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Slashdot (sometimes abbreviated as /.) is a technology-related news website owned by Geeknet, Inc. The site, which bills itself as "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters", features user-submitted and ‑evaluated current affairs news stories about science- and technology-related topics. Each story has a comments section attached to it. Slashdot was founded in 1997 as a blog, Chips & Dips, by Hope College computer science student Rob Malda, also known as "Commander Taco". The name "Slashdot" is described by Malda as "a sort of obnoxious parody of a URL", chosen to confuse those who tried to pronounce the URL of the site ("h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slashdot-dot-org").

Summaries of stories and links to news articles are submitted by Slashdot's own readers, and each story becomes the topic of a threaded discussion among users. Discussion is moderated by a user-based moderation system. Randomly selected moderators assign points of either −1 or +1 to each comment, based on whether the comment is perceived as either normal, offtopic, insightful, redundant, interesting, or troll (among others). The site's comment and moderation system is administered by its own content management system, Slash, which is available under the GNU General Public License.

Slashdot's traffic is estimated at approximately 5.5 million users per month, and the site has won more than 20 awards, including People's Voice Awards in 2000 for Best Community Site and Best News Site. Occasionally, a story will link to a server causing a large surge of traffic, which can overwhelm some smaller or independent sites. This phenomenon is known as the "Slashdot effect".



The origins of the site now known as Slashdot date back to July 1997, when Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda started a personal website called Chips & Dips, which featured a single "rant" each day about something that interested him – typically something to do with Linux or open-source software. At the time, Malda was a student at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, majoring in computer science. The site became Slashdot in September 1997 under the moniker, "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters" (although the first archived Slashdot post dates back to December 31, 1997, due to a server crash that wiped out the earlier posts[1]), and quickly became a hotspot on the Web for news and information of interest to computer geeks.[2] The name "Slashdot" came from a somewhat "obnoxious parody of a URL" – when Malda registered the domain, he desired to make a name that was "silly and unpronounceable" – try pronouncing out, "h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slashdot-dot-org".[3] One popular section that debuted in the early days (May 13, 1998) is "Ask Slashdot", which allowed individual users to ask questions to the Slashdot community on a variety of topics.[4]

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