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Put your mouth where your money is?

by Moron (Curate)
on Aug 11, 2006 at 11:50 UTC ( #566790=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

It seems to me to be a major contributing factor to the fact that members don't really take the experience system too seriously given that it is so easy to vote without even really reading the post.

An idea occurred to me which might improve that situation:

Only allow a node to be voted on if the voter has published a reply to the node in question.

This encourages respondents to demonstrate in their reply that they have understood the post to the extent that they are able to add, resolve, criticise constructively (rather than just by pressing the minus button) and so on.

A by-product is that the qualifying replies would thereby enable the right of reply and ensure that voting and replying carry equal risk as well as equal benefit.

It was Evelyn Beatrice Hall (in a publication of a group called The Friends of Voltaire) who said, "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I don't recall where it was written, but I believe what Voltaire himself actually wrote was more along the lines of, "One's right to an opinion depends upon one's ability to defend it with supporting argument." (!)

Although, superficially and only relatively, such a measure would have the impact of making it slower per vote to get through the quota, the value of each vote to the community would increase in far greater proportion than this so quotas could be reduced in line with the increased effort to exhaustively cast them. Another obstacle this would introduce is that it might be considered unfair to allow pre-existing votes to have the same value as the newer more expensively-acquired ones. There are two approaches I can see to that so far: (1) cash the old ones in at an exchange rate of several to one or (2) save up all good but difficult improvements suggested for the site and when there are enough of them, address them collectively in a migration plan.

-M

Free your mind

Comment on Put your mouth where your money is?
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by gellyfish (Monsignor) on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:03 UTC

    A potential consequence of this could of course be that the site would fill up with pointless replies. And for those that care about such things it would also effectively remove the anonymity of the voting.

    /J\

      In regard to your first point, apart from the existing countermeasure of reaping them, one approach to strongly discourage pointless replies could be to "throw them to the lions" - that is to say - allow voting on them without the pre-requisite of a reply.

      In regard to the second point, anonymity is preserved at user/account level.

      -M

      Free your mind

        Now how would we define a pointless reply? Maybe people should vote on how pointed a reply is?

        So if I wanted to downvote what I consider to be a bad idea, all I would have to do is post something like this and then voting would be turned on for me? (This post is pointless by my standards, but it's not going to get reaped, and whether it gets upvoted or downvoted I already accept that consequence every time I post).


        Dave

        You're wrong, anonymity is *not* preserved. I know who the chap posting as "gellyfish" is. I know who *lots* of monks are.
      A potential consequence of this could of course be that the site would fill up with pointless replies.
      Nah, surely not.
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by Velaki (Chaplain) on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:12 UTC

    If readers are required to post a reply before voting, I can see one of two things happening:

    1. Shy, inexperienced users will be afraid to reply, and voting will fall off, thereby widening the gap between the truly experienced and the neophytes.

    2. Everyone and their uncle will post quickie replies, which might:

      • Dilute the ratings pool.
      • Create a lot of additional work for consideration.

    If we can address those issues satisfactorily, then I'm all for the change.

    As for the particular method for rescaling the existing voting system, there are a number of possibilities. Between weighted redistribution and renormalization, it will be a daunting task to come up with a fair system. Not impossible; merely difficult.

    -v.
    "Perl. There is no substitute."
      I would have thought the opposite would happen: currently inexperienced users' replies can be voted on without any accountability whereas qualified voting should make it less of a perceived risk to reply, because there are fewer opinions than votes that can be properly expressed in reply (with the exception of those that might fall under the category of "pointless replies just to be able to vote" to which I have thought of another countermeasure - see below).

      Consequently I would expect the ratings pool to be enriched (assuming there is a "cashing-in" process when such a change is made). There might initially (and briefly) be more work for consideration until a few pointless replies were thrown to the lions (i.e. I am adding that a counter-measure to pointless replies would be to remove the voting restriction) - at which point that trick would become less popular.

      -M

      Free your mind

        By definition the inexperienced users would be forced to post potentially marginal content and they may they fear reputation retrobution. Random acts of voting by inexpereinced users is controlled by giving them less numbers of votes to go though.

        But I think this could be improved. I would say that as you go up in rank you get more votes you can asign to a single post. So at the third lvl maybe your vote counts for 2 a newbies vote.

