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[P]
Scale back on the front-page activity.

By RadiantMatrix in Meta
Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 12:56:14 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

I love the idea that we can vote a story onto the front page, or to its section (or dump it, of course). However, I think there has been way too much activity on the front page lately, which means we either have to vote differently, or make a slight change to thresholds.


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comments (24)
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One of the things that I like(d) about K5 is that the front page doesn't move rapidly - I can say to a friend who has never heard of K5, "hey, there's a story on Kuro5hin that you should check out" and it will be there. Besides that, K5 is intended (according to the FAQ) to be a discussion-oriented site. If stories cycle through the front page so fast, there is bound to be less discussion.

To correct this, one of two things needs to happen: the community can correct it themselves by voting for "front page" only on extremely good articles, or the number of votes to place a story up front has to be upped.

I would say that the latter should definately be done if the front-page cycling has to do with increased readership...

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Poll
How to fix the fast front-page issue
o Vote fewer stories on 19%
o Increase the post threshold 25%
o Both of the above 34%
o Leave it alone, it's not a problem 16%
o Other 4%

Votes: 96
Results | Other Polls

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o Kuro5hin
o Also by RadiantMatrix


Display: Sort:
Scale back on the front-page activity. | 63 comments (59 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Just vote + to section (3.23 / 13) (#1)
by Arkady on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:50:52 AM EST

as I did with this one ... ;-) The threshold can't be _directly_ effected by increased readership since, if I understand correctly, it's calculated as a percentage of total accounts. So more accounts simply means that a submission will require more votes. It seems to me that the most likely effect of increased readership is an increase in dead accounts and thus a slowing of the front page, since the ratio of live readers to votes required for posting would go down. Maybe. At any rate, I do agree that the front page has been moving past too quickly lately, but I think the best solution right now is to only vote exceptional material to the front page and vote anything else you think is worthy to the appropriate section.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


Re: Just vote + to section (1.80 / 5) (#2)
by Arkady on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:52:22 AM EST

Sorry about the comment-slurry. I'm still not used to the fact that the comment form now defaults to HTML all the time rather than defaulting to whatever format you'd posted most recently. As I usually post plaintext, it bit me on the butt there.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: Just vote + to section (3.33 / 3) (#25)
by sugarman on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:25:55 PM EST

Made the same comment over at Scoop last week (seeing as I thought it would be more appropriate there).

To sum up:

  • Anything modded up goes to section only
  • Anything in section goes to FP after n topical posts. (Different sections may end up needing different thresholds)
  • Site editors retain option to put something directly on front page.

    Simple enough? Any objections?


    --sugarman--
    [ Parent ]

  • I've been doing to + to section page thing and... (4.00 / 2) (#31)
    by marlowe on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:12:50 PM EST

    it doesn't seem to have any effect. Either the feature is broken, or we're getting outvoted by yahoos with no sense of proportion.

    Either way, I think a technical fix is called for.

    -- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
    [ Parent ]
    Re: I've been doing to + to section page thing and (3.50 / 2) (#48)
    by Nyarlathotep on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 10:21:07 PM EST

    I do notk now how the system makes the decission about front page or not front page, but I assume that is bases the decission on precentage of total votes for the story which supported sending it to the front page. If there are too many morons who vote for front page then Rusty could just change this precentage.

    Actually, he could set a specific ammount of front page activity (like 10 storys per day) and just post the 10 stories with the highest precentage of votes for the front page, i.e. a new story making it to the front page could knock another story back to section only. This might make people save their votes for front page stories for storiesx which they really liked, i.e. your vote for front page here is less meaningful if you voted for front page on another article.

    Actually, that gives me another interesting moderation idea. weight people's votes by how many things they voted for in the past. If I vote +1 on lots of things then my vote dose notmean much. If I vote -1 on lots of things then my vote dose not mean much, etc.

    Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
    [ Parent ]
    Agreed. (2.72 / 11) (#3)
    by aphrael on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:04:56 AM EST

    There've been way too many articles on the front page; story latency seems to be two-three days *tops* right now, which means there can't be an ongoing discussion involving exchange-of-ideas, because it's too difficult to find responses to posts on yesterday's stories. Along the same lines, the limit of 25 posts on the 'userinfo' page should be upped; I can't easily find responses to things I posted four or five days ago any more, which makes it hard to think about what people are saying, or have a conversation; and i doubt i'm the only one experiencing this.

    Re: Agreed. (3.60 / 5) (#7)
    by Arkady on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:19:21 AM EST

    Good Point.

