History Slashdot

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," and quickly became a hotspot on the Web for news and information of interest to computer geeks.[3] 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".[4] By June 1998 the site was seeing as many as 100,000 page views per day and advertisers began to take notice.[3] By December 1998, Slashdot had net revenues of $18,000, yet its Internet profile was higher, and revenues were expected to increase. On June 29, 1999, the site was sold to Linux megasite Andover.net for $1.5 million in cash and $7 million in Andover stock at the IPO price. Part of the deal was contingent upon the continued employment of Rob Malda and Jeff Bates and on "the achievement of certain milestones". With the acquisition of Slashdot, Andover.net could now advertise itself as "the leading Linux/Open Source destination on the Internet".[5][6] Andover.net eventually merged with VA Linux on February 3, 2000,[7] which changed its name to SourceForge, Inc. on May 24, 2007, and became Geeknet, Inc. on November 4, 2009.[8] Slashdot's 10,000th article was posted after two and a half years on February 24, 2000,[9] and the 100,000th article was posted on December 11, 2009 after 12 years online.[10] During the first 12 years, the mo t active story with the most responses posted was the post-2004 US Presidential Election article "Kerry Concedes Election To Bush" with 5,687 posts. This followed the creation of a new article section, politics.slashdot.org, created at the start of the 2004 election on September 7, 2004.[11] Many of the most popular stories are political, with "Strike on Iraq" (March 19, 2003) the second-most-active article and "Barack Obama Wins US Presidency" (November 5, 2008) the third-most-active. The rest of the 10 most active articles are an article announcing the 2005 London bombings, and several articles about Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, Saddam Hussein's capture, and Fahrenheit 9/11. Articles about Microsoft and its Windows Operating System are popular—a thread posted in 2002 titled "What's Keeping You On Windows?" was the 10th-most-active story, and an article about Windows 2000/NT4 source-code leaks the most visited article with more than 680,000 hits.[12] Some controversy erupted on March 9, 2001 after an anonymous user posted the full text of Scientology's "Operating Thetan Level Three" (OT III) document in a comment attached to a Slashdot article. The Church of Scientology demanded that Slashdot remove the document under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A week later, in a long article, Slashdot editors explained their decision to remove the page while providing links and information on how to get the document from other sources.[13] Slashdot Japan was launched on May 28, 2001 (although the first article was published April 5, 2001) and is an official offshoot of the US-based Web site. The site is currently owned by OSDN-Japan, Inc., and carries some of the US-based Slashdot articles as well as localized stories.[14][15] An external site, todhsalS, has reported selected stories published on Slashdot Japan in English since March 1, 2009.