        The problem right now is a newbie has the same impact on a post as someone experienced. The net amount of bad votes they can assigned are controlled but that just prevent widespread bad voteing.

        Thanks for posting this Moron. it is a good topic.
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by virtualsue (Vicar) on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:20 UTC
    That's quite a daft proposal for a number of reasons, not least that the site will become heavily padded with time-wasting responses from anyone who wants to use their votes. Others will give up entirely.

    I'd be rather more inclined to support a site change limiting the ability of users to post half-baked ideas like this in Perl Monks Discussion, but not really.

      It may not have been obvious from just the OP why this shouldn't be the case, but see some of the earlier branches to the OP how your concerns could be gainfully addressed.

      -M

      Free your mind

        Wrong. It's a fatally flawed proposition. Many people have made all sorts of suggestions for altering the voting/experience system, despite the fact that it doesn't really need to be fixed.
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by bangers (Pilgrim) on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:34 UTC
    When I see a good reply to a question I vote it up. If I can add anything to the reply I will, but usually the standard of reply is high enough that I can’t really add any more. Likewise, if a post is rude, ungrateful or – dare I say it – just plain stupid I will mark it down. I will only post a reply if I feel that the poster would benefit from me telling them they need to be more polite/grateful/smart. Either way, the requirement for me to post would probably stop me voting or make me make a post that would add nothing to the conversation. So I am 100% in agreement with Velaki
      Only if i could vote more than once ... until then, here is more ++ to you.
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by nimdokk (Vicar) on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:36 UTC
    Interesting comments however I'd have to disagree with requiring the comments in order to vote. As others have said, you will likely see a sudden influx of comments that do not add any value at all to the discussion. I know for myself, I've often voted for interesting responses. Either they were helpful to me and I was thanking the poster by ++'ing the node or sometimes they simply make me laugh like some responses to the Poll. Do I feel a burning need to post a response? no. Other times, I just have a couple of minutes to read things that interest me but not necessarily to post a thought out reply (I'd really hate to see a flood of replies like 'ditto' or 'me too'). I think maybe too much value is placed on experience gained thru voting. Perhaps I'm simply a lone voice crying in the wilderness :-)
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by jcoxen (Deacon) on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:58 UTC
    You're opening the door to a whole lot of "Me too!", "What he said!" and similar meaningless responses. I personally don't post that often, primarily because I'm new enough at Perl programming to a) not feel that confident about my replies and b)not want to make a bloody fool of myself more often that I already do.

    However, I do exercise my voting privileges. I might read a post and ++ it for any number of reasons. It might be a really sweet bit of programming. It might be funny. It might be totally daft but thought provoking. Regardless, I don't want to be forced to write a response before I can register an opinion.

    I do believe that your idea comes from an honest desire to improve the site but the method your proposing just won't work. You can't instill a moral code or sense of community by fiat. Attempts to do that invariable prove completely unworkable and are either shoved aside and ignored or end up damaging, if not killing, the very thing they were trying to improve and protect.

    Hopefully what will come out of your suggestion will be a discussion that first determines if the problem you're trying to fix actually exists and, if it does, a consensus decision that will serve the spirit of this place without instituting unnecessary rules.

    Jack

      That door is already open, although I have actually noticed a decrease in "me too" replies over the last few months. But as I have said, a countermeasure could be the "throwing to the wolves" or simply reaping (with a vote-undo mechanism) of replies that do not add anything to what has been said already.

      -M

      Free your mind

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by jimt (Chaplain) on Aug 11, 2006 at 13:28 UTC

    It's the value add proposition that's the most important thing to consider, and as others have pointed out, what's the value add?

    If all you need to do is post a reply, then people will just post and say "ditto" or "me too" or whatever. The site may get more clever and try to automatically weed out some replies, but the posters can just get more clever too. Maybe I can write up a paragraph of boilerplate text that I always drop into place when I reply to get past the auto-filters, or something.

    The next phase would be having people police it, but frankly, who wants to do that? Besides, it doesn't help. If I can post a reply and then immediately vote, and then a moderator comes along and deletes my reply for being worthless, then should my vote have counted? I didn't fulfill the criteria.

