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Announcements Slashdot.org

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds! 2219

Posted by timothy
from the there-would-be-this-picture-of-a-cat dept.
We've had only a few major redesigns since 1997; we think it's time for another. But we really do take to heart the comments you've made about the look and functionality of the beta site that houses Slashdot's future look. So let's all slow down. Right now, we're directing 25 percent of non-logged-in users to the beta; it's a significant number, but it's the best way for us to test drive this new design, to have you show us what pieces need to be fixed, and how. If you want to move back to Classic Slashdot, that path is available: from the Slashdot Beta page, you just need to select the "Slashdot Classic" link from the footer (or this link). We're committed to keep you informed of the plans as changes are implemented; we can't promise that every user will like every change, but we don't want anything to come as a surprise. Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready. We have work to do on four big areas: feature parity (especially for commenting); the overall UI, especially in terms of information density and headline scanning; plain old bugs; and, lastly, the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process. Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time. We're keeping you informed of this process, because we're a community and we want to take everyone with us. But, yes, we're trying something new. Why? We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience. We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable. And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories. It's not an either/or. It's going to be both. If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that. And in the meantime, we're not sorry to have received a flood of feedback, most of it specific, constructive and substantive. Please keep it coming. We will be adding more specific info here in the days to come.
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:47PM (#46180049) Journal
    Why say anything it isn't like you are going to listen or act on our concerns.
  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:48PM (#46180059)

    Slashdot BETA Sucks.

    Your post here is a steaming pile because you know "Timothy" that You folks have absolutely NO intention of backing away from the new un-needed and useless "design" for the sake of "design" design. "Web Designers" and marketers have a lot in common, they want to foist "pretty" shit that serves no real benefit.

    Hopfully Bruce Perens will reserect his Slashdot alternative that failed when Slashdot didn't SUCK as much as it does now.

    Join the boycott 10-17 February!

  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:48PM (#46180061)

    Thank you for acknowledging us. I'd like to see a new SlashDot that's even better than the old. Please let us help you define it.

  • by esldude (1157749) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:48PM (#46180063)
    And you can all thank me for sending my feedback in as this appeared shortly thereafter. And I am kidding of course, just a coincidence. Hopefully this isn't just lip service as so often the case in these situations. Sorry for the skepticism. But this is a good response finally by the people behind the current slashdot.
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:48PM (#46180065)
    I don't think you have understood. We don't want you to slow down. We want you to stop; reverse; appologise for being so out of touch with your user base; and promise to never do anything so stupid again.
  • Hey im game (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Infestedkudzu (2557914) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:48PM (#46180073)
    you give us a classic page for good option and you can do what you want.
  • by drsmack1 (698392) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:50PM (#46180089)

    It seems to me that the one unifying opinion of those critical of the changes is that *no changes are necessary*. So, clearly this is NOT something that is meant to benefit the users - it's more likely part of some monetization plan.

    Just admit it and move on - stop blowing smoke up our asses like our opinion actually matters. Maybe it did once, but that hasn't been the case for quite a while now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:51PM (#46180099)

    Every site that has gone beta (read YAHOO) has become worse (not better). Eventually, we are forced to upgrade to a slower, crappy, bloated site with evermore javascript!!! THANKS -- BUT NOT THANKS!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:51PM (#46180107)

    ... If classic slashdot goes away then I will stop visiting slashdot. Partly out of the way this has been handled, but partly because "beta" slashdot doesn't work properly without javascript.

    If you don't support people who don't wish to have needless code execution on their machine - then I am not visiting. Simple.

  • Meh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Obijon70 (2755699) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:52PM (#46180123)
    No need to fix that which is not broken - new is not necessarily better. Remember "New" Coke?
  • by couchslug (175151) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:52PM (#46180125)

    It's been interesting and fun since 1999, but now it's not even amusing.

    Last post.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:53PM (#46180137)

    We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable.

    This is the fundamental problem between how the corporate overlords think and how the community thinks. Until this difference is resolved you will get the continual complaints and the eventual mass exodus. We are a community. We are not an audience.

    I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

    I am Slashdot.

  • by ron_ivi (607351) <[moc.secivedxelpmocpaehc] [ta] [ontods]> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:53PM (#46180141)
    Well I guess on the bright side when Digg did that, their infrastructure costs could have gone way down as they lost most of their users and layed off 37% of their staff.
  • by tylersoze (789256) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:53PM (#46180143)

    Ah well it wouldn't be the internet without people bitching about what appears, to me at least, be a relatively minor website redesign (uh a bigger font and more white space basically?) of a site that's pretty much just a sequential listing of stories with links and comments anyway.

  • by sandbagger (654585) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:54PM (#46180157)

    Okay, they've said they're applying the brakes so don't attack then for doing what you want.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:54PM (#46180169)

    Hi, a couple thoughts here. First, thanks to timothy for reaching out like this - it's the result of the #fuckbeta protest, so good job to everybody. But if we have a better avenue for communicating our concerns then we can tone down the protesting I think. At least maybe not destroy the comment threads any more.

    My biggest concern for the beta is it seems to destroy the tools needed for a robust commenting and conversation, including notification of new posts, easy ways to quote prior posts, easy way to link directly to comments, etc. If this is going to be reintegrated for sure (and maybe expanded?) then I'm probably cool with it.

    Maybe this is a better approach? what would you need to be cool with the beta?

    inb4 shill: i doubt that if you look at my posting history you could accuse me of being a shill. :ducks:

  • Re:No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:55PM (#46180197)

    .. and don't call us just "Audience"!

  • by mugnyte (203225) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:55PM (#46180201) Journal

    Subject is rule #1.
    Don't put anything in the way of that.

    "Shareable by a wider audience" is too vague. What is difficult with the current design?

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maliqua (1316471) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:56PM (#46180211)

    that's pretty much it, if you do insist on redesigning slashdot, at least keep it slashdot, this change was drastic and generic. we dont need another news site thats exactly like all the other news sites, we want this site, as is if you really really want to change a font somewhere sure, go nuts tinker that css a little bit

    but do not expect us to react well to turning this site into generic garbage.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:56PM (#46180213) Homepage

    Can someone from the /. team explain what exactly is wrong with the Classic site and why it can't be fixed? I just don't see why you had to start over with a completely new design when the old one works so well. A few tweaks is all that is needed.

  • by deconfliction (3458895) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:57PM (#46180227)

    Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready.

    Why are you so inflexible on the idea of keeping classic slashdot *forever*. Think of it as a protected historical landmark in the internet space. To help future generations understand where this 'blogging' thing really came from? Computers are good like that, keep classic.slashdot.org FOREVER and your audience^H^H^H CONTRIBUTORS might stop rallying against you.

  • Don't like Beta. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:57PM (#46180229) Homepage Journal

    I got redirected once. Was once too often. For some reason the current process seems to think that content comes last, and fancy headers, deasign and pages mean more. They don't. The beta page wasted a ton of space, showed me less content, was less clear and more invasive. I did not like it, did not enjoy it.

    Why is it somehow we have ended up with people who are making things like Slashdot beta, Microsoft Metro, the new IOS, Gnome. A bunch of people who came out of the worst design schools ever? A bad decade at the schools? We just got unlucky?

    I like slashdot, and have been around for a long time. But I'm not your damn plaything. Mess with the site, content and my usage - be warned, I can go away. So can others.

  • by EL_mal0 (777947) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:57PM (#46180231)

    I agree that if /. is changed, it should change for the better. My big question is why should we believe you're listening now? At the beta rollout in October you solicited comments about what to improve on the beta. The users responded with >1100 comments and lots of emails. However, many of the same problems (most notably a broken comment system) are still there. Five months and functionality that is foundational to the way people use this site is still not there.

    The folks at /. might be listening, but are they going to do anything with what they hear?

  • by Nightbrood (6060) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:58PM (#46180243)

    It is nice that you speak about what YOU want. However, in the scheme of things, what you want is diametrically opposed to the community you claim to cherish. The appeal of Slashdot is the pedantry, the technical nature of things, and the overall level of the discussion. If I want to interact with a "wider audience" I can go talk on the Disqus comments that litter CNN, CNBC, etc. Short of having Wiki articles linked to every single in depth commenter's response I don't know how you are going to make things more "accessible" to a "wider" audience.

    Also, please stop with calling us your "audience." It is demeaning. If you value our contributions to the functioning of your site so little that you consider us passive players, then I hope you press forward with your train wreck of a beta so that you can see just how much the "audience" actually contributes.

    Lastly, tell the MBAs and PR guys/gals to lay off the BS and have a straightforward honest conversation with us. We are far from the drooling idiots you seem to think we are.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:58PM (#46180245) Homepage

    We'd all like that, but why start from the crap-fest that is the beta site when the classic site is already running pretty well? All that wasted effort on the beta could have been put into the classic code base and the every change could have been a genuine improvement, not a change for the worse.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:59PM (#46180253) Homepage Journal

    You know, exactly like the old interface, but with unicode.

    There are lots of things that are annoying about slashdot, but almost none of them are found in the interface. None of them really need changing, except the lack of unicode support. Instead of wasting time trying to change the way slashdot looks when it looks just fine (It's not fancy, but it's clean compared to most of the web and it doesn't waste horrible amounts of space) you should spend the time on unicode. It's not sexy, but it is important.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:59PM (#46180259) Journal

    My biggest concern is that frankly, the beta just plain sucks. It sucks in every single possible way. I get that they're saying it isn't ready, but the concern for many of us isn't just that the beta is just bloody horrible now, but that the direction its going suggests that it will never be an adequate replacement for the current "classic" Slashdot.

  • by ugen (93902) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:00PM (#46180275)

    In the words of Homer Simpson - "Just because I don't care doesn't mean that I don't understand".

    I think the recent slashdot poll was directly tied to the redesign. Slashdot audience is getting older, the crowd is now mid-to later in their careers. I can see that - I've been a consistent reader since 1997.

    So, Dice decides it is time to rejuvenate the website. I suspect that the objective is to pare down the number of crusty old coots, who block ads and otherwise freeload, and get the "hip, young" crowd that now hangs on Reddit and what not. It sounds like someone with experience in marketing had a hand in this.

    The problem as I see it is that Slashdot is more of a Saab of web/news industry. You have a specific image, and a dedicated customer base. Historically, attempts at rebranding and reinventing oneself, in particular for a company with that kind of background, are generally not successful. This is particularly so when a rebranding is done in such an obvious, hamfisted way.

    Dice was never a particularly web-savvy company. I've been using them as long as I've been a slashdot reader. Dice (no offense) is a poorly designed concentrator for all the spammy recruiters out there. It's a bit of a cesspool, but it serves its purpose. However, given their history and performance - it is highly unlikely they have sufficient web/social/marketing expertise to turn this site around.

    Slashdot hasn't been as exciting as in the past for a while now. What it needed is fresh ideas, better ways to get involved in duscussion, *more* interactivity and possibly ability to connect among its users (I don't suggest it become a facebook, but it's has a long way to go in improving social side). Slashdot will not, in my view, benefit from gaudy pictures, "web 3.0" design and general dumbing down. You will not get the "hip crowd" and you will lose your current user base. Look at Saab for guidance.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EL_mal0 (777947) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:00PM (#46180277)

    My biggest concern for the beta is it seems to destroy the tools needed for a robust commenting and conversation, including notification of new posts, easy ways to quote prior posts, easy way to link directly to comments, etc. If this is going to be reintegrated for sure (and maybe expanded?) then I'm probably cool with it.

    This shortcoming was recognized and pointed out again and again back in October when they revealed the beta. Now here we sit five months on with the same problems. That's why I have little hope that anything substantive will be done to keep the current community.

  • Re:Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:00PM (#46180283) Homepage

    These days "new and improved" usually means "we found a way to increase our profits by making it worse".

  • sux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tjanke (813633) <tim&janke,org> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:01PM (#46180289)
    The new design adds useless eye candy, makes it harder to skim through the posts to find the ones that interest me. Slashdot works really, really well as-is. Please, please, please, leave well enough alone.
  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:01PM (#46180299)
    Here is a thought. Ask the users, what they want, then give it to them.
    Use the Slashdot poll for something useful for a once. Put the top requested features, in a poll, and use the results to help shape your development cycle.

    Those are just off the top of my head.
  • Comment filter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javaguy (67183) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:02PM (#46180309)

    I tried the beta this morning. There was no obvious way to show only the comments rated 4* and above. There are ways of seeing funny or insightful posts, but you don't get to control how many.

    The new design seems less space efficient. More clicks are required to read stories (including this one).

    No plans to change in the near future.

  • by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:02PM (#46180311)

    It's nice to finally hear that they hear us, folks. Although this hasn't been handled very well, it sounds like they're trying to improve. So, let's think positive and give 'em another chance. Further cynicism isn't helpful at this point and can only lead to the demise of something that we've enjoyed for a long time. Please don't do that to yourselves.

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:02PM (#46180317) Homepage Journal

    When they say "we can't promise that every user will like every change", I think they mean "we won't promise that a majority will like the change".

    The solution is simple: can Beta as a failure. Be grown-up enough to admit that it did not work, and start again from scratch, designing with the contributors in mind. You know, the guys who provide the majority of the content people come here for - the discussions.
    It takes courage to admit that you've been wrong. That would be respected. But polishing a turd is not going to win anyone's admiration, or even sympathy.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:03PM (#46180319) Homepage

    Thank you for listening, and for taking our passion for this site and its battle-tested interface to heart. I look forward to seeing how serious you are about providing -- at least as an option -- the kind of lean, dense, static UI that made Slashdot work so well for so long.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:03PM (#46180327) Homepage

    Exactly. The reason no-one RTFA is because it's usually shit, and they probably read it two days ago anyway. The comments are the interesting bit. Slashdot isn't a news site, it's a debate site.

  • Two comments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boristhespider (1678416) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:04PM (#46180333)

    I think I've got reasonable karma on here and the very few who recognise my login probably think I don't post total drivel *all* of the time, so I'd like to put in my two bob's worth. I don't like the beta as it is at the minute. The front page looks fine to me: lots of white space, but I can live with white space and it's no different from other websites, although I could very much do without the constant targetted videos from advertiers; but it's the comments pages that are distinctly compromised compared to the present setup. It's far harder to close an entire thread; it's far harder to close sections and leave others open and see quickly which comments have been added since the last refresh; far less content is onscreen at one time; and the comments screen is far too narrow, which compounds the previous issues. I'm sure that with more reflection I could think of other issues with the comments, but those are probably my greatest complaints.

