Add a fantastic flag scoreboard to profiles March 25, 2006 10:52 PM   Subscribe

Idea: Add links to a person's fantastic posts/comments/answers to their profile pages, as a kind of personal scoreboard.

Been wondering how to give people "attaboys" for good commentary and answers. Why not list these accomplishments on their profile pages? I did some searches, and the idea has been proposed before, but I can't find a similar suggestion that's more recent than four years ago.

Profiles already have links to a person's posts, and if I drill down I can see which ones have been flagged as fantastic -- so why not put this front and center on the profiles?
posted by frogan to Feature Requests at 10:52 PM (32 comments total)


Please go away. Seriously.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:55 PM on March 25, 2006

Please go away. Seriously.

C'mon, be a buddy now! You've posted three fantastic answers to AskMe in 2006. I had to drill down and count them individually. You're telling me you wouldn't want them linked in a nice little box on your profile page next to the link to your personal Web site?

Why else does MetaFilter post fantastic posts/answers on its front page, if not to help people find them? Maybe the word "scoreboard" turned you off, but I'm really just talking about posting the same, already-available data in more readily accessible places.
posted by frogan at 11:13 PM on March 25, 2006

Nah. I see "fantastic comment" as more of a way of finding interesting stuff on ask.mefi I otherwise would have missed. Its a tool for the reader, not an attaboy, per se.

Lets not get into a debate about why comments are flagged "fantastic" - its rarely because someone posts a one-line link to a resource nobody else knows or would have thought of - its always looong essays based usually on special insight or personal experience.

If you have this personal experience and can share it wih others, then great! But lets not ignite the competitive spirit and turn this site into an amateur essay contest.
posted by vacapinta at 11:17 PM on March 25, 2006

It would be good to find out if any of me own posts have been flagged fantastic.

I don't think it should be visible to other users.
posted by cillit bang at 11:19 PM on March 25, 2006

Scorecards are for websites that can't retain an active userbase on other merits. Bleh.
posted by cortex at 11:22 PM on March 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

I can see this already degrading into the debate about whether comment-count is a good way to judge if your post was good or not. And then, oh, maybe we should track the number of times that each post's link is clicked. And, oh, let's also make it mandatory for everyone's breast or penis size to be on their userinfo.

Hey, if something's worth doing...
posted by blacklite at 12:08 AM on March 26, 2006

I could go either way on this, as I suspect I've never posted a fantastic comment to any portion of this website. but I feel I should mention that this thread was the first thing I saw after flagging frogan's recently sidebarred askme answer as fantastic.
posted by carsonb at 12:17 AM on March 26, 2006

Maybe we could post pictures of ourselves and other users can vote if we're hot or not?

But, seriously, I think this has been asked and answered (in the negative).
posted by mullacc at 1:07 AM on March 26, 2006 uses various rewards and score-keeping metrics, and it produces an astonishing amount of quality text, with less acrimony and more community oriented good behavior.

But then it has a whole lot more complexity and specific kinds of freedom that MeFi doesn't have.

And I'm biased - for one, 'cause I like E2 - but I'm also a sucker for complexity, cross referencing and having dozens of different ways to drill down, crosslink and otherwise sidle up to information, even if it means taking scenic detours to get there.

Besides, they're a bunch of baby-eating communal anarchists with strange rituals and arcane rules over there. But it's still a very rich vein worthy of studying and emulating as far as active online communities go.
posted by loquacious at 1:21 AM on March 26, 2006

This is a very bad idea. A metricized system is a gamed system.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:27 AM on March 26, 2006

y6y6y6's comment rated as fantastic.
posted by dgaicun at 5:40 AM on March 26, 2006

posted by bonehead at 5:43 AM on March 26, 2006

cilit bang, if you click on the M link in your profile:

...and N posts questions and M answers to Ask MetaFilter

every best answer you've given will have a check mark beside it.
posted by bonehead at 5:46 AM on March 26, 2006

Best answers aren't the same as "fantastic comments," though.
posted by Gator at 5:50 AM on March 26, 2006

" uses various rewards and score-keeping metrics, and it produces an astonishing amount of quality text..."

