Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Dec 2008 16:07 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Consider the following a little Christmas gift. Some of you may have already noticed, but for a few months already OSNews has seen a shift in content. Not necessarily in the subjects we cover, but more in the way we present our news. We've experimented for long enough now - we have settled on a definitive change in our content type. Read on for the details.
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Sounds good
by Buck on Thu 25th Dec 2008 16:37 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Intuitively I feel things are moving in the right direction, regarding separating the news into "just news" and "opinion-enhanced news". That ought to get rid of some of the mess. So keep it up. Oh, and all the best wishes for the new year and merry christmas/new year to all of the team!

Edited 2008-12-25 16:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Any chance of a combined RSS feed?
by samw on Thu 25th Dec 2008 17:13 UTC
samw
Member since:
2008-12-12

I don't mean to complain, and i'm not doing - I love this site and more long features is a definite plus to me but as a suggestiopn, could we please have a combined RSS feed for our readers?

This all looks to be in the right direction, well done team OSNews!

Happy christmas everyone!

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

could we please have a combined RSS feed for our readers?


I can't do that for you personally, but yes, this should definitely happen (assuming you mean page 1+page 2). It'll be up to Adam to set it up though.

It might already exist, though. I don't use RSS, so I really wouldn't know ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Nossie Member since:
2007-07-31

combined rss would be great ;)

I like where you guys are going with this but I like my feed unadulterated ;) hehe


cheers and Merry Christmas!.

Reply Score: 4

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

The RSS feed never changed. It was always all items, page 1 and 2, and it will stay that way for the time being. In the event we decide to break them up, we will offer a combined feed for certain.

Reply Score: 2

Regular posts
by sbergman27 on Thu 25th Dec 2008 17:33 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Hmmm. I'm not sure if this would be a considered a "Glorified RSS reqest". But regarding "long articles"... it's always seemed to me that the editors all have their own personal accounts which probably command more attention than the regular user accounts, anyway. Why not keep the official stuff relatively "just the facts" and then post the opinions as regular posts. Lots of people here "know a thing or two about a number of subjects" and find the regular comment section to be a perfectly adequate vehicle. I dunno. It just seems like in the past, when neighborhood site operators start talking about "Editorial Vision" and stuff, it only bodes ill for the future.

OSNews is great. But it's not CBS News, and you're not Walter Cronkite. And that state of affairs is perfectly fine with me.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Regular posts
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 25th Dec 2008 17:38 UTC in reply to "Regular posts"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Why not keep the official stuff relatively "just the facts" and then post the opinions as regular posts.


That's the privilege we have as editors ;) . That's just how the world works. So to be blunt: no.

The thing is though, if you submit an article to us, or even a well-written regular long news item, we'll publish it. We are very open to publishing different opinions - we always have been. In other words, you can have the same kind of podium that we have. Feel free to use it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Regular posts
by Kroc on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:02 UTC in reply to "Regular posts"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Content needs personality.

A news item is going to be presented and written about on a million blogs up and down the Internet.

OSnews can’t be everything to everyone, but it can be something to someone. It is better that we provide something unique to the Internet -- even if some people don’t like it -- than to be nothing more than a Yahoo Pipes feed regurgitating everybody else’s RSS.

Yes, our "opinions" will piss some people off, but we as news editors are not soulless, genderless, completely unbiased machines. OSnews will be no more biased, unbiased or opinionated with "longer" items than it was without them.

We want to bring original thoughts, and original discussion to the table, and we can only do that by taking our roles as editors more seriously.

Kind regards,
Kroc Camen.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Regular posts
by sbergman27 on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Regular posts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

OSnews can’t be everything to everyone, but it can be something to someone.

