34 Mefites think Mach3avelli is an asshat. September 3, 2007 7:32 PM   Subscribe

What do you guys think about instituting "personality points" towards users? You know, something along the lines of: 15 members think user x talks out of his ass too much. 6 members think user y suffers from a holier than thou complex. 24 members have been helped by user z. etc. Really, it's all about helping create context, especially for new and less frequent users. I would love an option where I could scroll my mouse over a name when I read advice in an AskMe thread and see something like, "173 users recommend against this user's advice." It could be all spelled out in a user's profile next to the "this user links to" category.
posted by Mach3avelli to Feature Requests at 7:32 PM (164 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

No good can come of this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:32 PM on September 3, 2007 [13 favorites]


Yeah! And we could call it MeFacebook!
posted by yhbc at 7:32 PM on September 3, 2007


52,000 members think this would be the end of MetaFilter
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:35 PM on September 3, 2007 [39 favorites]


That would be just all kinds of crazy bad.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:35 PM on September 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


I realize the social politics and popularity wars this might instigate, but when I'm coming through mefi a couple times a week, I'd like to know the breadth and judgments behind a user to help translate their words into a more appropriate context.

Just a thought.

Fun discussion: what kind of categories would you all like to see?
posted by Mach3avelli at 7:35 PM on September 3, 2007


I realize the social politics and popularity wars this might instigate

might? might?

That's like saying throwing a can of fresh gasoline on a campfire might instigate a slight flare-up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:36 PM on September 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


3 moderators do not like this idea

There's the contacts feature and the best answer feature. Other than that all of the other suggestions will not end well.
posted by ALongDecember at 7:37 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


*clanks, emits smoke*
posted by quonsar at 7:40 PM on September 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


I think the number you used in the title is a couple of orders of magnitude too small.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:41 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, no.
posted by puke & cry at 7:41 PM on September 3, 2007


for the purposes of fun discussion: enemies, off their meds, too cute to ban, owes me a beer, asks really weird meta questions, admitted something terrible in AskMe that they hope everyone will forget about but I have not forgotten, librarian, comrade when backs are up against the wall, friendofcortex-donotban, keep in mind if I decide to switch teams, and talks about butt too much.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on September 3, 2007 [18 favorites]


This is so we won't have to think, right?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:44 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I love that all 3 moderators have shot this down in flames, but have left the thread open, so that you can receive as much punishment as possible. Which will still not be enough, because this proposal is insane.
posted by gsteff at 7:45 PM on September 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


15 members think user x talks out of his ass too much. 6 members think user y suffers from a holier than thou complex.

You're talking about me, aren't you?
posted by dobbs at 7:47 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Damn. Can't you form your own opinions about people?

When you go to a party in real life, do the guests wear little badges saying "Eighty percent of tonight's guests think I'm a lush", "Ninety percent of the men here think I'm loads of fun but ninety percent of the women hate my guts and think I'm a slut" "Forty percent think I'm a dork. Forty percent think I'm shy and sensitive."

I mean, come on. This is just laziness.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:49 PM on September 3, 2007 [12 favorites]


/me adds "personality points" to "dumb_ideas_that_make_you_question_the_state_of_humanity_but_deserve_props_for_scaring_the_admins.xls"
posted by Stynxno at 7:50 PM on September 3, 2007


I don't like this suggestion, but I really DO wish there were someway to give a "Thumbs-Down" or anti-vote, whatever you call it, to individual answers in Ask Metafilter.

And then, on a member's profile page, there would be a tally: "This Member has received X Thumbs Downs in AskMe."

It would be useful to have a metric of how full-of-shit a member is regarded as being --- because, after all, people DO take members' advice in AskMe.
posted by jayder at 7:50 PM on September 3, 2007


When you go to a party in real life, do the guests wear little badges saying "Eighty percent of tonight's guests think I'm a lush"

Damn it! Why couldn't you've suggested this before the Victoria Meetup?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2007


C'mon, you're not serious, right? It's just been too slow on the gray and you're trying to stir the shit a little, right? 'cuz it's been really dull around here lately and we need an excuse to bust out the popcorn
posted by Quietgal at 7:54 PM on September 3, 2007



jayder writes "'This Member has received X Thumbs Downs in AskMe.'"

Ya, a permanent and highly visible mark that someone thinks you are a dumbass is the perfect way to encourage participation. Especially since there is essentially no repercussions to the marker.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Damn. Can't you form your own opinions about people?

When you go to a party in real life, do the guests wear little badges saying "Eighty percent of tonight's guests think I'm a lush", "Ninety percent of the men here think I'm loads of fun but ninety percent of the women hate my guts and think I'm a slut" "Forty percent think I'm a dork. Forty percent think I'm shy and sensitive."

I mean, come on. This is just laziness.


It's not fair to compare blog chatter with face-to-face encounters. Words on a screen vs. body language, vocal intonation, eyes, visual heuristics, etc. Also, an atmosphere with several people already displaces people naturally. On a message board, anybody with a keyboard to butt in at the same level, pace, etc.
posted by Mach3avelli at 7:59 PM on September 3, 2007


jayder: That feature would ruin AskMe and is pretty redundant considering that there is nothing wrong with refuting someone's answer in AskMe, so long you articulate your disagreement in a clear and respectful manner.

That would make for a pretty fun party game, jason's_planet. And a time saver!

*Rifles through 80% lush's pockets, finga-guns and winks at 90% slut*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:00 PM on September 3, 2007


Great idea! We can give everyone symbols to make it quick'n'easy. You know, like little yellow stars or pink triangles or something. Or Alphas and Betas. It'll be so much more convenient when we get everyone's identities all pinned down with a quickie shorthand like that.
posted by Miko at 8:02 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would love an option where I could scroll my mouse over a name when I read advice in an AskMe thread and see something like, "173 users recommend against this user's advice."

