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[P]
Fixing Kuro5hin's Story Selection

By Paul Crowley in Meta
Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 03:44:43 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

Paul Crowley and Acestus

The voting system that Kuro5hin uses to select stories is fundamentally flawed, and we see its consequences in users' complaints regarding which stories get selected and how often they're posted. There is no simple fix, but a slightly more complex solution may come close to giving everyone the best of both worlds.


The Problem

One of the most common complaints about K5's story moderation system is that it approves the wrong number of stories: too many go to the front page, or too few; too many get posted at all before being sent back for a re-edit. Currently, k5 posts or dumps stories based on their "score", which is the absolute number by which "post it" votes exceed "dump it" votes; when the score goes above a certain positive threshold, the story is posted, and when it goes below a negative one it is dumped. So, it seems that by adjusting these thresholds, we should be turning the faucet of stories up or down, and thus keeping the balance of the front page about right. Currently, this happens to some extent dymanically, as the threshold is based on the size of the user base.

But it doesn't work: turning the faucet barely affects the flow of posted stories, except briefly. This seems counterintuitive at first, but if you vote on stories regularly you'll have noticed that you can generally tell within the first few votes whether a story is going to go forward: a positive early score means success and a negative one means failure. This is because these early scores reflect the way people are tending to vote, and these tendancies are reflected in later votes: a small positive score will always tend to result in a big positive score if you wait long enough.

This means that the flow of stories posted cannot effectively be regulated with simple faucet adjustments. Further, a story that only 51% of K5 voters like (such as "Profanity Reconsidered") will go forward eventually, after a very long wait in the queue, while other much more popular stories wait to achieve the necessary score.

The root of the problem is the use of an absolute score, counted in votes, as the determiner of a story's popularity. The scheme is simple, but fixing the problems it raises is difficult. Much better would be to determine the popularity of a story based on the proportion of yea to nay votes. This genuinely does give the thresholds extremely fine control over the rate of story approval. Better yet, we can choose the threshold in software based on the rate at which we'd like stories to be approved.

An Alternative Moderation Scheme

In the simplest scheme, we have three thresholds: a quorum, a post threshold, and a dump timeout. A story goes forward if the quorum and the post threshold is met, and is dumped if it stays in the queue for more time than the dump timeout. However, there are many ways we can improve this.

The first question is: how do we select these thresholds? We could just set them, and tweak them as necessary. This would work perfectly well for the dump timeout, but for the other two parameters, especially the quorum, this could mean a lot of tweaking. Instead, we can use rolling averages of story behaviour to get much more appropriate thresholds: the quorum is twice the rolling average of the number of votes stories in the queue received within, say, three hours. This should ensure that stories tend to queue for about six hours before reaching quorum. You could, of course, declare a quorum after exactly six hours, but this could have problems: at quiet times, stories could receive disproportionately few votes after six hours and go ahead when a larger vote would have rejected.

Similarly, we can decide a rate at which we wish stories to be posted, and automatically calculate a threshold which would achieve that based on average behaviour over the past, say, week; this is more complex, but the principle is the same.

We might improve things still further by paying close attention to the voting patterns. Stories receive a flurry of votes not long after posting, which tail off over time. Rather than setting strict quorums and timeouts, we could look for the "knee" in the voting curve which indicates that voting has tailed off, perhaps by artificially keeping a story in the queue if it is still receiving n votes per hour. This is a little like waiting for popcorn to be ready: you can't always guess in advance how long it will take, but you know when the frequency of the "pops" is low enough.

However, none of these more complex proposals are needed to make proportion-based voting work: the basic scheme with which I started would be straightforward to implement, easy to tweak, and vastly superior to the one we currently use in a variety of ways.

Well, unless it isn't. Is it?

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Poll
Is K5 voting broken?
o Yes, change it the way this article describes 20%
o Yes, revolutionise it, but some other way 6%
o Yes, tweak it 8%
o Yes, but it's the least of all evils 12%
o I dunno 20%
o No, it's super 18%
o Vote Inoshiro! 12%

Votes: 81
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Also by Paul Crowley


Display: Sort:
Fixing Kuro5hin's Story Selection | 39 comments (33 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
I think the current system works (3.00 / 3) (#1)
by enterfornone on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 12:11:42 PM EST

The only time the current system falls down is when there are a lot or not enough stories being submitted. At times there will hardly be any stories coming through, at other times you might get 4 MLPs accepted in succession bumping the first off the section page very quickly.