    Over the last few days the comments pages have been increasingly dominated by childish anti-beta messages. I understand these are probably born out of frustration and irritation (even anger on some parts), but they've made the website far less usable than if the beta had been rolled out without argument. This is the flipside of it: no redesign is worth fucking up a website over, and certainly doesn't justify the sheer amount of petulant whining the boards have been filled with.

    And that said, over the last couple of days, when I've had mod points I've tended to use them to at least reverse the modding down of people protesting the new beta, since there seem to be no other avenues for people who genuinely care about how the comments sections of slashdot are presented. I have no issue with a redesign, but diminishing the usability of a service is a pretty hamfisted way of increasing its profitability.

  • by Thanosius (3519547) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:04PM (#46180335)

    I've heard all this shit before - that the guys in charge are listening to your efforts, that your concerns are being taken under advisement and that the end result will something everyone will appreciate. What people here especially hate most of all is fucking corporate speak they've heard a thousand times before and despite from the bottom of their hearts. It's patronizing to the audience who know exactly how things will play out. They always follow the same formula

    People complained loudly to Microsoft regarding the all-caps of Visual Studio 2012/13 and Office 2013 during their pre-releases. What happened? They remained there, shouting back at the user in the finals. People complained to Microsoft regarding the lack of contrast between the various elements of the Office 2013 GUI as well as the default eye-melting white theme. What happened? Some very minor tweaks and the same eye-melting theme with minimal contract. They threw in a couple of darker themes which do add more contrast, but also make the software far more drab and miserable looking compared to say Office 2010, which in my mind is a thing of beauty.

    Companies don't care. They don't give a shit unless there's a real threat to their bottom line. I'm honestly surprised though that the powers that be aren't scrambling to push out the news that they're throwing away the beta as a failed experiment before more people sign off permanently and move to greener pastures.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Narnie (1349029) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:04PM (#46180337)

    Since there's some constructive comments here, I'd like to add my own:

    NO JAVASCRIPT!!!

    Sorry for shouting, but I have old PCs at home that choke on javascript. I'd rather not resort to viewing /. through noscript if I can avoid it because I understand ad revenues are import to funding /.

    At least have a light version for alternative browser like lynx as many users don't have access to graphical browsers where they work.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:04PM (#46180343)

    This post indicates that our concerns have been heard. Give them a chance. Clearly discussions are taking place and some changes will be made. Whether those changes will be acceptable to the community can only be judged after we have seen them; but in view of this post it is most unfair to say that our concerns have not been heard. Why do you suppose they used the megaphone graphic?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:04PM (#46180345)

    Publish a log where it is easy for one to see what flaw does a new change amend, that way we can discuss the issues separately and you can better explain your reasoning.

  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:05PM (#46180355)
    Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

    We are not the audience. We are the performers!
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:05PM (#46180359) Homepage

    This. Don't think the community won't up sticks and leave en-masse either. Like most communities we will protect what we value, even if it means building a new town and moving everyone there.

    No new users will come to Slashdot when it's just another crappy news blog with the standard retarded internet comments.

  • by B1ackDragon (543470) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:06PM (#46180363)
    Yup, and here are some suggestions: (sigh, maybe I'll see if I can get this through their suggested email support as well... will that actually help? Editors: what say you? Does this stuff speak more loudly to the higher-ups if it comes through certain channels?)

    Keep some space for ads if you want; I don't give a shit and I realize you've got bills to pay. I have the option of turning them off, but I don't because I like the site.

    That said, information density is important. If you bump the font size and line spacing or significantly drop the comments column width, we can't read the comments or their surrounding comments' context. There'd better be a lot of lines before I have to "click for more", and I never want to have to "click for more" on the front page. This might mean reducing the size of those terrible banner images.

    We need to be able to easily see the information on posts and navigate the discussion. Links to parent posts are absolutely necessary, current score, subject, and at least a preview of the post content if it's collapsed. Other useful information provided that I'd like to see stay prominent includes the username and UID number of poster. It was tough for me to get used to the collapsed/non-collapsed system with the last redesign, but it actually ended up giving a lot of information in a tight space and generally reserved more for better comments.

    As it currently stands, the two problems cited above alone will kill the discussion oriented nature of Slashdot, users will desert, and revenue will tank.

    Since there's a redesign in the works, this _could_ be a good chance to make some things actually work better! The "full" "collapsed" and "hidden" threshold sliders never seemed to work right for me. Obviously better encoding support would be nice. Maybe someday I won't have to type html to do simple formatting stuff. Since many of us are coders, perhaps some support for inline code could be cool? I won't harp on speed or javascript much, but I'm sure others will.
  • by ffkom (3519199) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:06PM (#46180371)

    First, let me state that I created my Slashdot account only days ago. And while did read Slashdot articles before a few times, I am by no means used to the "classic" view, so my opinion is not biased by being used to either version.

    Yes, I cannot see anything that is better in the "beta".

    And even the official statements on why that "redesign" is pursued do not provide a single compelling reason what the new design would actually better.

    If "more accessible and shareable by a wider audience" means: "We want to lure more Facebook-zombies and other technically challenged people on our site" then let me tell it right away: That is the perfect way to get rid of everyone actually interested in science and technology. If you want to become yet another mainstream gossip page, that is the way to go.

    The absolute no-go for me with regards to the beta is the JavaScript plague. I do not want my trusted computer to execute arbitrary code downloaded from the Net. And JavaScript adds no valuable information, just wastes CPU cycles and bandwidth - just as additional "pictures" do.

  • Communication (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:08PM (#46180417)

    "The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months."

    The ONLY reasonable interpretation is that after that it will not be. full stop.

    "It's not an either/or. It's going to be both. If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that."

    Did anyone anywhere ever think the the former communicates the latter?

    "And â" okay, we've got it â" it's not ready."

    So stop redirecting 25% of us until you've had a another good run at fixing it. And then, maybe put it out there and invite people to check it out instead of redirecting 1/4 of us while threatening us that its just months away from being the only site. You do realize a lot of us would have checked it out, given you feedback, and probably without having a nuclear meltdown over it.

    "We have work to do on four big areas: feature parity (especially for commenting); the overall UI, especially in terms of information density and headline scanning; plain old bugs; "

    So... The new logo design was good then!

    " the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process."

    If only this site had had a mechanism by which you could communicate with us and get feedback, perhaps in the form of comments! And if that mechanism itself had a mechanism with which to bubble the more interesting comments to the surface... why you'd really have something there!

    Are you just trolling us? :p

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:08PM (#46180425)
    Exactly, I've pointed the same things out in every survey, to the feedback mail, etc. etc. Almost everything has been ignored/broken for months. Unless we see a real timeline and real results and not just more of the same "we care, but we're not going to do anything" gloss and bullshit, it's going to be a brief period of gnashing followed by exodus.
  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:09PM (#46180439)
    THIS! A THOUSAND TIMES THIS!

    I'm sorry Dice, but you don't make Slashdot great - we do! Piss us off and we'll leave, and you can enjoy the eye-atrocious tumbleweeds and crickets.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:10PM (#46180443)

    Yeah I've been 'happy' with the classic site, aside from the well-known bugs such as

    - unicode support - i.e. mangling a person's name if they have any of those characters/accents found in continental European languages.
    - comment spill past 100 comments, repeats a significant number of comments on page 2.
    - having to zoom to read the summary with all that sidebar crap when viewing on a 4" smartphone - though reading the comments is trouble free compared to the abomination that is slashdot mobile

    But given these problems have existed for a decade, they're either not fixable in the classic code base (easily) or the designers just like experimenting with fancy CSS3 layouts.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:10PM (#46180445)

    Posting anony-mouse-ly so my moderation here is not lost.

    I haven't come to Slashdot for the stories for a long, long time. The stories can be found elsewhere; there is little about the stories that makes Slashdot unique.

    The comments and the moderation system, however, are something else entirely. That is the reason I come to Slashdot. I loved the moderation system a long time ago, and once I learned I can weight different kinds of moderation (for example, I rate "Funny" as a negative modifier), I found that I can very quickly cut out the crap and find relevant comments promoted. You can also promote / demote your "friends" and "foes", which helps to raise up bright people no matter what they post and squelch the weenies.

    It is the best moderation system I have seen so far. All other news sites have, at most, a "Like" and "Dislike" functionality.

    When I saw the Beta site I wasn't particularly pleased; it's a little too "modern" for me and doesn't have the good old grumpy nerd feel that older layouts have had. But, it does look a bit cleaner and I'm not against a redesign if the core content stays the same.

    However, it didn't. The moderation scoring was completely broken. Or missing. I can't tell. Click on a story and I'm deluged with a bunch of crap. The core feature of Slashdot is the comments section. If this is broken then there's no reason to come.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:10PM (#46180449) Journal

    I think the community has made it pretty clear that the beta is unwanted and will lead to Slashdot's demise. Toss it, bugfix the classic version and make slow incremental improvements. Maybe we'll end up where the Beta team wanted us to go (though I doubt it), but at least it's not like "At some unspecified time in the near future we're going to stick a flaming bag of shit in your mouth. Get Ready!!!!"

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:11PM (#46180471) Journal

    How about not implementing anything at all, and just keep fixing the existing site?

  • by EL_mal0 (777947) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:12PM (#46180489)

    The comment system isn't finished yet, that's for sure

    But that's the most frustrating thing of all! This is /. Comments should have been the first thing you got right. The comments make the site.

  • Exactly Correct (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SashaMan (263632) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:13PM (#46180503)

    I decided to log in with my slashdot account to share this, something that I haven't done in years, for one single reason: with every new slashdot "redesign", the USABILITY of the site gets far, far worse (despite the site looking more "designy"). It really is clear that you guys have no idea how users actually USE your site. For example:

    1. With all this copious whitespace, I can fit like 1 or 2 comments on the screen. Finding valuable or highly rated is like finding a needle in a haystack.
    2. Everything is expanded by default, which, again makes it tiresome to skip through pages of low-rated comments.
    3. The comment sort order makes no sense.

    You don't seem to understand that the main value of Slashdot is (or rather was, from a long time ago) the comment section, and with each successive revision it just gets progressively worse. No one give a fuck about your flat, "techcrunchy", "Androidy" design when you keep making the site so much harder to use.

    I've popped over to slashdot every week or so when all my links on reddit turn purple, just to see if you guys have improved, and it's kind of astonishing how absolutely backwards you view the design process.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:13PM (#46180509)

    Thank you for acknowledging us. I'd like to see a new SlashDot that's even better than the old. Please let us help you define it.

    All of this could have been avoided if you guys had simply listened to the people using beta beforehand. Didn't you see in your logs people desperately trying to claw their way back to "classic"? If you had a notion of rolling out as a real beta, you'd have left a prominent button at the top of the page saying "Go back to classic". Did you not check your e-mails? Did you not see the people reporting in their sig blocks that beta sucked? I mean, this was a problem well before now, and it was ignored. And now for three whole days of constant barrages of the forums, we get this? A token "Oh we heard you", but with no specific answer? We said it sucks. Make it go away. "Ah, we're redirecting 25% of traffic now!" .. How is this an admission that it's a massive clusterfuck and you're going to pull it and have a re-think? It still appears to be full steam ahead.

    Pull over, Slashdot. You're lost. And possibly drunk. Re-assess where you are, where you want to go, and then try again. Don't double down on stupid.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:13PM (#46180511) Homepage Journal

    But we are listening and incrementally improving the experience based on what users are telling us.

    If you were listening, you would know that we do not want incremental improvements.
    It's time to abort, and start with a blank sheet. Really.

  • The Why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:13PM (#46180515) Homepage Journal

    communicating about the How and the Why of this process

    I think this is one of the biggest reasons you are getting such negative pushback. A very large part of the active and vocal Slashdot audience (the "community") probably share a similar viewpoint when it comes to change. Change for change's sake is bad, and if you want to change something that works just fine then you'd better be able to give me a good, objective reason. So far that just isn't something we've seen. What I see is a site that's been redesigned with two goals in mind:

    • Jump on the current web design bandwagon. For example: poor text contrast, gradients and transparency that slows things down, etc.
    • Water down and weaken the commenting system. The original beta made it clear that the drivers of this change felt that the Slashdot comment system was too complex and should be "simplified". Taking it to a flatter model with less information about posts and their relationships, in addition to "lazy" loading comments just says that your target audience must feel like "comments are hard, let's go shopping!"

    We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site [that is] more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

    What exactly is it about the current site that makes it inaccessible? Which audience are you trying to reach? I'm quite serious -- knowing this may make it easier for people to accept change (assuming that the audiences you're reaching out to aren't "advertisers" and "market analytics"). Just going based on what you've said it sounds like you want to make Slashdot Yet Another generic news aggregator. Don't you remember Digg? That sad story should have taught you a few lessons about the value of a generic news aggregator and the results of alienating a community.

    Will the new site finally support (even a small subset of) Unicode? Just adding support for that would probably make Slashdot accessible to more people than this absurd proposed redesign. No, I'm not kidding.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:14PM (#46180527) Journal

    Another attempt at constructive feedback:

    I currently browse Slashdot with the old-old no-JavaScript UI. It's just what I want. Fix the bug where the same comments show up on page after page - that would be great!

    I don't want to be opening/closing threads or anything like that. I read all threads expanded, -1 shown, threaded but otherwise in time order. In other words: the raw body of comments, but threaded.

    I don't want any help viewing comments, no AJAX or Web 2.0 stuff, just a (threaded) mass of posts to read, with raw links to reply (so it's easy to reply on a new tab).

  • by wjwlsn (94460) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:14PM (#46180531) Journal

    I seem to have had this now misguided impression that there was a healthy professional element of the community here who would give constructive feedback but all I've seen is a mob of angry comment children. I hope you all leave when it switches over so we can build anew without you.

    Hello, you must be new here. Welcome to Slashdot.

    Seriously, your comment shows that you really don't understand Slashdot at all. Thread hijacking by angry comment children is part of the chaos that eventually gets filtered and distilled to yield truly interesting content. This is what makes Slashdot special.

  • by fatphil (181876) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:16PM (#46180561) Homepage
    They can't go in reverse gear with the brakes on.

    We want them in reverse gear. And we want an apology, and an admission of total incompetence amongst those who were in decision-making positions.
  • Listening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (retawriaf)> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:17PM (#46180571) Homepage

    Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time.

