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Reposting stories

By Potatoswatter in Meta
Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 09:18:24 AM EST
Tags: Scoop (all tags)

Here's a solution to the familiar "we had a story about this last month" problem. Sometimes, old stories are still interesting and relevant, even after a month of going stale. Why not allow people to submit a request to the voting system to repost an older story?

I was inspired by a recent submission for an article on the Electoral college and its faults. Although the article it would supercede is only a day older than it, I still think the general idea is good.

Other variations are possible, too:

  • Linking a previous story's thread as a second page or "more comments" link to the newer one
  • Having threads of stories (very plausible since submissions are handled entirely democratically, unlike /.)
  • Giving the author of the old story the ability to modify their article before it's reposted (or modify it along with the suggestor of reposting: co-authorship of stories has occured to me as well)...

    The possibilities are endless. Just think of a future when no one will be able to claim it's constructive criticism to say, "deja vu, you un1337 bastards!"

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    We should allow stories to be reposted:
    o Never 6%
    o What's the choice, we've been able to for years now! 11%
    o During happy hour 7%
    o Only by Slashdot's Rob Malda 16%
    o After they have been pushed off their section page 22%
    o Who reads stories? Polls kick ass! 14%
    o Shut up, Potatoswatter 4%
    o I am Potatoswatter 16%

    Votes: 92
    Results | Other Polls

    Related Links
    o submission
    o article it would supercede
    o Also by Potatoswatter

    Display: Sort:
    Reposting stories | 16 comments (14 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Perhaps this is more of a Scoop thing... (3.25 / 4) (#1)
    by General_Corto on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 12:15:33 AM EST

    There's some argument for something akin to a "story content control system" for those that post stories.

    From what I've seen on K5, it's pretty rare for there to be a submission which doesn't illicit some useful constructive criticism. I haven't posted a story yet (people seem to be doing really well at that, so I don't want to rock the boat!), but I'm guessing that I'd want to have the opportunity to see what people have to say about my oeuvre, and alter it a little to take their comments into account.

    One of the more interesting things about the K5 system of story acceptance is that the poster is able to take a strong interest in the views of the others in the community. In my mind, this makes for a far more rounded community, as we can see what others think, learn from them, and apply that learning. In doing this, we have a good chance of retaining that learning, and we better ourselves.

    Group Hug Time! :)

    A postscript to this: if you were to have something like this, where the person who posted the article could change it, you would need two other things: a way to associate other users' comments with a particular version of the submission, and you would need to disable that edit functionality once the story had been approved.

    I'm spying on... you!
    oops! (3.20 / 5) (#2)
    by vsync on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 12:33:43 AM EST

    From what I've seen on K5, it's pretty rare for there to be a submission which doesn't illicit some useful constructive criticism.


    "The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
    [ Parent ]

    Re: oops (3.00 / 3) (#3)
    by General_Corto on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 12:36:02 AM EST

    hey, it's late, I'm a techie, and I'm meant to be learning some new stuff so that I can meet a deliverable at about 10 tomorrow morning... cut me some slack! :)

    I'm spying on... you!
    [ Parent ]
    test (1.37 / 8) (#14)
    by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 06:33:25 PM EST


    [ Parent ]
    test2 (1.37 / 8) (#15)
    by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 06:34:03 PM EST


    [ Parent ]
    test3 (1.22 / 9) (#16)
    by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 06:35:05 PM EST


    [ Parent ]
    Stories Recently Commented On (3.75 / 4) (#4)
    by interiot on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 01:09:51 AM EST

    Or, there could be an an additional page that lists all the stories, with the latest-posted-to story at the top. Whenever a story is commented on, it goes to the top of the list, just like AnAndTech's forums. So to revive a story, just post to it.

    Sometimes it results in stale stories getting brought to the top because of a lame comment, but that wouldn't happen much on K5. And it gives a chance for every comment to be replied to, which seems good for several reasons (newbie stickiness, no ignored comments, it's something more for people do if they really don't want to work).

    Great idea (3.00 / 1) (#10)
    by codemonkey_uk on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 08:09:35 AM EST

    I was thinking of a similar thing, an activity metric as it where, that is based on a windowed average of the number, frequency and quality (rating) of the comments on a story over the past n hour(s) / day(s).

    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, and also... (3.00 / 1) (#12)
    by loner on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 11:50:44 AM EST

    I was thinking of two features:

    A page that shows stories sorted by most recent activity. In its raw form, this'll show most new articles first with a couple of older articles mixed in, so maybe it can be adjusted to show stories with recent comments, except those posted within the past couple of days (this is just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are saner ways to implement this). This feature will be mainly useful for visitors who are not logged in.

    For those visitors who are logged in, I would like to see features to keep track of which articles/comments have been read, ala usenet newsreaders. Suppose there is a new button in each article: mark this article as read. When the user clicks on this, K5 records that the user has read all comments so far for this article. From then on, whenever the article is listed, it also says how many new comments have been made (this'll especially be useful in conjunction with the hotlist functionality).

