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Please explain WHY you voted --

by cajun (Chaplain)
on Feb 14, 2001 at 14:52 UTC ( #58320=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

On at least two occasions, one of my nodes has been voted --. This is fine, that is your priviledge as one who has been here long enough to be able to vote.

What bothers me though is WHY was my node voted --:

  • Did I post in the wrong place ?
  • Was it something I could have found by doing a search / super search ?
  • Was it off-topic ?
  • Was it not clear what I was asking ?
  • On one of the occasions when my node was voted --, I saw a comment about it in the CB and asked the person about it. He politely explained the reason. This was helpful as I was unaware at the time.

    The other occasion I know of, I don't have a clue why my node was voted --.

    Perhaps there could be a 'feature' added when someone votes -- on a node, to allow (force) the user to put in a short reason why they voted as such. If there were a way to /msg me and yet remain anonymous, that too would be fine.

    I have no problem what so ever with my nodes being voted --. I do not care WHO voted my node --. What I do care about is WHY my node was voted down.

    If I'm not informed as to why my node was voted --, then how can you possibly expect me to do 'better' next time ?

    Seeking the wisdom of my peers....

    Comment on Please explain WHY you voted --
    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by arhuman (Vicar) on Feb 14, 2001 at 15:20 UTC
      It reminds me a discussion about the signal/noise ratio. Interesting things came out of it.

      Based on this, for my part I don't always explain when I downvote beccause it would waste node only to say : offtopic, innapropriate language...

      However I try to send /msg to the person explaining why, when I downvote.(I /msg to thanks for answer/comment too)

      I ++ you beccause I really think that it's an interesting point :

      If downvoting is an educating action, then you have to do it correctly and explain why you downvote someone.

      But to be honest I think that we mustn't waste our votes downvoting whereas there are so many nodes to ++...
    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by stefan k (Curate) on Feb 14, 2001 at 16:14 UTC
      Hi Monks,
      I tend to give much more ++ votes than --, because I happen to be happy to read fine postings/articles in a community like this.

      Nevertheless, when I vote -- it usually comes down to one of these:

      • Question is useless; no code posted, no question asked, just told a long story what one wants to do
      • Question is too simple; if a simple(!) search (search but not super search; a search with 15 results I wouldn't consider "easy",too) would have brought the right answer and if I feel like this is wasting my time.
      • Bad formatting; like using a pre-Tag and then write looooooong lines
      Off-topic can (sometimes) lead to interesting discussions, posting in the wrong place or forgetting the code-Tags can happen to initiates and is OK.

      On the other hand I have the feeling that some monks vote somwhat randomly (maybe according to their current feelings about life in general and their own life in particular *g*)

      I think you are right that there should be some kind of feedback to help the poster figuring out what was wrong. A /msg in the chatterbox would definetly be the right way. I could imagine a little textfield right beside the ++ and -- buttons where you could type a quick comment. Of course this would uglyfy the layout...

      Regards Stefan K

    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by magnus (Pilgrim) on Feb 14, 2001 at 16:22 UTC
      i think that having a "comments" section for -- that could be send only to the author of the node or posted for public consumption is a really sound idea...

      downvoting someone without taking the time to say why, IMO, provides an arena for spite (as in the case of someone using up their daily votes to downvote multiple (often unrelated) nodes from a single PM) or silent criticism... and maybe other things...

      downvoting should be meant to assit another in understanding why something is --, to, as cajun remarks, help them do it better next time... otherwise, one can end up asking for the wisdom of Perl Monks and getting only scorn or flipness...

      having said that, i have to agree that having only ++ is a very good idea... why spend time -- something when there is much to ++...

      besides if you have something negative to say, you can simply /msg that PM and they'll get it next time they log on...

      magnus
    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by mirod (Canon) on Feb 14, 2001 at 16:25 UTC
    (ichimunki) discussing and explaining downvotes
    by ichimunki (Priest) on Feb 14, 2001 at 18:45 UTC
      Until vroom has the time or inclination to put in a way to tag ++ or -- votes with an identifier for rationale, I simply cannot see myself explaining every downvote.