    If you're listening, there's no evidence of it. You were plainly and clearly told of the flaws in the Beta site back in October and you have completely failed to fix them in the intervening months. It's not like you missed a minor bug or two, or got the color wrong by one hex numeral... it's a complete failure to grasp how badly the new site is broken and how ugly it is or to do anything about it. We gave you months, and you've wasted them.
     

    okay, we've got it

    No, you don't "got" it. Not even close, despite having a thermonuclear weapon detonate in your lap.
     

    We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience

    And this shows just hopelessly you don't "got" it - we are not your audience, we are a community, we are Slashdot.

  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:17PM (#46180575)

    the problem with the boycott is that 99%+ of the users aren't active contributors, just passive viewers. So a boycott won't change the viewership numbers very much. heck, most of the people who would boycott are probably no script/adblock anyway, so there's no lost impressions there.

    this is why the protest works better

  • by B1ackDragon (543470) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:18PM (#46180579)
    Oh yeah, speaking of the front page, I'll be honest, I look at three things: the headline, skim the post (awww yeah classic slashdotter here), and I see how many comments have been made. Comment count combined with headline for each and every story is a quick indicator if it's worth checking out the discussion or if I should move on down the page. (An article about a new kernel extension I don't care about it with 40 comments? Boring. An apple article with 854 comments? Probably also boring [unless I'm in the mood for reading some flamage].)
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:18PM (#46180583)

    My concern? My Biggest Concern? That the current "Beta" incarnation shows horrible judgement and lack of basic understanding of the slashdot audience. Think about that.

    There's no mystery as to who the visitors are. There's no mystery as to who the content providers are. There's no mystery as to what the end users want. And yet Dice, et al, chose to thrust this Beta abomination upon us as though it was ready for "beta testing". SMFHOMGICMFBTTTWAGI

    Beta is not salvageable. The fact that we as a community have reached this point of protest because Dice, et al, don't know or care who we are and what we use this site for proves that slashdot is not salvageable.

  • by deego (587575) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:18PM (#46180587)

    >> and (more importantly) user expectations continue to evolve.

    Really? Really? Where are these hordes of users who love beta so much?

    Is that for real? Did you get that phrase from the marketing shills at dice?

     

  • #46177459 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anne on E. mouse cow (867445) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:19PM (#46180593) Journal

    Sort out:
    Black text, white background, anything else is absurd.

    Ditch the boxes round the comments they are seriously ugly and not helpful.

    When I ask for the desktop version, I want the desktop version FFS, my phones screen has the same resolution as some laptop screens.

    Get rid of the option to choose all insightful, all interesting etc comments - it's pointless because of the crossover between these things and it would lead to some bizarre meaningless threads being displayed. Not useful.

    Bring back the user info, friend foe, userid etc, slashdot looks raped without it.

    Things worth keeping:
    The ability to mod without scrolling to the bottom of the page and hitting the mod button (I open the post in a new page to mod it so as not to lose my place/it's quicker)

    The ability to collapse threads.

    But that's it, the rest is a seriously bad downgrade.

    Things that should have been improved, why weren't they?
    The text box I'm typing in right now is tiny - why?

    There is 'allowed html' It would be nice to have some buttons to put those tags around some text when you highlight it.

    To any damn fool who's answer is well 'why don't you go and re-write the code yourself', I have the question - why didn't you build your own house and car?

  • by Glasswire (302197) <glasswire@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:19PM (#46180599) Homepage

    I think
    a) I like the beta, please do it asap
    b) It's not there yet but keep working on it, but don't turn it on now.
    c) It's an abomination. Do not use it ever.
    d) I don't read Slashdot you insensitive clod.

    If c) greatly exceeds the sum of a) and b) responses don't do it. All d) votes, for obvious reasons, don't count.

  • Fuckbeta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoninIN (115418) <don.middendorf@gmail.com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:19PM (#46180601) Homepage
    At first I didn't hate it, but then I tried to, and actually did reply to a few comments, and WTF they've broken the discussion system? Also I can't see anyone's userid# damnit, what's the point in having a low six digit userid# if I can't subtly flaunt it? Really... Also hotgrits and natalie portman.
  • Subjects suck. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:25PM (#46180667)

    Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready.

    Well, that's a pretty weaselly statement, since you guys were confident enough in your new site to start redirecting a significant portion of your users there.

    How about this instead -- "We will not remove Classic Slashdot." Make it an option if you really, truly believe that your beta site is actually better. You can set the new interface as the default, just make it easy to switch to the standard interface. Then everybody goes home satisfied.

  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:25PM (#46180671) Homepage Journal

    I vote for "I don't care how it looks as long as it has feature parity." Make it look any way you want but the comment system should be considered sacrosanct.

    Classic Slashdot is ugly, amateurish, and extremely dated looking. Beta is ugly, amateurish, slightly less dated looking. It would have looked up to date in 2000 or so. Maybe.

    Still, I understand the Dice wants to bring new users on board,and that some young 'uns may be put off with the frankly weird aesthetic of classic Slashdot. So I can live with the new look. But I can also live with Windows 8, and that puts me in a very small minority. If you want to expand your community by keeping the regulars and bringing in fresh customers, you have to bend over backwards to make the regulars feel valued.

    Anyhow, isn't it feasible these days to give people whatever styling they prefer? Changing a community site like Slashdot (or Digg, or fark, both of which have had instructively disastrous redesigns) is a bit like changing the neighborhood bar to attract a younger, hipper crowd. The very idea puts the regulars off. But *unlike* a bar, you can contrive things so the old-timers still feel like they're in the same old ugly but comfortable place.

  • by LavouraArcaica (2012798) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:25PM (#46180673)

    You're right. Always some post catches my eye, I read most of the comments. And the comments are always better than the post itself (which, by the way, is usually submitted by someone from the community). The discussion at slashdot is (most of the time) high quality. Actually, I don't know any other site with such high quality discussion (yes, it could be better, but if you feel down about the quality here, go check the discussion on youtube).

    Slashdot is all about it's contributors. Without you, people, this site would be a empty shithole.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:26PM (#46180675)

    I don't see a reason for the change for one.

    I'm on classic at the moment and I can't see just what is so great about the new one at all, other than a site layout change and aesthetics. Mostly aesthetics, which is not a reason to change something that works.

    As someone who has subscribed a few times to support Slashdot, I would be sad to leave. All things change though and I'm sure I could live without Slashdot and find other competitors that deliver tech news I want to hear.

    So if they really are listening, clean up all the *crap* code and fire whoever is doing it. May sound harsh, but seriously, how can a development team release a Beta that was pre-Alpha at best with quality? Were they drunk? "Feature Parity" should have been something 100% resolved before the Beta.

    Information density is interesting as a concept and I understand what others are saying, but you never even made it to the point where you could have the luxury of such decisions.

    Just make it work. That's it. Have all the same features and the *exact* same ability to write comments, especially the line spacing and markups. The beta was absolutely horrible to get anything done that classic did without a problem. It's an unmitigated disaster.

  • death of a "brand" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jest3r (458429) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:27PM (#46180687)
    Please consider the following branding points:
    • Why did you make the logo smaller but increase the overall height of the top navbar? (now you have more wasted space up there for what?)
    • Why did you change the "Slashdot Green" colour? We all like the current green (the new green appears washed out).
    • Why are the Icons no longer beside the story titles? (the icons have always been a big part of the Slashdot "brand" and help with readability.)
    • Why did you remove the "Slashdot Green" title bars on all the stories? The title bars are also a big part of the Slashdot "brand" and also help with readability by clearly dividing the stories and providing an easy to see visual cue that delineates the new stories and even the comment threads.
    • Why did you remove the tags and/or make them boring? The tags added some dry humour to the stories (eg. whatcouldpossiblygowrong) which while subtle, was also a part of the Slashdot experience. Little unique details make a difference. Now the tags seem to be gone or just generic boring categorizations.
    • Why are you cutting off the Summary on the Homepage View? (reading the full summary without having to click anything is imperative to ensuring the website is readable.)
    • Why did you remove the Slashdot Green Title Bars from the comment threads? (the green title bars create an easy to see delineation between the comments and are easy to see even when scrolling fast. (they are also part of that Slashdot Brand I was talking about)

    • Why is there so much more padding and spacing between everything? Why are the font sizes so much larger? Did your user base suddenly become senior citizens?

    Over the past decade the Slashdot logo, the Slashdot green, the title bars and icons, unique details and config options have become part and parcel of the "Slashdot Brand". It's what makes Slashdot unique. By ignoring this you weaken your brand and your reader's loyalty. You are basically stripping away all that is Slashdot without adding anything useful or new!!!!

  • by steveg (55825) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:28PM (#46180717)

    I've got to say that the initial post on this topic perpetuates one of the paradigms that is sticking in the craws of Slashdot users. We are not an audience. We might be users, we might be members, we most certainly are contributors. But we are not an audience.

    If you persist in thinking of us that way, then you're going to get it wrong. You serve an audience differently than you serve contributing members of a community. Most of the complaints hinge on that difference.

    If we were an audience, we'd be coming here for the articles. Most of the complaints are about the comment system, how difficult it is to follow a conversation, how difficult it is leave a comment, etc. I come here, most of us come here, to read what my/our fellow slashdotters have to say. The value here is the community, and the most important contributors are other members, not the site or the editors.

    If you don't get that straight, then you aren't going to "get" why we're upset, so there's no chance that you'll deliver us something that we can live with. And that community is going to vanish, leaving you with nothing of value.

    You can take suggestions and maybe reduce the implosion, but unless you understand *why* we're upset, you're going to be heading in fundamentally the wrong direction.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:28PM (#46180721)

    But why try to fix what is not broken? You seem to be implying that this change is beneficial based on UX research--but absolutely everyone here disagrees. Why do you feel that the latest UX research is more important than the direct voice of the community?

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:29PM (#46180731)

    This post indicates that our concerns have been heard.

    Bullshit. We've been saying the same thing since October and they haven't given our feedback a second thought.

    This is just slashdot trying to placate us while they move ahead with their horrible new ad delivery system called the 'Beta' redesign.

    I will miss the old slashdot primarily because I will leave the new slashdot.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (retawriaf)> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:29PM (#46180733) Homepage

    "Shareable by a wider audience" is too vague.

    From this and some of the things on the Beta FAQ [slashdot.org] I get the sinking feeling they're trying to move in the same direction that so many other sites are... into being "Web 2.0" and "social" and becoming SlashFaceBook.* They really don't grasp that a good chunk of the community doesn't care for that. (Heck, they don't even grasp that we are a community as opposed to being their "audience".)

    * Comparing that bland and meaningless FAQ to the original [slashdot.org] tells you all you need to know. They're dumbing it down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:30PM (#46180735)

    _THIS_

    Without the community, why would anyone bother with slashdot? There are better & faster sites for tech news, but the commenting is linear & low SNR.
    The beta is like watching a "turnaround" CEO trying to save a company by firing the "high cost workforce" (experience & knowledgeable talent); posting a few good quarters and then getting dumbstruck when the company starts to tank.

    If the community quality drops, slashdot WILL die.

  • by pr0ntab (632466) <.pr0ntab. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:30PM (#46180737) Journal
    Whose users' expectations changed?

    WHOSE USERS' EXPECTATIONS CHANGED??? Are you concerned that shiny new C-levels who have heard about this fabled Slashdot will toddle on over to see what techies really think from their Galaxy tablet and be shown a site that doesn't look like BusinessInsider, and then decide that obviously we're all out of touch? Well I've got news for you. Maybe we are! But do you know what, WE DON'T GIVE A FUCK. Either figure out a way to produce a different portal to the site that's shown to people using a tablet anonymously (the majority of people that would click on ad impressions), and not fuck with classic, or we're walking. That's really what this is about, Soulskill.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:30PM (#46180745) Journal
    If Slashdot wants to do something, they should take a step back and fix the mobile site. Then people will have confidence that they can make the beta site work.
  • by Nitage (1010087) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:30PM (#46180749)
    Beta must be abandoned as a failed experiment. It is awful - not due to bugs, but due to the intention behind the redesign. Your existing 'audience' is what makes slashdot. If you want a larger audience I suggest you create a celebrity gossip website. Awful.
  • by denzacar (181829) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:31PM (#46180761) Journal

    we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready.

    Nobody gives a flying fuck about if it is 5%, 50%, 95% or 100% ready when they kill off the classic interface.

    WE WANT THE CLASSIC SLASHDOT TO REMAIN AS AN OPTION!!!

    They can go and fuck themselves with their beta thing. 3+ million accounts were opened on the classic interface.
    We like it. It's fine. Leave it THE FUCK ALONE!

    Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time.

    Nobody gives a fuck if any of you are " listening " timothy (emphasis on quotation marks there), as it is obvious that you are NOT HEARING US!
    There, in that quote above. Clear as day.
    Or you would not talk about Classic Slashdot going away.

    So... in conclusion... Fuck Beta!

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:31PM (#46180765) Homepage

    First, thank you for to Timothy and the rest of Slashdot's management for taking the time to reply. Maintaining communications between the site owner and the community it serves is important to creating trust between the two groups.

    Nonetheless, a large part of me is screaming "about damn time", because this uproar could have been headed off twenty four hours ago if you had said exactly what you did with the above statement. That's not to say people would have believed you any more than do do now, but by remaining silent for a whole day you gave the impression that not only do you not care about what we think, but that it was corporate needs (legal, marketing, whatever) that kept you from issuing a statement. Smaller, individually owned websites tend to be quicker and more forthcoming with their responses because they don't have to go through various levels of approval first, and the Slashdot community - many of whom work in companies and are saddled with layers of middle-management pointlessly micromanaging their workflow - have little trust or love for corporate shenanigans. We tend to respect people more who speak bluntly and from their gut.

    Still, at long last we did get a response, so I am grateful for that. Even better, you claim to be taking our feedback into consideration. I'm wary as to the truthfulness of this statement, but - for the time being - I'm willing to offer an olive branch.

    Nonetheless, I think there is an onus upon Dice to be more forthright with their intentions with the redesign if they hope to regain some of the community's trust. Simple platitudes that you are "listening" are not sufficient. The biggest question we all have is to the overall goal of the redesign, especially since so many of the community feel it sacrifices what they consider the strength and draw of Slashdot: the community and the comments. We all understand that Dice is a business and needs to make money. We comprehend that increasing the audience is one method of achieving this goal. None of us, I think, are opposed to helping Slashdot become a more popular website. A redesign could draw in a new and larger readership. We get that. We just feel that your redesign is aimed solely at attracting new eyeballs while sacrificing your current user base.