It's possible for 173 users to be wrong.

I'd like to know the breadth and judgments behind a user to help translate their words into a more appropriate context.

Read their previous commenting history or decide, on the spot, whether their advice is worthwhile.



but I really DO wish there were someway to give a "Thumbs-Down" or anti-vote, whatever you call it, to individual answers in Ask Metafilter.

That's not what AskMefi is for. Either answer the question, correct a previous answer and back it up, flag it or move on. There is no voting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:02 PM on September 3, 2007


all of the other suggestions will not end well.

Where's wendell?
posted by ericb at 8:05 PM on September 3, 2007


Oh the vendettas this could create... juicy, delicious vendettas.
posted by jonson at 8:08 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Some people, including me, have been asking for various and obvious methods to distinguish "good" posters from the madding crowd for some time now, in an effort to reward the good folks and generally increase the level of discourse.

There have been several different suggestions. All of them have been shot down.

I think the reasoning for shooting them all down is completely upside down. If you want good stuff to appear more often, you reward it when it happens. It's that simple. The model works in every setting known to man -- from school to work to sex to Pokemon.

Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard. So the suggestions keep appearing, and they keep getting shot down by a vocal minority, and the vocal minority then feels better about itself. Which, in a sense, is a reward in and of itself.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:10 PM on September 3, 2007


popularity wars... sweet, wonderful popularity wars... Uh, excuse me, I have to go masturbate now.








Okay, I'm back. Where were we? Oh yes, popularity wars... wait, again? Already. Hang on everyone, back in a minute...




So, about these popularity wars. Would having a large stash of favorites count against you, like some sort of handicapping system in golf? What if you could demonstrate users with long standing grudges against you, would that offset the favorites? Wait a second... [talks to penis] really? 3 times? In one comment??? [/talking to penis]. Sorry guys, I have to go take care of this thing in the other room, back soon.
posted by jonson at 8:12 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking that flag for "dangerous" suggestions might not be as horrible as it sounded...
posted by smackfu at 8:13 PM on September 3, 2007


various and obvious methods to distinguish "good" posters from the madding crowd

Basic reading comprehension and judicious use of favorite posts/contacts works for me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:13 PM on September 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Look, there are a handful of real asshats here. It's not hard to figure out who they are and ignore them. (Or, if you're me, write long nasty screeds at their latest banal inanity and then click page back, supposedly in the name of comity, but secretly knowing you're just too chicken to start a war.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Alas, the MeFi socialists

Mmm, socialists. Although unfortunately I think there are more libertarians than socialists around here Papa Bell.

Here's a word to add to your vocabulary: janteloven.
posted by tejolote at 8:15 PM on September 3, 2007


It's not fair to compare blog chatter with face-to-face encounters. Words on a screen vs. body language, vocal intonation, eyes, visual heuristics, etc.

Words vs. stuff that's vague and hard to decode? Really? It's easier to figure out someone's onsite personality- just go back and read everything they've ever said. Or come into IRC and hear about who hates who. Or get cortex drunk and he'll give you all the gossip himself.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:16 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell writes "Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard. So the suggestions keep appearing, and they keep getting shot down by a vocal minority, and the vocal minority then feels better about itself. Which, in a sense, is a reward in and of itself."

Ooh! You cut me to the quick. Quick, call me a Communist to finish me off.
posted by Mitheral at 8:16 PM on September 3, 2007


when I'm coming through mefi a couple times a week, I'd like to know the breadth and judgments behind a user to help translate their words into a more appropriate context.

So somehow everyone else can pay attention to what people say and how they say it and add those sorts of details together to form a portrait over time, but you can't?
posted by Tuwa at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2007


So somehow everyone else can pay attention to what people say and how they say it and add those sorts of details together to form a portrait over time, but you can't?

"more appropriate context" = inability to comprehend ?

1 user thinks Tuwa jumps to irrational conclusions.
posted by Mach3avelli at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2007


"173 users recommend against this user's advice."

Well, okay, but which users, and what has THEIR contribution been? Probably we'd need breakouts that show how many of these thumbs-down users have thumbs-down/up scores, and how much. And maybe a whole bunch of the thumbs-down responses came from one bad response (e.g. saying "Mrs. Howell" in an AskMe thread about Gilligan's Island lust objects) so you may have to incorporate a weighting scheme that factors in spread vs. intensity coefficients, with more recent events given greater importance.

Or just donuts. Everyone loves donuts.
posted by hangashore at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2007


Mach3avelli, I know that you're going to get soundly berated for your post (on top of the Triple Mod Smackdown already received)... but I'll say that in the ever-popular MeTa category of "suggested ways to make MetaFilter more social-network-y," this is at least one of the more entertaining ideas.

So somehow everyone else can pay attention to what people say and how they say it and add those sorts of details together to form a portrait over time, but you can't?

In the kinder, gentler new MeFi, with thousands more members, traffic, etc etc. -- not everyone reads the whole board, every post, every comment, every day. Those drive-by members also presumably do not have the time to do a deep look at the posting history of everyone they read. "Forming a portrait over time" is a noble enough objective, but in reality we don't all have the luxury of that much time. It leads to drive-by opinion forming. (Fortunately, I'm okay with that, but I can see why those who want a more meaningful MeFi experience would like a way to supplement the time they have with feedback from other users.)

Either answer the question, correct a previous answer and back it up, flag it or move on. There is no voting.

Since I'm posting anyway, I'll add on the topic that I would like to see a more formalized (policy? guideline? acceptance? trend?) of people being able to call out bad answers in an AskMe. I realize that, as has been discussed ad nauseam here, what's good or bad advice is very subjective, and therefore there is almost no way to solve with an official flag or "opposite of Best-Answer" thing.