What might be useful is if more than X number of stories are accepted within a certain timeframe, rather than having them all posted at once they are queued and posted every hour or so (or perhaps a greater time period). This would mean lots of stories posted at once don't bump others off too soon and there will be stories in the queue for times when few are being posted.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Time-Delayed Posting (none / 0) (#4)
by acestus on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 12:28:25 PM EST

That was actually part of the original discussion, excluded here for simplicity's sake. The idea was that some process ("The Clockwork God") would, every few hours, pick the top story from the queue and post it.

We also included the concept of a new topic, "Urgent!", which would cause The Clockwork God to give it preference in posting. If people posted to "Urgent!" gratuitously, the story would, presumably, be voted down.

Acestus
This is not an exit.
[ Parent ]

Moderation isn't the whole solution (4.33 / 9) (#6)
by zzyzx on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 01:00:35 PM EST

Part of the problem is that moderation is only part of the solution to the problem. No amount of dickering with numbers and ratings is going to produce a system that everyone agrees produces the "perfect" front page. What Kuro5hin (or any similar site, like that "other" site) needs is more extensive personalization. Why can't users set their OWN thresholds? Rearrange the front page to their heart's content? Make the "MLP" category their front page? Expire articles from the queue after 3 days? Always show stories on the front page if they've been authored by a particular person, or voted positively by a particular person? I think the biggest thing missing in most "new media" participatory sites is that users can only participate in the most distant way. There's more to the process than just voting. You have to give readers the ability to take control of their own media.

"community standards" (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by MeanGene on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 01:29:56 PM EST

Why can't users set their OWN thresholds? Rearrange the front page to their heart's content? Make the "MLP" category their front page?

I guess it's because k5 claims (and tries) to be a community. Almost by definition, community members need to have a certain amount of common knowledge - for the purpose of having a shared foundation for a discourse, if anything. Making sure that all users at least are aware of the same shared pool of stories is instrumental in maintaining the "communality."

[ Parent ]

Yes, but not least-common-denominator (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by zzyzx on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 01:50:30 PM EST

I agree you want to retain a sense of community. But that can still be done by the voting system and the general tenor of the site. I would maintain, however, that without a greater sense of personalization, all the voting and moderation is doing is eliminating spam and flames. For instance, a simple usenet group has "community" in this sense -- a shared foundation of discourse and common knowledge -- but it lacks moderation and control. At the level that kuro5hin is implementing it, all the voting system is doing is acting as a rather restrictive band-pass filter.

[ Parent ]
Move the Voting Widget (3.75 / 4) (#11)
by Wah on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 02:14:24 PM EST

down to the bottom of the page once editorial comments have been made. This increases the likelyhood for a vote changing as time progesses rather than continuing in a completely linear fashion. Of course, allowing the poster to edit the story (And reset the vote) would go far to answering what I see as the only problem...posting stories that could be made more "professional" with a quick re-write and some spelling/grammer edits.
--
Fail to Obey?
The only real problem (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by vaguely_aware on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 02:33:19 PM EST

I agree that a quick editing option would solve a lot of problems. One of the points above that I am not so sure I agree with is the idea that a positive first few votes indicates anything in the long run. I've noticed several times that after a particularly insightful editorial comment the votes start being swayed (usually toward the Dump It! side).

In fact, many times it seems that this is responsible for those "permaqueued" stories that sit there for days, gaining Dump It! votes from those agreeing with the negative editorial comments and +1 votes from those who see the underlying value of the content and can overlook a few mistakes. If it were easier for people to edit their comments and reset the vote the queue would become more of the editorial pool that I believe many would prefer it to be.



"...there are lots of shades of brown, but not too many shades of balls. - Kwil
[ Parent ]
Just a quick comment... (none / 0) (#29)
by nstenz on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 10:42:00 PM EST

...posting stories that could be made more "professional" with a quick re-write and some spelling/grammer edits.

...you meant grammar, right? *grin*



[ Parent ]
The current system has a quorum (3.33 / 3) (#14)
by ObeseWhale on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 03:05:36 PM EST

As far as I can tell, the system you describe is really not that different from the current system.

