|Do you know where your variables are?|
Two Observations About Voting/Experienceby George_Sherston (Vicar)
|on Oct 09, 2001 at 12:50 UTC||Need Help??|
I just had a look at my high-rep nodes to confirm a suspicion... and I'm right. A node stands a much greater chance of getting more than 50 votes if it gets on the Monastery Gates. Even if it's a few steps down a Monastery Gates thread, it's going to get more votes.
For example this was a moderately intelligent response to a slightly whimsical question, but from a technical standpoint quite lame (unnecessarily elaborate regex use, as a follow-up post showed), but it featured in best nodes of the day at one point and ended up at 70 - because the thread was on the front page.
On the other hand this obfu, of which I confess I'm quite proud, and which I think was a newish take on an old problem, and which certainly took a good deal more effort, has hardly more rep than the $NORM.
Well so what? I mean, I'm here for the XP, obviously, that's my only motivation, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. But I think it does matter for two reasons:
(1) if a node is getting voted up simply because of where it appears, then the monastery is not accurately encouraging the kind of posts that really contribute to its life
(2) if monks are only voting for nodes on the front page, then they are missing a lot of good stuff
To my mind, (1) is the more important. I reckon the value of voting is that it promotes a convergence and consensus around what is a useful contribution to the life of the monastery. So it's important to vote on content. Everyone agrees that personality voting is a bad thing (especially personality downvoting) for just this reason. I think visibility voting is just as bad, albeit not personally hurtful.
My new year resolutions about voting, therefore are:
(1) only vote up a node I understand and which either (A) told me something I needed to know (B) probably told another monk something s/he needed to know (C) was delightfully clever or funny (D) was very polite - thus encouraging the kind of behaviour I would like to see more of;
(2) not vote for something on the front page if I wouldn't have found it under newest nodes
(3) return to every thread I vote on after a day or two has passed to see if there are any valuable contributions that didn't get voted up in the first rush of enthusiasm
I calculate that if I built a votebot and left it running and posted nothing, then I'd end up as a saint in about eight months time. But frankly I shouldn't be a saint, if it's to mean anything. Now, of course, those who actually are saints now are cool enough as it is, and probably aren't bothered about grade inflation. But for those of us in the foothills of Olympus it might be nice to extend the system a bit, to give us a sense of geography further up the mountain.
If I were doing this, and if it were easy to implement, I'd make anyone with more than 6000 XP an angel. And then maybe next year we'd need arcangels too.
I'm aware as I write this that obsession with XP is a bit juvenile. On the other hand we do have this system, and we have it for a good reason. So maybe it's worth talking about how to make it work to its capacity. What do you think?
§ George Sherston