But I know that I avoid posting in AskMe if all I have to say is "what Blah said upthread seems to be really bad advice for reason X, Y or Z" -- because it technically goes against the guideleines.

for the purposes of fun discussion: enemies, off their meds, too cute to ban, owes me a beer, asks really weird meta questions, admitted something terrible in AskMe that they hope everyone will forget about but I have not forgotten, librarian, comrade when backs are up against the wall, friendofcortex-donotban, keep in mind if I decide to switch teams, and talks about butt too much.

I'll play:

+ uses AskMe instead of therapy
+ unconfirmed but widely suspected to be sockpuppet
+ annoying for no valid reason
+ Munchausen-by-Internet
+ poster child for character limit on comments
+ needs sunlight
+ shut up, n00b
+ resting on <10K laurels, no real contributions of late
+ sounds authoritative but is full of shit

Disclaimer: I would definitely be on the receiving end of several of the above.
posted by pineapple at 8:30 PM on September 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


. . . never reads the frigging links, posts while intoxicated, preachy and self-righteous, needs to get laid in the worst way, serial thread shitter . . .
posted by jason's_planet at 8:36 PM on September 3, 2007


Some people, including me, have been asking for various and obvious methods to distinguish "good" posters

What's a good poster? Seriously, can you list the characteristics of a good poster, say 10 things? Will others agree on those 10 things? What happens when a poster doesn't live up to the those 10 things, is that still a good post? If a poster doesn't make that list, does that mean all their posts are bad and should be ignored?

in an effort to reward the good folks

How are you going to reward them? I like money, sushi and romantic walks on the beach.

and generally increase the level of discourse.

The best way to increase the discourse is for you to say something intelligent. Rinse and repeat.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:38 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by Termite at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2007


This is a really bad idea.

How about this category: User thinks technology solves social problems.
posted by Chuckles at 8:47 PM on September 3, 2007


Ah Cool Papa Bell. Consider that the community in its "socialist" splendour has made this site a success. It's working well. What prompted the good we've seen to date in the absence of reward?
posted by Abiezer at 8:52 PM on September 3, 2007


+ resting on <10k laurels, no real contributions of late

Heh heh good one- wait, what?
posted by UncleFes at 8:56 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow - UncleFes pops in. Has it really taken almost 4 years to find a thread in the blue worthy of your 2000th comment?
posted by Iamtherealme at 8:59 PM on September 3, 2007


I think this would be the quickest way to make sure no one bothers expressing a single thought that doesn't conform to the atheist/skeptic/liberal majority. I'm only 1.5 out of 3 of those, so I have my biases, but I don't think that's really best for the community in the long run. Or short run. Or even the space between breakfast and tea time.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:02 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


in an effort to reward the good folks and generally increase the level of discourse.

BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS
posted by Greg Nog at 9:02 PM on September 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


Again, not in favor of the OP suggestion, but happy to play devil's advocate:

What prompted the good we've seen to date in the absence of reward?

That there used to not be 52,000 members? Quantity dilutes quality. The composition of the membership has changed, without a commensurate change in posting policies designed to insure the Old Ways Are Maintained.

In the same way that there have been other spin-off / unofficial sites, I'm sure that if someone were really inclined to put together a MeFi popularity contest on their own, they could.

Plus, I'll confess I don't see what the big difference is -- if this sort of thing is welcomed, it rings a bit hollow to get up in arms about the overall concept of popularity tracking.
posted by pineapple at 9:02 PM on September 3, 2007


This is an astonishingly bad idea. I'm quite impressed with how bad an idea it is. Two thumbs up.
posted by pompomtom at 9:04 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think this is a wonderful idea.



Ok, no, it isn't good.
posted by Justinian at 9:06 PM on September 3, 2007


You know what we need for this idea to work? An independent panel to evaluate each poster. And each member of that panel should be named Helen. I think we'd need, oh, let's say....30 of them.
posted by jrossi4r at 9:08 PM on September 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


each member of that panel should be named Helen. I think we'd need, oh, let's say....30 of them.

Only if they do their work in handbaskets.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:13 PM on September 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


jayder: That feature would ruin AskMe and is pretty redundant considering that there is nothing wrong with refuting someone's answer in AskMe, so long you articulate your disagreement in a clear and respectful manner.

Okay, I have rethought my desire for such a feature, and I agree, it is a bad idea.
posted by jayder at 9:14 PM on September 3, 2007


Great idea! We can give everyone symbols to make it quick'n'easy. You know, like little yellow stars or pink triangles or something. Or Alphas and Betas.

Can mine be a cowboy hat? That'd be neat.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 PM on September 3, 2007


Really now, Mach3avelli, what the hell? It's a wishful solution built on the premise that there's some value in rating personalities when you've already implied you're too damn lazy to assess anyone's personality yourself (aside from my own, which you've done above).

Under this proposed system my six hundred sock puppets will go rate me as oh-so-wise and trustworthy and you, naively confident in a voting system only as trustworthy as a self-reported handle after a $5 registration, powered by the motivations of users who favorite things for any number of reasons ranging from "this is good" to "utter trainwreck" to "poster is batshit insane," and assuming that if people are being sincere in their assessments that they're also competent enough to make them, won't know any better.

