Poll

Should the karma system apply to threads, posts, and/or people?

Remove the karma system entirely.
0 (0%)
Karma should apply to people only.
1 (7.1%)
Karma should apply to posts only.
1 (7.1%)
Karma should apply to threads only.
1 (7.1%)
Karma should apply to people and posts.
2 (14.3%)
Karma should apply to people and threads.
0 (0%)
Karma should apply to posts and threads.
4 (28.6%)
Karma should apply to people, posts, and threads.
5 (35.7%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Voting closed: August 29, 2011, 04:00:55 PM

Author Topic: Vote: What should karma system apply to.  (Read 6672 times)

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August 15, 2011, 04:00:55 PM
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Steve

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This poll is set to run for 14 days.

Now, since this topic isn't quite new, I'll link to the original post I made as well since there was some discussion there already http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19230

This current thread is different than the original question for a couple of reasons. The first is that a couple of other people mentioned putting karma on posts, thus that becomes a viable option. Secondly, as someone pointed out, we don't need to restrict karma to a single aspect; karma can even remain on people as well as being applied to posts and threads, thus giving up to three different opinion-based indicators.

I decided to use explicit options rather than allowing multiple votes so that the answer is clear as to which aspects people don't want karma to apply to.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

August 15, 2011, 04:03:13 PM
Reply #1

Steve

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And now that the poll is created, I'll reply to something Faijer posted in the other thread:

Quote from: Steve
let them see which threads are applauded highly
Ah, the slippery slope of mass appeal. You could easily end up with two problematic situations:

1) A quarter of all threads are rated highly and the others tend to get overlooked despite having some interesting content.
2) Almost every thread has a couple of votes making the system irrelevant.

The major advantage however is that it removes ownership of the kudos. I'm still in favour of the post-by-post system, because it encourages individuals to contribute strong posts. If it could be blended with a thread-by-thread system, which would hopefully encourage collaboration, that would be ideal. Although, I doubt that it's possible.
The mass appeal would work more properly if people could only vote a single time per thread/post, as compared to being able to vote on any person once/day and thus skewing the actual karma if any small handful of members were the only ones voting but were voting a lot (kobok has said this isn't so at this time, but this could change in the future depending on how the forum culture changes).

And I assume there would only be a handful of good threads at the top, with a lot of threads in a neutral range close to zero, and then a few threads at the bottom. If this sorts threads between "This is a REALLY great thread that everyone should read first and foremost!" and "these are decent threads that you should read next" and "these threads aren't all that great, but they're still here if you've still got time while you're wandering around the forums" and then the "these threads are probably a waste of time. don't bother with them except for the sake of completion", then I'm okay with that. Certainly that means that good posts in bad threads are going to be overlooked by the majority, but that's a lot like saying that we're missing one good person in a mob of many bad people; you can't always spare the group to save the individual. And when you're talking about a lot of reading through a lot of bad posts to find one good post then I'd say it would be a far better expenditure of a person's time to provide them with many good posts in clearly marked good threads (as opposed to right now, where it is unknown whether any thread is considered "nice to read" or "terrible to read" until a person has actually spent the necessary time to read through that thread).

I assume that most people will always read any thread with a title that falls within their ranges of interest, regardless of whether the karma is good or bad. The karma system would just prep them beforehand by giving them an idea of how the community feels about the topic, which would also be an indicator to the reader as to whether they even like how our community opines about topics or whether they think we're out to lunch and want to go find another forum that better shares their own opinions (for those people who aren't brave enough to accept that people with differing opinions can still post on the same topic).

~Steve
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 04:07:32 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

August 15, 2011, 04:11:48 PM
Reply #2

Faijer

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Ultimately what the system should do is act like a search engine. We all have finite time in our lives and its been shown in multiple studies that people's attention span on the internet is substantially shorter than elsewhere (it takes us on average 6 seconds to decide if we like a website while searching through results). So, through this system we can save time by only reading those posts and threads not voted for if we have the time and/or are bored, while if we are pressed for time the better posts are highlighted for us like a search engine's organic results. Nothing as sophisticated as Google's "we don't need no SEO by 2016" approach, but better than nothing.