Quorom: The current system currently has a quorum, at the minimum there must be about 86 votes (currently) at least for an article to get posted. Some may say that this quorum is far too low, but this takes into account that everyone ends up voteing for the article to be posted, in which case it probably should be... The quorum will change dynamically based on the numbers used as threshholds, which are in turn based on the number of k5 users. Thus, there is allready a quorum in place, as well as a proportion of users who need to vote for or against an article to be posted. If the article is very popular, the quorum becomes low, but this is because the proportion of supporters for the article is very high. The lower the proportion becomes, the higher the quorum becomes, and they balance eachother out. I can almost guarantee that this system would have about the same results as a system with dynamically set quorums and proportions needed for posting.

Does anyone have a mathematical proof to show off?

Also, I haven't really noticed too many people complaining about the articles that get posted. Remember that someone who doesn't like an article is far more likely to make a comment on it.

---

"The hunger for liberty may he suppressed for a time; yet never exterminated. Man's natural instinct is for freedom, and no power on earth can succeed in crushing it for very long."
-Alexander Berkman
Not that I've noticed (3.60 / 5) (#15)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 03:12:39 PM EST

if you vote on stories regularly you'll have noticed that you can generally tell within the first few votes whether a story is going to go forward: a positive early score means success and a negative one means failure.

About a month or so back I watched the input queue for a few days to monitor what happened to stories. My observation at that time was that the score for a new story often wildly fluctuates with the first couple hundred votes. I've seen stories with positive scores higher than thirty get dumped and stories that had negative scores for the first fifty or one hundred votes eventually get posted.

The only thing I think needs to happen is that as more and more stories make their way into the queue, the threshold to get put on the front page will need to be adjusted so that more stories are going into section instead of put up front.

A suggestion from scoop.K5 (4.40 / 5) (#16)
by mbrubeck on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 03:57:31 PM EST

A neat suggestion was made in this scoop.kuro5hin.org thread (beginning with #4 by loner). It's another variation on ideas that have been hashed out before, but this one seemed particularly well-designed.

Basically, loner proposed two queues. Stories begin in an editing queue. There, users can make editorial comments and the author can revise the text. When ready, the author then moves the story to the voting queue. The editorial comments go away, and voting begins.

Well, I thought it was a good idea, and rusty seemed impressed.

Excellent idea (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by ObeseWhale on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 04:00:44 PM EST

I think this idea is absolutely excellent. The author should also be given the ability to take down his/her article if said author doesn't like it. The advantages of an editorial queue would definately make the site more professional.

One question, when would articles leave the editorial queue? After a certain time period (this would disadvantage articles that deal with VERY current events) or after votes?

---

"The hunger for liberty may he suppressed for a time; yet never exterminated. Man's natural instinct is for freedom, and no power on earth can succeed in crushing it for very long."
-Alexander Berkman
[ Parent ]
When to move (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by loner on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:34:29 PM EST

This question seems to be the big one that everybody asks. My opinion: I think the decision to move the story from the edit queue to the voting queue should be left entirely up to the author. And it shouldn't even be mandatory to use the edit queue.

I thought of this queue more as a tool to help refine a story, not as a moderation tool. I assume that most story authors are intelligent enough (and care enough about quality) that they will use the queue and wait for a good number of comments to be made before moving the story onwards.

However there may be cases where the author has had the story proofread by friends and doesn't need to use the queue, they shouldn't have to wait for K5 users to give their consent. And if some other author posts a sloppy article to the moderation queue too quickly, well, it'll get voted down and they'll learn their lesson ^_^.

And to answer the q on voting, there should not be any voting in the edit queue. It's just a place to proofread stories -- or at most a place to cooperatively write an article -- with the sole purpose of improving the quality of K5 stories.

[ Parent ]

One problem (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by GreatUnknown on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:28:40 AM EST

I think the decision to move the story from the edit queue to the voting queue should be left entirely up to the author.


What happens if the edit queue gets spammed like in the DOS attack? If the only people who can drop posts are site admins, they are going to have a lot of work to clean it up if they can't rely on users to vote the rubbish out.

