page to view fantastic posts/comments? February 26, 2005 7:16 PM   Subscribe

To my knowledge, posts/comments flagged 'fantastic' only seem to decide towards sidebar announcement. How about a page where all posts flagged as such are listed? [+]
posted by Gyan to Feature Requests at 7:16 PM (30 comments total)

To keep it simple, it can be like lofi. Present, but largely unadvertised. No karma-count on user pages, of course. For minimal quality-control, atleast ?5? flags required.
posted by Gyan at 7:16 PM on February 26, 2005


good idea.
posted by amberglow at 7:33 PM on February 26, 2005


This sounds great.
posted by gd779 at 7:39 PM on February 26, 2005


Self-flags automatically disqualify post completely.

Both to reduce flag-inflation and as a convenient opt-out method if one wants to remove a post of theirs from the listing.
posted by DaShiv at 8:08 PM on February 26, 2005


MetaFantastic!
posted by wendell at 8:22 PM on February 26, 2005


DaShiv: Self-flags automatically disqualify post completely.

Not required or helpful. Just subtract 1 from the criteria count, assuming that a single user can't submit multiple (same) flags for a post. Besides, sock-puppets will be a getaround, either way. Better method is for a decent minimum. Also, Matt could add a "remove from list" option to flag. I'm not sure about the 'opt-out' thing. Aren't our posts public? Like I said, this service should be discreet, restricted to logged-in users, if warranted.
posted by Gyan at 8:35 PM on February 26, 2005


Uh, when did fantastic show up? Nice.
posted by Jim Jones at 9:50 PM on February 26, 2005


Positive responses date back to Feb. 20. The wording might have changed though.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:00 PM on February 26, 2005


Gyan, posting in public and having those posts be singled out for special attention are two different things. I guess I was ambiguous, I had meant "opt-out" as "removing from list" and not a pre-emptive "opt-out." I for one would like the option to remove any potential posts of mine from "special" lists, whether they be positive or negative, open or members-only. IMO if people are interested in a thread I've posted in for its topic's sake then they would have read my comment in there anyway, whether the comment is brilliant or moronic.

I don't think this is a necessarily rational stance on my part, by the way. It just reflects my own general ambivalence toward attention, and I'm willing to assume I'm not the only one who feels that way. Witness all the people who donate huge sums to charity anonymously, for example.
posted by DaShiv at 11:35 PM on February 26, 2005


I thought the point of the flagging was to help draw Matt and his minions' attention to things that need special attention, whether good or bad. I think a publicly-available list of good-flagged comments would be contrary to the intent of the flagging. Not that it's necessarily a bad idea, but I'd wait a while and see if the way it's being done now has some serious deficiency before adding such a feature.
posted by kindall at 11:38 PM on February 26, 2005


Wouldn't this be very easy to abuse. I mean you can buy new X accounts, and use these X accounts to flag all your posts as spectacular.
posted by chunking express at 8:56 AM on February 27, 2005


The big problem is placing those 'fantastic' comments into context with the original FPP and preceding in-thread comments.
posted by mischief at 8:57 AM on February 27, 2005


I think a publicly-available list of good-flagged comments would be contrary to the intent of the flagging.

Why not a publicly-available list of both good and bad?
posted by amberglow at 9:41 AM on February 27, 2005


kindall: I thought the point of the flagging was to help draw Matt and his minions' attention to things that need special attention

Correction: The point of flagging is to draw attention to those posts that seem to warrant corrective action. Good posts don't need any attention, but they ought to deserve it. Which is why there's only one 'good' option in the list.

I'm not suggesting a solution to a "problem", rather just a service. Just like lofi's deleted posts.

chunking express: I mean you can buy new X accounts, and use these X accounts to flag all your posts as spectacular.

I think Matt has indicated that he intends to add a "Cries Wolf" ignore option at his end. Like I said, I don't intend this to be linked on the front page. And if someone does do what you suggest, readers will notice the overabudance of seemingly undeserving posts, especially those select abusers. If they can't be stopped, then the service will be devalued and the page can die a discreet death. I see no reason to kill the idea before a month long trial.

mischief: The big problem is placing those 'fantastic' comments into context with the original FPP and preceding in-thread comments.

That's a concern restricted to 'good comments' (not 'good posts'). And it's restricted to flaggers. And it applies to the posts that Matt already highlights on the sidebar. I mean, how many non-Americans know about the AARP? For that matter, how many Americans?

The concerns above seem mainly about this turning into a popularity currency and the pitfalls that brings. Which is why I posted some guidelines to try to minimize the utility of doing so.
posted by Gyan at 9:46 AM on February 27, 2005


When I think of self-policing within this community, I picture ideas that are passed on from day to day about what makes this site great, or not so great. I think of self-policing as a presence within the community, without direct action ever being taken, or rarely taken.

I guess my point is that I'd rather not see active, direct, moderation from the vast majority of this site, or even a decent sized minority. As much as I trust the judgment of the members here, I think that a direct style of moderation (flagging posts) can only lead to over-policing by those with an agenda or who simply don't like other members.

I like the fact that only Matt has real mod power because he's always been pretty conservative with his direct actions. I know I've always asked for him to be more involved; but I'd rather have one person more involved than 100 people who are even slightly involved. This is a great place to share ideas; I think it would be bad if we had actual power over the site. We'd ruin it. Just my thought.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:12 AM on February 27, 2005


It's not active power--it's just the ability to see what's been flagged. Patterns can be seen, unheard/unseen problems (not posted here) made visible, biases uncovered...
posted by amberglow at 10:16 AM on February 27, 2005


This seems like something that would get gamed. I say skip it.
posted by majick at 10:29 AM on February 27, 2005


lofi has shown many of us what makes a good post, and what doesn't, in the absence of visible guidelines. Why wouldn't this serve the same purpose?
posted by amberglow at 10:34 AM on February 27, 2005


Because, as I said above, I'd rather have one person, Matt, having a moderate amount of power (based on his track record, I trust his judgment more than the 20,000 collective we have here) than to allow the lot of us having even a tiny amount of power.

