How is the forum rating system doing?

Everything about this website and its content. Here you will find update announcements or requests for feedback. Questions about layout, functionality, content, and your suggestions are welcome.
FoxHound
217
User avatar
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by FoxHound » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:18 pm

WhiteBlue wrote:I like the idea to exclude certain non technical threads from the voting system. Perhaps team and race threads are the most likely to get fanboy attraction and should be excluded from up voting. To discourage trolling it should still be possible to down vote useless posts that only serve to provide an argument over drivers or teams.
Absolutely agree with this. Perhaps it would be possible to remove the voting process from these areas of the site?
JET set

Steven
Owner
User avatar
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:32 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by Steven » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:49 pm

Thanks for the comments so far.
I would think that not allowing upvotes in the general chat section would be sufficient initially?

Off-topic posts and arguments have been removed

WhiteBlue
124
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by WhiteBlue » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:47 am

Tomba wrote:I would think that not allowing upvotes in the general chat section would be sufficient initially?
If I understand you correctly the general chat section would also include the discussions about the race cars. That would be counter productive in my view. The restriction for up votes should ideally just be applied to the teams and race threads. You would catch the worst fanboyism there.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)

Dragonfly
32
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:48 pm
Location: Bulgaria

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by Dragonfly » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:48 am

Fanboyism is not limited to driver and team only. Often there are people with obsessive agendas who keep pressing it wherever they can although everyone is aware of their POV.
F1PitRadio ‏@F1PitRadio : MSC, "Sorry guys, there's not more in it"
Spa 2012

tok-tokkie
20
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by tok-tokkie » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:43 am

WhiteBlue wrote:I like the idea to exclude certain non technical threads from the voting system. Perhaps team and race threads are the most likely to get fanboy attraction and should be excluded from up voting. To discourage trolling it should still be possible to down vote useless posts that only serve to provide an argument over drivers or teams.
Just what I think too.

WhiteBlue
124
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by WhiteBlue » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:28 am

Dragonfly wrote:Fanboyism is not limited to driver and team only. Often there are people with obsessive agendas who keep pressing it wherever they can although everyone is aware of their POV.
Fanboyism is perhaps the wrong word for people who have strong opinions about technical, sporting or economic issues. I read their POV with much more interest than the drivel we have to endure from the team and driver worshippers that function as Monday coaches for weeks after a race and regurgitate Benetton 1994, Spygate, Rascasse and just about every other old story ad infinitum. I'm talking about those guys who can never finish discussing a race and contaminate every thread with their off topic issues. And they even vote each other up for spilling that garbage.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)

strad
255
User avatar
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:57 am

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by strad » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:42 am

Dragonfly wrote:Fanboyism is not limited to driver and team only. Often there are people with obsessive agendas who keep pressing it wherever they can although everyone is aware of their POV.
Ain't that the truth. =D>
Motorsport without danger is like cooking without salt
Sir Stirling Moss

notsofast
7
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:56 am

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by notsofast » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:28 am

As you can tell, I just signed up. But I've been reading this forum almost daily for the past five years if not longer. And I've been an F1 fan for far longer. I think I have finally something to contribute, so here goes...

The original intent of the voting system was to identify valuable posts. I agree with the concept, but it needs a bit more work to become truly useful. In particular, we need to implement tools for those people who are looking for valuable posts. That's the part that's missing. Let's look at an example. When I go to the forum, I usually start at the "View active topics" page. On that page, I can see a topic named "Post rigs" with right next to it the number 19 in a grey circle. When I hover my mouse over the number 19, I see "Total rating of thread posts".

Here are my suggestions.

1. The number 19 is not useful. What it really should show is the number 15, and when I hover the mouse over it, I should see "Total number of valuable posts". (In other words, the fact that some posts received more than one vote is irrelevant.)

2. The number in the grey circle should be an active link. When I click on it, the thread should open, but the only posts that I should see are the original post plus all valuable posts. That would allow me to go into "Post rigs" and just see the 15 valuable posts instead of all 15 pages. This way, flagging valuable posts is actually useful to future readers of a thread.

