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[P]
Bring back the bulging queue

By John Milton in Meta
Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 03:31:58 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

We all complained about the queue, and rusty did his best to fix it. I don't know about you, but I've changed my mind. I was wrong. This bites.

I realise now my stupidity, and I repent. Forgive me brother rusty. I know not what I said. I thought that it was bad to have stories sitting in the queue for days on end, but I've found a deeper Hell. A dozen meaningless submissions a day.


I'm not just thinking of the mythical golden age here. I've only been posting to K5 for two months. I shouldn't be nostalgic yet, but I am. I'm not talking about the death of K5. I'm just sick of the quality of stories that make it through the queue now. When people knew their story was going to be in there for days, they took the time to write quality news articles. The news items were the kinds of articles I would expect from a reputable newspaper. Now it's Kuro5hin: All rants, all the time. This new system is ungodly. YOU PEOPLE ACTUALLY POSTED ARTICLES I WROTE! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? DON'T YOU KNOW I'M A MORON? Did the 80 point threshold go to your heads?

I'm not insulting those articles. A lot of them have promise, but most of them are like this one. Half formed notions that haven't even gotten through a spell checker. A few people will point out that the author has mangled whole paragraphs. A few will point out that there isn't a real focus to the article, but the author won't be forced to make a real article and resubmit it. Why should they? Eighty is pretty easy to reach. No sense banging out a good article, when half formed ideas will do just fine.

When all of the stories sat in the queue, people watched their manners, because they knew how public the queue was. It was the central hub of K5. I could count on seeing every article that was voted up. Even the good articles took enough time that I'd get a chance to vote on them. Now a story gets posted in a few hours, and the flame warriors come out for battle along with their brethren, the bigot moderators. If the article doesn't make it to the front page, it ends up in a side box. Since most people don't bother checking them, the stories are pretty much dead unless some really good threads started in the queue. I never had to search the for recent stories before, because one got posted when I didn't log in for a day. If it was that good, I could count on it going to the front page where I'd see it.

Sure it sucked to look at all those stories in the queue endlessly, but isn't the alternative worse. At least we had comic relief in the old system. Remember how some idiot would post an article about how to fix the queue just like this one. Then we'd all laugh at them and taunt them mercilessly like you're going to do this one. Sure, it was annoying, but think of how much fun we had. Remember the community solidarity we felt in LARTing them.

It was an annoying queue, but at least it wasn't a boring one. We wanted a less active queue, and we have it. Now I'm begging that we change it back.




Now I'm going to end with a vague mumbling admonition that "You guys might want to discuss this. It's a pretty cool idea," because that's how we end articles now.

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Poll
The queue is
o fine. leave it alone. 28%
o worse 53%
o some other opinion 17%

Votes: 130
Results | Other Polls

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Display: Sort:
Bring back the bulging queue | 56 comments (47 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
oh, good, its not just me (4.64 / 17) (#4)
by eLuddite on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 08:23:21 AM EST

All of Kuro5hin used to be available from http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=modsub. By the time a story made it to section or front, it was all talked out and not worth revisiting. Now you have to load both the queue and the Everything link. Strike one. The site looks busier to visitors. Ball 1. The quality of the stories that make it past the queue arent as good as they used to be. Strike 2. Finally, and this is conjecture, the short attention span in the queue is promoting work of inferior quality. Tagged by the pitcher.

Honestly, I never understood the beef people had with stories lingering in the queue. At least when I used to see (13 new) I felt compelled to vote if only to make the red go away. Now I see (1 new) and I think, eh, it'll be gone in an hour.

---
God hates human rights.

Oh, yes (4.40 / 10) (#6)
by John Milton on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 09:14:32 AM EST

The site looks so much faster for visitors. Have you noticed that most of the Front Page articles are what used to go into a regular K5 article. The regular articles aren't very much now. More like first drafts or "what do you think?" Remember articles like this. Back when it was still vogue to have corroborating links.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
I couldn't agree more. (3.14 / 7) (#19)
by Crashnbur on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 01:31:01 PM EST

With this statement:

Honestly, I never understood the beef people had with stories lingering in the queue. At least when I used to see (13 new) I felt compelled to vote if only to make the red go away. Now I see (1 new) and I think, eh, it'll be gone in an hour.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
mindless person's comment (3.66 / 3) (#39)
by mami on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 09:23:43 PM EST

What's bad about a queue full of stories sitting there a couple of days ? At least back then it made sense to make supporting or dumping kind of comments and vote on it. You could comment on a story even seven days later and still get a response on it and I liked that too.

I think if posters could delete their own comments, quality would rise. At least one can clean out his own crap. Let's say there was a good story and some really nice and informative threads and discussions in it, but then some of the typical political stuff you know already inside out. Rereading things after a week or longer, people could go in and erase their own comments. What's left is most probably a story with less but better comments and much more worthwhile to revisit or reread in better quality archives. Most people are their own best critics.