You can't tell that I work with search engine optimisation on a daily basis at all.
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August 15, 2011, 07:42:56 PM
Reply #3

Aurafire

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I'm going to play devil's advocate for a sec, Faijer. If we look at the flipside of that, there may be threads that are unrated or rated poorly by say the first member that happened to check out the thread. As a result this could lead to burying of a potentially good thread.

Backing up even further, it doesn't bother me how the karma system is implemented (if at all). I don't mind it the way it is, but wouldn't be opposed to a better way being implemented.
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August 16, 2011, 12:34:29 AM
Reply #4

Faijer

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Quote from: Aurafire
If we look at the flipside of that, there may be threads that are unrated or rated poorly by say the first member that happened to check out the thread. As a result this could lead to burying of a potentially good thread.
Already covered in this thread and another:

Quote from: Steve
And now that the poll is created, I'll reply to something Faijer posted in the other thread:
Quote from: Faijer
Ah, the slippery slope of mass appeal. You could easily end up with two problematic situations:

1) A quarter of all threads are rated highly and the others tend to get overlooked despite having some interesting content.
2) Almost every thread has a couple of votes making the system irrelevant.
My WordPress Blog is updated regularly.
NEW UPDATE: Life begins at conception: A thought experiment (29/08/2012)

August 16, 2011, 03:11:46 AM
Reply #5

Aurafire

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Patience is never inherited nor acquired, but only practiced everyday.

August 17, 2011, 12:38:46 AM
Reply #6

Faijer

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Point of order:

Is there a system where the threads are rated based upon the number of voted posts within that thread, relative to the size of the thread and the number of votes each voted post has received (where averages and outliers are treated as distinct phenomena that affect the rating)?
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NEW UPDATE: Life begins at conception: A thought experiment (29/08/2012)

August 17, 2011, 05:36:04 AM
Reply #7

Wren

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Is there really enough posting volume to merit discussions about optimizing search results? It seems a bit overenthusiastic.

August 17, 2011, 04:05:34 PM
Reply #8

`Nazukarr

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Is there really enough posting volume to merit discussions about optimizing search results?

I would say so. There are plenty of misleading posts on this forum that wouldn't register in the novice's mind as complete bullshit because they may come to us little too open-minded. The first post when someone types in "pyrokinesis" shouldn't be "the reason there isn't alot of info is because pyrokinesis is not the easiest skill to develope". It should be something along the lines of "There is only one type of kinesis, this is why, and this is how you get better at kinesis". Such posts would naturally get the thumbs up and appear at the top of the search heap because these understandings are ones that the bulk of the member base would approve of. Such a system would have certainly helped me out when I came here as a younger teenager.
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August 17, 2011, 05:12:11 PM
Reply #9

Steve

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I was thinking of allowing people to manually sort based on karma, but not it being an automatic thing. Ie, if people were to click a sort button while they were browsing the forums then they could see the threads with higher positive votes at the top of the page but while they're browsing normally then the threads would still be ordered based on latest post. And maybe also have that sort function be available if they using the search function (obviously this wouldn't be very helpful for any threads that are no longer being posted in but were still great threads).

Frankly though, I rarely browse the forums anymore anyway. I click the nice little "show unread posts since last visit" every time and browse through those. I have enough time each day that I still open the threads with titles that make me cringe, just to see what people have to say. If I don't have time for some reason and just want to see the threads that most people think are of high value then I'd like there to be an option to sort based on that, but even if there were no option to sort then at least I would still be able to tell at a glance which threads are obviously highly valued and which threads are obviously highly devalued by the community at large.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

August 18, 2011, 01:21:53 AM
Reply #10

Akenu

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I was thinking of allowing people to manually sort based on karma, but not it being an automatic thing. Ie, if people were to click a sort button while they were browsing the forums then they could see the threads with higher positive votes at the top of the page but while they're browsing normally then the threads would still be ordered based on latest post. And maybe also have that sort function be available if they using the search function (obviously this wouldn't be very helpful for any threads that are no longer being posted in but were still great threads).
I agree with that and I would the the same thing in memberlist (allowing visitors to sort users with the Karma thing). One small SQL command and a lot of people are happier :).
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 03:58:37 AM by Awakened »

August 18, 2011, 03:40:13 AM
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Wren

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Is there really enough posting volume to merit discussions about optimizing search results?

