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[P]
Story Acceptance Guidelines

By enterfornone in Meta
Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 10:16:12 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

In the last week or so there has been a huge increase in the quantity of stories being submitted to this site. Unfortunately along with this there has been (in my opinion) a great decline in story quality.

The story submission guidelines, while somewhat dated, are quite clear. However it seems to me that few stories are meeting these minimum requirements. While story posters are partly to blame, we have to accept that they are only human and will make mistakes. However it seems that the majority of voters are ignoring the submission guidelines, presumably out of ignorance. Since the submission guidelines are only seen when submitting stories, I think there needs to be guidelines for story voters.


I think we need an some sort of guidelines for story voters and I think these guidelines should be placed somewhere that story voters can't miss them such as here. Here are my suggestions for what the guidelines should be. Keep in mind these are a minimum, if a story you aren't interested in meets these guidelines you shouldn't be obligated to vote it up. However if a story that you are interested in does not meet these guidelines my opinion is that it is better to vote it down and request the author repost with corrections rather than accept a flawed story.

Are the topic and section appropriate?

These can be a little subjective, however if a story is obviously mis-sectioned it should be voted down. Hopefully the new FAQ will make it clearer what belongs in each section.

Have the links and HTML been checked?

Do the links work? Has the author previewed their work in order to ensure that mistyped tags are not showing?

Have the spelling been checked?

Goes without saying, stories with typos should be voted down. I'm of the opinion that any obvious typos should be voted down rather than voting it up and expecting Rusty to fix the errors.

Have the facts been checked? Has the story been researched?

The poster claims Linux is more stable than Windows 2000, do they give evidence to prove this? The poster asks what is the best tool for developing web applications on the Amiga, have they tried asking a search engine first?

Is the story properly laid out?

Is there a title, an intro then a body? Has editorial information (ie "this has been reposted because...") been placed in an editorial comment? Again, my opinion is that stories that repeat the intro in the body or post editorial in the title (ie "Repost of foobar story") should be voted down and not left for the site admins to correct.

Is the story appropriate for Kuro5hin?

Kuro5hin.org is a site about technology and culture, both separately and in their interactions. It is updated whenever interesting things appear in the submission box, or whenever your humble hosts rusty and Inoshiro feel inspired to write something.

Kuro5hin.org is a community of people who like to think. You will not find garbage in the discussions here, because noise is not tolerated. This is a site for people who want to discuss the world they live in. It's a site for people who are on the ground in the modern world, and who sometimes look around and wonder what they have wrought.

In short, Kuro5hin is a site for discussion technology and culture. So stories that are posted here should be in some way related to technology or culture (yes, that is quite broad) and have some sort of discussion value.

Kuro5hin is rapidly gaining popularity and respect. But as long as we allow the acceptance of sub-standard stories we will only ever have the reputation of being a site of amateurish quality. For the sake of the reputation of this site we need to enforce some sort of quality standards and I think these acceptance guidelines will go some way to achieving this.

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Poll
Do we need story acceptance guidelines?
o Yes, these ones 47%
o Yes, but not these ones 14%
o No, but we need to improve quality some other way 6%
o No, everything is fine as it is 3%
o I want to vote for the stupid option 27%

Votes: 88
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o story submission guidelines
o here
o Also by enterfornone


Display: Sort:
Story Acceptance Guidelines | 62 comments (55 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
while i can't disagree... (3.44 / 9) (#2)
by motty on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 08:08:47 PM EST

... and i mean i really can't disagree with any of this, there is still something in me that makes me from time to time vote +1 Front Page on stories that break any number of these guidelines, usually when whatever transgressions have occurred in the story have been more than balanced out by the quality of writing in the responses and the extent to which the overall gestalt is just... *pure k5*.

i dunno. i'm voting this up, and i do agree, and think that people should follow these guidelines. at the same time as which i'd be a total liar if i didn't say straight out that i'm highly liable to, uh... deviate, from time to time in my voting habits. ok. a lot. :) but never without justification.

oh, and yeah. my caps key *is* broken as it happens. thanks. :p
s/^.*$//sig;#)

Changes in behavior and in code. (4.56 / 16) (#3)
by Seumas on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 08:12:42 PM EST

Are the topic and section appropriate?
I wonder if it would be wise to have a way for each voter to, in addition to voting on the submission, select where they would suggest the article be posted, should it be accepted. A lot of good articles could be processed much faster if the accumulated wisdom of K5 could say "Nope, this is an MLP" and have it automatically redirected into that section after a certain threshold has been met.

Have the links and HTML been checked?
Since previewing is enforced and not a choice, the HTML part should be obvious. Those submitting should, at the very least, give their article a cursory glance to ensure they haven't neglected to close an emphasis tag for example. As for URL's, K5 should automatically check them for you and, if any are dead, return you to the composition page so you can remove or correct them.

Have the spelling been checked?
And grammar, too? *nudge*

Spelling could and should be checked by K5 internally during story submission. Underline and change the color of words that are likely misspelled so the person can return to the previous page and make modifications. Perhaps a list of the incorrect words and suggested corrections could be available via a link.

Is the story properly laid out?
The ability to edit an already submitted story would make this less of an issue.

My point in these suggestions being that most of what you complained about can only be resolved by those submitting items. There is no tool for enhancing taste, judgment, patience and research. The other half, however, can be resolved via enhancements to Scoop. While you can put the responsibility on the submittor for these things, if there is a way to help through coding changes, then by all means, they should be changed. Anything to encourage higher quality in submissions is worth the time.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Let me check. (3.50 / 12) (#4)
by 0x00 on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 08:38:43 PM EST

Are the topic and section appropriate?

