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Slashdot Reader Survey

Anita Chan is a masters student at MIT. She made a short presenation at 
last Wednesday's BLU meeting. We plan to have Anita back to report on the 
results of the survey.
Please respond to 
 Anita Jean Chan <anita1 at MIT.EDU>, not to the list and not to me. 
Dear Linux User,
I am a masters student at the Comparative Media Studies Department at MIT
who is undertaking a project I thought some users of this list would be
interested in. I am researching for my masters thesis the emergent roles
of editors and users on the site, and the ways in which they
manifest an "open" model of journalism. I am particularly interested in
the various ways users interact with and help to construct news content on
Slashdot, how editorial responsibilities are distributed among a body of
users, and in users' assessment of features and functions of the site. To
that end, I have been interviewing Slashdot editors and users, and am
gathering users' responses to the survey below.

All responses to this survey will be kept confidential and will be used
for the purposes of this study exclusively. I should also stress for
those interested in participating that you are free to leave any
question(s) unanswered, and to use a handle in place of a real name,
if you prefer. And any feedback you could contribute would be greatly

Responses and questions can be addressed to me at: anita1 at

Many Thanks!

Anita Chan
Comparative Media Studies Department, MIT
M.S. Candidate 2002
anita1 at


Place of residence:
Slashdot Nickname:

1. Can you describe the history of your usage of/participation in
Slashdot? (i.e. How long you have been visiting the site?  If you use or
read it significantly differently than you had before, ever been addicted,
or stopped reading it altogether? And if so, why?)

2. How do you typically interact with the site now? (Read or filter the
forums, skim the headlines, post to the forums or submissions bin, etc)?

3. Would you identify yourself as either (or both) a Slashdot community
member or as a Slashdot news reader? Why or why not? Would you
characterize your relationship to the site as something entirely

4. Could you describe your relationship to, or perception of other users
on the site? And with its editors? How do these compare to your
relationship to or perception of other users and editors on other online
news sites you visit?

5. Are there any interactions with either users or editors of the site
that you've had that are memorable or notable to you? Either because they
were especially fruitful and productive, or because they were frustrating
and unproductive? Or simply because they were unexpected and unique?

6. What has been your general assessment of key technical features - the
discussion forum, submissions bin, moderation feature - of the site? What
value do any (or all) of these features add to the site? Do they detract
in any way from the value of the site?

7. What do you consider to be the most crucial aspect, feature or value of
the site, and why? Are there any aspects/values/features that you
particularly wish would change?

8. Do you think the site ever (or has ever) compromises(d) its editorial
credibility? If so, how? How would you compare the level of editorial
credibility and trust you invest in other news sites you visit (please
specify) to that you invest in Slashdot?

9. Can you describe one story (or type of story) on Slashdot whose
"coverage" was (or is) particularly memorable or valuable to you? What
was/is significant about its coverage?

10. Has Slashdot affected your expectations of or experiences in other
news or community sites you visit? If so, how?

11.  Is there anything else you'd like to add or suggest?

12. Would you be willing to be contacted for a followup?

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