Why, oh why, do sites like these have not the courage to offer the option for posters to delete and edit their own comments ? Is it so out of range to believe it would produce better archives ?






[ Parent ]
some do (4.80 / 5) (#40)
by eLuddite on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 10:23:40 PM EST

Why, oh why, do sites like these have not the courage to offer the option for posters to delete and edit their own comments ? Is it so out of range to believe it would produce better archives ?

Cafe.utne.com allows two forms of suppression. One, you can literally and irretrieveably erase your own posts. Two, you (and forum hosts) can "hide" your own posts and subsequently "expose" them back into view. Everyone can read hidden posts if they take the trouble to follow a link titled "hidden." However, their conferencing software, Motet, is an unthreaded, ui nightmare.

Personally, I wouldnt like for people to delete their comments but I cannot think of any reason why it would be wrong to allow them to do so. I think it's an agreeable editorial decision to retain all posts, especially on a site small enough to claim genuine community status. The problem with retaining only "correct" posts is that one loses the very measure of their correctness. Arguments are more convincing when they're actually demonstrating truth -- rebutting fallacious but seductive thinking -- instead of merely proclaiming truth.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

YES YES YES YES! (4.30 / 10) (#8)
by DesiredUsername on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 09:56:06 AM EST

I've been saying the exact same thing since Day 1. I voted down proposals to "fix" the old system and now I'm voting UP proposals to put it back the way it was.

I used to get to know people from their posts and then read about their lives in the diaries. Now that I have to click here and there and everywhere to find a story I just don't bother. Which means I read only the diaries. Which was fine for a while, but now there are a bunch of new users whose opinions I don't know and whose lives I therefore have no interest in.

Play 囲碁
How do you think that happened? (3.50 / 4) (#20)
by ti dave on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 02:47:29 PM EST

"...I read only the diaries. Which was fine for a while, but now there are a bunch of new users whose opinions I don't know and whose lives I therefore have no interest in."

How do you think you gained interest in the diaries you read currently?
Did you automagically absorb their collected wit and wisdom on your first visit to k5?

You had to start somewhere, didn't you?

How do you suppose you might gain interest in the newer users' diaries?

How might you learn their opinions?

Seems to me it would be reasonable to say....

Read them?

I smell the delicate scent of elitism here...

Cheers,

ti dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
I don't know about that. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by ZanThrax on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:32:11 AM EST

When I read diaries (which I haven't been lately), I only read those with authors I'm familiar with, or those with a really interesting intro section (and with the volume of diaries I rarely see most of the intros). And I recognize user names mainly from seeing their names at the top of comments in actual stories.


If there's nothing you'd die for, then what do you have to live for?


[ Parent ]
Just to weigh in: (4.33 / 9) (#9)
by Canimal on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 10:05:13 AM EST

I like the old way better. I complained about it when we had it, and now that I have what I wanted I don't like it.

Sorry, Rusty, we're a bunch of dumb assholes. <hangs head>

It has occured to me that this isn't all in Rusty's hands (!!!), and that as people get tired of crap getting voted up, they will get pickier and the 80 will be harder to reach. So far it hasn't happened, IMHO. But maybe things aren't shaken out all the way yet.

Matt



Better but not Perfect (4.55 / 9) (#10)
by ScottBrady on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 10:13:53 AM EST

The problem with the old queue was volume.

There simply were too many stories in the queue at one time. Myself, and many others, felt overwhelmed by the number of submissions. It was tempting to simply give up before you even started. Moderating the queue became a job you forced yourself to do every day instead of something that was fun.

Granted, the current queue isn't perfect but more importantly it is better than before. The number of submissions are manageable. Authors don't have to wait a week for their story to die or get posted. Even still, there are a few problems.

  • Comment Ratings - The current queue uses the total ratings of comments posted to a story as part of the story's score. I've seen this abused over and over again. Authors, especially the troll variety who don't care to get a story posted on it's merits alone, vote up every comment in their own story to 4 or 5 with a few 3's in there so it doesn't look as suspicion. Something has to be done about this hole.
  • MLP - I personally can't stand MLP. I don't read K5 for two sentence "stories" with a link to another site. If I wanted that I'd read Slashdot, Newsforge, etc. But that's just my opinion. Looking at the number of MLP's that get posted one can easily deduce that the majority of K5'ers don't mind the emptiness of the MLP. That's fine. I'll just continue to not read them and hope the masses smarten up.

These are minor problems. Nothing that makes K5 unusable or intolerable. Overall, I've been very pleased with the way K5 has grown through the years from a little site with 2 or 3 comments on every story to a site with 100's of comments. Rusty and the gang have done a great job managing this beast. Frankly, I've been impressed by the solutions they've implemented. I certainly would have never thought of them. :-)

--
Scott Brady
"We didn't lie to you... the truth just changed."
YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Thank you for the reply (4.66 / 12) (#17)
by John Milton on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 01:25:15 PM EST

What bothers me is that, in the past few days, I've voted don't care so many times. I'll see an article that mentions a good topic, and then ends up going off on a tangent and finishing with a vague head shake. I'm not anal about grammar or spelling. They're nice, but I really am not going to vote an article down for something that trivial. What bothers me is when and article doesn't have a point.