Yes.

Have the links and HTML been checked?

Yes.

Have the facts been checked? Has the story been researched?

Yes.

Is the story properly laid out?

Yes.

Is the story appropriate for Kuro5hin?

Yes.

+1, you met your own requirements.

--

0x00

Welcome to Clown Town.

actually, no... (3.33 / 3) (#47)
by StackyMcRacky on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:43:33 PM EST

"Have the spelling been checked?"

Has the spelling been checked.


[ Parent ]
Actually, yes. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by 0x00 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 05:42:30 PM EST

I don't see a spelling error there.

--

0x00

"Clown."

[ Parent ]
Okay, let's see. (2.66 / 12) (#8)
by regeya on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 09:13:57 PM EST

>Are the topic and section appropriate?

Subjective.

>Have the links and HTML been checked?
>Have the spelling been checked?

Not subjective, but could be fixed by someone associated with k5 if need be.

>Have the facts been checked? Has the story been researched?

Somewhat problematic. One could think they've done an appropriate amount of research, only to find that someone else has some information contrary to their research.

>Is the story appropriate for Kuro5hin?

EXTREMELY subjective. First sentence:

>Kuro5hin.org is a site about technology and culture,
>both separately and in their interactions.

Well, hell. So we've established that technology can be appropriate. We've established that culture can be appropriate. We've established that technological culture can be appropriate.

An example of one story you objected to: a news item, an obit. It was the inventor of the pager. He's an inventor, who invented the pager (tech), an invention that's had a profound impact on Western culture. (Sick of the obits?)

Ultimately, who decides what's appropriate? Since readers vote on the stories based on these (in some places, vague) criteria, it's the reader. I can see voting a story down for extreme typographical and grammatical errors; calling people stupid because they don't follow your definition of what's appropriate or not is arrogant and unwelcome.



[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

thoughts (3.33 / 3) (#12)
by enterfornone on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 09:47:08 PM EST

>Are the topic and section appropriate?

Subjective.

Partly, but there are certainly cases where something is clearly in the wrong section (such as posting anything that isn't a regular feature to columns).
>Have the links and HTML been checked?
>Have the spelling been checked?

Not subjective, but could be fixed by someone associated with k5 if need be.

But should they be. Too often we see stories voted up on the assumption that the admins will fix errors yet they appear on the front page with errors intact. Preventing stories with errors and bad links making the front page is a major part of the purpose of the mod queue. We can't expect Rusty to hang around here 24/7 fixing people's stuff ups.
>Have the facts been checked? Has the story been researched?

Somewhat problematic. One could think they've done an appropriate amount of research, only to find that someone else has some information contrary to their research.

It should be at least obvious that the poster has made some effort. In examples such as If not windows...what? or How good in Linux/SPARC compared to Solaris it is clear that the author has done no research and is expecting the K5 community to do their research for them.
>Is the story appropriate for Kuro5hin?

EXTREMELY subjective. First sentence:

Try reading the sentences beyond the first.
>Kuro5hin.org is a site about technology and culture,
>both separately and in their interactions.

Well, hell. So we've established that technology can be appropriate. We've established that culture can be appropriate. We've established that technological culture can be appropriate.

An example of one story you objected to: a news item, an obit. It was the inventor of the pager. He's an inventor, who invented the pager (tech), an invention that's had a profound impact on Western culture. (Sick of the obits?)

K5 is a site for technology and culture discussion. The only discussion that the obituary stories had were bad jokes and a flamewar about whether or not they were appropriate for the site.

I can see voting a story down for extreme typographical and grammatical errors; calling people stupid because they don't follow your definition of what's appropriate or not is arrogant and unwelcome.
There are two groups of people, those that agree with me, and idiots!

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
more thoughts (4.66 / 3) (#42)
by regeya on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 10:01:26 AM EST

I suppose your comments on the obits struck a nerve with me because I come from a newspaper background, and it's a U.S.-centric perspective (hey, it's where I live.) Suggesting that obits aren't newsworthy is absurd, at least from my perspective. Grab a newspaper. Look through the paper. You'll find obits, and not just local obits. You'll likely find celebrity obits as well.

As far as generating discussion--not always appropriate in news items. Colonel Mustard murdered Ms. Plum with a candlestick in the parlor. Bam. The facts, wirth no fluff. Once I start adding to that, once I flesh it out to generate discussion, it's not known as news anymore. It's editorializing. Editorials are NOT NEWS.

So, does kuro5hin need to do away with the News section altogether? I've noticed that news items that tend to do well do a fair amount of editorializing. Sure, that happens in, say, magazines, but like I say, I'm biased. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Read again? (3.33 / 3) (#13)
by J'raxis on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 09:50:42 PM EST

regeya wrote:

>Have the links and HTML been checked?
>Have the spelling been checked?

Not subjective, but could be fixed by someone associated with k5 if need be.

Take a look at one of the points that enterfornone was making, that posters should be responsible for sumitting quality stories themselves; not leaving sloppiness up to the admins to fix. enterfornone had written:

Goes without saying, stories with typos should be voted down. I'm of the opinion that any obvious typos should be voted down rather than voting it up and expecting Rusty to fix the errors.
...
Again, my opinion is that stories that repeat the intro in the body or post editorial in the title (ie "Repost of foobar story") should be voted down and not left for the site admins to correct.