[ Parent ]
Great point (none / 0) (#36)
by loner on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:04:10 AM EST

Another hole I thought of overnight: how does a user know when a new article's been added to this queue, or when the article has a new revision?

Perhaps the answer is to allow the same voting mechanism as in the submission queue. But then, when the article is voted up, should it get moved automatically, or should it be at the author's discretion, just so they can do more editing first?

[ Parent ]

Great Solution (none / 0) (#18)
by Malicose on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 04:55:58 PM EST

I must echo the "excellent idea" opinion of ObeseWhale on this one. I really, really hope this gets implemented. It'll let us grammar nazis point out all the small errors without worry. Going further, I think the editorial comments left in the editing queue should not be subject to the 1-5 ratings (just the normal spam-prevention rules).

[ Parent ]
There is a problem... (none / 0) (#19)
by Khedak on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:06:35 PM EST

That's a good idea, but there's a problem (or rather something is unclear): How do you decide when stories are ready to move past the Editorial stage into the voting stage?

If it's automatic after a time interval, then there's no guarantee that a badly edited story will be fixed before the interval ends, and the story would go up anyway.

If the authors themselves have this power, then there isn't much difference from the way it is now, except that basically the author can withhold their story from being subject to voting until they decide it's ready. (Seems easy enough to implement).

And a voting system would be redundant, since probably people will abuse (unintentionally, even) the editorial votes in that they'll promote stories they like even without a good writeup or suppress stories they don't like regardless of how well they're written.

Actually, maybe if you restrict it to positive voting, it would work better.

Maybe it should be thus: You can only vote for a story to be submitted. The threshhold would have to be higher, unless we're comfortable with the honor system in saying that: You must really read the story and follow the links before making an editorial vote. That's your responsibility if you choose to cast editorial votes, actually, either way, the way I see it. Just my opinion.

[ Parent ]
questions (4.50 / 2) (#20)
by rusty on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:16:05 PM EST

You hit on one of my big remaining questions about an editing queue. How do you know when "editing time" is done?

My inclination is to leave it up to the author, and include a "re-edit" vote in normal voting, to send a story back to the edit queue if enough people think it's necessary.

There could also be a "timeout", either default or author-set, like "as of xx/xx/xxxx, submit for voting", but I'm less certain about how well that would work.

I had envisioned the edit queue including a thumbs-up/thumbs-down indicator for readers, so that the author could have some idea when people felt the story was "ready". Readers could change their thumb-vote whenever their suggestions had been addressed. This would at least give some objective measure for authors.

There also remains the question of what to do with topical comments if a story gets sent back from voting. Issues abound, still, but I think we're moving toward a solution. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Cool. (none / 0) (#21)
by Khedak on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:31:11 PM EST

The thumbs-up thumbs-down idea seems good. Would thumbs down count as -1 and thumbs up count as +1, and it would have to pass a threshhold level, just like in voting? The key is being able to change your vote when your issues have been addressed... And I assume voting would require an editorial comment. Perhaps "thumbs up" editorial comments could be visually distinguished from "thumbs down" ones in red...

As to what to do with the topical comments if it's sent back from voting, I should think that you keep them... After all, someone might be having a useful discussion in there. :)

[ Parent ]
Thumbs (none / 0) (#24)
by rusty on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:48:27 PM EST

I'm not sure whether the thumb votes should have any direct meaning, or if they should just be a rough guide for authors.

Also, I wouldn't require commenting with registering your thumb, because there's every possibility that someone else has already pointed out the error you are concerned about, and you just want to indicate that you think it needs editing as already mentioned.

I think there's no perfect solution to what to do with comments, and I'm inclined to just keep them, as you suggest. If that occasionally means that some of them have a less-than-direct relevance to the story as it exists at any given time, well, so be it. Usually only the first comment or two in a thread is directly related to the story anyway. After that they kind of have a life of their own. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Life of their own? (none / 0) (#25)
by Elendale on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:58:08 PM EST

Usually only the first comment or two in a thread is directly related to the story anyway. After that they kind of have a life of their own. :-)

Yeah, i've noticed that too...

