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Regional Stories

By rleyton in Meta
Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 08:00:00 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

It seems to me that there are many stories that are regionally specific. These may not always be of interest to readers outside of those regions.

How about a Regional classification, as well as Section/Topic classification, for such stories?

Stories that are specific about a particular country or region seem to either upset, or really please, distinct groups of readers. This can skew the voting.

I'd like to put a suggestion up for comment that a new classification section is available for regionally specific stories.

So, a story that is specifically of interest to US readers (say, Gun Control), is classified as a North American story. Issues for European readers (say, the state of the Euro) is classified European, and so on. Stories of general interest (probably most of them) would be unclassified by the submitter.

As far as eliminating such subjects from view, it could simply be a display preference (default would be to show all, but Europhiles could exclude US specific stories for instance). It could further still, to prevent those uninterested in a region from voting on stories classified as specific to that region.


I figure the regions would be based on the demographics of the readership, and could change as time passes. For now, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Middle East/South East Asia/Australia jump out to me. But it could be more specific (UK and US as seperate, perhaps?)

The good

This could have a really good effect on encouraging stories to be submitted that are regionally specific (ie. Does anybody in the rest of the world care that the Scottish Parliament has just voted to outlaw fox hunting? Probably not.).

The bad

...but it could also serve to drive a wedge through the community.

But I figured it may well merit discussion....


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Regional story classification
o A great idea 12%
o Undecided 12%
o A bad idea 74%

Votes: 142
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by rleyton

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Regional Stories | 37 comments (36 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Didn't Heidegger (2.75 / 4) (#1)
by medham on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 06:30:55 PM EST

Say something about how a regioning was an abiding? The expansion of the spirit into territory through the expansion of technology into the spirit?

In any case, I think this is an important question. The sectioning feature of K5 is probably its least well-defined part, I think. Certain parody sites exaggerate this haphazard division gleefully.

How about stories that belong to the emperor? Blue stories? Stories that buzz like gnats around your head? [don't remember the rest, but the cognoscenti know what I'm getting--a shout out to my cogno-peeps!]

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Yep (2.66 / 3) (#11)
by deefer on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:23:12 PM EST

The sectioning feature of K5 is probably its least well-defined part

Bearing in mind, many readers are not native English speakers, and that even the UK and the USA are "two great nations, divided by a common language", this generality makes no sense. Your definition of "liberal" may differ from mine, for example. Meanwhile, some girl in Sweden may have a slightly differing view to that of a Japanese lad. But if sections are left a tad ambiguouos, everybody has a rough idea what the drive of an article is, and we can discuss the fine detail. That elevate K5, IMHO.

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]

Please, no (4.50 / 6) (#2)
by crank42 on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 06:52:57 PM EST

I voted +1, as I think this is worth discussing, but I'm opposed to the scheme.

One of the pleasant things about K5 is its eclectic nature. Regional focus is one of the things that is destroying many nation-states now; and, while that may not be such a bad thing, I think it tends to make people more provincial. The rot of provincialism is already far enough along. There's no reason to encourage it.

No regionalism (none / 0) (#7)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 07:53:59 PM EST

Despite the annoyance of "don't post that USA stuff here!" crowd, I appreciate being exposed to stuff from around the world even if, for example, Aussie immigration scandals have little to do with me.

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Yet Another "Please, No" =) (4.66 / 3) (#3)
by Jel on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 07:25:47 PM EST

It could drive a wedge through the community, as you say. In fact, it could alienate entire sections of the community (especially the smaller sections).

We don't jump online because we're happy with our small home communities. We want to converse with everyone who is interested in the same things that we are. I've certainly got no issue with reading articles about remote situations in remote locations.

OTOH, I see exactly what you're saying, and do agree hat it's annoying to some extent when people mistakenly address a subset of the community. My preferred solution, though, is good old education. Just wake up, and realise you're writing to the world, folks. Stop thinking so small. This ain't the USA, or any other limited geographical area. It's the 'net =)

On the issue of classification and searching, I think it's all organised enough into physical actual topics right now. In addition, though, some kind of keyword field for articles would be very helpful. Or maybe even an additional system of classification like the categories in a PIM. Something along the lines of "Tick all categories which apply to your article". You could then select USA, North America, Americas, and whatever else is relevant, all at once.

Oh, and... can I get a free beer along with each new article to read? =^)

...lend your voices only to sounds of freedom. No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from. Fill your lives with love and bravery, and we shall lead a life uncommon
- Jewel, Life Uncommon
Please don't (5.00 / 9) (#4)
by adiffer on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 07:28:30 PM EST

One of the reason I visit K5 regularly is to be exposed to those 'regional' stories that are from outside my region. I live in California, so I'm exposed to the lop-sided US media. K5 helps to correct some of the bias I face and I appreciate it.