-- The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

What's "appropriate"? (4.08 / 12) (#10)
by vasi on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 09:25:10 PM EST

I have a few minor disagreements with these guidelines. For example, I don't feel that bad section choice or typos--in reasonable amounts--are grounds for voting down an otherwise good write-up. But my major beef is with the appropriateness clause.

To me, k5 should be somewhat of a democracy--what's appropriate is whatever we vote up enough. I feel you've got cause and effect mixed up. It's not that we should vote up stories because they're appropriate; stories are appropriate because they're voted up. But I find there's a lot of difficulty inherent in "shaping" k5 this way.

The way k5 is now, voting on stories is a combination of "Is the story well written?" and "Is this interesting?". It seems that there's a lot of confusion over which one is more important, as people often vote interesting stories down because they were posted in the wrong section, or vote well written stories down because "MLP sucks!". Obviously a balance is needed, but I'm not sure exactly what kind of balance.

When a story on some obscure feature of Linux comes up, I don't know whether to vote it up because the author did a good job, or to vote it down since I couldn't care less. If I vote it up, then I lose my input into what form k5 should take. But if I vote it down, I'm punishing the author for no reason, and stifling the voice of anybody who may care. (Obviously, the "Don't care (0)" vote is useful at times like these.)

I'd like to know if there's a consensus among k5'ers, whether or not the site should change to reflect the possible changes in the interests of the k5 community?

vasi

-------------
"If I don't have a User, then who wrote me?"



It depends on what you want (4.20 / 5) (#17)
by MrSpey on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 10:36:00 PM EST

Whether or not K5 should change its criteria for what gets posted and what doesn't depends on what you want K5 to be. K5 could either keep its submission guidelines rigid or it could allow the community to make them up.

For an example of rigid guidelines, look at Slashdot. Despite what its community members say, they don't really change the type of content on the site. Stuff like Jon Katz articles, anime info, and new OS and application releases get posted despite how vocally some people don't want to see them. As a result, the site and the community around it have remained relatively consistent. It's gone through some growing pains, but the type of person who reads slashdot regularly isn't going to change. If we want K5 to remain consistent and attract the same type of person then we need to keep the requirements for submission approval the same.

If we instead want K5 to change to whatever it's members want it to be then the submission approval guidelines obviously need to change as well. As the nature of K5 changes the type of the person it attracts will change, which will in turn change the type of people it attracts, etc.

While the latter option may seem more appealing, I feel it is the wrong choice to make. What I find to be the most appealing aspect of K5 is that it is a collection of more technology-oriented people who discuss things other than technology. I've found that this tends to lead to intelligent discussions no matter how non-technology-related the topic of the discussion may be. This is due in no small part to the submission guidlines, particularly the guilines that state what is and what is not appropriate for the site. If the topic guidlines change then K5 will regress towards the mean, turning it into a generic discussion site the covers everything under the sun. If anything, the submission topic guidelines need to be reinfoced more and more vigorously as more people join the K5 community in order to maintain the current quality and "intersting-ness" of the site.

Of course, this is all irrelevent if rusty or Inoshiro decide to just delete accepted posts in order to keep K5 in line with what they want it to be. After all, it is their site.

Mr. Spey
Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

[ Parent ]
A refinement (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by vasi on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 06:32:05 AM EST

I wrote:
To me, k5 should be somewhat of a democracy--what's appropriate is whatever we vote up enough... But I find there's a lot of difficulty inherent in "shaping" k5 this way.
MrSpey replied:
If the topic guidlines change then K5 will regress towards the mean....The submission topic guidelines need to be reinfoced...in order to maintain the current quality and "intersting-ness" of the site.
After reading this, and thinking a bit, I've reconsidered my point of view somewhat. I no longer feel that k5 should shift focus according to the whims of its readership. What I wrote before about voting down stories on topics I don't like, to move k5's focus away from those topics, is stifling plenty of interest[ed | ing] k5ers. Those submissions deserve a "Don't care (0)", not the -1 I though when I posted my comment.

However, I still don't feel that there's any problem in expanding k5's focus. If enough k5ers are interested in animé or sports for example, and are capable of interesting discussion about such topics, I see no reason why they shouldn't write articles about these topics and vote them up. If enough of this happens, a new official topic can be added. This dilutes the attention of readers, but otherwise doesn't harm the community at all, while potentially adding interesting discourse and members.

Hope this makes a bit more sense.

vasi

----------
"Hey, who took the cork off my lunch?"

[ Parent ]

But where do you stop? (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by MrSpey on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 10:35:31 AM EST

Expanding the topics that K5 covers is potentially dangerous, no matter how it's done. Sure, K5 adding an "anime" topic may not seem too bad, but what about a "baseball" topic? If enough people are interested in it, we could create a "haiku" topic, or maybe a topic devoted to tricking out cars. These may not seem like probable new topics, but if the topics can change then the readership changes, and if the readership changes then the topics can go anywhere.

I think K5 should focus on being the best site of it can in order to attract the largest number of people that would enjoy it in its current state. That involves intelligent, consistent rating and approval, not changing the site so that it appeals to a lower common denominator.

Mr. Spey
Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

[ Parent ]
too specific (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by Refrag on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:53:50 PM EST

I think that the new topics you speak of are, of course, too specific which is why they'd fail. Maybe that is why you picked them, to make your point easier to make.

Newspapers don't have an anime section because anime doesn't appeal to enough of the readership (even though it appeals to me). I wouldn't want K5 to implement an anime section because that already fits perfectly well within movies.