    Hell, my "User Info" page is down to the point where the oldest comment on it is stamped about 7 hours ago. It's certainly difficult to track whether someone has replied to a comment with just a 7 hour window and it definitely makes it harder to keep up a conversation.

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Agreed. (3.20 / 5) (#8)
    by aphrael on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:29:19 AM EST

    In that case, if I want to talk to you, i'd better post now, huh? *grin*

    But seriously, in a discussion-oriented site, that's a severe problem; unless you periodically safe off your user info page, you lose the links to the ongoing conversations, and have to either search manually for responses, or give up.

    On the other hand, maybe you just wait for the same topic to get posted to the front page again three days later. *Grin*



    [ Parent ]
    No "vote to front page" option. (4.28 / 14) (#5)
    by sakico on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:06:11 AM EST

    Presumably, the stories that we want to see on the front page are very discussion oriented. Rather than offering a choice, in the story moderation, of voting to either the section or the front page, why not drop the front page option.

    Post *all* new stories to the section, and instead set up a user-definable, milestone-based comment threshold for the front page. Currently, a default value of, say, fifty would be appropriate. Once a story on a section page hits fifty comments, it gets added to the front page.

    Of course, some checks and balances would be appropriate. Presumably we would ignore the editorial comments in this tally, and not count more than three or so posts by a single user toward the total.

    The reason to make the system milestone-based is to simplify the computational load somewhat. Record the times that articles reach milestones such as 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100 comments and allow the users to set their own front page threshold only to one of these values. Some people visit the site several times a day and wouldn't mind a low value, others would prefer the higher.

    Of course, someone would need to do some manual scaling on those numbers should this site's popularity continue to grow, but given a good design, that shouldn't be too much work.

    Re: No "vote to front page" option. (1.66 / 6) (#6)
    by sakico on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:08:16 AM EST

    Well, isn't this entertaining... Another article in the submission queue has this very idea as its premise.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: No "vote to front page" option. (2.33 / 3) (#21)
    by CodeWright on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:50:06 PM EST

    if so, i've missed it. could you post a link, please?



    --
    A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
    Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

    [ Parent ]
    If that's how the people feel... (1.60 / 10) (#9)
    by skim123 on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:53:57 AM EST

    then they will vote stories down more often. Since they are not, we have to assume the average k5er likes the frequency of the frontpage rotation, and therefore it warrants no change.

    Over time the frequency of frontpage cycling will work out to a level that is appreciated by the majority of visitors...

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum


    Re: If that's how the people feel... (3.50 / 4) (#10)
    by RadiantMatrix on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:07:42 AM EST

    we have to assume the average k5er likes the frequency of the frontpage rotation
    Or we could assume that it is a side-effect of hasty voting, and that K5 needs a reminder that the front page is for exceptional stories. I have made niether assumption, but I have stated my opinion that this is a problem, in hopes that enough others will agree with me so as to correct it.
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    [ Parent ]
    Re: If that's how the people feel... (4.66 / 3) (#26)
    by kubalaaa on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:45:04 PM EST

    You make the flawed assumption that moderators are aware of the ramifications of their own actions. When the generic moderator chooses to post something to the front page, it's because they believe it to be an especially interesting article, NOT because they are tired of the current selection of articles. In their mind, the 2 or however stories per day they vote to the front page is enough, but they don't take into account the fact that other people are doing the same with different articles. When you have more people, you are likely to get a broader spread of interests and therefore more stories considered "front-page-worthy" by a significant segment of the population. It's a good example of emergent behaviour, and definitely a problem with the current system.

    In order to keep front-page turnover to a reasonable rate, people have to consciously change their voting habits and not vote for all the stories they would like to see on the front page.

    [ Parent ]

    2 suggestions (3.84 / 13) (#12)
    by MightyE on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 08:51:05 AM EST

    Either limit the front page stories to the highest rated within the last [:timeperiod:]. This way, we won't see too much movement on the front page. I really like the idea of limiting the front page articles. On /.^H^H the other site you have to hit the site several times a day to keep up with the articles, true, they're there for the whole day, but there can be so much to read about that it gets away from you.

    The other option is to limit the number of front page votes that a single person can make a day. You'd have to use your vote carefully to make sure that what you really appreciated for the front page went through.