To maintain this kind of community, I would suggest we avoid anything that can act as a wedge to segment us.
-Dream Big. --Grow Up.

Don't do it k5! (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by suick on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 02:09:58 AM EST

I agree completely. I would hate to think that the many quality articles on k5 would become unavailable to me simply because it was written by someone in another country. Also, like you, I go to k5 to counteract the bias of the American Media--if each article was given country tags, I would be wholly frustrated with my inability to read alien news and op-ed pieces--consequently, much of the charm of k5 would be dead to me.

Don't do it k5! I want to be able to read all the articles!

order in to with the will I around my effort sentences an i of more be fuck annoying.
[ Parent ]
And yet... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by UncleMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 11:23:27 AM EST

...how many times in just the last two weeks have I seen people trying to vote an article down because it's too x-centric (where x is usually 'US' or 'UK')?
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
I try not to (none / 0) (#28)
by adiffer on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 03:06:08 PM EST

At worst, I'll give a regional story a 0. I wish that particular vote said 'I don't mind' instead of 'I don't care'. There are lots of things I care about, but don't mind which way the decision goes.

I tend to reserve my -1 votes for things I don't want to see at all. For me, this choice is the 'I care to avoid this stuff.' vote.
-Dream Big. --Grow Up.
[ Parent ]

Too 'X-Centric" (5.00 / 2) (#34)
by ucblockhead on Fri Feb 15, 2002 at 11:52:40 AM EST

The trouble isn't stories that concern only a region. The trouble is stories that assume the reader is familiar with a region.

Too US-Centric:

Ashcroft is trying to subvert the first amendment!

Not too US-Centric:

United States Attorney General Ashcroft is trying to subvert American free speech protections.

In other words, it's not the story, but the presentation. Remember that the reader might not know what an "MP" is, or who the Prime Minister is, or what the second amendment says.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

The poll (4.25 / 4) (#5)
by Mysidia on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 07:34:17 PM EST

"Poll Regional story classification" "A great idea, Undecided, A bad idea"

I can't answer this.. I don't think it's a great idea, I don't think it's a bad idea, and i'm not undecided: I think it's an "ok" idea in general.

I don't think there should be a "regional" section though, frankly, everything is regional.

No matter what story you pick it's going to be more important or more emphasized by people from a certain area or certain set of interests (which tends to be influenced by "where they're from" and "where they are in life" anyhow)

Therefore, I think every story should have a "regional classification": a list (not single section) of regions the story most applies to. Users could then select from a list which regions they would like to see stories relating to.

For the rare case of "all regions" you would code it 'region 0' or an 'all' option would be chosen. (Why am I reminded of some DVD comment-limitation encoding scheme?)

Another possibility would be for voters to be divided by region, let each voter represent the regions they claim to be located in, so articles would be sorted to users from each region according to what the people in that region think about this.. (What I don't like about this thought is that it would divide the site, make it more confusing and complex... and for what benefit?)


-Mysidia the insane @k5
Bad Idea (4.33 / 3) (#6)
by fhotg on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 07:49:56 PM EST

Because we are all cosmopolitans, here.

Better Idea:
Can I please have a button that automatically hides all comments produced by short perl-scripts ?

Thank you.
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

You wish (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by medham on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 08:41:16 PM EST

That you could write a perl script that could post trenchant references to Being and Time, adequacy.org, and Borges in one hard-hitting post.

Green-eyed monster is the biggest problem around here.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

medham and bc (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by guet on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:00:04 AM EST

And a flag for accounts which are consistently rated to 5 by the same 'people' - jeesh, I don't know who's human round here any more and who's a shadow : )

Actually, looking at medham's diary entries I reckon they're done with the same script.

[ Parent ]
What are you trying to say? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by bc on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:28:33 AM EST

Just because you don't understand a post, this does not mean that the post is meaningless. Are you really so arrogant that you must posit the existence of some perl script, when your own ignorance would be a far easier explanation in line with the ol' razor?

Likewise, I do not 5 medham because I am a 'shadow' or a script - I am very real, thank you, and just happen to like his posts.

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]

meaningless (none / 0) (#23)
by guet on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 06:45:37 AM EST

Just testing about your existence, must have been getting paranoid.
The comment/diary in question was a bit, well, mangled - it's a very good impersonation of a script if it's real, imho. Didn't think it was meaningless.

As to my ignorance, you got me there...

[ Parent ]
Two things (none / 0) (#26)
by medham on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 11:59:34 AM EST

That's "Goethe."