I just don't get it. It sounds like Cory Doctorow's Whuffie, so I guess I don't get that either.

hangashore handled this all more tactfully above, but when it comes right down to it, I think your "more appropriate context" is actually "I don't care enough about this to read through it; give me the Clif's Notes." In a community built on discussion, I can't see how that's a good idea.
posted by Tuwa at 9:15 PM on September 3, 2007


This would be an entertaining way to wrap MeFi up and shut it down.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:15 PM on September 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS

lol
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:22 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's not an awful idea, in general. Online communities all need some form of reputation system ... on eBay, it's your feedback and feedback score; on amazon, it's your reviewer rank and helpful votes count. Here on Metafilter, I'd imagine it's a magical number that's a multiple of the number of front page posts we've made, times the number of people who have use listed as a contact, times the number of favorites we've received, divided by your user number. Unfortunately, none of those numbers are really designed to indicate a person's reputation, per se. But it's a real chore to actually read through a person's posting history and try to gain real insight into the person behind the persona.

To that end, and on a more practical level, aside from a few hardcore axe-grinders and grudge-bearers, one of the better aspects about Metafilter is that you're as good as your last comment or post, and that every day is a new beginning around here. So having a reputation written-in-stone on your profile that presumably you'd have no control over is, as everyone else has so amply indicated, probably a bad idea.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:24 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Popularity contests aside, I would like to see something on user profiles along the lines of "Brittanie has had X AskMe answers marked as 'best answer'."
posted by Brittanie at 9:26 PM on September 3, 2007


If you think Meatbomb rocks, favorite this comment.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:30 PM on September 3, 2007 [12 favorites]


If you think Meatbomb sucks, favorite this comment.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:30 PM on September 3, 2007 [12 favorites]


This is a technical video which shows personality points being applied to a metafilter-like environment. As you can see, the environment holds together until the first user applies the points to the community. You can judge the results for yourself.
posted by maxwelton at 9:32 PM on September 3, 2007


hangashore handled this all more tactfully above, but when it comes right down to it, I think your "more appropriate context" is actually "I don't care enough about this to read through it; give me the Clif's Notes." In a community built on discussion, I can't see how that's a good idea.

I enjoy how you're focusing on me and my motivations. Really. And the oversensitivity to a little ribbing.
posted by Mach3avelli at 9:32 PM on September 3, 2007


This isn't closed yet?
posted by blasdelf at 9:36 PM on September 3, 2007


Why does this need to exist? Can't people make their own damn minds up anymore?
posted by djgh at 9:42 PM on September 3, 2007


This isn't closed yet?

It has a reputation for being an interesting topic.
posted by peeedro at 9:52 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Some people, including me, have been asking for various and obvious methods to distinguish "good" posters from the madding crowd for some time now...

It seems like the obvious method would be to read their comments.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:53 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ooh, ooh! Instead of simple points, we can have little user testimonials on our profile pages, and...

More seriously. Dave Faris, I think one reason those reputation systems are so necessary on eBay etc. is that those sites don't actually have a community; they have a userbase but that's not the same thing. I'm unlikely to get to know anyone on eBay. MeFi, on the other hand, does have a community (though it's tenuous at times), which means that mental reputation systems can work. I think that gaining an understanding of another user by reading their posts and peoples' responses to them is always going to be more accurate and reliable than something based on a plus/minus rating system.
posted by hattifattener at 10:06 PM on September 3, 2007


My god. Not only is this a horrible idea, but it would effectively destroy the site for me. MeFi would become another slashdot - a site that I would probably check every once in a while, but would find wholly uninviting as a community.

But, hell, I'm bored, so I'll play along. Here's a few 'tags' :

* Nobody suspects is a troll because they're not politically conservative
* Believes in conspiracy theories
* I agree with this person on everything
* Somehow always gives good advice
* Somehow manages to be consistently good natured
posted by Afroblanco at 10:15 PM on September 3, 2007


No good can come of this.
posted by trip and a half at 10:20 PM on September 3, 2007


+ suffers from internet Asperger's
+ paedo alert (this would be a fun one)
+ Abraham Simpson Syndrome
+ can tell they make posts just to solicit "favorite"
+ tries too hard
+ cunt

I say if we tank Mefi, let's go down in style!
posted by Mach3avelli at 10:26 PM on September 3, 2007


all of the other suggestions will not end well.
Where's wendell?


Okay, you can close it now.
posted by wendell at 10:26 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Here's a video that shows the same sort of social dynamic in another online community (WoW?). I think this is enough evidence that it won't work here.
posted by aberrant at 10:32 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


+ Can not spell ∴ can not trust
posted by teststrip at 10:35 PM on September 3, 2007


Here on Metafilter, I'd imagine it's a magical number that's a multiple of...

0.080513988288874430709173715029278

Man, I suck.
posted by pompomtom at 10:38 PM on September 3, 2007


AWESOME POST EXCELLENT COMMENTS QUICK PAY NO PROBLEMS WOULD READ THIS USER AGAIN THANK YOU AAA+++!!!!!
posted by fandango_matt at 10:38 PM on September 3, 2007


*rubs UncleFes's belly for good luck*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:40 PM on September 3, 2007


I second the motion.
posted by rob511 at 10:44 PM on September 3, 2007


Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard.

This is what happens when you have a scoreboard. Wikipedia and Metafilter do not have scoreboards. Digg, Slashdot, and Kuro5hin do. If this data is trustworthy, the graph shows that Slashdot is clearly dying and Kuro5hin has been slowly dying FOREVER. Wikipedia is thriving. Metafilter and Digg seem to be pretty steady right now, but I predict that Digg will die before Metafilter solely because of its reliance on pure scoreboarding for everything. (Or the collapse of the whole useless advertising circle jerk Digg and half the modern internet is based on, though that actually has a chance of saving Digg.) And really, it should be clear that we don't want to be like Digg.

(I had to go to the logarithmic "rank" scale to fit Wikipedia on the same graph as anything else, but the same thing shows in the pageviews or "reach" scores.

QED, bitches.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:57 PM on September 3, 2007


if someone flagged me as "too cute to ban" i'd be happy for the rest of the day.
posted by bruce at 10:59 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard.

