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Rusty Foster Isn't Dead 162

Posted by timothy
from the pass-it-on dept.
While he was vacationing with his wife, Kuro5hin founder Rusty Foster was killed — at least in the eyes of Facebook. NBC News details how it happened: a "pal" pranked both Foster and Facebook by notifying the social site of Foster's supposed death, providing as documentation the obituary of another, much older man by the same name. Getting the Facebook version of his life back took some doing; based on this article it seems much easier to convince Facebook that you're dead than that you're alive.
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Rusty Foster Isn't Dead

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  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @04:22AM (#42486043)
    K5's demise was self inflicted. Rusty pissed off the regulars when he took donations and didn't improve the site. Instead, he went off to work for daily kos. The site's main attraction, the moderation queue which filtered out crappy articles was ruined by making the rules too easy. The diaries was the worst idea ever - just a blog roll with trivial personal content nobody cares about. Worst of all, the trolls weren't actively terminated.

    I'm surprised the site has "survived" this long - it's been a troll crapfest for at least 8 years now, longer than it was a great site. A great shame.

  • Re: Slow News Day (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rational (1990) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @07:00AM (#42486493)
    "Right number of apostrophe's but in the wrong places." If that was sarcasm, well played.
  • by maynard (3337) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:52AM (#42487241) Journal

    There were several waves of mass exodus. It's been a long time, but maybe in '03 a bunch of regular users left to go hang out at Hulver's Site to avoid pervasive and cruel trolling.

    http://www.hulver.com/scoop/ [hulver.com]

    Rusty waved sayonara to some of his most active and committed community members then. Hulver put it up just for the old community to hang out and didn't pursue general readership or expansion. It's still around and arguably more active than K5 is now, though also pretty slow.

    By '05-'06 K5 was nothing but a trollfest. At that point, I believe rusty was actively seeking large readership and advertising revenue by promoting troll content. For example, there was that "Fuck Natalee Holloway" article, which generated vast numbers of page views. From there the site continued its slide downhill, as rusty pursued more and more salacious material to drive traffic. It became a business model. Those who objected had their accounts summarily shitcanned one by one.

    I think rusty was of the opinion that the general community couldn't write well, and he was interested in attracting professionally written material. But he didn't care about substantive content - per se - only prose style. Many of the site trolls were actually good prose writers, so he coddled them.

    But a troll's interest was not in crafting useful content that would drive sustained readership. The interest is in shocking and offending the sensibilities of average readers. And so K5 transitioned from publishing useful - if marginally well written - articles about computing, technology, and social issues to the kind of thing that might drive short-term bursts of high traffic by an offended and angry anonymous readership.

    rusty made the bet that if he sacrificed an active community producing marginal but useful content in order to coddle those who produce offensive but quality written offensive material, that his site could generate the pageviews necessary for a successful business model. He was wrong.

    Now it looks as though they're engaged in a publicity effort to generate a burst of final advertising revenue. For example, we have this story. And at the same time on reddit over in /r/WTF we see this story hit:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/15ye9g/girls_guide_towtf_really/ [reddit.com]

    Which generated significant short burst traffic to the site. Timed within a day of each other. But it's a story about bestiality with dogs. Seriously.

    And I suppose writing in character a bogus female first person account of having sex with her dog is probably more fun than detailing the latest OS tricks or talking industrial policy. But Slashdot is still around and kicking. It still provides at least a marginal service to its user community that has meaning beyond just pissing people off. K5? Not so. And that's why rusty's site is dead while Slashdot employes people and retains a large user base.

    Because a to run a successful forum the community _does_ matter more than a few well written - if obscene - articles.

    May rusty enjoy his well deserved obscurity.

  • by Reschekle (2661565) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @11:48AM (#42487847)

    This is a urban legend. Attaching "Business Reply Mail" envelopes and cards to parcels is an invalid use of those mailings and will be discarded. You are either lying (this incident never happened) or your postman has never worked in sorting and has no clue about this.

    See here [usps.com] and here [straightdope.com].

    If you want to piss them off, send them something nasty that will gum up the letter-opening machines at the CC company. Of course you may well end up being sued or charged with a crime, depending on the circumstance.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

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