While the discussion features help retain readers, threads have a half-life measured in days, if not hours. Compare this to Usenet, where users can debate a single thread for months. By its very nature, Slash encourages short bursts of ferocious activity, and is best suited for frequent Story turnover. Picture Dr. Frankenstein in his laboratory, stitching together his monster. “Igor,” he yells. “Go dig up something interesting!”
There are two main sources of Stories: original content and links to other sites. Fittingly, there are two main groups that suggest Stories: Authors and site users. The type of site governs which source and group will produce the most content. A news site (such as Slashdot) will likely post more links garnered from user submissions, while a personal weblog (such as Tangent.org) will post mostly unique content written by the Authors. These don’t preclude other options, of course.
Chapter 4 discussed the mechanics of approving submissions, and Section 8.2 in this chapter suggested finding an appropriate niche for the site. With these in mind, how can administrators create or find new unique content?
The easiest way to generate new content is to make it a duty of Authors. Each week, each Author could write an opinion piece, book review, or fresh news story. Of course, this is much easier if Authors are paid for their work—volunteer contributors either need copious amounts of ...