I would like to see some more general sections added to Kuro5hin, especially if K5 is made customizable so that I can ignore specific sections. You mentioned making a baseball section, again this is too specific, but I don't think it would be bad for Kuro5hin if Rusty added a sports section (even though I probably wouldn't read it).

I wouldn't mind a food section, myself. I'd like to see other K5er's post recipes and people's comments on them. :)

Another thing is that the new sections don't have to be permanent. If Rusty sees that a new section isn't being used then he can kill it.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Writer laziness should be severely penalized (4.25 / 8) (#18)
by tmoertel on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 10:40:23 PM EST

Regarding:
I have a few minor disagreements with these guidelines. For example, I don't feel that bad section choice or typos--in reasonable amounts--are grounds for voting down an otherwise good write-up.
While in principle I would agree that any submission must be judged as a whole, I do feel that errors like misclassification or spelling and grammar mistakes or typos ought to be severely penalized. They may be acceptable in an off-the-cuff comment, but in a story that is submitted to the entire readership of k5, the cost of these errors adds up to a small fortune.

These errors are easy for story submitters to detect and correct, and so the cost of "doing the right thing" is minimal. When allowed to slip through the cracks, however, they add up to a lot of suffering when counted across the readership of a site like k5. Moreover, the value of a community like k5 is in the usefulness of its information. Misclassifying stories makes interesting information harder to find and detracts from the community as a whole.

Given that the cost of fixing these errors is so low, and the price for not fixing them so high, we ought to vigorously encourage doing the right thing. Let's keep our standards high in this regard, and make sure that our standards are respected.

--
My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]


[ Parent ]
Additional Voting Choices? (4.00 / 13) (#15)
by Seumas on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 10:11:10 PM EST

This is just a query for input. I wonder what people may think of my idea, be it positive or negative.

I know that you can vote on a submission and then provide further detail in the comments, but I wonder if it would be helpful to have a couple additional '-1' vote choices? For example:

-1, add more meat and resubmit
-1, correct spelling, grammar, formatting or presentation and resubmit
-1, resubmit in appropriate section[1]
-1, I won't vote this up, regardless of any changes.

[1] This option would not be necessary if there were an option for voters to select/suggest the most appropriate section for the item to be posted in, as they vote. After a certain threshold was met, the system could automatically submit it to the preferred (by the majority) area.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Check boxes instead (4.00 / 6) (#22)
by Chris Andreasen on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:50:06 PM EST

It would probably make more sense to have them as check boxes instead, seeing as how more than one of those options could apply to a submission. How about something along the lines of:
--------
[ -1/0/+1 Drop-down box ] [ Vote ]
If -1, please explain why...
[X] Spelling/Grammar [X] Needs more meat
[X] Wrong section    [X] Won't generate discussion
If you voted down for another reason, please explain your reasoning in a comment. Thank you.
---------


--------
Is public worship then, a sin,
That for devotions paid to Bacchus
The lictors dare to run us in,
and resolutely thump and whack us?

[ Parent ]
Good idea. Also, author tools and collaboration. (4.00 / 3) (#24)
by Seumas on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:10:15 AM EST

I like that idea. In general, there need to be more tools at the disposal of posters. I think it just makes good sense. After all, they're providing the content. It seems like there are five tools for moderating everything else for every tool that exists for authors.

I would like to see some other things like a "draft bay" where authors can have works-in-progress that, unlike a diary, are unavailable to the general public. Perhaps they can opt to allow TRUSTED users to view their pending stories and offer comments and suggestions before it is ever even submitted to the general queue. A bad idea could be terminated far before it ever reaches the general queue that way -- and an author can be at liberty to work on projects over a period of time and really do their research.

Also, some sort of collaborative tools where multiple authors can work on a submission in the holding bay and submit them to the queue, with appropriate credit to each contributor.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Totally OffTopic... (3.50 / 4) (#39)
by zantispam on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:58:00 AM EST

...but would you mind closing the end <tt> for your sig? The fact that it's not closed causes everything under it to render in teletype, and (on NN6 on Win, anyway) the drop down to rate the comment looks really weird.

Sorry, it's been bugging me for a while. If you have a reason, let me know. If not, well, let me know that too.

Thanks

Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
There are a couple ideas on scoop.k5 (3.80 / 5) (#25)
by cp on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:10:34 AM EST

Check out a couple articles on scoop.kuro5hin.org along these lines: one by me (naturally superior :) and another by regeya which is more similar to yours.

[ Parent ]
Sweet (3.33 / 3) (#27)
by regeya on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:33:49 AM EST

Glad to see someone else is thinking along those lines. I like the suggestions other posters have given, though. I posted a story on scoop about doing something like this (after all, one or two editorial comments out of 100 -1 votes is just one or two knowns and 98 unknowns)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Resubmition (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by squigly on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:44:51 AM EST

How easy is it to resubmit a story? Can the original author simply press an "edit" button? If not, then we need it. Its too much effort to rewrite the entire article. The people who vote know this, and being nice people who feel the article is adequate, and don't want to put the victim to the extra effort if they risk losing the article.

Secondly, by the time the story is submitted, there will be a number of topical comments. Resubmitting will lose these.

--
People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
To resubmit... (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by Seumas on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 03:57:28 AM EST

To resubmit an item, you have to wait until it is voted into oblivion, and then you can write it over again and submit it. It seems like a very unnecessary delay when you could simply make the suggested modifications and resubmit it immediately -- or simply make the changes and hope the votes move the other way before it hits the doomed drop-point.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Some ideas on allowing one to change their vote (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by DontTreadOnMe on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 04:12:03 PM EST

It seems like a very unnecessary delay when you could simply make the suggested modifications and resubmit it immediately -- or simply make the changes and hope the votes move the other way before it hits the doomed drop-point.