    If I have to wait until my reply is approved before I can vote, then I'll forget about the original node and most likely not return to simply upvote it.

    So, it's not probably not adding any value. What is it doing? Well, it's adding in an extra step of the user explicitly saying that he has the power to vote on the node, which removes anonymity. That's annoying. We could make it a separate step where the user has to explicitly click on an "I want to vote" link before being allowed to, but what's the point in that? It's an extra step, and the system knows who was voting anyway, so it adds nothing.

    Besides, when it comes right down to it, I don't think the XP system here should be taken too seriously. I mean, it's nice and a novel diversion and I'm pleased with myself as I move through the ranks and all, but it's not like I put my monk level on my resume or anything. A little levity is quite fine.

    Note - Now that I think about it, this thread is almost the prime example of why this idea probably won't work. There's a whole string of us that replied to this thread (myself included) and just said, "Bad idea - everyone will say 'me too'" but didn't add on a whole lot of additional value. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies. :-)

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by xorl (Deacon) on Aug 11, 2006 at 13:40 UTC
    This is a good first step in reforming the voting system. However I do see the potential problem of too many "me too" replies. The real solution to the current problems is to have accountability. We need to see who voted and how they voted for each node. That way if you want to know why someone downvoted (or upvoted) you, you can ask them.
      I agree it's a potential problem so I have made a couple of suggestions about that elsewhere in the thread.

      -M

      Free your mind

      This is a good first step in reforming the voting system.
      This statement shows that you know nothing about the voting system. Games don't need reform.
      The real solution to the current problems is to have accountability.

      I can just imagine the fun that would ensue if you, xorl, got the list of all downvotes against you. Based on your previous calm demeanor:

      Why did my thank you post get a -1 reputation???
      I am outraged by their behavior and demand to know who voted -- on my thank you.

      I'm sure making the list of all downvotes public would be a huge improvement.</sarcasm>

      So (again) are you volunteering to be first? Should we make public the complete list of all of your downvotes? If you have such outrage at downvotes that are "obviously" inappropriate, then surely you've only ever downvoted responsibly and no person will be the slightest upset at your judicious and enlightened use of downvotes only on nodes that are most deserving of this treatment. All of the receipients will surely thank you for helping them to see their egregious errors.

      That way if you want to know why someone downvoted you, you can ask them.

      So, if I tell you who downvoted your thank-you note so long ago, your "outraged" response will simply be to politely ask them why they downvoted your node because you want to learn from the situation?

      Your response to a single downvote makes you the poster child for why downvotes are not public information. If there are even a few people with your (previous?) attitude, then the resulting mayhem would be impressive.

      Accountability to prevent the limited controversial use of downvotes is a nice idea. But I fear it is a hopelessly idealistic, tunnel-vision idea. The gain due to accountability would be tiny compared to the strife. Less focus on the voting practice of others seems a wiser path than more focus on the voting practices of others, especially since your proposal would mostly lead to people focusing on the votes cast by others against them.

      - tye        

        Actually, I'm figuring that the idea of "someone being first" is that their votes are public first. Not that they get to be first in knowing, but they are the first to be known. That way those who get --'d by that first user can get their revenge ;-)

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by talexb (Canon) on Aug 11, 2006 at 14:22 UTC

    Your proposal suggests that a query with a couple of decent replies and a dozen or so upvotes is not as useful as a query with a dozen votes, with replies that are mostly "Good question" or "Interesting!". The second action dilutes the content of the site, and takes away from the value of the content.

    I enjoy reading nodes about all sorts of questions, and if it's something that's really well asked and answered, I'm happy to upvote the nodes. Or if the question is poorly or vaguely worded, but a reply is excellent, I'm happy to upvote the reply.

    I use my upvotes to agree with and/or to reward good nodes. I use my downvotes (occasionally) to disagree and/or to punish nodes with no effort. A recent node of mine, "This comment is a complete waste of time", had six upvotes and six downvotes the last time I checked .. that's fine with me. That's the way the site works.

    And I disagree with your proposal.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

      It might be the way the site works, but I hardly think it is intended that such trivia should fill up these pages. You could say that a by-product of my proposal (and for which I admit some aforethought) would be to find a reason to discourage such trivial replies.

