As messed-up and as easily exploitable as /.'s moderation system is, I miss terribly the ability to explain why a post is rated up or down. I'm not saying we need the same choices. I mean, what is the difference between Interesting, Informative, and Insightful, really? I know there are differences, but they are so incredibly subtle that I usually ended up rolling a die to decide (that is, before I decided to abandon moderating altogether).
What I really miss is the ability to rate humorous comments higher. As I understand it, k5's rating is based upon "value to the discussion" -- does the comment add to the dicussion at hand, or does it distract it? Well, humorous comments generally distract discussions. Yet it is one of the features of human nature to inject humor into a stressful situation in order to ease tensions. At some basic level, I'd like to explain that the post I'm rating up is done so because I find it funny.
Eeek. Well, here I've digressed from the topic of the article. I'll try to tie back in by saying that an explanation of what it means to "rate" a comment is an absolute must -- and please include several different examples. Show us what constitutes 5, 4, 5, 2, 1, and even 0 posts. Provide multiple examples of each, to demonstrate subtlety.
Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
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