*fap* *fap* *fap* *fap* *fap*
posted by dirigibleman at 11:09 PM on September 3, 2007


This is what happens when you have a scoreboard.

The graph is right, but the top of the page says "related info for usopen.org". Was that intentional?
posted by delmoi at 11:13 PM on September 3, 2007


Nope. The US Open stuff didn't even make it past my mental filter of assuming anything that's not the content I'm looking for is an ad and completely not noticing it. Somehow it's in the permalink URL I got, but I have no idea why.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:18 PM on September 3, 2007


if someone flagged me as "too cute to ban" i'd be happy for the rest of the day.

What if they banned you for "too cute to flag?"
posted by dersins at 11:20 PM on September 3, 2007


Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard. So the suggestions keep appearing, and they keep getting shot down by a vocal minority, and the vocal minority then feels better about itself. Which, in a sense, is a reward in and of itself.

This is hilarious if you read it while imitating Richard Nixon.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:27 PM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is hilarious if you read it while imitating Richard Nixon

God that is Hilarious.
posted by delmoi at 11:46 PM on September 3, 2007


Has it really taken almost 4 years to find a thread in the blue worthy of your 2000th comment?

Well, I've been sorta busy.

*rubs Stavvie right back, only with more ooomphiness*
posted by UncleFes at 12:01 AM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


The funny thing to me is that mathowie almost immediately sez that 52,000 MeFites would disapprove. So, in essence, that means he thinks roughly 6,125 of us think it's a less-than-bad idea.

Interesting.

I am opposed to this idea, because all my comments are a desperate plea for attention, and quantifying just how thoroughly I am being ignored would be devastating.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:06 AM on September 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


do not want.
posted by Alterscape at 12:25 AM on September 4, 2007


I wasn't going to say, but since the bold Mach3avelli has brought it up already, my first thought for a category involved a long, drawn-out Cockney barrow boy "caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant."
posted by Abiezer at 1:26 AM on September 4, 2007


triple moderata smackdown!
muhfukka betta back down!
Points for personality?
'at shit sound whack tah me!
sound like you smokin' crack tah me!

aight, I'm outta here, word to my MeFites, we ain't goin' out like that, y'all, know I'm sayin'?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:55 AM on September 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Popularity contests aside, I would like to see something on user profiles along the lines of 'Brittanie has had X AskMe answers marked as `best answer`.'"

That's a good idea, except that maybe it should be for all users instead of just, you, Brittanie.

"Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard. So the suggestions keep appearing, and they keep getting shot down by a vocal minority, and the vocal minority then feels better about itself."

Hmm. * Latest right-wing nutcase that will complain about MeFi's bias for a few months and then leave

Also:

"+ sounds authoritative but is full of shit"

I'd like to see that in AskMe. That's a problem, especially with a few people who answer a great number of questions. Is Den Beste still highly active? Or has ridicule from a few of us driven him off? If so, then it shows that peer pressure is working. If not, then maybe there is a need for notations like the one above, or, perhaps better, something like "stupidly and/or dangerously wrong".

I don't really read AskMe all that often, but when I do, I sometimes notice a few people that answer far more questions than they ought, and with answers that are often lame to outrageously wrong. Not as bad as Yahoo!, of course. But then, I don't know if that level of badness is even possibly equaled elsewhere.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:55 AM on September 4, 2007


So, in essence, that means he thinks roughly 6,125 of us think it's a less-than-bad idea.

No, it's just that we've been banning a lot of people.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:48 AM on September 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Sure, but I haven't been ban
posted by maxwelton at 3:56 AM on September 4, 2007


+ always late to the party
+ doesn't read whole thread
+ feels strong need to add probably ill-informed comment

Thank you, come again.
posted by flabdablet at 4:00 AM on September 4, 2007


*clanks, emits methane*
posted by quonsar at 4:00 AM on September 4, 2007


Stavvie?! *is jealous*
posted by romakimmy at 4:10 AM on September 4, 2007


"3 members maybe vaguely remember user x, but ultimately get him confused with somebody else that has a similar name."
posted by Wolfdog at 4:48 AM on September 4, 2007


That's a riot, WolfDaddy!
posted by sciurus at 5:10 AM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, like little yellow stars or pink triangles or something. Or Alphas and Betas.

Oh, wow. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, maybe it was because I was hungry last night, but I honestly took the little yellow stars and pink triangles as being a Lucky Charms reference last night. Maybe I was scanning the comment too fast and the "Alphas and Betas" subconsciously steered me towards thinking of cereal.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:13 AM on September 4, 2007


I know I'm late to this, but in response to the OP:

OH HELL NO
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:27 AM on September 4, 2007


Just people on what they write, not on how other people judge what they write.
posted by smackfu at 5:34 AM on September 4, 2007


"239 users think tehloki is on drugs"
posted by tehloki at 5:35 AM on September 4, 2007


Har.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:40 AM on September 4, 2007


This is what happens when you have a scoreboard. Wikipedia and Metafilter do not have scoreboards. Digg, Slashdot, and Kuro5hin do. If this data is trustworthy, the graph shows that Slashdot is clearly dying and Kuro5hin has been slowly dying FOREVER. Wikipedia is thriving.

Wikipedia is so far beyond any of those sites it can hardly be considered in the same breath.

The same data also says that Metafilter has been dying since April 2006. If we're going to start throwing around numbers.
posted by blacklite at 5:42 AM on September 4, 2007


Given to risen, he drew up plans.
The pet penis project was soon in hand.
He grabbed his implement and gave it a rub.
Computer simulation, would illustrate any flub.
It started well but shortly listed.
He knew it should have been, wind tunnel tested.
With hardly a mental tussle, he called to build rancour.
My ass is holier than thou ... wanker.
posted by phoque at 5:42 AM on September 4, 2007


With that in mind (the dying) I think we should institute this personality-point system as soon as possible, because there's nothing like running something into the ground at full speed.
posted by blacklite at 5:43 AM on September 4, 2007


The same data also says that Metafilter has been dying since April 2006.

