Summary: Slashdot is being liquidated and the community of Slashdot threatens a boycott of the site
SELLING OUT IS VERY EASY. Earning status and maintaining one’s integrity in the face of temptation is hard. There are always some Sugar Daddies out there, looking to buy themselves positive coverage from seemingly credible sources that would otherwise criticise them. Examples from the UK include The ‘Guardian’ and BBC, both of which accepted a bribe from Bill Gates’ shell entity in an implicit exchange of favours (agenda-pushing for money).
A new report today reveals that The ‘Guardian’ opens its doors even further for the agenda of rich and powerful companies . This trend not limited to such general news sites though; even technology sites go down the same route in pursuit of Sugar Daddies. A lot of them justify it by saying that reporting requires money, hence sellout as a business model is ‘just’.
Not too long ago we covered the mess which was going on at Slashdot and SourceForge, which turned into Microsoft and Bill Gates promotion tools. They even hired longtime Microsoft boosters and former Microsoft staff, just like the BBC had done.
Following the latest scandals at SourceForge [2,3] we had a lot of discussion about it in Techrights IRC (Slashdot managers even came to the channel in attempts to appease) and last week we got a lot of discussion about Dice driving Slashdot into its death with video ads, Microsoft agenda, etc. Slashdot without a community is a dead site because it derives its value from readers and their comments. Our readers who used to like Slashdot said that Dice was essentially liquidating the sites (squeezing the goose for golden eggs) by making the best moves to alienate the readers, i.e. annoy them in exchange for some money/a “quick buck”. Bruce Pernes, who has been very prolific in Slashdot, is saying now in Slashdot that he’s seriously thinking about bringing Technocrat back (Slashdot for grown-ups as he calls it). Last night we made significant changes in Tux Machines, adopting a more Slashdot-like style (in the format/layout sense). It is still the site to follow for very quick and high-quality selection of GNU/Linux and FOSS news — something which Techrights has not been doing as of late (news is not covered quickly enough anymore). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
While it’s generally better not to judge too quickly, I think it’s reasonable that people are holding SourceForge to account for some of their decisions. People who download open source software do not expect to get other applications bundled with them.
It was like Cooks Source all over again, just without the catchphrase “But honestly Monica.”
It’s been all over the web for the last week or two that the photo imaging program GIMP, a FOSS crown jewel, has dropped SourceForge as a download site. Although the GIMP folks had been a little concerned over some advertisements on SourceForge, the real reason appears to be DevShare, which bundles third party offers with open source downloads for install on Windows machines.