    Community websites like Slashdot are not like CNet or NYTimes or Apple. Those websites are unidirectional; the information is pumped down to the readership by the owners and the community involvement is minimal. But Slashdot - and other similar sites - are bi-directional; as much (if not more) of the website's value comes from the readership; is it any wonder the readers feel a sense of ownership and pride of "their" website? Is it no wonder that they feel betrayed when one side unilaterally forces their vision onto the community?

    So I recommend that one of the web-designers at Slashdot take the time to walk us through the changes, both those we have already seen in beta and those you intend to work on moving forward. Let us know your reasoning for the different bits, how you came to these decisions, what your goals are. Have the designers write it up and - as much as possible - keep legal's and marketing's hands out of it. Be explicit, be detailed, be technical; we are, after all, the sort of audience who appreciates that sort of thing. Talk about your inspirations, and some of the feedback you have gotten. LET US KNOW WHY YOU ARE DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

    You also need to take the community's feedback into real consideration. Offer them different examples that they can vote on. Fark.com showed off preliminary Photoshop mock-ups of its redesigns long before the first line of HTML was written to its paying customers; you could try the same thing here. Let the audience pick which one they think is the best and then work from that one. Engage your audience and make them feel they have a voice.

    Follow-up with slow changes. One of the biggest problems with beta.slashdot is it is a complete redesign, and un-necessarily so. Don't change everythin

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:32PM (#46180773)

    But this doesn't actually concede anything, does it?

    Main points in this statement:

    1: One in four users are still being redirected to the new beta.

    2: The current Slashdot layout is still disappearing, to be replaced by the beta.

    3: The beta needs development.

    So what's so groundbreaking about this announcement? Where's the concession? I'm supposed to be happy about this, I suppose?

    This is the part that bothers me:

    We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

    So Dice wants the best of both worlds; the tech oriented, intelligent userbase contributions, and a wide audience to monetise those contributions to? It isn't going to work.

  • by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal@gma i l .com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:32PM (#46180783) Homepage Journal

    Ok slashdot...I love y'all and I am always in favor of improving things...

    but look: making something "more accessible" to a "wider audience" to "share" absolutely does NOT mean dumbing down the UI, hiding menus, removing sidebars, and reducing content!

    thanks so much for what you do, I genuinely love /.

    but you *must* understand...****less complexity does not mean more accessible****

    people come to /. because it is not dumbed down and over-marketed to 'the average reader'!!!

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:33PM (#46180793) Journal
    I strongly suggest taking a step back, and fixing the Mobile Slashdot. Once you've shown you can make a website work, people will have confidence that you can do the beta.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evilRhino (638506) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:36PM (#46180825)

    We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

    I think the problem is that if you build an engine for a wider audience at the cost of the community, you'll be left with nothing. There are plenty of other "shiny" websites for the mass audience. The community that was built at Slashdot is the real value of the brand. If the parent company wants to build a website with a mass appeal, they should build one from scratch and spin Slashdot off into a separate company.

  • by who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:37PM (#46180835)

    the beta site that houses Slashdot's future look.

    So this is how it is going to be

    we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready

    You will have this forced upon you at some point

    Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time.

    and ignoring any suggestions because we are owned by Dice, and this is how they want it

    because we're a community and we want to take everyone with us.

    and advertise crap to you

    Why? We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

    and advertise crap to you

    And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories.

    and sell your information, and advertise crap to you

    It's not an either/or. It's going to be both.

    So shut up and take it

    If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that.

    So Fuck You and thanks for all the Fish

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:37PM (#46180845) Journal

    The question is, "WHY does the beta suck?" I can point to a few key points.

    1) White Space is noisy. As Noisy as overly dense is. Hard to read, hard to navigate ... hard on eyes.

    2) Dumbing down the interface is Dumb. What the beta does, is take take away the information needed to be intelligent. We don't need that, as we are (typically, mostly) bright, intelligent, capable people. We aren't your "http://www.nbcnews.com/" who wants pretty pictures. STOP IT.

    3) Removing information is dumb. For example (glaring IMHO) my comments section, the difference between the old site and the new site pretty much makes the new site unusable. I know what I wrote, I want to see what the response is THAT is important information to me. I realize that there is a "selfie" craze going on, but I am not that self centered. I need to know what it is modded to, how many responded etc. As it is in the Beta, none of that information is anywhere near available. Useless.

    In short, I don't need a dumb blonde site, I need an intelligent site who can have a conversation with me, on multiple subjects, THIS is what /. was for me.

    Thanks

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:38PM (#46180849)

    Exactly. The reason no-one RTFA is because it's usually shit, and they probably read it two days ago anyway. The comments are the interesting bit. Slashdot isn't a news site, it's a debate site.

    And when you do read the comments a lot of the time you end up seeing well reasoned arguments by people who are knowledgeable about TFA but can explain it without needing to water down the information.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (retawriaf)> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:39PM (#46180867) Homepage

    As someone who gave testing the new design some effort (in a helpful community member beta-test sort of way) I noticed right-away the ability to switch to classic (which they didn't have to do).

    But you seem to have failed to notice how badly the site was broken - and their announced intent to end support for Classic. Offering a choice between chocolate and rotting fish guts for dinner tonight is nice and all, but being told that regardless of what we chose tonight that from Tuesday onward it would be forever rotting fish guts... well, that kinda takes the pleasure away from the chocolate.
     

    I seem to have had this now misguided impression that there was a healthy professional element of the community here who would give constructive feedback but all I've seen is a mob of angry comment children.

    We did give constructive feedback - back in October when the Beta debuted. They completely failed to take that feedback into account or to make material changes to the Beta. We told them comments were broken, they're still broken. We told them the UI was unacceptable and broken, it's still unacceptable and broken. (Etc... etc...) That is why everyone so pissed.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:41PM (#46180891)

    I really do appreciate that you and Soulskill did at least break the silence that up until now has been deafening, but really, the nature of your reply does not fill me with confidence, and with the replies I am reading by other users, it looks as if that feeling is well represented, and that I am not alone.

    I just want you to know that I am listening to you as well.

    With that in mind, I have some difficult questions for you.

    You say that you have been reading and contemplating our feedback. It is clear that you have been at least observing the fallout that has occured over the past few days here in the comments sections of some very promising and nice looking stories, as the quality of the community provided content dropped to levels that would make even /b/ look intelligent. Your colleague Soulskill even made some well received commentary recently, and we've eagerly awaited this public level of ice-breaking on the discussion. For this I, and clearly many others are greatful.

    However, since you claim to have been receiving valuable feedback about the beta experiment since at least 5 months ago, why is it that the nature of the beta has not radically changed to accommodate that feedback? Why did you allow this situation to come to a head like this, if you have been observing and seriously considering the feedback provided?

    I see in your announcement that you and slashmedia believe it is time for a change in the site's layout. What factors does slashmedia use to make these determinations, and why do you believe that a radical change instead of a refinement and polish of the current system is in order?

    Can you please elaborate on some of the design choices that slashmedia has taken in the beta, ans why they felt these were good decisions, and why they have apparently completely ignored 5 months of user feedback about the beta?

    I understand that nobody really profits from continuing the public protest, or from relentless, mindless trolling. That's why we need to have a real, and valuable discussion here about this, and why a show of good will about our feedback actually being considered, and how it is considered, in detail, is clearly needed for our community to resolve its differences with slashmedia's choices in performing its services as the community's host.

    I am sure it would mean a great deal to all of us if the dialog did not end here. We, as a community need answers to these questions if we are going to stay and continue to contribute to what makes slashdot great.

    I hate to say it, but ignoring us and leaving these kinds of questions unanswered is likely to be seen as a worse slap in the face than hearing only silence was. Please continue this dialog.

  • by steveg (55825) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:41PM (#46180897)

    Why not?

    Are you saying that in 2018 user expectations are going to be lower?

    What the trend of your new design is pointing to is a lower information density. If you believe that such low density will meet the expectation of your users, that seems to indicate you are expecting different users.

    Thanks for telling us you don't want us anymore.

  • by Megane (129182) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:47PM (#46180955) Homepage

    Thank you for acknowledging us.

    That in fact was the main problem.

    Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time.

    Except that they have been listening to us like /dev/null listens to its input. They were getting feedback from us, but WE were not getting any response from THEM, and then we were dragged kicking and screaming into using it.

    I remember when they changed to the current "D2" system. They did have some reasons that the original system wasn't efficient on the back-end or something. I wasn't really happy with the change, but they did make some tweaks that fixed the worst of it, and what eventually got me to stay was being able to collapse threads, a novel concept at the time. The text still expands beyond the right edge of the window when I use browser zoom, but there's enough useless whitespace on the left to be just right at the zoom level I need for my eyesight.

    This beta has all the feel of the worst of cargo-cult web design. And we all feel like it was dumped on us, with had no sign that they were ever willing to back down on even a single aspect of it. That was what, four months ago? In all that time, nobody has addressed the plethora of complaints about the design, or if they did, it wasn't anywhere I could see it. It took a major revolt, triggered by forcing people over to it, to get them to even acknowledge that people didn't like it.

    And for what it's worth, I have a gut feeling that the editors didn't like it either, but had to keep silent to avoid the wrath of whichever PHB was behind the push for it, biding their time for the inevitable fecal rotary impeller moment. And I'm sure that I was not alone as a regular at moderating and voting down submission queue spam in leaving the queue full of rants and even modding up a few of the first rants in article threads.

    But I am serious: if they decide to force the new UI upon us, in anywhere near the condition as it first appeared, I am leaving and not coming back. I did it once before with Fark, and I can do it again.

  • by chebucto (992517) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:48PM (#46180959) Homepage

    Why? We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience. We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable. And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories

    A few points.

    - What exactly do you mean by 'make content more sharaeble'? I can already link to individual comments; there's even a 'share' link below each comment. I've never used it, but surely that would be the place to start if your goal is to make content more shareable.
    - If your goal was to make content more shareable, then why, at this late stage in the game, is it still impossible to link to single comments in Beta?
    - Nothing is stopping you from experimenting with the current layout

    Incremental change is how the current slashdot was built. Taco, Hemos, et al slowly added pieces and tweaks together, according to the needs of the day, to create what we now know as the moderation system and the classic comment layout. Over fifteen years of design thought have gone into the current system.

    You can accomplish all the goals you have laid out by continuing in the same, incremental-improvement spirit. Throwing out all of that work and starting fresh is unnecessary, wasteful, and pretty much bound to fail.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by discord5 (798235) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:48PM (#46180961)

    But we really do take to heart the comments you've made about the look and functionality of the beta site that houses Slashdot's future look.

    No you don't. You get plenty of feedback on the beta site in the initial announcement of it coming online, and for the most part the comments were ignored. Ever since the beta came online, there's been people mocking it.

    Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready.

    Saying it's not ready is the understatement of the year so far. The comment section is on fire so far, and this is actually the first time that I've seen people spend their modpoints to promote offtopic discussion of this nature on this scale.

    We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

    What? Is this the website equivalent of "We want the Call of Duty audience" ? This statement right here, goes to show how much you're out of touch with your core audience: News for NERDS... Slashdot will never be reddit, or some fancy ITBiz magazine. Reddit already exists and won't be going anywhere, and the ITBiz audience doesn't give a shit about this place since it's just another site that scrapes headlines from other places.

    The writing has been on the wall for a while now, ever since the advent of SlashBIcurious and the other nonsense you've been trying to push. Your "core audience" has been telling you this for quite a while now, but you've adamantly refused to listen, stuck your fingers in your ears and gone ahead as if nothing was wrong. And now you're surprised the comments section is ablaze?

    We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable. And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories.

    Experimenting with an established platform can come at a high cost. I don't mind the changes to the layout, and I don't give a damn that you want to polish the look, but in all fairness you broke the damn commenting system. It's the only thing that keeps this place worth visiting. Beta just makes we want to look for another home.

    If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that.

    Oh fuck off... You know when people start talking about communication? It's the excuse the network engineer makes to the IT Coordinator/Manager when his network melted while users have been making tickets about problems for weeks. It's the pseudo-managers way of saying "I'm not aware of any issues" despite his mailbox being a festering pit of complaints and misery.

    You communicated well enough. You communicated when the beta came online, and you get plenty of feedback which you chose to ignore. Now you've got 25% of users getting an iteration of your shitty beta, and boy oh boy is your comment section a cesspool of complaints right now. And the message you send now is obvious: "It's coming, wether you like it or not. Suck it.". Yeah, the art of communicating is not lost on you guys at all.

    And in the meantime, we're not sorry to have received a flood of feedback, most of it specific, constructive and substantive.

    That's like the time I heard someone from management say "In hindsight, I feel that despite the negative outcome I've made the correct choice. We'll just have to adapt and move on".

    Well, guess what... We'll adapt, and move on. Enjoy turning slashdot into ITBizz2.0 or whatever pipe dream you guys at Dice have.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:50PM (#46180993)

    > NO JAVASCRIPT!!!

    You don't have to be running old systems to want to avoid javascript. I block javascript because of the threat of malware -- nearly every web browser exploit in the last decade has had javascript as a necessary component.

    This is a site for technical users, we know the dangers of javascript. We know that no one can guarantee that a website will never be compromised and turned into serving up malware. It isn't reasonable to expect Dice to fix our systems if they are ever compromised through slashdot. But it is reasonable to expect Dice to enable people to use slashdot without forcing them to expose themselves to unnecessary risk.

  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:53PM (#46181029)
    Like your own comment that "the developers modified the SLASH software to strip out all Unicode characters that aren't on a whitelist."? So, put a bit of effort into refining the white list.
  • If you want it explained by someone who doesn't currently have the same vested interest, ask CmdrTaco -- he's the one who came up with the contributions system in the first place; I think that at least one point, he grokked the experience, and as he was part of its growth, he probably has some perspective -- not necessarily on the UI, but on how to grow the userbase in a positive way and how to keep sight of what keeps this place vibrant.