-Elendale (ahh, the offtopic thread...)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Ideas about story posting (4.71 / 7) (#23)
by rusty on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 05:43:52 PM EST

I think the thesis statement here is a little strong-- it's not, IMO "fundamentally flawed", but the whole "getting stories posted" system is far from ideal. This hadn't really been done before, so we're kind of groping in the dark here. I think it's good to re-evaluate things from time to time and see if we can figure out how to make it better.

So I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I think the biggest problem with the current system is it isn't fine-grained enough. It ignores a lot of information that could affect posting rates. Let me lay out a few assumptions:

  • There will be an editing queue, probably as described in the Scoop.K5 thread, where authors can pre-submit and edit. Only editorial comments will be allowed here. When a story is promoted out of editing, comments will be wiped out, so posting topical comments would be pointless.
  • At some point, by some means, the story will be promoted to voting. This is where we say whether it's a good story for the site or not. It will be commentable at this point.
So, when a story is in voting, what data do we have available to say whether it's good or not?
  • Votes: This could be expanded to be more subtle. What if instead of +/-1 or 0, you had a 1-5 rating, like comments. 1 means "Ick! No!" and 5 means "Yes, post NOW!", with gradations between. There should also be a re-edit vote, which doesn't really fall on that scale.
  • Comments: The number and ratings of comments are known. Shouldn't a story with a large number of comments, and/or highly rated comments receive some kind of greater preference for posting?
  • Voting Rates/Ratios: If a story has a certain minimum data set (a quorum), and a ratio of 10 "5" votes for every "1" vote, can we not infer that the majority are strongly in favor? Creating a "rating" for a story, much like a comment rating, with a simple average, could get us a pretty good idea what the concensus opinion is.
  • Agreement: In addition to a straight average, we could also calculate a distribution of story ratings, which would tell us how strongly the majority of raters agree. A "controversiality" measure if you will. Stories with a high rate of agreement toward the "post" or "drop" ends could be moved quicker.
  • Time: How long has it been in the queue without reaching a definite result? How many other stories have cycled past while this one has been dithering?
So we have all this information about stories. The question is, how do we relate it all in a way that ends up with a sensible result, either "post" or "drop". Ultimately, we need to make these factors into a set of numbers which can be compared against each other and decide what stories wait and what stories go forward. Here's where I get rather stumped. :-)

Also, these numbers should stick around after a story goes up, and could be used to furhter determine what goes on the front page or not. I think this would be a far better measure than the current system of just voting FP. When a story has been posted, there's no reason it couldn't still be rated by people.

Which brings us to the further question of, maybe we shouldn't have a queue at all. Maybe editing should be the queue, and after that, stories are simply part of the site. Their "place" if you will on the front or section pages could be determined by the relation of the above data. Stories with better performance would stick around longer, and those that were low-rated or got little interest could just drop away. This might mean adding an emergency "spam button", like a zero rating, which could nuke a story if enough people agreed that it was total crap.

So, that's where I am on this right now. Any math folks out there wanna take a stab at relating all this potential data in a meaningful way?

____
Not the real rusty

"Fundamentally flawed" (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by Paul Crowley on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 08:38:01 PM EST

Just a quick note to say that this sounds stronger when I re-read it than I meant it when I wrote it. I meant that it has a flaw which is fundamental, rather than one that can be fixed by tweaking parameters. I didn't mean it as an indicator of the seriousness of the flaw, though I do think it's some distance from the best possible system.
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
[ Parent ]
Fundamentals (none / 0) (#34)
by rusty on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:33:38 AM EST

That I agree with. It is flawed, and in such a way that it needs some overhaul-type work. It's not bad for a first crack at things, but we can do better.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Regarding the original 'sections' suggestion (2.00 / 1) (#30)
by fluffy grue on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 01:01:14 AM EST

So, whatever happened to the original sections suggestion I made to you where, rather than voting based on whether it should be posted, dumped, etc., voting based on the section it should go to, with 'trash' just being another section, one which is just handled slightly differently? (doesn't save stories more than a week old, etc.) That also has the nice side-effect of making a resubmit with edits easier, since anyone can resubmit it and they have up to a week to grab the original HTML.

That gripe aside, I think that deciding what goes on the front page would be a matter of how many votes or comments it has gotten in the past [time period], sorted by perhaps the number of comments divided by the story's total lifetime (or at least post-moderation lifetime). That is, do it based on how interesting the story has turned out to be, rather than on how interesting people think the story will be. Also, then even old stories have the potential to still be front-page material if it's still being discussed, and IMO this will solve a lot of the troubles of hot topics having a billion and a half of stories on it (US election, etc.).

