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Re: The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation

by Abigail-II (Bishop)
on Oct 07, 2002 at 09:31 UTC ( #203275=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation

There was a time that I believed this as well. Now, I no longer do. There are at least five factors that will decide whether you get a high reputation for your post:
  • Whether the thread has been front paged.
  • Whether you're one of the first replies.
  • How deep in a thread you reply.
  • The popularity of the subject of the root node.
  • The actual content of your post.
And the importance is roughly in that order. The first four items all have to do with how many people will actually see your post.

If only you could see all the reputations of all the nodes in a thread, then you could compare. A reputation of 15 where all the other posts don't get above 10 is likely to be better than a reputation of 25 where all the other posts score 40 or above.

Abigail

  • Comment on Re: The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation

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Re (2): The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Oct 07, 2002 at 15:30 UTC

    I think your list is spot on. I've written nodes where I took a guess at the answer (I marked it so) and the questioner replied with "no, that's wrong". But the thread got front-paged, and the node's rep (it was the second below the root) rose to 25 or so.

    On the other hand, I wrote an answer to a different question after there had been some discussion and clarification in the thread, and the questioner replied with "yes, that was correct, thank you." The node was very far from the root, wasn't front-paged, and languished around 2. So I agree that content ranks far below placement.

    In my own mind, though, the rep-2 node that got the "thank you" ranks much higher. Replies trump votes every time.

    Now, given that this thread's slipped off the front page, and my reply is eight or ten nodes down, I predict it will stay at zero!

Re: Re: The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation
by sauoq (Abbot) on Oct 08, 2002 at 02:02 UTC

    Your factors are too specific. They both overlap and fail to account for some large forces. Timing, for instance. What day of the week was it posted and was it right before a holiday? Presence on daily/weekly best nodelets is another example. There are bound to be many such factors. I don't think trying to enumerate them is the right approach to understanding the node rep system. I take a simpler view.

    Node reputation is a function of:

    • The quality of the node's content and presentation.
    • How much attention or visibility the node gets.
    • An X-factor for things like personality voting.
    The function is quality * visibility + x. It's quite simple really and just what would be expected. There are some things about this community that need to be understood before it all really makes sense though.

    One important one is the fact that the "quality" of the node is relative to the observers and is a measure of respect, agreement and interest. Many people may upvote a mediocre node if it is simply better than what they themselves would have written. On the other hand, sometimes a particularly good node won't get many upvotes because judging its quality requires knowledge or skill that most don't possess.

    Another important one is that this community tends to make its points through positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. People tend to upvote more than they downvote.

    I think the biggest "problem" (although I'm hard-pressed to call it that) is the fact that visibility is a multiplier. This, more than anything else, makes it difficult to compare node reputations. Very good replies deep in a thread often don't get half the reputation as poor replies early in a thread. Replies to front-paged nodes invariably have higher reps. Etc., etc., etc. This is the problem everyone is really talking about when they claim that node reputation doesn't mean anything or is as useful as random numbers.

    In any case, I think this is a good model of the node reputation system but I'd be interested to hear any criticisms.

    -sauoq
    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
    
Re: Re: The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation
by sauoq (Abbot) on Oct 08, 2002 at 00:50 UTC
    If only you could see all the reputations of all the nodes in a thread, then you could compare.

    Although it isn't a complete solution, you can choose to order the notes in "Best First" order in your user settings. That will allow you to tell whether one note's rep is equal to or greater than another one but it won't give you any idea by how much. It will also only help you to compare the immediate children of a particular parent note; it won't help with notes in separate subthreads.

    -sauoq
    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
    
Re: Re: The meaning of life, the universe and node reputation
by petral (Curate) on Oct 08, 2002 at 14:09 UTC
        * How deep in a thread you reply.
    ... and how late.

      p

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