Well, "read more" is definitely a move in the right direction from the unnecessarily annoying "my take"... as long as the story links are in the short blurb visible without having to read through the opinion part. (Restricting the blurbs to "just the facts, ma'am" would be a plus, too.) Which is not to say that I generally disklike reading you guys' opinions. That's more a matter of disliking feeling manipulated. I suspect that without some strong aversion to feeling manipulated, we'd all be using Windows, never having even thought to consider other operating systems (regardless of what we've actually settled upon), and most of us wouldn't be here.

Edited 2008-12-25 20:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Regular posts
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Regular posts"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

as long as the story links are in the short blurb visible without having to read through the opinion part.


Which is exactly what we promise to do. It's in the article, actually ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Regular posts
by sbergman27 on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Regular posts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Which is exactly what we promise to do. It's in the article, actually ;) .

That being under 'read more', I only kind of skimmed it. ;-) And I missed that bit.

But I kinda figured that was in the plan. :-)

Don't take my suggestion as being a terribly strong one. The existing plan looks reasonable.

Edited 2008-12-25 20:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Regular posts
by joshv on Fri 26th Dec 2008 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Regular posts"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

I just couldn't bring myself to wade through that meandering edict in it's entirety. Perhaps you could could summarize the changed?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Regular posts
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 26th Dec 2008 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Regular posts"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm not a summarising automaton. The article is pretty clear. You might misunderstand the changes without the proper context anyway.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Regular posts
by sbergman27 on Fri 26th Dec 2008 13:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Regular posts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm not a summarising automaton.

Wanted: Summarizing automaton. Brief experience necessary. Contact so-applications@osnews.com ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Regular posts
by joshv on Sat 27th Dec 2008 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Regular posts"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

No, it's not a clear article.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Regular posts
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 27th Dec 2008 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Regular posts"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, nobody else seems to be having any problems. I'm sorry, but the article is crystal clear, and i'm not going to pull everything out of context just because you are having trouble reading.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Regular posts
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 29th Dec 2008 22:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Regular posts"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I realize this is an old posting but I was on vacation at the time.

I think the long article should be as neutral as possible, while realizing that complete neutrality is impossible. But, I also think opinions on the material are fine, I just think there should be a clear dividing line.

My ideal osnews would be such:

New wizzerbang gadget gets new Whosiwhat

Project leaders annocned today that the wizzerbang gadget would now have whosiwhat functionality. This comes in response to frequent criticism from its community that it was falling behind arch competitor Tartimal who has had the whosiwhat functionality for upwards of a year.


Commentary by Bill Shooter Of Bul:

Wizzerbang is spending too much time trying to play catch up and become Tartimal, while not doing enough to enhance it sown unique functionality. Whosiwhat-ism is nice for those that need it, but everyone that does need it is already using Tartimal. Those that use Wizzerbang have a different use case that is best left uncluttered with the modifications to the codebase that whosiwhat will necessitate.


Comments:


Bill is obviously a puppet of big Gargiphol. Anyone int the Yasterfund industry needs whosiwhat, whether they know it or not.

~eyesAreOpen

Reply Score: 1

All hail lord Xenu
by SEJeff on Thu 25th Dec 2008 17:36 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

Since Eugenia took the backseat, your opinion was what kept us reading (and laughing at) osnews Thom. No seriously, it's great to read stuff from someone intelligent and ballsy enough to voice critical opinions.

Keep up the good work Thom.

Reply Score: 9

RE: All hail lord Xenu
by hollovoid on Fri 26th Dec 2008 13:14 UTC in reply to "All hail lord Xenu"
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

I agree, don't always like or agree what he has to say, but I am always compelled to read it. And the topics that spurr off as a result are equally compelling, keep up the good work!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by vikramsharma
by vikramsharma on Thu 25th Dec 2008 18:17 UTC
vikramsharma
Member since:
2005-07-06

OSNews is my homepage on my Linux laptop and my mac. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year to all.