3. I see little value in the concept of some posts being more valuable than others. When I read a thread, valuable posts should simply be marked as "valuable" regardless of how many votes they've received. The forum should keep track of votes, but it should not display them.

4. It should not be possible to downvote a post that is not valuable, i.e., one that has zero votes. The voting system is about identifying valuable posts, not about identifying bad posts. Bad posts should be reported to the mods. That mechanism is already in place.

5. There's really no need to show the total number of votes a forum member has received. Or, if you're going to show something, show the total number of valuable posts, not the total number of votes.

6. I question whether valuable posts are useful in race threads. If anyone needs a summary of a race, you can just go to the corresponding news topic, or else to wikipedia. Why not turn off voting in the race threads? Let's see how it goes there first, and then some time later we can discuss whether we want to turn off voting in other threads.

Cam
123
User avatar
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:38 am

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by Cam » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:43 am

For what its worth:
I see little value in the concept of some posts being more valuable than others. When I read a thread, valuable posts should simply be marked as "valuable" regardless of how many votes they've received. The forum should keep track of votes, but it should not display them.
The way you identify great information is by the number of people who agree or confirm. IF 30 people vote on a post about engine management (for example) that truly would be a critical piece of info - so the total number of votes matters a lot.
It should not be possible to downvote a post that is not valuable, i.e., one that has zero votes. The voting system is about identifying valuable posts, not about identifying bad posts. Bad posts should be reported to the mods. That mechanism is already in place.
Disagree. The voting system should allow bad information to be hidden - its either wrong, irrelevant or off topic. The votes are also an indicator for the person who posted that 'this isn't good' - 5 negative votes = 'which part of the info you're supplying is worthless - you don't get'. So it works to inform posters if what they post is good/bad - so they can learn.
WhiteBlue wrote:I like the idea to exclude certain non technical threads from the voting system. Perhaps team and race threads are the most likely to get fanboy attraction and should be excluded from up voting.
Agree, to a point. I do enjoy reading and discussing the other areas of F1, such as marketing, consumer factors, history of the sport, philosophy of F1 and one could argue that technical topics are born from or are directly relatable to these 'non-technical' topics. Sometimes is nice to see a technical issue in conjunction with the reason for and against having them. It would be difficult to discern and separate that information moving forwards.

Personally, IMO, the members need to take greater responsibility. Those that can down-vote, should use them up. I am guilty of not using it, often as I do not wish to offend, but perhaps if I used my voting to sort out some of the drivel and others do too, then that will help. I will start from today to down-vote off-topic and info which I deem irrelevant. If the mods can give some feedback (I assume they can monitor what we vote on) then that will help them and help us.

The voting system currently is good. Not great, not perfect, but its not bad either. If long standing members and those with the privilege to cast votes - use them as intended - the system will work and will work well.
“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”
― Socrates
Ignorance is a state of being uninformed. Ignorant describes a person in the state of being unaware
who deliberately ignores or disregards important information or facts. © all rights reserved.

Steven
Owner
User avatar
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:32 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by Steven » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:34 am

First of all, welcome notsofast. A nice and helpful first post!

First of all, I agree with Cam that ratings are useful, both for posts and members. I can / should show the level quality a post is, and also helps identify people who post a lot of valuable stuff (and are not afraid to help others).

Secondly, reports are mainly to inform mods about off-topic posts and violation of the rules. Downvotes can help filter out posts that are not interesting for other members to read, like personal opinions about the aesthetics of a car in a car thread (which is supposed to be more technically oriented).

Then regarding disabling the voting system in race threads. I think it's a good suggestion to start with there, and I'm eager to implement it as soon as possible.

I did read a suggestion about still allowing downvotes, but we need to think about that for a moment. Still enabling downvotes without upvotes will result in all race threads having a negative total rating, which is hardly what we're trying to bring across. A few downvotes in a race thread do not mean the thread is useless, and showing a negative thread rating would give the wrong impression.

- One solution is to change the thread rating as the number of upvoted posts, instead of the total rating.
- Another solution could be to not show a thread rating when it's negative. This might be acceptable, as pointless threads will or should be reported anyway.