Most of the articles I've read lately toss up a few issues and then ask the readers what they think. If it's an op-ed, there should be a point besides "I thought this was interesting." It's even worse when there aren't any supporting links or the links are barely even related to the story. The Credit Cards: Feed Us Your Young article is a perfect example.

The author did a rant on how his failure to pay bills was the bill collectors fault, included some links to some college students who just happened to be funded by a credit card agency, and ended up calling credit card companies evil. This made the front page. Pointless, baseless, drivel.

I agree with you that the queue was burdensome before, but there were advantages to the old system. I don't think it would be smart to ignore them. Here's a few.

  • No one was forced to comment on all the articles. I know it was a little annoying, and felt like a task, but at least we were almost always guaranteed to have 2-3 really interesting articles. Isn't that better than having 2-3 that might be good if you're lucky?
  • Stories stayed in the queue long enough for plenty of votes.
  • Stories stayed in the queue long enough that people spent time developing their pieces. They knew that they weren't going to just get rushed through.
  • Unity. I agree with DesiredUsername. Part of the fun of K5 is getting to know peoples opinions.
  • Enough good threads form that they will be continued after the story is posted.

I agree with you that the threshold was too high before, but I think it's gone way too far in the other direction. It would be nice to raise it at least to over 100. Most of the stories that get published seem to be diary entries. That's why I wrote this one that way. It's parody of what I'm seeing lately. I want to read interesting articles and discuss them, but I seem to be stuck giving them don't cares. I really haven't seen one I that did make me care. That's sad, because I once enjoyed discussing them.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Here's one problem... (4.71 / 7) (#41)
by rusty on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 10:29:39 PM EST

What bothers me is that, in the past few days, I've voted don't care so many times. I'll see an article that mentions a good topic, and then ends up going off on a tangent and finishing with a vague head shake.

You should be voting -1 on these. "Don't care" is not a vote against! It's a null vote. It's a blank. If you think an article doesn't do it for you, vote against it. I think there are quite a few people who vote "don't care" when what they mean is "No." This is not good.

It may be worth raising the threshold a tad. We'll see. I don't think, in all the time the site's been around, that the ratios of really good/good/boring/really bad stories have changed much. It's mostly that readers' perceptions of them have changed. If you mainly just read the queue, you will see fewer of the stories than you used to, which means, by necessity, that you'll see fewer of the really good stories. Probably disproportionately fewer, since the really good ones tend to get voted up faster.

Basically, as I said this when everyone was complainng the other way, the number of stories in voting does not significantly affect the quality of submissions. It didn't before, and it hasn't since the change. What it affects is, to an extent, how many of them get posted (more stories now than previously, thus more average stories now), and much more, people's perceptions of them. When there's a lot of stuff in the queue, people are much more conservative with their voting. This actually tends to exacerbate the problem, by throttling off the votes needed to move things along. When there's fewer stories, people are more lenient, presumably because there isn't so much competing for their attention.

As always, it's a matter of finding some middle ground that most people can live with. I'm not convinced any changes are needed yet. Or, at least, changes in the current thresholds. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I'm glad you've said something (4.83 / 6) (#43)
by John Milton on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 11:36:29 PM EST

I wouldn't post this lightly. I know how hated meta writers are on k5. I figured you'd probably want to wack my head with a shovel a few times after I wrote this. I didn't really expect the thresholds to change. I just wanted to point out that a lot of the stuff we're posting could use another look over. Of course, democracy doesn't mean everyone voting to what I think, but if it causes people to be even a little bit more critical, I'm willing to be a moving target.

I don't see any problem with the thresholds themselves. It just seems that people are so starved for anything that they vote things up just because someone finally posted something. I'm really not elitist when it comes to writing. I just want something to stir me up. A good article should inspire some emotion or reaction in me. Lately, they've all just made me think "not really much to say." Maybe I'm suffering from the "seen it all" syndrome. I honestly wish there was an Anne Marie troll. Those were fun.

I'm going to take you're advice though. If it doesn't get a rise from me, it's -1 time.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Excellent (5.00 / 3) (#49)
by rusty on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:26:20 AM EST

I'm going to take you're advice though. If it doesn't get a rise from me, it's -1 time.

More people should vote that way. :-)

About the rest-- I know what you're saying. I can't say I necessarily disagree. There's been a lot of bland stuff lately. But sometimes, it's just like that. Then there'll be a week with 5 or 6 real gems. It comes and goes...

