On the Front Page and Maintaining a Reasonable amount of Content

Put all articles that pass the queue on the front page. At present, there simply is not enough content to justify throwing it away by putting it in so-called "section pages." It is pretty widely recognized that fewer people read the stories only voted to section than the ones on the front page. As such, there is less discussion. This is a pretty clear contravention of the stated purposes of the site.

At the same time, putting all articles on the front page creates the impression of having more content. It is easy for someone just passing through not to notice the stories in the section box and since there's no date on them, there's no way to know how often Kuro5hin is actually updated. An outsider's impression would be that this place is a ghost town — which is not so far from the truth, depending on how you look at it. As long as the site looks dead, it will stay dead.

There is a reason Slashdot and every other blog in existence puts all its content on the front page: It's stupid not to.

This change would have the added advantage of freeing up screen real estate left behind by the late section box. Either the diary box could be promoted or, better, a recommended diary box after the style of the Daily Kos could be added.

Reduce the post threshhold — a lot. Right now, the effect of the threshhold is not to increase the quality of content. It requires such a large majority that it has a levelling effect. Authors are given no quarter to opine or present something unusual or out of the ordinary. If an article just slightly upsets ten readers, it's dead on arrival because those ten in addition to the usual, apparently random voting practices of the rest will guarantee the article won't get the seventy percent majority it needs.

But it is precisely the irresponsible opinions and unusual takes on things that make a site interesting. If we throw them out in the service of content by consensus, we undermine any advantage a site like this one can have. Democracy then becomes a weakness rather than a strength.

Writers here must submit their stories, edit them, watch often bizarre criticisms pop up, sometimes having to act as a rapid response unit to avoid the dreaded ten -1s it takes to kill the article, then wait and wait for the article to be posted or rejected. More often than not, everyone votes within 18 hours and the author has to wait the rest of the 36 hours to see what autopost decides.

With the current number of regular readers, a post threshhold of 40 or 50 should be fine. Articles would go up relatively quickly, so authors would be spared the trouble of the wait, and articles would need a much more reasonable majority to make it. Of course, the right way to do this would be to implement a real quorum system and get rid of this bizarre threshhold concept, but that's probably just a fantasy.

With these changes, we will have a better chance of new and interesting content getting voted up. Such content will be more likely to attract new users by inspiring linkage from other sites. These new users will be more likely to stay if they see that Kuro5hin's front page is updated frequently, say once or twice daily, as opposed to the current appearance of once or twice weekly.

While there are probably other, even better, ways to revitalize this site, none of them are likely to happen for the simple reason that they would require significant changes to the code that runs this site or the attitudes of those who control it. The changes proposed here require neither and merely tweaks targetted to have the maximum benefit. They can be made with the push of a few buttons on the scoop admin page.