      -M

      Free your mind

        This presents monks with the following two options: a) write a 'filler' reply and then vote on the node, or b) forgo the reply and not vote on a node. The result I expect from these two options: drastically reduced node voting, making it harder to distinguish a somewhat interesting node from a really interesting, useful, or relevant node. That's on top of the decreased signal to noise ratio I already mentioned.

        You haven't changed my mind -- I still disagree with your proposal. So I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

        Alex / talexb / Toronto

        "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by Tanktalus (Canon) on Aug 11, 2006 at 14:50 UTC

    It seems to me to be a major contributing factor to the fact that members don't really take the experience system too seriously given that it is not supposed to be taken seriously. Until you realise that, you can't "win" at this game.

    I also see that you have new evidence about the first rule of XP-club: you do not disparage XP-club. The site as a whole does not seem to take kindly to people taking the XP system too seriously. Why? Because the focus of this site is Perl - XP is merely a diversion. Nodes focusing on XP get downvoted. Consistently.

    Update: I see you're learning now to take XP much less seriously. Now ... can we drop this thread?

      Oh my God I'd better go and ask for a loan from the bank then. ;)

      -M

      Free your mind

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by eric256 (Parson) on Aug 11, 2006 at 15:11 UTC

    "It seems to me to be a major contributing factor to the fact that members don't really take the experience system too seriously"

    Ummm thats because you arn't suppose to take it too seriously. Realy. Honestly. Yes I was on your side once, I thought wow this site is cool, if only the voting system worked better it would just be realy realy realy cool. Well it turns out that in general the voting system isn't important, it serves mainly as feed back for the actual poster as to how their idea was recieved. This node is a perfect example, rather than reply with yes' or no's you get votes, I would guess the node rep on most your posts in this thread are negative. Not because we dislike you or your idea is bad, simply because we don't like the idea and don't want to see it implemented. I was going to vote on all the nodes in this thread and then count up the votes to show that you would have X replies to this node instead of the Y replies you have, but it was too daunting a task as people continualy vote and post.

    Simple fact: Voting and Replying are two seperate ways of providing the OP with feed back. In this case I did both, sometimes I only do one or the other. Would 10 replies saying "I don't like this idea" realy be better than ten - votes?

    Finaly, your ideas for throwing posts to the lions to remove there ability to vote would be difficult for a number of reasons. First it would require some major rewriting i'm guessing. Second it would require a consideration + votes + action by a moderator to happen which means it would be slow. Third, there are tons of edge cases you need to define (i.e. votes on the node thats been thrown to the lions, replies to it, the votes already cast, many more.)

    Instead of this whole system you could just take the opposite approach and percieve less value in each vote. This has the same effect with no additional work. ;)


    ___________
    Eric Hodges
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by Trix606 (Monk) on Aug 11, 2006 at 15:58 UTC
    I think the current system handles this fine for a couple of reasons. A big incentive to actually read posts before you vote is that you might actually learn something new. Having learned something new, this better prepares you to make a quality post of your own thereby gaining XP through the up-votes of fellow monks. The XP you gain from these good posts will add up much faster than a daily round of using up all your votes on unread posts. Also remember that the bonus for using all your votes goes away after level 6 so that strategy will not payoff in the long run.

    I think the bottom line is that most people will tire of showing up everyday to vote without reading just to gain XP. I hope that most monks will use their votes wisely on posts they read, as they would have others do to their own posts. This will get them not only XP points but experience in Perl as well. I believe the current system handles this appropriately.

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by bobf (Monsignor) on Aug 11, 2006 at 16:12 UTC

    It seems to me to be a major contributing factor to the fact that members don't really take the experience system too seriously given that it is so easy to vote without even really reading the post.

    There could be an alternative explanation: The Role of XP in PerlMonks.

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by ikegami (Pope) on Aug 11, 2006 at 16:58 UTC
    Only allow a node to be voted on if the voter has published a reply to the node in question.

    Most of my votes are spent in the following fashion (in no particular order):

    • When one or more person posts what would have been my answer had I been there earlier, I upvote them.
    • When someone's reply is better than mine, I upvote it.
    • When someone's reply is so perfect that any other replies in the thread should be deleted, I upvote it. Grandfather had a few of these last night.
    • I often upvote people replying to my own nodes, especially if they point out a problem with my node.