Reply Score: 2

More content
by Willstuppence on Thu 25th Dec 2008 19:56 UTC
Willstuppence
Member since:
2008-12-25

I personally think this is a great idea.
It fits in nicely with a blog post by Tim O'Reilly I was reading a couple of days ago (not linked by osnews) http://radar.oreilly.com/2008/12/waking-up-from-nightmare-on-tech-s... which comments on how much of the Web 2.0 hype is over sites linking to content which never actually produce any of their own; leading, perhaps to less quality content as the advertising moves from those producing content to those linking to it.
Producing your own content centered on topics started by others seems like a neat solution.

Will

Edited 2008-12-25 19:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: More content
by rexstuff on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:06 UTC in reply to "More content"
rexstuff Member since:
2007-04-06

I wholeheartedly agree. While OSNews serves as an excellent news aggregator that caters to us OS enthusiasts, I fully approve of the move towards offering unique and original content. I'd love to see OSNews become a definitive source for opinion and criticism on the world of operating systems

OSNews editors: Please feel encouraged to voice your own takes on issues, but remember to listen to your readers, too, for is it not written:

"Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." ?

Keep up the good - nay, the Great - work. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: More content
by Kroc on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE: More content"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

To all,

And if you know something better than us -- we would want nothing more than our smart, well-informed, and passionate community to correct us.

The current editorial staff cannot be experts on every subject, and if news items you care about are falling to the wayside of Pg.2, then consider contributing original content, your own opinion and expertise attached to news items--or put yourself forward as an editor to cover the subjects you know well.

Reply Score: 2

Appreciation
by alpayerturkmen on Thu 25th Dec 2008 20:34 UTC
alpayerturkmen
Member since:
2008-12-25

This is take two as my "is this really what you want to be doing right now?" filter kicked in, so I switched to Safari ;)

I don't know when or how I started reading OSnews but I have been reading for a long time. I am not the talker type of guy on the Internet, probably because I am not a native English speaker so basically I am a reader. I have actually just now registered for OSnews and posting my first comment.

I have been reading and enjoying OSnews over RSS and haven't been onto the actual site for a while. I like OSnews the way it is, but I think it will be at least as good as it is right now in the new direction you are taking. Internet is all about getting to information but I have just recently noticed that Web 2.0 is all about what you think about this information, whether it is your friends, your photos or news items.

So kudos for the new direction and thanks for all the fish -but please keep the news items, blurbs, whatever you call them so that I don't have to go out and find a new news source.

Cheers,
Alpay

Reply Score: 2

RE: Appreciation
by soonerproud on Fri 26th Dec 2008 00:59 UTC in reply to "Appreciation"
soonerproud Member since:
2008-03-05

Your English is excellent and in my humble opinion is better than most of us who are native speakers. Please do not be afraid to post your opinions in the future. Many of us regular readers would love to read what you have to say.

Reply Score: 2

I'm all for it
by Dirge on Thu 25th Dec 2008 23:46 UTC
Dirge
Member since:
2005-07-14

I have to say I have a good feeling about this direction and hope you attract new writers with more content.

I would also like to see the Resources section of OSnews updated and perhaps links to other OS related sites of interest.

Reply Score: 1

Thom, I must say..
by wannabe geek on Fri 26th Dec 2008 01:40 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

.. this may well be the most exciting internal-policy article I've read on this site. Great ideas. It's nice to see how OSNews is shaping up. Congratulations!

Reply Score: 2

I don't see any Page 2 side box
by Angel on Fri 26th Dec 2008 04:22 UTC
Angel
Member since:
2005-07-07

I used to see the page 2 side box but no longer, what gives?

Reply Score: 2

Collapsed items?
by -pekr- on Fri 26th Dec 2008 07:56 UTC
-pekr-
Member since:
2006-03-28

Sorry for uneducated question, but what is the purpose of some items being collapsed by default? Can anyone explain the logic behind this? Thanks a lot ...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Collapsed items?
by bogomipz on Fri 26th Dec 2008 10:54 UTC in reply to "Collapsed items?"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

The collapsed ones are the "page 2" items. Originally, a sidebar was introduced for this purpose. Then someone suggested listing them together with the page 1 items, showing only the headlines. This experiment is what you see now. In the article, however, Thom says they are going back to the sidebar.