Second, and I'm really curious about this, did the "perl script" idea really come to mind as an explanation, or did you think it was a clever insult? Please answer--it's for an amateur sociology project.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

amateur insults (none / 0) (#32)
by guet on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:42:49 PM EST

oops, ta.
no really, the script idea seemed convincing...

In any case, I think this is an important question. The sectioning feature of K5 is probably its least well-defined part, I think. Certain parody sites exaggerate this haphazard division gleefully.

The 'I think' and 'gleefully' at the end make the sentences seem kind of stuck together along with the haphazard haphazard, and the 1st and last phrases are abstract and applicable to anything. I'm sure you could probably say the same about my comments, now that I stop to look at them : )

The jumps between subjects over the last few paras of the diary I read seemed a bit weird too, as if a recipe of phrases was being used, but hey the perl script thing wasn't even my idea/insult/joke.

[ Parent ]
sociological experiments, tnx for participating (none / 0) (#33)
by fhotg on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 06:31:38 PM EST

but hey the perl script thing wasn't even my idea/insult/joke
What was it now, insult or joke ? Both of course. While medhams style reminds me strongly of certain AI output, for reasons you gladly started to analyze, I don't believe he's actually a script.

In the original comment, I used this observation to successfully provoke a response by vilfying his highly valued intellectual capabilities, besides proving some lowly character traits of my own. I thought of medham as a troll, not deserving the success he recently enjoyed.

I changed my assessment though, after reading his diary and feel with him now. Sorry medham. The majority of K5 folks don't even get slightly cryptic references to popular music. What a courage to try with literature and philosophers only trhurler can pronounce. Cogniscienti - where are youuuuuu ?
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

No, definitely not! (4.40 / 5) (#9)
by nr0mx on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 08:43:58 PM EST

It seems to me that there are many stories that are regionally specific. These may not always be of interest to readers outside of those regions

These stories shouldn't be on k5 in this case. As many others have mentioned, everything is regional. What matters is is that they contribute something that is of value, which generally falls into somthing already defined -- Culture/Freedom/Politics/News being the most common categories.

Stories that are specific about a particular country or region seem to either upset, or really please, distinct groups of readers. This can skew the voting.

Yes,sometimes this seems to be the case. Fortunately, we have no control over the demographics of the population that frequents k5. As such, it should not be thought of as 'skewing' -- by this yardstick, every opinion and poll is also skewed in favour of the majority. Others have pointed this out, but I would like to reiterate, that creating regional categories would only serve to split the k5 community. We would end up with certain stories not being looked at by the majority, on the merit of the 'regional' classification. Which I am sure we do not want.

I however think that this topic merits discussion. Definitely. Especially for the (inadvertent) parallel to the divide-and-rule policies applied elsewhere. Maybe its just me being paranoid, but it made me distinctly uneasy.

While on the topic of regionalism, I would like to mention again this issue which I brought up earlier, and which still troubles me.

Just leave it up to moderation (4.33 / 3) (#10)
by darwoodious on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 08:51:36 PM EST

If a story is so micro in scope that people outside of your region wouldn't care or even understand what it is you are talking about, it would just be moderated to oblivion. There are other sites for specifically regional stuff.

No... (none / 0) (#14)
by J'raxis on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 10:20:37 PM EST

Not really. For example, how many U.S.-centric stories get posted, only to have people continue to whine about them being too U.S.-centric? As long as there are enough people in the applicable region interested, the story will get voted up, despite the disinterest of everyone else.

— The Raxis

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

change k5? (2.83 / 6) (#12)
by dr k on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:32:09 PM EST

Kuro5hin is perfect the way it is. We don't need new section headings. We don't need a story editor. We don't need a useful rating system.

says the man that rates everything 1.... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by boxed on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 06:21:38 AM EST

...to remove trusted users :P

[ Parent ]
Regions? (4.25 / 4) (#13)
by freakie on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:57:25 PM EST

I've read many things here that would be outside of my "region" that I've found interesting or informatative or whatever - if it had been labled with a region, I probably wouldn't have even bothered to look.
"Give'm Etch-a-Sketches...they'll never know the difference!"
Totally Disagree but +1 (3.66 / 3) (#15)
by johnnyc on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 01:10:51 AM EST

Things are fine the way they are. I don't think I'd bother if it came to this.

Oh, please (3.00 / 5) (#18)
by juahonen on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 03:01:08 AM EST

Does anybody in the rest of the world care that the Scottish Parliament has just voted to outlaw fox hunting? Probably not.

I make my own decisions, thank you.

Great idea, but... (3.33 / 3) (#22)
by jonr on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 06:37:18 AM EST

I think it's a great idea, but keep it for US-Centric articles only. :> There is a world outside US, you know.

