Story 2014-06-12 3NM New poll: what topics would you like to see?

New poll: what topics would you like to see?

in ask on (#3NM)
Greetings - I'm one of the volunteer editors, and thought I'd take the liberty*** to poll readers on what kind of articles we all find interesting . It's an "approval method" poll, so tick the box on any of the multiple subjects that interest you, and leave blank the ones you dislike. We'll see which topics rise to the surface (and which ones sink!)

The more I use the Pipedot interface the more I love it, especially given the competition. But a site like this is most interesting if it posts articles readers are interested in and that generate interesting and useful conversation (otherwise, what's the point?).

If you don't see a topic you'd like to discuss, just add it in the comments. Let's make Pipedot the first site you read in the morning. Having a better sense of what's interesting will help volunteer editors prioritize the best articles for submission. Thanks!

***"Take the liberty" means "didn't bother to ask Bryan." :)
Reply 17 comments

Good idea (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-12 11:55 (#22G)

To have a poll like this... but I wonder if it is less about story fit and more about the number of people coming by and contributing...

For myself, I go in and out with regards to having and/or making the time to contribute. Big fan of this site, but hey, a whole week can go by when you're on vacation or at a conference or something...

Re: Good idea (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-06-12 12:03 (#22H)

Bit of a vicious circle though: the better the stories are, the more inclined you are visit more frequently. The more frequently you visit/comment, the better the site gets, etc. There's friction in commenting, too - if it's a pain to log in or read the comments, you're less inclined to post your thoughts, etc. But the achilles heel of any site like this is: how to add value over a simple RSS feeder of your favorite sites? Why not just follow the RSS feeds of a few big tech sites and call it a day? The answer to that question is what makes places like this one come alive.

Re: Good idea (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-06-12 12:20 (#22J)

Human selected stories. True, browsing several dozen different RSS feeds will get you the news, but a site like this sorts through the cruft and focuses on a few of the "best" stories - plus gives you a better forum for comments.

Re: Good idea (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-13 05:49 (#23A)

I'd say this site, and similar sites as well, have more in common with reddit than a list of recent news stories. Sure you get the news, but the important thing here is the groupthink's reaction to the news. If you wanted an RSS feed, you'd use an RRS feed. But then, that's just how I use the site.

Re: Good idea (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-06-12 15:54 (#22W)

I think pot luck (no drug reference intended) is a sensible approach right now. People can submit stories they find interesting, and see whether they can convince the editors to post them and then get people to respond to them. That's their feedback. Trying to put together a submission content policy right now would probably be counterproductive.

Re: Good idea (Score: 4, Interesting)

by on 2014-06-12 16:04 (#22X)

That's kind of the way it's working right now - as volunteer editor I can assure you I'm posting almost everything that comes in, thinking anyone who went to all the trouble to post something deserves to have it hit the front page. Later when the number of submissions picks up we can begin filtering. "Too many articles" is currently not one of our problems. Soylent typically has 14-18 submissions in the queue, but the times I've reviewed them I've found a lot of stuff that wasn't really that great.

The volunteer editors here have also gone to great pains to take even barebones submissions and make them into something interesting and newsworthy, when a post needs a little love and care.

Needs users (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-06-12 14:38 (#22Q)

Pipedot is far and away technically and esthetically the best of the three. The editors are doing a fine job.

Subject choice is not the problem. No one paying attention is the problem. Nobody knows pipedot exists.

Re: Needs users (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-12 14:45 (#22R)

Yes, and this too is the problem:

"No stories in the pipe!"

Simply engineering a loopback cable between the "feed" and "pipe" sections of this site would do wonders for the article selection, discussions, and user base.

Re: Needs users (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-06-12 14:54 (#22T)

Ultimately, that comes down to the users. I sent out an email to every one of my friends I thought would be interested, and hope others do the same. It eventually comes down to word of mouth. Bryan has put in a Twitter thingy that allows articles to be announced via Twitter too, with hashtags and the like. If you like the site, get the word out - we could certainly use more people around here, and given what a great interface this thing has, it's getting easier and better to participate.

I however have to say I prefer "slow/steady" growth of the site, where the place grows organically and interesting people discover it and stay, to a wild-west clusterfuck like Soylent where everyone arrived at once and it turned into a huge mess sorting out how the site work, before it finally seemed to calm down. Slow and steady gives the site a chance to grow naturally and a chance for users/community to grow. "Build it and they will come" or something like that.

I have to be logged in to vote? (Score: -1, Offtopic)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-12 17:19 (#22Z)

Do I also have to be logged in to comment? (We'll see if this post works)

Re: I have to be logged in to vote? (Score: -1, Offtopic)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-12 22:32 (#234)

Nope, it didn't work
Sigh.Try again with my password: *******

Re: I have to be logged in to vote? (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-13 00:49 (#236)

Hah, your password is "hunter2"! I bet you just saw asterisks...

Meta comments (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-06-12 21:26 (#232)

If you talk about a poll, link to the poll.

Ugh. I can't vote - not because it doesn't work, but because they are not boolean answers.

I want to see all the things listed on the poll. But by "politics", I mean a really really small subset and I mean only quality articles. For example, I don't want to see who is suing who - it takes nothing to bring suit. I want to know when there are meaningful decisions, or meaningful decisions are about to be made.

The same is true on all the subjects.

Re: Meta comments (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-13 01:18 (#237)

I should say, re: link to the poll. I arrive at this site from the RSS feed, and land directly in the article. So I don't see the poll on the front page.

Maybe polls should be added to the RSS feed. But certainly a link to the poll from the article wouldn't hurt.

Re: Meta comments (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-13 10:22 (#23F)

That's a good point and a good idea - treat polls the way you would new articles.

Re: Meta comments (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-06-13 05:49 (#23B)

And that's why the polls ha ve comments sections :)

Comment (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-15 04:35 (#23P)

One thing I don't want to see....Politics. I hated it when Slashdot went that route in support of the John Kerry presidential campaign (I dropped my subscription), and I hate that SoylentNews is going that direction. If I want politics, I'll read Drudge.

I could also do without the "smartphone" flavor of the month articles as well. That's all I see at Ars/Engadget/OSNews anymore. I get that people are well entrenched in their iPhone/Android camps, but to me that's lowbrow non-news on par with, "Where do you think Lebron James is going to sign this summer?"