Maybe your posting this will cause people to think about whether they're voting +1 because it's good, or just because there's nothing else to vote for at the moment. That would be a good thing.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

This is one of the exact reasons (3.91 / 12) (#12)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 11:16:55 AM EST

why I hated the old queue. People constantly posted whiny articles about problems with the queue and offered solutions to "fix" whatever the problem of the minute was.

The only thing I hate more than 30 articles all going "vote me!!" at one time (why even bother?) is having half of those articles labeled Meta, all wanting to be the brilliant person to do something about it.

No, thank you.


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


Give your suggestions to kmself (4.77 / 9) (#14)
by Skippy on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 11:52:50 AM EST

Hopefully he won'nt kill me for this but kmself, who originally designed k5's moderation, put up a Wiki (self-modifying diff-ed html) page a while ago to hash out ideas concerning the queue and invited changes. Go to http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?KuroshinSubmissionQueue and give your opinions. Please read the whole thing and think seriously before making modifications to the document. Perhaps if *we actually come up with a requirements document first* then when a new queue is coded then we'll get what we want.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
I agree with you (3.73 / 19) (#15)
by theboz on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 12:35:58 PM EST

I was never one of the ones complaining about the queue being too large, and actually bitched at people when they did because I figured it would lower the quality of the site as a whole. Well, I guess I was correct. The articles getting posted have been mostly garbage. I think part of the problem is that they get submitted too quickly to allow people to really post anything useful in the editorial comments. I'd say quite a few of the articles are complete bullshit, lies, or just misinformed garbage. Let's go through the front page articles and give a quick rundown of my opinions:

The People v. DMCA - This actually is not too bad, but I think the topic has been done to death. I don't feel that the article really presented anything new to me, but if enough people have that short of an attention span it's good they voted it up.

Star Wars Starts Wars - Some nutball visited a military base and claimed that they occupied it. Then, he goes on to give the reasons, complaining about a military defense program that never made it and there are no plans to implement it now. What's next? Are they going to complain about the exploitation of the ancient Hebrews by Egypt and go "occupy" the desert in protest? Really, I found this whole article full of lies and stupidity.

Getting Paid for Content: from micropayments to shareware models - This one could be interesting. It's not interesting to me, but I can see how it is to many people on the site. I read some of it and found it to be worthy of being posted. I'd say this is probably on the level of the "good old days" front page stories.

Credit Cards: Feed Us Your Young - I personally would like to bitchslap everyone that voted this article up in the face. This is a whiny rant about how he was too stupid to budget and now he's in debt because he spent money he didn't have. I'm no fan of financial institutions, but this article is so full of lies and bullshit that I had to be on their side here, much like many of the others that posted topical comments. I don't see how this got posted unless it was to show how much of a jackass Lord13 is.

Creative Labs spying ... and now this? - I have mixed feelings on this article, it would have made a good diary entry, but at the same time it could have been rewritten to discuss spyware and adware from many different companies, ways to fight against it, etc. The article as it is sucks, but it had great potential if it were rewritten. Too late for that.

Pinochet, Milosevic, Kissinger? - This article is pointless. The author was trying to be "shocking" and get us to think about something but it just didn't seem to be interesting to me. Maybe it was for other people, who knows.

How Americans See Osama bin Laden - This is sort of a "preaching to the quoir" article. We all know that he is a terrorist, and that he has reasons. I don't think his reasons are valid excuses to have people killed, because there is no excuse to have innocents killed. This article seemed to be apologist in nature to make people think, "sure he wants to blow up your family and kill all of you, but at heart he's really a great guy."

Appeals Court Reverses Breakup of Microsoft - This should have been MLP or something. It was not written up well enough to be a front page article, but it had potential. Again, the new story queue doesn't give people any motivation to write quality stories, and just like with slashdot the goal is to submit something quickly before everyone else does in a case like this.

Chronically homeless with 10 children - Another whiny article talking about how unfair life is for a crack whore. The author seems incapable of writing any article that doesn't try to take the blame away from people for their own actions. I bet this Lord13 guy makes Electric Angst proud.

Half God, Half Dirty GNU Hippy - I don't know. Shoeboy is famous for trolling, and some of that comes out in the way he writes articles but I guess they are interesting to some. I personally don't care about open source, it's as disgusting to me as if he was writing about how great Steve Jobs is and giving me details of his life I don't care about. The whole series of Shoeboy's seems like a wankfest to me, but I guess there are enough wankers here to vote it to the front page so you can't blame him for pleasing people.

Stuff.

So what? (3.16 / 6) (#29)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 06:31:57 PM EST

It looks to me like you have three categories here: agree, disagree, and don't care. You are saying nothing about the quality of the articles and just reiterating what your political bent is, and showing us how much your politics match the politics of the typical front page story. Every user here could go through the front page articles and post their own version of the same thing, calling articles whose politics differed from theirs "full of lies," but so what? We already knew that everyone has some opinions. What does any of this have to do with the quality of the stories that get posted?

"Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
[ Parent ]

The queue is fine (4.00 / 6) (#16)
by mind21_98 on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 12:57:25 PM EST

When the thresholds were reset, they were set to 80 and -20 (the upper and lower limits). As far as I know, the lower threshold was raised. This means that bad stories actually disappear faster now than before.

The rash of "bad" articles lately seem to come from new users. Nothing against new users, but in general they don't read the submission FAQ. If more people read it, maybe the stories would be of a higher quality than they are now.

--
mind21_98 - http://www.translator.cx/
"Ask not if the article is utter BS, but what BS can be exposed in said article."

I think it's fine, but... (4.00 / 3) (#18)
by Crashnbur on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 01:28:48 PM EST

...I would change the thresholds to 100 and -25. The great stories are still posted in no time, and the horrible stories are still gone in no time. What you're left with is just a *few* more stories in the queue at all times to generate just a *little* more discussion.

I don't know about the rest of K5, but I generally do most of my reading and commenting through the queue and the front page. I just don't have the time to surf the entire site. If a story is good enough to make the front page, I'll give it a look. If it's in the queue, I do my duty and put in my two cents. I would guess that the majority of K5 users are either like that, or they ignore the queue altogether and surf the sections. :-)

Either way, I think this would allow stories to remain in the queue just a little longer, and... I'm really not sure how the previous changes increased the number of "meaningless submissions" in the queue. Either way, this is something to be discussed... and you have my opinion.

crash.neotope.com


subject (4.00 / 2) (#22)
by delmoi on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 03:01:30 PM EST

I don't know about the rest of K5, but I generally do most of my reading and commenting through the queue and the front page.

you can just hit the 'everything' link at the top, it shows you, well, everything. (that is, all the stories posted to all the sections)

I find I have to do that a lot more now that the queue dosn't take so long.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
I agree (4.20 / 5) (#21)
by Arkady on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 02:51:01 PM EST

I know we all hate the me too-style post, but that's pretty much the only option on this one: say mee too, or disagree. ;-)

I've dropped back to voting "don't care" on most of the stuff that comes in simply because the vast majority in the past month has been stuff I just don't care about. The queue changes probably aren't entirely responsible, but the well thought out and interesting articles come up much more rarely.

These things go in phases, of course, so it's probably mostly coincidence that the quality dropped off at the same time as the queue changes, but I also think it's likely that the queue changes reinforced the decline.

Besides, I think the changes were just so Rusty wouldn't have to get real editing into the story process ... ;-)

-robin

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


Welcome to life. (4.00 / 7) (#25)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 04:03:01 PM EST

Welcome to life where nothing is perfect, you can't please everyone and every decision you make is a tradeoff. I voted -1 on this article because you are doing the same thing that every other whining Meta article author does, ask for technical solutions to a social problem.

People voting up crap articles isn't going to be changed no matter how you adjust the threshold. The only difference is how long they sit in the queue which is only interesting because more people read articles in the queue than stories that get posted to section (another problem that can't easily be solved with code).

Quite frankly I prefer a brisk queue to a slow moving one because it makes K5 look more active to new/non-account having readers. If a quick queue means that people with accounts have to click on Everything instead of the story queue to see the most recent articles, big deal.

This... (4.25 / 4) (#27)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 05:22:47 PM EST

... appeal to "no technical solutions for social problems" has always struck me as a bit doubious. Where do technical problems end and social ones begin? Is the boundry so clear?

Consider a situation where the threshold was set to something like 10 or 15. This would let lots of poor quality articles through. But if someone complained and proposed that the threshold should be moved up to 30 in order to combat the problem, in steps someone with the appeal to this "law", or something, prohibiting technical fixes for social problems. (The reductio should be clear now?)

So obviously there are domains where technical solutions work to end social problems. I would submit that things like tariffs and basically a huge chunk of other laws also show this basic fact.

Calling someone a nazi doesn't magically end a thread, and distroying every gun on earth would indeed stop firearm murders. In short, "laws" put forth on the net aren't truth preserving bits of reasoning.



[ Parent ]

Put things in context (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 11:42:23 PM EST

I was not trying to invoke some absolute law when I made my statement, so I'll go over the facts. He is complaining about two things,
  1. People are writing sloppy articles.

  2. People are voting up sloppy articles.
I've been reading K5 for over a year and this has always been the case. Making the threshold higher achieves only one thing, more people get to read the crap articles since they hang around the queue more.

[ Parent ]
I'm glad we agree... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:09:29 AM EST

... about the "law" bit.

About the other: The issue isn't wheither you agree about the diagnosis of the problem. Especially since such things aren't objective. The issue we have to consider is wheither the proposed solution does you any harm or others harm. If not, then the least anti-(what he said) course of action would be to assent to a modest compromise, at the very least, right?