When I first read this story... (3.33 / 3) (#24)
by m0rzo on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 07:26:45 AM EST

I didn't pay it as much thought as perhaps it deserves. Then I woke up this morning and saw that it's the only story left in the queue, hanging on a score of 48. I read it again. I've realised what an incredibly bad idea it actually is.

The reason I come to Kuro5hin is to escape the dumbed-down media that I'm subjected to the rest of the time. If a story was catagorised into a region, I doubt I'd even bother to click it.

Don't do it K5... =)

My last sig was just plain offensive.

Regional story categories are a bad idea (3.50 / 2) (#27)
by ocelotbob on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:40:28 PM EST

One of the huge advantages of the internet is it's global nature - you hear about local stories that "traditional" media wouldn't touch. With the internet, you are able to hear about such items like the aforementioned Australian immigration scandal, or Scotland's recent ban on fox hunting. If you ask me, these stories, if anything else, provide tremendous insight into the human condition; we all have internal conflicts that outsiders may think of as silly or strange.

Personally, I read stories from other regions because stories about internal politics seem to become stories about external actions sooner or later. For example, stories on the euro are important because it's of huge financial significance - if it tanks, this Californian will feel its affects. Yeah, sometimes a story may seem a bit overworked, but I've got a feeling that part of journalism and politics is the art of beating a dead horse.

Why... in my day, the idea wasn't to have a comfortable sub[missive]...

You're right (none / 0) (#29)
by scanman on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 03:28:42 PM EST

I personally enjoy reading stories from all over the world, but judjing by the number of "-1 too XYZ-centric" posts, some people would rather stay living under their own rocks.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

Missing the point (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by scanman on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 03:39:36 PM EST

I've seen several posts here that completely miss the point. How many times have you seen some idiot rate something -1 just because it mentions a particular place? It's possible that you're actually missing some interesting regional stories because of these people. I think this proposition is a good idea, because it would allow the people who want a worldwide view to have it, and the ones who want tunnel-vision to have that, too.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

and then what? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by mikpos on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:18:05 PM EST

There are idiots who vote down articles because "its" is misspelled as "it's". Or idiots who vote down articles because they're about articles that don't interest them ("motorcycles? I don't ride motorcycles!"). You can't make a special rule for every possible form of idiot out there. The only thing you can do is hope that there are more non-idiots than idiots, which is why K5 has a voting system for articles. Ya?

[ Parent ]
This is not the answer... (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by willie on Sat Feb 16, 2002 at 12:13:58 AM EST

This is looking at the problem from the wrong angle. I assume that most people who dislike stories that are too 'US-centric', like me, dislike them because they make too many assumptions.

If the author of stories explained or provided links to concepts that are discussed that are US-centric, I would be happy to vote the story up.

It may be hard to imagine, but in Australia, we don't have radio-shack. Or best buy. Or any number of US-centric shops, etc. So when you mention best-buy, also mention that it's a retail chain that supplies x. The same goes for places and people, as well.

When I post comments on .au specific ideas, I try to incude links or explain what I'm talking about, not for the US American audience, but for the whole non-Australian audience.

I am interested in issues that are US-centric, as long as they are written to be understood by an international audience.

When writing a story about a US-centric idea, imagine that the audience reading it is not from the US.

Not needed (5.00 / 2) (#36)
by Rizzen on Sat Feb 16, 2002 at 04:32:23 PM EST

A regional classification system is not needed. What's needed is better article writing and presentation. We need article writers to keep in mind that people from around the world visit this sight, and to write with that in mind. Add proper title's to people's names, explain all your terms, and the like.

For instance, not everyone knows who Alan Greenspan is, or what MLA stands for. Add proper titles and explanations and everything becomes clear.

IOW, the article content can be region-specific, but the wording and presentation should not be.

Oh, and for those wondering, last I checked, Alan Greenspan was the head of some financial governement agency or some such in the States, and MLA stands for Member of the Legislative Assembly (elected provincial government people) in Canada. :)
The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly those between the ages of 4 and 18. At age four, we know all the questions; at eighteen, all the answers.
Again.. (none / 0) (#37)
by Damia on Sat Feb 16, 2002 at 09:38:00 PM EST

Why would I have 'net access if I cared only about the drama of my small, cave-like dwelling and its immediate area?

We live in a global culture, and personally, I love to read about issues that are specific to places that I know nothing about. It's called learning. This is, of course, assuming they are well written and well informed articles. Despite being a newbie to the site, I thought k5 was based on the ability to moderate what gets posted. Wouldn't that weed out any articles k5 didn't want to read? Why bother categorizing something when such action will decrease the likelihood of anyone reading a possibly quality article?

Regional Stories | 37 comments (36 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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