Metafilter, you're goin' down, man. You're goin' down.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:48 AM on September 4, 2007


Hope you have been unburdened of your impression of a vocal minority.
posted by hermitosis at 5:51 AM on September 4, 2007


It's a BRAND NEW DAY.
posted by konolia at 6:02 AM on September 4, 2007


It's not like we're even anything like one another.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:08 AM on September 4, 2007


Some people, including me, have been asking for various and obvious methods to distinguish "good" posters from the madding crowd for some time now

Lots of people have already responded to this, but still: I've always been able to tell who the good posters were by reading threads, noticing their comments, and over time forming a favorable impression of them. It may lack the convenience of a 43 folders getting things done microwave lifehack method but at least I get to make up my own mind about what constitutes a good community member without needing a tick or an A++ or a 5 or to tell me. There's been ample enough evidence that merely craving favorites attached to one's comments is enough to turn people into basketcases -- and not the Van Gogh kind where their posts become like works of art, but the sort who try to hump your leg on the bus. Could you imagine if there were some canonical list of good posters? I'm fairly sure the phrase "it'll all end in tears" was invented for that scenario.

Also, not even my Goldwater Republican father has ever called me a socialist as an insult, and he's actually read my own verse comparing fin de siècle American capitalism to the meatpacking industry. (True story; wish it weren't.)
posted by melissa may at 6:31 AM on September 4, 2007


Christ, what a bad idea!
posted by OmieWise at 7:01 AM on September 4, 2007


So the suggestions keep appearing, and they keep getting shot down by everyone other than a vocal minority

There, fixed that for you.

In other news, [this is dumb].

*waves happily at UncleFes*
posted by languagehat at 7:05 AM on September 4, 2007


Some people, including me, have been asking for various and obvious methods to distinguish "good" posters from the madding crowd for some time now

Something tells me that if such an idea ever was implemented, you'd be one of the first victims of it and would have to start over with a whole new username.

There are no "good" posters. Select any well-known quality of any user you consider "good" and I guarantee you that quality is exactly what irks many other people about them. The user you see as prolific others see as gabby. The user whose advice always seems the most logical to you is seen as unfriendly and condescending. The most friendly and outgoing users annoy some. We project so much onto each other here that one could argue that there really are no people behind the profiles at times-- just the posting history for all to use as Rorschach tests. This is why meetups have become not just inevitable but a real necessity. They inform and rewrite our opinions, and they remind us to look beyond what we see on the page and imagine actual people out there.

Eventually "personality points" would just even out and become meaningless, like favorites have for many people-- with the distinction of having unnecessarily hurt many feelings and sown much discord along the way.

Everyone gets the MetaFilter he or she makes for themself. I often do a lot of research on users before deciding whether it's worth my time to enter certain threads, or do it afterward to round out my impression of what exactly has been said. If someone gives me great advice in AskMe, you can bet that I look at their profile, check out their blog, look at pictures of their friends on Flickr, and make a mental note to return the favor if the opportunity presents itself. In other words, the people who need more info make sure to get it, one way or another. Why chew their food for them?
posted by hermitosis at 7:09 AM on September 4, 2007 [7 favorites]


I don't want to know other people's opinions of a given mefite. I want to be reminded of my own opinion of a given mefite. "Oh god, it's that asshole again."

There's probably a greasemonkey script for this.
posted by adamrice at 7:10 AM on September 4, 2007


There's probably a greasemonkey script for this.

Heh.

I just checked out the Mefi Navigator for the first time about half an hour ago, and man, it's nifty. But of course, because I'm a big geek, I also hacked it up to display a big red 'Douchebag' flag or nice green 'Swell Pal' flag depending on usernames I add to the variable lists. I'll probably just uninstall it tomorrow, but that was pretty fun.

Now, to bed!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:20 AM on September 4, 2007


Meatbomb writes "If you think Meatbomb sucks, favorite this comment."
Meatbomb writes "If you think Meatbomb rocks, favorite this comment."

Nice try Meatbomb I'm not wasting two of my precious daily favourites on proving your point.

TheOnlyCoolTim writes "the graph shows that Slashdot"

Doesn't Alexa only work with input from IE browsers? Could explain /. numbers.
posted by Mitheral at 7:37 AM on September 4, 2007


I also hacked it up to display a big red 'Douchebag' flag or nice green 'Swell Pal' flag depending on usernames I add to the variable lists

I couldn't sleep last night wondering what kind of flag I received...
posted by jonson at 8:00 AM on September 4, 2007


Swelled Bag.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2007


If you're really unclear about who the d-bags are, and this is something you care about, the solution is to spend more time here. They kinda pop out at you. And, as others have suggested, one person's worldly-wise muse is another person's bloviating gasbag in desperate need of a good fuck. And vice versa. And etc. And so make up your own mind. Meh.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:07 AM on September 4, 2007


Reputation systems are interesting because real life works on reputation and trust, and Web life tends to move closer to real life every day.

And in real life there is nothing as a "global" reputation: reputation is always topic-specific. That's why it works on eBay: you are a good payer or not, your product is good or not, your fragile stuff is well packaged or not.

Starting from there, we could imagine for AskMe a tag specific reputation system, working only in a positive way: X has good answers about wine, Y about computers, Z about law. But, as everything else, we should make it so it can't be gamed (for example, a group of people could give themselves a great reputation on a few topics, without real ground for it).