Maybe I have my negotiation tactics all wrong, but that is what I remember. :)



[ Parent ]

modest proposal (unsatirical) (4.00 / 5) (#26)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 05:06:39 PM EST

First, I did you the favor of -1, since I think that is what you were wanting.

Second, since the community seems to be divided on the issue, I see no reason not to up the threshold a bit. I mean, it is a variable, right? Normally variables have to be played with a bit before the right balance is found.

So I fully support the compromise of moving it up as much as half of the distance it was recently moved down. There are likely some nonlinear processes at work here, so I would try somewhere around 95 or so, but perhaps there should be a poll for our benevolent lord and master to work from.

I don't understand those who seem to be favoring no more change, since they just seem to be brushing off the discontent of others (unfriendly behavior, that). But I also tend to not like anything that promotes us living in the queue. I don't think that was why we have a queue.



Yeah, it's been a month. (3.83 / 6) (#28)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 06:07:25 PM EST

Rusty brought it down to 80 on June 5, and so we've probably had enough time to see what that's like. Tweaking it up to somewhere in the 90-110 range for about a month should give us enough information to decide about where we like it.

A dynamic threshold might be interesting too: you could cast a vote somewhere on your user page saying whether you wanted the threshhold to go up, down, or stay the same, and every one or two days the votes could be counted (and reset to 0) and then the threshhold could move up or down a bit in response. Hopefully it would regress towards some ideal number over time, or at least cycle around the vicinity of it. And you could make a 3D graph of the data, color it day-glo and project it on a wall at raves. You could title it "The Mind of K5."

Lucille Clifton for President!
Charlie Parker is the national bird.
Howl is recited before professional football games.
You can pay for groceri
[ Parent ]

Gee (4.00 / 3) (#34)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:41:59 PM EST

Sorry, I think I might be dense or something, but I really can't tell if you are being serious or not. You might be making the point that a month isn't really long enough using sarcasm. And the other idea might be meant to point out the fickle nature of such "lets ask everyone" schemes.

Damn, I've been on k5 for too long. Even friendly voices are starting to seem contrary. ;)



[ Parent ]

You shouldn't worry about such things. (3.83 / 6) (#38)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 09:02:46 PM EST

You'll go mad wondering if someone is being sarcastic, or if they are trolling you, or if they are just some kind of nut. If someone makes a suggestion that you agree with, good enough. So what if they might not have really meant it?

In this case, just to reassure you, I did mean it. I would say one month is a minimum time to observe the effect of adjustments on K5. I am comfortable waiting two or three months, but since lots of people get antsy and impatient (ah, youth!), a month is enough.

The stuff about colorized graphs is just a reference to your mention of it being non-linear. There are some chaotic parts of story moderation, and that has to be taken into account. And if you could get some fractal art out of it, all the better...

"Oh, like you never thought about killing your mom, ya big hypocrites." It was at that moment that I realized how small the New German Cinema community re
[ Parent ]

You're right, of course... (4.50 / 4) (#42)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 11:06:21 PM EST

... or maybe I'm just saying that. ;p

Sometimes I wonder if I have an overactive social-consciousness brain module. Always wanting movement towards consensus and resolution and such. Most of the time though, I think other people's said modules are probably a bit underactive for the longterm good.

I do like the perpetual voting idea. Feedback loops are nice. It wouldn't impose a burden on the user to express their contentment, and it would let those that care about a change express themselves meaningfully.



[ Parent ]

Keep in mind... (4.40 / 5) (#30)
by spacejack on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 06:41:56 PM EST

It's summer, school is out. Kids are on vacation*. Read into that whatever you want.

I do miss the fat queue, although I wouldn't mind a "go away" button beside each new story link on the modsub page. The reason for this being that there are sometimes articles with certain titles or by certain authors (often both) that I am actually afraid to look at.

Maybe Rusty should just twiddle the knobs every once in a while. There could be a different setting for each season.

* Yeah, yeah, northern-hemisphere-centric.

And as for quality (4.22 / 9) (#31)
by spacejack on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:16:26 PM EST

Let me start by saying that although I sympathize with the k5 community's desire to get quality writing for free, every day, I am beginning to see that this goal may be impossible to attain. No matter how much punishment we dole out for shitty writing, people just keep coming back with more crap.

