Open Source

Slashdot: News for nerds

Nerds take note: You have a news forum, and it's called Slashdot. Better yet, the site makes accessing subject-specific info a breeze.

Slashdot is a news source that most system administrators should find useful as well as entertaining. This Web site posts news articles and news pointer articles, which are typically a paragraphed synopsis of a news article with appropriate links.

Readers can add comments to any article, creating timely forums on specific subjects. They are also encouraged to submit their own articles and editorials. Slashdot receives about 150 to 200 submissions each day, but only eight to 12 make the cut.

Finding articles on the site is easy, thanks to an unusually good search engine. Look for a globe surrounded by five PCs. That’s the tool that lets you limit searches to a subject, author, or section.

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You can also browse site content by using Slashdot’s well-organized navigation bar or looking through more than 70 subject categories in the topics section. Major sections cover Apache servers, awards, book reviews, BSD, interviews, science, and online rights. A sampling of the 70 individual subject categories includes security bugs, Compaq and Digital computers, encryption, gnu, hardware, Java, Linux, Perl, Red Hat, sgi, and UNIX.

There are many forum sites on the Internet, and of course, some work while others fail miserably. The factor that makes Slashdot successful is its traffic.

On heavy traffic days, this site serves as many as 800,000 pages, which means you’ll find lots of comments. But, since the site is well monitored and comments are narrowed to specific subjects, you won’t be overwhelmed with a flood of information. Such user-driven site content makes me hum.

In addition to news articles, you’ll find book reviews, interviews, awards articles, links, and some interesting user polls. On average, Slashdot polls its users on various topics once or twice a week. These polls tend to be light-hearted, with subjects like Best Pac-Man Strategy and Best James Bond Actor, but there are also serious polls on such subjects like Internet connections and Linux. One recent poll shows how enthusiastic site visitors are. When asked what kind of advanced technology readers most wanted to see developed, more than 24,000 responded—the winner was interstellar travel, followed hotly by cold fusion.

Now it's your turn to review Slashdot. Just click on Rate this Site!, and you can help separate the good from the bad from the ugly. It takes only a minute or two to complete your rating, so tell us what you think—rate this site now!SlashdotURL: Rob Malda116 E 18th StHolland, MI 49423Tel.: 616-994-0441E-mail: malda@slashdot.orgWebmaster: Rob MaldaMap categories: FAQ, code, awards, privacy, SlashNET, older stuff, rob's page, preferences,, submit story, advertising, supporters, past polls, topics, about, jobs, hof, apache, askslashdot, awards, books, bsd, features, interviews, radio, science, yroDate started: September 1997Affiliations with other , SlashNET , freshmeat

Bruce Spencer regularly covers e-commerce and other information technology topics for TechRepublic. His WebReviews appear weekly on AdminRepublic.

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