How odd, because at the last I gazed upon it, Everything2 was filled with nonsense. I admit it's been a while, however.

In any case: No. Please avoid scoreboards.
posted by majick at 6:52 AM on March 26, 2006

> Scoreboard?
> Please go away. Seriously.

Not unexpected. Metafilter users are mostly from the competition-is-nasty end of things. Now lets all go play honor dodgeball where everybody wins.
posted by jfuller at 6:53 AM on March 26, 2006

where are the fantastic posts listed again? I know I've been to the page but can't find a link on the pages or in the wiki...
posted by mdn at 7:39 AM on March 26, 2006

Here mdn. The link is in the first paragraph of text on the top of the AskMefi page.
posted by peacay at 7:59 AM on March 26, 2006

everyone's breast or penis size to be on their userinfo

My profile has both.

Seriously though, this is one of very few issues about which I am *exactly* on the fence - one half of my brain says "cool that would be cool hey neat" and the other half will say "nah, it would be bad for the community" etc. etc.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:29 AM on March 26, 2006

one half of my brain says "cool that would be cool hey neat" = fortheinsane

the other half will say "nah, it would be bad for the community" = goodnews
posted by peacay at 8:35 AM on March 26, 2006

You haters have soooo missed the point.

Didn't MetaTalk just see a series of posts about how the level of discourse has lowered? Didn't someone just suggest shutting off membership because of that?

So, a suggestion comes along to point out the "better" posts in just one eensy, tiny way -- essentially pulling the check marks that already exist just one page higher. On profile pages, not the front page. Just more one small way to say, "hey, this was good. attaboy, there, kid."

Just an idea ... you may not like it. That's cool. But if it makes you feel better to say it's "insane..."

Have a good weekend.
posted by frogan at 10:08 AM on March 26, 2006

Firstly, it's very questionable if frogan's suggestion would address any perceived problem. Sockpuppets could game the system very easily, but more likely in the longer term would be the formation of dittoesque cliques that would vote for each other all the time. politicizing Ask is not a desirable outcome.

Secondly, the so-called problem (which has existed for at least the past few years I've been following metafilter) isn't really on Ask anyway---it is, and always has been in political topics. The players change, but the arguments never do. "Fixing" Ask doesn't address the "problem".
posted by bonehead at 10:19 AM on March 26, 2006

Metafilter users are mostly from the competition-is-nasty end of things. Now lets all go play honor dodgeball where everybody wins.

5 MetaFilter user(s) link to this user.

posted by matteo at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2006

"Maybe we could post pictures of ourselves and other users can vote if we're hot or not"

That would be awesome. I'll go first.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:07 AM on March 26, 2006

I do not like this idea.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:11 AM on March 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

frogan doesn't articulate the reasons for his request particularly well, but there are good reasons, nonetheless. As Matt discussed in the context of the flagging system, community sites in general, and MetaFilter in particular, don't scale particularly well. Matt acknowledges that he doesn't read more than about 10% of the site, and I'd be surprised if more than a handful of the most active members read any more than that. Just as the size of MetaFilter makes Matt's job of policing more and more difficult, and it becomes equally difficult for readers to find posts that interest them in a sea of widely varying quality and subject matter.

Matt has also indicated that he doesn't plan on closing membership anytime soon, so I think we can expect membership to continue to grow unabated, accompanied by an inevitable increase in the number of posts on the front page. Weekdays routinely see between 30 and 40 posts, with each post attracting between 10 and 200 comments. It's difficult to read all the posts, much less follow all the discussions. While it's still possible to skim all the posts in order to focus on those a member finds interesting, will that still be possible when MeFi reaches 50 posts per day? 75? 100?

