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From the old Thunder’s talent shows?

Gold in them there hills

Ok. My little analogy is that some posts have gold in them but the majority do not know where that gold is located. The “hills” as it were are too vast. Since it is so difficult, only a few hardy explorer types go looking for it.

We could use some signposts directing us to this gold. The star system is part of my signpost plan.

My suggestions range from simple to complex.

1. Make the ranking system easier to see. Do not put it in a drop down box. The drop down box blends into the page and is easily overlooked. People think of drop down boxes for filling in forms or sometimes for navigation. It just looks unimportant the way it is. Use graphical stars. I originally mentioned netflix as an example, but now I see that you have to be a member to see their ranking system. I will try to find a better example.

2. Make the ranking system give immediate positive feedback / rewards. If someone does in fact rate a thread a ranking will not appear on the page, nor anywhere else, thus reinforcing the concept that ranking a thread is not worthwhile (it doesn’t do anything). I think rankings should be displayed immediately. This would be a big step towards getting people to rank threads. If you see a thread that isn’t ranked you rank it and your ranking shows up immediately. WOW! That’s cool, I can have an impact on the site. But what if someone ranks his own thread a 5 stars when it is a not a very important thread? Well, so what, it will only remain that way for a short while. People will see the inaccurate rating and this will be a strong encouragement to rank the thread (to get rid of that improper ranking they see). Everyone has opinions on threads, if they see a thread that is ranked improperly, they will definitely want to express their opinion by ranking it. Currently there is no concrete reason for people to rank threads. The only reason is an abstract one – “for the good of the eventual good of the site when enough people actually rank things”. People want concrete immediate results.

3. Put references to rankings on the front page. This introduces and reinforces the concept that rankings are an important element of the site. See next paragraph for some ideas.

4. If you utilize the immediate programmatical ratings for new posts I suggested previously, it should be easy to institute a “Today’s best threads” link on the front page. Also, you might add “weeks best threads” and “months best”. This is an excellent way to lead newbies to useful information. It at least puts the idea in peoples minds that rankings are an important part of the site. As it is people do not realize ranking’s importance since most do not ever click on the “sort by rankings” link on the forum page (its blank by the way). It does hurt that almost no threads are ranked, further reinforcing the idea that ranking a thread is “not worth my time”. Also, utilizing the programmatical rankings will give every post a ranking, thus putting the idea in peoples minds that their must be some way to rank the threads and also reinforcing that rankings are helpful and useful. It would be very cool to see every thread have a rating. Also, a link on the frontpage to the top ten threads of all time would be cool.

5. Make the opinions of important members worth more. For instance, since you Thunder have over 10,000 posts, your opinions would be worth 10 times the opinion of someone with 100 posts. But what if someone realizes this and starts posting junk? Hmmmmmm. Well, there is a big drawback to that technique – people will get pissed at you, call you out on it. Your community is amazingly self regulating in this way. Plus you could get a mod to police for that.

6. Give suggestions based on a users rankings. Users will have unique ideas about what makes a thread get 5 stars. Now if you could just recognize these patterns and give suggestions to other similar threads it would be very cool. Lets say user A ranks threads 2, 3, and 4 very highly. Now lets say user B comes along and rates thread 2 very highly. You could now suggest user B also take a look at threads 3, and 4 since user A had this pattern of ranking. This is a little more complicated.

Last thing, but important. What if a thread is really funny, but contains no PE related information? Furthermore, what if it happens to mention some popular PE terms as part of the joking. Now what happens if someone performs a search for one of these popular terms and sorts his results by ranking. His top 5 results might be useless. The star system in my opinion needs to serve one purpose only – an information content gauge. Perhaps the amusement type forums should not have rankings, or their should be a way to keep those results out of search results. I think users come to your site for PE information. The social aspect is important, but finding social threads is EASY. Those threads always find their way onto the front page because they are easy to find. Going back to my analogy, the social threads are like saloons or brothels. Information is gold, amusement is a saloon. They are not hidden and thus the ranking system is not important for them.

That’s it for now.
Tube


-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.

-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...

Ooo Oooo Oooo!
One more thing.

You should force anyone who replies to a thread to include a ranking. The reply message will not Submit until they have selected a ranking in the ranking box that will now become a part of the reply area of the page.


-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.

-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...

This is a bad idea. What if somebody asks a simple question that turns into a long, winding, off topic discussion? The first person’s rank will only be towards the initial question and each following ranking will be to hwo much thread is in existence at that point, thus skewing the ratings system badly.

You’re right antistar. Thanks for contributing to the ideas. But how about this way to get aroud it:

As the thread gets longer, the rankings cout more toward the total ranking. When the thread is short, rankings cout a full amout, but as the thread increases in length, the old rankings decrease in value. Say a thread currently has 10 replies. The next ranking counts a full amout. The ranking that went with the first reply counts one tenth, since he was effectively ranking one tenth of the post.

-Tube


-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.

-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...

Thats allright T. You also misspelled “caffed”.

I’m still thinking about the karma thingy.
How exactly does the Karma feature work?

-Tube


-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.

-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...


Last edited by Tube : 01-18-2004 at .

Look at this,
The rank and file calling the boss out on the carpet.

While we’re at it, I suggest we update the glossary into a more complete and concise edition. Such as, inclluded terms like “upward lateral stretch” and “marginal stretch” for example. There are many obscure terms and phrases used here that one could spend hours doing searches just to cross reference these terms to get their meaning.


Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgh! ~Howard Dean Illustrations & Diagrams PE -- What's it all about? Read this.

Stop distracting the Man. He’s working on the karma thingy. ;)


-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.

-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...

T,

Have you or one of your underlings had a chance to research the karma thing?

-Tube


-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.

-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...

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