    No matter who you're trying to attract to the site or how (making it so that people can post articles to their Facebook wall, etc), the UI and the stack that supports it has to be driven by the same elements that drive the site's popularity. In this case, that's the comments Slashdot appeals to the same people that like MST3k -- it's a completely different paradigm than you get with Facebook or Instagram. If you're attempting to attract new users who are familiar with those interfaces and make them feel comfortable here, you're not going to do it by mimicking existing design systems at a cost to the commenting and moderating system. You're going to do it by making the Slashdot paradigm so attractive that they're willing to leave their walled gardens of force-fed information and come on over to the anarchic wilderness where everyone is a valued contributor (even government shills and anonymous pundits). Not by cloning what already exists.

    It's good news to hear that the new UI will exist in parallel with the old one; this isn't what the banner advertised, which is why people got so upset. After months of submitting feedback, it appeared that the UI was to be replaced without the largest concerns being acknowledged or addressed in messaging or in the beta.

    I've got one really good suggestion for going forward: have a permanent "beta" link on the header -- that links to site ideas that people can moderate, and also has a ticket tracking system for actual changes made to the "trunk" beta so that interested parties can see what's actually being fixed. This would also allow you to get immediate feedback if a specific change wasn't going over well, and give you somewhere you could go to grab fresh ideas that are likely to meet with community approval. This won't work for all changes (after all, if you're attempting to attract a new crowd, pandering to the existing crowd, even if they're experts on UI and feedback systems isn't going to be enough), but it would be a good weather vane, and help people to feel like they know where things are heading. In short, it would have prevented the blow-up you're having to run damage control over with this beta (which does have good elements, just a lousy delivery).

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:56PM (#46181065)

    If Slashdot wants to do something, they should take a step back and fix the mobile site. Then people will have confidence that they can make the beta site work.

    Oh, yeah, the mobile site.
    I recommend it gets the same treatment as the Beta. Shitcan them both.

    Today's mobiles can handle the full site. Even small phones handle it just fine.
    There is no reason to have the mobile site any more.
    Scrap it all.

    (Well, maybe there is this one guy still using Lynx or something. He needs to man up and install X).

  • Comment view (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khopesh (112447) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:57PM (#46181067) Homepage Journal

    Thanks for taking the time for this, Soulskill (et al).

    I really missed the ability to set comment thresholds in the GET of an article (removed in the last major UI upgrade). I have a lot of friends that do not frequent slashdot, and when I link them an article that I want them to read the better comments of, it needs to be at a threshold they'll tolerate (typically, 5/4 for full/abbrev if there are enough comments).

    I have other suggestions as well, but getting comments right is by far #1. I can fix the rest with Greasemonkey.

  • by TopSpin (753) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:58PM (#46181089) Journal

    I'm pretty sure contemporary ideas about UX design are inappropriate for Slashdot. The one or two sentences that Twitter/Facebook/WhatsApp accommodate won't work here. This place indulges people that like to write, and people that don't mind lengthy posts.

    The beta site shows a serious indifference to that; the amount of wasted space is just amazing. Fully 45% of the comments view is just empty, half of it gone to the infinitely long side bar that Beta fails to wrap into. No one that understands what this site is for could possibly have made that basic mistake for as long as Beta has been in the works.

    Bootstrap et al. don't deal with "long form" threaded forums, so that design mentality won't work.

    Here is a possibly novel idea that will actually be appreciated by at least this contributor, and probably most others; comment editing with revision control (a la Wikipedia.) It has to be revision controlled or the trolls will abuse editing. Allow readers to punish such trolls with moderation while the rest of us get the benefit of correcting minor mistakes.

    There. That wasn't hard. A real improvement that caters to actual contributors, as opposed to hypothetical users that want to scribble a grammatically challenged half sentence 20 times an hour and don't read.

    Anyhow, thanks for the step backwards on this and your participation in the conversation. You all could have gone bull-headed and made this situation even worse. So good on your for that.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:59PM (#46181101)

    I totally understand how jarring it is to see such a huge amount of change all at once, but we also have to look at what the website will look like a few years down the road.

    A lot of us here are software developers. How about opening up your development process and sharing your requirements and design specifications with us so we will know where you are going and what your goals are?

    As it is now I don't have a clue what problems you are trying to fix. All we have seen so far are the negatives. But if we knew what problems you were working to fix then you might get a better reaction.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:01PM (#46181121)

    Here lies the fundamental problem. They are trying to define it themselves and they don't want help - because they know what's best. But doesn't that go against the spirit of this site since its inception?

    I've been here since before UIDs existed. People who have been around for a while understand that slashdot is no more than the sum of the contributions of its visitors. The real value of this site comes from the people who aren't paid.

    Most of the stories that appear on the front page suck or are posted days (or weeks) after it's news. Whether you want to believe it or not, it has always been this way. People who constantly complain about it are missing the point. It's not so much about the content that gets through the editors and onto the front page. It's about the amazing comments and discussions that follow. It's about reading 'news' that you didn't realize 'mattered to nerds' until someone who actually had a solid handle on the topic or a surrounding issue spoke up in the comments. That is what makes slashdot. That is what rounds our collective knowledge and understanding of the world around us. And that is what keeps people like me coming back for more, day after day, for years.

    Any design that fails to attract people who submit these sorts of comments will be the death of this site. The goal of any redesign should be, first and foremost, to attract more of those types of people. The experts who are willing to contribute their time and knowledge. They are the ones who are really the driving force for clicks here. Seek them out and ask them what they want. Then implement it.

    The managers here think they need to lead the change. And they do - by getting the hell out of the way. By giving the power to the people who actually CARE about the site beyond their next paycheck or bonus. To paraphrase, good leadership says, "I must follow them, I am their leader." What we are seeing is not good leadership, and the results speak volumes.

    To those of you in charge, I would recommend reading "The 5 Levels of Leadership". Hint: You are currently on level 1, the lowest level, and nobody here wants to submit to your ideas. Don't appease your readers by saying, "We are listening" and then continuing down your existing path. That's worse than not saying it at all.

    When people here say they are going to leave, they mean it. At least you have the benefit of being warned, which affords you the time to make things right. I wouldn't be surprised if someone here were to make their own 'classic' site to cater to the people who matter most - the experts who submit comments. When that happens, all of the alienated people here will leave and this site will be finished.

    SONET

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peragrin (659227) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:03PM (#46181143)

    I uploaded two screenshots for feedback@slashdot.org. timothy respond in twenty minutes with a short personalized response and a canned message.

    800x600 would be generous. I lose enough text for a 640x400 screen. from a 1280x800 I lose almost 75% of the screen to whitespace.

  • by Chewbacon (797801) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:09PM (#46181203)

    Sum it up: changes are coming, a polite fuck you, we are culminating a new audience by sending 25% of unauthed users whi may have never heard of slashdot before, another polite fuck you, classic slashdot is still going away, we the corporate assholes are slashdot and not the community. The whole summary amounts to a colossal polite "fuck you guys."

    Im assuming there's a young punk-ass web developer who made a righteous bullshitty pitch to the suits at Dice to make a new slashdot. It sold them, but he didn't add it would likely destroy the entrenched user base. But that isn't his problem. His problem is trying to get these suits to come out of the dark slimey wet putrid hole they all live in to throw cash at him for a shiny new website.

    Screw this. I'm gonna go make my own news for nerds aggregator. With black jack. And hookers! In fact, forget the news aggregator...

  • by rueger (210566) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:09PM (#46181205) Homepage
    OK, I skipped the last 150 comments, so maybe this has been said already.

    I grew up reading text on paper. That's how I can intake and process information most efficiently. And that's why the web sites that I read regularly, and in which I participate, present information in much the same way as a printed page.
    • - Big swathes of white space means less text means less actual information.
    • - Pictures almost never add as much information as they take away - big pictures equal less actual information
    • - A video almost never is the most efficient way to get information across. You can take what you include in a 3 minute video and usually say as much in one paragraph.

    Aside from these basic and to my mind blindingly obvious design concerns, I'll add a couple of things. I haven't spent more than five minutes with the beta because it was so immediately not what I need or want, but I have been reading the comments here.

    • - I really, really, really like the Slashdot commenting systems, the ability to set and change the levels of comments; and the moderation and meta-moderation. Without these I probably wouldn't be here. Anything that alters how they work will almost certainly be a bad thing.
    • - I'll say that the the overall quality of the comments on Slashdot is better than pretty much any site that I know. That's because there are a lot of long time users, with a lot of long time experience and knowledge, and because you can easily filter out the garbage and just see the stuff that matters. I don't know of another site with such far ranging interests that offers so much good information.
    • - Slashdot and The Register are the two tech sites that I read pretty much every day. When I visit other (Tom's Hardware, Ars Technica etc) it's usually because someone pointed me there from here.
    • - The honest to god truth is that I find that most tech sites offer a really low amount of solid and useful information, or bury it in a sea of advertising and other crap. My time is worth enough to me that I just won't bother.

    Finally, I'll remind people that there was a time when Byte was THE magazine for anyone involved in computers. It became Byte the web site, but carried over a lot of the same content and contributors.

    Then, in the misguided quest for the almighty dollar the owners managed to kill it off entirely. It was a great loss.

    Dice would be very foolish if they think that they can't manage to do the same to Slashdot.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:11PM (#46181225)

    On top of that, UX research and (more importantly) user expectations continue to evolve.

    Ahh, I'm beginning to see where Beta went so horribly wrong.

    UX is the HCI equivalent of homoeopathy. A horrible pseudo-science that kills.

    If you want to fix bugs, fine. If you want to add features, good. If you want to wreck an interface that works and that your readers like, well that's not fine.

    Your readers have spoken, you should be out the back burning all traces of Beta as I type this, including the people who designed it. When Gawker changed it's UI in 2011 it lost 80% of it's audience practically overnight. Considering that the majority of ./'s content is user generated the loss of any significant portion of the user base will, for all intents and purposes kill the site.

    Get rid of beta, go through the office with a torch and shotgun, target anyone who uses the term "UX".

    BTW, I know that SoulSkill probably doesn't have any say in this and it's coming from the corporate overlorads at Dice, so this is not directed at him. Although he might enjoy the torch and shotgun part.

  • Wider audience? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jo7hs2 (884069) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:17PM (#46181269) Homepage
    Here's the real problem...Dice bought a niche website catering to a non-mainstream audience and is frustrated that ad revenue is not commensurate with a mainstream website, so now they want to maximize revenue by pushing the site to a wider audience. In other words, dumb it down, white space and images everywhere, probably sensational headlines...a copy of every other website out there. Here's what Dice needs to realize about Slashdot... We are your content. You are otherwise nothing more than a link page. A cheap version of Google News, and on to delay at that. We come here to make and (more importantly) read comments from the audience we have NOW. A wider audience will just mean it will turn into the CNN comments section tragedy of the commons and your content (read, us) will wander off to greener pastures. Just leave the option to use classic permanently, or make beta nearly indistinguishable from classic from a functional and feature standpoint, or best yet, do nothing. Accept that Slashdot is not going to be a cash cow for you. Maybe, if you listen to your customers and are very careful, you can pay the bills with it. But alienate your customers and that will be the end of Slashdot, slowly, but surely. Just accept that the product you purchased is for a specialized audience and stop trying it widen that audience. Instead of trying to maximize ad revenue by bringing more users that will change the community, try to maximize your profits in less obnoxious methods. Sell Slashdot apparel more openly, maybe develop a line of printed matter useful to the maker scene, consider adding a dedicated reviews section in current formatting. If you want an example of a site I think has managed to squeeze all the life out of their original classic page design while staying current would be Photo.net.
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:19PM (#46181299)

    To make it more clear:

    No one comes to /. to read the stories. They come to read the comments and take part in the conversation which is tangentially associated with the article.

    A solid comment system is what people come for. With moderation and metamoderation and scores and everything that goes with it. (For instance: being able to hide everything below a score of 3 and adding a +1 modifier to everything Interesting)

    And you screwed the comment part of it. Why would you think anyone would like it?

  • by geminidomino (614729) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:26PM (#46181375) Journal

    Look at the way he referred to "UX" as if it was actually advancement, instead of a snake-oil fad peddled by bullshit artists trying to make a market for their shitty design degrees that never included any coursework on the concept of "use cases." Everything should be a phone!

    Dice probably has a stable of them behind this "Beta" crap.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:28PM (#46181409)

    I just don't see why you had to start over with a completely new design when the old one works so well. A few tweaks is all that is needed.

    Well, those few needed tweaks never stop piling up. On top of that, UX research and (more importantly) user expectations continue to evolve.

    To keep up with that, websites either need to constantly change in small increments, or to do it in big chunks. We'd been doing the former for a while, but the decision was made to start fresh. I totally understand how jarring it is to see such a huge amount of change all at once, but we also have to look at what the website will look like a few years down the road.

    The classic design in 2014? Not too bad. The classic design in 2018? Probably not going to cut it.

    UX research has given us Gnome 3, Unity, Metro. All universally despised.

    Oh, and by the way, those few tweaks that keep piling up? That is the case with any ongoing project, and will continue to be so even with the beta. That statement alone puts the lie to your speech.

    "The decision was mad to start fresh." Whose decision? Certainly not your 'audience'.
    We are not an audience, we are user and contributors. If you continue to force feed me garbage, I will leave. So will others. Then you can be a corporate lickspiittle with an audience of nothing more than goatse posts and MyCleanPC spam for comments.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:34PM (#46181471) Homepage

    There are MANY reasons to hate the beta but using Javascript is not one of them

    Nonsense! Javascript slows down the browsing experience. Doesn't matter how fast your hardware is; it is always faster without Javascript. Not to mention security issues.

    I sure hope someone at Dice is testing beta using lynx! (or links)

  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:44PM (#46181551) Homepage Journal

    This.

    I've been on this site for a long time. My Low 6 digit number should be a testament of how long I've been on this site. Hell I don't Even use Deathlizard any more as my handle on any site but this one. but I can tell you what my Display Options are set to.

    1) I Use the Classic Interface because I like the classic Interface. It's simple, Loads fast, and gets me my News For Nerds and Stuff that Matters.

    2) I use the Classic Discussion system, and not the one that was reworked the last time the site had a modernization.

    What makes this site special is the simple fact that it is so customizable. I don't have to update my look of the site but others that want to can get the new whiz bang tech site that the kiddiez crave. I can keep it the way I want and the Kids get the new wave look because they are either not logged in or they signed up with a new account with the look turned on by default.

