Slashdot was the first site I followed, pre-RSS, on a daily basis. In those early days, it was the site I depended on for news. You know, news for nerds, stuff that matters. I’ve been following the site, day in and day out, since 1997.
But since Rob Malda left (August 25, 2011), things have changed. And each change has slowly eroded my ability to care. The second most egregious change has been the “first time accepted submitter” crap they’ve add to submissions. But the most egregious has been inserting ads before the story in their RSS feeds.
They apparently now care more for ad impressions than the reader’s experience and I care a lot about the reader’s experience. They really want you to see that ad.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m perfectly fine with ads in RSS feeds. I get it. You’re a business and you need to make money. Fine. But shoving an ad in my face, in a frigging RSS feed, before I can even read the story? Please. We already know that you’re probably going to have some floating ad waiting for me once I click the link, forcing me to close the window so I can read the story. (To be fair, Slashdot doesn’t do this yet. Yet.)
As a side note, when ads are placed at the end of the RSS entry, I usually read them. More often than not, I’ll place my eyes on the ad and allow my brain to skim it. But if it’s the first thing that hits me right out of the box? No.
No and no.
Congratulations, Slashdot. You’ve just made reading less fun.
And guess what I’m doing when I’m perusing my RSS feed. Reading.
So, this is goodbye. I know you won’t miss me. I’ll miss you a little. Hell, I can’t even find my login credentials. But you’ll be missed. If only because you were the oldest news source in my feed. We go way back, you and me.