Turn Karma Into Cash

Fake News written by James Baughn on Monday, September 13, 1999

from the cash-for-nerds-stuff-that-sells dept.

Taco Boy's latest duct-tape-and-bailing-wire Perl hack on the Slashdot codebase involving "karma" and "MetaModeration" has opened a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs to buy and sell used Slashdot accounts. Several Dotheads with low-numbered accounts and high karma values have placed their accounts up for auction at eBay in the hopes to get-rich-quick.

"Why not?" asked "Captain Dothead", a Slashdot regular auctioning off account number 176. "After weeks of painstaking work, I've been able to increase my karma value to astronomical levels. If I can reap a few hundred dollars from the deal, I'll be able to establish my own Linux portal website (cheesy-linux-portal.com, perhaps?), and within six months I'll have an IPO and become a millionaire. It worked for you guys at Humorix, right?"

Some Slashdot addicts are viewing the new moderation system as a game, much like a role-playing world in which players spend time crafting their characters and abilities. "Accumulating karma points is fun," the holder of account #15,623 said. "I don't care about posting insightful or interesting comments... all I'm interested in is posting comments that are guaranteed to be moderated up to a 5 with as little effort as possible. I've got a bet with a friend that I can improve my karma to 25 point by the end of the week... I know I'm going to win, unless CmdrTaco starts mucking with the system again..."

One "DotBayHead" (a newly coined term describing a combined Slashdot and eBay addict) has uploaded a "Slashdot Karma mini-HOWTO" to the LDP. This document contains numerous strategies for increasing the property value (karma) of a user account, including:

  • Use reverse pyschology. Adding the tagline "Go ahead and moderate this post down" to your posts will typically cause the moderators to boost your rating.

  • Subliminal messages can be very effective. Inserting the phrase "You _WILL_ boost my karma points" as an HTML comment has been known to be very effective.

  • Make fun of Bill Gates. Make fun of Microsoft. Make fun of Windows. Repeat as necessary.

  • Gratuitous Microsoft bashing is a guaranteed karma booster. Did the featured link crash as the result of the Slashdot Effect? Is it running Windows NT and IIS? Point it out! On average, "such-and-such.com is running Microsoft crapware" posts rank 14.5% higher than other non-Microsoft-bashing comments.

  • Post a "Top Ten List". It doesn't have to be funny: studies have indicated that a moderator will automatically mark a post as "Funny" upon seeing the words "Top Ten List" before actually reading the rest of it.

  • Prove that the article is a hoax. This method is becoming increasingly more difficult as "roblimo" actually does some fact checking; however, CmdrTaco is still known to post hoaxes or wild rumors occasionally that can be discredited.

  • Mention Neil Stephenson. Some "Cryptonomicon" fan will instantly boost your post's score, even if your comment is off-topic.

If that isn't enough, our Vast Spy Network(tm) reports that a spammer is already broadcasting "Get Rich Quick from Slashdot.org!" messages. "You too can make $50,000 per month EASY by creating and selling Slashdot user accounts," the advertisement claims. "A low-numbered Slashdot account with 30+ karma points is easily worth $250 on eBay... What are you waiting for? Sign up TODAY for our KARMA KASH KOLLECTOR KIT for only $49.95 by calling (877)..."

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