It might be beneficial to allow people who have voted to modify their vote later (until the story is completely dropped or posted), in much the same way that the scoring of individual contents can be changed at any time.

I don't really see how this could be abused, and that coupled with the original submitter's ability to edit their submission would allow for a more streamlined submission process. The only additional thing needed is some kind of notification that the submission has been modified ... perhaps a version number (starting with 0, then incrementing for each modification).

Alternatively, incorporate the version number/editing feature and allow votes to be changed only on modified stories whose version is greater than the last time one cast their vote -- redisplaying them in the submission queue as "vote."


--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]
Flexibility (3.50 / 6) (#16)
by vastor on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 10:32:19 PM EST

I think there needs to be some flexibility... if something has extreme problems I'll vote it down for formatting or whatever, but if they're fairly insignificant and there are already a number of good comments made about it then I'll vote it up.

Infact, I generally consider the comments already made when I am deciding how to rate a story. The more discussion it is generating the more leeway I give it to have minor problems.

Discussions are what the stories are posted for afterall and so rejecting stories that have issues that don't impare the discussability of it isn't something I'm likely to do.

What might be interesting, would be to have two ratings. One for the +1/+1/0/-1 and one which picks at random one of the grounds for rejection (so I might be asked 'are the links functional' when I rate the story while the next person might be asked 'is the story appropriate to k5'). Thus people will know even if a story is approved where they need to put a bit more effort in next time - though really, this sort of stuff should be done in editorial comments.

I've found typos in books I've read (which quite frankly makes me wonder why they haven't just paid a few extra people just to read it and write down any obvious mistakes they find), but they'd have to be pretty bad for me to decide that the whole book is bad because of them. Are we supposed to be only letting perfect stories through? In which case I think we should block topical comments to stories while they're in the submission queue and have a -1 improve as well as a -1 dump it option.

The quantity of stories is fine IMO, I'd just like to see the thresholds halved so they didn't spend so long in the queue. If they flowed through more quickly it'd discourage people like me from only reading the stories in the submission queue rather than looking at whats actually in the submissions (the more I miss, the more likely I am to get out of this bad habit :-).

But seriously, most of the stories I see are 'good enough' for me and after seeing them the first time I'm happy for them to just go on through rather than see them again the next day just to fix up a typo or two (however if there are major problems, then I will vote dump it so it can be fixed/abandoned).



Time to rant (3.83 / 18) (#19)
by baberg on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 10:59:46 PM EST

I'm tired of people telling me how I should vote. Be it in a presidential election, a classroom discussion on whether or not to have homework, or here on K5. Leave my opinion alone. If I dislike a story, or think that it really shouldn't be on K5, I'm going to vote -1, and that's that. Nobody can tell me, "Well, it was in the right section, and there weren't any typographical errors, so you should vote AT LEAST +1 to section." No way. If I don't like a story and think that it's not worth being on K5, I'll vote it down.

I mean, it really doesn't matter anyways. A -1 from me just means that I've nullified one other person out there who votes everything up if it seems like it took more than 20 seconds to write. And with all the articles flowing into and out of the submission queue, it doesn't matter if I voted -1 on all of 'em. There's still going to be some that get posted.

I wish I could yearn for the "good 'ole days" when K5 was underground, and S/N was high. But you know what? I'm a post-DoS user. I came here after K5 got taken down, so I can only dream about what the site might have been like when stories came at the pace of only a few a day...

EfN, I agree that we need better moderation (in the form of more discressionary moderators). But that's not going to come from putting that information in the FAQ, or asking that a person take a quiz before being allowed to moderate. And putting something like what you propose (although it is well-thought out and a great argument) is just going to reduce people to "Well, they got 5 out of the 6 ok, only had one typo, therefore it goes to the Section Page. 6/6 and I send it front page". I see it as being a "checklist" to use, and I'm opposed to checklists for something as complicated as K5.

Honestly, though? I can't think of anything that would help as much as having well-defined goals for all stories here at K5. So, while I'm morally opposed to being told how to vote, I guess this might just make for a good idea. How's that for being turned around in the middle of a rant?

I'll still vote how I see fit, but it would certainly help the newcomers to weed out the signal from the noise in the submission queue.

does anyone else see the irony? (3.50 / 8) (#20)
by cetan on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:19:43 PM EST

I'm pretty sure this'll get voted 1 by most of his "followers" but here goes.

does anyone else see the irony of enterfornone writing this article?

I have to pause for a moment and wonder if enterfornone et all are so frustrated by not being able to troll (as much as they'd like) in the submission queue that they've decided to cry about it in, well, in the submission queue.

I'm beginning to think that perhaps the K5 model will not only survive the trolls but actually bloom despite their efforts. This gives me a lot of hope for K5, because things have been looking bleek in my mind.

To the real topic at hand. I vote based on my own guidelines. I dont' vote based on what enterfornone or anyone else thinks are "proper" criteria. If they choose to troll/flamebait/etc. in the submission queue, then I can choose to vote -1 on them. If someone makes a good effort but doesn't produce something I think reflects the average quality of K5, then I vote -1.

(As a side note, what gets me the most are people who's articles get voted -1 but don't take a critical look at what they wrote. Instead of refining what they had or starting from scratch, they rate editorials 1 as a way to get "revenge.")