    Someone else suggested that the number of front page articles would regulate themselves after a while. I disagree with this. I don't think that is the case. People will continue to vote up stories, because there's not enough options for the voting system. I think it should be -5 to +5, depending on how strongly you'd like to see it on the front page or otherwise. This could fit in with the limited voting mentioned earlier, you have, say 15 points that you are allowed to use to vote on topics for the front page. The abs(vote_val) is subtracted from your vote score for the day.

    As more people come to this site, they'll read an article in the queue, and vote it up. If there's mild support for an article on the front page, eventually it'll be voted up, as long as enough people come along and cast their vote, if 10 people vote for it, and it gets a 1, then 100 people voting for it will yield a 10. 1000 will yield 100. As more people come to the site, you'll see more and more articles on the front page. Then you'll start getting troll voters, who create a bunch of accounts and use scripts to automatically vote up all articles. That's the problem with popular sites. It attracts morons. Morons attract stupidity, and stupidity turns a site into the other site.
    here's my sig

    Restrict use of Front Page vote (2.75 / 12) (#14)
    by eventi on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 09:49:43 AM EST

    I think people should be limited in the number of times they are allowed to vote articles to the front. For example, only one in 5 votes can be for the front page. More than anything, this is the single reason I don't read TOS.

    Drinking from a firehose (3.83 / 12) (#15)
    by eann on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 11:19:56 AM EST

    Over the last few weeks, K5 has gotten a lot of new traffic, bringing with it scores of new ideas and issues. Those that stuck around after the initial flood in mid-September obviously decided it's a cool place to discuss things.

    They're right. It is. And we're happy about that. We all feel, to some extent, that the more discussions there are going on about all these important topics, the better off this site (and society in general--both technology and culture) is. Otherwise we wouldn't be here.

    But we've gone from a stream of a few dozen people to a river of several hundred. We can't all have the same conversations anymore. We have to separate into eddies and swirls and maybe even some semi-isolated tidal pools. The sections were an excellent attempt to encourage this, but they're not quite working like that yet.

    I suspect very little of the complaining will actually encourage people to vote to section. To the extent that we can be grouped together on anything, it's probably fair to say that K5ers don't appreciate being told how to vote. Maybe making it harder to get to the home page is the answer. Maybe a different division of sections would improve things. It's an extremely fluid system; it's often beautiful, but very tricky to predict.

    I'm not sure anything RadiantMatrix suggested is right, but I haven't thought of anything better yet. I guess there's still room to talk about it.

    Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

    $email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


    Umm... (2.72 / 11) (#16)
    by TheLocust on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 12:24:08 PM EST

    Is there a FAQ i can read about just how Scoop operates, moderation-wise?

    Personally, i don't think we should have the option to "post front page" perhaps rather, if the ratio of +1's to -1's is high enough, then it gets on the front page. But, this has been beat to death. I'm just glad to have a moderation system that the users control.
    .......o- thelocust -o.........
    ignorant people speak of people
    average people speak of events
    great people speak of ideas

    The Irony is rich (4.05 / 17) (#18)
    by RadiantMatrix on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:15:20 PM EST

    I submit a story about not posting things to the front page, and it makes it to the front page. Maybe we need an option allowing authors to limit thier articles to the sections. I certainly didn't want this up front - it is Meta, and that's where it belongs.

    On the other hand, it does illustrate my point quite nicely. :P
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    Re: The Irony is rich (3.80 / 5) (#20)
    by aragorn on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:24:36 PM EST

    Maybe we need an option allowing authors to limit thier articles to the sections.

    I think that would be an excellent idea, especially for things like MLP and Meta. This is, perhaps, even better than the suggestions you give in your article. I wouldn't want to see the number of articles making it to the front page artificially deflated. Personally, I haven't seen a big drop in quality as we've gained quantity. There are, however, instances like this where it's clear that a story shouldn't have made it to the front page.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: The Irony is rich (2.66 / 3) (#23)
    by itsbruce on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:03:14 PM EST

    I submit a story about not posting things to the front page, and it makes it to the front page.
    But you managed to completely miss the fact that you posted an article that is a practical clone of one posted only a few hours earlier, which also made it to the front page.

