Curbing Bad BehaviorMark Bernstein writes of his concern about strife and emotional cruft in tech weblog circles in The Blogosphere's Bad Behavior
"We've endured a series of bitter internal storms. The Atomic Recriminations were bad. The MovableType Pricing Storm was worse. Then, a free hosting service goes down for a bit and people were screaming bloody murder. Literally.Nice stuff. I wish content creators would feel freer to append new text to previous statements to include apologies or acknowledgements that were not a part of their original text.
"And you know," Old Friend reminds me, "dispassionate talk about comment technologies isn't going to fix this." I hate to admit it: he's right."
However, I'd balk at his suggestion that "we need to think seriously about whether slashdot and its ilk have contributed anything lately". It seems to me that large forums contribute good and bad nearly all the time and that an analysis of the quality of the posts and their messages for a larger community is very subjective and reader-context-dependent. A message that's poor for me and people-like-me might be great for someone else. (The "might" qualifier is important as violation of larger community standards are sometimes easy to identify, aren't they?)
Besides...just today there's a nice post on Slashdot that begins as a series of responses to a Slate article on tired.com and then transforms in many places into a thread on insomnia, sleep apnea, and various anecdotes on related therapies. Good and bad abound and examples of both are easy to find when the source set is large enough.