January 18, 2006

Editorial Exegesis on Slashdot

by Nick Montfort · , 2:35 pm

Here people might not properly capitalize a proper noun. They might transpose letters in ‘thier’. They might use jargon that isn’t in oxford. And all of that is OK with me.

Whether or not you’re a textual scholar, you may have wondered what the editorial values are on the three-leet site Slashdot, and what principles and practices apply to posting “stories” there. If so, you’ll be interested in a lengthy, recent post that tells the whole story and also offers a Goldilocks theory of story length and a sort of rhetoric of hyper-linking. There is some very fascinating conversation afterwards, too: “The process of reading is pipelined. Humans can scan through text very quickly because while the eye is scanning one word you’re parsing the sentence from a few words before and thinking about the meaning of what came before that. When you hit a grammatical or spelling error you cause a pipeline stall.”

The post about what editorial stuff is “stuff that matters” comes from the main Slashdot honcho – yes, it’s straight from the taco’s mouth.