Voting - What Went Wrong
Voting on comments has been removed - at least for now.
Here are the 3 main issues:
- Comments that were witty / funny received the most votes. For example, Brian had a number of the 'top' voted comments including his 'Genetec is better than a mop' one and 'pimps and pricing'. By contrast, in depth technical or operational comments, by anyone, received very little votes. I think this is the opposite of what it should be.
- Not enough people were voting. While it became more diverse over time, even at the end, a dozen people probably counted for about half of the votes, making it not an accurate reflection of what the overall membership felt.
- A handful of people voted ideologically, i.e., if they supported a manufacturer, nearly all comments supporting their manufacturer got upvoted and any ones criticizing them got downvoted, regardless of the quality or depth of the comment.
What I want from voting is for votes to broadly reflect member's opinion the accuracy / value of the comment, not whether it is funny or it supports their business partner.
There are changes in how we present / list voting that could help. We also may need to do a little educational campaign with members to make it clearer the goal of voting.
Probably just best to dispense with voting as it seems it will lead to more contentious issues and needless debates that will distract people from what should be the primary focus here: security related products and solutions and how they fit in our world and business.
Reddit and Slashdot both have a mature form of comment voting / meta-moderation. While insightful comments do receive upvotes, your observations (especially first and third bullets) ultimately are what filter to the top. Trolls and humor.
Granted I am a relatively new member, but I did not even know we could vote on comments. Where were the voting buttons located?
Just curious, is the voting limited to the Pro-members?
My 2 cents on comment voting:
Conceptually I love the idea of comment voting, but in reality I usually find no worth in it. In other (non-surveillance) forums I belong to where you can vote on comments, my experience has been that the nature of the voting is exactly what you have found here at IPVM. It's either a popularity contest, an opportunity for revenge, or an open door for folks who just want to pump or dump a cause or product. Hence, I rarely even look at the voting results for comments.
In the end, if I like the subject of the article or discussion, then I will read all of the comments regardless if people found certain ones better or worst. Perhaps if the voting was an accurate representation of the actual worth of the comment content I would pay more attention to the ratings.
Not sure how to improve the voting system. You would think in a professional forum like this folks would apply more rigor to the voting process, but I think this is an indication of human nature in general, which is at times impossible to regulate or comprehend.
I don't have any strong opinion about whether or not voting should be continued, but I have some thoughts on the matter.
It was clear that sometimes voting was a topic of conversation, which might have been either entertaining or an unnecessary distraction.
It wasn't clear that voting was necessarily negative, since IPVM appeared to function equally well both before and after voting.
Is it possible that you gained any interesting information at all from the votes, as for example undeclared affiliations? If the votes did not inform IPVM management of anything of value, then since anything generally costs SOME effort, they probably WERE an unnecessary distraction from the otherwise superb work you have been doing.
Just my 2 cents. PS keep up the great work!
I like Richard's idea, and perhaps that could be expanded on a bit... as I previously noted, Techdirt gives two voting options, "Insightful" and "Funny". Perhaps it would be good to have both, so the witty comments can still get an upvote without it skewing the results as to the post's actual usefulness.
(I couldn't get the screencap to pick it up, but when you hover over "insightful" the mouseover reads "rate this comment as insightful, informative, intelligent")
I like the voting, whatever form it takes. Many times I don't have anything to add other than "I agree" or "This information was useful". The votes gave me somewhat of a way to express this without making a post that really doesn't add value to the forum.
Now I wish I could go back and review my votes, but I do not see a summary of what I voted on. If I can recall, I generally upvoted those comments I found 1. Useful/ Insightful and 2. Amusing 3. Some Combination of the two. The review site www.yelp.com has system similar to the one outlined by Mat Ion. Perhaps a "mini poll" on each comment would prove beneficial. Each comment would have categories that could be assigned to it. The categories that I could see myself using include: Useful/Insightful, Funny, Trolling/Report, Need More Info/ Clarify. So then users who only want to see the comments ranked useful could filter out the comments with no "useful" votes. Of course this requires some administration, so there's that.
On ranking users- I think perhaps we are looking at similar rankings. So every "useful" vote gets you, the user a point towards a "piece of flare" or an icon after your name. If you get 200 useful votes you get a an icon which indicates you have 200 useful comments...etc.
Just a couple of thoughts. I would use the voting system, a categorized ranking system makes sense to me.
To echo what many others have said, the most useful voting system would allow users to designate replies as useful, insightful, funny, and so forth, similiar to Slashdot's system. Simple up and down voting will result in an echo chamber or popularity contest.
I think I would downvote this decision. The voting shows what the population cares about, not what the administration thinks they should care about.
+1 for Marty
My 2 cents for the voting feature....I would say it was simlar to "like"feature on Facebook. It was fun but pointless at the same time.
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