"Operating somewhere between anarchy and hierarchy..."
A slashdot-style news site, focusing on discussion of such varied reader-submitted events as important world events, domestic political disputes, local news events, entertainment gossip, interesting anecdotes and the latest Internet fads, to name some examples among many.
Almost any interesting story could be published, but they get sorted into the topics Film, Games, Humor, Media, Music, Politics, Sex, Sports, Tech, Tv and Work. A fair number of articles are posted each day, appearing first on the topics sidebar and then appearing on the main news bar if they gather enough attention. The range of news story posted isn't as wide spread as a decent newspaper, but it's better than TV news and provides a wider worldview than most closely aimed online newsites.
The community is fairly small and civil, and moderation removes most nonsense posts. The political atmosphere leans a little to the left, but all viewpoints seem to make themselves heard, and usually in a polite way, unless it has something to due with conflict in the Middle East. Due to the large number of articles, actively discussed articles will have 50 or more comments, while many will have far less. The most popular article have had less than 200 comments. Whether the comments are worth reading depends on the phase of the moon, but the well-written comments can be fairly informative. A small group of regulars exists, but it's fairly low-key - there's no guaranteed 5+ rating equivalent of Slashdot's Signal 11 or Bruce Perens. For a while, Plastic readers were entertained by the well-known personality Ash Poopem, a good-natured 21st century B1FF who posted mispelled odes to Pokemon. He hasn't posted for a while, but his throne has since been taking by Old Sailor, who tells amusing, well-written stories about his life as a pirate and their moral relevancy to the discussion at hand.
Although based on Slashcode and fairly similar in design to Slashdot, Plastic has a few differences, such as the lack of Metamoderation and the ability to send notes between users. The automatic +1 bonus to posts comes at 100 karma, instead of the 25 required at Slashdot. Another difference is the user-driven story submission process. Anyone over 50 karma can see the submission queue and rate the stories. Volunteer editors, many employees of Plastic-associated sites, then have the final decision to post a story or not, as well as adding in non-submitted stories from the associates, such as Wired, Feed, and New Republic. Automatic editor powers given for an insanely high karma level have been suggested, and may one day be implemented to deal with the number of news submissions.
Plastic was started in January, 2000 by the same media people behind the now defunct Suck and Feed, Automatic Media. The editor in chief is Joey Anuff. Despite Automatic Media's dotcom death in June, 2001. Plastic has continued on due to the wonderful Carl, volunteers and PayPal donations. Despite the handicap of bankruptcy, Plastic won a 2001 Webby in the Print & Zines category, and continues on.