</lucid rant>


===== cetan www.cetan.com =====
[ Parent ]
you and the other guy (2.25 / 4) (#21)
by enterfornone on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:49:34 PM EST

In case you missed it, I'm posting this because I think too much stuff is being given +1, not because I'm crying about people -1ing my stories. Note this part.
Keep in mind these are a minimum, if a story you aren't interested in meets these guidelines you shouldn't be obligated to vote it up. However if a story that you are interested in does not meet these guidelines my opinion is that it is better to vote it down and request the author repost with corrections rather than accept a flawed story.


--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
nothing missed. (3.50 / 4) (#29)
by cetan on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:15:51 AM EST

I didn't miss any of that, but thanks for pointing it out again.

I'm not as stupid as some people say I look. I'm well aware of the subtle ways K5 is being trolled. I'm at a loss as to why exactly, but never the less, it exists.

===== cetan www.cetan.com =====
[ Parent ]
Its actually still quite good around here IMO (3.66 / 3) (#33)
by Nick Ives on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 04:56:04 AM EST

I wish I could yearn for the "good 'ole days" when K5 was underground, and S/N was high. But you know what? I'm a post-DoS user. I came here after K5 got taken down, so I can only dream about what the site might have been like when stories came at the pace of only a few a day...
All things considered, I'd say that K5 is actually better these days. I've been reading K5 for quite a while, at least a month or so before the DoS, maybe longer. I dont even remember how long ago the DoS was actually, and I had about a 3 week break from K5 (and the internet in general in fact, everything cept IRC) until a week or so ago. That was mainly due to a dead gfx card & being too monged over xmas/ny to actually really do anything constructive (or even pointless, such as post to K5 =P).

I'm digressing so I'll hurry up and make my point, which is that I dont think there has been a "golden age" of K5 yet, in fact I think that this is pretty much it. Sure, theres quite a bit of crap in the submissions que, the average technical aptitude of the posting crowd appears to have dropped by a bit, but I dont think that really matters. On the whole it seems that the majority of people who frequent this site are reasonable people who want to rationally discuss issues they are interested in and maybe even hope to find something new that interests them. For the most part people seem to be willing to listen to other peoples opinions as long as they too have an equal chance to state their opinion, and you really cant say fairer than that. Sure, sometimes people are making comments on issues that they know nothing about but thats just human nature. I'd like to say that I've never made a stupid comment on something I know nothing about in the past but as much as I try to avoid doing so I do have a tendancy to do just that. Like I said, I think its human nature, or part of it at least. I'm digressing onto Dilbert now, oh well...

So yea, in finishing, I like K5 as it is now. Not to say things cant be improved, but as long as we stay heading in this general direction I for one will be happy. I also like all the new users who have been popping up, makes the place more lively. I really need to pee now, which is as good a note to end this comment on as any.

--
nick
im still hungry.

[ Parent ]

Foundational research (3.00 / 5) (#23)
by slaytanic killer on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 11:51:55 PM EST

I think this article contains sound advice for people writing articles, though admittedly I have never followed any of these guidelines in voting on articles in the queue. Except for the part on research, which I agree with. The main point is that by writing an article, you are seeking conversation that generates real information. Doing some research beforehand always gives people more of a starting point to begin discussing your article.

An example is that current article requesting help on finding embedded languages. While I argued for this article, the people against it on the grounds that we aren't "paid consultants" have a point. One must give information to get information. Extra information and research always gives people more of a starting point for typing in a response. Even if he had written something terribly naive about, say J2ME, someone would have corrected him. Voilá, extra information.

Alternative Guidelines (3.55 / 9) (#26)
by antizeus on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:25:44 AM EST

  • Any formatting problem gets you a -1.
  • Too much personal spin gets you a -1.
  • If you submit a lot of articles you get a -1.
  • If I don't care about the subject you get a -1.
  • If it's very good and I care you get a 0.
  • If it's absolutely perfect you get a +1 Section.
  • If it's troll/flamebait you get either -1 or +1 FP.
  • Other arbitrary guidelines as desired.
  • These guidelines are to be enforced to the extent that at least half of the submissions get -1.
If everyone followed these guidelines, then k5 would look like crap. Therefore, I want everyone reading this comment to roll a 2d6 (two six-sided dice, add the values). If you get a sum of 2 or 3, then follow these guidelines. Otherwise, please don't! Thanks a bunch.
-- $SIGNATURE
Using editorial comments (4.00 / 7) (#28)
by jesterzog on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 12:58:48 AM EST

he last week or so there has been a huge increase in the quantity of stories being submitted to this site. Unfortunately along with this there has been (in my opinion) a great decline in story quality.

Thanks. I noticed that I've been voting maybe half of the stories down recently, but I thought it might have been because I was in a bad mood or tired or something.

Editorial comments are really useful before voting on a story. What I usually try to do is form an opinion on reading it, then I skip down and read the editorial comments. If there are one or two people who think the same as I do then I'll almost definitely vote with my original decision. Otherwise I'll read the other editorials and maybe add one if something hasn't been covered.


jesterzog Fight the light


Example (2.90 / 11) (#32)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 04:53:22 AM EST

Here is an example of a good story: I know. I wrote it. But its not just me that liked it. Rusty pointed it out as beeing "the way it ought to be." and suggested it be linked to in the docs as an example.

Hense my comment here.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

The Discussion is the Content (3.83 / 6) (#34)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 06:22:18 AM EST

First of all, other than format changes, etc., I don't think Meta stories should generally be on the front page. There are going to be people here who are more interested in discussion than they are in the whole community aspect, and vice versa. But having something like this on the front page, which basically tells Joe Blow that we have a huge problem with grammar and dead links won't do much to attract new and interesting people. I think that something like this would get plenty of traffic and discussion in the queue and in section. But for God's sake, let somebody new decide for themselves whether they want to deal with our apparent illiteracy, unrefined research skills and misunderstanding of simple HTML.

