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23 March 2010

I just realized that I hadn't given Slashdot a single thought or seen its mention in almost seven years. Is it even remotely relevant today?
Was it ever, (to more than a tiny geek enclave)?
posted by jonmc 23 March | 19:33
I pop in once or twice a week and see if there are any stories of interest to me. About half the time I'll find a little something.

I don't know if it once was considered important in a way it is not now - but it looks like a professionally run operation to me. Whatever they might be having to get on without, they seem to be getting on just fine.

The snark in its comments reminds me of MetaFilter, actually. I think if every MeFite was a systems analyst or a hardcore Linux geek, we'd sound a lot like them.
posted by Joe Beese 23 March | 19:47
Yep. I still read it every day. It's still one of the better news sources.

It is funny you mention it, though, as my cookie ran out this morning and was shocked to discover how incredibly noisy and ugly the site is when you're not logged in.
posted by eamondaly 23 March | 20:25
I read it for a while before coming to metafilter and drifting away. I even tried to make a FPP there once, but it got shot down. I've looked there maybe 3 or 4 times in the past year but it hasn't been interesting enough to keep going back. I had the idea it was important once, but I don't know if it is anymore.
posted by DarkForest 23 March | 20:25
I glance at it on occasion but not very often these days, maybe once a month. I used to be a pretty compulsive reader back in late ninties/early aughts but wandered off into plastic and then Mefi and this place. It was my first use of octothorpe and I've still got my 5 digit user number.
posted by octothorpe 23 March | 21:41
Haven't looked at it since maybe 2002.
posted by Miko 23 March | 21:53
if you're into techy stuff? maybe? Eh. I haven't touched it seriously in over 8 years.
posted by The Whelk 23 March | 22:40
Google's search data suggests it's been on the decline since 2005. According to, Slashdot got around 7,000 unique visitors in February.

Metafilter got over 1.5 million.

If you want a more direct comparison, Slashdot and Metachat have been hovering around the same traffic level recently. Mecha actually surpassed it for a short time in January.
posted by Rhaomi 23 March | 23:21
Rhaomi: You're using the wrong URL. The correct one is, which gets about 700,000 uniques.
posted by cillit bang 24 March | 00:07
Ooh, you're right... I guess let my guard down after catching myself using "". Eh, at least they both resolve to the same site. That's what I get for commenting about a site I've only visited incidentally.
posted by Rhaomi 24 March | 00:24
I subscribe to the RSS feed, and check out some of the stories.

While a fair proportion of what they post is bullshit, the good thing about it is that when they do, there's almost always a high-rated comment just below explaining exactly why, in great and sometimes amusing detail.

I remember reading a while back that the Slashdot Effect doesn't really exist anymore, since the overall traffic of the internet has grown so much that a link from there isn't that big a deal.

I do think that now they've finally worked the kinks and games out, their moderation system is one of the best on the web. It's far better than most of the awful, awful "Have Your Say" type comments on most of the web.

(Slightly OT: I don't think Metafilter is a fair comparison for comment quality, since the $5 fee helps enormously in keeping the numbers down: it's not the same as running a large, truly open forum.)
posted by TheophileEscargot 24 March | 02:16
There's a lot more competition for the same /. audience, and the /.ers are getting older and the kids are all on facebook. I still check in from time to time.

MeFi gets lots of views, not so many comments, thankfully.
posted by theora55 24 March | 11:31
Plus Slashdot is focused on things science, tech, games and geeky, while MetaFilter covers a lot more ground, not including the sub-sites.

I check slashdot a few times a week. MetaFilter is the only other site I regulalry visit that has tech-type news, so I can't really judge if Slashdot is any more or less relevant than it used to be, but it seems to be keeping abreast of the current topics. As a news / interest story aggregator of sorts, it's not on the cutting edge, but it seems current.
posted by filthy light thief 24 March | 11:40
My last comment of /. was from 2006. I used to be a regular over there - posted a ton of comments (under a few different accounts) and journal entries, got a few stories accepted, made a bunch of friends and some enemies. At one point, I just grew weary of all the political bickering, so I left and haven't really looked back. I take a glance at it once or twice a year to see if it's still there; much to my surprise, they're still in business. A closer look shows that the number of comments per story seems to be hovering around the 2006 levels, and the number of registered users has grown to more than 1.5 million, so it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.
posted by Daniel Charms 24 March | 16:38
It's a tech news and discussion site. If you're not interested in geek things, it's never been the place for you. Despite that, during a certain period of the internet's history, it used to attract huge numbers of very noisy people without any knowledge or interest in anything that was being discussed, simply because at the time it was so big and well known.

With the advent of other shinier internet baubles in which these folks could admire their reflections, slashdot has once again settled down into exactly doing exactly what it was always good at. That is, providing a place for knowledgeable geeks to discuss technical and related news and developments, make obscure and overplayed injokes, and snarkily dismiss each other's technical chops.

If you feel like arguing the merits of various Linux kernel schedulers with an actual rocket scientist, slashdot remains the internet destination of choice.
posted by Rembrandt Q. Einstein 24 March | 23:24
This thread sent me back to slashdot for a look around. Nothing too exciting, but here's a thread on about carbon fiber chopsticks.
posted by DarkForest 25 March | 17:14
Ah, that link didn't work, here is the article.

google translate: Whether from the Department of Ecology is not known.
posted by DarkForest 25 March | 17:18
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