But in real life, there is nothing as a non-gameable (!?) reputation: advertising and PR have been around long enough for us to know that reputations can be fabricated. In real life, the only way to counterbalance artificial reputations is to have other channels, like news and consumer associations. So it looks like any reputation system needs a check and balance system.

Back to AskMe: if we set-up a tag specific positive reputation system (a "this is good" button), we'll also need a negative one (a "this sucks" button). Could it be made? Maybe. Could it work? The gut reaction of our 3 admins is pretty clear: it took them a total or 3 minutes to concur that not only it wouldn't, it would also ruin everything else.

Which doesn't mean that we won't have a reputation system in the future. Only that we don't know now how to make one that could be useful and trusted.
posted by bru at 8:08 AM on September 4, 2007


That is a horrible idea. Just horrible.

Also, there is no way to weight those sorts of rankings. 174 people might think user X gives crap advice, and user X might generally give crap advice in tech-related threads. But if user X lives in Boise and a user is asking for advice on where to eat in Boise, my guess is that user X will answer with reliable info. Why should the asker be biased against user X because of his wannabe know-it-all-ness in tech-related questions?

Also, we are all adults here. We can discern for ourselves whether or not user X is an asshat.
posted by birdlady at 8:09 AM on September 4, 2007


Which doesn't mean that we won't have a reputation system in the future

We have a reputation system RIGHT NOW, that works just fine whether you're reading regularly or occasionally.

If you read the site a lot, you get a feel for not only who's full of shit, but who's full of shit on a particular topic.

If you read occasionally, and are wondering about a particular poster's comment, then read the whole thread. If they're full of shit, plenty of people will chime in, usually with facts to back it up. If not, people will usually back the poster up. If there's a good amount of both, then put your thinking cap on and figure it out or do your own research.

Honestly, if you can't be bothered to do that at least and instead need a pretty button where there are 173 other people, who you don't know if they're full of shit, saying "Yes, believe this person" then stop reading the site, get off the internet and don't come back until you realize that technology is not a goddamn solution for figuring out if people are "good" or not.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:24 AM on September 4, 2007


Nthing no.
posted by rtha at 8:46 AM on September 4, 2007


If we bring back the img tag, it could be MyMefiSpace.

Sorry, Mach3, but No.
posted by theora55 at 9:07 AM on September 4, 2007


Oh, good, Will Smith showed up.
posted by dismas at 9:24 AM on September 4, 2007


If we bring back the img tag, it could be MyMefiSpace.

's been done.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:24 AM on September 4, 2007


that was in response to the "oh hell no." little late to the party. shit.
posted by dismas at 9:24 AM on September 4, 2007


I enjoy how you're focusing on me and my motivations. Really. And the oversensitivity to a little ribbing.
"I enjoy all this" == "haha didn't hurt a bit", 9 times out of 10.
posted by bonaldi at 9:33 AM on September 4, 2007


Mach3avelli, the only thing Metafilter needs is users who can engage their own brains when they come here to read stuff. There must be other sites on the internets that you could join that will do your thinking for you. I leave it to you to figure out what they are (requires engaging your own brain). Meanwhile,
most of us here enjoy the refreshing lack of thought control, thankyewverymuch.
posted by Lynsey at 9:57 AM on September 4, 2007


There must be other sites on the internets that you could join that will do your thinking for you

May I recommend...?

You'll never need to fear agreeing with someone who isn't popular again!
posted by Miko at 10:09 AM on September 4, 2007


"3 members maybe vaguely remember user x, but ultimately get him confused with somebody else that has a similar name."
When the announcement of a third mod was made, I remember thinking, "mathowie picked quonsar?"
posted by landis at 10:20 AM on September 4, 2007


Also, can we have it so that a song starts playing when someone clicks on our profilez...?? that'd be sweeet...
posted by mattbucher at 10:22 AM on September 4, 2007


I think it's wonderful idea.
posted by davy at 10:38 AM on September 4, 2007


music is a great idea mattbucher! Nice posters could have a flower by their user name, snarkers could have a lightning bolt.
posted by Cranberry at 10:39 AM on September 4, 2007


If you read the site a lot, you get a feel for not only who's full of shit, but who's full of shit on a particular topic.

I think it's probably just safest to assume that everyone is always full of shit. I mean, really... Advice from a bunch internet strangers?? Who the hell are we trying to kid?
posted by Dave Faris at 11:12 AM on September 4, 2007


Brandon Blatcher: technology is not a goddamn solution for figuring out if people are "good" or not.

Technology is a good enough solution to make us have a conversation here, to let me know that you are in Savannah, that you are interested in (among other topics) design, art and relationships. It's not such a stretch to imagine a (future) shortcut telling me if you are competent or not in these areas without having to read everything. Especially with so many people around.

... which gives me an idea: we are all talking about reputation as if it were a grade (or a collection of grades) stuck openly on somebody by other people. Everyone seems to agree that such a system would suck.
But what if we reverse it: reputation in the eye of the beholder. If I read something (post, comment or answer) telling me that this person is good at (whatever), maybe I could for example tag "design" with "Brandon Blatcher" and have this information stored in my profile. If it happens a second time, I would have 2 "design" associated with BB, etc.
Hm. Could work.
posted by bru at 11:26 AM on September 4, 2007


Blacklite, this is the data for Metafilter. You linked to the US Open. We've been declining since, well, December 2006 it looks like. When was Cortex made a mod again?
posted by klangklangston at 11:37 AM on September 4, 2007


If knowing of Brandon Blatcher's design proclivities (for example) doesn't come in handy often enough for you to remember off the top of your head by name association, then is it really a worthwhile thing for you to know?