Second of all, like other people, I sort of resent being told how to vote. Having a rubric to lay things out for everybody will invariably take away from the site. I personally don't consider two or three spelling errors 'noise.' If there are other merits, then they don't matter. I still think the discussion is the most important part of this site.

My voting has become more refined as I have seen more stories. If I like a story, or want to discuss the author's contentions, then I scroll down and see that everybody has said what I wanted to say, that story gets dumped. This shouldn't be about making the writer feel good. It shouldn't be about me or you or whoever getting to express their opinion as a release. We should all try and teach each other. We won't do this by rejecting a potentially important viewpoint because of subject verb agreement.

That said, I think editorial comments are great. Sometimes a little harsh, but immensely useful. I don't know how interested you guys are in growing. It might not be important to some of you. I personally would like k5 to grow, just not too quickly. Trust me, even if a story makes it to the front page full of grammar and spelling errors, any new user that strolls over to the queue will see that the community not only was aware that the cat who wrote the first story they read here was English-challenged, but also that they still still respected his ideas, because in the queue, everybody's an English teacher. And if the story is good, everybody becomes a debater when it makes it out.

For me, this is not a magazine or a newspaper. I am not a teacher or an editor. The story needs to be taken in the context of the discussion or potential discussion.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto

What is a story? Please define that too. (3.80 / 5) (#36)
by 42 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:14:59 AM EST

Before anyone rushes to flame me saying that "Isnt it obvious to you, you f***?" - stop and think a minute about point of references.

I am a new user to K5. I have been reading Slashdot for quite sometime. A "story" on Slashdot really corresponds to an MLP on K5. Not knowing that, I submitted a Slashdot style story to K5 as a story and promptly had it nuked below the visibility horizon since it wasnt categorized as an MLP.

Oh, and I've seen others make the same mistake too in the short time I've been on K5.....

MLP = mindless link propagation (3.33 / 3) (#37)
by AndrewH on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:35:26 AM EST

A definition of MLP and the other sections is buried in the K5 FAQ.

MLP often corresponds to Article (as opposed to Feature or Ask Slashdot) in Slashdot. It is somewhat rarer here, where longer writeups are common.


John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Oh, the irony (3.84 / 13) (#38)
by kaemaril on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:54:22 AM EST

Have the spelling been checked?

Goes without saying, stories with typos should be voted down...

How ironic is that?


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


Depends (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by aphrael on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 07:16:12 PM EST

maybe in his dialect of english 'the spelling' are plural. :)

[ Parent ]
RE: Depends (2.00 / 1) (#53)
by kaemaril on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:38:48 PM EST

Did you have any particular dialect in mind? I'm not aware of any dialect where that might be the case, but I'm open to new knowledge...


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Dialects (none / 0) (#55)
by aphrael on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 04:52:56 PM EST

Did you have any particular dialect in mind?

Er .... it was actually meant as a joke. *embarassed look*

[ Parent ]

Dialects (none / 0) (#57)
by kaemaril on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 08:59:42 PM EST

I got that. So was my reply. But I'm English, so my sense of humour is quite dry.

... or non-existent. Your choice :)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Re-submitting, editing, et. al. (4.42 / 7) (#40)
by wiredog on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 08:59:22 AM EST

Several posts here on re-submitting and proper moderation.

A story I posted had some bad links and generally bad formatting. I was so informed in the comments attached to it. So I re-wrote it, fixing the problems, and re-submitted it. After I re-submitted it I put links to the new version in a comment attached to the old version. The old version was promplty voted down into oblivion and the new one was voted into the section.

I think this is how moderation is supposed to work. Story posted. Editorial coments say "Story sux, here's why". Story fixed and re-submitted, story goes on page. An editorial comment is not a flame. Okay, a few are, but most are constructive criticism. When you post a story, read the editorial comments.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

Story Moderation Guidelines (4.22 / 9) (#41)
by thejeff on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 09:13:33 AM EST

Is my memory completely gone and this is an addition in response to this story, or have there always been Story Moderation Guidelines in the little box that includes the voting button?

thejeff

guess I should look harder (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by enterfornone on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 04:44:56 PM EST

Never noticed it to be honest. It doesn't really have all the points of my guidelines, although it does stress that K5 is a discussion centric site and it gives a good definition of MLP.

It should certainly be somewhere more prominant cos it looks like you were the first to notice.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's there, but not enough (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by kmself on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 03:47:29 AM EST

I've been thinking for some time that the story moderation process needs to be far more deliberate, in your face, with the guidelines clearly presented, with deliniated reasons (e.g.: checkboxes) detailing reasons for approval/rejection. The link is not IMVAO enough. And yes, more changes are needed. I'll get to these eventually. Really. EfO's comments are largely well made, and I agree with most of his suggestions.

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

I'll vote subjective anyway. (3.75 / 8) (#43)
by error 404 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 10:07:02 AM EST

Sorry, but I'm not going to vote on those guidelines. I'll vote a story up if it is one I'd like to discuss or see discussed. I'll vote it down if it lacks quality or potential for worthwhile discussion. I'll vote 0 if I don't care.