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: The Irony is rich (3.00 / 2) (#32)
    by RadiantMatrix on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:15:34 PM EST

    But you managed to completely miss the fact that you posted an article that is a practical clone of one posted only a few hours earlier, which also made it to the front page.
    Actually, I noticed that other article while it was still in the queue - however, I didn't like it's approach to the issue and thought I could do better. Wether or not they agree with that, enough K5'ers obviously thought it deserved to go up somewhere...
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    [ Parent ]
    Different take, same subject (2.66 / 3) (#38)
    by maestro^ on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:34:10 PM EST

    Personally I would have preferred to see your opinion in the already existing thread. Everyone has already commented on the irony, but what about the impact you have on the development of that idea when you split it up? It makes it more difficult for people to voice their opinions. Which thread is more active, which do I post to? Should I post to both so that i'm heard, or is that repititious? Again, I think its better to keep ideas together, reparenting only when a distinctly seperate vein has developed from the existing thread.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Different take, same subject (1.50 / 2) (#43)
    by RadiantMatrix on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 06:26:44 PM EST

    At the time, both stories were in the queue. Had the other one been posted already, I would not have used a story.
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    [ Parent ]
    Re: The Irony is rich (2.00 / 1) (#53)
    by itsbruce on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 08:57:48 AM EST

    Actually, I noticed that other article while it was still in the queue - however, I didn't like it's approach to the issue and thought I could do better.
    Oh! I thought you just hadn't seen it but this is worse. You absolutely should have added to that discussion and voted that discussion into section. Insisting on your own discussion is against the spirit of the whole thing. After all, you acknowledge that it is the same issue.
    Wether or not they agree with that, enough K5'ers obviously thought it deserved to go up somewhere...
    But the whole point of this recurring issue is that the voting/moderation structure is there to promote good discussion and not to leave it to some kind of Darwinist lowest-common-denominator. If you don't believe that then why did you post at all.

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    Irony (2.16 / 12) (#19)
    by Caranguejeira on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:15:46 PM EST

    I voted for this story to show up in the k5 section, not on the front page. :)

    So what is this doing on the front page, FFS! (2.00 / 10) (#22)
    by itsbruce on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:57:17 PM EST

    I mean, it's practically a clone of Promoting Quality Discussion on K5. Does anybody have any excuse for this? The author? Those of you who voted it onto the front page? Am I being too subtle? The Front Page where there is too much activity?

    This is just ridiculous!!!

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    Re: So what is this doing on the front page, FFS! (2.20 / 5) (#24)
    by bmetzler on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:13:26 PM EST

    The Front Page where there is too much activity?

    I got a chuckle out of this. A story complaining about too much activity on the front page, appearing on the front page. :)

    -Brent
    www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: So what is this doing on the front page, FFS! (3.33 / 3) (#33)
    by RadiantMatrix on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:21:51 PM EST

    Actually, I remarked on the irony of it as well... go figure - and remember I don't have control over that. And FYI, this isn't a clone of another story - it's on the same topic (yes, I did read it before I submitted), but with a different approach -- I am saying that either policy needs to be changed, or we as a community need to be more responsible, but I'm also asking which one is better.

    And, I suggest a simpler, more straightforward fix. And I hate really long stories. But I did vote that story to +1-Section because I thought it proposed an interesting idea.
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    [ Parent ]

    Re: So what is this doing on the front page, FFS! (3.66 / 3) (#47)
    by aphrael on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 08:01:35 PM EST

    One of the things that appears to be happening --- I see this because I check the new story moderation queue every time I check the main page --- is that more or less simultaneously multiple people will notice the same issue and write articles about the same thing; all will appear in the moderation queue, and people voting on them will split their votes, resulting in duplicate stories making it to the front page.

    I'm not sure what can be done about this except pyrotechnic education schemes.



    [ Parent ]
    oooooooooooh (2.60 / 10) (#27)
    by phunbalanced on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:52:35 PM EST

    the bitter irony.

    why don't you guys stop complaining about Kuro5hin and concentrate your efforts on making it better. If you have an update / feature request, there's a little site linked at the bottom of EVERY K5 page that goes to scoop.kuro5hin.org

    Making it better includes... (1.25 / 4) (#28)
    by phunbalanced on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:54:47 PM EST

    writing good stories instead of ones that just criticize everyone elses.

    [ Parent ]
    NOOOoooooo...... (2.75 / 12) (#29)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:02:35 PM EST

    I'm a regular on Another Site but I'm getting pretty sick of it. The only reason I haven't yet moved over the K5 for full time is that there isn't enough front page stuff here. I generally keep a browser open all day and just hit refresh once in a while. I need a new story every couple of hours to keep me interested.

    Play 囲碁
    A new story every couple hours? (4.50 / 4) (#30)
    by marlowe on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:05:51 PM EST

    Some of us have to work for a living. We can't spare cycles to wade through junk. We want only stuff that's going to be worth our time.