Obviously, defeating that system through spamming would be much harder to protect against (im-ur vs. K5, anyone?) but I don't see any particular reason that it couldn't be dealt with in some reasonably-simple manner.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Votes might get split. (none / 0) (#33)
by Paul Crowley on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:11:45 AM EST

The real danger with this is vote-splitting, tactical voting and so forth. Fairly choosing a single winner from an election with more than two candidates is very complex: see the Election Methods page for details of how complex! (Warning, truly uglo-rific use of frames)
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
[ Parent ]
So? (2.00 / 1) (#37)
by fluffy grue on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:33:52 PM EST

K5 is a news and discussion site. If a story ends up in the 'wrong' section, it's not like it'll cause the world to end. :) And it's a better system than there is now, where the author chooses a section and it usually seems wrong, or gets downvoted because people think it's in the wrong section, or whatever...
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Editorial commentaries (none / 0) (#32)
by leviathan on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:03:20 AM EST

I've got to just note that I love the idea of an edit queue. It's almost as cool as the whole users voting for stories idea that got me started here.

The editorial comments that you can make in the edit queue, however. Should these be rated? I say yes, and in the same way as they currently are - voted up if they're making a good suggestion about how to improve the story, and hence improving k5. These ratings would give authors ideas on which comments to read and which to ignore.

Should these ratings go towards your mojo, though? I'm undecided on that one, since they get deleted once the story passes through the edit.

Should editorial comments be banned in the vote queue? Probably not, as good editorial comments could pass it back into the edit queue.

Just my ideas, and I want to make sure the effect of how editorial comments should work is fully considered before the edit queue is implemented.

--
I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]

Question on ownership (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 10:37:18 AM EST

I really like the idea of two queues, one for editing and one for deciding if/where the story should go to.

It seems to me, that the issue of ownership will come up. Is a story that is edited by the legions of the non-existant k5 cabal now the joint property of Edna Graustein and the original author? It seems to me that such is potentially a way for k5 to turn a profit. If k5 has the ability to resell stories that have been through the queue (splitting the proceeds with the original author) then k5 has the potential to make a significant profit and become what might be (I'm open to examples of prior art) the world's first truly open syndication bureau.

[ Parent ]

interesting (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by rusty on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:56:03 PM EST

That's a really interesting idea. I don't think that just because we've made edit suggestions, that gives us any greater right of ownership. After all, only the author can actually make the changes. However, it would be a very very interesting experiment to see if people would be willing to explicitly assign more rights in exchange for a chance of being paid if their work was picked up.

I don't think this would work on K5 itself, per se. But what about a site for freelance journos who want to have a crack at being published? You'd have writers, and editors/content-buyers, anyone could suggest edits on existing work, and buyers could offer bids on various reprint rights. Hey, that's a pretty good idea. It'd be interesting to see if that would work.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

A simpler solution. (4.00 / 2) (#26)
by malikcoates on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 06:13:47 PM EST

Rate stories like we rate articles now. Post them on the main or section pages at user customizable thresholds.

To improve section-only vs front page posting allow users to continue voting on articles after it is posted. Threads with high averages will show up on the front page... Threads with medium averages will show up in section only.

Additional features this will give us:
1) It might give me the ability to select the best diaries written today.
2) If thresholds are customizable by section then this will let me control how much MLP/News I see.
You can also have a best of the month/year section using this.

woops (none / 0) (#27)
by malikcoates on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 06:15:38 PM EST

I meant, like we rate comments now.

[ Parent ]
Controversy (4.66 / 3) (#38)
by tumeric on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 02:18:41 PM EST

This means that the flow of stories posted cannot effectively be regulated with simple faucet adjustments. Further, a story that only 51% of K5 voters like (such as "Profanity Reconsidered") will go forward eventually, after a very long wait in the queue, while other much more popular stories wait to achieve the necessary score.

I quite like the stories that have a 50/50 vote. Such a split can indicate that something interesting is going on.

Fixing Kuro5hin's Story Selection | 39 comments (33 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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