The impressions made on us and our ability to recall them are all the personality tags we need. I don't want to be tagged, my words and intentions are what they are, and I reserve the right to change tack or contradict earlier impressions I've made at will. My identity on this site is fairly close to my real life persona, attempting to reduce it to a few handy keywords is patronizing.
posted by hermitosis at 11:42 AM on September 4, 2007


It breaks my heart that Alexa calls MeFi a "news oriented weblog".
posted by sciurus at 11:43 AM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


We've been declining since, well, December 2006 it looks like. When was Cortex made a mod again?

Cusp of Q1/Q2 2007, but I might have gotten a running start or something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:44 AM on September 4, 2007


I just want to know what happened in Q2 2006. It wasn't just mefi that shot up.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:03 PM on September 4, 2007


Alexa change their metric.
posted by Mitheral at 12:07 PM on September 4, 2007


You linked to the US Open.

I was wondering why the hell mefi's traffic was so seasonal!
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:16 PM on September 4, 2007


When was Cortex made a mod again?

I've been working on a timeline page on the new wiki that includes this and all the other dates I could think of. If you have anything to add... well, it's a wiki.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:23 PM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rhomboid, you're a superhero.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:28 PM on September 4, 2007


Technology is a good enough solution to make us have a conversation here,

Having a conversation could certainly tell you if I'm a "good" poster or not.

to let me know that you are in Savannah,


Which doesn't tell you if I'm a "good" poster or not.

that you are interested in (among other topics) design, art and relationships.


Which doesn't tell you if I'm a "good" poster or not.

The point I'm making here is that you've got a certain amount of info which you can make assumptions from, but really, it's useless in terms of determing whether I know what the hell I'm talking about. But lets take this a bit further and pull one more piece of info outta my profile: I'm a graphic designer. Now, does that give me some authority in terms of talking about design and art? Probably. But it *still* doesn't mean I know what I'm talking when it comes to design and art, and even if a I *do* (and I usually do) it sure as hell doesn't mean I'm always right or the lone authority on those subjects. What do you do when another graphic designer disagrees with somthing I said about design, who do you believe? Hopefully you do a bit of critical thinking and take an educated guess if you're familiar with the subject.

It's not such a stretch to imagine a (future) shortcut telling me if you are competent or not in these areas without having to read everything. Especially with so many people around.

::sighs::

Why are you going to believe this future shortcut as opposed to just reading the thread to see if the user comments are full of it or not.

And be careful with the "so many people around" line of thought. Mob mentality is not always right, though it often leaves everyone feeling good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:49 PM on September 4, 2007



I'd like to know the breadth and judgments behind a user to help translate their words into a more appropriate context.



How about reading what the user writes and making a decision based on its merits? Even a stopped-clock cock-bag like anonymous is bound to be right now and again.

Also, what everyone else said about this being a bad idea, the OP should be flayed, etc.
posted by Mister_A at 1:17 PM on September 4, 2007


Mach3avelli writes "+ cunt"

This one gets my vote.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:40 PM on September 4, 2007


I know I'm late to the pileon (not you, Blazecock), but this idea is a turd.
posted by NationalKato at 2:32 PM on September 4, 2007


No, no and no some more. No to the nth degree. If matt and jess and cortex want to indicate who has been nailed by the banhammer before, I'm okay with that. Maybe. But otherwise, I'll make my own value judgments, thanks!
posted by misha at 4:22 PM on September 4, 2007


Alas, the MeFi socialists hate anything that smacks of a scoreboard. So the suggestions keep appearing, and they keep getting shot down by a vocal minority,

Late to the game, but... If you look at the very top of this thread, and realize that the vocal minority of which you speak is essentially matthowie, jessamyn and cortex, your argument is, well... moot. They're the vocal minority that counts.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:23 PM on September 4, 2007


all my comments are a desperate plea for attention

*attends to the BOP*
posted by jonmc at 4:33 PM on September 4, 2007


It is horrible, this idea.
posted by killdevil at 4:41 PM on September 4, 2007


Fine for you, jon, but I'm attending to the BÖC.
posted by klangklangston at 4:51 PM on September 4, 2007


Be careful. Joan Crawford has risen from the grave.
posted by jonmc at 4:55 PM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you look at the very top of this thread, and realize that the vocal minority of which you speak is essentially matthowie, jessamyn and cortex

If you continue on down the thread, you realize that the "vocal minority" includes pretty much everyone else as well. I know, I know, IT'S A CONSPIRACY!
posted by languagehat at 6:28 PM on September 4, 2007


Dude, just put all that stuff in your profile. Link to a bunch of users with those kinds of sentences, solicit some quotes from other users about yourself, and you're done.

I bet people would be able to form an opinion about you pretty quickly from that.
posted by Many bubbles at 6:37 PM on September 4, 2007


*clanks, emits radon*
posted by Balisong at 8:56 PM on September 4, 2007


*clanks, emits the sweet, sweet smell of roses*
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:26 PM on September 4, 2007


"Dude, just put all that stuff in your profile. Link to a bunch of users with those kinds of sentences, solicit some quotes from other users about yourself, and you're done.

I bet people would be able to form an opinion about you pretty quickly from that."

Great idea, reklaw!
posted by klangklangston at 11:00 PM on September 4, 2007


Really, it's all about helping create context, especially for new and less frequent users.

I think the existing user page already does a great job of providing context. It's one of the things I like most about MetaFilter: if you see a comment or post from someone you haven't heard of, you can click on their username and get a quick summary (are they an active, long-time user or a relative newcomer?), or you can skim through their whole MetaFilter posting history and get a real sense of who they are.

Plus there's already the favorites feature to provide positive feedback.
posted by russilwvong at 11:05 PM on September 4, 2007


Once we've got the personality points thing under control, let's make everybody sign loyalty oaths. Then we'll be safe from terror!
posted by flabdablet at 1:12 AM on September 5, 2007


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