    I guess no one moderation system can please everyone.

    Maybe we should have a special "see all stories at once" view for those who want it, and the rest of us can use the more filtered view.


    -- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
    [ Parent ]
    Re: NOOOoooooo...... (3.75 / 4) (#34)
    by Malk-a-mite on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:33:01 PM EST

    The "other site" is the one you go to for lots of stories.

    K5 from all I'll seen and read is about the discussion around the story. It's not here to amuse the masses and keep them entertained. It's about coming together to discuss and debate the issues and ideas that are brought up.

    If you're not interested maybe it's because there hasn't been a topic that stirred your blood, so then write one.

    This isn't about entertainment - it's about knowledge.

    [ Parent ]

    Moderation, Voting, and Posting (4.21 / 14) (#35)
    by Primis on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:37:31 PM EST

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I know I vote to kill probably 18 or 19 out of every 20 submissions. However, it seems like a lot of people are approving every story that comes along, which pretty much defeats the purpose of voting.

    Don't lie -- we can see what names voted what, and there are a LOT of names that are under the VOTED FOR catgeory on _every_single_story_that_comes_across.

    Quite frankly I've been following the site closely here for a couple weeks and I have seen probably _ONE_ story I really give a rip about. And it was on the main page probably for a day, and that's it. It soon was buried under the influx of "new" stories that I could have cared less about, and quite frankly had absolutely nothing to say.

    I know I'm in the minority on this probably as of right now, and I don't care. I have yet to see any worthwhile topics posted. However I also know I'm not alone on this either.

    If any of you complaining about the moderation system on this site REALLY want to make it work, and see to it the only best make the front page and STAY there for more than 2 seconds, then you'll start being a lot more discriminatory about what stories you approve and kill.

    And until more people start doing that, this site is never going to be any different than any of the other dime-a-dozen sites out there, and noone really has a right to complain about the situation.

    And if more people start truly moderating things, and it's a losing battle. Well then, we fought the good fight and the morons won out in the end, like they always do.

    It's not a matter of getting more people to vote and moderate. It's a matetr of getting the ones who are to vote and moderate *wisely* instead of mindlessly.

    -- Primis.

    -------------------
    Primis inter pares.
    -------------------

    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (1.75 / 4) (#36)
    by bmetzler on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:16:46 PM EST

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I know I vote to kill probably 18 or 19 out of every 20 submissions. However, it seems like a lot of people are approving every story that comes along, which pretty much defeats the purpose of voting.

    Well, I usually vote +1 to 18 or 19 of every 20 stories that come around. They are mostly good and should be posted.

    And it was on the main page probably for a day, and that's it. It soon was buried under the influx of "new" stories that I could have cared less about, and quite frankly had absolutely nothing to say.

    Did you add the story to your hotlist? Good grief! The other stories are well commented on. If you want a site that only interests you, then set up your own site and post your own stories.

    -Brent
    www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (4.33 / 3) (#40)
    by YellowBook on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:40:15 PM EST

    I think part of the problem here is that "vote to section" hasn't turned out to work as intended. I know that I've voted "+1 section only" on an article and had that vote be the one that pushed it onto the front page. If I had known that it was headed for the front page, I probably would have voted 0 (don't care) on it.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (4.50 / 2) (#52)
    by itsbruce on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 08:47:53 AM EST

    Very good point. I assume that, when deciding if something is posted, Vote to Section and Vote to Front Page" are added and Dump It is subtracted. But how is the Front Paget/Section thing decided? Is it a straight Section/Front run-off? If so, I propose that, instead, the second stage should be "Add Section to Dump it and subtract that from Front page" - only totals above a certain threshold making it to the front page.

    I do think that if a significant number of people voted to dump something then it is only fair to consider that when deciding whether or not to put in on the front page.

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (4.00 / 2) (#54)
    by rusty on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 09:20:10 AM EST

    The voting thing is going to change soon. I'm kind of unhappy with how it's going so far -- I expected to see way more things going to section-only, and that isn't happening.

    Initially, I think it'll be a split choice. You will choose "Post, Don't care, Dump", then the section you think it belongs in, then "and front page" or "section only". That way "don't care" and "dump" voters could also register their preference for front page or not, and hopefully the section thing would go smoother.

