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Kuro5hin (K5) (pronounced "corrosion") is a community discussion website (sometimes known as a Commons-Based Peer Production) focused on technology and culture. The site runs on the Scoop collaborative system, originally developed for Kuro5hin and licensed under the GPL. Its motto is "Technology and Culture, from the Trenches." The site is notable for being almost entirely community driven.



All content is generated by and selected by the users—with the exception of site news, which is written by Rusty Foster, the site's founder. Registered users can submit stories to the Submissions Queue. In the queue, users vote +1 FP (front page), +1, -1 or 0 (for an abstention). If the story reaches a predetermined threshold score, it is posted either to the front page or to the relevant section, depending on the proportion of +1FP votes. If it fails to make the threshold, it is dropped.

One feature of the story queue is Edit Mode, which means that a story is protected from voting for a period of time, during which the author can make changes. Comments can be made on the story during this time, and to aid the author, they are distinguished as being Editorial or Topical comments.

A further section known as the Diaries allows unmoderated posting by any user. Diary entries are essentially weblog entries, though their aggregation of posts by many users gives a more collective atmosphere. Some diaries are written by trolls, a practice which has caused many diary-writers ("diarists") to leave Kuro5hin.


Rusty Foster named Kuro5hin as a pun on his first name. The 5 was inspired by the name of the character Da5id in Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel, Snow Crash. Dylan Griffiths (Inoshiro) was second in command as site administrator for some time, but more recently has been largely absent from the community. Additionally, there are a number of other people with powers of story editing (although not comment editing) and site administration.

The community also holds a Wiki for Kuro5hin related material called Ko4ting (pronounced "coating" or "cavorting"). It houses information about the community, including a Greatest Stories Hall of Fame, Welcome/Introduction Guide, History of Kuro5hin, and a story directory.

The style and content of what is in part a magazine site has ebbed and flowed over time, such as an increase in Culture and politics articles. In early 2003 a fiction section was added [1] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/section/fiction).

In the second half of 2003 a large portion of the diarists abandoned Kuro5hin and started posting diaries on Hulver's site (commonly referred to as "HuSi"). Around the same time complaints about trolls increased.

On March 25, 2004, Rusty closed off new user accounts because of posting of an image he and others found offensive, which photoshopped his wife's face onto a pornographic image [2] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/3/24/0502/96199). He later announced he was going to implement new user sponsorship [3] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/3/24/0502/96199). Many users believed that it would be the beginning of the end of Kuro5hin [4] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/5/1/151626/0942/100#100) [5] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/5/1/151626/0942) and some believed the whole scheme wouldn't work at all. [6] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/5/18/85939/8987) On July 13, 2004, Rusty reopened new user accounts and informed the community that he was abandoning the idea of user sponsorship. [7] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/7/13/13147/8165)

On July 23, 2004, Rusty announced that he was going to alter the way editors modify people's diaries to make it more visible to the K5 community [8] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/7/23/105639/426/18#18). This was done in response to the way that an unknown editor modified circletimessquare's diary [9] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/7/22/4848/95567). There was confusion over whether the diary was a troll, and a subsequent diary by curien underscored this further [10] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/7/23/105639/426) [11] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/7/23/105639/426/3#3). As of almost one year later (June 22, 2005), these changes to editor powers have still not been implemented.


New users to Kuro5hin often find there are several unwritten rules they are expected to follow. Many existing users say that new users should post some diaries and comments to the site before submitting a story. Users who have no comments and no diaries and who submit a story are often called nullos, originally given after an article posted by McBain in 2003 [12] (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/7/25/221540/674).

See also

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