So if we can't improve the quality of the writing, maybe we can change people's perception of the quality. For example, the K5 staff could:

  • Use more creative design. Add more intentional whitespace and eye-catching, self-aggrandizing graphics to give a greater overall sense of importance to the site.
  • Enforce the use of serif fonts to give pages a more "literary feel" -- as if we're reading a page from a respected critical publication.
  • Write a script to search for quotes to use as teasers in large type, interspaced throughout the article. Look for keywords like "of great importance", "being oppressed", "the future", "corporations" or "communism".
  • Throw in some horizontal lines here and there, just to make those paragraphs look more important than other paragraphs.
  • Lameness filter rejects articles without any 4+ syllable words.
  • Lameness filter rejects articles containing the word "Napster".
And so on. I'm sure that I'm only scratching the surface here.

simple? idea (repost from dead article) (4.50 / 4) (#32)
by psicE on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:17:02 PM EST

Eliminate the mod-queue; every article posted goes straight to section; users have to read the articles in section. After reading each article, users will have three options:
Recommend it: This will add a story to a user's hotlist/customized front page. If enough users recommend an article, the story will be sent to the front page for everyone.
Revise it: This will go to a screen where users can make changes to the article and submit that to the author; the author will be able to see the revisions as a special comment that shows each line that was changed, with the revisions in a different color, and can edit his/her story at will. Each time a story is edited, all revision comments will be deleted.
Criticize it: This will hide a story from the user and prevent it from being shown on the front page for that user. If enough people criticize a story, it will be removed from the site.
This way every story can get posted, bad stories can be eliminated (similarly the front page stays high-quality), the "mod queue" stays clean, and people don't vote on stories they can't give an unbiased opinion on.

simple? idea (repost from dead article), and HTML (4.75 / 4) (#33)
by psicE on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:18:24 PM EST

Eliminate the mod-queue; every article posted goes straight to section; users have to read the articles in section. After reading each article, users will have three options:
  • Recommend it: This will add a story to a user's hotlist/customized front page. If enough users recommend an article, the story will be sent to the front page for everyone.
  • Revise it: This will go to a screen where users can make changes to the article and submit that to the author; the author will be able to see the revisions as a special comment that shows each line that was changed, with the revisions in a different color, and can edit his/her story at will. Each time a story is edited, all revision comments will be deleted.
  • Criticize it: This will hide a story from the user and prevent it from being shown on the front page for that user. If enough people criticize a story, it will be removed from the site.
This way every story can get posted, bad stories can be eliminated (similarly the front page stays high-quality), the "mod queue" stays clean, and people don't vote on stories they can't give an unbiased opinion on.

Neat concept, but flawed (4.42 / 7) (#35)
by RadiantMatrix on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:52:48 PM EST

There's one glaring problem I see with this method -- every piece of crap ever written gets posted. Granted, it may not live very long, but anyone can view it for at leat a while. This leads to a potential for spamming K5, and exposes the crap that our community puts up with to the public. (Remember, the public can't see the queue.)

What you describe did set my mind churning on something else, though. I've never liked the way the FP voting worked, and a simpler form of your idea could "fix" it.

What if the queue allowed only 1/0/-1 voting to post a story to section. Once in the section, there would be link/button/something that registered a "hey, this should really be on the front page" vote. That way, the discussion has a little time to mature before things are put up front. Also, people who didn't get to vote on the story initially (through the queue too fast) would still have some voice.

Right next to it could be a "how the hell did this get through the queue" vote -- for the occasional story that gets enough votes to get posted, but is still a piece of crap as far as the majority of users are concerned. :) This would also give people a chance to offset the "this should be up front" with an "oh, no it shouldn't!"

Come to think of it, this would work really well in that the queue would filter out the dredge, and the sections would allow the cream to rise.

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]

That's not a flaw (4.25 / 4) (#36)
by psicE on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 08:33:18 PM EST

that doesn't exist now, at least.

Diaries provide the same thing, and they don't disappear...

Personally I still think the full-blown system I described would work better, but the one you suggested would be a nice stepping point. If your system was implemented, when Rusty wanted to try mine he could just disable the modqueue and make every story automatically get a threshold number of +1 Section votes.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but... (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 11:22:39 AM EST

True, but diaries are only one section. One that can be easily ignored. If anyone could post to any section, the only "safe place" to read would be the front page. I'm not sure I like that idea...

--
never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after.
Express Yourself

[ Parent ]
True now (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by psicE on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:09:39 PM EST

The way I vote now, if I love a story, I send it to front page (all MLP I send to section). If I think a story's okay, or not very good but could provoke discussion, I send it to section. The only stories that I vote down are ones that are repetitive (5 different Meta stories about the queue), or ones that are purposefully trollful/spam. I've voted down about 5 stories ever. I don't think we have a trolling/spam problem on K5.

Anyway, as you can see by reading my addendum to kmself's K5 Wiki page, I think that authors should be required to earn the privilege of posting large numbers of articles; anyone who posts too many articles in a period of time without getting good enough reviews (very high recommendation/criticism ratio on the recommendation side), all stories they post go automatically to diary.

