbed the Domain Names: AltSlashdot.org, Soylentnews.org
  • Other potential website solutions
Bruce Perens (created "technocrat.net") is aware of Soylentnews.org and is considering contributing (Relaunch ?? stay tuned)
/. user 'dotancohen' registered the domain "slashdotan" and is looking to build a new Slashdot (He is willing to coordinate and has cloud experience)
Add info on Pipedot...pipedot.org by 'Bryan'
User somenickname (1270442) has registered bangslashdot.(org|net|com)
Usenet was also suggested as an alternative 'comp.misc is the new Slashdot'
  • Scrapping content from old Slashdot suggestion made. benefits/drawbacks ? Overall I think this is a thumbs down
Content is easier to "find"
Moral/Legal objections were brought up (Even if it was initially "our" content)
We should build our own brand
Pointless to scrap, since it is the comments that draw people in
Editors should be in multiple timezones to cleanup/improve/multi-source submissions for presentation to the main page
  • Initial code build will be from Slashcode... Available (Git?), Old:(5 years) Workable:(maybe)
  • Alternate choices for code base: Wiki, Discourse, Usenet
  • Non-profit vs For-profit discussion should go here ( Business )
Debian style project organization ?
Community driven projects need strong leadership or they tend to flounder
  • Codebase
Code should be in the public domain
Allow the entire website (Stories+Comments+Code)? to be created as a Creative commons work - codebase also available ?
AGPL
  • Keep the former Slashdot community together

Comment History

Comments

  • 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)


  • Relevant Slashdot stats from 2011 [[1]]
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)


  • From Hacker News on Slashdot: 'When you have the same group of minds selecting the content that gets seen, over the course of years, the users eventually get burnt out seeing the same type of stuff, chosen by the same people over and over again. The content becomes stale even if its fresh <--- A really good point

IRC

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

AltSlashdot Discussion: Head to IRC channel ##AltSlashdot on irc.freenode.net, Web client is here: https://webchat.freenode.net/


Stories from former Slashdot users

Confessions of an Ex-Slashdot Beta User

Banned from Slashdot

Dice is killing Slashdot


An interesting Idea

Check this out while it's still available. feedback appreciated

Telling the world about SoylentNews.org

  • Please mention SoylentNews.org as much as possible.
  • It seems like the word is spreading (over 45,000 views in <1 week) 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 you feel would help get the word out there
  • Contacted:
    • The Register:: No word back
    • Ars Technica:: Was passed along to one of the writers
    • Hacker News
Submission from when AltSlashdot just started
Due for an update once we get an actual site up and running
Similar thread from today Yahwotqa (talk) 10:05, 10 February 2014 (MST)