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RE: Help me understand...(FAQ anyone?)

by neshura (Chaplain)
on Oct 19, 2000 at 03:24 UTC ( #37443=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Help me understand...

It is good to see the additional input on people's voting styles. I notice no one got around to pointing footpad to the Perl Monks FAQ, specifically, Voting Guidelines (or 'How should I spend my votes?').

Obviously, you are free to vote in any way you like and (thus far) with confidence that the privacy of your vote is sacrosanct. I would guess that most people vote, if not logically, at least consistently. For some people, it is important to punish wasteful nodes. For other people, it is important to reward particularly thoughtful or detailed nodes. For some, it is important to seek out and upvote the nodes of prominent community members. For others, it is important to seek out and downvote those same nodes.

Perhaps the community is large enough at this point that the inconsistent and illogical votes are mere outliers. Unfortunately, it seems like there has been a steady appearance of posts by recipients of a downvote or two (or ten, more rarely), requesting that the privacy of voting be overturned or that downvoting be limited to those who know what to do with them. Wherein the implicit idea is that there is someone out there more qualified to make that judgment, and the poster would perhaps be willing to volunteer some time out of his or her busy day to pass a few judgments.

This concept has already been encapsulated in the voting/experience system though. New users simply cannot do much damage. They can't vote you down multiple times. They don't have many votes. The system is robust enough that in the aggregate, good posts go up and bad posts go down.

This is not to say the system doesn't have problems. The most obvious problem is the observed behavior of visible posts (e.g. root nodes) receiving a disproportionate number of upvotes. I'd be interested to hear proposals about how to subtract the influence of node placement and timing from the voting process.

e-mail neshura

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RE: RE: Help me understand...(FAQ anyone?)
by PsychoSpunk (Hermit) on Oct 19, 2000 at 20:40 UTC
    I think it's unfortunate that recipients of a downvote feel the need to complain to the heavens that voting changes immediately. In the context of this thread, however, I think that a statement on downvotes and their distribution is in fact within the bounds. The question was about why certain nodes get voted up or down, regardless of apparent content/context. I've received a few downvotes. I accept it as a fact of being on a moderated board. But when a question like this comes up, it has a double entendre.

    footpad wonders whether he is not seeing an underlying trend, and that is a fantastic thing for anybody who writes code to do. But since the trend would be gestalt to our individual voices, we can only say why we vote. I've noticed that of the responses, they come from monks who I already expect to hear why they voted ++ or --.

    When I have made statements in the past about voting, I did not do so to complain. I did so to generate discussion. Do I feel that the voting system is bad? No. Could it be better? Maybe. In regards to reputation viewing, it'd be nice, and I'm going to feel that way for some time to come.

    In order to finally get around to my big point, however, I looked at the Voting Guidelines (or 'How should I spend my votes?'), and I don't know why I've ever received downvotes. I haven't screamed to vroom whenever it's happened, either. I don't see the point. But, I also don't see the point of avoiding the question when it's clear that good ideas can come from a good heated impersonal argument. Since I've been a vocal proponent of considering change on this thread, I felt it necessary to at least defend my statements.


RE: RE: Help me understand...(FAQ anyone?)
by footpad (Monsignor) on Oct 19, 2000 at 06:08 UTC

    Good points and thanks for the links. I find those very helpful.

    My pondering, though, wasn't about how to spend my votes. I find many things interesting and educational.

    In reviewing the nodes that appeared on Worst Nodes over the last several days (and reading the all-time residents), I saw nodes appear that I interpreted as reasonable questions/comments. My question, then, was an attempt to draw out the reasons why people vote down.

    What criteria do you use to vote up or down?

      Here's a lousy suggestion ;-)...

      It seems that your question isn't so much "why do people vote things down" as it's "why did these reasonable questions/comments get voted down".

      Perhaps if you specified which nodes you think got voted down for no discernable reason, we could tell you why we (hypothetically) would (or would not have) voted them down.

      It could be random... Once, I posted a reasonable question, and gave a flippant reply to one of the answers. I was surprised to see the reps of both the original question and the flippant reply shoot up over $NORM for no discernable reason -- so much so, I even asked (fruitlessly) why the reply was voted up so much! If flippant comments can have large meaningless reps, I suppose good posts may end up with large meaningless negative reps.

      But I could be wrong...


        I thought about that; I honestly did. However, I would rather not showcase these posts because of the potential for embarassment or for unhelpful rhetoric (as seen in earlier threads along these lines). I really am not trying to incite something.

        I had hoped that folks would check out Worst Nodes and see if they voted a listed node down, that they would describe in general terms why they voted that way.

        FWIW, Petruchio has been a great help via Chatterbox. He very patiently carried on a conversation with me while dealing with tiny little hands grubbing for the mouse. (And quite adeptly, too)

        Also, TurnStep's "bio" has been helpful (thanks kudra) as have the follow-ups.

        Would anyone mind if I tried to distill these and other thoughts together? (It'll take a few days, as I've got a lot on my plate at the moment.)

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