    I know it would be a pain to maintain both looks, especially since it looks like they want to do away with the generic icons as news points and replace it with stock photos, but I can't imagine it being so hard to maintain when it's pretty much been the same for over 15 years now and pulls data from the same database, and I think it would be worth maintaining rather than lose your user base to other options or even to a forked, Slashcode running, classic slashdot site.

  • by kbahey (102895) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:46PM (#46181571) Homepage

    Dice can't see it, since must be new here (he he)...

    The most loyal long time most avid readers of Slashdot, are not trolling the site, in protest of the failed beta. Never thought I would see the day ...

    Where is GNAA, Natalie Portman grits, and frist prost when you need them!

    Let me explain ...

    I have been a regular visitor to Slashdot for around 15 years. For that, I get the checkbox to disable ads, though I browse with Javascript disabled so my browser does not slow down.

    I come here for the discussions, and often read comments at +5, changing that only if I find a discussion interesting and warrants reading at a lower level.

    The new beta uses JQuery for the comment threshold selector, and changes that on the fly. This means all the comments are loaded, but not visible, and processing any page with considerable number of comments will slow down MY computer! If I have a few tabs open to read later, my computer will be unusable.

    What is worse it that they require you to click on the slider on every article to change the threshold! This is just insane!

    If they insist that I enable Javascript to browse the site at the threshold I want, then they will lose me as a long time. I imagine that others long timers will hate the site too.

    Dice have to remember that this site has two unmatched features, interlocked: a moderation system that is good at cutting down the trolling, spamming, and noise, and a comment section that is frequented by many people who are passionate about technology and other nerdy stuff.

    If they wanted to intentionally ruin the site and drive people away, they would not have done any worse than what they are doing now.

    If they manage to aggravate a lot of their users, the comment section will no longer be attractive to the audience. People are discussing alternatives already. Wisen up and kill the beta NOW!

    And no, it is not about look and feel only. Lipstick on a pig does not make it pretty.

    See the discussion here about CSS vs Javascript [slashdot.org].

    I wrote the above in a feedback form that I filled a while ago, and I am emailing this comment to their feedback@slashdot.org. Please send them feedback too.

  • by dmomo (256005) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:49PM (#46181603) Homepage

    If you're really listening, then you'll say:
    "We get it. You don't like Beta. So, we're going to commit to allowing you to keep classic if that's the site you are loyal to."

    You've been working on Beta for a long time. We've been aware of that. We're not responding to trying something new. We're responding to this bit from the message you retracted:
    > "The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months."

    We're responding to the implication that the functional site we love will be fully replaced with the awful beta; no takesies back. This very slim time frame of several months makes it clear that in your eyes, the new "slashdot" is nearly complete. The problem is, the real reason Beta sucks is because it's a different paradigm all together. It's not something you can fix by listening to feedback and tweaking over the next few months. It's a concept that needs to be scrapped.

    I think I speak for many when I say the issue goes beyond ugliness. It's a frame of mind. It's what this site represents that you're changing. We are nerds. You really need to understand nerds better if we are your intended audience anymore. We like this site because it's functional and doesn't get in the way of OUR discussion. You're turning the site into buzzfeed. Save that crap for Slashdot BI.

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:50PM (#46181607)

    Exactly. The reason no-one RTFA is because it's usually shit, and they probably read it two days ago anyway. The comments are the interesting bit. Slashdot isn't a news site, it's a debate site.

    And in furtherance of that truth: Bring back Slashback. Slashback fit brilliantly in that very notion, it also re-affirms that Slashdot acknowledges this by providing some editorial control over a week's wrap-up and pushing further discussion on the best items, the most controversial items, etc. Maybe it was too much work, maybe it didn't help bring in enough revenue - I have no idea why it was dropped. But remember that story earlier about what news is worth paying for? Slashback and the comments it highlighted and spawned, to me, would be worth paying for.

    ( I actually don't mind the redesign too much.. there's always CSS overrides if I feel like there's too much whitespace or whatever. Functionality changes (already pointed out aplenty) on the other hand.. mangling CSS is one thing, replacing swaths of js to get things to not be broken is another entirely. )

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:08PM (#46181753) Homepage Journal

    But we are listening and incrementally improving the experience based on what users are telling us.

    Yea, you lost me right there. It's not an "experience" - it's a tool. When you call it an experience, we know you're using it just like others:

    • The "experience" is why Digg changed their site and lost most of their users (to Reddit AND slashdot)
    • The "experience" is why Yahoo changed their Groups and refused to change it back [uservoice.com] and took 6 months to give their users an emphatic "no", even though most of them had already left.
    • The "experience" is the reason HTC refuses to provide Android updates for last year's model phones, or even fix any of the bugs because they're embedded in the firmware.
    • The "experience" is the excuse HP, Asus, and Lenovo use for loading gigabytes of resource-sucking crapware and nagware on their consumer computers.

    I could go on with this list extensively, but know that your audience understands this kind of marketspeak and translate it immediately into "We follow this policy that we know you will hate because we think it will improve our revenue." Review the results of the examples above and you will see how poorly this typically works out.

  • by zieroh (307208) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:15PM (#46181827)

    Slashdot is the comment system. In many ways, it's a forum in disguise, with each topic just an excuse to converse on that topic. Practically speaking, the only concrete difference between slashdot and an actual forum is that rank-and-file members can't start new topics.

    So if you make the comment system suck, you have essentially put a stake through the heart of slashdot. It doesn't matter how pretty you think the front page is, or needs to be -- we come here to read the comments, not the fucking stories.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lost Race (681080) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:28PM (#46181929)

    Your inability to imagine a reason for browsing without javascript does not mean that there is no such reason.

    If Slashdot ever starts requiring javascript, I'm out forever. FWIW.

    Using "Classic" "Nested" view with no javascript. Works fine on all browsers and devices. Please keep it as an option.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Twike (2327908) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:46PM (#46182049)

    Now on the stickler side, is it an EXODUS, or a DIASPORA ?

    I think that's dependent upon the number of locations we find ourselves in afterward.

  • by somenickname (1270442) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:47PM (#46182061)

    Maybe it didn't work in the past because there wasn't a vacuum to fill. People who have read Slashdot for 10+ years have come to rely on having a site like this. With the imminent death of the site, you aren't trying to convert a community, you'd be giving them a place to go.

  • Re: Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:48PM (#46182067)
    Change for the sake of change is of no benefit to the user. UI designers don't seem to get that. Slashdot is not Facebook, it's not Twitter, it's not even Usenet. Its job is to present the reader with a headline, a story, and an ability to read comments and post comments. The mod system works fairly well to curtail the worst abuses, and it's quick, easy, and intuitive to use.

    Dice would do well to heed the lessons that Microsoft is learning now, the hard way. For MS, Windows 8 has proven to be a huge boondoggle, to the point that they're talking about both updating 8/8.1 to a UI akin to the Windows 7 UI, and are already talking about replacing 8 with 9.

    Stop trying to change the UI. This UI would not have been in service this long, and Slashdot would not have been worth acquiring, had there not been some magic in its design. Sure, tweak on it a bit, make it interconnect better if that's deemed necessary, but throwing out our teal horizontal headlines and post subjects and getting rid of our white backgrounds doesn't help anything.
  • by Quinn_Inuit (760445) <Quinn_Inuit@yahoo.cQUOTEom minus punct> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:52PM (#46182103)
    I agree. And I've said as much repeatedly in the feedback surveys for this version and that last beta. I'm not sure it's sinking in.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kthoris (548102) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @10:56PM (#46182155) Homepage
    Amazing, I hadn't thought about it in that sense until you mention it. 800x600 CRT. it's like viewing AOL on that small monitor of my old Win 3.1 system 20 years ago. Horrible. Strangely, I do think they are listening. If not, they wouldn't have responded this quickly with such voracity. I'm actually thankful for that. Let's just hope they actually DO give us the option to keep "Classic". If not, I won't be around much afterwards.
  • by Graymalkin (13732) * on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:00PM (#46182189)

    Timothy et al, please just stop and look at what you're doing. The beta is awful. The beta is awful because it seriously fucks up the one feature that has made Slashdot a site worth using since its inception: the user contributions.

    The stories themselves are rarely why I bother to check Slashdot, I've always been more interested in the discussion. The discussion on Slashdot has been more interesting than the stories for several reasons. One major reason is the discussions would almost always add information about a story that wasn't linked to by the story itself or the editors. A Slashdot post would bring up a topic and then allow a bunch of nerds with an interest in that subject to chime in and share what they knew. Many times the people being written about in the Slashdot stories were Slashdot users themselves and could give first hand information.

    Besides the contributions themselves the moderation system is actually pretty damned good. Positive discussion more often than not gets highly promoted. Because of the way mod points work there's little incentive to do anything but promote interesting commentary or demote outright trolling. Because of this system it's pretty easy to find worthwhile discussion no matter the topic.

    It's because of these things that Slashdot's value comes almost entirely from its user contributions rather than news aggregation. In 1997 news aggregation like Slashdot was new and interesting. Today every site does it. What every site does not have is an intelligent and interested user base that will add value to the stories themselves.

    The user comments section of almost every large website is a cesspool. Not only do they not have meaningful moderation but there's no community interested in promoting discussion. The design of the sites themselves also discourage long form commentary and encourage useless drive-by commentary.

    The beta is it seems to be promoting Slashdot's weaknesses and hiding or abandoning its strengths. Promote user commentary and support the users in commenting on and moderating stories. Fix the character encoding problems and support Markdown for markup. Give the comments a lot of room with readable fonts and don't add whitespace just to add whitespace. Lose the fucking JavaScript popups and animations, I should be able to park my cursor anywhere on the screen and not have to worry about some attention grabbing animation happening.

    In short remember that Slashdot users are not an audience, they are a community of contributors. Without the users there is no Slashdot.

  • Tradeoff in time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Random2 (1412773) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:15PM (#46182307) Journal
    Hi!

    I'd personally give it until after BETA is sorted out. If Dice somehow miraculously sorts out the commenting problem, Slashdot stands a chance as sticking around.
    If they don't, then you'll definitely see an exodus.

    There is, of course, the possibility that the users would migrate around to other sites that pop up in the interim (such as altslash) which would be the risk/trade off you'd make by waiting. It's difficult to assess how long you'd be able to wait before needing to actually get the site running, but I'd hazard the 'right after we hear a response from Dice about this topic' as the breaking point.

    At any rate, I know I'd love to see a site like that around.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rich0 (548339) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:22PM (#46182375) Homepage

    Agree. We finally are getting to the point where everybody is taking mobile seriously and putting up mobile versions of everything. This is just in time so that I can figure out how to override this on each site so that my tablet doesn't have buttons that are 8 inches wide. Back when I was trying to browse on a feature phone I had to try to navigate mazes full of frames...

  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by aldousd666 (640240) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:47PM (#46182567) Journal
    Right because throwing a temper tantrum in the comments section of a free site is so much more respectable.
  • My feedback email (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:00AM (#46182623)

    Dear /.

    I love slashdot and have been visiting and posting AC for many years. I am alarmed at the new beta design.

    - There are no links to the parent in the posts?! The removes the context of the child post - many become meaningless.

    - The abbreviated comments are missing?! These are very useful in finding alternate points of view and following/skipping conversations.

    - There is no way of changing the number of full/abbreviated/hidden comments. You have however kept the All/Insightful/Informative/Interesting/Funny options - in all these years I have never found a need for them. Again this removes any context.

    - There is a javascript dependancy linking to ajax.googleapis.com. This is unnecessary. I block this on every site that uses it, including beta. If that results in serious functionality loss I go elsewhere.

    - Why all the white space? Please be more concise, it makes looking at the comments a pain. In a similar vein please also remove the right column, the comments (with all their white space) quickly out strip it in height leaving a large redundant area. (This is not an invitation to fill it with nonsense).

    - Please reduce the font size to get more content on the screen, reading the comments is more difficult with the new design.

    - At 1680px width I have to large gray borders on either side of the page please let it fill my monitor. Again this lets me get more text on the page, and makes my reading easier.

    - Please add a "load more/all" comments button to the top of the page. I like the addition of one at the bottom.

    If you've read this far you'll notice that I frequently mention the comments - the honest truth is I visit most slashdot posts but infrequently click on TFA, like many of my fellows. This means the comment system must be made paramount. In case I'm not being clear - it's what I'm here for.

    Right now beta represents what I view as a very serious regression.

    Sigh, I'm reminded of the title of the last episode of TNG - All good things...
    I got over that - I can get over slashdot, or at least join one or many of the alternatives that will spring up.

    Anonymous Coward (Nick)

  • by Daneurysm (732825) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:15AM (#46182707)
    I would imagine the fact that this being, perhaps, one of the largest and most discerning groups of techno-literate and bullshit doublespeak phobic groups on the entire planet....I would imagine that would give someone in the organization some pause. Someone with enough pull that they might be able to communicate how suicidal that move would be to someone who might care, if for nothing more than profit potential concerns.

    We are the filters. We see through this shit. This is perhaps why we aren't as click-baitable. Why we are so ad-averse. Why typical marketing paradigms have had no effect on us. We have the wherewithal to recognize it, the technical ability to eliminate it and the common sense to disregard it.

    We aren't against being monetized. Lots of us make money doing that very thing. We are indeed a fickle crowd, but we are huge. We are smart. We want to be engaged.

    ...I'm starting to believe, as previously suggested, that this is an effort to bury /., as it has been deemed both unprofitable and perhaps a waste of money...perhaps even a way to bury value from another investment.

    ...who knows, lets get all tinfoil-hatty...maybe a conglomeration of so many technorati is undesirable to certain elements of society. Who knows what we might come up with? Tor? Mesh network? Uncompromisable encryption? Internet3? This is a concentration of brainpower from all ends of the information industry. All ends of all spectrums in information tech, electronics, security, programming, logic, mathematics, physics, all manner of political disciplines...maybe we're just a dangerous group?

    Color me jaded, but, I think this is the end.

    I'd just like to say to my comrades, It's been a brilliant and illuminating journey (for the most part). I've learned much, I've laughed even more. This one last hurrah has embiggened my heart. We have all universally united against a common foe--mediocritization...likely in vain.

    I'll see you guys on the other side...wherever that may be.
  • Re: Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrisv (12054) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:20AM (#46182737) Journal

    As has been stated repeatedly before, elsewhere, I wish I had mod points right now.

