Story 2014-07-12 3QE Pipedot: let's make this site fly

Pipedot: let's make this site fly

in pipedot on (#3QE)
When Bryan said he was going to focus on coding the site, I thought to myself, "well maybe that's the end of this: it will turn into a software project and nothing more." Then I went back to the other well-known News-for-X sites and had a look around. It's a Goldilocks and the Three Bears story: one has a semi-decent news and a large community but an awful interface. Another has an awful interface and a medium-sized community, crappy news, and no editing. There's Reddit too, and although everyone says the gold is in the sub-reddits, I found few sub-reddits that were really chock-full of awesome comments and something about Reddit lends itself to the quick repartee and stupid puns instead of real conversation.

So I'm going to throw my weight behind Pipedot. It's got a great interface that works well on every screen I use, and huge potential. All we need are some more contributors. Give me a hand getting the word out. Here's how you can help.

Got a lot of time? We could certainly use another editor.
This place will only be as good as its submitted articles. You know what to do.
Got a good idea for a poll? Post it here or submit it to the list:

Otherwise, help get the word out! Link Pipedot articles to other places you read news: ArsTechnica, the Register, OSNews, Usenet, the millions of Android sites, the Verge, and so on. If you're not into those things, how about emailing your friends with a link to Pipedot. We could use more voices around here. Spread links on IRC if that's your thing.

There's an RSS feed. But Pipedot articles are getting distributed by Twitter now too. Follow @Pipedot and retweet as far and wide as you can. The Twittersphere is (inexplicably) a great echo chamber for linking to Pipedot articles and getting the word out. I'm also thinking about paying to have an advert or two placed in some strategic places. Got any suggestions for the best placement of these adverts? Let me know.

Hoping to see this place turn into something awesome.
Reply 18 comments

Too late (Score: 4, Interesting)

by on 2014-07-12 14:00 (#2FB)

This is already awesome :-)
and it keeps on getting better

Re: Too late (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-07-12 14:11 (#2FC)

Forgot to mention it: little known fact, but Bryan has been super cool about implementing just about everything I've brought up. That doesn't mean it's a free-for-all, but it seems pretty clear to me that pipecode is destined for greatness and Bryan is totally open to feature requests and ideas. If it makes sense, I think it's a good bet it will happen.

I suggested a Twitter feed would be useful so we could get pipedot articles some publicity on Twitter, and it existed a couple of days later. Bryan mentioned I'm going to "Guinea Pig" Pipecode on the Dictator's Handbook forum. That's not me agreeing to engage in some experiment; that's me deciding pipecode would make the forum at the DH better, and I could use the Twitter integration.

So let's keep the feature requests coming. I think forum software has kind of languished over the past ten years. Web forums like PHPBB and the like kind of ate Usenet's lunch back in the day, and then Facebook ran rough-shod over the web forums. Slashdot was always kind of a refuge, until corporate boneheadedness killed the golden goose. My point is: there's room for innovation - especially now that people are getting sick of/disgusted with/bored with Facebook. This could be the next, big thing - especially if Bryan's vision of some sort of site federation where articles flow among servers becomes a reality. Imagine a system where dictator articles with a tech angle show up automatically on Pipedot, and tech angles that involve autocratic Internet shutdowns etc. showing up automatically over at the Dictator's Handbook. That would be awesome.

Re: Too late (Score: 2, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-12 18:15 (#2FD)

Feature Request: I like moderation as it has been implemented on the various *. sites but I think there is room for a general purpose approve/disapprove or like/dislike counter for posts. This should not replace, supplant, or in anyway interact with the existing moderation system but instead it just allows non-moderators to show their support (or lack thereof) for a particular comment. If we had such a system I would have "liked" or "approved" zafiro17 previous comment.

Re: Too late (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-07-12 23:29 (#2FX)

I've always struggled with the subtle differences between the slash-style moderation ratings. I mean, how much difference is there between "Insightful" and "Interesting" anyway - and, since it's the integer score that determines the comments visibility, does it really matter?

TL;DR; Use "Underrated" and "Overrated" - These are the generic "+" and "-" options. Articles will never be tagged with either of these two strings but will increase/decrease its score by one point.

Re: Too late (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-14 01:41 (#2G7)

Insightful and interesting are very similar and have lots of overlap. Those two also have some overlap with interesting. However informative is usually completely different from funny; a comment may be both, but if you look at slashdot, the difference in the sort of posts that get modded funny is obvious in practice. So basically, the descriptors are still useful, and probably shouldn't be discarded. That said, I think the main reason slashdot has insightful, interesting and informative is just in case someone with mod points thinks a post is informative but not interesting, or interesting but not insightful.

Proposed mod scheme (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-14 09:37 (#2GA)

I think Bryan's got a point though.

"Funny" is pretty obvious. So is "informative": It provides new, useful information. "Flamebait" and "Offtopic" both speak for themselves. But "Troll" and "Flamebait" are damned close, that's for sure.