Reply Score: 3

erm...
by thebackwash on Fri 26th Dec 2008 08:55 UTC
thebackwash
Member since:
2005-07-06

Call me daft but I can't find the Page 2 link, and I actually never saw it before. Not running an ad blocker or anything.

EDIT: Also, glad to hear about the change in editorial direction. It seems to be a continuation of the overall rise in quality OSNews has seen over the last year or so.

Keep it up!

Edited 2008-12-26 08:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

User input on accepted articles?
by Moochman on Fri 26th Dec 2008 09:15 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I like the direction things are taking, yet I think the rethink could go even further. Have you considered something similar to Slashdot's Firehose, where users can contribute ratings as to whether a story should get accepted on the front (/second) page? This would not only lessen the strain on the editors but also ensure that news the users find interesting but that the editors might not have picked still makes the cut.

One step further would be to allow the users to create their own "long pieces". In some sense this is already built-in since users can contribute original stories; why not extend it to also being allowed to contribute "long pieces" with a news and an opinion section? This combined with the user-rating system would ensure that trash does not get posted, while increasing the number of in-depth articles, all while sparing the actual editors lots of time (and saving money, since most of the "editors" in effect are volunteers).

As an added bonus the "blog-esque" aspect that comes with having a few contributing editors gets alleviated by a much wider range of opinions.

I think this would be in the "true" spirit of Web 2.0.

Think it over.

Cheers

Edited 2008-12-26 09:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Have you considered something similar to Slashdot's Firehose, where users can contribute ratings as to whether a story should get accepted on the front (/second) page?


Short answer: ain't gonna happen.

Long answer: You see, OSNews is a site with a traditional editorial gatekeeping model. Slashdot used to be like that too, but then they caved under the pressure of Digg's success, and they figured they could create some halfbaked model in between traditional editorial gatekeeping and "modern" web-two-dot-oh user-controlled content.

We will not go there. We are already quite open, as you can see which headlines are in the waiting list, and everyone can submit news and articles to us. I personally do not believe in user-controlled content the way Digg does. It may have its place, but that place is not here on OSNews.

Reply Score: 1

iain.dalton Member since:
2006-02-28

Would it be fair to say you are taking OSNews in the direction of Ars Technica? They just have long articles, and I've always liked the quality that comes from that. As you gain editors I suspect this site will become even better than it already is.

Reply Score: 1

heron
Member since:
2005-08-07

Previously, it seemed like OSNews was doing a good job at being unbiased. Has this changed? Your initial statement appears to imply that it will.

I sincerely hope this is not the case.

GC

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Previously, it seemed like OSNews was doing a good job at being unbiased.

The sky's red here on Planet Claire. What's it like where you are?

Edited 2008-12-27 05:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

heron Member since:
2005-08-07

HUH? I think this is an honest and simple question which deserves a straight answer.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Previously, it seemed like OSNews was doing a good job at being unbiased. Has this changed?


The article is pretty clear. We've never been unbiased, it's just that now we will be more direct about how we editors feel, but only in the longer items. It will not affect which stories we run, just how we run the part below the read more link.

Then again, we've been doing what I announced above for months and months now, and it doesn't seem like you really noticed. So, no, nothing's going to change for you.

Reply Score: 1

whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems to me that that original article is an acceptance about bias and working around it.

The way to get an "unbiased" site is to have authors of different bias. There's no reason to ask Thom to change his bias, as part of being biased is being well informed on the topic you're biased about.

So, bring in others with different expertise and bias, and then, while individuals may be biased, the site as a whole may well not be, or minimally will at least have a broader scope.

Reply Score: 2