Please continue allowing anonymous posts
Posted Feb 1, 2007 16:17 UTC (Thu) by broom
In reply to: An idea
Parent article: An LWN reader survey
First up, I'd like to add my voice to the chorus about LWN being the only online service I'd pay for. Actually, it's stronger than that: I am pyschologically compelled to subscribe. My heart dropped through the floor when I read the initial announcement of LWN's anticipated closure.
As others have said above, the compelling feature of LWN is the high-level descriptions and summaries of the topics covered, especially current and planned changes to the kernel, written by people who can place the material in the correct long-term context.
Please continue allowing anonymous posts. When I visit other sites, nothing cheeses me off more than having to go through the rigmarole of registering just so that I can add a small comment or suggestion. I usually don't bother, but I've still accumulated and forgotten a zillion used-once accounts. Often I just decide to have nothing further to do with the site and stop visiting it. Other sites (e.g. groklaw) seem to work quite well with anonymous posts, with many prominent, intelligent people posting comments anonymously.
It might be worthwhile allowing anonymous posts to be rated very simply by subscribers (useful or not useful), and allowing subscribers to filter comments based on say the number/proportion of useful/not useful ratings.
Howto's can be useful, but they can age quickly. It's very annoying to find say "linux networking howtos" from 1996, and I form a low opinion of sites hosting such. There should be a plan for tracking a howto's effective age based on its content not its last modified date. Perhaps subscribers could rate a howto as "old" or "current", with howtos having a high proportion of old ratings automatically flagged for old age treatment. After a grace period, old howtos should be moved into an archive out of sight from the search engines. They could be replaced by an updated or rewritten howto if desired.
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