"Interesting" and "Insightful" is more subtle. Both provide information the reader finds compelling. Insightful is supposed to be more profound - some post of such high quality that the reader thinks the poster has unraveled the mystery, or touched upon the heart of the conundrum. Interesting is not as profound, and might just be a curiosity. But both go beyond simply providing more information.

I don't think I've ever used "overrated" or "underrated" though. And "redundant" seems rude.

Perhaps we're zeroing in on a better mod scheme? I'd propose:

Funny: on Slashdot I liked having a 'funny' tag so I could filter it out; I didn't appreciate those posters who just go for a quick laugh and add nothing of value.
Offtopic: useful, helps keep the subject on track and also filter out spam
Good post: a combination of interesting/insightful/whatever. Basically: Plus one
Flame/Troll: combine the two. Basically: Minus one.

There is no mod for "I don't like your post" because of the risk of abuse. Bad posts just sit and rot. But you can assign negative points to posts that intend to offend or derail the conversation.

Re: Proposed mod scheme (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-16 16:28 (#2H9)

Man. I wish I'd read all this before I tossed out my answer to the poll post. This is good fodder.

Steal (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-07-12 18:50 (#2FE)

I think that about 5% of the stories on slash or soy are worth paying attention to.

Steal them.

Give 'em full credit - stolen from /. - here's the link. But I would love a combination of heavily filtered slash and soy.

It's not like any of 'em (with almost no exceptions) are original content. And just drop those on the floor.

Probably not a popular idea, but I think it's practical...

Re: Steal (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-12 19:37 (#2FG)

Agreed. And if I had a "approve" button I would have approved.

Re: Steal (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-12 19:55 (#2FH)

The approve-disapprove thing reminds me of Reddit, where posts and comments can each get voted up or down, and over time the best comments float up to the top of the page, which begins to distort the conversation. Is that what you're thinking of? Or perhaps a system where you can thumbs-up or thumbs-down a post without it affecting anything else, and assign a description (Interesting/Informative) besides?Regarding postjacking, I'm going to generally avoid doing it myself, but interesting posts on other sites are obvious fodder for people to post to the Pipe. Just sayin'.

Re: Steal (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-12 20:32 (#2FK)

Definitely not the first thing. I like the moderation system the way it is and I don't really want non-moderators affecting the display of comments. But closer to the second thing... just a sort of popularity indicator or a way to show your appreciation for what the commenter said. Sometimes it's nice to know your comment is appreciated or agreed with (or the reverse).

Re: Steal (Score: 3, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-13 19:32 (#2G4)

Yes! Please borrow/steal from the other sites. I have said it several times here but no one else has responded (positively or negatively). There is NOTHING wrong with doing this, legally or ethically. Every other site on the Internet does it, and it's how news spreads. With proper attribution and a link, it's the way things work.

Just redirect the "feed" into the "pipe" and apply a little editing if you really want. Then you won't be waiting on us lazy slobs to submit things.

Re: Steal (Score: 2)

by on 2014-07-14 09:10 (#2G9)

I've considered cross-posting something before (I think I have done once or twice actually), but usually forget until after I've already submitted it once. What do editors here think about badly formatted submissions that need fixing up? :-)

Re: Steal (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-15 10:11 (#2GT)

Better badly formatted than non-existent. Submit away, and we'll figure out which ones to fix and which ones to ditch.

Re: Steal (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-14 19:01 (#2GQ)

The problem with stealing from sites with bigger user bases is that they'll also have the larger discussion threads. So we'll have a nicer interface for the story and discussion, but not a lot of discussion.

Still, content is essential. Good content could draw in more good comments.

Other ideas (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-12 19:58 (#2FJ)

Forgot to mention some other things: One of them is I'm going to try to keep up the tradition of getting a new poll up every Monday morning. So there you've got two regular features every week. We could use a regular something for Wednesdays, perhaps: maybe app of the week or something? I'd need contributions for that one, probably.Or we could do an Orwellian "Hour of hate" every Wednesday where we choose some web site/service and flame it to charcoal each Wednesday (this idea is a joke, obviously).

Re: Other ideas (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-12 22:29 (#2FR)

I don't know if app of the week would work, most are either widely known already or fill a niche that is too specific to have wide interest.

I do like the idea of a book club style feature. Maybe a "featured creator"? Then it could be a developer, artist, author, podcaster, video maker, or anyone else interesting.

Might be interested in doing some editing. (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2014-07-12 22:54 (#2FW)

I am currently on disability for a back injury.
Time is something I have plenty of.

My interests range from science, gaming, automotive and computers. However I am not a LINUX user nor am I trained as a professional writer by any stretch of the imagination. I would love to contribute, and I do learn rapidly.

You could look at the one article I submitted on KSP (if you look at the original submission at least) to see where my writing style is weak.

(Don't fret, I certainly would not be butthurt if you say no, I know my single qualification is "I gots me lots O' time on me han's!)