    Eventually, I want to make front page status depend on some other factors, and not be chosen directly by users at all. No, this is not going against the original idea of the site. :-) More like, everyone gets to vote where stuff goes, and hopefully we can pick out the best stuff for the front page, based on things like comment traffic, comment quality, and story rating. This is still a very early-stage idea though, ATM.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (2.00 / 1) (#55)
    by itsbruce on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:00:53 AM EST

    Initially, I think it'll be a split choice. You will choose "Post, Don't care, Dump", then the section you think it belongs in, then "and front page" or "section only". That way "don't care" and "dump" voters could also register their preference for front page or not, and hopefully the section thing would go smoother.
    Ok, on checking I see it's done by percentage thresholds. So the percentage version of my suggestion is that Front Page votes should have to pass a certain percentage of the combined total of Front Page, Section and Dump It. I strongly urge this over your two vote suggestion for these reasons:
    • It's simpler and simpler solutions are always more likely to be used than complex ones.
    • Dump It voters may often not bother with the second choice, which defeats the object.
    • You need yet another set of rules to decide how the second vote threshold works - if a Dump It voter doesn't do the second vote, is that counted as a vote for Section or does it not count at all? If the latter, we're back where we started and if the former then you might as well have gone with my suggestion.
    • I don't think I don't care voters should have any effect on where the page goes - after all, they don't care.

      --

      It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
      [ Parent ]
    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by itsbruce on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:42:15 AM EST

    Eventually, I want to make front page status depend on some other factors, and not be chosen directly by users at all. No, this is not going against the original idea of the site. :-) More like, everyone gets to vote where stuff goes, and hopefully we can pick out the best stuff for the front page, based on things like comment traffic, comment quality, and story rating.
    How about simply basing it on the percentage of "I don't care" votes? Not only is it relevant - if a lot of people don't care then it should go into a section where those who do care can go look for it - but it is simple (big bonus). You can easily do an analysis of story history to see what threshold would give you the desired front page turnover. If, in the future, the turnover accelerates or decelerates too much, you simply change the threshold to compensate - a more complex ruleset would be more complex to tweak.

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (3.00 / 1) (#60)
    by scorpion on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 11:03:42 AM EST

    "I think it'll be a split choice. You will choose "Post, Don't care, Dump", then the section you
    think it belongs in, then "and front page" or "section only". "

    This seems to be three choices... I do not think we need to vote on which SECTION it belongs in. Just if it should be posted and whether the front page or a section only. I would like to have a little more time on front page articles so the discussion can continue and be enjoyed. In addition, would it make sense to ONLY allow certain sections on the FRONT page?

    [ Parent ]
    Section votes causing front-page posts (3.33 / 3) (#56)
    by caadams on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:13:22 AM EST

    I had the same thing happen this morning, when my +1 section vote on "Lackluster voting a good thing?" was the deciding vote. Until I read the comments above I presumed that I must have accidentally selected the front-page, although I'm pretty careful about voting.

    Maybe the section votes should be counted separately? I'd also like to see a separate voting record (the dropdown list) of the section-only votes. As it is, several of my section-only votes are indistinguishable from front-page votes. All this should be done in your Vast Amount Of Spare Time, of course.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (4.50 / 2) (#41)
    by rusty on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 06:14:45 PM EST

    You might be surprised to hear it, but only about 1/3 of the stories submitted here get posted. Generally 5 out of every 15. I have the "whole" list, so I can promise you this is true.

    Nevertheless I agree with the point that there is *too much* stuff getting posted to the front page. I would think that maybe 1/5 of the stories posted deserve front page attention. I really wish people would make "Post to section" their kind of default vote, and save the front page for the real standouts.

    I also do plan to change the voting somewhat. I'm not sure how it'll end up yet, but it's not quite working as is, IMO.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (3.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Primis on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 01:25:19 AM EST

    Oh I don't doubt that for every 15 submissions, only 5 make it. 1/3 seems to be about right for what's been going on actually.

    The problem lies in the fact that 1/3 is still *way* too many. That means the top 33.33... % of all stories submitted make it... when it really needs to be more like 15% or 10%. And as the submissions increase in sheer numbers, it would probably need to be more along the lines of top 8% or 5% even.

    I mean, could you imagine Slashdot if 1 out of every 3 submissions made it (though some days it sure seems that way)? The front page would be changing over completely every 15 minutes or so...

    -- Primis.

    -------------------
    Primis inter pares.
    -------------------
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (none / 0) (#61)
    by rusty on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 12:12:04 PM EST

    The problem lies in the fact that 1/3 is still *way* too many. That means the top 33.33... % of all stories submitted make it...