      Sometimes someone else has already explained it, sometimes the problem is well known. Maybe I have a strong bias against the way you solved the problem at hand, but it's a religious thing.

      A few times I've made what I thought were excellent suggestions, and I had to endure a debate I did not find constructive.
        I like the idea of a select box that lets the voter check off a rationale. In most cases I don't want to explain my votes in public either way; I'd use a convenient way to privately message the noder on a downvote sometimes, though.
    (tye)Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by tye (Cardinal) on Feb 14, 2001 at 20:45 UTC

      If I have some criticism to say, then I'll say it and probably won't vote the node down (as that would just be adding injury to insult). So I vote down a node when I don't have the eloquence or time to put my disapproval into words. So, no, I am almost never going to explain a down vote.

      This has come up before several times. People have given lots of good reasons why they don't do what you are asking.

      I'm sure there are occasions like you noted where an explanation is helpful. I'm also sure there are occasions where the explanation would just make you feel worse.

      If I was trying to educate the poster, then I'd pick a method other than a down vote.

      And if it is a single down vote, then just ignore it! It could be that someone got cut-off in traffic earlier or accidentally picked the wrong radio button. There are hundreds of voting monks here so one down vote means nearly nothing.

      Actually, my advice when it comes to down votes is to ignore them all. You'll be happier and we'll be happier. If you look at the reps of all of your nodes, you probably already realize that rep has at least as much to do with quirks of Monastery as with the quality of the node, anyway.

              - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
        If you look at the reps of all of your nodes, you probably already realize that rep has at least as much to do with quirks of Monastery as with the quality of the node, anyway.

        That is a) true and b) funny. It shows that complex rules ca arise from some simple rules. Some things that come to my mind are that you get better rep when you posted early (thus appearing near the top of the answers) which rewards you for reading often and typing fast.

        just thinking...aargh, i just lost an XP for the first time ... cruel world ;-)

        Regards Stefan K

    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by ColonelPanic (Friar) on Feb 14, 2001 at 22:14 UTC
      I agree that it is useful to comment on the shortcomings of a particular node, especially when it is a mistake that isn't readily apparent. However, I don't particularly like replies that say "I voted -- on this node because...". There is no reason to let people know how you voted on a node at all, in my opinion. This leads to the pattern of monks thinking "Look, this really experienced monk voted --, I'd better do that too." A slew of downvotes rather than a few don't make the point any clearer, they just beat the monk while s?he is down, and possibly chase away newcomers.

      When's the last time you used duct tape on a duct? --Larry Wall
    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by MeowChow (Vicar) on Feb 15, 2001 at 02:37 UTC
      Cajun, I voted -- on this node, because I wanted to explain to you why I voted -- on this node.

      j/k :P

         MeowChow                                   
                     s aamecha.s a..a\u$&owag.print
    Re: Please explain WHY you voted --
    by Lexicon (Chaplain) on Feb 15, 2001 at 06:25 UTC
      We've been bandying about the deficiencies in the Voting/Experience System for far longer than I've been here anyway, so we should probably figure out if it's time to demand some improvements from our fearless leader (actually, someone else at http://www.everydevel.com probably, but we don't have to worry about that). He'll need something to occupy his time come spring break next month I'm sure. ;)

      Anyway, my current idea about the voting system is to toss an extra text box next to the radio boxes already on each post. In the text box you can enter a short comment about the post, generally why you voted it up or down. Generally it should be ignored, ++'s don't need explanation. The reason for putting it there is that 1) Monks are Lazy and 2) Monks are anti-social. No one really wants their first impression to someone else to involve the voter telling the poster how much they suck. That generally causes enmity or at least discomfort.

      Anyways, there's two things that could happen to this anonymous message. 1) It can be stored with the node, with the noder (or perhaps everyone, after they've voted on the node (like seeing the reputation. Or perhaps as a priviledge after reaching a certain level) able to see the current commentary on his/her node. This allows for all the commentary without polluting actual node space. 2) Send it as anonymous messages to the noder, which is probably easier to implement than modifying the node structure.

      -Lexicon

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