    With that in mind, the first two statements pretty much sum it up. "Because I want to change it" is not a good reason, nor really is a designer saying "I don't like how it looks" if, while ugly, it's intuitive for the user to figure out.

    I think I've taken all of half a dozen looks at the beta site, and without fail, my response is "get me the f*** out of here", not because it's unfamiliar (though it is), but because what I see is a jumbled mess that makes following LKML in message-received order when there are multiple heated discussions going on in parallel an easy task.

    With that said, I don't consider JS to be the harbinger of death and otherwise all that is evil. Some designers & developers have never heard of progressive enhancement though, causing problems left and right. There are things that can be added to the current UI without completely breaking it that make things more convenient ("Load more comments" is actually one I use regularly, because I'm also aware of how broken the pagination of comments happens to be - but then again, threaded commenting doesn't lend itself to pagination without complete disposal of context. I'd rather read the comment threads and if that means a bit of script, so be it.)

  • For the tally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThomasBHardy (827616) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:29AM (#46182795)

    I'm all for modernizing UIs. Any UI that sits stagnant for an extended period can drift into a case where while it is much beloved, it is not as nice as it could be with some newer thought/style applied to it.

    However, when the replacement UI does not keep, at it's core, the essence of what made the former UI so popular, one encounters significant resistance.

    Many here will tell you that what makes Slashdot a part of their daily lives is not the articles. Sure the articles are topic starters and they contain some good information in many cases. But the reason many of us read Slashdot every day is that it is made up of a body of commentators who add the actual value of the website. Regardless of what the article may be, or how mundane or sensational the headline is, I have a clear "wait and see" response to it all until I've seen what the Slashdot community has made of the topic. I know that this crowd will dig into topics, look up facts, even unattractive ones, and find the interesting layers that are never part of the original articles.

    Articles are the START of a conversation. The herd of intelligent, resourceful, knowledgeable detectives who live here are the actual product that I'm here to consume. I am THEIR audience, not Slashdot's.

    All that being said, any changes that take away from my ability to easily consume the comments here is a step in the wrong direction. The new comments system for me is a complete non-starter. It lacks the view of the thread as the thread organically grows. It lacks the ability to see high rated comments inline while still seeing their position within the overall discussion without turning on everything. In short, it makes it harder to do what I'm here to do.

    The rest is all window dressing to me. Bigger pictures, cleaner fonts and such. Yes, these things can be great when done well. I'm not suggesting that what we have in the beta is "done well" but rather that it could be done well if you scrap what you have and start over with a new focus on "what is our product" and realize that the answer is "our commenters".

    Given the backlash that Slashdot is experiencing, my suggestion would be this:

    Announce that you are cancelling the current beta and going back to the drawing board with a renewed focus on the site's content and purpose.
    Make it clear that you do not believe that Slashdot is not "just another news site and should be formatted as such".
    Show some appreciation for the legendary comment system that Slashdot has grown over the years and a dedication to remain faithful to it.
    Then you can start over, and instead of going for a grand redesign, take an iterative approach. Small moves, in alignment with the community.

    In the end, your readers are different than any other website news service, they know more about site design and site construction than you do. So tap into that and stop treating them like they are reading Engadget.

    Hopefully this feedback helps out.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:32AM (#46182809) Homepage Journal

    Right because throwing a temper tantrum in the comments section of a free site is so much more respectable.

    It is the slashdot way. That makes it respectable.

    Really, "the comment section" is what slashdot is all about. Without it, it is nothing. Outdated news headlines isn't what draws this crowd. If they want a different crowd, they will lose almost all the contributors, and it won't take long before it's an empty shell.

    We are fickle. We are opinionated. We write. Advertisers, take note. We are Slashdot; the site's management are getting paid by our work and your money and needs to listen to you and us. Without either of us, they are nothing.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aldousd666 (640240) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:38AM (#46182841) Journal
    I know the comment section is what it's all about, but seriously though, you are given a channel to provide your feedback. no need to go postal on them. the fact that they are actually redoing the website and providing feedback channels indicates that they are well aware of the need for readers. it's in their interest to do what you want. but you don't have to throw a fucking fit about it.
  • by sootman (158191) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:49AM (#46182895) Homepage Journal

    This. Start with smart quotes and en- and em-dashes so I can copy and paste things from the articles (I read them sometimes -- I'm new here) without it shitting all over itself.

    After that, add a rich-text editor for comments (or at least support markdown) so I don't need to actually write <em>code</em> just for bold and ital, and we'd be all set. Bonus: let comments be editable. I know that brings with it some issues, but once in a while it'd be nice to fix a typo.

    By the way, are lists still broken?

    • Yes
    • No

    Looks like they are. Fix that, too.

  • by gizmo_mathboy (43426) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:54AM (#46182935)

    For as long as I have been using the internet and the web I have yet to find a comment system that works as well as Slashdot does.

    I don't get why no one has copied it. Slashcode is out there.

    The karma system, meta-moderation, mod points...it's all there.

    Disqus, stack exchange, discourse they are all shit compared to what Slashdot has grown.

    You fuck with the ecosystem of curation of comments and I might as well be reading reddit, gizmodo, or some other site's 3rd rate system.

    Which means I might as well not come here.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:20AM (#46183071)

    "We like it. It's fine. Leave it THE FUCK ALONE!"

    I told them the same thing when they asked for my feedback on the Beta. I told them. "I don't like it. Nobody I know likes it. Stop trying to change it. Leave it as it is."

    So far, they have been choosing to see feedback like that as "beta's not ready for primetime."

    I really wish they would see that no, what we really meant was that WE DON'T WANT IT. Period. The beta doesn't need polish. It doesn't need more "improvement" or new views. What it needs is to go away.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cylix (55374) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:20AM (#46183073) Homepage Journal

    I as well made a coginitive effort to identify why I did not like the beta site.

    The usable space was decreased terribly to make far far too much room for advertisements. This coupled with the whitespace seriously hampered lengthy discussion. This is the type of after thought someone would put into a comment system for a site that does not favor user comment. Really, slashdot as a meta site is only made valuable by the discussions that take place. It's 2014, aggregation of news is pretty much done by every tom, dick and cylix. I can flip to a number of web sites and "news" apps for bulletins on what is going on in the world.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the lack of detail regarding comments. I would generally assume someone would take away the valdiation we have as users because this would make it much easier to inject false comments. (Maybe I'm just paranoid or at least that is what the mothership tells me).

    While I was jumping around the web I noticed something really interesting. The new comment system and layout was a huge rip from cnn.com. I suppose most of the horrific websites which pretend to care about user opinion look pretty much the same flavor of blah.

    The point being, when the commodity of your site is the user base, it's probably a bad idea to marginalize them.

  • Fork Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by srobert (4099) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:31AM (#46183143)

    Yeah, I've been on Slashdot for awhile too. But I won't be back anymore when the classic site becomes unavailable. Since the community is the actual product here, let's just fork it and we'll all go somewhere else. Maybe we can't call it Slashdot, but who cares? Let's just start a new site for all the old Slashdot members with the classic look.

  • by Bryan bkk (3515247) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:33AM (#46183155)
    +1 Keep the classic slashdot an option. Then the whole discussion is a moot point.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:35AM (#46183161) Homepage Journal

    seriously though, you are given a channel to provide your feedback. no need to go postal on them.

    I can give you three good reasons why it's high time to go postal on them:
    November
    December
    January

    They have shown that they do not listen to feedback. Something more is obviously needed to get them to understand that the users won't accept this, and that the time for listening and providing feedback is over. We have provided feedback. They have not listend. This is the time for action.

    You know that feeling you get when you hear "your call is important to us"? If it were important, you would not have us wait on line and then disregard anything we say.
    Our support is important to you, Slashdice. And if you refuse to listen, you shan't have it.

  • by simonbp (412489) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:40AM (#46183203) Homepage

    About their unemployment plans?

    We all would love a backend update (that's what most of us do), but I think it's clear that there would be a substantial net loss of users by changing the user interface so radically. That benefits nobody (except maybe the design team).

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday February 07, 2014 @02:05AM (#46183335) Homepage Journal

    Hi, New guy

    I suggest that you Google for Jon Katz

    LK

  • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Friday February 07, 2014 @02:47AM (#46183465) Homepage Journal

    We have seen this before.

    There is a vibrant, thriving CGM site. (CGM == community generated media).

    An entity with money buys the site.

    Things stay the same for a while. Invariably, the owning entity wants feature, UI, and usability changes made to their new property.

    These changes aren't being made to serve the interests of the existing community.

    Here's what happens.

    Either, the community dissolves entirely, and something wonderful disappears and dies.

    Or, the community mostly moves to a new site, which rallies around what people liked about the old site.

    Here is a very specific example. There is a site called "Audiworld". It ran, for a very long time, a funny and antiquated forum software called "KAWF". Audiworld was the top destination on the English speaking internet for Audi enthusiasts. Absolutely excellent technical information about the cars, and many off-topic forums developed to serve the die-hard user community the site had.

    Audiworld was bought by InternetBrands and converted to vBulletin. This was against the wishes and strong feedback from most of the cornerstone members of the community.

    IB persisted and did the conversion.

    Within a week or so, "Quattroworld" showed up as a competitor, and nearly ALL of the technical experts and cornerstone members dumped Audiworld and moved to Quattroworld.

    Quattoworld simply chose to keep running the previous forum software.

    Compare the two sites now:

    The "converted" forum:
    http://forums.audiworld.com/fo... [audiworld.com]

    The rebellion forum:
    http://forums.quattroworld.com... [quattroworld.com]

    Look at the information density in the topic listing on the KAWF based forum (the second one). The design is text heavy, information dense, not filled with ads and distractions.

    It works on any device; it works on browsers from 10 years ago.

    Now look at the vBulletin based forum.

    Look at the quality of questions in the vBulletin form.

    See any answers?

    No, you don't.

    Communities are the life of sites like slashdot. You piss off your community at your peril.

    We are not interested in suffering so that you can expand your audience. We don't want an expanded audience. The people who should be here are here. The people who haven't found out about here yet will find out, and when they find it, they won't mind the design of the site.

    How many other web forums does John Carmack post in? How many other forums get occasional visits from Linux developers? Where else do you see the occasional Microsoft and Apple employee talking about things candidly and without bashing each other?

    Stack Exchange has excellent technical content and lots of very bright posters -- but it isn't a social community like this one.

    When Classic is retired, and its inevitable replacement has lower information density and makes reading and participating more cumbersome, this community will leave.

    Hopefully, it will go somewhere else that runs a fork of the classic code, and life will go on for us, the contributors.

    But if not, then it will die entirely. The web will be a worse place; and I will consider myself worse off for the loss.

    Your community doesn't need a site redesign. We haven't asked for it. We don't want it. So you're not doing it for us.

    If you're not serving us, you've outlived your usefulness.

    The internet routes around defects. You'd do well to remember that.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Calydor (739835) on Friday February 07, 2014 @02:57AM (#46183497)

    The thing is that we all know how easy it is to direct the feedback channel to /dev/null/ and not heed it. The beta has been labelled as useless for as long as I can remember, so when suddenly we got warning that it would become default and the classic version would go away there was only one option left - rioting to be seen.

    It's like the four boxes; the Slashdot management just made the ammo box seem a lot more appealing than the ballot box and soap box combined.

  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Friday February 07, 2014 @03:20AM (#46183561) Homepage

    Our support is important to you, Slashdice. And if you refuse to listen, you shan't have it.

    Dice has had months of feedback to change or improve the situation with Beta but has chosen instead to respond with a giant "fuck you" to its user base. That includes Timothy's non-answer, which is just another "fuck off" in so many fine words. Needless to say, it is that user base which the site is about. It is why people come here and what advertisers pay money to reach. Since Dice has demonstrated an unresponsiveness for months, including this last message from Timothy, it is time to escalate to Dice's bosses, the advertisers.

  • Why lynx (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Friday February 07, 2014 @03:29AM (#46183603) Homepage
    Why lynx? Because if it works with lynx it not only works with all browsers, it works with the search engines. That ensures that even the comments are searchable. As it is, the javascript is not only a major security hole it slows things down noticeably, even on fast hardware. I didn't buy this fast machine for Dice to use, I bought it because I want a snappy and responsive UI even when browsing the web. That includes Slashdot. Further, working in lynx ensures that screen readers can use the page, meaning that those with little or no sight can still use the web site. It's less work to avoid the javascript and reaches more people and search engines. Beta sucks and just needs to go away. If the powers that be still feel compelled to make changes, scrap Beta and start over beginning with usability and accessiblity.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday February 07, 2014 @05:04AM (#46183925)

    What about the rest of the complaints? I mentioned several. But why I don't I go through the process of posting something and describe what I see:

    I just loaded up slashdot on a phone and the story takes LESS than half the width of the page as the bars left and right are at their minimum. No surprise that's how the style is set up, the story is dynamic and the left and right is fixed width.

    So now I just clicked on the world's tiniest read button, after two clicks it brought up the loupe so I could click on it properly with some accuracy. Having the buttons the same size as a microscopic font is not good practice for a mobile device.

    After more battling with clicking on tiny posts I'm now I'm 6 posts deep and your comment takes up less than half the page. Again, we bitch and moan about white space on Beta, but for some reason it's ok to waste half of the very valuable (on the phone) horizontal screen space?

    So I hit reply, and the phone zooms on the comment box, except that the browser gets it wrong (this is actually not a problem in Firefox but is in Chrome) and it's zoomed too far. Now as I'm typing I can't see the sentence in one go. No matter I keep typing anyway.

    Then I hit preview.... the comment box doubles in vertical size, so something happened....... and.... I hit preview again and THEN it correctly loads the preview. Except for some reason the preview text is in tiny font whereas the +5 comment below it looks like size 72 font.

    I didn't hit submit, my story ends here, but it's the same every time. It's also the same on the Nexus 7 as it is on the Galaxy S4. Not a very good experience on the most popular mobile browser in current use.

    If you're happy, great. I'm not. Slashdot classic even if the code wasn't broken somewhat is great for a desktop but horrid on a mobile. One of the reasons I greatly prefer to use RSS to read the stories.

    So now I click reply

  • by Reeses (5069) on Friday February 07, 2014 @05:07AM (#46183935)

    Ok, you need to redesign the site.

    We get it.

    Anyone who has tried to read the comment threads on an iPhone gets it. Slashdot didn't make the transition to the separation of content and display well, limiting your flexibility when it comes to adapting to the plethora of new devices popping up. Among other things which I'm sure include "monetizing" the site more.