I would say so. There are plenty of misleading posts on this forum that wouldn't register in the novice's mind as complete bullshit because they may come to us little too open-minded. The first post when someone types in "pyrokinesis" shouldn't be "the reason there isn't alot of info is because pyrokinesis is not the easiest skill to develope". It should be something along the lines of "There is only one type of kinesis, this is why, and this is how you get better at kinesis". Such posts would naturally get the thumbs up and appear at the top of the search heap because these understandings are ones that the bulk of the member base would approve of. Such a system would have certainly helped me out when I came here as a younger teenager.

Yeah, I agree with this, but I misspoke. What I should have typed was, "Is there really enough posting volume to merit discussions on optimizing which threads come up when browsing the forums?" Searching by karma I can see as only being having upside. I'm more worried that showing posts by karma when just plain browsing would ultimately lead to new threads being displayed on the second page back or further. It'd just end up being a display of the forum's collected favorite topics. To me, that sounds like it should go in stickied thread or a wiki page. If it were to be disableable it wouldn't be a concern though.

August 31, 2011, 08:27:19 PM
Reply #12

Rafnul!

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Guys, I just want to fill you in on the technology available here.

The Karma system is something that is available by default in SMF, the forum software we use here.  As it is currently implemented in the canonical tree of SMF, it applies only to users.  In order to make it function for users, threads, and posts, someone would have to write a mod to do it (I was working on one, but have not had time to finish it).

In theory, we could certainly tally the ratings any number of ways once the core functionality of input buttons and table columns were set up with the forum software.  Virtually any algorithm you could think of could be applied to the data.

The problem is, the code simply doesn't exist yet.

September 01, 2011, 12:59:24 AM
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Akenu

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Guys, I just want to fill you in on the technology available here.

The Karma system is something that is available by default in SMF, the forum software we use here.  As it is currently implemented in the canonical tree of SMF, it applies only to users.  In order to make it function for users, threads, and posts, someone would have to write a mod to do it (I was working on one, but have not had time to finish it).

In theory, we could certainly tally the ratings any number of ways once the core functionality of input buttons and table columns were set up with the forum software.  Virtually any algorithm you could think of could be applied to the data.

The problem is, the code simply doesn't exist yet.
Well, not only Karma can be used. I believe that there are many post rating systems for SMF. Something like 5 stars, like/doesn't like (which is very similar to the Karma thingy here), etc.

Or you can simply copy the code from Karma and just rewrite few SQL parameters there.

September 01, 2011, 06:44:33 AM
Reply #14

Rafnul!

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Re-using the karma code is exactly what my mod does.  The intended functionality was to allow users to also rate posts, and that the rating on an individual's posts would also be added to their personal karma.  The problem is that we do not want to simply modify the code behind this site away from the canonical build, so an official, publishable mod that works across version revisions is necessary.  We don't want to have to rewrite the mod into the code manually every time we have to upgrade for security reasons.  I have seen the existing post/thread rating mods out there, and they simply don't offer the level of functionality that is required to be useful.  You are quite correct that the mod is not particularly difficult to write, but creating a patcher for it is a somewhat time-consuming process (it's kind of an art more than a science).

I had a hard drive crash a couple of weeks ago, and while I got the majority of my data back, I have to reconfigure my testing/development environment (for a load of different projects as well).  If anyone else has the time or means to implement this kind of thing as an official mod, by all means, I would encourage you to do so.  I think this poll has showed that the community would be receptive to the addition.