We've been through a similar argument before. If we all posted links that were just "okay", the front page would have hundreds of links a day, with no filter. Because of self-policing and MeTa, I think that people think twice before posting to MeFi (I certainly do, which is why I have so few posts). Along the same lines, if we gave everyone a chance to flag posts, very active, agenda-driven posters would present a "flagged page" that, IMHO, would not represent MeFi's collective.

I would favor group moderation if we could find unbiased, clear-headed individuals who don't take this site personally. Most active posters here do not fit that description. (Showing flagged posts is a slippery slope that could lead to more active moderation by many members here and I submit that any sort of direct moderation by the collective is inherently bad. (in the case of MeFi and its members))
posted by BlueTrain at 10:44 AM on February 27, 2005


Along the same lines, If we gave everyone a chance to flag posts, very active, agenda-driven posters would present a "flagged page" that, IMHO, would not represent MeFi's collective.

I wouldn't mind an editor who hung out on MeFi and read my mind, though. That'd be helpful.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:14 AM on February 27, 2005


Everyone can flag posts now, BlueTrain.

I think people thought lofi was a slippery slope too, but that didn't happen.
posted by amberglow at 11:27 AM on February 27, 2005


Well then, gyan, addressing posts...

I will guaran-damn-tee that posts headed for deletion will first appear on your 'fantastic' page, because some people around here are smart-ass enough to flag them as such.

Now, get that mirror out of my face! ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:07 PM on February 27, 2005


Those smart asses will be braying to themselves after Matt presses the mute button.
posted by Gyan at 12:10 PM on February 27, 2005


Everyone can flag posts now, BlueTrain.

But only Matt can see the results, which is my point. One moderator, medium amount of power is better than thousands of moderators with even a small amount of power.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:19 PM on February 27, 2005


BlueTrain: If we gave everyone a chance to flag posts, very active, agenda-driven posters would present a "flagged page" that, IMHO, would not represent MeFi's collective.

What difference does that make? This service won't affect the posts themselves. 90% of viewers won't even know of it. It won't affect the front page, or the other pages. If the flagged page starts becoming crap, and if some simple measures don't contain the problem, let it fade out as discreetly as it faded in. Key point being, we're talking about a single solitary page that gathers some links. No advertising, no incorporation into the broader MF experience. Now, I'm well aware that a small select group of Mefites will tend to incorporate this tool into the social discourse, but I think that will be easily contained. There are probably 15-20 users whose egos require a prominent presence in such endeavours. I think that's spottable and containable, given that the flagged page will not be strictly a function of flags. Matt will always have deletion powers.

I'd prefer to know what Matt thinks of this. If he likes this, nice. If not, no big deal. There is a third option, which might work, if Matt likes the idea but doesn't want the extra work that might come with it. And that idea: every week, Matt forwards the flagged list to me or someone, who can then host it. If needed, for quality control, there can be 3-4 volunteers who filter out the list. Then the master list gets updated.
posted by Gyan at 4:20 PM on February 27, 2005


If you "prefer" Matt's opinion over ours, why didn't you just email him?
posted by smackfu at 6:24 PM on February 27, 2005


Bad choice of words. I'd like to know...
posted by Gyan at 6:59 PM on February 27, 2005


A twist on this idea would be to allow viewers of the list proposed here to filter that list based upon who the flags are from.

This is the same way we filter ideas offline. We listen to the people we know. When they make their reactions known, we can guess our own.

For example, in a busy thread there may be three or four key posts that add some meaningful perspective to the issue, but not everyone will see it the same way. So if I can filter the thread by three or four user's reactions(flags), that adds another level of refinement to each position/argument, at the same time it saves me the time of reading unrelated chatter or repeat arguments. Unless of course that's what I want to read, then I filter by the chatter flag, or the snark flag, sarcasm flag, what have you... Even a 'wrong' flag. It's helps to frame an issue by knowing who disagrees with what; or what they dislike (a yuk flag).

One obstacle to this, I imagine, would be the database model and having a workhorse server to run these filter requests 100 times a second. I could be wrong, but I think a query like this would be some kind of three-column inner join, especially if the system allows a filter on not just one user's flags, but sets of user's (groupthink).

I'll be surprised if this isn't being done somewhere else, but I've not seen it. I always figured that a system like this would be a natural outgrowth of open-moderation forums, but that programming issues/processing power vs. lack of interest/need prevented a development. Then again, it may just be a lousy idea, but I think it would be cool...

minus airguitar two cents
posted by airguitar at 3:02 AM on February 28, 2005


flag rhymes with tag
posted by airguitar at 3:06 AM on February 28, 2005


I think this is a fantastic idea--simple, elegant, and potentially very useful.

DIre warnings that this can be used for axe grinding or self-promotion, or that people will flag comments without thinging about whether they'll work out of context, all boil down to, "If people do a bad job of flagging good posts, this will not be useful." And that's true enough. And if people do a bad job of writing FPPs, the front page will not be useful. If people do a bad job of writing comments, the comments will not be useful. That's the risk you take in any community-written website.

Fortunately, the FPPs and the comments tend to be the kind of thing I'm interested in, which implies to me that the Flagged Good Page would interest me as well. And if it doesn't, I'll just take the RSS feed for the "Flagged Good" page out of my bloglines, and I'm no worse off.
posted by yankeefog at 3:31 AM on February 28, 2005


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