    I think that right now, 33% is slightly too many. It wouldn't be too many if people would vote for sections more. But this isn't like a stable rate. Back in the day, when we got 5 stories on a busy day, 4 would get posted. Now it's more like 35-40 in a day, and 10 or 12 get posted. Basically, it is scaling, just not quite the way we'd like. The more stories there are, the smaller the "posted percentage" is. So, it's not so bad as all that. It needs tweaking though, this is true.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Acceptance percentages (none / 0) (#63)
    by kmself on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 03:06:33 PM EST

    Some stats I pulled off of last night's Slashdot IRC #forum. Slashdot posts about 17 articles/day. They get ~4,000 submissions a week, which Jeff somehow averaged to 100/day (must be a long week), I get a bit over 500, probably more on weekdays.

    That's a gross acceptance ratio of 3%. About 1/10 of where K5's currently at.

    There are several things which may change the mix. Slashdot has a closed submission queue, so multiple subs on a single article are likely. I'd like to see K5 handle a higher volume of traffic -- one of my beefs on Slashdot is that they've handled the scaling (submissions) problem by throttling their post rate. It is, IMO, too low, and too reflective of editorial biases and interests. Yes, some good stuff makes it to Slash, but a lot of stuff also bounces. K5 could handle this rather more gracefully with various channels and such.

    My key gripe over K5 for quite some time (predating the DoS and relaunch) has been the submission process. I've never been particularly happy with it. Rusty and I were talking last night of ways to fix, essentially coming up with a composite scoring metric to compute a placement metric for stories, with the top n stories (say 1, 2, possibly 3) in a category getting front-page placement. There's the possibility that cluestick weilding needs to be done, though I think the real task is to design a system which handles new and/or naive users gracefully, rather than investing heavily in reeducation camps.

    --
    Karsten M. Self
    SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
    Support the EFF!!
    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (3.00 / 3) (#46)
    by aphrael on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 07:58:50 PM EST

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I know I vote to kill probably 18 or 19 out of every 20 submissions. However, it seems like a lot of people are approving every story that comes along, which pretty much defeats the purpose of voting.

    I've been changing my voting behavior over time. At first, I voted 'post to section' for almost everything. That wasn't working, so I switched to 'don't care' for most things. Now I vote 'dump it' for almost everything --- I sort of feel bad, because there's no good reason why my disinterest in a topic should prevent other people from discussing it -- but since there are too many articles right now, i don't see a way around it ...



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Moderation, Voting, and Posting (2.00 / 1) (#51)
    by itsbruce on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 08:34:04 AM EST

    I sort of feel bad, because there's no good reason why my disinterest in a topic should prevent other people from discussing it
    Why feel bad? If enough people want to discuss it, it'll be voted in. That's what voting is for.

    Vote "Don't care" if you are neutral and "Dump it" if you don't think it is suitable or pertinent. Don't apologise, your view is as valid as anybody else's.

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    The Dreaded Curse of the Web Maestro (2.42 / 7) (#37)
    by kunsan on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:21:19 PM EST

    Get used to it Rusty. You will face these questions for a long time to come. The readers (& posters) WILL come and go, but the questions, comments, and critiques of K5's moderation will NOT.

    I will not criticize that which I would not attempt to do myself! I respect your (and others, like Inoshiro, et al.) work too much, to trivialize it with "you should have done this" and "I would have done that" type of lame suggestions. I'm sure K5 took a hell of a lot of work and personal sacrifice, and I would rather just say thank you. I know the suggestions are inteded to improve things, but when the focus is more on the system, as opposed to the substance, I tend to get annoyed.

    I know this is damn near flammage, and for that I apologize.

    Now, on with the suggestions...
    --

    With a gun in your mouth, you only speak in vowels -- Fight Club
    Just a suggestion... (3.00 / 5) (#39)
    by Xerithane on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:04:14 PM EST

    I'm not sure of the internals of k5.. but, doing a relative scale may be your best bet and avoiding thresholds.. A dynamic scoring matrix could be setup with relatively low computation (averaging can be done quite efficiently)
    I'm not sure of your time slice that you use to determine the high scoring stories, but it would probably be quite easy to only allow the top 5% get the Front Page A-OK.
    Again, I don't know much of K5 internals, but from what I've seen it is good.
    And this is my first K5 post.. I'm not longer a virgin!
    nerdfarm.org.
    RTFF (3.16 / 6) (#42)
    by dead_radish on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 06:22:49 PM EST

    Surprisingly, the question frequently asked here (how does scoop work) is answered. Can anyone guess where? Anyone? Bueller?

