Slashdot (abbreviated as /.) is a socially curated website largely dedicated to technology-related news items. The site motto is "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters."
Site members submit summaries of news items with links to the sources. Other members act as moderators, rating items on a scale (usually) of 1-5 and assigning an assessment such as "insightful," "funny," "interesting," "redundant," "off-topic" or "troll."
Slashdot was founded by Rob Malda (Cmdr. Taco) and Jeff Bates (Hemos) in 1997. The site was originally a discussion forum about Linux and related software but has broadened in scope to include any technology-related subject as well as other topics like politics, science and culture.
Slashdot started out as "Chips and Dips." According to according to Jeff "Hemos" Bates, the site was renamed as "a play on how terrible it is to say domain names out loud." In this case: h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slashdot-dot-org.
Slashdot has become so popular that there's a name, Slashdot effect, for what happens to some smaller websites when a post on the site links to them: a surge in traffic that can overwhelm the smaller site's servers and degrade performance.