Any thoughts?

WhiteBlue
124
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by WhiteBlue » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:05 am

Negative voting in race threads could reduce the work load of the mods. It would be ok in my view not to display the negative votes in race threads in the active topic display.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)

notsofast
7
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:56 am

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by notsofast » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:15 pm

The whole thing still doesn't smell right to me. This is an internet forum. People speak their mind. People read the forum for their personal entertainment. At the end of the day, all ordinary posts have no intrinsic value. Downvoting them to give them a negative rating just doesn't make sense. If you don't like a post, skip ahead to the next one. What's the big deal? All you're going to accomplish with downvoting is that you're going to make someone upset, and that person may end up leaving the forum. Too many people have left the forum for unnecessary reasons.

We need to try and understand what benefits we hope to achieve with the voting system. If I had a way of condensing 289 pages into just the 83 valuable posts, that would be a benefit to me. But that feature doesn't exist yet. Instead, the only feature that exists is that I can see that someone upvoted my post. That benefits no one except my ego.

Dragonfly
32
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:48 pm
Location: Bulgaria

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by Dragonfly » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:21 pm

If voting was allowed here you wouldn't go unpunished with an upvote from me :)
I agree and at the time when discussion went about introducing the voting system I told my negative view in general and my doubts about the actual vs expected results.
Still, it's a decision by majority and of the forum owner, so I respect this decision.
F1PitRadio ‏@F1PitRadio : MSC, "Sorry guys, there's not more in it"
Spa 2012

mzivtins
9
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:41 am

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by mzivtins » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:29 pm

I have a confession to make...

I saw that someone had like a -5 or so rating, so i visited their forum profile to find what were the posts to get such a bad downvote... it was across a couple of posts, I read them all, and by god i agreed with the fact they were down-voted... but reading the posts, where totally entertaining to me, i lolled hard at the stupidity of the posts :D

So i briefly think that its a great system, and its only short coming isn't in the system itself, but fanboys. I love the aero/engine sub forums, and posts with high number rating normally get me sucked in for a few hours of just pure reading on my favorite sport, i love it!

Cam
123
User avatar
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:38 am

Re: How is the forum rating system doing?

Post by Cam » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:44 am

For a 'technical' site, I thought members (and others) might like to see how another very popular website self critiques its voting system. The read is good and you can draw parallels to this site quite easily. Perhaps a similar approach is needed here to draw out examples (both good and bad) to show a cross section of why posts get voted up and down - instead of the personal opinions based on parts facts.
It has been a week since we introduced comment voting on Ars, and the consensus among the staff, readers on Twitter, and a handful of people who have reached out to me by e-mail is that it's working. And by "working," I mean "improving discussions on the site." In the time since we rolled out the feature, there have been nearly 46,000 votes cast.

Yes, there have been several instances where we can clearly see someone getting downvoted merely because their innocuous opinion was expressed poorly, or in the wrong context. But what we are generally seeing is that comments are being fairly rated.
http://arstechnica.com/staff/2012/10/co ... -expanded/

and then the critique:
Below are the most downvoted posts from the last week. We won't make a habit of looking at these, and I'm not going to mention the authors' names, or link to them in context. The idea isn't to shame anyone, start a pile on, or anything of the sort. Rather, I thought it would be a good idea to share some insight into why a few comments received the votes they did.
http://arstechnica.com/staff/2012/10/ob ... specimens/

The "Emerging Trends' section is quite revealing and certainly applies here.

From my own perspective, the voting system has never been really shown, warts and all, and perhaps that's what the mods here need to do. It would certainly expose why downvotes are so critical and also why some great posts are completely passed over. The perhaps the personal opinions can be based on facts, rather than a small sample of posts that most seem to do.

If nothing else, taking a look at member demographics of the two sites show some interesting insights - both technical, yet the approach to discussion is miles apart. Food for thought.
“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”
― Socrates
Ignorance is a state of being uninformed. Ignorant describes a person in the state of being unaware
who deliberately ignores or disregards important information or facts. © all rights reserved.