    In none of the above situations do I reply to the node on which I voted. I'd be more likely to update any replies I might have in that thread.

    I object, since I don't want to discourage (not encourage) "me too!" posts.

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by imp (Priest) on Aug 11, 2006 at 17:21 UTC
    I generally downvote nodes for these reasons:
    1. Excessive rudeness
    2. Answer that isn't at all relevant
    3. Bad advice
    4. Unreadable one-liner given to obvious novice, without accompanying documentation and warnings
    In each of those cases having one comment on the node that points out it's flaws is sufficient. We don't need 20 people saying "That was rude", or suitable responses to the above mentioned list.

    That said, it would be nice to know why people vote a node down. In most cases I can see the problem but occassionally a node has downvotes for no reason that is obvious to me.

    One way to address that issue would be to provide an optional one line text input on the voting line where you can record a concise comment. This line would not be visible to anyone but the node's author, and would be anonymous. This way constructive feedback could be given. It could also be treated as an anonymous message for the author, that way they wouldn't have to check each node to find out what the issue was.

    On a somewhat related note I would love to see the vote distribution on my personal node list, so I can see at a glance how many down/up votes each of my nodes had. When I get an XP loss message it makes me curious which node got downvoted, so I review the most recent 10 or so.

      Hey, The comment on votes has been talked about several times but your idea sounds quite good. In fact when you said "it could also be treated as an anonymous message" you came up with a way to implement it quickly and probably painlessly. Simply add an option in the user preferences to display a text input box to message authors. Then update the voting code to check for these message boxs and send the message on the users behave. I think that the messages shouldn't be anonymous but thats neither here nor there. It would provide a nice simple feedback mechanism using mostly existing parts and could address what I see as a legitimate issue. You'd get my ++ if i wasn't suddenly out of votes for the first time in what seems like a year!


      ___________
      Eric Hodges
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by YuckFoo (Abbot) on Aug 11, 2006 at 20:03 UTC
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by polettix (Vicar) on Aug 12, 2006 at 10:40 UTC
    In the spirit of "me too!"...
    It seems to me to be a major contributing factor to the fact that members don't really take the experience system too seriously given that it is so easy to vote without even really reading the post.
    (Bold emphasys mine.)

    Others have already pointed out directions about the XP system not being serious, so I won't repeat it here (hey! I just did!).

    What really struck me is that you're starting from a potential weakness in the voting system and taking for granted that people actually exploit it. Some will surely do, but I value people (as a "whole") here at PM to think that this is really a problem. So what are we talking about?

    My experience is more or less the contrary: when I want to see "what happened" in the monastery in the last few days, I usually head first to the Best Nodes section (later I lurk other sections, too). The kind of stuff I find there is usually fine, even if those nodes are probably the most exposed to the biasing you fear so much. Probably a lot of people voted those nodes just because they were "in the mainstream", but the fact remains: those nodes are usually valuable and deserve upvoting.

    Probably you should provide some evidence of a real damage before trying to repair it.

    Flavio
    perl -ple'$_=reverse' <<<ti.xittelop@oivalf

    Don't fool yourself.
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by GrandFather (Cardinal) on Aug 12, 2006 at 18:20 UTC

    Although the voting system is open to abuse of all sorts and there are many potential things wrong with it, like PerlMonks in as a whole it generally works very well in practise.

    Actually human nature mitigates some of the problem you raise in any case. Interest in the site is sustained by nodes and replies, not by the voting system. People who are too lazy to read node contents are generally too lazy to bother voting - the attractiveness of gaining XP is not, or at least generally should not be, a sufficiently large motivator that most people will simply go out and down vote the first n nodes they encounter (although I suspect there are a few that do). In any case that is a very slow and labourious way of gaining XP - one good reply will garner many more XP in a day than spending all your votes.

    The voting system is a way of signalling to posters agreement or disagreement for a point of view or, more commonally, as a reflection of the perceived quality of a post. And actually the system works so well in its own subtle way that I often find myself wanting to upvote material people have submitted to other sites I visit.

