About the publication
Purpose, objective, or mission: Slashdot is an online forum that provides “News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters.” This “stuff” includes stories on various aspects of technology, from discussing user’s rights online to sharing ideas and news on various IT subjects. Content is submitted by readers, who can also assist editors in the selection of material by utilizing the site’s collaborative moderation system called “Firehose,” which contains RSS Feeds, story submissions, and journals that have color-coding to indicate popularity. Using the color spectrum scale, “Red is hot, violet is not,” users can tag and vote on entries, in addition to providing feedback.
Target audience: People interested in all-things tech, particularly news and opinion on tech “with discussion backed by professional insight, polls, and analysis.”1
Publisher: Slashdot Media 2
Peer reviewed? No.
Type: Civilian publication. This is an online forum that publishes reader’s articles on various aspects of technology, in addition to providing an interactive networking environment. Although it is likely to appeal to techie librarians, the primary target audience is not librarians; thus, it would be considered a lay publication rather than a LIS publication.
Content: Story sections are self-explanatory, with some exceptions: “Apache” (news about the Apache web server); “Apple” (news on all things Mac); “Ask Slashdot” (ask the readership any questions about software problems, hardware, jobs, etc.); “BSD” (news about “modern UNIXes derived from Berkeley’s distribution [like Free, Open and NetBSD]”); “Developers” (news that affects any aspect of programming, such as language, licensing, or techniques); “Features,” “Games,” “Geeks in Space” (not currently open for submissions, this was an audio broadcast provided by the editors); “Interviews”; “IT;” “Linux;” “Politics;” “Polls” (submit “thought-provoking 4-6 question polls to share); “Science;” and “Your Rights Online” (news and information on spam, privacy, and other issues affecting our rights online). Archived articles, book reviews, and job listings complete the content.
Frequency of publication: Daily.
About the publication’s submission guidelines
Location of submission guidelines: https://slashdot.org/faq/submissions.shtml
Types of contributions accepted: “The closer a submission is to featuring all the “perfect” characteristics, the better the chances are that it will run. While we will sometimes tweak submitters’ grammar, spelling and punctuation, attempt to fix broken links, and even edit with brackets and ellipses (in the interest of brevity, clarity and good taste), the nicer a submission starts out, the less tempted we are to hit “delete.” Not every Slashdot post is perfect — but the better they are, the better it is for everyone.”3 “A perfect Slashdot submission is: interesting, informative, clear, snappy, presented neutrally, submitted with appropriate topics, usually based on text and still images, labeled with an understandable, concise headline, well-linked, and grammatically correct.”4
Submission and review process: Use the Submit link located at the top right of the website’s home page. Creation of an account is required first. This is a moderated site allowing administrators and editors to approve or remove posts.5
Editorial tone: Informal.
Style guide used: None specified.
Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors
LIS authors with a technical bent will find the latest news, stories, and feeds on technology informative. This forum is an informal way to get stories submitted without a formal publishing process and allows for feedback from the target audience. Authors can pitch ideas and ask questions6, perhaps opening the discussion for more library and information science issues.
About the publication’s readers
Publication circulation: 32 million monthly visitors.7
Audience location and language or cultural considerations: As this publication is only available online, there is no central geographic location. It is likely that users are international. The publication is written in English and no information is provided on the possible cultural considerations of the audience. This matter could be important, as different countries may have varying technical standards that would need to be further investigated and considered, perhaps by reading further into archives and different sections to find out if any stories on international issues are submitted.
Reader characteristics: The majority of readers work in IT.8 The general audience of Slashdot may not seem the ideal audience for a LIS writing, as they have concerns that would not necessarily reflect the ethics, interests, or issues of LIS. However, with the future of LIS moving quickly with new technology, this audience could be a great source of objective information. The technical aspects of the profession could be introduced into this forum with a group who might have new ideas or strategies unknown to a LIS author.
Knowledge of LIS subject matter: This forum does not actively promote LIS subject matter unless there is a newsworthy story to share. However, with the influx of technology influences on LIS, this would be an interesting forum to share LIS information and get feedback that might be more objective on emerging technology.
Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors
Writing for and participating in this website would certainly not be a project for the light-hearted “LIS techie.” LIS authors with an avid interest in technology might be able to find middle ground with this publication on issues such as privacy concerns. The ability to collaborate with an audience with general technical backgrounds might open a dialog on the various ways that technology affects libraries.
Last updated: September 13, 2020
- “Our Brands,” Slashdot Media, accessed September 13, 2020, https://slashdotmedia.com/our-brands/ ↩
- “Slashdot Media to Merge with BIZX, LLC, Creating a Market Leader in B2B, Software, Technology, and Data”, PRNewswire, accessed September 13, 2020, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/slashdot-media-to-merge-with-bizx-llc-creating-a-market-leader-in-b2b-software-technology-and-data-300978561.html ↩
- “Submissions,” Slashdot.org, accessed November 14, 2016, http://slashdot.org/faq/submissions.shtml?source=autorefresh ↩
- “Submissions.” ↩
- “Submissions.” ↩
- “Frequently Asked Questions,” Slashdot.org, accessed September 13, 2020, https://slashdot.org/faq ↩
- “Our Brands.” ↩
- “Our Brands.” ↩