    Why, it's in the friendly neighborhood FAQ! Who'da thunk it?!

    In fact, you can go directly to here to read the info. Or if you're really lazy:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Last updated: 19-09-2000 by Inoshiro

    What is Story Moderation?

    That's the only feature here that is only found in Scoop (the software that runs this site). Basically, when you submit a story, it goes in a queue. The site admins can edit, post, or delete your story if they want to, but any other logged-in user can see this queue as well, and vote on whether they want your story to appear on the main page or not. Everyone gets one vote, "post it to the front page" (+1), "post it to its section" (+1), "dump it" (-1), or "don't care" (0). After you've voted, you can see what the current score of the story is, and what other voters have said about it. If the score reaches a certain positive value, the story goes up. If it reaches a certain negative value, it disappears. Simple as that. The "post threshold" and the "dump threshold" can both be some percentage of the number of registered users. So say, for example, I had 100 users, and my post threshold was set to 3%. When a story reached a score of 3, it would be posted. The percentage is recalculated on the fly, so it should maintain some semblance of usefulness, no matter how many new voters there are.

    I think this could be a really cool feature, and I recommend that you all use it as often as possible! And if you don't have an account yet, make one. It's quick and painless, and won't ever get you spammed.

    It's percentile based, which I think is an excellent idea - it lets it scale nicely.

    So try that Fine Faq! There's all sorts of nifty things therein!

    No, I'm not bitter because I got 2 tickets at lunch.
    I knew I shoulda brought a crossbow. -- Largo. www.megatokyo.com

    Re: RTFF (4.00 / 2) (#44)
    by aphrael on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 07:56:58 PM EST

    Surprisingly, the question frequently asked here (how does scoop work) is answered. Can anyone guess where? Anyone? Bueller?

    But that doesn't answer the question: how is the line drawn that determines if it goes on the section page or the front page? My guess is that there are two different totals, and whenever either of them passes the threshold, the action appropriate for that total is taken. If that's true, then my guess also is that the threshold is the same for both; it should probably be higher for the front page than for sections.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: RTFF (4.00 / 1) (#45)
    by RadiantMatrix on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 07:57:00 PM EST

    It's percentile based, which I think is an excellent idea - it lets it scale nicely.

    So try that Fine Faq! There's all sorts of nifty things therein!

    Actually, I did - and that's why my suggestion is valid - maybe the influx of new users doesn't scale well with the existing percentile: maybe it needs to be raised. Besides, I'm not suggesting that this is the solution, just that we should figure out what causes the front page to cycle, and decide what to do to fix it (or even if it's broken).
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    [ Parent ]
    Re: RTFF (4.00 / 1) (#59)
    by thejeff on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:55:32 AM EST

    urprisingly, the question frequently asked here (how does scoop work) is answered. Can anyone guess where? Anyone? Bueller? Why, it's in the friendly neighborhood FAQ! Who'da thunk it?!

    At least part of the question isn't answered there. How does the section/front page decision work? It looks like, from the way stats on the votes are displayed, that the total votes are counted and when it reaches the threshold it is posted. After that decision is made, the section/front page votes are checked to see where to post it. That's just my guess.

    If that's the way it works, it doesn't seem optimal to me. It should be easier to get something to a section than the front page, and voting for a section shouldn't help (or shouldn't count as much) put the article on the front page. thejeff

    [ Parent ]

    THE IRONY: (1.60 / 5) (#50)
    by simmons75 on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 02:36:35 AM EST

    I feel there's been too many posts that have made front page concerning this subject.
    poot!
    So there.

    24 Hours? (2.50 / 4) (#57)
    by jxqvg on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:40:32 AM EST

    Well, it's 7:45 PDT, and after nearly 24 hours this article is almost off the front page. There's something a little funny about that, but I can't quite put my finger on it. :)

    [sig]
    Section voting bug reported on SourceForge (3.50 / 2) (#62)
    by caadams on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 02:42:37 PM EST

    According to SourceForge Bug 116112 (added October 5), the section-voting logic is incorrect in the CVS version.

    According to the report, "In effect, for the story to be posted to the section only, it needs more 'section only' votes than 'front page'+'dont care'+'dump it' votes." A suggested patch was included in the bug report.

    Scale back on the front-page activity. | 63 comments (59 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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