One day after Apple CEO Steve Jobs shook the tech industry by announcing his resignation, Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda rocked the world of tech news by announcing he is leaving the Slashdot website he founded 14 years ago.
In a 9 a.m. Thursday post on the Slashdot site Editor-in-Chief Malda broke his news by writing in part: "After 14 years and over 15,000 stories posted, it's finally time for me to say Good-Bye to Slashdot. I created this place with my best friends in a run down house while still in college. Since then it has grown to be read by more than a million people, and has served Billions and Billions of Pages (yes, in my head I hear the voice). During my tenure I have done my best to keep Slashdot firmly grounded in its origins, but now it's time for someone else to come aboard and find the *future*. Personally I don't have any plans…"
Malda's post quickly generated hundreds of comments, most thanking him for the website. One such post, from mlush: "I came to computing from a biology Degree and PhD and I have to thank Slashdot for bringing me into Geek culture, for although its full of timesinks it has made me a better jobbing bioinformation and general IT guy :-)"
Slashdot, which Malda started as a blog called Chips & Dip with Hope College classmate Jeff "Hemos" Bates, gets its name from "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"), according to a Wikipedia entry.
For years, the Slashdot tagline was: "News for nerds, stuff that matters." The site over the years has become a popular water cooler area for discussing hot topics, often the geekier the better, including the latest on everything from Linux to Cisco to privacy issues. A simple post on Steve Jobs' resignation Wednesday night sparked more than 800 comments by Thursday morning, for example. Many a Network World story has also been highlighted and discussed on Slashdot, including recently "Using Tablets Becoming Popular Bathroom Activity."
Back in the day before network bandwidth and server capacity was virtually unlimited, the appearance of a publication's story on Slashdot could result in a mixed blessing: Huge amounts of people visiting your site, only to melt it down. We reported 10 years ago on a Slashdot mention of an NSA website providing cool guides for Windows 2000 that wound up knocking the NSA site offline.
As @Jperlow wrote on Twitter about the CmdrTaco news: "Jobs walking away from Apple is sad… but @cmdrtaco resigning from Slashdot is TRAGIC."