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Front-paging and XP

by spurperl (Priest)
on Mar 16, 2003 at 15:18 UTC ( #243470=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hail fellow monks,

There are two facts of life about PerlMonks that together create a negative effect:
  • XP given to front page nodes is high. Most of my highest-rated nodes gained the reputation from the front page. Some w/o justification, IMO. Take a look at some front-paged nodes, their reputation is high, even if they're not close to be interesting. Why does this happen ? Easy - monks wasting Votes to get some late-night XPs, and where is the easiest place to waste them ? Well, front-page of course, the first page a monk reaches on PerlMonks.
  • Nodes reaching the front page aren't necessarily good. I think that there is no argument about this...
As a classic example see this node. At the time of writing, its reputation is over 20. Why ? One of my past nodes got a reputation of 49, and I simply asked for some help to optimize a sub. So why is the reputation so high ? Well, it was front-paged !

In the guidelines for moderation (I'm a fresh "Friar, so I've read them) it's advised to front-page nodes if they're impressive and well-written... a lot of front-page nodes don't stand to this criterion (just take a look around), yet they get high ratings because of just-thrown votes.

Think about it... IMHO, it hurts the credibility of our XP system.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Front-paging and XP
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Mar 16, 2003 at 16:17 UTC
    Easy - monks wasting Votes to get some late-night XPs, and where is the easiest place to waste them ? Well, front-page of course, the first page a monk reaches on PerlMonks.

    Whoa, slow down there. I haven't seen the front page in ages and I'm sure many of the frequent regulars haven't either. Most of the "vets" around here browse from Newest Nodes or a client for its ticker.

    Why should that SoPW question you point to not have been upvoted? Someone new to Perl is being attentive to detail - I would be delighted to hear such a question from someone I just started onto learning the language.

    Much like you about yours, I didn't think very of a a certain node of mine either. When I put forth that concern however (at the time it was my 2nd highest ++'ed node), people told me they actually found it very well worth of a ++. What was obvious and trivial to me, wasn't necessarily to others.

    What all this means is, just because you don't see a reason to upvote it doesn't mean noone else does. Everyone votes for different reasons.

    For some more accurate conclusions about the frontpage and a more up to date guideline on what the frontpage is (rather than should be) about, see tye's notes on the topic as well as the entire thread it's part of.

    (And to be honest, I don't think a rep of 20 is anything to write home or get excited about.. 30++ upwards tends to indicate a more than average but not spectacular post, in my experience, and I wouldn't call less than 40 rep "high".)

    Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Front-paging and XP
by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on Mar 16, 2003 at 15:57 UTC
    While I don't disagree with the fact that a front paged node tends to attract more votes (either positive or negative), there are some reasons you haven't mentioned.

  • Nodes on the Monastery Gates stay "at the top" longer. Human nature leans towards the lazy side. Just as nodes at the bottom of a thread tend to have less XP that are just as good as the first reply - people stop reading.
  • Nodes that attract attention perform a snowball effect. If you get a debate going between more than one respectable monk on a node (anywhere not just the front page) it is going to get votes for spurning the debate that most likely will benefit the Monastery as a whole.

    And in reference to this node that you do not feel is deserving of the votes - I suggest reading this reply by hv. The monk found what appears to be a bug in certain versions of Perl. I was able to reproduce it on my Active State Perl, but I got the required error on my Unix machine.

    You are to expect a wide range of nodes frontpaged. This is because in the Perl community, we have users of all levels. It could be that a newbie with only 5 votes is casting them on a trivial front page node for a couple of reasons - s/he can understand them and they are right in front of their face (they don't have to go looking for them).

    As far as hurting the credibility of our XP system - I didn't it was in the first place. It seems to me that everyone with high XP trivializes it. The voting system (reputation not XP) is what is used to give a basic idea as to what is good and what is bad. A node that has a lot of negative reputation will be considered for deletion - and hence removed from the site - making it better. A node with high reputation such as Erudil's 1st Monasterians may be integrated into the Monastery itself.

    In summation - I agree that nodes on the front page recieve more votes (positive and negative) than they would if they were not front paged, but I don't see why that is a big deal.

    Cheers - L~R

Re: Front-paging and XP
by rozallin (Curate) on Mar 16, 2003 at 20:27 UTC
    Mr. Muskrat recently wrote a very concise article on this very topic, Considering Front Paging a Node? which I recommend every new Friar should read because it gives a good insight into what sort of things monks consider when they front-page a node.