    We can also have a button to mark all articles as read, and a separate page that shows articles sorted by the number of new comments, etc.

    I know, IIY (implement it yourself). I've almost got a version of scoop installed and working, so Rusty you might hear from me soon :)

    [ Parent ]

    Great ideas... (3.00 / 2) (#7)
    by pb on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 03:22:53 AM EST

    I, personally, favor the last option: modifying/reposting a story based on comments.

    There would have to be some controls on this, but I'd like it if an author could modify a story while it's still in the submission queue, probably giving it a last modified date, too. If they abuse this, it'll just get voted down.

    In any case, Rusty is probably going to implement some sort of revision capability--it's on his TODO list.
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall

    Allow people to edit, not resubmit (4.16 / 6) (#8)
    by Potsy on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 04:38:43 AM EST

    I believe the best solution is to allow the stories to be edited by the authors while in the queue. I wrote a comment about this some time ago. I'll copy/paste my suggestions here (with a few minor corrections) for those too lazy to click that link... :v)

    Much of the time, a story will be submitted and immediately have several "change this and I'll vote for it" editorial comments posted to it.

    Currently, the only option is to re-submit, and hope that people vote down the original story. And since the old version of the story is still around you have to add "(revised)" to the end of the title of your new story, just to avoid confusion.

    Here is my proposal:

    • Whoever submits a story may edit it while it is still in the queue. Each time it is edited, the score is reset back to zero, and everyone can vote again.
    • When the story is edited, a revision number (or simply the word "revised") is appended to the end of the story's title.
    • Comments made to a previous version of the story remain intact, but have a short note attached to them that says something like "this comment refers to a previous revision of this story", where the words "previous revision" are a link to the previous version.
    • All previous versions of the story, complete with voting records, should be viewable through a set of links off to the side. New votes and comments only affect the latest version of the story.
    • Optional: to avoid having people change a story too often for people to keep up with it, just put a time limit on how often a story may be revised (once every few hours at maximum). I don't think an absolute limit on the number of times a story could be revised would be necessary.

    Making these changes would solve a lot of problems and make the story queue into a much more interactive mechanism. Instead of "you choose the stories" it could be "you help shape the stories"!

    I'd love to see something like this. (3.00 / 2) (#9)
    by greydmiyu on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 07:33:11 AM EST

    As people keep commenting on my typos, minor spelling gaffs and others that I'd like to correct. I think vedoted instead of devoted in the poll was a big one which I could not change nor did it show up in the preview since the pewview doesn't show polls.
    -- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
    [ Parent ]
    Suggestion: optional "draft" status (4.00 / 1) (#13)
    by caadams on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 11:56:39 AM EST

    The common objection to allowing story editing is that later comments (especially objections) may lose their context. For instance, a comment saying "the claim in the third paragraph needs more supporting evidence" may become irrelevant if the author adds the evidence (or adds another paragraph before the third one).

    My suggestion is to allow story authors to submit their stories in a non-final "draft" status. Drafts would be clearly marked as such (and could be displayed separately on the moderation page). While the story is in draft status, the author should be able to edit it freely in response to comments. (Perhaps only editorial comments should be allowed while the article is a draft?)

    The main advantage of a special draft status (vs. simply allowing arbitrary editing by the author) is that others would know when the story is final, and vote or post comments based on the status. Many current -1 comments are because of easily-fixable flaws. With drafts, these comments could become suggestions for improvement (to gain a +1), or warnings of -1 votes (if fixes are not made).

    The author of a draft could choose to withdraw the draft version or submit it as a final version at any time. Authors who wish to skip the draft process could do so by immediately approving their initial draft.

    Voting could remain mostly the same. A truly bad draft (or inappropriate content) could still be removed by enough negative votes. A draft with a large positive vote probably shouldn't be posted until/unless the author approves a final version. (This could be abused, but it seems unlikely.) Alternately, the vote could be reset when the final version is submitted.

    In most cases it should take less than 24 hours for a draft to be throroughly reviewed, spelling/grammar-checked, and otherwise corrected. I think this (optional) small delay would greatly improve many stories. Think of it as a community-wide "Preview" function. --Cliff

    [ Parent ]

    Threads of Stories (3.00 / 1) (#11)
    by interiot on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 08:59:17 AM EST

    I vote for the "threads of stories" one, if it means what I think it means. (no stories, just threads like AnAndTech's Forums? Or, more likely, stories can have sub-stories that are voted on but are in the same topic/section and only show up as a child of the other story after it gets through story moderation?)

    We've had a ton of political stories. Part of the problem is that stories age too quickly to post new comments to the old story. There have been various suggestions for this, all of them deal with bringing up stories that are still active and hiding the ones that are no longer posted to.

    Another problem is that people are afraid to start a slightly-offtopic yet interesting thread within an existing story. Is this acceptable? It could be argued either way, but it could go some way towards increasing the story S/N ratio at the cost of a less lower comment S/N ratio. But this wouldn't work until the longevity problem is addressed.

    Reposting stories | 16 comments (14 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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