March 3, 2007
Slashdot: The Next Generation
Just under ten years ago, as I obsessively reviewed Salon's traffic logs in a bid to understand the circulation dynamics of online journalism, I noticed that whenever I wrote a story about a topic related to the free software movement, a huge burst of visitors would immediately come running, directed to me by a potent little "news for nerds" clearinghouse called Slashdot. So I promptly turned around and wrote a story about Slashdot, and began a mutually fulfilling working relationship that lasted several years. I would write a story about Linux, or Richard Stallman, or the evils of Microsoft, and thousands of Slashdot geeks would immediately tell me everything that I'd gotten wrong. I would then incorporate their criticism into my next story.