    There are other reasons to front-page other than how well they are written and whether they are impressive - for example, questions that may be asked freqently will be front paged to raise awareness that this question has already been answered, and so that another monk may be able to find it quicker; or a question that has yet to get any response may be front-paged lest it be overlooked completely, as does occasionally happen.

    Rozallin J. Thompson
    The Webmistress who doesn't hesitate to use strict;

Re: Front-paging and XP
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 16, 2003 at 16:04 UTC

    IMO this node is one of the more interesting node to go through PM this week. That you don't recognise it as such could be an indication that you don't understand the subtlety of the post. If anything, I think that it should have received a higher rating than it currently has. It has all the hallmarks of a good post.

    It identifies a question that, whilst known to the guru's around here, is there to catch every new generation of Perlists that come around.

    It has reduced the problem to it barest definition--the author did their homework first.

    By raising the problem in the form of a simple challenge, it encourages everyone to have a go at answering it by inspection before trying it for real. I'm betting that I wasn't the only one that was caught out.

    Not that the front-page XP phenomena isn't a real one, but your choice of example (IMO) was not the best. Maybe the answer to the front-paging problem would be to automate the process of front-paging. If a node isn't considered, and some proportion of the first 100 or so people that view it are affected enough by it to vote for it, then it automatically gets front-paged?

Re: Front-paging and XP
by tye (Sage) on Mar 17, 2003 at 05:10 UTC

    The fact that front-paged nodes get more votes convinces me that we have a lot of visitors (it seems, most of our visitors) that primarilly hit the front page. This means that if you don't front-page a node, then most of our members likely won't even know about it. I think only a small fraction of our nodes deserve such obscurity.

    Most nodes should be front-paged. We don't want a static front page. The front page size is such that about one day's worth of nodes will fit on it. If we (again) return to rarely front-paging nodes, then we'll (again) have a front page that hardly changes after a week. For more details, see the other threads on front-paging.

    I think you are way too worried about XP. Besides, if we front-page nearly every node, then they'll all get lots of XP and we'll all be happy. If we only front-page a few, then the disparity will just get bigger and make you worry more. (:

                    - tye

      So why have a front page? This is a serious question, but I don't expect someone to redesign the site in response.

      Update: Corion pointed out the obvious differences between Newest Nodes and The Monastery Gates, and the fact that users may well prefer one over the other. If enough people shared your view that most nodes should go on the front page, then you could consider making life simpler by automatically front-paging every approved node. It wouldn't upset me if I never saw another complaint about the front page.

        I could go for that. Ending the controversy (how do the British manage to pronounce that like they do?) certainly is appealing. Unfortunately, it would likely spark a new controversy (and there is some point to being able to approve nodes but not FP them, especially for poor-quality anonymous nodes).

        I think part of the problem is that the help pages still reflect the "front page is for special nodes" idea that was the original intent but doesn't match the reality that came to be. If we correct that so the "front-page most nodes" idea can keep hold, then the controversy should decrease.

        BTW, I'm happy to note that it has been a long time since I've heard arguments about approving one's own nodes, so the "effort to reduce the recurrent moaning and gnashing" appears to have worked.

                        - tye
Re: Front-paging and XP
by bart (Canon) on Mar 17, 2003 at 14:03 UTC
    As a classic example see this node.
    Well, I frontpaged that node. Why? Because the issue struck me. The anonymous monk (who gets no XP out of it, BTW :) had simply stumbled across some really weird behaviour of Perl, and IMO, it deserves attention.

    In general, I tend to ++ questions that I consider good questions — I frontpage very good questions. This is, IMO, a good question. I think many people respond in that manner. BTW the rep of that node was already at 15 at the time I frontpaged it. So you're not correct that all of its rep comes from it having been frontpaged.

Re: Front-paging and XP
by pg (Canon) on Mar 18, 2003 at 16:51 UTC
    My guess is that front-paged nodes do get more attention, which is normal, for whatever online behavioral reason. Nothing bad, nothing good, thatís just the normal life.

    Are those posts being front-paged the best ones? Yes, and No. At least it greatly interested the monk who decided to front page it. It is normal that some one else might like what you absolutely dislike. Most of the time, life is not that black and white, we just have different focuses, and even for the same person, he/she would have different focuses when the time goes, one may start to love what he/she hates today.

    This is a community running by everyone, at the same time, that means running by no one. So far, I see our front page not bad.

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