    I know that not everyone is the same and I am sure you are right that some people just pull out their big black pen and put ticks and crosses beside the first nodes they happen on until their votes are all used. However, for myself, when I read a node I strongly agree or disagree with I vote. When I read a well written node, I vote. When I read a poorly written or badly formatted node where the OP clearly hasn't bothered to at least skim the site material describing how to format node material, occasionaly I downvote. In each case I vote after reading a node. Very often I read through a thread and vote on pretty much everything. Sometimes I don't read a thread at all until until it gets a reply from one of the many monks I respect. But in all cases voting is very much a secondary activity compared with reading and evaluating the posts - that after all is what the site is really about! Despite being fairly active here, many days I don't spend all my votes and it is very seldom indeed that I wish for more than I have available.

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." - the voting system gently leads, but the real reward is in the drinking.


    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by rodion (Chaplain) on Aug 13, 2006 at 12:42 UTC
    The voting system has given me valuable feedback, and I belive changing system in the way proposed would make it worse, overall.

    When I express an idea to a group of people in person, I may get some comments, but I also get some nods, smiles and non-commital expressions of intrerest. The PM voting system is the first thing I've found that gives me this feedback on-line. It's valuable information, even if I don't know how closely the people voting were paying attention. Even in person, I don't know if someone's nodding in response just to cover the fact that he's thinking about something else entirely. Mostly they are paying attention, and mostly voting on PM seems to work.

    The average quality of posts here is impressively high, and I wouldn't like to see that diluted by an incentive to post something. I also wouldn't want to lose the vote feedback, pretty much as it is. Yes, XP ambitions can provide an incentive to vote carelessly, but it's a pretty mild incentive. If it were any less strong, it wouldn't be much of an incentive for newer users to vote responsibly.

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 13, 2006 at 12:50 UTC
    This has been discussed before Moron!
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by graff (Chancellor) on Aug 14, 2006 at 03:34 UTC
    Your assertion:
    ... it is so easy to vote without even really reading the post
    implies these other assertions:
    • Because it's easy, lots of people do this (or there is a "common perception" that lots of people do this), and
    • Having lots of votes cast this way damages the content and overall value of the site (so it should be harder to vote without reading a node).
    I think both of these assertions are wrong. I don't have any proof, but I'm comfortable with the assumption that most monks vote sincerely and conscientiously, and I think actual voting trends generally support this assumption.

    As for the impact of the current voting system on overall node content and quality, I don't see any evidence for the negative impact that you are asserting (and you haven't pointed to any such evidence).

    What I've seen is: good nodes get more upvotes than mediocre and bad ones (really good nodes get a lot more), and nodes that are wrong, insulting, etc, get downvoted much more often than nodes that don't have these problems, "other things equal" (whatever that might mean in this context). Speaking for myself, seeing lots of positive XP on one of my nodes is a nice experience that encourages me to keep posting, and seeing negative votes tends to have a remedial effect. I don't see a problem that needs fixing here.

    Readers should be able simply to express agreement or gratitude (or opposing sentiments) toward a given node, and their expression should be made visible to the node author, in a manner that is easy and anonymous, and does not clutter the site. That is what happens with the existing system.

    As for actually requiring that one must post a reply to a node in order to vote on that node, this would seem to make voting redundant and pointless: presumably, the required reply would express the opinion that the vote would have done, but in a more cumbersome, time-consuming, wasteful manner.

    This encourages respondents to demonstrate in their reply that they have understood the post to the extent that they are able to add, resolve, criticise constructively (rather than just by pressing the minus button) and so on.
    So, maybe you're just saying: in order to downvote a node, you must post reply. If this is really what you meant, it certainly is a practice that many have wished and asked for -- though usually not by imposing a "policy" (and never by restricting upvotes as well as downvotes). I've seen a lot of people say "if you downvote me, please say why", and this is reasonable, but I don't think it should be required.

    For example, we should all be able to downvote an egregiously trollish node without all of us having to reply to it. That would go against the old and time-proven advice: "Don't feed the trolls."

Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by DrHyde (Prior) on Aug 15, 2006 at 09:28 UTC
    Only allow a node to be voted on if the voter has published a reply to the node in question.
    I like downvote-flavoured pie. I have not bothered reading your entire post
Re: Put your mouth where your money is?
by ChuckularOne (Parson) on Aug 15, 2006 at 14:50 UTC
    Me too! (What am I replying to? I have no idea, I jut want to vote.)

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