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[humorix] Turn Karma Into Cash

Turn Karma Into Cash
September 13, 1999

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

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


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)..."


James S. Baughn

Humorix:      Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Archive:      http://humbolt.nl.linux.org/lists/
Web site:     http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/