Story Subject Matter

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Thread archived from forums:

Cactus: Another point of contention was which stories were being accepted. People have strong feelings on what IS and what IS NOT acceptable to publish. I argued that while there have been sub-optimal stories accepted, everyone has differing opinions on which stories were no good.

LaminatorX: This one is tricky to approach, as our thousands of community members have varied tastes in content. While we certainly want to be true to our theme, I don't think we should be shackled my it either. The French fries story, for example, was a bit of a non-sequitur but nonetheless got a good number of clicks and fun commenting. We wouldn't want five stories a day like that, but a few a week should be fun.

There have also been some stories where we got pushback in the comments from some users, yet a bunch of others merrily chatting away who clearly found it worthwhile. I'm not sure how to evaluate that. Similarly, there have been stories where the pitchforks and torches were out at score 0, while at score 3 the response was positive. I'm not sure how to interpret that either.

What are your thoughts?

LaminatorX: This might also be something we could address by being selective on main page vs topic pages posts. /dev/random should be pretty free about what's acceptable, for instance.

LaminatorX: I think that posting a retweet from Taco was a mistake. Even if that ultimate story weren't just a bunch of speculation, reporting on something third hand like that is something we should avoid, today nothing of how Malda might feel about being associated with this project without his consent.

Cactus: I think a lot of the readers/commenters have different expectations for the site content. Actually, I think a lot of the 'staff' is divided too. I think we need to figure out how strict we are going to be on 'News for nerds'. Are we going to aim broader, or narrow our focus? Either way, there will be unhappy people.

As far as the difference in score posts, I don't know. I browse all comments at a -1; I haven't noticed the differing opinions at certain moderation levels.

unitron: I could have just posted the link to Chris Pacia's blog post, but Taco's feed is where I found out about it, so I figured credit where credit is due.

If it had been the Twitter feed of someone else, someone with no connection to /., I'd still have felt I should credit them for me finding out about it.

And of course at this point just about any article about what happened to/at MtGox is going to be speculation because so far confirmed facts are pretty scarce.

And the french fry story didn't belong because it was about fries, it belonged because of the geek/nerd approach to analyzing what makes for (in the experimenter's opinion) a good fry.

LaminatorX: Thanks for joining in, Unitron. There's a lot of stuff we're still figuring out WRT Journalism HOWTO, and this is giving us something good to chew on.

Here's a transcript from Janrinok and I on IRC:

[13:07] <+janrinok> Ok I gather the MtGox story has caused problems - if I'm reading the various bits correctly?
[13:08] <+LaminatorX> There were a few problems with it, IMO.
[13:08] <+janrinok> ok go
[13:09] <+LaminatorX> Number one being the stretch to involve Taco on something that he was just mentioning.
[13:09] <+janrinok> Not sure that I follow that one yet?
[13:09] <+LaminatorX> Even without that, it's basically a retweet.
[13:10] <+janrinok> I couldn't find it elsewhere
[13:10] <+janrinok> Unless you mean reddit?
[13:13] <+LaminatorX> Well, the submitter could've posted a link to reddit, or the original blog, or whatever, rather than Malda's twitter. Even without the Taco complication, we want to be posting to secondary sources at most, rather than one-liner "Hey, look at this." postings.
[13:13] <+janrinok> Ok accepted, but I have no way of knowing when the tweet took place. It might have been very current. However, I accept the point.
[13:14] <+janrinok> If Cmdr Taco is suddenly pointing this out it might suggest that it is of interest?
[13:14] <+LaminatorX> Worthy of a look, sure,
[13:15] <+janrinok> OK noted
[13:15] <+LaminatorX> And I'm not trying to suggest that he's somehow sacrosanct.
[13:16] <+LaminatorX> If he posts some commentary on or something and we want to cover it that's totally fine.
[13:16] <+janrinok> OK understood
[13:20] <+LaminatorX> The specific wording in the story,, leading off with "Via Twitter, Cmdr Taco passes this along" makes it a little nerd baity. At a glance it's sort of like a message from him. Not that I think Unitron was trying to deliberately do something shady.
[13:21] <+janrinok> I had hoped that my EdComment had covered that point. Mistakenly I now fear.
[13:22] <+LaminatorX> If this were something we were going to cover (and I'm not passing judgment on that, one way or another, some people eat this Gox story up, some are sick of it, we cant please them all), this would've been an instance where some heavier re-writing would have been in order, IMO.
[13:23] <+janrinok> OK I'm happy to accept that guidance.
[13:23] <+LaminatorX> That's my big two weeks of experience talking ;)
[13:24] <+LaminatorX> Would it be alright with you if we post a transcript of this in the story content thread on the forum?
[13:24] <+janrinok> Yes sure, if it helps someone else then its for the good.
[13:25] <+LaminatorX> Great. We're all going to stumble from time to time, especially at the beginning. Lord know I have.

LaminatorX: An interesting discussion on content choice with a member.