In practice, a typo-ridden mess will turn me off, and I probably won't vote it up. But I don't go into editor mode unless somebody pays me to - and people at a certain company often do. You can probably slip a few typos by me without penalty. I don't judge formatting, but bad formatting will fail to show me a story in the best possible light. Technical problems like bad URLs or broken HTML are more likely to cause me to vote a story down.

I almost always vote MPL up. I almost never vote Meta to the front page.

There are two kinds of good: exceptional and flawless. I have little use for flawless. A perfect story that doesn't excite me will get a 0 at best. A flawed but interesting story will get +1.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

Editorial guidelines and content quality (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by meeth on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 11:43:49 AM EST

I'll vote a story up if it is one I'd like to discuss or see discussed. I'll vote it down if it lacks quality or potential for worthwhile discussion. I'll vote 0 if I don't care.

The problem with this approach is that its implicit assumption (that content quality or "interestingness" is not connected to how well stories are edited) is wrong. Poorly edited stories do turn many K5ers off, and so will lead to poorer quality discussion of the story in question. Furthermore, even if everyone did read badly edited stories, clearly presented and easy-to-follow stories will probably produce more coherent and on-topic discussion. Not voting down poorly edited stories decreases the signal-noise ratio of K5.

What I find particularly annoying about this attitude is that usually there isn't a tradeoff betweeen editing quality and choosing interesting stories. Most of the time, authors resubmit better-edited versions of their stories if the story was originally voted down on technical grounds. Effectively, the only reason to vote up poorly edited but interesting stories is if one can't take the one or two hours delay in gratification that waiting for it to be resubmitted would cause.

[ Parent ]

In practice, it tends to end up the same (3.50 / 2) (#46)
by error 404 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:14:50 PM EST

Most poorly edited stories have other problems as well. And for really poorly edited stories, the mistakes make it hard for me to see any excellence. In fact, I recently voted an article down because it was formatted as two huge numbered list items. Maybe it was good content - I just didn't have the patience to deal with it, so I'll never know.

I guess as a tech writer I get tired of dealing with pedantic editing that is more often than not wrong. I'm not going to trash someone for spelling "color" "colour". Or even "volor", as long as the article is mostly clean and has some value. I appreciate picky editing when it is directed at my own professional work, but in most places it just makes me think "get a life" or "write something yourself".


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

re. spelling of color (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by bob_the_moose on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 12:16:37 PM EST

I feel that it should be pointed out that in countries which can spell properly <grin>, "colour" isn't a mispelling of "color".

[ Parent ]
Exactly. That's why I picked that example. (none / 0) (#56)
by error 404 on Thu Jan 18, 2001 at 05:21:31 PM EST

A good many pedantic editors either have a very limited perspective or are flat-out wrong.

The fights I've had with illiterate engineers who think that All Important Words Should Be Capitalized and that the passive voice is to be considered mandatory...


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

My Egg/Chicken Problem (3.50 / 2) (#58)
by discoflamingo13 on Fri Jan 19, 2001 at 08:29:01 AM EST

Yeah, everyone has an opinion about the queue (as they should), but the problem I have is this- every time I get to the queue, (to moderate [read:cull] the stories) it seems like somebody has ALWAYS posted something intelligent and noteworthy that, regardless of the story's content, has shoved me directly into editorial/intellectual Never-Never Land. (* Pause for giant breath and grammatical pain*)

Do I ditch the story and axe the wonderful comments? Or, do I up the substandard story in the hopes that the comments are held aloft to other minds?


The more I watch, the more I learn ---
If you set yourself on fire, the world will pay to watch you burn.
--- Course of Empire

Is there a solution? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by Asperity on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 09:50:04 PM EST

You hit on my main problem with the submission queue. While plenty of people may have pointed out major problems with a story in the editorial comments, there're almost always good topical comments attached to the article. What do you do?

My main criterium for voting a story up is whether I think it'll generate good discussion, which is mostly what I read k5 for. I still don't like to vote up clearly flawed stories, though. I come from a journalistic background, and voting up stories with poor grammar or spelling makes me feel sort of dirty. :)

One thing that might help would be to allow only editorial comments before a story is posted. There are problems with that, too, of course. One is that it can be hard to tell what kind of discussion a story might generate before it's actually posted. Another would be that people would probably just label their topical comments as editorial, and confuse the issue. Those could be voted down, but again, I wouldn't really want to vote down good comments just because they're mislabeled.

So what to do? Would that be a reasonable solution, or has anyone got any other ideas? Or is it even really a problem?

[ Parent ]
Thanks for saying all this! (none / 0) (#61)
by dbarker on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 03:29:13 PM EST

It's funny this story came up now, but I was talking about this very same problem with a friend in the labs a few days ago. I personaly feel that K5 as a group of people seems too ready to vote an article/comment out of existence... As an example, there was a story posted by a self confessed troll a few days ago asking for some advice as the admin of a site he had trolled all over was trying to pursue legal proceedings against him.

We(k5) then proceeded to tell this troll that his sort wasn't wanted here, and modded him out of existence. In the process, we managed to kill an article in which we could have discussed:

1. The TECHNOLOGY behind stopping trolling on sites
2. The various CULTURAL implications of trolls... (a slightly weak argument I know... ;)
3. And possibly most importantly, did we just kill a possible piece of evidence in legal proceedings against a self confessed, well known troll?

I wish I could remember more about the story, but now there's no record of it anywhere on the site....

Dave :)
doh! (none / 0) (#62)
by dbarker on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 03:36:40 PM EST

Course... posting this to the right place would have been nice... kinda ironic where it ended up... ;)
Dave :)
[ Parent ]
Story Acceptance Guidelines | 62 comments (55 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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