    So, you need to redesign the site. Got it.

    So, you created "Beta", whether because of an edict from the new corporate masters or whether it's an internally driven project, it was immediately obvious whoever did Beta ( on mobile especially) didn't even do a basic "This is how people use the site" survey. Or if they did, they did a really shitty job. Maybe they read the comments and thought those were the truth. Anyway.

    So, here's a thought:

    What if you did the redesign in an open/community driven manner?

    Set up a persistent discussion (make it a tab, "Changes are a coming to Slashdot", weigh in with a comment) and explain what changes you want to make, and why. Let the community hash it out. Maybe let us vote on a feature, and allow us to test it out on some dummy (or real) stories to see how it works. Allow us to view different stories under the new look and layout. Maybe with a button that changes the CSS a la CSS Zengarden (simplest reference site) or that redirects us to the same story at beta1.slashdot.org, beta2.slashdot.org, etc if it requires serious architectural changes that can't be done with just a reskin. Or something similar.

    Also, set up a persistent discussion board where you guys explain the issues you're trying to fix and why(!) and see what the community has to say. You have one of the largest dens of geeks of varying skill and knowledge levels on this site and it's quite possible they may have an actual solution for you, or a simpler one, or a better one. I know the guys who run slashdot are super-geeks, but you can't know everything (root != god, sorry). But the community has an incredible amount of combined knowledge. Use it. And read the comments at level 1 or 2, since the way the slashdot moderation system works, a lot of valid commentary will get pushed down over the most artful use of an obligatory xkcd Natalie Portman reference.

    Then, instead of committing to wholesale bulk changing the site (come on, you have to know better. Who's forcing that on you? New management? Tell them what's up.), make incremental changes. Maybe to one set of features of a subsystem, or an entire section or something. If that section of the site is "Difficult" to fix because it's interwoven with other parts of the site, then spend the time to unravel it. You're going to have to anyway.

    But regardless, instead of making bulk changes and driving away the people that allow this site to make enough money for it to change corporate hands a few times, include the community. Maybe we'll have feature suggestions you didn't even know about. Maybe we'll have a solution to what you thought were inexplicable problems that are easily solved because you're just aware the solution exists. Maybe you're agonizing over a feature no one uses.

    But try including the community. And it's a community, not an "Audience". Nor are we users. We're a community. Of people. Online. If you need to spin it for the new corporate overlords, we are the biggest "stakeholder" in the redesign. Frame the problem that way on the whiteboards and in the meetings with the IT people.

    The beta and redesign comments have spilled into way too many comment threads. Because you guys are clearly managing it poorly. Or someone from corporate is managing it poorly. You've got once change to do this right. Because if you drive the community away, like the former inhabitants of Chernobyl and mySpace, they're not coming back.

    Maybe it takes a little longer than it should. Unless you've got some corporate budget target to meet, that's ok with most of us. If it takes a year, or two. Who cares if it results in a truly better slashdot? Put

  • Re: Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monoman (8745) on Friday February 07, 2014 @06:59AM (#46184423) Homepage

    Exactly. The look doesn't really need improving. It has stood the test of Internet time. Plenty of new sites have come and gone yet /. remains. If you want to make improvements then consider asking the users what they would consider improvements. Examples of something you might want to discuss: the ability to edit our posts .. even if for a short time.

    No matter what - if you do decide to change the look anyway then be sure to leave an option for existing users to keep the classic interface.

  • by Golden_Rider (137548) on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:14AM (#46184477)

    It's as simple as that - you do not understand WHY people visit Slashdot.

    Nobody goes here to read amazing fresh news. It's safe to say what whatever "news" you put up have already been posted elsewhere at least half a day before. Your users come here for the discussions, to read what other Slashdot users think about the stories and to reply to those comments. That's why the comments are absolutely, 100%, the most important thing on the Slashdot website, and your beta site makes them much more annoying to read and reply to. Seriously, how can you NOT see that this will cause an exodus if it will go live? This is not a minor inconvenience people will get used to after a few days, it is a fundamental flaw, like replacing the juicy steak on someone's plate with a huge steaming turd.

    Your website redesign is going in a completely wrong direction. Everybody is telling you that, you claim to hear it, but you ignore it. This won't end well.

    Oh, and get rid of all that whitespace. I am using a 27" screen, not a portrait-oriented iPad, thank you very much.

  • Re: Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:20AM (#46184503)

    Most of the designers I know don't have to use the interfaces they design. That might have more to do with it than anything else.

  • Re:Fork Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning.netzero@net> on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:29AM (#46184541) Homepage Journal

    Since the community is the actual product here, let's just fork it and we'll all go somewhere else.

    This.

    Even if Slashdot was managed poorly and didn't seem to listen, a benign neglect was sufficient to still stick around. Unfortunately the changes in the interface show that it will most definitely be a brand new site with only passing relations to what used to be. They may have the name "Slashdot", but it isn't the same thing and somehow they've missed on a part of what made this site so good.

  • Re: Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:13AM (#46185461)

    The hammer quite a bit. The modern hammers with sprung steel heads, claws (and other attachments) and ergonomic handles especially those designed to mitigate RSI have in fact changed significantly.

    You're confusing the internal mechanics with the UI. A thousand years ago, the UI of a hammer was a handle you grabbed, then swung it so the head would hit something. These days, the UI is... a handle you grab, then swing it so the head will hit something. The only real change to the UI is that it might be a little softer, and might jar your arm less when you hit something. Or if you don't spend big bucks on a new-fangled hammer, the thousand-year-old UI is STILL AVAILABLE.

  • Javascript (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Friday February 07, 2014 @01:11PM (#46187285) Journal

    Doesn't matter how fast your hardware is; it is always faster without Javascript.

    Uhhhh, no. Compare load-times with AJAX-based interfaces versus full-form reloads. Yeah, it might take a bit of time to process the JS initially, but then you can significantly decrease the bandwidth needed to load new content by only sending updates etc.

    One of the things that still annoys me about classic is that logging in triggers a full page reload

  • Re: Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmr_andrew (1997772) on Friday February 07, 2014 @02:30PM (#46188135)

    Change for the sake of change is of no benefit to the user.

    True that. Unfortunately, this seems to be what they teach in MBA programs these days. Everything needs to be periodically "refreshed" or "updated"; even if everything is going exactly how it should and you're #1 in your niche, there's this (horribly mistaken, IMO) impression that your product will magically get better if you change it.

    Many times, these changes are merely cosmetic and everyone gives a collective meh. Rarely have I seen these sorts of changes lead to measurable improvements. I have, however, seen many case where the product ends up significantly worse. See: new Coke, the new Yahoo, and even various credit card and bank statements.

  • by beheaderaswp (549877) * on Friday February 07, 2014 @03:21PM (#46188733)

    Gawd, I'll admit it I'm old now. I was young then... but creeping up on 50 makes me old.

    If there's one thing I've learned, it's that MBAs and IT people are enemies. And this new beta site is a prime example of that. Sometimes things are "good enough". Slashdot is good enough- and has been for a long time. But the MBAs say "we need more profit". And now they are going to make things shiny.

    Slashdot by itself makes money. But it needs to make more money. DIGG was destroyed that way. Didn't that site finally sell to it's new owners fro a small sum?

    Want to fix Slashdot? Make it a site that technical people "graduate to" as they become seasoned. Which would mean making no changes whatsoever!

    Slowly, I'm watching MBA types eviscerate, good, profitable websites for short term profit. Don't do it to Slashdot.

  • by macwhiz (134202) on Friday February 07, 2014 @03:24PM (#46188781)

    Ah, but with the new reality of ownership, we are not the client. We are the product. The advertisers are the clients.

    One wonders if the clients will still buy a product that ceases to be profitable once the product delivery system is broken in the name of progress.

    I don't really see how the new design truly benefits the advertisers, other than giving DICE's ad execs newer, bigger, louder ad spaces to tout. The fact that it reduces the audience for those ads doesn't seem to enter into the equation.

  • by PrimaryConsult (1546585) on Friday February 07, 2014 @04:55PM (#46189601)

    The comments section of the beta is absolutely terrible, horribly unusable. The way it is now, the day beta's comment section is the only option, would be the last day I come here. I cannot begin to think of how it could be fixed without a complete rewrite or a kluge that puts classic's comment section in its stead. The two biggest problems:
    1. The comment boxes NEED to span the full width of the page.
    2. Every little feature in the classic comment boxes (UID #, moderation breakdown, parent post link, etc) MUST be retained.
    3. Changing view thresholds needs to be easy, persistent, and actually work.

    That having been said, I actually don't mind the beta's main page. As it is right now, it is at least usable and visually appealing. Helpful improvements:
    1. Some more customization (font sizes and maybe an option for the green and white bar for the headlines).
    2. If they want to keep the giant picture next to each story, the picture should be directly related to the thing being discussed. A picture next to a story about a fire at Iron Mountain should show the actual fire at iron mountain. If no picture on that level is available, stick with the small generic graphics.

  • by Skynyrd (25155) on Friday February 07, 2014 @05:44PM (#46190035) Homepage

    I've been a reader, moderator and meta-moderator since 1998 or 1997. Last fucking century.

    I've read and participated in many of the flare-up (remember John Katz?) and redesigns. All of them have been an issue, but nothing like this one. This one really is different; it's not just old people bitching about "the new thing".

    To be brief, the redesign sucks. It took a layout that is simple, clean, easy to read (and more importantly, easy to skim) and turned it into a "modern" mess. UI is hard. Really hard. This time, the UI team just missed the boat. The new design makes it harder to read the site. It looks prettier to some people, but it's harder to read.

    Secondly, you shouldn't even consider changing over until the comments works. The comments should be the first thing you get right. When /. was born, there wasn't much else like it, but now there's a million tech blogs. What makes slashdot different is the comments. When the comments are broken, there's not much difference between you and Engadget.

    Most of us only have so much time in the day to gather "news". I can scan Google news, Ars, Engadget, Gizmodo and all the rest, but when I want to read good commentary from smart people who have an interest, I come here. Kill that, and you're no longer the innovator you started out as; you're just another copycat.

    Bite the bullet, admit defeat, and try again. This time, figure out why people like me have been coming to the same website for 15 years. Slashdot and Ars have been part of my daily reading, since I got on the internet. Two sites. Please don't make it one.

  • same old mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Friday February 07, 2014 @07:18PM (#46191051) Homepage Journal

    We've had only a few major redesigns since 1997; we think it's time for another.

    You've had one in 2009 that was so utterly horrible that it resulted in on of two times I used the journal, in over 15 years.

    No, it's not time for another. There is never a time for a redesign. There can be a need for one, but that's a totally different thing. You know, a need happens to address a problem. The very people that make this site - because people come for the articles so little the abbreviation RTFA originated here - have told you strongly that there isn't a problem that needs fixing.

    The argument is "broader audience". That's a business need. That basically means "we think we can make more money off this site". Which is perfectly fine if it doesn't conflict with the needs of the audience you already have. Else what you do isn't growing the audience, it's exchanging it.

    People are already talking about setting up /. replacements. People with the know-how, resources and drive to actually do it. In a time where the sentiment on this site is strong enough that it could actually gain momentum. If you still haven't realized that you're playing with a live handgrenade, you are dangerously stupid.

  • by morethanapapercert (749527) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @02:07PM (#46196925)
    First count me among those who have provided "specific, constructive and substantive" feedback. I did so because, like many MANY others, I am part of the community you claim to recognize. Yet your actions and words to this point come across as pro forma, like you actually take us for granted.

    1) Many of us do NOT want to give up Slashdot "classic" AT ALL and have said so repeatedly and forcefully. Yet you still tell us that it will only be available until you are done fine tuning the new look. (a new look moreover that we've said we hate)

    2) you claim to recognize that what makes Slashdot so special is the community, but I think you fail to recognize a key aspect of this community. We are chemists, physicists, developers, sysadmins, engineers and so on. A HUGE percentage of us are not just geeks, but professionally trained and qualified geeks in some profession that takes brains. Over the years we've self-selected that demographic. Your desire to be "more accessible and shareable by a wider audience." runs the risk of diluting what the Slashdot community is. You are courting a new Eternal September [wikipedia.org] and it appears that you don't even realize you are doing so. boards.4chan.org/b/ would cease to be what it is if it became mainstream. I think you can recognize and agree with that. A flood of pop culture would destroy /. just as a flood of nice average folks would destroy /b/ and drive out the /b/tards.

    3) This seriously is a New Coke vs Classic Coke moment. Like the people at Coca-cola, you want to increase your market, I get that. Like Coca-cola, you are attempting to do so by copying the kind of features found among the competition. They failed to allow for the fact that they had spent decades differentiating themselves from Pepsi. Copying the Pepsi taste threw all that away. Slashdot is not primarily a content producer, but a news aggregator, so if you go with the glossy magazine look, what is there to separate you from say Ars Technica? We geeks often make a bit of a fetish out of choosing hobbies, sources of info and social situations that are less accessible to the common herd. In other words, we kind of like being outsiders. If you expand your market, you'd be throwing away that abstract sense of clique-ishness that attracts me to this place. I'm probably not alone in that feeling...

    4) At the same time, you're not fixing things that in the group opinion, should have been fixed ages ago. Where is the Unicode and foreign language support? I personally support the long standing choice to not allow full HTML in comments, but I may be in the minority on that. I still think we should be able to incorporate umlauts and other accent characters though.

    Here are my straightforward suggestions for expanding your appeal and market without killing off what Slashdot is to us long loyal members: a) Allow the full Unicode set and such

    b) Don't EVER "dumb it down". You can try expanding the range of news items you list, maybe add images to if they are truly relevant to the story, but do not simplify things. In fact; feel free to get MORE detailed, more in-depth. Make your own articles +5 Informative or Insightful!

    c) spellcheck, spellcheck spellcheck. There should be more to editing that picking a story and copypasta the summary submitted.

    d) You already have slashdot.jp , why not slashdot.ru or maybe slashdot.eu ?(which would feature multiple languages, but probably primarily French and German). While you're at it, put links to the other language sites at the bottom of the page.

    e) I for one would love to be able to read the days most actively commented stories from the Japanese Slashdot. (or any other language geeky articles might be published in) I have no idea how hard it would be to implement a *decent* auto-translation of top articles in foreign languages. I think it would be easy to do shitty translation on the fly, so the challenge would be t

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