[ Parent ]
Queue variables (3.50 / 6) (#37)
by Eloquence on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 08:38:00 PM EST

It should be pointed out that there are not only the post/dump thresholds but another set of queue variables determining what happens to a story when no threshold is reached after a certain amount of time (24 hours?). These rules have also been made stricter, and I think that's the main reason the queue has become so short (it definitely has the consequence that controversial articles with nearly equally as much +1 and -1 votes are dumped more often).
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
Submission timeouts (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by Trepalium on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 12:07:31 AM EST

Ironically, I think the submission timeout that removes the article if a threshold isn't reached within a finite time period is the exact opposite of what it should be. Usually people vote with their hearts instead of separating their own opinion from what the article really says. Often the really controversial topics are the ones that should be posted, since they generate lots of conversation. Voting based on whether you like or dislike the opinions in the story generates the quality of stories that many people criticise slashdot for -- "preaching to the choir". I know I'm guilty of this, unfortunately. I'm sure that if the queue worked in such a way that undecided articles always were posted when the timeout expired, people would be screaming bloody murder, despite the fact the queue would be doing exactly what it's purpose was -- to stimulate conversation on articles.

<sigh> I guess you just can't please all of the people all of the time.

[ Parent ]

Here's a plan (1.85 / 7) (#46)
by QuantumG on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 12:53:34 AM EST

Why dont you send $2000 to each person who writes an article up to your level of quality. Oh that's right, you want quality for nothing. Good plan. I'm going to write an article now, "What you get for nothing: crap".

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
So all of K5 is crap, is it? (2.00 / 1) (#50)
by Aquarius on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:34:29 AM EST

People don't get paid for K5 articles at all. So, by your analysis, it's all crap, yes?

I wonder why you bother to read it.

Aq.

"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace" -- Ronin, Frank Miller
[ Parent ]
The advantage of the old queue for me... (4.87 / 8) (#48)
by a life in hell on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:16:10 AM EST

... is that some really good articles, which just
happened to offend the sensibilities of a lot of
voters (The Fairytale article from a while ago is
a good example of this) would stay in the queue
for long enough for me to read, even if they would
eventually get voted off the site.

Now, someone can post a really good article, and
it dissapears before anyone gets the chance to read
it, just because it offends the sensiblities of the
first group of people to vote

My personal story with it (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by MicroBerto on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 09:16:26 AM EST

At school, I hated the huge queue, because I had no time to look at 24 stories sitting there, and stopped moderating alltogether.

Now that I'm at work, and get bored when it's dead :), I'd LOVE to see 24 stories sitting there.

So, the moral is that I am unpleasable, so just don't worry about me :)

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

Short memory (5.00 / 5) (#54)
by mbrubeck on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:56:22 PM EST

mbrubeck voted -1 on this story

Doesn't anyone remember that we had a threshold of 80 just about a year ago, before it got pushed up by the growth of new accounts? I remember when the numbers were even less than that. The short queue times are not a new phenomenon; they are a return to the not-so-distant past. The queue was never designed to be a week-long ordeal of editorial commentary and asymptotically creeping scores. That was an accident of the code, which (until fixed) was responding to an increase in accounts with no matching increase in active voters.

As for quality, we've had periods of high and low quality during both high-threshold and low-threshold eras. If there has ever been a problem, it is this: We post everything that is submitted. Okay, that's not quite true. But most often, unless an article has glaring flaws or happens to garner a negative reaction from the readership, we will probably post it. Very few people vote -1 on any reasonable attempt at communication, regardless of whether it is actually worth reading or discussing.

Because of this, quality is essentially determined by the current group of active authors - always a small group compared to the readership. To escape from the tyranny of the most prolific writers, we the audience must speak with our votes. Stop voting 0 and start voting negative on mediocre or uninteresting stories. If a story is okay but can be improved, vote -1 and ask for a second draft. In the early days of K5 ("before the attack"), rewrites were much more frequent. If authors don't care about their work enough to revise and resubmit, then damnit, we won't post it.

The scoop engine means that the site is what we make it. The software has changed dozens of times in the past year and a half, but in the end any attempt to change its nature is either accepted or rejected by the users. The one constant has been that users determine the quality of content we will allow on K5. If you are not satisfied, do as I do: vote -1.

Kuro5hin: The computer game (none / 0) (#55)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 09:08:01 PM EST

I sympathize, and on the other hand I sort of liked this experiment. Ever notice how people who get used to one language tend to start going nuts when they speak with someone who prefers a different one? What we may be seeing is turbulence as everyone reaches for instincts that no longer make sense. Those who adapted well are those who didn't much care for K5 in the first place. If you just came to K5 from elsewhere, how would you see it?

Reminds me of when Blizzard started changing the relative powers of races in their game Starcraft, when the top players on Battlenet complained about the awful game imbalances. (I didn't play the game, but I was with a game company then.) Later it turned out the geniuses just didn't know how to use certain races effectively. Conventional wisdom was just another term for "mediocre." These changes were what made things more unbalancing.

I assume these lowered thresholds were made from the perspective that the queue was already broken. Maybe it takes K5 to be really broken before a substantive improvement is made, and perhaps that is wise.

Bring back the bulging queue | 56 comments (47 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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