I think Matt is going to need to develop tools to help members surface the posts that are likely to interest them. One useful tool could be collaborative filtering based on the 'fantastic' flags. If we can mark posts as 'fantastic,' why can't we filter the front page by flags? It's true that we have Metafilter Remixed, but as an external solution, it's not very satisfying. First, not many members even know it exists, much less use it. Second, the latest redesign broke Remixed's layout, and emails to the developer have gone unanswered. The tags are also a decent start on this goal, but aren't enough as they are currently implemented. First, because on the poster can add tags, tags are only used sporadically and haphazardly. Second, there is no easy way to exclude tags that a member doesn't want to see.

I would love to be able to either sort the front page by 'fantastic' flags or see a separate page with flagged posts listed, as well exclude tags from the front page.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:24 AM on March 26, 2006

jfuller: Metafilter users are mostly from the competition-is-nasty end of things.

Ironically -- and not unexpectedly -- they also compete fiercely for status.

Putting numbers on it would reframe the entire competition. So it's not surprising to see the idea opposed.

As for myself, I'd like ot see the data, but given the nature of competition for status on Metafilter and its lack of compensatory controls (see loquacious), I think it would be liable to just introduce a new type of competition -- which is liable to result in much nastiness as those who pursued status so assiduously in the current order struggled to find their place in, or subvert, the new one.
posted by lodurr at 3:01 PM on March 26, 2006

mr crash davis, there isn't a "hot" flag, so I just voted you "other." That cool?

"Folks, I'm a raging heterosexual, and even I think these guys are hot." -- Dennis Miller, on Depp & Grieco
posted by lodurr at 3:04 PM on March 26, 2006

Wait wait wait.

Frogan, are you talking about "best answers" - that the question asker gets to flag, or "fantastic question/answer" that anyone can flag?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:41 PM on March 26, 2006

I know, we could set up some kind of metric, let's call it karma. And we could list that in the profile. Then we could automate the flagging system a little and call it moderation instead. If you see someone being a dick, you "moderate" their post negatively; similarly for very good posts. This rating or "score" if you will gets displayed next to each comment, along with the reason (e.g. "Insightful") that it got that score. Since every comment now has a score, we just just add a bit to the SQL so that the user can choose to filter out comments scored below a certain level or "threshold". Having implemented this, we can then allow anonymous users to also post. Since they're anonymous though, their score should start out at 0 instead of the standard 1. But since this moderation system is now in effect, all the normal trolling and noise will just get moderated down. Of course people will find a way to game this, so perhaps we will need to find out when users moderate posts inappropriately -- we can call this "meta moderation".


Snark aside, I sort of like this idea. But it's important to differentiate between AskMeFi answers that have been marked by the questioner as "best answer" and regular comments that have been flagged by anyone as "fantastic." Since the former are already noted in your posting history with a check-mark, I don't think it's really going too far to add a URL where you can list all the user's "best answer" posts -- but this should be just like all the existing "user has posted n posts and n comments" links already in the profile. It should be be any more prominent than those, just anoter option you can choose to click on if you want to read their posts.

The "flagged as fantastic" comments on the other hand are somewhat different. Right now there's no real way to see a user's history of those, and I think that's probably for the best.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:56 PM on March 26, 2006

My mom says all my comments are fantastic.
And that's good enough for me.

While I appreciate frogan's motivation and desire to introduce something positive to the community (And roll my eyes at all you no-goodnik sneerers - I expect to see you all ready to roll next time someone suggests a X# of Flags=Auto Boot/Suspension/Decapitation feature), I don't think it's really all that necessary, wanted, or practical here.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:12 PM on March 26, 2006

The internet is probably not the best place to seek peer approval so I am against any rating system whereby this place turns into more of a popularity contest then it already is.

I am also very much against correct sentence construction. Fuck you, English language.
posted by longbaugh at 3:52 AM on March 27, 2006

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